Category Archives: Franciscan saints & blesseds

Formula of Canonization for Blessed Junípero Serra

JSerraFormula of Canonization for Blessed Junípero Serra:

For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed Junípero Serra to be a Saint and we enroll him among the Saints, decreeing that he is to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

St Junípero Serra (November 24, 1713 – August 28, 1784) is the first person canonized on US soil. Pope Francis declared, de fide, that Serra is a saint and enrolled his name in the martyrology (the list of saints). On September 25, 1988 Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II. The liturgical feast day is July 1.

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Pio“Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament.”

“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.”

“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self: there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.”

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us!

Getting to know Blessed Junipero Serra

Junipero SerraThe Holy Father will be in the USA next week and one of the significant parts of the pilgrimage in  Washington will be the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-1784 ). Serra is our latest saint in the Church, and in the USA yet he is little-known. The Academy of American Franciscan history has prepared a video to introduce the life and work of this Franciscan friar.

Watch at: https://vimeo.com/139092716.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

KolbeToday is the feast day of one of the great saints of the 20th Century, the Conventual Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe. I can remember hearing his name for the first time and his canonization by Saint John Paul. Years later I visited the cell in which he lived his last days at the concentration camp. A rather moving and unforgettable experience.

Saint Maximilian is known for his great devotion to our Blessed Mother in devotion to her Immaculate Heart. There is no coincidence that Kolbe’s feast day comes before Mary’s Assumption (Dormition) -the glorification of her body and soul, assumed into heaven. We know that “Hail Mary!” were the last words on the lips of Saint Maximilian, as he offered his arm to the executioner for the injection. He has taught us what is meant by the words we pray to  Immaculate Mary when we say “now and at the hour of our death.”

Kolbe and others were accused by the powers of Nazi Germany of promoting anti-Nazi causes and housing Jews; he was severely mistreated for being a Catholic priest and remaining steadfast to the Faith: Christ was everything, not just some abstract priority. Kolbe regularly celebrated the Holy Sacrifice in secret and heard confessions of fellow prisoners. In 1941, the time came for him to make a sacrifice of his own life, in place of a married prisoner who was father to young children. Kolbe was executed by lethal injection after three weeks of starvation and dehydration. A horrible death.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

Saint Clare of Assisi

St ClareToday, August 11, the Church liturgically honors the memory of Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253).

As you know from Church history, Clare was born of a noble family of Assisi, and a serious disciple of Jesus by the time she met the famous Francis. The Franciscan tradition indicates that she had already decided as a young woman to embark on a life of penance when she spoke with Francis in 1212; she joined Francis’s new movement at the Portiuncula.

A witness that attracts

Clare was followed by other women who joined her at the Church of San Damiano. There Clare and her sisters lived simply and prayerfully for over 40 years, supporting themselves by the work of their hands. Religious life was bursting forth with new forms when Clare and Francis founded the Friars and Sisters Minor. It is noted in the tradition that Clare had to fight to maintain her distinctive vision of religious life waiting for her Rule to be approved by the Pope shortly before her death in 1253.

Let’s recall an excerpt of a letter Saint Clare sent to Saint Agnes of Prague: “As you know, i am sure, that the kingdom of heaven is promised by the Lord only to the poor, for the one who loves temporal things loses the fruit of love. . . What a great and laudable exchange: to leave the things of time for those of eternity, to choose the things of heaven for the goods of earth, to receive the hundred-fold in place of one, and to possess a blessed and eternal life!”

Let us pray for the women who follow the Rule of Saint Clare.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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