Recently in Oratorian saints and blesseds Category

Blessed Sebastian Valfre

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The Cross received the living Jesus and gave Him back to us dead; the Shroud received the dead Jesus and restored Him to us alive. (Blessed Sebastian speaking of the Shroud of Turin)


The Congregation of the Oratory and devoted faithful liturgically recall Blessed Sebastian Valfre, C.O. (1629-1710), a priest of the Oratory.


Unless you are plugged into the life of the Oratorians, such as the fine men at the Brooklyn Oratory, the New Brunswich, NJ Oratory, or the New York Oratory, Blessed Sebastian Valfre (1629-1710) of the Turin Oratory, is not well known. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1834. 



Saint Francis de Sales

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DeSales.jpgO God, who for the salvation of souls willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales become all things to all, graciously grant that, following his example, we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbor.


We honor the gentle giant, pastor of souls, spiritual father of many, author, and Doctor of the Church, Francis de Sales (1567-1622). A brilliant student, he was ordained a priest despite his father's desires. Francis was a provost of an Oratorian community and later bishop of Geneva and founder. His writings and approach to religious inspired many new forms of religious life.

His Introduction to the Devout Life, first published in 1609, is well known and cherished, reliable, honest, accessible, humane, and a Christian classic. His doctrine is called celestial in that it points a perfect way for ordinary people to enter into communion with God without having to flee the world. You don't have to be a monk of nun to have a spiritual life!

Saint Francis is the patron saint of journalists, writers, and now social communications for the Church.

Saint Luigi Scrosoppi

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The life and works of the members of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri --the Oratorians-- is not well known in the USA. There are 8 Oratories in the USA but they are generally small communities of priests and brothers with a group of laity who follow in the spirituality of the Oratory. The famous Oratorian at this time, beside Saint Philip, is Blessed John Henry Newman.

Though in Italian (an I hope this changes soon because the world is more than Italian speakers) the website of the Congregation of the Oratory is worth visiting.

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Today, on the Oratorian liturgical ordo, we would recall Saint Luigi Scrosoppi (1804-84). Saint Luigi was an apostle for the good of the poor. By his life and clear witness he taught that we as Christians need to follow closely the mandate of sacred Scripture that care of the poor, the orphan, the widow, and sick are not optional parts of of Christian living; the Eucharist and attentive social concern go hand-in-hand. Clericalism has not place in the Church.

A brief biography of Saint Luigi Scrosoppi may be read here.

Two particular intentions we ought to ask Saint Luigi to beg God for:

  1. the grace of being a Good Shepherd for the newly ordained bishop of the Diocese of Iverea (Italy), the Most Reverend Edoardo Aldo Cerrato; until recently he was the Procurtaor General of the Oratorians;
  2. the grace of being the Good Shepherd for the newly elected Procurator General of the Oratorians, Father Mario Avil├ęs, CO; until recently, Father Mario has been the director of the Oratorian Schools in Pharr, Texas.
On both men may God bestow rich blessings.

Saint Philip Neri

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Father, you continually raise up your faithful to the glory of holiness. In your love kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled the heart of Philip Neri.

In so many ways Saint Philip Neri is a saint, a witness to the work of the Holy Spirit in this world. This fact is borne in the activity of his life for the salvation of souls. He was a close friend of the Benedictines, Dominicans, and the Jesuits. A well-sought after confessor and preacher, he drew the keen attention of Popes, bishops and saints. Who can't relate to a man who had a keen sense of humor, a love for all people, especially the youth, and a miracle-worker. The Church has named Saint Philip one of the patrons of Rome.

My love for Philip Neri leads me to hope that Connecticut, preferably New Haven, will see an Oratory in the future.

Among other things today, I watched the 2010 film "Saint Philip Neri: I Prefer Heaven," with Gigi Proietti, Adriano Braidotti, Francesco Salvi, and Roberto Citran. The director is the wonderful Giacomo Campiotti whom I met last fall in NYC while he was stateside promoting another film of his.

A brief biography of Saint Philip Neri.

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JHN icon.jpgO God, the source of wisdom's fire,

Who formed the mind of man

In complex and mysterious ways

Within Your loving plan,

We thank You now for calling forth

This priest who praised Your Name

By teaching and exalting you

In words of living flame.

 

John Henry Newman, England's son,

Was formed in Oxford's halls,

Endowed with tow'ring intellect

To answer all the calls

Which Church and University

Gave forth in times of doubt,

A rebirth of the ancient truths

As rain for minds in drought.

 

He served the Church of England well

With scholarship and grace,

Restoring ancient roots of faith,

Removing error's trace.

But scorned by leaders of his time,

He left his Oxford home,

In search of kindly, leading light

Which led him on toward Rome.

Blessed John Henry Newman

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Bl John Henry Newman.jpgO God, who bestowed on the priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow Your kindly light and find peace in Your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fulness of Your truth.

 

"God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another" (JH Newman, Meditations on Christian Doctrine).


Blessed John Henry's feast day today is the anniversary of his conversion to Catholicism and not the date of his birth into eternal life (death), as most of the saints are honored. 

The other Propers for Mass and the Office of Readings for Newman's feast day can be found here.

Saint Philip Neri

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Neri.jpgOne of the epitaphs of Saint Philip Neri's is:

"Philip Neri, learned and wise, by sharing the pranks of children himself became a child again."

 

Father Frederick Miller's excellent article ''Saint Philip Neri and the Priesthood'' gives a glimpse into this wonderful saint.

On a personal note, I went to Neri's tomb at the Chiesa Nuova (Rome) yesterday to offer a prayer for a friend, and myself, and found consolation.

Remember, ''To pray well requires the the whole man.''

Saint Philip Neri

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.


Father, You continually raise up Your faithful to the glory of holiness. In Your love kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled the heart of Philip Neri.


More information about the charism of Saint Philip Neri and the Oratorians may be found here and here.

newma detail.jpgThe London Telegraph ran a story about the theologians' acceptance/approval of the miracle put forward by Cardina John Henry Newman's postulator. It's an American helping a Brit. Now the information is on the Pope's desk. "People" are hoping for a beatification ceremony in the autumn. Deo volente. Read the story here.

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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