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Tag Archives: Saints and Blesseds

AFTER FIRST COMMUNION SHE GAINED MORE SELF-CONTROL AS SHE DEEPENED HER UNDERSTANDING OF GOD: ST ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY

AFTER FIRST COMMUNION SHE GAINED MORE SELF-CONTROL AS SHE DEEPENED HER UNDERSTANDING OF GOD: ST ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY

She had a terrible temper as a child

On 16th October, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass of Canonisation, giving the church some new saints. One of these is St Elizabeth of the Trinity. She was born in 1880 in the military base at Avord in France. Her father was a Captain. St Elizabeth was baptised in the chapel of the military base. Sadly, her father died when St Elizabeth was seven years old and the family moved to Dijon. St Elizabeth had a terrible temper as a child, but after receiving her First Holy Communion she was able to gain more self-control as she deepened her understanding of God.

She gained an understanding of the Most Holy Trinity

She also gained a profound understanding of the Most Holy Trinity, which she cultivated in ardent devotion. St Elizabeth started to visit the sick, sing in the church choir and taught religion to the young people who worked at the local factories. As she grew older, St Elizabeth became interested in entering the Discalced Carmelite Order, though her mother was very much against this. St Elizabeth declined marriage from several men because of the desire that she had for religious life.

A fulfilled life of selfless, loving service

St Elizabeth entered the Dijon Carmel in 1901. She said, “I find Him everywhere while doing the washing as well as while praying.” Realising that she had become very ill, she also said: “I think in heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them to go out of themselves in order to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement, and to keep in the great silence within which will allow God to communicate Himself to them and transform them into Himself.” Her spirituality is considered to be remarkably similar to that of her contemporary St Therese of Lisieux, who was also in Carmel. The two saints shared a zeal for the salvation of souls. St Elizabeth died at the young age of 26, having contracted Addison’s disease. Though her death was painful, St Elizabeth gratefully accepted her suffering as a gift from God. Her last words were: “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life.”

St Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us.

– From: Spiritual Thought From Fr Chris, 2016

 

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ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN – RENOWNED FOR THE GIFT OF TEARS, PROPHECY AND OF HEALING

ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN – RENOWNED FOR THE GIFT OF TEARS, PROPHECY AND OF HEALING

But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway. (1Co9:27)

ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – FEAST DAY: SEPTEMBER 5

Lawrence was born at Venice of the illustrious family of the Giustiniani. He was distinguished from his youth by his marvellous zeal for chastising his body and spurning the enticements of the world, as well as the marriage arranged for him by his mother. He was received into the Congregation of the Canons of St George, in Alga. He was made bishop of his native city by Eugenius IV, but changed nothing of his accustomed mode of life. He never ceased to relieve the needs of the poor, even burdening himself with debt, trusting in Divine Providence which always aided him with unlooked-for help.

He built many monasteries for nuns and composed rules for a more perfect way of life. He was an outstanding example of Christian humility, and was most zealous in reforming the discipline and morals of the clergy, thus earning from the popes the title, Glory of Prelates. He became the first Patriarch of Venice, the title having been transferred there from the city of Grado. Renowned for the gift of tears, of prophecy and of healing, he also wrote books noted for heavenly doctrine and piety, although he had very little real scholarship. He fell asleep in the Lord on the eighth of January, but his feast is celebrated on the day on which the man of God was raised to the episcopal chair.

St Lawrence Justinian, pray for us.

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

 

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BLESSED WLADYSLAW BUKOWINSKI, THE PRIEST WHO WORKED AS A WATCHMAN ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE

BLESSED WLADYSLAW BUKOWINSKI, THE PRIEST WHO WORKED AS A WATCHMAN ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt5:10)

In September a Beatification Mass took place to give the Church a new Blessed. Blessed Wladyslaw Bukowinski was born in 1904 in Ukraine but was a naturalised Pole. He was educated in different parts of Ukraine and later in Krakow. From 1923 until 1925 Blessed Wladyslaw studied and graduated with honours from the Polish School of Political Science. He was made a Master of Law in 1926. Also that year he decided to study for the priesthood. After his studies were completed Blessed Wladyslaw was ordained a priest in 1931. He worked for the Church in a variety of settings, moving to Lucka in 1936.

At the outbreak of World War II the Bishop of Lucka appointed Blessed Wladyslaw as pastor in the main Cathedral, where he became known for his calmness in the face of war and for his intelligence and spiritual values in defence of religion. For this, Blessed Wladyslaw was arrested on 22 August 1940 and sentenced to eight years in camps. Towards the end of the war various prisoners were massacred, but Blessed Wladyslaw narrowly avoided this fate and later returned to his priestly duties.

He was arrested a second time and was relocated to Kiev, where he was imprisoned and accused of treason. In 1946 Blessed Wladyslaw was sentenced to ten years in the gulag, his labour being digging ditches and clearing trees. He once contracted severe pneumonia and was taken to hospital under guard. When well again he was sent back to prison. Whilst in prison, despite his own discomfort, Blessed Wladyslaw brought comfort to other prisoners, especially through the sacraments.

In 1954, Blessed Wladyslaw was released from prison and sent to Karanganda in Kazakhstan, where he worked as a watchman on a construction site. He was actually the first Catholic priest to arrive in Kazakhstan and still continued his priestly ministry, secretly celebrating Mass in private homes with curtained windows to avoid detection. As an exile, Blessed Wladyslaw was obliged to report to the police station every month.

He celebrated Holy Mass in secrecy in people’s homes with the curtains closed to avoid detection

In June 1955, Blessed Wladyslaw rejected a proposition that he return to Poland, deciding instead to assume citizenship of the Soviet Union so that he could remain and continue his priestly ministry in Kazakhstan. In May 1956 he received his Soviet passport and continued working as a priest.

In 1959, Blessed Wladyslaw was again arrested and accused of illegal actions. He was sentenced to three and a half years in a labour camp at Irkutsk. In 1961 he was released and returned to Karanganda, where he continued his priestly ministry again.

He visited Poland three times between 1963 and 1973, meeting the Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II. Blessed Wladyslaw was constantly the subject of communist surveillance. On returning to Karanganda, Blessed Wladyslaw’s health started to deteriorate and he died on 3 December 1974 with his rosary beads in his hand. In 2011 Blessed Wladyslaw was granted a posthumous award of the Commander Cross with the Star of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland.

– From: Spiritual Thought From Fr Chris/ November 2016

 

 

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ST JOSAPHAT: A CHAMPION OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

ST JOSAPHAT: A CHAMPION OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

ST JOSAPHAT, BISHOP AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 12

Josaphat Kuncewic was born of noble Catholic parents at Vladimir in Volhynia. While a child, as he listened to his mother tell the story of the Passion of Christ, a dart came from the side of Christ on the crucifix and wounded the boy in the heart.

When he was twenty years old, he was professed among the cloistered followers of the monastic rule of St Basil. Soon as Archimandrite of Vilna and finally, though unwillingly, Archbishop of Polotsk, he became an exemplar of every virtue. He was a virtuous promoter of the union of the union of the Greek Church with the Latin and he brought back many heretics to the bosom of Mother Church.

He brought back many heretics to the bosom of Mother Church

As he was setting out for Vitebsk on a pastoral visitation, schismatics sought to kill him. While they were invading the archiepiscopal palace, he willingly faced them, saying: “Little children, if you have any complaint against me, I am here.”

Thereupon they rushed at him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him through with spears, slew him with an axe and cast his body into the river. The blood of the Martyr benefited first of all the murderers of their spiritual father, who almost all abjured their schism and repented of their crime. Pope Urban VIII honoured him with the title, blessed; and Pius IX, canonised this first eastern Christian to uphold the unity of the Church.

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

 

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ST MARTIN OF TOURS: AGED 18, HE DID ONE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS DEEDS

ST MARTIN OF TOURS: AGED 18, HE DID ONE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS DEEDS

ST MARTIN OF TOURS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 11

Martin was born at Sabaria, in Pannonia. When he was ten years old, against his parents’ wishes, he fled to a church and enrolled among the catechumens. As a young man of fifteen, he enrolled as a soldier, first in the army of Constantinus, then in that of Julian.

At Amiens, when he was eighteen years old, he gave part of his cloak to a certain poor man and was later refreshed by a wonderful apparition of Jesus Christ. He received Baptism with great interior joy. Afterwards, abandoning the military life, he was received by Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, among the number of acolytes. Then he was made Bishop of Tours and built a monastery, where, with eighty monks he lived, for some time, a very holy life.

When he was stricken with a grave fever at Candes, a village of his diocese, out of compassion for his disciples, he prayed thus to God: “O Lord, if I am still necessary to your people, I do not refuse to labour.” Soon afterwards, at the moment of death, beholding the enemy of the human race, he said: “What are you doing here, cruel beast? You will find no cause for my destruction.” As he uttered those words, he gave up his soul to God. He was then eighty-one years old and famous for many miracles.

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

 

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ST CATHARINE OF SIENA: SHE SAW CHRIST, ENCIRCLED WITH A GREAT LIGHT

ST CATHARINE OF SIENA: SHE SAW CHRIST, ENCIRCLED WITH A GREAT LIGHT

ST CATHARINE OF SIENA, VIRGIN – MEMORIAL: APRIL 29

Catharine of Siena, virgin, was born of a good Christian family and early in life took the habit of the Third Order of St Dominic. She practised severe abstinence and a remarkable austerity of life. At Pisa, she became rapt in ecstasy after receiving Holy Communion and had a vision of the crucified of the crucified Christ, encircled with a great light, approaching her. From his five wounds, rays emanated and fell upon her body. Aware of this miracle, she asked Christ that the stigmata be invisible, and the stigmata changed from a blood red to a clear bright light which passed into her hands, feet, and side. Although no wounds showed, she experienced such severe bodily pain that she felt she would have died had not God mitigated it. She possessed infused learning.

She visited Pope Gregory XI at Avignon and told him that his vow to return to Rome, known to God alone, had been divinely revealed to her, and she was instrumental in effecting the Pope’s return to the See of Rome. At about the age of thirty-three she passed to her Spouse. Pius II added her to the list of holy virgins.

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

 

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ST PETER OF VERONA: EVEN WITH HIS LAST BREATH HE PROFESSED HIS FAITH

ST PETER OF VERONA: EVEN WITH HIS LAST BREATH HE PROFESSED HIS FAITH

ST PETER OF VERONA, MARTYR – MEMORIAL: APRIL 6

Born at Verona of parents who believed in Manichaeism, Peter fought against it almost from infancy, and the allurements offered him by his father and uncle could not move the firmness of his faith.

As a young man, he went to Bologna to study and there entered the Dominican Order. He was notable for his great virtue, especially for purity, never having committed a mortal sin, and had a wonderful zeal for penance and contemplation.

His prayers were answered

He worked for the salvation of souls, and was so kindled with ardour for the faith that he earnestly begged God for the favour of dying for it. He received an answer to his prayer.

While travelling between Como and Milan on his duties for the Inquisition, he was wounded in the head by the sword of an evil assassin. He pronounced with his last breath the profession of faith which he had defended from his childhood with manly courage. He died a martyr in 1252. In the following year Innocent IV enrolled him in the list of holy martyrs.

St Peter of Verona, pray for us.

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

 

 

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