A Week of Saints

Monday, October 28:  St’s Simon and Jude, Apostles, Martyrs (time of Christ)

St. Jude, was named by Luke and in Acts, but Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is listed among all the Apostles. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. He is brother of James the Less and son of Clopas and Mary, who was the cousin of the Blessed Mother. He preached the Gospel in 

Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. according to ancient writers.

Patron:  Desperate causes, desperate situations, lost causes

St. Simon, sometimes called the Zealot, was son of Cleophas, St. Joseph’s brother, and his mother was possibly Our Lady’s sister. He was successor to St James as  Bishop of Jerusalem,  The Christians fled the city with Simon to Pella on the other side of the Jordan, eventually returning to Jerusalem.  The church here flourished greatly, and that many Jews were converted by the miracles by the saints. He was thought to be 120 yrs old and was put to death by crucifixion.

Tuesday, October. 29:  St. Narcissus of Jerusalem, Bishop (d. 215)

St. Narcissus managed to live well beyond 100. Some even speculate he lived to 160. Details of his life are uncertain, but there are reports of his many miracles. He is most remembered for turning water into oil for use in the church lamps on Holy Saturday.  He was bishop of Jerusalem in the late second century. When he retired as Bishop he went into isolation. Upon returning to Jerusalem he resumed his role as Bishop.

Wednesday, October 30:  St. Alphonsus Rodriguez , Lay Brother(1533-1617)

Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain, at 23 he inherited the family textile business. He lost his wife and daughter, sold his business that wasn’t doing well, and moved with his son to live with his sister..prayer and meditation. He joined the Jesuits, and served as doorkeeper.  His prayerfulness and holiness was noticed in his humble position

“You must strive with all possible care to please God in such a manner as neither to do nor behold anything, without first consulting Him, and in everything to seek Him alone and His glory.”

Thursday, October 31:  St. Wolfgang of Regensburg, Priest (924-994)

Wolfgang was born in Germany, taught in a cathedral school and supported efforts to reform the clergy.  He became a Benedictine monk, was ordained a priest and was made head of the monastery school.  He later went to Hungary as a  missionary. He was appointed Bishop of Regensburg, where he was an effective preacher, initiated clergy reform and had special concern for the poor.

Patron:  apoplexy, Carpenters, paralysis, stomach disease, strokes

Friday, November 1:  All Saints

The feast where the Catholic Church honors its Saints. 

Saturday, November 2:  All Souls

On this day the Church remembers and prays for the dead.

Sunday, November 3:  St Martin de Porres, Priest (1579-1639)

It was said that even as a child St Martin de Porres gave his heart and his goods to the poor..

He was the illegitimate son of a freed woman of Panama, and inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. Martin was reared in poverty, and locked into a low level of society.  He applied to the Dominicans to be a “lay helper” His example of prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. He treated the sick. all people, regardless of their color, race or status. When his priory was in debt, he said, “I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me.”Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and a remarkable rapport with animals. Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director.

“Everything, even sweeping, scraping vegetables, weeding a garden and waiting on the sick could be a prayer, if it were offered to God.

Patron: people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers

Mother Thomas

 It was with such joy in her heart that she greeted me. She had just come from Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and her excitement as she told me, was like a child on Christmas morning. On the front of her habit is depicted the Eucharist in a Monstrance, the God of her devotion that is, and has been, central to her life for 60 years.  Her talents, love, and humility are so understated in her brown habit and black veil, as is her stature, now bent at her waist.  

When she was young, she studied art in Chicago, Mexico and Rome.  It was an Easter Vigil at the Vatican, that she received her vocation.  She received Communion, and she knew that her life would be devoted to Adoration.  She said, “thats all I have to say, on that.”  She had been establishing a promising career in art.  Painting was her passion, and she was ready to give it up. to adore Christ in the Eucharist.  When she entered the Poor Clares, she didn’t paint for 10 years. 

Today she had a drawing of “The Incarnation” that she had been working on.  It was filled with so many nuances of faith in the details.  Her passion was still there  and expressed beautifully in this drawing.  Then she took me into the next room, and laying on the floor was a painting named, “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the Communion of Saints.”  It took up the entire floor of this one time chapel.  She had painted it on her hands and knees.

It is inspiring to me that in one moment, this beautiful daughter of God laid down her paint brushes for His will in her life. She  wasn’t confused by this tremendous talent given to her, when God called her to something else.  She trusted that He knew what He was about.  She pursued art to Rome, but found her life in Adoration.  After she was influenced by her life in prayer, God called her back to her paintbrushes, and now her gifts are used to glorify God!  She takes each idea to prayer, then creates with her heart.  I shared my love of St Veronica, with her.  She listened with such engaged intensity, and I could see Mother Thomas taking Veronica into her heart, as I spoke.  Her method of prayer and heart, became evident in that moment.

I hope that I can do as Mother Thomas.  To be so open to the Spirit of God that I can abandon what seems to be God’s gifts to me, for His will.

“At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Mt 4:20