Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Dorothy Day’s teaching on Justice

dorothy-day“If you find the life of Dorothy Day inspiring, if you want to understand what gave her direction and courage and strength to persevere, her deep attentiveness to others, consider her spiritual and sacramental life.”

These are the words of Jim Forest published in an article, “What I learned about justice from Dorothy Day,” that originally appeared in the July/August 1995 issue of Salt of the Earth magazine. This article is really good and I highly recommend it. One reason being you really do locate the source of Day’s thinking and spirituality in the Eucharistic Heart of Our Savior, Jesus.  Is there really anything more to be taught/learned by way of praying before the Blessed Sacrament?

Jim Forest began his association with Dorothy Day in 1961, when he moved to New York City to join the Catholic Worker community there. Jim is the author of an excellent introduction on the life and work of Dorothy Day called All Is Grace.

Dorothy Day’s caused for sainthood has been introduced. It would be good to learn from Day on how to be an authentic Catholic and not some secularist: Go to Jesus through the example of Dorothy!

Father Franz Reinisch

Father Franz ReinischOn this date in 1942, Father Franz Reinisch was beheaded in Brandenburg, Berlin. He was an Austrian Roman Catholic priest and member of the Schoenstatt Movement.

A staunch critic of the Nazis, he refused to take the oath allegiance of Adolf Hitler and believed he was the personification of the Antichrist. He was arrested, tried, and convicted by a military court. He was sentenced to death. Father Reinisch made Holy Confession and received Holy Communion.

Father Reinisch is currently in the process of Canonization by the Catholic Church.

Leonie Martin

Sr. Françoise-ThérèseEarlier this week the postulator of the cause of canonization of Leonie Martin –nun of the Order of the Visitation,  the daughter of Saints Zelie and Louis Martin, sister of Saint Thérèse, published an update on his recent work. The mortal remains of Sister Leonie was disinterred, given a new habit of the Visitation and placed in a glass coffin. Sister Leonie’s face was face was covered by a mask and work was done to stave-off the further decomposition. It is expected that the body of Sister Leonie will be entomb in the Chapel of the Visitation Monastery.

This is a supreme example where we help each other become saints. A significant grace of God! On this blog, and read elsewhere, it is frequently said that saints-beget-saints. How else could you explain how Sister Françoise-Thérèse’s parents and sister are saints and their influence on this member of her biological family?

There is a book entitled, 15 Days of Prayer with Leonie Martin. The book is only in French at the moment but this would be the title in English.

Let us pray for the canonization of the Servant of God Sister Françoise-Thérèse.

Father Patrick Ryan, Servant of God

Patrick Ryan Servant of GodSainthood causes are always very interesting to me. For one, they show how the Gospel and the Sacraments incarnated in a particular Church or a country. Every saint has a history and a personal spiritual genealogy given particularly by the Trinity for reasons of sanctification. The USA has several saints and blesseds, lots of venerables and servants of God. A recent one, Father Patrick Ryan, is the latest Servant of God.

Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, TN writes:

Yesterday (8/9/2016) I signed documents that God willing will lead to the eventual canonization of a priest who served in East Tennessee, Father Patrick Ryan. This remarkable priest, born in Ireland took care of the sick during an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Chattanooga during the 1870s. He served then at what is now known as the Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul. When others abandoned the sick, he stayed around but eventually he himself died from Yellow Fever. He was known for his holiness and pastoral care. I will share more in months ahead about the case of this man whom now is being considered for his holiness as a Saint of God. The Vatican has under recognized his holiness by allowing the process to begin. And so yesterday, with their approval and my signature giving my assent as the bishop, he is now known under the title of “Servant of God”!

Bring your prayer intentions to the Servant of God Father Patrick Ryan so that he will bring them to the Lord.

Blessed Mary Stella and Companions, Martyrs of Nowogrodek

Eleven Nuns of NowogrodekToday is also a  day on which I recall the witness of the eleven courageous and holy Nazareth Sisters, who in 1943 sacrificed their lives for family members during World War II in Belarus.

As a boy in a New Haven school staffed by the Nazareth Sisters, St. Stanislaus School, I distinctly remember the Adam Styka image  (1948) painted of the nuns being murdered by the Nazi regime.  The original painting was moved to the Rome headquarters of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1965.

Each falling into a common grave. Though their mortal identity was robbed by a common grace, but their dignity as woman of grace and Divine Love not. Keeping their memory alive means remembering the names of those killed. The sisters’ names were: M. Stella, M. Imelda, M. Rajmunda, M. Daniela, M. Kanuta, M. Sergia, M. Gwidona, M. Felicyta, M. Heliodora, M. Kanizja and M. Boromea.

In the days before the great feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration on August 6th, it is interesting to note that these sisters had received a tremendous outpouring of affection from their fellow townspeople. The sisters were known as “The Kneelers” because they frequented the local parish Church of The Transfiguration to kneel in prayer at the left side of the altar in prayer.

Sister Mary Stella prayed: “O God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us who are free from family obligations.  Spare those who have wives and children.”

Saint John Paul II said of Sister Mary Stella, “By the power of His grace, these seemingly weak women witnessed to the strength of true love to the point of martyrdom” (March 5, 2000).

The 12th sister of the group, Sister Malgorzata Banas, who survived the war and the sisters’ chaplain Father Aleksander Sienkiewicz are also candidates for sainthood.

Through the intercession of Blessed Mary Stella and her Ten Companions, Martyrs of Nowogrodek, let us pray for the grace of perseverance in faith and courage.

The liturgical memorial falls on September 4.

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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