- Wednesday, 18 November 2015 10:03
“Saint Hugh’s primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stowe which had a deep and lasting friendship with the saint, even guarding him while he slept. The swan would follow him about, and was his constant companion while he was at Lincoln. Hugh loved all the animals in the monastery gardens, especially a wild swan that would eat from his hand and follow him about and yet the swan would attack anyone else who came near Hugh.”
Hugh is a 12th century monk, priest and bishop of Lincoln. The monk-bishop is a reformer. One reform was that the priests needed to live at the parishes they were assigned and to minister to the sick and the needy. He is the patron saint of sick children, sick people, shoemakers, and swans. Hugh is the first Carthusian to be canonized.
- Monday, 16 November 2015 19:36
Saint Joseph Moscati is known as the first modern physician to be canonized.
Seventh of nine children. Joseph’s family moved to Naples, Italy when the boy was four years old; he made his First Communion at age eight, Confirmation at ten. Friend of Blessed Bartolo Longo and Blessed Caterina Volpicelli. Received his doctorate from the University of Naples in 1903. Worked at and served as administrator of a hospital for the incurable while continuing to study and do medical research. Assisted in the preparation for and recovery from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 8 April 1906, but refused any recognition for the work. Led the work to stop cholera in Naples. Member of the Royal Academy of Surgical Medicine in 1911, and received a doctorate in physiological chemistry. Directed several hospitals and medical societies, and was one of the first to experiment with the use of insulin for diabetes. Tried to enlist in the army in World War I, but was refused and instead ran a hospital for the wounded; personally treated almost 3,000 soldiers. He healed (sometimes miraculously), taught at numerous universities and hospitals, and supported the poor and outcast; could sometimes diagnose a patient‘s illness and prescribe for it without having seen the patient. Knew when and how to use a patient‘s faith and the sacraments to effect a cure.
- Friday, 13 November 2015 17:16
“In the face of the endless cares and anxieties of life, she never let anything turn her aside from striving and aiming to please God and to work for his glory for which nothing, aided by God’s grace, seemed too laborious, or difficult, or beyond human strength.” (Pope Pius XII)
From a family of 13 living in Lombardy, Italy, Frances was born of a pious family in 1850. Having tried her vocation in another congregation, she eventually founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1880. Pope Leo XIII gave his approval of the new group of sisters who hoped to go to the missions in China. Instead, Leo suggested to her that she go to the United States to help the Italian immigrants who were flooding to that nation in that era, mostly in great poverty. “Not to the East, but to the West” was his advice.
She said: “I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”
The Blessed Mother appeared to her in a dream, tending the sick. “I am doing the work you refuse to do,” she told Frances. Columbus Hospital then was ‘ next effort. In twenty-eight years Frances founded 67 schools, orphanages, convents, and hosptials in the United States. Mother Frances died in 1917; Mother became a United States citizen and she was the first US citizen to be canonized.
- Wednesday, 11 November 2015 08:44
The feast of Saint Martin of Tours (+397) is always a very special for me. His hagiography inspires. Perhaps it is the similar for you. The words attributed to John Henry Cardinal Newman will orient your day.
O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin
both by his life and death,
make new, we pray,
the wonders of your grace in our hearts,
that neither death nor life
may separate us from your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
May Christ support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging,
and holy rest and peace at the last. Amen.
- Wednesday, 04 November 2015 08:21
From a sermon by St. Charles Borromeo:
“My brothers, you must realize that for us churchmen nothing is more necessary than meditation. We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: I will pray, and then I will understand. When you administer the sacraments, meditate on what you are doing. When you celebrate Mass, reflect on the sacrifice you are offering. When you pray the office, think about the words you are saying and the Lord to whom you are speaking. When you take care of your people, meditate on how the Lord’s blood that has washed them clean so that all that you do becomes a work of love.
This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work: in meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in other men.”