Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 January – the Servant of God Brother Juniper OFM (Died 1258)

Saint of the Day – 29 January – the Servant of God Brother Juniper OFM (Died 1258) – Franciscan Friar.   Brother Juniper is called “the renowned jester of the Lord” and was one of the original followers of St Francis of Assisi.   Not much is known about Juniper before he joined the friars.   In 1210, he was received into the Order of Friars Minor by St Francis himself.   “Would to God, my brothers, that I had a whole forest of such Junipers” Saint Francis would say.Bartolomé_Esteban_Murillo-_Brother_Juniper_and_the_Beggar.JPG

We don’t know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210.   Francis sent him to establish “places” for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo.   When Saint Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her.   He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity.

Several stories about Juniper in the Little Flowers of St Francis illustrate his exasperating generosity.   Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig’s feet.   This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot and then served this meal to the sick man.   The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper’s superior.   When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologised profusely.   He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars!the-little-flowers-of-st-francis1

Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road.   Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn’t give the man his tunic but he wouldn’t prevent the man from taking it either.   In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away.

He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.   He was never formally Beatified.

Aracoeli-fachada.jpg
Ara Coeli Church in Rome

St Junípero Serra OFM (1713–1784), born Miquel Josep Serra i Ferrer, took his religious name in honour of Brother Juniper when he was received into the Order.

St Francis said of him:  A perfect friar would have “the patience of Brother Juniper, who attained the state of perfect patience because he kept the truth of his low estate constantly in mind, whose supreme desire was to follow Christ on the way of the cross.” 

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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