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Category Archives: Our Beloved Saints and Holy People

ST ANDREAS WOUTERS, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST ANDREAS WOUTERS, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST ANDREAS WOUTERS, PRIEST AND MARTYR; MEMORIAL: JULY 9

St Andreas (Andries) Wouters, one of the MARTYRS OF GORKUM, was born in 1542. He worked as a priest in Heineoord, Diocese of Haarlem, Netherlands. Before his and his companions’ martyrdom, his conduct was at times not edifying, including bouts of drinking and womanising. All 19 martyrs of Gorkum (priests and religious) were tortured and hanged by Calvinists in the night of 9th July 1572, for “Papism” and their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. With his courageous martyrdom and perseverance in the Faith, St Andreas made up for his past life. His last words, now famous, were: “Fornicator I always was, heretic I never was.” He was canonised on 29/6/1865. St Andreas, pray for us. Martyrs of Gorkum, pray for us.

PRAYER:

O God,
who adorned with the laurel of immortality
the glorious battle of Your blessed martyrs of Gorkum for the Faith,
graciously grant that with them
we may deserve to be crowned in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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ITE AD IOSEPH

ITE AD IOSEPH

Let us go to Saint Joseph, let us beg him to help us on the difficult road of this life.
He, like ourselves, has travelled there.
He, like us, has suffered there.
Born in lowly circumstances, although of a royal family, he earned his daily bread by rough toil.

How many humiliations he endured!
How much anxiety and trouble!
When, chosen by God, he had to watch over Jesus and Mary, and to provide for them.
He knew the miseries of life, the moments when courage abandons us, when all is dark around us.

Let us have recourse to Saint Joseph, and ask him for resignation.
Let us go to him, for he loves us.
He loves us because we belong to Jesus and Mary. Their affections have become his.
Let us ask him to love us as he loved Jesus and Mary, and to obtain for us that we may love them as he loved them. O Joseph, who had the incomparable honour of watching over Jesus, and of providing for Him by your labours,
Speak to Him for us.
He loves you.
He remembers your tenderness.
Lead us to this Saviour, so dearly loved.
And when the last hour shall have arrived, present us to Him, that we may see Him and love Him for eternity.
– Laverty&Sons (Eds.), Leeds, 1905

 

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PRAYER ON ALL SAINTS DAY

PRAYER ON ALL SAINTS DAY

R. O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart.

Angels, Archangels, Thrones and Dominations, Principalities and Power, heavenly Virtues, Cherubim and Seraphim, Patriarchs and Prophets, Holy Doctors of the Law, Apostles and all you martyrs of Christ, Holy confessors and Virgins of the Lord, Hermits and all you Saints of God, intercede for us.

Let us pray: Almighty everlasting God, as you enable us to celebrate the merits of all your saints in one single feast, grant that with so many interceding on our behalf, we may receive from you that full forgiveness for which we long. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Come, let us adore the Lord, the King of kings; come, let us adore the Lord, the King of kings, for he is the crown of all the Saints.

“Behold, I, John, saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads’ (Rev. 7:2-3).

 

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DO NOT CRY, WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

DO NOT CRY, WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN

ABOUT SAINT MARY GUO LI, WIDOW AND MARTYR (1835-1900)

Mary Guo Li, a native of Hu-jia-che, China (Hebei Province), was a Catholic wife and grandmother, with numerous children and grandchildren, all of whom were raised in the Catholic faith.

In 1900 a Chinese quasi-religious faction known to history as the “Boxers” embarked upon a bloody persecution of Christians in China.

Mary instructed her children and grandchildren that under no circumstances were they to deny their faith, warning two of her sons, “Remember that if you apostatise, I shall no longer be your mother!”

On 29th June 1900, the Boxers raided the family’s home, murdered Mary’s husband Guo Zhinfang, and torched the house.

Sensing that she would soon share her husband’s fate, Mary spent the days that followed preparing herself with the recitation of the rosary, fasting, and spiritual reading.

On 7th July the sixty-five-year-old grandmother was put to death by the Boxers together with three of her daughters and four of her grandchildren. Before being executed, Mary offered a final word of encouragement to her family, telling them, “Don’t cry. We are going to heaven to enjoy eternal life.”

“They are happy whose life is blameless, who follow God’s law.” (Ps 118:1)

 

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VEN. ROSALIE CADRON-JETTE: BEYOND THE JUDGMENTS OF THIS WORLD

VEN. ROSALIE CADRON-JETTE: BEYOND THE JUDGMENTS OF THIS WORLD

MEMORIAL: APRIL 5th

…Venerable Rosalie Cadron-Jette… was born in Lavaltrie, Canada, in 1794. During her lifetime in her part of Canada, who would take care of unmarried pregnant women: shelter them, feed them, and provide medical attention before, during, and after the births of their children? No one, it seems, except Venerable Rosalie.

LOVE AND CARE FOR THOSE IN NEED

Venerable Rosalie grew up on a farm, her father earning a comfortable living. Even at a young age she showed love and care for those in need. She would help orphaned and abandoned children, mend clothes, take food to the hungry and visit the sick. According to the custom at that time, Venerable Rosalie married a man much older than herself: she was 16 and he was 33. She gave birth to 11 children, four of them dying at a young age. However, Venerable Rosalie became widowed at the age of 38, her husband dying from a cholera epidemic.

ONE NIGHT, A FRANTIC KNOCK SHOOK HER FRONT DOOR

The providence of God led Venerable Rosalie to her eventual ministry. One night, a frantic knock shook her front door. Hysterically, a woman begged to be let inside. She screamed that two sailors were chasing her with a hatchet intending to kill her. The woman was hidden in the house and the two sailors arrived. Having not found the woman in the house they eventually left. It later emerged that the woman, whose name was Jean-Marie, was working as a prostitute. Venerable Rosalie encouraged Jean-Marie to change her life. (Many years later Venerable Rosalie received a letter from Jean-Marie thanking her for her help and advice and stating that she had emigrated to the United States and was now happily married).

THE “HARMFUL TALK OF LOCAL PEOPLE”

For many years after her encounter with Jean-Marie, Venerable Rosalie dedicated her life to assisting single pregnant women and prostitutes, this at a time when being single and pregnant created a great stigma. Word spread that Venerable Rosalie helped people in need and the local Bishop asked her to help six children who had become orphans. Within a few days homes had been found for all these children. When more prostitutes and pregnant women were coming to Venerable Rosalie and staying with her to be looked after, some members of Venerable Rosalie’s family confronted her by saying that she was dishonouring the family name and that her reputation was being ruined by the harmful talk of local people.

“I AM STAYING HERE”

“It makes us feel bad to hear the things that people are saying about you. You are going to come home with us”, they said. They picked up her belongings and waited for Venerable Rosalie to come out and come home with them. Instead, Venerable Rosalie said, “Take everything I own, if you want; but as for me, I’m staying here.”

DOING GOD’S WILL

After all, she felt she was doing God’s will by looking after these women. Venerable Rosalie obtained bigger premises and never turned away any woman in need of shelter. Eventually, other caring women joined her in her work, leading to the formation of the Institute of the Sisters of Misericorde. Sadly, Venerable Rosalie then became ill with a kidney disease. As her health worsened she prayed for the pregnant women and prostitutes in need of help and advised her sisters to always love their work of caring for them.

SACRIFICES AND WORKS FOR GOD’S GLORY

Her Bishop came to her with the Blessed Eucharist and said, “My dear child, you may die now; go and receive your crown in heaven which God has lovingly prepared for you to reward you for all the sacrifices and works which you have so generously undertaken for His glory.” The next day, 5th April 1864, Venerable Rosalie died.

The cause for her canonisation was presented to the Vatican. In 2013 Pope Francis declared that Rosalie should be called ‘Venerable’, a step on the road to being declared a saint.

Some years after Venerable Rosalie’s death, one of her sisters declared at a religious meeting that ‘Rosalie placed herself beyond caring about the judgments of the world, when she placed before herself only conforming to the holy will of God.’ Good advice for all of us!

– From: Spiritual Thought From Fr. Chris, 4/2017

 

 

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ST ISIDORE OF SEVILLE – AN EXAMPLE IN ALL GOOD WORKS

ST ISIDORE OF SEVILLE – AN EXAMPLE IN ALL GOOD WORKS

ST ISIDORE; BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – FEAST DAY: APRIL 4

Isidore, a Spaniard by nationality, was born at Carthagena, while his father, Severian, was governor of the province. He received a well-rounded and pious training from his two brothers, Leander, Bishop of Seville, and Fulgentius, Bishop of Cartagena, and he came from his masters a most eminent scholar in all human knowledge and a pattern of all Christian virtues.

A most eminent scholar

After the death of Leander, he was raised to the See of Seville and made Vicar Apostolic of Spain. As a bishop he set an example in all good works and was especially solicitous in restoring ecclesiastical discipline. In a council assembled at Seville, he broke up and destroyed the heresy of the Acephali which was then threatening Spain.

A pattern of all Christian virtues

So great was the universal reputation that he had attained for piety and learning that he had scarcely been dead sixteen years when he merited to be called the Outstanding Doctor. He wrote most useful books full of learning. He presided over the fourth Council of Toledo, the most celebrated of all those convened in Spain. Finally, after having governed his See for about forty years, he went to heaven from Seville, in the year 636.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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HOLD ON TO THE GOOD AND STAY IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF YOUR PIOUS ANCESTORS – ST NICHOLAS OF FLUE

HOLD ON TO THE GOOD AND STAY IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF YOUR PIOUS ANCESTORS – ST NICHOLAS OF FLUE

“[On]…21st March one of the saints celebrated by the Church is St Nicholas of Flue, known also as Brother Klaus. He was born in 1417 in the Swiss canton of Unterwalden. At the age of 21 St Nicholas entered the army and took part in the Battle of Ragaz, distinguishing himself as a soldier. He became a member of the lay organisation called the Friends of God. Members sought closeness to Jesus through a disciplined life, especially meditation on His Passion.

Closeness to Jesus

At the age of 30 St Nicholas married Dorothy Wissling, and during twenty years of happy marriage they had ten children. St Nicholas left the army at the age of 37, having always carried his rosary beads with him wherever he travelled. After leaving the army he became a councillor and a judge for his canton.

His Divine Calling

At the age of 50 St Nicholas sensed the call of God to lead a more contemplative life. His wife and children believed that he had this divine calling and did not oppose him. St Nicholas left his family and spent the next 20 years in a remote cottage in Ranft. He prayed most of the night, but in the afternoon was happy to receive visitors.

He prayed most of the night

Although unable to read or write, St Nicholas had the gift of spiritual counsel and natural good judgement. Even top leaders sought his direction on spiritual, personal or political matters. In 1481 St Nicholas played a major role in solidifying the unity of Switzerland through his advice given to those involved in this endeavour. St Nicholas died on 21st March 1487 in Ranft after a short illness. He was beatified in 1669 and canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1947. He is the Patron Saint of Switzerland and of the Swiss Guards who protect the Pope.

A document from that time preserved St Nicholas’ fundamental wisdom:

Always put God first… do not mix in the affairs of others or ally yourself with a powerful stranger. Guard against discord and self-interest… do not let grow among you self-interest, jealousy, hatred, envy and factions, or these will work against you… don’t let innovations and roguery seduce you. Hold on to the good and stay on the road in the footprints of your pious ancestors. If you do that, neither storm nor tempest can harm you and you will overcome much evil.”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr. Chris 3/2017

 

 

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