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Tag Archives: Madrid

ST ANTHONY MARY CLARET, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST ANTHONY MARY CLARET, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST ANTHONY MARY CLARET, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 24

Anthony Mary Claret was born at Vich in Spain, of devout and honourable parents. He started life as a weaver, but afterwards became a priest. He was first engaged in parochial work, but later went to Rome to be sent on the foreign missions by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. By the will of God, however, he returned to Spain and as a Missionary Apostolic travelled through Catalonia and the Canary Islands.

HE FOUNDED THE CONGREGATION OF THE SONS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

Besides being a prolific writer of fine books, he also founded the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Appointed Archbishop of the See of Santiago in Cuba, he proved, by his virtues, to be a zealous pastor. He restored the seminary, improved the education and discipline of the clergy, established social works and founded the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate for the Christian education for girls.

THE TEACHING SISTERS OF MARY IMMACULATE 

Finally summoned to Madrid as the confessor and councillor in important ecclesiastical affairs for the Queen of Spain, he gave an excellent example of austere life adorned with every virtue. In the Vatican Council, he strongly defended the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.

A STAUNCH PROMOTER OF DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED SACRAMENT 

He was a staunch promoter of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and her Rosary. At length, at Font Froide, in France, he died in exile in the year 1870 [on October 24]. Being renowned for miracles, Pope Pius XI added him to the list of the blessed and Pius XII to that of the saints.

PRAYER:

O God, who glorified blessed Anthony Mary, your Confessor and Bishop, because of his zeal for souls, and through him established in the Church new households of men and women religious, we beseech you to grant that, with his counsels as a guide, and through the merits of his prayers, we may continually apply ourselves to seeking the salvation of souls. Through our Lord…

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

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ST MARIA MICAELA DESMAISIERES – SHE WORKED WITH SEX WORKERS

ST MARIA MICAELA DESMAISIERES – SHE WORKED WITH SEX WORKERS

“A STORY OF DECEPTION, SHAME, ABUSE AND ECONOMIC HARDSHIP”

[On August 24] one of the Saints remembered by the Church is St Maria Micaela Desmaisieres. She was born in 1809 in Madrid, Spain. Her father was a high-ranking officer in the Spanish army and her mother was lady-in-waiting to the Spanish Queen, Maria Luisa de Parma. St Maria’s life unfolded in the circles of the Spanish and French nobility. She spent most of her young life accompanying her brother, the Spanish Ambassador Diego, to the Royal Palaces, parties, social gatherings and horse riding which were the order of the day for her.

During these years, St Maria was also searching to find the direction she should be going in later life. She loved to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and it was here that she felt called to give herself to works of charity. At the age of 35, St Maria volunteered to work in the St John of God Hospital in Madrid, helping those who were sick. It was here that she met a prostitute, the only daughter of a banker, and listened to her story of deception, shame, abuse and economic hardship. St Maria then resolved to devote her life to the rescue and rehabilitation of prostitutes. She established a shelter where prostitutes could come for help and respond in a charitable way to their needs. On one occasion St Maria entered a brothel to rescue a girl held there against her will. Whilst there she was insulted and stoned, but St Maria left with the girl and then looked after her.

Eventually, St Maria moved out of her family house because she was now being slandered, defamed and threatened for her work with prostitutes. Her socialite friends avoided her now and she was told by so many that her work was hopeless and that she should stop. St Maria asked other women to help her in her work and in 1856 a congregation was formed known as the Sisters Adorers, Servants of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Charity. These sisters balanced adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with their work of redeeming prostitutes and girls at risk. After a few years these sisters had established ten houses in Barcelona, Valencia and Burgos. In 1860 Pope Pius IX approved the sisters as a Religious Institute of Pontifical Rights.

When a cholera epidemic broke out where she was living, St Maria refused to leave and stayed behind to nurse those women who were dying. She herself contracted cholera and died on 24th August 1865 at Valencia. St Maria was canonised a saint in 1934. Today her sisters also work in South America and Asia.

At the centre of St Maria’s spiritual and charitable life was her devotion to the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Another great saint, Francis of Assisi, said, “What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation. In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood.”

– From: Spiritual Thought From Fr Chris, August 2016

 

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A PRAYER TO ST PEDRO POVEDA

Lord our God, You gave Your priest Saint Pedro Poveda the gift of encouraging lay Christians in their call to make Christ present in the world, through education and culture; You gave him the grace of sealing his life with martyrdom. Through his intercession grant us the courage to announce the Gospel openly, bearing witness to it and confessing our faith. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

(With ecclesiastical permission)

Pedro Poveda was born in Linares, (Jaen), southern Spain, in 1874 and was ordained priest in Guadix (Granada) in 1897. It was there that he began apostolic work among the people of the cave district. Later he was named Canon in the Basilica of Covadonga in the north. From there, in 1911 he founded the Teresian Association, which received pontifical approval in 1924. In Jaen, and later Madrid, he continued to be actively committed to the cause of education and to the disadvantaged in society. He died a martyr for his faith on 28 July, 1936. He was canonised in 2003.

– From a prayer card by the Pedro Poveda Secretariat, Principe de Vergara 88, 280006 Madrid, Spain

 

 

 

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“THE SKY, THE FIELDS, THE TREES, THE FLOWERS… ALL REMINDED HIM OF GOD”

15th MAY: ST ISIDORE THE FARMER +1130

A dear child was born to some farmers who lived in Spain and they called him Isidore. Throughout his early life in the country, Isidore retained his baptismal innocence, flying with horror from sin and vice. The Heart of Jesus spoke clearly to his heart, calling him to observe all God’s laws, to always surrender to the will of God and to work for the glory of God in all he did.

He responded eagerly to the grace of God, and though he was a country boy of small means he was of great virtue. The sky, the fields, the trees, the flowers, the breezes and the song of birds all reminded him of God, who was the centre of his life and the purveyor of all that was good. By divine will, he married an honest woman called Maria Torribia, and he became the model of the Christian husband. How pure were his habits and how faithful to each other they both were. Isidore became the father of one son, and with diligent care, wise words and perfect example, he taught him to be Christian.

Isidore loved peace and quiet and never wasted words, and he only spoke to say useful things in praise of God or for the edification of his neighbour. So, the Heart of Jesus was for him a mirror, which he looked into to make sure he was doing the right thing. He went to Mass every morning before beginning his work and took part with devotion in the holy mysteries. Providence made him prosper and blessed him, so that he gave much to the poor. His virtuous life was crowned by a marvellous death and prodigious miracles.

This is St Isidore. How beautiful that a simple farmer was canonised together with four other celebrated saints, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Francis Xavier, St Philip Neri and St Teresa of Avila. O, how wonderful, a humble farmworker was so glorified that Kings and Queens travelled to kiss his feet after he died, and the great city of Madrid chose him as its heavenly protector. This is the work of the Heart of Jesus, the most perfect model of all sainthood.
PRAYER: “Most holy Heart, inflame my heart with the fire of divine love.”
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 

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BEATIFICATION OF BISHOP ALVARO DEL PORTILLO IN MADRID

“The prelature of Opus Dei has announced that Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, the successor to Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, will be beatified on September 27 in Madrid.

In July Pope Francis approved the miracle needed for the beatification of Bishop del Portillo, who served as the head of Opus Dei from 1975 until his death in 1994.

The cure accepted as a miracle through his intercession involved a Chilean baby boy, Jose Ignacio Ureta Wilson, who recovered after being in cardiac arrest for 30 minutes and suffering a massive haemorrhage.

The prelature of Opus Dei announced last week that Pope Francis approved the date of September 27 for the beatification ceremony, which will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

The future Blessed Alvaro del Portillo was born on March 11 1914 in Madrid and studied engineering at university. He joined Opus Dei in 1935, just seven years after it was founded, and in 1944 was ordained as one of the movement’s first three priests.”
– This article was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue January 31 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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“THE YOUNGEST OF THE MARTYRS WAS ONLY 18 YEARS OLD WHEN HE WAS SHOT”

“The Church in Spain has beatified 522 people, mostly priests and nuns killed by Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. Thousands of people attended the outdoor event in Tarragona, presided over by a senior Vatican cardinal.

Left-wing groups had objected, saying the ceremony amounted to a glorification of the Franco dictatorship. But the Church said those honoured were martyrs killed because of their faith.

MARTYRS KILLED BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH

The Spanish Church played an important political role in the 1936-1939 civil war, supporting the nationalists led by General Francisco Franco who eventually defeated the strongly anti-clerical republicans.

Sunday’s ceremony was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato and a recorded video message from Pope Francis was played to the large congregation. ‘I join all the participants in the celebration with all my heart,’ the Pope said to long applause.

RELATIVES AND DESCENDANTS PRESENT

Those present included some 4,000 relatives and descendants of those being beatified. The youngest of the martyrs was only 18 years old when he was shot by militiamen in Madrid in 1936. The oldest, an 86-year-old nun, was executed in the same year.

The conflict cost more than half a million lives and remains a divisive subject in Spanish society.”
– This article, entitled “Spain’s civil war religious beatified”, was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue Sunday 20th October, 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

 
 

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“THE SKY, THE FIELDS, THE TREES, THE FLOWERS… ALL REMINDED HIM OF GOD”

A dear child was born to some farmers who lived in Spain and they called him Isidore. Throughout his early life in the country, Isidore retained his baptismal innocence, flying with horror from sin and vice. The Heart of Jesus spoke clearly to his heart, calling him to observe all God’s laws, to always surrender to the will of God and to work for the glory of God in all he did.

He responded eagerly to the grace of God, and though he was a country boy of small means he was of great virtue. The sky, the fields, the trees, the flowers, the breezes and the song of birds all reminded him of God, who was the centre of his life and the purveyor of all that was good. By divine will, he married an honest woman called Maria Torribia, and he became the model of the Christian husband. How pure were his habits and how faithful to each other they both were. Isidore became the father of one son, and with diligent care, wise words and perfect example, he taught him to be Christian.

Isidore loved peace and quiet and never wasted words, and he only spoke to say useful things in praise of God or for the edification of his neighbour. So, the Heart of Jesus was for him a mirror, which he looked into to make sure he was doing the right thing. He went to Mass every morning before beginning his work and took part with devotion in the holy mysteries. Providence made him prosper and blessed him, so that he gave much to the poor. His virtuous life was crowned by a marvellous death and prodigious miracles.

This is St Isidore. How beautiful that a simple farmer was canonised together with four other celebrated saints, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Francis Xavier, St Philip Neri and St Teresa of Avila. O, how wonderful, a humble farmworker was so glorified that Kings and Queens travelled to kiss his feet after he died, and the great city of Madrid chose him as its heavenly protector. This is the work of the Heart of Jesus, the most perfect model of all sainthood.
PRAYER: “Most holy Heart, inflame my heart with the fire of divine love.”
– Mons Nicola Tafuri

 

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