Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts of the Day – 31 July – Devotion to St Giustino/Justin

Second Thoughts of the Day – 31 July – The Mmorial of Saint Giustino de Jacobis CM (1800-1860) Apostolic Vicar of Abyssinia – Ethiopia and Eritrea

The great devotion to St Giustino but known as St Justin in Ethiopia/Eritrea

Eritrea is a recent nation in the Horn of Africa, on the shore of the Red Sea. It has an area of 127,750 sq. km.   The population is calculated as 3,500,000 who live in Eritrea, with about a million scattered all over the world.   It achieved its independence from Ethiopia after a long war of liberation in May 1991, later confirmed by a referendum in April 1993 with 99.8% in favour.   The population is 50% Christian, the majority of whom are Orthodox Copts and 50% Moslem. Catholics are about 20% and Protestants 5%. Devotion to St Giustino (also known as Justin) is not confined to Catholics but is also found among the Orthodox and Moslems.

This devotion to St Justin, contains much of prayer and veneration and these two things which the Eritreans and Ethiopians do – they wash themselves over a period of two weeks in water which has been blessed beside St Justin’s tomb and they take a pinch of earth from the place in which he was first interred.   By doing these two things his clients are convinced, that they will be healed of whatever form of illness from which they may be suffering.   This may seem extremely pious — but this is what lovers of St Justin do and they feel miraculously healed.   That is why at the moment his tomb in Hebo is still a place of pilgrimage.   And also, in times of disaster and war, that is why it is to this tomb that many people come, trusting in his intercession.   It is also where they come in times of drought to ask for rain through his intercession.

After his beatification several religious communities were established in Eritrea and also in Ethiopia.   And many of them, before embarking on their ministry, had the custom of making a pilgrimage to his tomb in Hebo to ask his intercession for the success of their undertaking.   Even today, his grave is one of the few pilgrimage destinations in all Eritrea and it will still be so tomorrow, at least to a large extent, in northern Ethiopia. The Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity have been there, beside his tomb, to welcome pilgrims since 1947-48.   Diocesan priests usually have their annual retreats and pastoral meetings there in Hebo, in the presence of the saint.   On the other hand, the place also lends itself to silence and recollection.

Many of them, because of their lack of historical knowledge combined with strong love and devotion, think and believe that St Justin was an Abyssinian, in other words one of themselves.   Their devotion and admiration for and their love of, this man are so strong that they say: “He could not be a Ferengì,” which means a foreigner.

The Vincentian missionaries, who were well aware of the virtues and holy life of Justin, made several efforts to have his remains brought back to Italy.   But the Hebo villagers showed very decided opposition to this, and said:

“Abuna Jacob is our Father.   At present his place is among his children.   Here he gave birth to our faith.   We love him and he loves us.   And the proof of his love is his final wish.   He asked to be kept among us and no one may go against the wish of a dying man.   He is ours and we are his and we will hold on to him.”

Msgr Biancheri replied to them:

“Yes, a father should rest among his children but a mother has the right to the body of her own son and the Congregation is the Mother of Abuna Jacob.   We are his brothers.   Is it right, then, for you to go against a mother’s wishes?”

But the villagers held on stubbornly to their point of view and did not allow the saint’s remains to be taken away by the missionaries.   And Msgr Biancheri, noting the unwavering resolution of the people of Hebo, had to give in and then came the selection of those who were to keep vigil, day and night, over the remains of their father.

It remains to be said:   “Yes, God sent Jesus Christ to save the human race.   But this same God likewise sent, in Jesus Christ, St Justin to save the Abyssinian people.   St Justin made himself Abyssinian in everything in order to win the Abyssinians for God.   That is what they think and firmly believe.   May St Justin again today obtain for this people, who have so loved peace, reconciliation as well.”

St Giustino/Justin Pray for Us all!st giustino justin de jacobis pray for us 31 july 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 July – Saint Giustino de Jacobis CM (1800-1860)

Saint of the Day – 31 July – Saint Giustino de Jacobis CM (1800-1860) Apostolic Vicar of Abyssinia – St Giustino was an Italian bishop and professed member of the Congregation of the Mission who became a Vicar Apostolic in Ethiopia and the Titular Bishop of Nilopolis.   He is also known as Justin de Jacobis.   Born on 9 October 1800 at San Fele, Luciana, Italy and died on 31 July 1860 on the side of a road near Halai, of a tropical fever in the valley of Alghedien Zula, Semenawi Keih Bahri, Eritrea while on a missionary trip.   Patronages – Ethiopia, Eritrea, jacobis-eritrea-ethiopia.jpg

On 17 October 1818 he entered the Congregation of the Mission at Naples and made his religious vows there on 18 October 1820.   He was ordained to the priesthood at Brindisi on 12 June 1824.   After spending some time in the care of souls at Oria and Monopoli he became superior first at Lecce and then at Naples.

In 1839 he was appointed as the first Prefect Apostolic of Ethiopia and entrusted with the foundation of Catholic missions there.   After labouring with great success in Ethiopia for almost a decade, he was appointed as the Titular Bishop of Nilopolis in 1847 and not long afterwards the Vicar Apostolic.   However, he refused the episcopal honour until it was forced upon him in 1849, when he received his episcopal consecration.Saint-Giustino-de-Jacobis

Despite imprisonment and exile combined with other kinds of persecution from the local Ethiopian Church he founded numerous Catholic missions.   St Giustino also built schools in Agame and Akele Guzay for the training of a native priesthood and in the process he founded the beginnings of the Ethiopian Catholic Church and the Eritrean Catholic Church.

He died in 1860 at Hebo, of what is now the Southern Administrative Region of Eritrea, while en route to Halai, where he hoped to regain his health.

His body is interred in a Church in Hebo.   He was Canonised on 26 October 1975 by St Pope Paul giustino de jacobis statue snip

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 31 July

St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) (Memorial)

Biography here:
More on St Ignatius:

Our Lady of Consolation:  Starting in the 2nd century, Catholics venerated Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, one of her earliest titles of honour.   The title of Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, comes from the Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum.   The origin of this invocation is derived from the Augustinian monks who propagated this particular devotion. In 1436 the Confraternity of the Holy Cincture of Our Lady of Consolation was founded in Bologna, Italy.   It was based on an Augustinian tradition which hold that Saint Monica in the fourth century, was distraught with anxiety for her wayward son, Augustine and that Mary gave her a sash which the Virgin wore, with the assurance that whoever wore this belt would receive her special consolation and protection.   Along with Augustine and Monica, Our Lady of Consolation is one of the three patrons of the Augustinians.   The “Augustinian Rosary” is sometimes called the “Corona (or Crown) of Our Mother of Consolation”.Our Lady of Consolation 678px-pietro_perugino_cat50.jpg

St Calimerius of Milan
Bl Cecilia Schelingov
Bl Everard Hanse
St Fabius of Caesarea
St Firmus of Tagaste
St Germanus of Auxerre (c 378 – c 448)
St Germanus’ Story:
St Giustino de Jacobis CM (1800-1860)

St Helen of Skofde
Bl Jean-François Jarrige de La Morelie de Breuil
Bl John Colombini
St Marcel Denis
St Neot

Matyrs of Syria – 350 saints: 350 monks massacred by heretics for their adherence to orthodox Christianity and the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon. 517 in Syria.

Martyrs of Synnada: 3 Saints
Dionysius the Martyr

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren
• Blessed Dionisio Vicente Ramos
• Blessed Francisco Remón Játiva
• Blessed Miguel Goñi Ariz
• Blessed Miguel Francisco González-Díez González-Núñez
• Blessed Agapito Alcalde Garrido
• Blessed Ciriaco Olarte Pérez de Mendiguren
• Blessed Dionisio Vicente Ramos
• Blessed Francisco Remón Játiva
• Blessed Jaume Buch Canals
• Blessed Maria Roqueta Serra
• Blessed Miguel Goñi Ariz
• Blessed Miguel Francisco González-Díez González-Núñez
• Blessed Prudencio Gueréquiz y Guezuraga
• Blessed Segundo de Santa Teresa
• Blessed Teresa Subirà Sanjaume
• Blessed Vicenta Achurra Gogenola
• Blessed Francisca Pons Sardá