Many think that Saint John Vianney is the only canonized
parish priest. Vianney is certainly the most known for his extraordinary life.
And it helps that popes and other notable authors have drawn our attention to
him. But there is another saint who has a persuasive personality who is also a
parish priest and worthy of our attention. In this Year of the Priest it fitting to have yet another intercessor before God. Today the Church celebrates the
liturgical memorial of Saint Gaetano Catanoso.
Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 23, 2005. In
the homily of the Mass of Canonization said:
Catanoso was a lover and apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus. “The Holy Face,” he
affirmed, “is my life. He is my strength”. With joyful intuition he joined
this devotion to Eucharistic piety.
He would say: “If we wish to adore the real
Face of Jesus…, we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body
and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil
of the Host.”
Daily Mass and frequent adoration of the Sacrament of the Altar
were the soul of his priesthood: with ardent and untiring pastoral charity he
dedicated himself to preaching, catechesis, the ministry of confession, and to
the poor, the sick and the care of priestly vocations. To the Congregation of
the Daughters of Saint Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face, which he founded,
he transmitted the spirit of charity, humility and sacrifice which enlivened
his entire life.
More of Saint Gaetano can be read here.
The American cousin of the saint has a book on Saint Gaetano Catanoso, see it at this link.