Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Saints

It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ." From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the "way." From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.
CCC 2030

Saints, fellow Christians who have lead lives of holiness, who have grown in faith through trials and tribulations, through life and prayer, who have gone before us....these saints make up the Church Triumphant, in Heaven.

On the Epiphany, we chose saints for the year. A saint each, to learn about; to ask to intercede for us and guide us.

Greg cut up the saints names from this Calendar of Franciscan Saints and Blesseds.

I put the names into a Christmas basket..and each family member put their hand in the basket, groped, pulled out a saint's name. No peeking!

And this is what ( who?) we got ~

Anthony ~ April 30 - Blessed Benedict of Urbino, OFM Cap.
Born at Urbino, Italy; died at Fossombrone, Italy, 1625; beatified in 1867. Born into the de'Passionei family, Benedict was a lawyer in his home town before joining the Capuchins at Fano in 1584. His previous training, complemented by his faith, made him an effective preacher. He was the companion of Saint Laurence of Brindisi, whom he followed to Austria and Bohemia.

Nick ~ Jan 31 - St. John Bosco 1815-1888
St. John Bosco, was born in a Piedmontese village in 1815. When he was 2 years old, he lost his father, a peasant farmer; and he was brought up by his Tertiary mother, Margaret. It was no doubt due to her example and influence that John too joined the Third Order of St. Francis.In 1854 Father John founded the religious order of Salesians, so called in honour of St. Francis de Sales. Its members devoted themselves to the education of poor boys.

Greg ~ Jan 30 - St. Hyacintha Mariscotti 1585-1640
St. Hyacintha, born in 1585, belonged to a wealthy and prominent family. It was only after she had invoked the aid of St. Catherine of Siena, that she dispossessed herself of all frivolous and unnecessary objects, and thereupon resolutely entered upon a life of heroic virtue.She began to lead a very penitential life, in which she persevered unto the end.Enriched by every virtue and held in great repute by her fellow sisters, she died age 55 , 1640.

Alexander ~ Mar 3 Bl. Liberatus Weiss
With Bl. Samuele Marzorati and Bl. Michele Pio Fasoli . Death 1716. These three friars lived together in Ethiopia. They were stoned to death because they refused to deny their Faith. They were Franciscan missionaries of Vienna.

Thomas ~ May 3 - Bl. Arthur Bell
Among the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales, are found the Blessed Thomas Bullaker, Henry Heath, John Woodcock, Charles Meehan, Arthur Bell, all Franciscan priests. In 1646, Bl Arthur Bell was condemned for being a priest and killed by Parliamentary troops. These martyrs have been beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.

Leonie ~ Oct 31 Bl. Angelo of Acri
Blessed Angelo was born at Acri, Italy, he was refused admission to the Capuchins twice but was accepted on his third attempt in 1690, and was ordained. Unsuccessful in his first sermons, he eventually became a famous preacher after a tremendous success preaching in Naples during Lent in 1711. For the rest of his life, he preached missions in Calabria and Naples, converting thousands and performing many miracles of healing. He was reputed to have had the gifts of prophecy and bilocation, experienced visions and ecstasies and was a sought after confessor with the ability to see into men's souls.

Gerry ~ Nov 25 Bl. Elizabeth of Reute
Elizabeth was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born 25 November, 1386, died 25 November, 1420. From her earliest days "the good Betha", as she was called, showed a rare piety, and under her confessor, provost of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at St. Peter's in Waldsee, she made extraordinary progress towards perfection. When fourteen she received the habit of the third order.Here she took up her work in the kitchen, and began her life of seclusion, fasting, and prayer. She spent many hours in a little garden, kneeling on a stone or prostrate on the ground in contemplation. In all her trials she showed a heavenly patience.

Luke ~ Mar 3 Bl. Samuele Marzorati
Companion of Bl. Liberatus...see above....

Jonathon ~ Jan 18 - St. Charles of Sezze
Born in Sezze 22nd October 1613, he was forced to leave public schooling early in order to tend to and safeguard the herds, still maintaining and cultivating the deep Christian spirit instilled in him by his devout parents. He entered the Franciscan convent in Nazzano on 18th May 1635. Brother Charles always performed duties happily while collecting goods for the poor and giving assistance to the sick and needy. Brother Charles performed many miracles, such as curing the sick and multiplication of food. Stricken himself by disease, he died in the convent of Saint Francis in Ripa on 6th January 1670.

We did the same thing with our parish's Women's Group on Thursday. I put the names of twenty women saints into a small basket...and we each picked out a name.

Who did I get?

Not who I would have chosen, myself.

That is the way of things, isn't it?

But now, after prayer and thought, I think this saint may be just right.

Bl. Zelie Martin, mother of St Therese if the Child Jesus. And of Leonie Martin, also a nun, of whom I read a book last year. And whose cause for beatification is underway.

From Castle of the Immaculate ..

Zelie Martin
• had a great love for purity.
• showed extra concern for modesty.
.• wanted to see her children pray, pray at a young age, and pray often.
• did not spoil the children. They didn’t get away with bad behavior.
• regularly encouraged her children to sacrifice
• demonstrated personal holiness and prayerfulness
.• practiced obedience to her husband, who she regarded as head of the family.
• Spoke of heaven often.
• would not excuse herself from the Church’s regulations regarding fasting even though she was very ill.
• was suspicious of being too happy in this life. She thought it was a bad sign when things went very well because this is a valley of tears
.• abhorred detraction especially mentioning the faults of priests.
• prayed intensely for her children to have vocations to the religious life but wouldn’t say the prayer out loud. She didn’t want to exert overt pressure.
• demonstrated a love for the poor in tangible ways (gave food to the hungry, visited the sick, and reached out to the most needy.)
• went on pilgrimage to Lourdes for healing but returned in worse shape than ever. Yet, her faith in God and love of the Blessed Virgin Mary was undiminished.
• died a holy death, bearing her sufferings with great courage.

And from Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins..

Louis and Zelie (Martin) represent a gift for spouses of every age by the respect, and the harmony which marked their love during 19 years. ...They lived with heroism their marriage vows of fidelity to the bond that united them, to the fruitfulness of their love, in good times as in bad, in sickness, and in health....
Louis and Zelie represent a gift for parents: ministers of love and of life, they brought forth nine children for the Lord....

We think we choose.

We do choose.

We have free will.

Yet, sometimes, we see our choices have been guided.

A nice Epiphany tradition. Choose a saint! To go with our gold foil covered chocolate coins, our singing of We Three Kings, our special meal or our King's Cake.

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