Category Archives: Jesuit saints & blesseds

Saint Francis Xavier


St Francis Xavier the burning passion.jpgO God, who was pleased to gather unto your Church the people of the East by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis, mercifully grant that we who honor his glorious merits, may also imitate the example of his virtues, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Jesuit Father John Hardon’s essay “The Miracles of Saint Francis Xavier.”

Saint Edmund Campion & his Brag

The blood of the holy martyrs was poured out upon the earth for Christ; therefore

Thumbnail image for St Edmund Campion3.jpgthey have won rewards everlasting.

 

Saint Edmund Campion, martyr for the Roman Primacy, obtain for us, but especially for the Church’s bishops and priests, such obedient loyalty to the Vicar of Christ that like you, they will not be afraid to proclaim the truth and like you, they will be willing to shed their blood for Jesus Christ.

 

Some info on Campion can be read here and here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Edmund Campion (1540-1581) wrote the “Challenge to the Privy Council” but is commonly called today “Campion’s brag.” Some scholars say the Challenge is likely to be the earliest defense of the Catholic faith to appear in English at the time of the Reformation. No doubt Saint Edmund Campion takes 1 Peter seriously: give a reasoned defense for what you’re believing. The duty and responsibility of Campion to act as a priest and a vowed Jesuit concerned for the spiritual welfare of the English is clear; reading the Brag you quickly know that he is not ashamed of the Gospel and desires to bring his listeners to the Truth. His style of speaking and acting is direct but courteous offered in friendship.

 

My favorite line is the last of section 8: “The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.”

 

To the Right Honourable, the Lords of Her Majesty’s Privy Council:

 

Whereas I have come out of Germany and Bohemia, being sent by my superiors, and adventured myself into this noble realm, my dear country, for the glory of God and benefit of souls, I thought it like enough that, in this busy, watchful, and suspicious world, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of my course.

 

Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertain what may become of me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance, I supposed it needful to put this in writing in a readiness, desiring your good lordships to give it your reading, for to know my cause. This doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labour. For that which otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay into your hands by plain confession. And to the intent that the whole matter may be conceived in order, and so the better both understood and remembered, I make thereof these nine points or articles, directly, truly and resolutely opening my full enterprise and purpose.

 

1. I confess that I am (albeit unworthy) a priest of the Catholic Church, and through the

St Ignatius & Paul III.jpggreat mercy of God vowed now these eight years into the religion [religious order] of the Society of Jesus. Hereby I have taken upon me a special kind of warfare under the banner of obedience, and also resigned all my interest or possibility of wealth, honour, pleasure, and other worldly felicity.

 

2. At the voice of our General, which is to me a warrant from heaven and oracle of Christ, I took my voyage from Prague to Rome (where our General Father is always resident) and from Rome to England, as I might and would have done joyously into any part of Christendom or Heatheness, had I been thereto assigned.

 

3. My charge is, of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reform sinners, to confute errors–in brief, to cry alarm spiritual against foul vice and proud ignorance, wherewith many of my dear countrymen are abused.

 

4. I never had mind, and am strictly forbidden by our Father that sent me, to deal in any respect with matter of state or policy of this realm, as things which appertain not to my vocation, and from which I gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts.

 

5. I do ask, to the glory of God, with all humility, and under your correction, three sorts of indifferent and quiet audiences: the first, before your Honours, wherein I will discourse of religion, so far as it toucheth the common weal and your nobilities: the second, whereof I make more account, before the Doctors and Masters and chosen men of both universities, wherein I undertake to avow the faith of our Catholic Church by proofs innumerable–Scriptures, councils, Fathers, history, natural and moral reasons: the third, before the lawyers, spiritual and temporal, wherein I will justify the said faith by the common wisdom of the laws standing yet in force and practice.

 

6. I would be loath to speak anything that might sound of any insolent brag or challenge, especially being now as a dead man to this world and willing to put my head under every man’s foot, and to kiss the ground they tread upon. Yet I have such courage in avouching the majesty of Jesus my King, and such affiance in his gracious favour, and such assurance in my quarrel, and my evidence so impregnable, and because I know perfectly that no one Protestant, nor all the Protestants living, nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men down in pulpits, and overrule us in their kingdom of grammarians and unlearned ears) can maintain their doctrine in disputation. I am to sue most humbly and instantly for combat with all and every of them, and the most principal that may be found: protesting that in this trial the better furnished they come, the better welcome they shall be.

 

7. And because it hath pleased God to enrich the Queen my Sovereign Lady with notable gifts of nature, learning, and princely education, I do verily trust that if her Highness would vouchsafe her royal person and good attention to such a conference as, in the second part of my fifth article I have motioned, or to a few sermons, which in her or your hearing I am to utter such manifest and fair light by good method and plain dealing may be cast upon these controversies, that possibly her zeal of truth and love of her people shall incline her noble Grace to disfavour some proceedings hurtful to the realm, and procure towards us oppressed more equity.

 

8. Moreover I doubt not but you, her Highness’ Council, being of such wisdom and discreet in cases most important, when you shall have heard these questions of religion opened faithfully, which many times by our adversaries are huddled up and confounded,

Thumbnail image for IHS.jpgwill see upon what substantial grounds our Catholic Faith is builded, how feeble that side is which by sway of the time prevaileth against us, and so at last for your own souls, and for many thousand souls that depend upon your government, will discountenance error when it is bewrayed [revealed], and hearken to those who would spend the best blood in their bodies for your salvation. Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students, whose posterity shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes. And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league–all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practice of England–cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.

 

9. If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good, shall be rewarded with rigour. I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us his grace, and see us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.

 

 

Blessed Miguel Pro


Bl Miguel Augustin Pro.jpgToday is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro, a fitting connection with today’s  Solemnity of Christ the King, and the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The memorable line of Pro’s is his last: Long live Christ the King. With that he was killed. Blessed Miguel Pro teaches us to serve Christ the King all that we do and remain close to the mercy of God. He wrote:

 

I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith… Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.

 

Chaplet of Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ

 

Blessed Miguel, before your death, you told your friend to ask you for favors when you were in Heaven. I beg you to intercede for me and in union with Our Lady and all the angels and saints, to ask Our Lord to grant my petition, provided that it be God’s Will. {mention the request}

We honor and adore the triune God. The Gloria.
We ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Come Holy Ghost.
We pray as Jesus taught us to pray. The Our Father.
We venerate with love the Virgin Mary. The Hail Mary.
All you angels, bless you the Lord forever.
Saint Joseph, Saint {name of your patron}, and all the saints, pray for us.

Blessed Miguel, high spirited youth, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, loving son and brother, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, patient novice, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, exile from your homeland, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, prayerful religious, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, sick and suffering, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, defender of workers, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, courageous priest in hiding, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, prisoner in jail, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, forgiver of persecutors, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.
Blessed Miguel, holy martyr, pray for us. Viva Christo Rey.

Imprimatur: Joseph A. Fiorenza, Bishop of Galveston – Houston, August 13, 1995

 

North American Martyrs

In the North American context these martyrs demonstrate for me the work of grace in the

North American martyrs.jpgface of tremendous hardship which some would say evil. As a child when visiting my grandparents on their farm in Fonda, New York, my family would make the trip for Mass to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, located in the beautiful Mohawk Valley. I learned early in my life that these martyrs, followed Jesus very closely, even to the point of identifying with Christ crucified and offering their total being to the point of death. The deaths of these men were particularly gruesome. The Gospel pericope for the feast and which focuses the mission is what Saint Matthew records: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

 

Brief biographies of the martyrs

 

Jesuit Father John Hardon’s reflection on the North American martyrs

 

Jesuit Father James Martin’s reflection on the martyrs

 


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Jesuit Priests
St. Jean de Brebeuf

St. Nöel Chabanel
St. Anthony Daniel

St. Charles Garnier
St. Issac Joques
St. Gabriel Lalemant

 

Laymen
St. Rene Goupil

St. Jean de la Lande

 

Father, you consecrated the first beginnings of the faith in North America by preaching and martyrdom of Saints John & Isaac and their companions. By the help of their prayers may the Christian faith continue to grow throughout the world.

 

It is said that Father Jogues succeeded in burying Brother Rene Goupil calling him a martyr, because slain in hatred of God and the Church, and of their sign which is the Cross, and while exercising ardent charity towards his neighbor.

Love God as He ought to be loved, as Peter Claver lived

A former colleague of mine, the late Jesuit Father Joseph MacDonnell inspired this brief biography of today’s saint, Peter Claver, some time ago. Claver lived the dictum of his friend Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, a lay brother who was discerning: “Look for God in all men and serve them as images of Him.”

 

Saint Peter Claver, Spanish born (1580-1654), as a university student met the Society of Jesus and entered the same in 1602; he
St Peter Claver.jpgstudied philosophy on the island of Majorca at the college of Montesión whose doorkeeper, Jesuit Brother Alphonsus Rodríguez encouraged young Peter. In 1610 he was sent to South America where he finished his studies, ordained to the priesthood in 1616 and then
worked for 35 years helping to alleviate the spiritual and physical sufferings of the victims of Cartagena’s despicable slave trade. He referred to himself as “the slave of the slaves forever.”

 

His missionary vocation had been inspired by  Brother Rodriguez (later canonized) who urged Peter: “Your mission is to the West Indies. Why don’t you go there and work for the Lord”? In Cartagena, Colombia he dedicated his energy to the poor people who had been shipped like cattle from Africa to Cartagena only to be sold to the highest bidder. It was said of him that he seemed to be everywhere at once because of the incredible speed with which he went about visiting the sick and instructing the ignorant, even in the scorching sun, drenching rain or biting wind which usually kept many of the inhabitants of Cartagena indoors. When the worn out slaves caught sight of him they clapped their hands by way of salute. Peter managed to convince the local authorities to issue a law that no new arrivals be baptized until they received adequate instruction. He then used this law to delay their departure into a life of slavery by prolonging his catechism classes, much to the chagrin of the slave dealers. Peter also irritated the wealthy citizens who came for the sacrament of Penance and found that they had to wait in line along with the slaves. He would say, “To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be detached from all temporal love. We must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake.”

 

Peter Claver was esteemed as a saint in his own time and stories of his miracles were commonplace. When he died fervor seized the whole city to honor him as a saint. The Jesuit college was besieged by crowds who came to venerate his mortal remains. Slaves came from all parts of the city and neighboring towns. He was declared the Patron Saint of African missionaries.

 

Today, Saint Peter’s life inspires Catholics to serve the poor as Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxillary

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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