Category Archives: Franciscan saints & blesseds

Solanus Casey to be beatified

Capuchin Father Solanus Casey is pictured in an undated file photo. Admirers of Father Casey, a doorkeeper at Franciscan houses in New York and Detroit, are hoping for his beatification. In 1995 he was declared venerable, one of the first steps toward canonization. (CNS photo) (July 31, 2007) See DETROIT-SOLANUS July 31, 2007.

Father Casey becomes the newest American to be beatified.

 
GREAT NEWS, at Noon in Rome today, it was announced that the Venerable Servant of God Solanus Casey, Capuchin, will be beatified. The Congregation for Saints as acknowledged that a miracle was attributed to Casey’s intercession.
 
Born: 25 November 1870 and died 31 July 1957. He was a professed member of the Capuchin Franciscans and a priest.
 
Thanks be to God.

St Francis of Assisi

st-francisPraised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

A word about this image:

The fresco on the left is the earliest, and is at the Benedictine abbey of St Scholastica in the Sacro Speco Shrine at Subiaco. It opens a window.

Transitus of St Francis of Assisi

transitus-of-francisThis evening the Franciscans (friars, nuns, sisters, laity) recall in a prayerful manner Holy Father Saint Francis, who passed from this world 790 years ago.

Francis is recalled by his biographer Thomas of Celano:

While therefore the brothers were weeping very bitterly and grieving inconsolably, the holy father commanded that bread be brought to him. He blessed and broke it and gave a small piece of it to each one to eat. Commanding also that a book of the Gospels be brought, he asked that the Gospel according to St. John be read to him from the place that begins: “Before the feast of the Passover.” He was recalling that most holy supper which the Lord celebrated as his last supper with his disciples. He did all of this in reverent memory of that supper, showing thereby the deep love he had for his brothers.

(The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul by Thomas of Celano, The Second Book, Chapter CLXIII, #217, p. 387.)

The Transitus experience is an expression of the Franciscan order which is rather unique: it is the anniversary of the saint’s death but the uniqueness lies in the question: what does it mean to live the spirit of Francis in our midst today? Or, how is the life and work and spiritual patrimony of Francis as light for our world today?

The Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi

stigmata-of-francisThe Franciscans mostly observe this event in the life of Saint Francis turned into a feast day of the Stigmata. It is recalled that Francis, in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines, in September 1224, received a vision of a six winged angel. Francis recalls that he was visited by angel and the Life-saving wounds of the crucified Lord. That is, he was left with wounds in his hands, feet, and side as though he had been crucified. The wound in his side often seeped blood.

Saint Francis and his conversion story, from the beginning, included a very great devotion and veneration for Jesus Christ crucified. He was constant in this aspect of the Paschal Mystery until he died.

Pope Benedict XI gave permission for the Friars to have an annual liturgical commemoration on this day the memory of this extraordinary event attested by reliable witnesses.

St Maximillian Mary Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe

With the Church we pray:

O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor, graciously grant, through his intercession, that, striving for your glory by eagerly serving others, we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.

An excerpt from a letter by the saint:

Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence for us to offer glory to God. If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example. Scripture, however, summed up his entire life at Nazareth in the words: He was subject to them; Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of his life, repeatedly declaring that he came into the world to do his Father’s will. Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts. Let our obedience increase that love, above all when it requires us to surrender our own will. Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.

We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of his mercy. It is beyond all doubt that Mary’s will represents to us the will of God himself. By dedicating ourselves to her we become in her hands instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands. We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit; she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.

From a letter of Maximillian Mary Kolbe
(Scritti del P. Massimiliano M. Kolbe, Italian translation, vol. I, pt, 1 [Padua, 1971], 75-77, 166)

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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