Category Archives: Franciscan saints & blesseds

Saint Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua with bk.jpgAlmighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people as an outstanding preacher and an intercessor in their need, grant that, with his assistance, as we follow the teachings of the Christian life, we may know your help in every trial.

One of the beautiful things that happened today was the reception of First Holy Communion of Giovannimaria Rainaldi, 6, who is living with neuroblastoma. From Rome, Italy, he’s been here seeking treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Giovannimaria has had a setback and needs our fraternal and prayerful support.

Be sure to read the select for Saint Anthony in the Office of Readings. As usual, it’s good for meditation.

Saint Anthony help us to find Christ, and stick with Him. Pray for us.

Saint Clare of Assisi continues to inspire countless

St Clare SMartini.jpg

The world’s
Catholics -not merely the Franciscans–are celebrating “Clarian Year,” to
observe the eighth centenary of the conversion and consecration of Saint Clare
of Assisi (1193-1253) which tradition tells us took place on Palm Sunday 1211
or 1212. Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi –
Nocera Umbra – Gualdo Tadino to express his own affection for the continued
witness of Saint Clare.

Saint Clare’s history “also speaks to our generation,
and has a particular fascination for the young. All Christian life, and thus
also consecrated life is the fruit of the Paschal Mystery and of our
participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. In the Palm Sunday
liturgy pain and glory come together, a theme which will be developed over the
following days through the dark night of the Passion up to the ultimate light
of Easter. With her choice Clare relived this mystery.

At its most profound
level, Clare’s ‘conversion’ is a conversion of love. No longer would she have
the refined dress of the Assisan aristocracy, but an elegance of soul expressed
in praise of God and giving of self. Day by day a fraternity came into being
within the confines of the monastery of San Damiano, at the school of the Eucharistic
Christ, … a fraternity regulated by love of God and prayer, by concern for
others and service. It was in this context of profound faith and great humanity
that Clare came to interpret the Franciscan ideal, imploring the ‘privilege’ of
poverty and renouncing even the shared possession of material goods, something
which left even the Supreme Pontiff perplexed, until in the end he too
surrendered to the heroism of her sanctity.

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Saint Paul Miki and companions

St Paul Miki.jpg

O God, strength of all the Saints, who through the Cross were pleased to call the Martyrs Saint Paul Miki and companions to life, grant, we pray, that by their intercession we may hold with courage even until death to the faith that we profess.

The question of who was Saint Paul Miki is dealt with on Rome Reports today. The video gives a brief intro the life of the martyr and his companions.

From the cross, Paul said: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from
the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true
Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the
doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God
it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before
I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask
Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I
forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and
I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”

The 2011 post on Saint Paul Miki and his companions

The 2010 post on Nagasaki martyrs Paul Mike, et al.

Saint Seraphin of Montegranaro

St Seraphin of Montegranaro.jpg

More of the simple lay friars were made saints than the Capuchin priest friars. I wonder why? But a snippet from a biography on Saint Seraphin may be helpful to get a sense of the man:

In 1556, Felix repeated his request to the provincial minister who admitted him to the novitiate at Jesi, where Felix received the name, Seraphin. Upon his reception into the Order, Seraphin remarked, “I have nothing‹just a crucifix and a rosary‹but with these I hope to benefit the friars and become a saint.”

Although he was not totally illiterate, Seraphin could speak about God more eloquently than any theologian. Even the bishop of Ascoli, the eminent theologian, Cardinal Bernerio, sought Seraphin’s advice in especially difficult cases. 

With himself, Seraphin was austere. Only once in his life did he accept a new habit, and then, only out of obedience. For 40 continuous years, all he ate was soup or salad. In keeping with the spirituality prevalent at the time, Seraphin had a personal devotion of serving as many eucharistic liturgies as possible.

Saint Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi Andrea diVanni d'Andrea.jpgFrancis, the man of God, left his home behind, abandoned his inheritance and became poor and penniless, but the Lord raised him up.

O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you.

The mystery of the Cross is likely never made more evident in Christianity than through the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. The above prayer, in fact, the new collect for the Roman Missal brings this to bear on us. Francis’ life of charity and apostolic zeal effected God’s love for all.

The Pope offers a glimpse into the Poor Man of Assisi:

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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]
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