A Week of Saints, September 2-8, 2019

Monday, September 2:  Blessed John Francis Burté  Priests, martyr (d. 1772)

These priests were victims of the French Revolution. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy required all priests to take an oath which was a denial of the faith. These men refused and were executed.

John Francis Burté became a Franciscan, and after ordination taught theology. Later he was arrested and held in the convent of the Carmelites.

With 182 others, including several bishops and many religious and  priests.  They were massacred in Paris in 1772.

Tuesday, September 3:  St. Gregory the Great, Pope (540?-604)

At the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.

He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners,  and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of “Gregorian” chant is uncertain.

In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called “the Great,” hehas been given a place with Augustine, Ambrose and Jerome as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.

“We make Idols of our concepts, but Wisdom is born of wonder”

Patron:  Musicians, singers, students, and teachers

Wednesday, September 4:  St. Rose of Viterbo, Secular Franciscan (1233-1251)

Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. She had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. She lived a life of penance and was generous to the poor.  She became a Secular Franciscan at age ten, and began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.

“Prayer reveals to souls the vanity of earthly goods and pleasures. It fills them with light, strength and consolation; and gives them a foretaste of the calm bliss of our heavenly home“

Patron:  people in exile; people rejected by religious orders;     

Thursday, September 5,:  St. Teresa of Calcutta Religious Sister, (1910-1997)

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, was short in stature but known throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor.she founded the Missionaries of Charity, as a diocesan religious community. At age 18 she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. She was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. It was there she chose the name Teresa .

While riding a train, Sister Teresa heard what she explained as “a call within a call. She was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them, and give up her life with the Sisters to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Other helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, the use of buildings. In 1952 the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the Order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging and street people.

For the next four decades Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor.  She traveled the world inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Patron: World Youth Day, Missionaries of Charity 

Friday, September 6:  Blessed Claudio Granzotto (1900-1947)

At the age of nine his father died, and six years later he was drafted into the Italian army.  His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to study and earn a diploma in art.   When Claudio entered the Friars Minor, his parish priest wrote, 

“The Order is receiving not only an artist but a saint.” Prayer, charity to the poor and artistic work characterized his life, which was cut short by a brain tumor, and died on the feast of the Assumption.

Patron:  sculptors, artists

Saturday, September 7:  Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)

Frédéric was a French scholar. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. 

“Let us go in simplicity where merciful Providence leads us, content to see the stone on which we should step without wanting to discover all at once and completely the windings of the road.”

 Patron:  politicians, lawyers, philanthropists, laborers

Sunday, September 8:  Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. Tradition tells us that Anna and Joachim were infertile but prayed for a child, with a promise of a child that will be a part of Salvation.

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