Saint of the Day – 23 October – Blessed Arnold Rèche FSC (1838-1890) – French Religious Brother of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian School (LaSallian Brothers) founded by St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) in 1725 – he assumed the religious name of “Arnould” upon his profession into the congregation and became a noted Teacher, Catechist, Novice Master – born 2 September 1838 at Landroff, Lorraine, France as Nicholas-Jules Reche and died on 23 October 1890 following a cerebral hemorrhage. Also known as Arnold Jules-Nicolas Rèche, Jules Reche, Julian-Nicolas Rèche, Nicholas-Jules Reche. Patronage – Teachers.
Jules-Nicolas Rèche was born into a poor family living in Landroff in the province of Lorraine. He left school at an early age to work as a stable-boy, a coachman and finally as a teamster for a local construction company. Even as a young man he was known among his fellow workers for his piety and his self-discipline. He first met the De La Salle Brothers while attending evening classes in their school and asked to be admitted into the congregation.
He taught for fourteen years at the boarding school on the Rue de Venise in Reims. Despite the demands of a full teaching schedule he managed by private study to master theology, mathematics, science and agriculture, which he taught to small groups of advanced students.
During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, he worked with other Brothers to care for the medical and spiritual needs of the wounded soldiers on both sides, for which he was awarded the Bronze Cross.
The intensity of his prayer life and his love for practices of penance soon led the superiors to appoint him Director of Novices at Thillois. He won the hearts of his young charges by his evident solicitude for their spiritual and professional development.
There are stories of little miracles and cures, as well as his uncanny ability to discern their inmost thoughts. Brother Arnold was known for his devotion to the Lord’s passion and for his docility to the Holy Spirit who, as he often remarked, “strengthens a person’s heart.” When the novitiate was moved to the new formation centre at Courlancy near Rheims in 1885, Brother Arnold was instrumental in having it dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
He died at age fifty-two with a reputation for sanctity, only a few months after his appointment as Director General of Sacré Coeur. He was buried in Rheims and his grave became known for being the site of miraculous healings.
He was Beatified on 1 November 1987 by St Pope John Paul II.