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Tag Archives: Catholic hermits and religious

ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA

ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA

ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: MAY 20

Bernardine Albizecchi was born of a noble Sienese family. When he was very young and not many years in school, he began to give up hours of play and perform exercises of prayer, especially to the Blessed Virgin. His love and mercy towards the poor were outstanding, and for their service he joined the hospital of Blessed Mary of the Ladder, in Siena.

HE EXCELLED IN HUMILITY, PATIENCE, AND THE OTHER VIRTUES

He pondered what religious institute he would enter, and God so disposed that he prefer the Franciscans. With them, he excelled in humility, patience, and the other virtues of a religious. He started preaching under obedience even though he knew his weak, hoarse voice made him unfit for the task.

HE WAS MIRACULOUSLY FREED OF THE IMPEDIMENT 

After seeking God’s help, he was miraculously freed of this impediment. He travelled through the cities and towns, and in the name of Jesus which was ever on his lips and in his heart, he put an end to civil disorders everywhere, and restored fallen piety and morals largely by his word and example. He wrote devout and learned books. Full of merit, renowned for miracles, he died a happy death at the age of sixty-six [in 1444] in the city of Aquila in the Abruzzi.

PRAYER:

O Lord Jesus, who bestowed on blessed Bernardine, your Confessor, an unusual love for your holy Name, we beseech you, by his merits and intercession, graciously pour upon us the spirit of your love. Who live…

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

 

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ST WILLIAM, ABBOT

ST WILLIAM, ABBOT

ST WILLIAM OF VERCELLI, ABBOT – MEMORIAL: JUNE 25

William, born of noble parents at Vercelli, had scarcely completed his fourteenth year when, with a wonderful spirit of penance and an ardour of piety, he undertook a pilgrimage to Compostella. Then, after attempting in vain another pilgrimage to the sepulchre of Christ the Lord, he remained two years on a lonely hill in constant prayer, vigils and fasts.

HE BUILT A MONASTERY 

When he restored sight to a blind man, fleeing the praises of men, he built a monastery in a rugged and inaccessible spot on Monte Virgiliano, which thereafter was called Monte Vergine. He there admitted companions and molded them by certain rules, taken for the most part from the institutes of St Benedict, and by his words and by the example of his most holy life.

A MOST HOLY LIFE

When other monasteries were built later on, the holiness of William became more famous day by day and attracted men from all parts to him. They were also drawn by the fame of his frequent miracles. Finally, after predicting his death, he fell asleep in the Lord in the year of salvation 1142.

PRAYER:

O God, who made your saints an example and a help for our weakness; grant us, as we walk the path of salvation, so to venerate the virtues of the blessed Abbot William that we may obtain his intercession and follow his footsteps. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold titles added]

 

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ST BRUNO, CONFESSOR

ST BRUNO, CONFESSOR

ST BRUNO, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 6

Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order, was born at Cologne [in 1030]. From boyhood, he was distinguished for his gravity of manner and his desire for solitude. He was sent by his parents to Paris, where he made such progress in the studies of philosophy and theology that he earned degrees of master and doctor in both branches. Not long afterwards, on account of his extraordinary virtues, he was appointed a canon at the church at Rheims.

AFTER THE ORDER OF CARTHUSIANS HAD BEEN FOUNDED… 

After the Order of Carthusians had been founded, when he had led the life of a hermit in it for several years, he was summoned to Rome by Blessed Urban II, who had been his disciple. For a number of years, the Pope made use of his advice and learning in the many difficulties of the time, until the man of God, after having declined appointment as Archbishop of Rheims, received permission to depart. He again sought a solitude where, full of virtue and merits, he fell asleep in the Lord [in 1101].

PRAYER:

May we be aided by the intercession of St Bruno, your Confessor, we beseech you, O Lord; that we, who have grievously offended your Majesty by sin, may, by his merits and prayers, obtain forgiveness for our offences. Through our Lord…

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

 

 

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BLESSED ANWARITE NENGAPETA: SHE STILL HAD THE STRENGTH TO SAY, “I FORGIVE YOU”

Blessed Anwarite Nengapeta, Virgin; Memorial: December 1

Anwarite Nengapeta was born in Wamba (Dem. Congo) in 1939. She joined the local Holy Family Sisters and took her vows in 1959, taking the name of Sr Marie Clementine.

In 1964 all the nuns of the Bafwabaka community were deported by the Simba rebels.

At night they were taken to a military house, where Colonel Olombe tried to force Sr Anwarite and Sr Bokuma to have sexual intercourse with him. Both refused categorically in spite of the violence to which they were subjected.

Sr Bokuma fainted, her arm broken in three places. Sr Anwarite continued to resist, saying she would rather die than commit a sin. Between the blows she had the strength to say: “I forgive you, for you do not know what you are doing.” In his anger the colonel had her stabbed many times with a bayonet and finally took out his revolver and shot her. She died a few minutes later. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1985.

From: The Sisters of St Peter Claver, Bromley, Kent (Mission Calendar)

 

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ST ANTHUSA – A PANTHER LED PEOPLE TO WHERE SHE HAD DIED

ST ANTHUSA OF SELEUCIA, (THIRD CENTURY)

St Anthusa was ostracised by her pagan family for having become Christian. Originally from Seleucia in modern day Iraq, she had travelled to Tarsus (South Turkey) to secretly receive the sacrament of Baptism from the city’s bishop, St Athanasius. The latter was subsequently martyred as one of the victims of the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Valerian (253-260).

Because her pagan family did not want to have anything to do with Anthusa since her conversion to Christianity, she journeyed into the wilderness and settled in a mountain cave. Henceforth she lived as a hermitess, spending the remaining years of her life in solitude, praying and doing penance, eating a purely plant based diet consisting mainly of herbs.

From time to time she suffered disturbing attacks by demons, but, firm in Christ, she always remained victorious and regained her tranquillity. After twenty-three years in solitude she died a peaceful death. Another hermitess called Polychronia learned of Anthusa’s death when a panther clamped his jaws onto the woman’s mantle and pulled her to the place where Anthusa’s body was resting. Polychronia gave her an honourable burial.

 
 

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