Tag Archives: Jesuit saints and blesseds

North American Martyrs

AuriesvilleToday is the feast day of The North American Martyrs, the French Jesuit priests who died at the hands of the Huron and Iroquois Indians in the 17th century. There is a Shrine of the North American Martyrs, in Auriesville, New York. Sadly, the Jesuits have given up the administration of the Shrine.

These martyrs are: Saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, René Goupil, Jean de la Lande, Antoine Daniel, Noël Chabanel, Charles Garnier and Gabriel Lalemant.

Following the heart and mind of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the mission of the Society of Jesus to be missionaries, Isaac and his companions left everything they had known to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to a people whom they had never met. The Holy Priests suffered extreme physical hardships, and ultimately offered their lives, for a people for whom they had the deepest love.

They were canonized June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI. Their liturgical memorial in the USA is October 19, and September 26 in Canada.

We pray with the Church: O God, who chose to manifest the blessed hope of your eternal Kingdom by the toil of Saints John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues and their companies and by the shedding of their blood,graciously grant that through their intercession the faith of Christians may be strengthened day by day.

St. Isaac Jogues and Companions, pray for us!

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

11828778_10153075513727749_8027644221796258258_nBlessed Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola!

“After we experience the great peace of knowing God’s love for us, which quiets our anxieties and insecurities, we find another deep desire stirring within us. We desire greatness because we are made for greatness.”

Here is a primer on the saint.

Saint John Ogilvie

St John OgilivieSt. John Ogilvie, by your devotion to Christ you held fast to the faith, even unto martyrdom.  With the grace of God, may I have a loving heart in the midst of trials.  May I, like you, “be of good cheer” and trust in the love of God. 

Today the Church in Scotland and the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of Saint John Ogilvie commemorating the 400th anniversary of his death. This Jesuit priest is a martyr who earlier in life made a conversion to Catholicism.

John Ogilvie was born in Scotland in 1579 and raised as a Protestant. He was sent abroad for studies where he converted to Catholicism. By 1599, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Vienna leading to his ordination to the priesthood in Paris in 1610.

Father Ogilvie was missioned by his religious superiors to return to his native Scotland in 1613. Within a year was arrested in Glasgow. Having spent spent an extended amount of time in prison and he was tortured, but never denounced his obedience to Catholic faith and the leadership of the Roman Pontiff. On March 10, 1615, he was tried for high treason, found guilty and executed.

Father John Ogilvie was beatified in 1929 and Blessed Paul VI canonized him in Rome in 1976.


Tomas Munk, and father, cause for beatification advances

Munk familyArchbishop Stanislav Zvolenský, archbishop of Bratislava, will preside at the ceremony of the closure of the diocesan process of the cause for  beatification and sainthood of the Jesuit novice Tomáš Munk and his father František on April 20, 2015.

The Family Munk were  Jewish converts to Catholicism in 1939. Tomáš entered the novitiate in Ružomberok in 1943. Due to the Nazi ideology against Jewish people, the Munk family were captured by Nazis at the end of 1944. Tomáš was captured in novitiate and later was deported together with his father to the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. Father and son were shot to death during the death march from Sachsenhausen to Berlin on April 20, 1945.

Another good example of holiness in families. I wrote about Tomas in 2009 here at the Communio blog.

Saint Claude la Colombiere

St Claude alliezThe day after to the liturgical and civil observance of Saint Valentine (bishop and martyr) we have one of the great proponents of Divine Love, the Jesuit Spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary of Alocoque, Saint Claude la Colombiere (1641-1682). The example of Saint Valentine needs to be followed; one of  his 17th century disciples was a Jesuit who knew first hand the meaning of what it means to follow God’s approach: love.

The logic of love Claude came to know was manifested in his spiritual paternity of another saint, the Visitation nun and saint, Margaret Mary Alacoque. Margaret Mary was truly a spouse of the Master. This encounter was pivotal for him. Saint John Paul II said in an address:

The decisive event which marked the life and spirituality of Saint Claude La Colombiere was certainly his meeting with Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque, which took place in the Visitation Monastery in Paray-le-Monial in February 1675. On the occasion of a meditation which he gave the community, an interior voice suggested to the woman religious to turn to him in confidence: “This is the one I am sending you.” In face, from her first confession, Fr. Claude was aware of the authenticity of the mystical experience of the young Visitation Sister and Margaret Mary knew she was seeing the fulfillment of the vision of the flaming heart of Jesus with two other hearts which became lost in the divine heart: hers and that of the spiritual director who had been sent to her.

It is said that the day after Claude’s death, Sister Margaret Mary received supernatural assurance that Claude needed no prayers, as he was in already heaven; he was enjoying the fullness of communio with the Trinity. Claude was considered a “dry” martyr, having suffered every abuse for the Christian faith except death. The life of Saint Claude was an example of being in correspondence with the Lord Himself –through the logic of Love– that he was know to be concrete example of mercy in the face of trials. Saint Claude’s  life of holiness drew many of the Protestants to the Catholic Church. His was a trust that we must adopted: “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”

May we learn from Saint Claude la Colombiere what it means to be in relationship with Jesus the Good Shepherd, true Divine Love.

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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