A Week of Saints (May 6-12, 2019

Monday, May 6:  Bl Fancis de Laval Priest, Bishop (1623-1708)

Francis was the first Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec and was one of the most influential men of his day.  He was ordained by the Jesuits.  His job was to organize the Catholic Churches in Canada.  He set up parishes fo the French inhabitants and organized a seminary.  He was a faithful and caring leader.  He is considered the father of the Canadian Roman Catholic Church.

Patron:  bishops of Canada

Tuesday, May 7:  St Rose of Viterbo, Virgin and Recluse (1233-1251)

Rose was born at Viterbo.  She entered a convent after the death of her fiancé, but then came home to care for her widowed mother.  She felt called to become a teacher, rather than live a contemplative life, consequently she opened a free school. She was soon to oversee teacher and administrators in her diocese in Italy.  Many miracles have been attributed to her.

“Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening, but sweet and precious.”

Patron: people in exile, people rejected by religious orders

Wednesday, May 8: St. Juliana of Norwich, Mystic (1342-1413)

 She was a Benedictine mystic in England.  She lived a reclusive life outside of the church walls.  Because of her “Revelations of Divine Love” she  is considered one to the most important writers in England.  She wrote about the love of God, the Incarnation, redemption, sin and divine consolation.  She drew people from all over Europe.

“There is no creature made, who can realize how much, how sweetly, and how tenderly our Maker loves us.  And therefore we can with His grace and His help, stand in spirit, gazing with endless wonder at His lofty, immeasurable love, beyond human scope, that the Almighty In His goodness has for us.”

Patron: of the anxious

Thursday, May 9:  St Catharine Of Bologna (1413-1463)

Catharine served the Lord in obscurity.  She was born in nobility and was well educated. As a Poor Clare she did manuscript illumination and miniatures. Her holiness drew many women to the Poor Clares.

“Whoever wishes to carry the cross for his sake must take up the proper weapons for the contest, especially those mentioned here. First, diligence; second, distrust of self; third, confidence in God; fourth, remembrance of Passion; fifth, mindfulness of one’s own death; sixth, remembrance of God’s glory; seventh, the injunctions of Sacred Scripture following the example of Jesus Christ in the desert.”

Patron: of the Arts

Friday, May 10: St Damien Of Molokai, Priest, (1840-1889)

In Joseph de Veuster”s lifetime leprosy went from obscurity to common knowledge.  He went to the leprosy colony on the island Molokai Hawaii to care for the sick there.  Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu. Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people’s physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support. Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse,  St Damien contracted the disease himself and died of its complications.

“Without the Blessed Sacrament a position like mine would be intolerable.”

Patron:  people with leprosy

Saturday, May 11:  St Ignatius Of Laconi, Monk (1701-1781)

Ignatius is another sainted begging brother. During a serious illness, Ignatius vowed to become a Capuchin if he recovered. He regained his health but ignored the promise. A riding accident prompted him to renew the pledge, which he acted on the second time.  Because of his practice of self denial, he was appointed the official beggar or the order. He was blind the last two years.

Patron:  students, beggars

Sunday, May 12:  St’s Nereus, Achilleus, Pancras, Martyrs (early church)

“These saints, before whom we are assembled, despised the world and trampled it under their feet when peace, riches and health gave it charms”

They were soldiers of the Roman army, became Christians and were removed to the island of Terracina, where they were martyred. Pope Gregory the Great delivered his 28th homily on the occasion of their feast. 

Pope Gregory the Great

 “The martyrs Nereus and Achilleus had enrolled themselves in the army and exercised the cruel office of carrying out the orders of the tyrant, being ever ready, through the constraint of fear, to obey his will. O miracle of faith! Suddenly they cease from their fury, they become converted, they fly from the camp of their wicked leader; they throw away their shields, their armor and their blood-stained javelins. Confessing the faith of Christ, they rejoice to bear testimony to its triumph. Learn now from the words of Damasus what great things the glory of Christ can accomplish.” 

Pope Damasus

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