Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of St Louis Bertrand O.P. (1526-1581) “Apostle of South America”
In Catholic iconography, St Louis Bertrand is often portrayed holding a chalice from which serpents are emerging. In the other hand, he displays a crucifix with a pistol at its base. These articles call to mind two stories from the great saint’s life when God miraculously saved him from attempts on his life by vile would-be assassins. The first recalls the story of Brother Louis’ where a native priest gave him a chalice of poison for Mass. Louis made the sign of the Cross over the toxic potion and serpents sprang from the chalice, thus revealing its true contents and saving his life.
The second object – the crucifix/pistol – recalls another account of near-martyrdom in the life of St Louis Bertrand. Set upon by a crazed gunman, St Louis calmly made the conquering sign of the Cross. With this most basic gesture of our faith, the barrel of the gun miraculously turned into a crucifix.
“If because of your preaching men lay aside enmities, forgive injuries, avoid occasions of sin and scandals and reform their conduct, you may say that the seed has fallen on good ground. But to God alone give all the glory and acknowledge yourselves ever unprofitable servants.”
St Louis Bertrand, OP