Thought for the Day – 2 September – The Memorial of St Solomon Le Clercq FSC (1767-1792)
It seems highly appropriate that St Solomon’s memorial coninsides with today’s Gospel of the Talents – “Fear is the wrong attitude….” (Pope Benedict XVI)
“The glorification of our first martyr will be held at the closing of the “Year of Mercy.” As stressed so many times by Pope Francis during the Jubilee Year, to understand what it means “mercy” is to understand the core of Jesus’ teaching. Mercy is love and for love He is willing to do everything, even to give his own life. This is what our Brother Solomon, is teaching us by his heroic fidelity The canonisation of Brother Solomon will certainly be a blessing for our Institute. Together, let us thank the Lord. The example set by our Brother must push us to follow Christ day after day. Although we are not called to give a bloody witness we are called anyway to do this in the “terrible day to day task ” of our apostolic life. On the occasion of the feast of St Bartholomew, our Founder writes: “You have to suffer a constant martyrdom that is no less violent for the spirit than Saint Bartholomew’s was for his body. You must, so to speak, tear off your own skin, which Saint Paul calls the old man, in order to be clothed with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which is, according to the same Apostle, the new man.” (Brother Robert Schieler, FSC – Superior General)
“I’m Solomon Le Clercq and I want, I want to sign, to say that I’ll die, I’ll die a happy man if Jesus is at my side and I say: I want to live for Jesus, I want! I want to die for Jesus, I want! To live and to die a real man of God! To live and die a real Brother from God!”
“As for us, we hold, to what we believed, ten and twenty years ago; to what our forefathers believed, one hundred years ago and one thousand years ago and to that which, the whole Catholic world, has always believed.”
“Do not be troubled. Ask constantly for the help of God …. Why should we weep since the Gospel tells us to rejoice when we have something to endure for His name’s sake? Let us then suffer joyfully and with thanksgiving the crosses and afflictions which He may send us. As for myself, it would seem that I am not worthy to suffer for Him, since I have not as yet encountered any trials, whereas so many confessors of Jesus Christ are in affliction.”
One Minute Reflection – 2 September – Today’s Gospel Matthew 25:14-30
For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.…Matthew 25:29
REFLECTION – ” Fear is the wrong attitude: the servant who is afraid of his master and fears his return hides the coin in the earth and it does not produce any fruit. This happens, for example, to those who after receiving Baptism, Communion and Confirmation subsequently bury these gifts beneath a blanket of prejudice, beneath a false image of God that paralyses faith and good works, thus betraying the Lord’s expectations. However, the parable places a greater emphasis on the good fruits brought by the disciples who, happy with the gift they received, did not keep it hidden with fear and jealousy but made it profitable by sharing it and partaking in it. Yes, what Christ has given us is multiplied in its giving!” …Pope Benedict XVI ( Angelus address of Sunday, 16 November 2008)
PRAYER – Lord my God, teach me to be unafraid to share the Light of the Gospel with all. Teach me to go out and spread Your gifts with all who enter my life. For You have called me and I must respond without fear but with joy and love. St Solomon Le Clercq – you ‘wanted’ to be all for God! Please pray for us all, amen.
O Lord, I do not know
what to ask of You.
You alone know
what are my true needs.
You love me more
than I myself know how to love.
Help me to see my real needs
which are concealed from me.
I do not dare to ask,
either for a cross
or for consolation.
I can only wait on You.
My heart is open to You.
Visit and help me,
for the sake of Your great mercy.
Strike me and heal me;
cast me down and raise me up.
I worship in silence Your holy will
and Your unsearchable ways.
I offer myself as a sacrifice to You.
I have no other desire
than to fulfill Your will.
Teach me to pray.
Pray You Yourself in me.
by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow Vasily Mikhaylovich Drozdov
Saint of the Day – 2 September – St Solomon Le Clercq FSC MARTYR and Religious Brother – St Solomon Le Clercq FSC (born Guillaume-Nicolas-Louis) Martyr, Religious Brother of the De La Salle Brothers, Teacher (Born at Boulogne, France 14 November 1745 – Martyred 2 September 1792). Beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and Canonised by Pope Francis on 16 October 2016. Patronage – Persecuted Christians. Attributes – Cassock, Palm.
St Solomon was the son of a wealthy wine merchant. In 1767 he entered the novitiate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, taking the name Solomon. Solomon went into hiding when religious orders were outlawed during the French Revolution. He was martyred, along with nearly 200 hundred others, during the September Massacres of 1792.
In August that year the Legislative Assembly had closed all Catholic schools in Paris and outlawed the wearing of religious habits or vestments in public. On 18 August the Assembly suppressed all Catholic institutions and religious orders. Priests had to swear an oath to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which had taken over the Church, or leave the country. Some 25,000 priests left.
In the first week of September, between 1,247 and 1,368 people were killed in what became known as the September Massacres. Blessed Solomon was arrested, taken to a Carmelite monastery which the authorities had converted into a prison, and executed on 2 September. He was among nearly 200 Catholics who refused to abandon their faith; they were beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
Once the monarchy had been overthrown early in the French Revolution, the next target was the Church. In 1790 the Civil Constitution of the Clergy gave the state complete control over the Church in France. In order to continue to function, priests and religious were forced to take an oath to support the constitution. Most of the Brothers refused and so were forced gradually to abandon their schools and communities. Eventually the Institute was deprived altogether of legal status in France.
Brother Solomon was secretary to Brother Agathon, the Superior General, after having been a teacher, director and bursar. He always showed a great love for people and a great attachment to his work. Having refused to take an oath, he lived alone in Paris in secrecy We still have many of his letters to his family. The last one is dated 15 August 1792. That very day he was arrested and imprisoned in the Carmelite monastery, which had become a prison, together with several bishops and priests. On 2 September, almost all the prisoners were killed by sword in the monastery garden. He was beatified on 17 October 1926, together with 188 of his fellow martyrs. He was the first one of our martyrs and also the first Brother to be beatified.
He has now been Canonised on 16 October last year by Pope Francis. Alleluia!
The miracle that would lead to his eventual sanctification was investigated in the diocese of its origin in Venezuela from 19 January 2011 to 29 September 2011 and was sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for further investigation. The consulting medical board approved the miracle on 3 March 2016 while theologians approved it the following month on 5 April 2016. The C.C.S. approved the miracle on 3 May 2016 and passed it onto Pope Francis who approved for Leclercq’s canonization on 9 May 2016. Normally in the process of canonization, two miracles attributed to the saint are needed – one for beatification, and one for canonization. However, the miracle necessary for beatification in the case of martyrs can be waived, since martyrdom itself is considered a miracle of grace.
The miracle being attributed to the intercession of Blessed Solomon Leclercq, declared by the medical consultant of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints and approved by Pope Francis, is the inexplicable cure of a Venezuelan girl who had been bitten by a venomous snake.
The date of canonization was decided at a gathering of cardinals on 20 June 2016 and the canonisation itself was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square on 16 October 2016.
The postulator at the time of canonization was Rodolfo Cosimo Meoli.
St Abibus of Edessa
St Agricola of Avignon
Bl Albert of Pontida
St Antoninus of Pamiers
St Antoninus of Syria
Bl Antonio Franco
St Castor of Apt
St Comus of Crete
St Eleazar the Patriarch
St Elpidius of Lyon
St Elpidius the Cappadocian
St Ingrid of Sweden
St Justus of Lyons
St Lanfranco of Vercelli
St Margaret of Louvain
St Prospero of Tarragona
St Solomon le Clerq
St Theodota of Bithynia
St Valentine of Strasbourg
St William of Roeskilde
Marytrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. No details about them but their names have survived – Concordius, Theodore and Zenone. They were martyrd in
Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of September – 191 beati: Also known as – • Martyrs of Paris,• Martyrs of Carmes.
A group of 191 martyrs who died in the French Revolution. They were imprisoned in the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés, Hôtel des Carmes in the rue de Rennes, Prison de la Force and Seminaire de Saint-Firmin in Paris, France by the Legislative Assembly for refusing to take the oath to support the civil constitution of the clergy. This act placed priests under the control of the state, and had been condemned by the Vatican.
They were massacred by a mob on 2 September and 3 September 1792 and Beatified on 17 October 1926 by Pope Pius XI.
Martyrs of 2 September – 10 saints: A group of ten Christian martyrs; their names are on old martyrologies but we have lost all record of their lives and deaths. They were canonised.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Baldomer Margenat Puigmitja
• Blessed Fortunato Barrón Nanclares
• Blessed Joan Franquesa Costa
• Blessed José María Laguía Puerto
• Blessed Lorenzo Insa Celma