Saints: September 2009 Archives
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:
Saint Gaetano 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.
Blessed Mary Stella and her companions were authentic martyrs for the faith: they "...paid with their blood for the charity they exercised in favor of escapees, of the wounded and the sick during the terrible and uncertain days" (His Will Alone, 424).
They had engaged life as any other person does and so I thinking giving the names of the sisters keeps memory of the women, our friends, alive in our hearts. Certainly as a kid in a Nazareth school (New Haven, CT) this image of the sisters was haunting and striking. On my desk sits the commemorative coin, a gift of Sister Thaddeus of Jesus, CSFN, with the faces and names of the sisters reminding me of the gift their lives are for us.
The eleven Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth who were executed by the Nazis on August 1, 1943 were:
Sister Maria Stella, Superior (Adelaide Mardosiewicz) (1888-1943)
Sister Mary Imelda (Jadwiga Zak) (1892-1943)
Sister Mary Rajmunda (Anna Kukulowicz) (1892-1943)
Sister Maria Daniela (Eleanor Juzwik) (1895-1943)
Sister Maria Kanuta (Jozefa Chrobot) (1896-1943)
Sister Maria Gwidona (Helena Cierpka) (1900-1943)
Sister Maria Sergia (Julia Rapieg) (1900-1943)
Sister Maria Kanizja (Eugenia Mackiewicz) (1904-1943)
Sister Maria Felicyta (Paulina Borowik) (1905-1943)
Sister Maria Heliodora (Leokadia Matustzewska) (1906-1943)Sister Maria Boromea (Veronika Narmuntowicz) (1916-1943)