Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 27 July – Blessed Maria of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1866-1912) –

Saint of the Day – 27 July – Blessed Maria of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1866-1912) – Virgin, Religious Sister of the Institute of the Sisters Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist – born on 23 September 1866 in Barra, Naples, Italy as Maria Grazia Tarallo and died on 27 July 1912 at Giorgio a Cremano, Naples, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – the Crucified Sisters Adorers of the Holy Eucharist and against demonic possessions.bl maria-grazia-tarallo-1674b999-454c-457c-b350-91bac7a874c-resize-750

Maria Grazia Tarallo was born on 23 September 1866 in Barra, Naples, Italy, to Leopoldo Tarallo and Concetta Borriello.   She was baptised the following day in the Ave Gratia Plena Parish in Barra.   Growing up, she received a solid Christian and human formation in her family.

A child “called” by God while still young, Maria Grazia made a private vow of virginity at age five in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother.

When she was just 7 she made her First Communion and at the age of 10 she received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Maria Grazia’s life was especially directed toward Christian perfection and total consecration to God.bl Maria_della_Passione_Tarallo

When she was 22 she wished to enter the convent but her father opposed her desire as he wanted her to marry.  However, the young man who proposed to her, died before they could marry, thus leaving her free to enter the convent.

On 1 June 1891 she entered the Monastery of the Sisters Crucified Adorers of the Eucharist, in Barra, founded by the Servant of God Maria Pia Notari who was a witness to the virtuous and holy life of Maria Grazia and to whom she gave the name “Sr Maria of the Passion”.

Sr Maria lived her vocation of love for Christ’s Passion, the Eucharist and Our Lady of Sorrows to the full.   She was known to say: “My name is Sr Maria of the Passion and I must resemble the Master”.beata-maria-pasion-tarallo

As a nun, she was given different responsibilities, from that of Novice Mistress and as spiritual guide of her Sisters, to that of kitchen and laundry service and porter.

She was always exemplary and edifying in her life of charity and prayer and was admired by everyone in her community.

Sr Maria’s desire to be a victim soul for sinners was summed up by her in this way:   “I want to be holy, loving Jesus in the Eucharist, suffering with Christ Crucified and seeing Christ in my brothers and sisters”.

Sr Maria of the Passion died on 27 July 1912 in Barra, leaving to her Sisters the following testimony:   “I exhort you to holy perseverance according to the Rule, readiness in obedience and especially daily Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.   Love Jesus in the Eucharist, never leave Him alone, do not anger Him, do not disappoint Him”…. Vatican.va

She was Beatified on 14 May 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 23 July – Blessed Vasil Hopko (1904-1976) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 23 July – Blessed Vasil Hopko (1904-1976) Bishop and Martyr, Founded the Movement of Greek-Catholic Students and the Greek-Catholic Youth Union – also known as Basil, Professor, Writer – born on 21 April 1904 at Hrabské, Presovský kraj, eastern Slovakia and died on 23 June 1976 at Presov, Presovský kraj, Slovakia.   He was a Bishop of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church.  While in prison, in addition to the torture he received, he was given small doses of arsenic which caused a chronic poisoning, which was later verified by an analysis of his bones.  He was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II for his martyrdom under Communist occupation.bl basil hopko lg icon

Vasil’ Hopko was born on 21 April 1904 in Hrabské, a small village in eastern Slovakia. His father died when he was 1 year old, leaving his mother alone to care for the child. Vasil’s mother left for the United States in 1908 to find work, putting Vasil’ under the care of his grandfather.   When the boy was 7, he went to live with his uncle, Demeter Petrenko, a Greek-Catholic priest.

His uncle’s example awakened in Vasil’ a call to the priesthood and in 1923 he decided to enter the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov.   He was ordained a priest on 3 February 1929 and was entrusted with the pastoral care of the Greek-Catholic faithful in Prague. Here, he was involved in many different activities –  work with youth, the elderly, the unemployed and orphans.   Fr Vasil’ founded the Movement of Greek-Catholic Students and the Greek-Catholic Youth Union and contributed to the building of the city’s Greek-Catholic parish, becoming it’s priest.   It was also in Prague that, after 22 years, the young priest met his mother who had returned from the United States.

In 1936, Fr Vasil’ returned to Slovakia where he served as spiritual father in the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov.   In 1941, he was appointed as secretary of the Bishop’s Curia and he became professor of moral and pastoral theology at the Theological Faculty in Presov in 1943.   He also found free moments to write and publish various works and became the first editor of the magazine Blahovistnik (The Gospel Messenger).

After World War II, the Czechoslovakian Republic fell under a growing Soviet Bolshevik and atheist influence.   Foreseeing a systematic “Sovietization” and the resulting totalitarian-atheistic Marxism, Bishop Gojdic of Presov asked the Holy See for an Auxiliary Bishop to help him defend against the attacks on the Greek-Catholic faithful and the Church.   Fr Vasil’ became the newly-appointed Auxiliary Bishop and was ordained on 11 May 1947.   He helped the Bishop greatly, preparing the people for hard times on the horizon.bl basil hopko

Little by little the Czechoslovakian Communist Party prepared for the violent elimination of the Greek-Catholic Church in its nation.   On 28 April 1950, the Communists carried out their work of “liquidation” during the so-called “Council of Presov”, held without the presence of Bishops.   Here they declared that the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia no longer existed and that all its priests, faithful and churches were to be transferred over to the Orthodox Church.   Bishops Gojdic and Hopko were arrested.

Following the arrest, Bishop Hopko underwent drastic interrogation and torture so he would deny his faith and confess to fabricated accusations.   On 24 October 1951, after more than a year of cruel and diabolic interrogation, he was condemned by the State Court to 15 years in prison and a loss of all civil rights for 10 years.   While in prison, in addition to the torture he received, he was given small doses of arsenic which caused a chronic poisoning, which was later verified by an analysis of his bones.bl basil hopko bishop

On 12 May 1964 he was released from prison for health reasons.   After years of mistreatment, the Bishop suffered from grave physical ailments and mental depression caused by the constant torture and inhuman treatment.   Notwithstanding all this, he continued to contribute actively to the resurgence of the Greek-Catholic Church.

On 13 June 1968, the renewal of the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia was re-stabilised after 18 years of open persecution.   From 1968, Bishop Hopko began living in Presov, on 20 December 1968, Pope Paul VI confirmed his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop for all Greek-Catholic faithful in Czechoslovakia.   He carried out this responsibility with great care, encouraging the faithful and ordaining priests.

Bishop Hopko died on 23 July 1976 in Presov.   He made his own the words of Bishop Gojdic – “For me, it is not important if I die in the Bishop’s Palace or in prison, what matters is entering into Paradise”.

He was beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 14 September 2003 at Bratislava.bl basil hopko bodybl basil shrine

Posted in FRANCISCAN, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 18 July – Saint Simon of Lipnica (1435/1440-c 1482)

Saint of the Day – 18 July – Saint Simon of Lipnica (1435/1440-c 1482) OFM Cap Priest of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (OFM), renowned Preacher, apostle of charity – also known as Szymon of Lipnicza – born in 1435/1440 in Lipnica Murowana, Malopolskie, Poland and died on 18 July 1482 in Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland during a plague epidemic.   Patronages – Krakow, Students.st simon szymon

Simon was born in Lipnica Murowana, in the south of Poland, between the years 1435-1440.   His parents, Gregory and Anne, knew how to give him a good education, inspired by the values of the Christian faith and, despite their modest conditions, they took care to secure him an adequate cultural formation.   Simon grew up with a pious and responsible nature, rich in a natural predisposition towards prayer and a tender love for the Mother of God.

He moved to Krakow, to attend the famous Jagiellonian Academy, in 1454.   It was precisely in those years that St John of Capestrano OFM (1386-1456) enthused the city through the sanctity of his life and the fervour of his preaching, attracting a dense crowd of young, generous men to the Franciscan vocation.   On the 8th September 1453, the Italian saint founded the first convent of the Observance, with the name of the recently Canonised St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444), in Krakow.   It was for that reason that the Friars Minor of the convent were called the “Berdardini” by the people.

In 1457, the young Simon, fascinated by the Franciscan ideal, also chose to acquire the pearl of great price mentioned in the Gospel and left aside a possible successful and rich future.   He asked to be received, with another ten fellow students, into the convent of Stradom.401px-St

Under the wise guidance of the Novice Master, Br Christopher of Varese, a religious renown for his teaching and sanctity of life, Simon generously embraced the humble and poor life of the Friars Minor and received the priesthood about the year 1460.   He exercised his first ministry in the convent of Tarnów, where he was the Guardian of the fraternity.

He later established himself in Stradom (Krakow), dedicating himself untiringly to preaching with a clear word, full of ardour, faith and wisdom, which permitted a glimpse of his profound union with God and of his prolonged study of Sacred Scripture.

Like St Bernardine of Siena and St. John of Capestrano, Br Simon spread devotion to the Name of Jesus, obtaining the conversion of innumerable sinners.   He, the first of the Friars Minor, took up the duty of preacher in the Cathedral of Wawel in 1463.   Because of his dedication to preaching the Gospel, the ancient sources conferred the title of “predicator ferventissimus” “Zealous Preacher”, on him.st simon glass

In his desire to give homage to St Bernardine of Siena, the inspirer of his preaching, he, with some Polish confreres, went to Aquila to participate in the solemn transfer of the body of the saint, on the 17th May 1472, to the new Church erected in his honour.   He was again in Italy in 1478, on the occasion of the General Chapter of Pavia.   He had a way, then, to be able to satisfy his deepest desire to visit the tombs of the Apostles in Rome and to extend his pilgrimage to the Holy Land later.   He lived this experience in a spirit of penance, truly loving the passion of Christ, with the hidden aspiration of spilling his own blood for the salvation of souls, if it would please God.   He emulated St Francis in his love for the Holy Places.   In view of the possibility of being captured by the non-believers, he wished to learn the Rule of the Order by heart before undertaking the journey in order “to have it always before the eyes of his mind”.

The love of Simon for his brothers and sisters was manifested in an extraordinary way during the last year of his life, when an epidemic of plague broke out in Krakow.   The city was under the scourge of the disease from July 1482 to the 6th January 1483. The Franciscans of the convent of St Bernardine tirelessly did all they could to care for the sick as true consoling angels.beautiful image - st simon of lipnica - Szymon-kanonizacyjny

Br Simone, held it to be a “propitious time” to exercise charity and to fulfil the offering of his own life.   He went everywhere comforting, giving succour, administering the sacraments and announcing the consoling Word of God to the dying.   He was soon infected.   He suffered the pain of the disease with extraordinary patience and, near the end, expressed his desire to be buried under the threshold of the church so that all could trample on him.   On the sixth day of the disease, the 18th July 1482, without fear of death and with his eyes fixed on the Crucifix, he gave his soul back to God.st simon in mural

The “ab immemorabili” cult rendered to Blessed Simon, which passed into the history of seraphic sanctity under the title of “Salutis omnium sitibundus”, was confirmed by Blessed Innocent XI on the 24th February 1685.

The cause of his Canonisation, taken up by the Holy Father Pius XII on the 25th June 1948, today reaches its happy ending, following the recognition of his heroic virtues and of the miraculous cure which occurred in Krakow in 1943 and attributed to the intercession of the Blessed.   The respective Decrees were promulgated by the Holy Father Benedict XVI on the 19th of December 2005 and the 16th December 2006.

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Simon of Lipnica knew how to combine admirably his commitment to evangelisation and to giving witness to charity, which flowed from his great love for the Word of God and for the poor and suffering.   The Order of Friars Minor, on the vigil of the celebration of the VIII Centenary of its Foundation (1209-2009), salutes him as an authentic witness to poverty, humility and simplicity, as well as to the joy of belonging fully to the Lord and to being a gift to the life of the Friars.

He was Canonised by Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI mere months after the decrees approved by him in 2006, on 3 June 2007 in Saint Peter’s Square upon the confirmation of a 1943 miracle attributed to his intercession….Vatican.vacanonisation st simon

Posted in Catholic NEWS, DOMINICAN, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

16 July – SAINT Bartholomew of the Martyrs/ of Braga OP (1514-1590)

16 July – SAINT Bartholomew of Braga OP ArchBishop of Braga also known as Bl Bartholomew of the Martyrs (Bartolomeu Fernandez dei Martiri Fernandes) (1514-1590)

https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/16/saint-of-the-day-16-july-blessed-bartholomew-of-the-martyrs-1514-1590/

On 8 July 2019, Pope Francis approved the favourable votes cast by the Eminent and Excellent members of the Congregation and extended to the Universal Church the liturgical worship in honour of Blessed Bartholomew of the Martyrs (born Bartolomeu Fernandes), of the Order of Preachers, archbishop of Braga, born in Lisbon, Portugal on 3 May 1514 and died in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, on 16 July 1590, inscribing him in the book of Saints (Equipollent Canonisation).

Alleluia!

Saint Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Pray for Us!st bartholomew of the martyrs - 16 july 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 13 July – Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago (1918–1963)

Saint of the Day – 13 July – Blessed Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago (1918–1963) aged 44 Layperson, Apostle of the Liturgy, Catechist, Speaker, Spiritual Advisor – born on 22 November 1918 at Caguas, Puerto Rico – died on 13 July 1963 of cancer at Caguas, Puerto Rico.   He is the first Puerto Rican, the first Caribbean-born layperson in history to be Beatified.

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico on 22 November 1918.   His parents Manuel Baudilio Rodríguez and Herminia Santiago, both came from large families with strong Christian roots.   He was baptised at the Sweet Name of Jesus Church in Caguas on 4 May 1919.   He was the second of five brothers and sisters.   Two of his sisters married, while another is a Carmelite nun.   His only brother is a Benedictine priest and was the first Puerto Rican to become the abbot of a monastery.bl CarlosRodriguezSantiago1.jpg

‘Chali’ as a six years old, experienced a terrible loss – a terrible fire destroyed both his father’s small store and the family home.   Having lost virtually all of their earthly goods, the young family moved in with Carlos Manuel’s maternal grandparents.   Carlos Manuel was thereby strongly influenced by his grandmother, Alejandrina Esterás, a deeply devout and holy woman.

Carlos Manuel’s father, Manuel Baudilio, endured the loss good-naturedly.   Hope and faith never left him until his death in 1940.   Doña Herminia not being in a house of her own, imposed upon herself and her children a strong sense of respect, to a point of inhibition.   This contributed to the reserved and timid personality of her children. Nonetheless, Herminia had the virtue of a serene happiness that was brightened up by her faith.   Her relationship with the Lord was nourished by daily Eucharistic encounters.

So it was that – at a young age and in the heart of his own family – Carlos received his first lessons in Catholic faith and life.   At the age of six he began his schooling at the Catholic School of Caguas, where he remained until completing eighth grade.   It was there that he would come into contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame.   He cultivated a special friendship with them during his entire life.   Under their tutelage – as well as that of the Redemptorist Fathers – he received his initial religious and humanistic education.

His reception of Christ for the first time in the Holy Eucharist would mark the beginning of a love that would last a lifetime.   He became an altar boy and began to experience the riches of the faith through the sacred liturgy of the Church.   It is likely that it was at this time that he felt the initial call to live a life entirely dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.

When he graduated from eighth grade in 1932, he was first in his class and won a medal for his Religion.   He then went on to study at the public Gautier Benítez High School in Caguas.   But shortly after, he experienced the first symptoms of what would later become a severe gastrointestinal disorder, ulcerative colitis.   This illness would cause him much suffering and inconvenience for the rest of his life.   Nevertheless, it never undermined his commitment to Christ and His Church.

Carlos Manuel began his third year of high school (1934-35) at the Perpetual Help Academy in San Juan.   There he renewed his contact with the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Redemptorist Fathers  . His health, however, rendered him unable to continue studying there.   Thus back in Caguas, he worked for some time, finally earning his High School diploma, in both the commercial and scientific areas, by May 1939.bl carlos-manuel-cecilio-rodriguez-santiago.jpg

He continued working as an office clerk until 1946, when he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Río Piedras.   However, despite excellent grades and his love for studies, illness prevented him from completing his second year.   The end of formal education, however, did not mark the end of his education.   As his friends at the UPR – who began to call him ‘Charlie’ would later recall – his studies really never ended.   He was a voracious reader and his interests were wide-ranging, including the arts, science, philosophy, religion and music.   In fact, although he only took piano lessons for a year, he continued to learn on his own, to the point where he was able to not only play the piano but also, the church organ.   The sacred music he loved so much!

Nature was another of his great loves.  As a child, he would spend summer vacations in the countryside  . He often made day trips to the river or to the beach with his siblings. As an adult, he organised leisurely hikes with his family through the countryside.   They would travel light – with modest provisions for food – and yet a great desire to commune with God’s creation.

Carlos Manuel worked as an office clerk in Caguas, Gurabo and at the Agriculture Experiment Station, which was part of the UPR.   There he also translated documents from English to Spanish.   He spent almost his entire modest salary to promote knowledge and love of Christ.   He did this especially promoting a greater understanding of the significance of the Sacred Liturgy.   Using articles on liturgical subjects which he himself translated and edited, Carlos Manuel began publishing Liturgy and Christian Culture, publications to which he dedicated innumerable hours.

Increasingly convinced that “the liturgy is the life of the Church,” (through proclamation of the Word, the Eucharist and the “mysteries of Christ” or sacraments), he organised along with Father McWilliams in Caguas a Liturgy Circle.   Later on, in 1948, he assembles along with Father McGlone the parroquial chorus Te Deum Laudamus.bl carlos santiago art.jpg

In Río Piedras, where brother Pepe and sister Haydée were already UPR faculty members, Carlos was able to achieve his ardent desire to make Christ known, among professors and students.   As his disciples grew in number he moved into nearby Catholic University Centre and organised another Liturgy Circle (later called the Círculo de Cultura Cristiana).

He continued his publications and also organised his notable Christian Life Days for the benefit of University students who sought to understand and enjoy the liturgical seasons. He participated in panels on various topics and distinguished himself for his insistent emphasis on the importance of liturgical life, as well as the paschal meaning of life and death in Christ.

Carlos Manuel organised discussion groups in various towns and participated in societies such as the Brotherhood of Christian Doctrine, the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus.   He also taught Catechism to high school students whose teaching aids he supplied from his own income.

He zealously promoted and stood for liturgical renewal, among bishops, clergy and laymen: – active participation of laity, the use of the vernacular and – most especially – the observance of his much loved Paschal Vigil, which to Charlie’s delight was restored to its proper time near midnight by Pope Pius XII in 1952.   Of note, all of Carlos Manuel’s proactive lay apostolic activity took place prior to the Second Vatican Council, thus a veritable pre-conciliar apostle towards approval of the Sacrosanctum concillium, at its onset.

Many a good number of people testify to their growth of a living faith thanks to his teachings, in conjunction with the integrity of his life and exemplary service.   Others testify that Carlos Manuel’s zeal for Christ awakened in them their vocation to religious life.   Those who sought him out in order to clarify their doubts — or seek to strengthen their faith –would never be disappointed.

To approach Carlos Manuel and to getting to know him was as if to approach a light that illuminated one’s perspective of life and its meaning.   His glance and smile revealed the certain joy of Easter.   An enormous spiritual strength transcended his fragile physical constitution.   The firm conviction of his faith allowed him to overcome his natural shyness and he spoke with assurance resembling Saint Peter’s on Pentecost.   Despite his failing health for so many years, no complaints ever clouded the joy with which he faced life.   He reminded us that the Christian must be joyful because he or she lives the joy and hope that Christ gave with His Resurrection:   VIVIMOS PARA ESA NOCHE – WE LIVE FOR THAT NIGHT – he would say.

His physical strength declined gradually but his spirit never failed.   He lived each moment quietly overcoming his pain with the profound joy of one who knows himself to be resurrected.   Following an aggressive “life-saving” surgery in 1963 he turned out to have advanced terminal cancer.   Near the end, he experienced the “dark night of faith”, thinking himself abandoned by God, a known mystical experience.   Yet, before dying, he rediscovered the Word he had lost and which had given sense to his entire life.   His passage to eternal life took place on 13 July 1963  . He was 44. “The 13th is a good day,” he had said a few days before his death, without any of us having a notion of what that meant.   Now we know.

Charlie’s Beatification Process was indeed a swift one!   Initiated in 1992, the positio on heroic virtues, lead to his status as Venerable as of 7  July 1997.   The miracle for his Beatification (cure of non-Hodgkins malignant lymphoma back in 1981) was approved on 20 December 1999 by HH St John Paul II.    Thus, a record-making eight-year span, a first for lay apostles!…Vatican.va

A school in Bayamón is named after him, with the blessed title.   The school was renamed in 2001: = Colegio Beato Carlos Manuel Rodríguez.   Staff from the school witnessed the Beatification ceremony.

Below are his tomb and Shrine.

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 8 July – Blessed Peter Vigne (1670-1740)

Saint of the Day – 8 July – Blessed Peter Vigne (1670-1740) Missionary Priest, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, of Charity, of Mary, Catechist, tireless missionary and teacher and Founder of the Religious of the Blessed Sacrament – born Pierre Vigne on 20 August in Privas, France and died on 8 July 1740 aged 70, of natural causes. Patronage – the Blessed Sacrament Sisters of Valence.

Peter Vigne was born 20 August 1670 in Privas (France), a small town still feeling the effects of the Wars of Religion from the previous century.   His father, Peter Vigne, an honest textile merchant and his mother, Frances Gautier, married in the Catholic Church, had their five children baptised in the Catholic parish of Saint Thomas, Privas.   Two daughters died in infancy.   Peter and his two older siblings, John-Francis and Eleonore, lived with their parents in relative comfort.

When he was 11 years of age, Peter was chosen by the Parish Priest to act as a witness, signing the parish register for Baptisms, Marriages or Deaths.

After receiving a good level of education and instruction, towards the end of his teenage years, his life was suddenly transformed by a new awareness of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.   This experience led him to centre his life on Jesus, who offered Himself on the Cross for love of us and in the Eucharist, never ceases to give Himself to all men.   In 1690, he entered the Sulpician Seminary in Viviers.   Ordained a priest on 18 September 1694 in Bourg Saint Andeol by the Bishop of Viviers, he was sent as curate to Saint-Agreve where, for six years he exercised his priestly ministry, in friendship with his Parish Priest and beloved by his parishioners.bl peter vigne

Always attentive to discern in life’s events what the Lord was asking of him, he felt called elsewhere.   With understandable hesitancy in the beginning and then with increasing certitude, he pursued his spiritual itinerary along new paths.   His desire to work as a missionary among the poor was central to his decision to join the Vincentians in Lyon, in 1700.   There, he received a solid formation in poverty and in conducting “popular missions” and with his fellow priests began visiting towns and villages in the work of evangelisation.   In 1706, he left the Vincentians of “his own free will”.   Now more than ever he was passionate for the salvation of souls, especially for the poor people living in the countryside.   After a period of searching, his vocation took shape with increasing clarity.   He became an “itinerant missionary” applying his own pastoral methods, whilst submitting his ministry to the authorisation of his hierarchical superiors.

For more than thirty years he tirelessly travelled on foot or on horseback the ways of Vivarais and Dauphiné and even further ahead.   He faced the fatigue of being constantly on the move, as well as severe weather conditions, in order to make Jesus known, loved and served.   He preached, visited the sick, catechised the children, administered the sacraments, even going as far as carrying “his” confessional on his back, ready at all times to celebrate and bestow the Mercy of God.   He celebrated Mass, exposed the Blessed Sacrament and taught the faithful the prayer of Adoration.   Mary, “Beautiful Tabernacle of God among men” was also given a place of honour in his prayer and his teaching.bl peter vigne icon

In 1712, he came to Boucieu-le-Roi, where the terrain favoured the erection of a Way of the Cross.   With the help of parishioners he constructed 39 stations throughout the village and countryside, teaching the faithful to follow Jesus from the Upper Room to Easter and Pentecost.   Boucieu became his place of residence.   There, he gathered together a few women, charging them to “accompany the pilgrims” on the Way of the Cross and help them to pray and meditate.

It was there that he founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.  On 30 November 1715, in the church at Boucieu, he gave them the cross and the religious habit.   He invited them to assure continuous adoration of Jesus present in the Eucharist and to live together in fellowship.   Anxious to give the youth access to instruction, thus helping them grow in their faith and Christian values, Peter Vigne opened schools and also established a “Training School” for teachers.

Such a challenging and busy lifestyle needed some support.   For that reason, whenever Peter Vigne was in Lyon on business, he never failed to call on his former seminary tutors, the priests of Saint Sulpice, to meet his confessor and spiritual director.   Drawn by the Eucharistic spirituality of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by Monsignor d’Authier de Sisgaud, he was accepted as an associate member of this society of priests, on 25 January 1724, in Valence and benefited by their spiritual and temporal help.bl pietro vigne statue

Whilst continuing to accompany his young Congregation, Peter Vigne persisted with his apostolic works and to make the fruits of his missions more available, he found time to write books  – rules to live by, works of spirituality, especially the one entitled, “Meditations on the Most Beautiful Book, Jesus Christ Suffering and Dying on the Cross”.

The physical strength of our pilgrim for God, the demands of his apostolic activities, the long hours he spent in adoration and his life of poverty, bear witness not only to a fairly robust physique but above all to a passionate love of Jesus Christ who loved His own to the end (cf. John 13:1).

At the age of 70, the effects of exhaustion began to show.   During a mission at Rencurel, in the Vercors mountains, he was taken ill and had to interrupt his preaching.   Despite all his efforts to celebrate the Eucharist one more time and encourage the faithful to love Jesus, feeling his end was near, he expressed once again his missionary zeal, then withdrew in quiet prayer and reflection.   A priest and two Sisters came in haste to accompany him in his final moments.   On 8 July 1740, he went to join the One he had so loved, adored and served.   His body was taken back to its final resting place in the little church in Boucieu where it remains to this day…Vatican.va

St Pope John Paul II declared that he lived a life of heroic virtue and proclaimed him to be Venerable on 7 July 2003. That same pope beatified him after the recognition of a miracle on 3 October 2004.bl pietro vigne head of statue

Posted in PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 1 July – Blessed Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855)

Saint of the Day – 1 July – Blessed Antonio Rosmini (1797-1855) aged 58 – Priest, Founder of the Institute of Charity (also known as the Rosminians), Philosopher, Writer, pioneer of the concept of social justice and was a key figure in Italian Liberal Catholicism.   Born on 24 March 1797 in Rovereto, Austrian Tyrol (modern Trent, Italy) and died on 1 July 1855 in Stresa, Viterbo, Italy of natural causes.   bl-rosmini-ritratto-2-800x500-d0bad0bed0bfd0b8d18f1.jpg

Antonio Rosmini was born on 24 March 1797 to Pier Modesto and Giovanna dei Conti Formenti di Riva at Rovereto, a very “Italian” town although part of the Austrian Empire since 1509.   He was baptised the following day and received his early education locally.

In 1816 he enrolled at the University of Padua, Italy, where he received doctorates in theology and canon law.   After his studies he returned to Rovereto to prepare for Holy Orders.

In February 1820 he accompanied his sister, Margherita, to Verona where the Marquess Maddalena of Canossa (now Blessed) had founded a religious institute.   During the visit Maddalena invited him to found a male religious institute as a twin to her own institute. While the young man politely declined, her invitation in time proved prophetic.

Antonio was ordained a priest on 21 April 1821 at Chioggia, Italy.  bl antonio rosmini.jpgIn 1823 he travelled to Rome with the Patriarch of Venice, who arranged an audience for him with Pope Pius VII.   In that audience the Pontiff encouraged him to undertake the reform of philosophy.

In 1826 he went to Milan to continue his research and publish the results of his philosophical studies.   He wrote on many subjects, including the origin of ideas and certitude, the nature of the human soul, ethics, the relationship between Church and State, the philosophy of law, metaphysics, grace, original sin, the sacraments and education.

On Ash Wednesday, 20 February 1828, Fr Rosmini withdrew to write the Constitutions of the budding Institute of Charity, in which he incorporated the principle of passivity (to be concerned with one’s personal sanctification until God’s will manifests itself to undertake some external work of charity) and the principle of impartiality (to free one of any personal preference in assuming a work of charity).

To assure himself of God’s will in his philosophical and foundational work, Rosmini went to Rome a second time, in November 1828 and there received Pope Leo XII’s support.   On 15 May 1829 he met with the new Pope, Pius VIII, who confirmed his double mission as philosopher and founder.   During this visit to Rome, Fr Rosmini published “Maxims of Christian Perfection” and “Origin of Ideas”, winning the admiration of many scholars.

By 1832 the Institute of Charity had spread to Northern Italy and by 1835 it reached England, where the community enjoyed substantial growth.   In England the Rosminians are credited with introducing the use of the Roman collar and cassock and the practice of wearing the religious habit in public.   They were known for preaching missions, the practice of the Forty Hours, May devotions, the use of the scapular, novena celebrations, public processions and the blessing of throats on the feast of St Blaise.bl antonio rosmini.header.jpg

Pope Gregory XVI approved the Constitutions of the Institute of Charity on 20 December 1838.   On 25 March 1839 vows were taken by 20 Italian and 6 British priests  . On 20 September 1839 Fr Rosmini was appointed provost general for life.

This happy period of growth and apostolic success, however, was tempered by opposition to his intellectual and philosophical writings from 1826 until his death.

Primarily his “Treatise on Moral Conscience” (1839) led to a sharp, 15-year controversy which required more than one Papal injunction to silence the “Rosminian Question”. Another important, controversial work was “The Five Wounds of the Church” (1832).

Fr Rosmini found himself wedged between the obligation to renew Catholic philosophy and finding his works on the Index.   But his obedience to the Church was admirable: ” In everything, I want to base myself on the authority of the Church and I want the whole world to know that I adhere to this authority alone” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Note on the Force of the Doctrinal Decrees”, L’Osservatore Romano English edition [ORE], 25 July 2001, p. 9).

To close the issue definitively, the Pontiff submitted all Rosmini’s works to examination by the Congregation of the Index.   On 3 July 1854, it was decreed:  “All the works of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati that have recently been examined are to be dismissed [from the Index or any error] and this examination in no way detracts from the good name of the author, nor of the religious Society founded by him, nor from his life and singular merits towards the Church” (R. Malone, “Historical Overview of the Rosmini Case”, ORE, 25 July 2001, p. 10).

Less than a year after this Decree Fr Antonio Rosmini died on 1 July 1855 at Stresa, Italy, at age 58…Vatican.va

He was Beatified on 18 November 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

400px-9350_-_Milano_-_Giardini_Pubblici_-_Monumento_ad_Antonio_Rosmini_-_Foto_Giovanni_Dall'Orto_22-Apr-2007
Monument to St Antonio Rosmini in Milan (1896).

His body is interred in the Church of the Santissimo Crocifisso built by him in Stresa.

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Today the Rosminians operate on 5 continents and continue to flourish.

O God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls,
who set blessed Antonio in the Church
to feed your sheep by his words and form them by his example,
grant that through his intercession
we may keep the faith he taught by his words
and follow the way he showed by his example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors)BL ANTONIO SNIP FROM THE ROSMINIANS.JPG