Thought for the Day – 23 June – The Memorial of St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)
Fr Cafasso was truly a man of God, a holy priest. All his words and acts breathed forth the delicious odour of celestial virtue. Some saw in him a resemblance to St Philip Neri on account of his humility, others to St Alphonsus Liguori for his learning, others to St Vincent de Paul for his devotion to the poor and those in prison, others to St Aloysius Gonzaga for the innocence and purity of his life, others to St Francis de Sales for his burning love for God and his gentleness of manner, others to the Cure of Ars for the austerity of his life and his work in the Confessional.
Devotion to the Eucharist gave energy to all Joseph’s other activities. Long prayer before the Blessed Sacrament has been characteristic of many Catholics who have lived out the Gospel well. His great devotions were: to the Passion, to the Sacred Heart, to the Mass, to the Stations of the Cross, to the Blessed Sacrament, to our Blessed Lady, to St Joseph, to many of the Saints, to the Souls in Purgatory in whose favour he recommended the his works and sufferings.
But the most telling element of his life, the one we should learn most from, was his compassion. St Joseph realised that harshness with the weak, only does harm – for what straw can stand up in a gale? It was his consummate compassion that was noted by everyone and he could face the most hardened criminals with his easy laugh and gentle manner. He knew, that it is LOVE alone that conquers!
St Joseph Cafasso, pray for us!