Thought for the Day – 15 February – Saint Claude de la Colombiere and Blessed Michael Sopoćko share a few things in common

Thought for the Day – 15 February – the Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) Apostle of the Sacred Heart and Blessed Michal Sopoćko (1888-1975) Apostle of Divine Mercy

Saint Claude de la Colombiere

and Blessed Michael Sopoćko

share a few things in commonbl sopocka and st claude 15 feb 2019.jpg

We celebrate the feast day of Blessed Michael Sopoko today, 15 February, which makes for a perfect opportunity to discuss one of the more curious details in the life of St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938), known today as the Lord’s “secretary” of Divine Mercy.

So what’s so curious?

Amazing parallels can be drawn between St Faustina’s confessor, Blessed Sopoćko and the confessor of another saint — and “secretary” — St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), who received the revelations of the Sacred Heart in the 1670s.

In other words, the similarities between the holy priests Blessed Michael Sopoćko (1888-1975) and St Claude de la Colombiere, SJ (1641-1682), both of whom died today and, therefore, we celebrate their entry into life today.

Blessed Sopoćko , ordained to the priesthood over 100 years ago, served as confessor and spiritual director to St Faustina Kowalska, who received revelations of the Divine Mercy in the 1930s.   Saint Claude served as confessor and spiritual director of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, who received the revelations of the Sacred Heart in the 1670s.

So here is where the parallels begin. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, like St Faustina, had doubts at first about her revelations.   For both young women, it was their confessors who played a large role in alleviating their doubts and encouraging them to embrace the special role the Lord seemed to be placing upon them.

But the parallels get even better.   Since St Margaret Mary Alacoque led a cloistered life — quiet and humble — it was her confessor who carried the burden of spreading the Sacred Heart message and devotion to the outside world.   This was the same situation with Fr Sopocko, who led the efforts to introduce the public to Faustina’s powerful private revelations and who arranged for the Lord’s requests of Faustina to be accomplished.   That includes hiring a painter to paint the image of the Merciful Saviour, now among Christianity’s most recognised images.

Here’s another interesting fact:

Saint Claude Colombiere died today, 15 February, the same day Blessed Sopoćko died. And 15 February, also happens to be St Faustina’s name day — the day of her patron saint, St Faustus.

Of course, when considering how the devotions to Divine Mercy and the Sacred Heart so strongly compliment each other, these details are far more than “curious.”   Certainly, they are Divine Providence at work, right?st claude and bl michal 15 feb 2019.jpg

Dr Robert Stackpole, STD, director of the St John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, a lay apostolate of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, notes, “Much like the traditional devotion to the Sacred Heart, our Lord gave to St. Faustina new forms in which His Merciful Heart was to be honoured and new vessels for a fresh outpouring of His grace. Namely, the Image of Divine Mercy; the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and, of course, a new feast for the universal Church — the Feast of Divine Mercy, intended for the Sunday after Easter.”

None of these parallels have escaped the attention of Fr Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, a world-renown expert on the life of St Faustina and the message of Divine Mercy.

He notes that it took 300 years for Fr Claude Colombiere to be canonised.
“And here, Fr Sopoćko died in 1975 and he’s already beatified [in 2008],” Fr Seraphim says.

So what does his rapid rise to the honours of the altar, mean for us?

“That God is in a hurry to get His message out,” says Fr Seraphim.BlSopockoStFaustina

Adapted from the Library Archive of The Divine Mercy – (Felix Carroll Feb 13, 2014)

Read Dr Stackpole’s series that explores the relationship between The Sacred Heart and The Divine Mercy. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

St Claude de la Colombiere, Pray for Us!st-claude-pray-for-us-15-feb-2017.jpg

Blessed Michal Sopoćko, Pray for Us!bl michal sopocka pray for us no 2 15 feb 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 15 February – St Claude & Blessed Michal

Quote/s of the Day – 15 February – the Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) Apostle of the Sacred Heart and Blessed Michal Sopoćko (1888-1975) Apostle of Divine Mercy

“Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others.
Other people will glorify You, by making visible the power of Your grace,
by their fidelity and constancy to You.
For my part I will glorify You,
by making known how good You are to sinners,
that Your mercy is boundless
and that no sinner, no matter how great his offences,
should have reason to despair of pardon.
If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer,
let me not offend You even more,
by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon me.”for-my-part-i-will-glorify-you-st-claude-de-la-colombiere-15-feb-2018.jpg

“God is more honoured by a single Mass
than He could be by all the actions of angels
and men together, however fervent and heroic they might be.
Yet, how FEW hear Mass with the intention of giving God
this sublime honour!
How FEW think with joy on the glory a Mass gives to God.
How FEW rejoice to possess the means of honouring Him
as He deserves! . . .
If we only knew the treasure we hold in our hands!”god-is-more-honoured-by-a-single-mass-st-claude-15-feb-2017

“When the Holy Spirit is in a soul,
He communicates Himself
in one way or another.
We can say,
that He makes virtue contagious
and turns a simple faithful
into an apostle!”

St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682)when the holy spirit is in a soul - st claude de la colombiere - 15 feb 2019

“Prayer is necessary to receive the help of God,
as grain is needed to harvest … a humble and trustful prayer,
for what is necessary for salvation,
is never lost.
It is heard at least by the fact,
that it begs for the grace,
to abide in prayer.”prayer is necessary - bl michal sopocka 15 feb 2019

“The decisive factor in obtaining God’s Mercy is trust.
Trust is the expectation of someone’s help.
It does not constitute a separate virtue
but is an essential condition of the virtue of hope
and an integral part of the virtues of fortitude and generosity.
Because trust springs from faith,
it strengthens hope and love
and is, moreover, linked up, in one way or another,
with the moral virtues.
It may, therefore, be called the basis on which,
the theological virtues unite with the moral.
The moral virtues, originally natural,
become supernatural,
if we practice them with trust in God’s help.”

Blessed Michal Sopoćko (1888-1975)the moral virtues - bl michal sopocka 15 feb 2019.jpg