Tag Archives: Franciscan saints and blesseds

Saint Colette

Saint Colette.jpgSaint Colette is the famous 15th century reformer of the Poor Clare nuns. You see her reform noted as the Colettine Poor Clares. She follows to a “T” the rigorous life set down by Saint Clare herself in hearing the words “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” She did; so did others.

King Henry VIII would compare Saint Colette to “a diligent bee that gathers exquisite honey from the precious flowers of the most rare virtues.”
The Prayer Over the Gifts for Saint Colette’s Mass reads:
Lord, may the gifts we bring You help us to follow the example of Saint Colette. Cleanse us from our earthly way of life, and teach us to live the new life of Your kingdom.
Here the Church wants us to receive the gift of singular focus on the new we’ve received already through Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. The new life preached by Christ and the Church today.
According to the Roman-Franciscan Sacramentary of 1974, February 7 is the liturgical memorial of Saint Colette, not March 6 as noted in other places. A previous blog post on Saint Colette can be read here.

Saint Catherine of Genoa: a life of humility, constant prayer & mystical union, charitable service


St Catherine of Genoa.jpg“Since I began to love, love has never forsaken me. It has ever grown to its own fullness within my innermost heart.” 

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Catherine of Genoa, a fifteenth-century saint best known for her vision of purgatory. Married at an early age, some ten years later Catherine had a powerful experience of conversion; Jesus, carrying his cross, appeared to her, revealing both her own sinfulness and God’s immense love. A woman of great humility, she combined constant prayer and mystical union with a life of charitable service to those in need, above all in her work as the director of the largest hospital in Genoa. Catherine’s writings on purgatory contain no specific revelations, but convey her understanding of purgatory as an interior fire purifying the soul in preparation for full communion with God. Conscious of God’s infinite love and justice, the soul is pained by its inadequate response, even as the divine love purifies it from the remnants of sin. To describe this purifying power of God’s love, Catherine uses the image of a golden chain which draws the soul to abandon itself to the divine will. By her life and teaching, Saint Catherine of Genoa reminds us of the importance of prayer for the faithful departed, and invites us to devote ourselves more fully to prayer and to works of practical charity.

Pope Benedict XVI
summary of Wednesday Catechesis on Saint Catherine of Genoa
Vatican City State, 12 January 2011

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina: rare video footage


Padre Pio the saint.jpg

The blogger at “The Hermeneutic of Continuity,” Father Tim
Finigan, posted a YouTube video clip of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina showing some rare footage. It is a very delightful video of the saint with his Capuchin brothers. Padre Pio is a favorite saint who died in 1968; watching him brings to life a new experience.

Father Tim notes that “At the end, they are obviously teasing him about the camera and he hits the cameraman with his cincture. We see him in the refectory and in the Church, and there are scenes
of his brothers dealing with the massive postbag which he generated.” Finigan also notes the footage of Saint Pio celebrating the Mass.

One thing I notice is that the Capuchin priests all cover their hoods when vested for Mass -as they are supposed to do. Too often covering the hood with an amice is not done not only by Franciscans but the Dominicans; the acolyte serves the Mass with a surplice and hood uncovered. A piece of liturgical observance.

Watch the rare footage of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary


St Elizabeth of Hungary BBruyn.jpgPraise to the holy woman whose home is built on faithful love and whose pathway leads to God.

Father, You helped Elizabeth of Hungary to recognize and honor Christ in the poor of this world. Let her prayers help us to serve our brothers and sisters in time of trouble and need.

 

Saint Elizabeth is the patroness of the Third Order Franciscans (the laity and secular priests). Her example of patience and holiness modeled on the good example of the Franciscan friars leads us to be attentive to the poor in our midst.

 In an October address, the Holy Father spoke of today’s saint:

She behaved to her subjects in the same way that she behaved to God. Among the Sayings of the four maids, we find this testimony: “She did not eat any food before ascertaining that it came from her husband’s property or legitimate possessions. While she abstained from goods procured illegally, she also did her utmost to provide compensation to those who had suffered violence.” 

She is a true example for all who have roles of leadership: the exercise of authority, at every level, must be lived as a service to justice and charity, in the constant search for the common good. Elizabeth diligently practiced works of mercy…

Read the entire address Pope Benedict gave on Saint Elizabeth of Hungary on October 20, 2010.

Blessed John Duns Scotus

The Preface for the Mass of Blessed John Duns Scotus

St Albert the Great & Bl John Duns Scotus.jpg

Father, all-powerful and everliving God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You give the Church great joy as she celebrates the memory of John Duns Scotus, in whom the spirit and ideals of our seraphic father Francis burned brightly and came to light and life.
You led him to see that virtue was of greater value than learning, and taught him the pre-eminence of love over all worldly knowledge.
You chose him to be the subtle unravler of reality, enabling his sharp mind to penetrate more deeply into the mystery  of the depths of your love for us.
He acclaimed the universal primacy of your Son, the masterpiece and perfect manifestation of your eternal love enfleshed in Christ the New Adam, the King of all creation.
You taught him to praise Mary, conceived without sin, untarnished and resplendent in her immaculate beauty, your intended Model for creating us in dignity and goodness.
You instruct us by his teaching and by the holiness of his life, and give protection in answer to his prayers. Therefore, with the angels and all the saints we join in their unending hymn of praise.

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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