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Tag Archives: Saints and Blesseds

ST ANDREW AVELLINO, CONFESSOR

ST ANDREW AVELLINO, CONFESSOR

ST ANDREW AVELLINO, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 10

Andrew Avellino, once called Lancelot, was born at Castro Nuovo, a village in Lucania. At Napoleon, he earned a degree in jurisprudence, was ordained to the priesthood and began to practise law, but only before ecclesiastical courts. On one occasion, as he was presenting a case, he unwittingly made a slight misstatement. When he afterwards came upon these words of Scripture: “The mouth that belies, kills the soul,” he was seized with sorrow for his fault, gave up the practice of law and humbly begged to be admitted among the Order of Clerks Regular.

A GREAT LOVE OF THE CROSS

When this petition had been granted, he obtained through prayer another: that he might be given the name Andrew, for within him, also, there burned a great love of the Cross. Andrew practised abstinence and patience in an extraordinary degree, as well as humility and self-contempt. He spread the Order of Clerks Regular in many places. He honoured the Virgin Mother of God with particular love and reverence. After examples of heroic virtues, burdened with years and worn out by labours, while he was about to begin Mass, when he had said for the third time “I will go to the altar of God,” he was stricken with apoplexy. He was then strengthened with the sacraments and breathed forth his soul in peace [in 1608].

PRAYER:

O God, by his difficult vow to make daily progress in holiness, you placed in the heart of blessed Andrew,  your Confessor, a wondrous longing to ascend to you; grant us, by his merits and intercession, so to become sharers of that same grace that, ever pursuing the more perfect things, we may be happily brought to the height of your glory. Through our Lord…

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

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ST THERESE OF LISIEUX, VIRGIN

ST THERESE OF LISIEUX, VIRGIN

ST THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS, VIRGIN – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 1

Therese of the Child Jesus was born in Alencon, France, of respectable and pious parents. Her mother died when Therese was five years old. At this time, Therese committed herself wholly to Divine Providence under the vigilant care of a most tender father and elder sisters. Under such teachers, she rejoiced as a giant in her race along the way of perfection.

ALONG THE WAY OF PERFECTION

At the age of nine, she was sent to the Benedictine nuns at Lisieux to be educated. In her tenth year, she was tormented for a long time by a serious and mysterious malady, and was divinely delivered from it through the assistance of Our Lady of Victory. Filled with angelic fervour when receiving her First Holy Communion, she seemed to develop an insatiable hunger for this celestial food.

SHE WAS ADMITTED TO THE ORDER OF DISCALCED CARMELITES

Desiring to enter the Order of the Discalced Carmelites but, not being the proper age, she met with many obstacles in embracing the religious life. She courageously overcame these difficulties and was happily admitted to the Carmel at Lisieux at the age of fifteen. There she burned with extraordinary love for God and her neighbour.

THE “LITTLE WAY”

Following the way of spiritual childhood according to the teaching of the Gospel, she taught it to others, especially to the novices. Consumed with the same love, two years before her death, she offered herself as a victim of love to the merciful God. She passed on to her Spouse on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 years. Pope Pius XI added her name to the virgins declared blessed and, two years later, at the time of the great Jubilee, 1925, solemnly listed her among the saints. He also appointed and declared her the special patroness of all the missions.

PRAYER:

O Lord, who said: “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,” grant us, we beseech you, so to follow the footsteps of blessed Therese, the Virgin, in humility and simplicity of heart that we may obtain everlasting rewards. Who live…

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

 

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ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR

ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR

ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: 23rd AUGUST 

Philip was born at Florence, of the noble family of Benizi. In a remarkable vision he was called by the most blessed Virgin Mary to the Order of her Servants [the Servites], recently founded.

First he withdrew to a grotto on Monte Senario, where he led a life hard indeed by the constant chastising of his body, but sweet by reason of his meditation on the sufferings of Christ the Lord.

Then he founded sodalities of the Seven Dolours of the Mother of God throughout Europe and a great part of Asia.

Having been proclaimed General of his Order against his will, burning with a strong and ardent love of God and travelling about through many cities of Italy, he settled the disputes of the citizens which were arising in these cities, recalled many to the obedience of the Roman Pontiff, and led the most abandoned of men to penance.

Finally at Todi, in 1285, in the act of embracing Christ the Lord hanging from the cross, which he used to call his “book”, he died a very holy death. Pope Clement X added him to the number of the saints.

PRAYER:

O God, who through St Philip, your Confessor, gave us an outstanding example of humility, grant that your household may follow his example by scorning worldly prosperity and ever seeking the things of heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

 

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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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