Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, ROGATION DAYS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Virgen de Gracia / Virgin of Grace, Aés, Puente Viesgo, Pas-Miera, Cantabria, Spain (1575) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 May

Rogation Day:
Rogation Days are days of prayer and fasting in the Church. They are observed with processions and the praying of the Litany of the Saints. The major Rogation is held on 25 April, the minor Rogations are held on Monday to Wednesday, preceding Ascension Thursday. The word Rogation comes from the Latin verb rogare, meaning “to ask,” which reflects the beseeching of God, for the appeasement of His anger and for protection from calamities.
Rogation Days began in the Fifth Century in France by St Mamertus (Died c 477) Archbishop of Vienne.
His Life here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/11/saint-of-the-day-11-may-st-mamertus-died-c-475/

Virgen de Gracia / Virgin of Grace, Aés, Puente Viesgo, Pas-Miera, Cantabria, Spain (1575) – 23 May:
HERE:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/23/the-solemnity-of-pentecost-virgen-de-gracia-virgin-of-grace-aes-spain-1575-and-memorials-of-the-saints-23-may/

St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764) Priest, Confessor, Preacher and Teacher.
About St John:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-john-baptist-de-rossi-1698-1764/

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres (c 307-c 356) Bishop Martyr
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena

St Guibertus of Gorze (892-962) Monk, Hemit, Founder of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre, of Gemblou at Namur , Belgium.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-guibertus-of-gorze-892-962/

Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret

Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov

St Michael of Synnada (Died 826) Bishop, Confessor, Monk, Emmissary and Diplomat of Peace.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-saint-michael-of-synnada-died-826/

St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice

St William of Rochester (Died c 1201) Martyr, Layman – Patron of adopted children.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-william-of-rochester-died-c-1201-martyr/

Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian Friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France.

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians Martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia.

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c 430.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

The Solemnity of Pentecost , Virgen de Gracia / Virgin of Grace, Aés, Spain (1575) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 May

The Solemnity of Pentecost +2021
https://anastpaul.com/2018/05/20/the-solemnity-of-pentecost-20-may/

Virgen de Gracia / Virgin of Grace, Aés, Puente Viesgo, Pas-Miera, Cantabria, Spain (1575) – 23 May:

On 23 May, 1575, as widow María Saínz de Quijano prayed the rosary while watching sheep on Hediilla Mountain, she saw the Virgin appear :

with such great splendour that I didn’t dare look at Her Majesty and she said I should ask the Curate of the town to build a Chapel in that spot and lace an image of the Virgin of Grace and one of St Lawrence, in the ew Chapel.

To Maria’s objection that people wuld not believe her, the Virgin answered that she would make them believe. When the woman started to get up, she found she could not and stayed there, calling for her daughter Juana. Some neighbours passing bym found Juana, who carried her mother home on her back. María asked Juana to get the local Priest. She told him what had happened and he then told his superior, the Vicar of the valley, who dismissed it with a laugh, saying the shepherdess must have been dreaming. A few days later the Vicar passed through that place with his servant, who said, “Sir, they say the Virgin recently appeared to a woman in this spot.” The Vicar laughed again and was suddenly blinded. The servant led him home. In fear and remorse, the Vicar dictated a letter to the Archbishop, asking him to order construction of the Chapel so that he would regain his sight.

The Archbishop ordered workers to began cutting wood for construction. They cut some from high on the mountain and some from lower down, at the apparition site. But they couldn’t move the wood from the heights, although they moved that from the lower site easily.

Carmen González Echegaray, citing records in the National Archives of Spain, doesn’t say whether the Viosionary and the Vicar recovered but presumably they were among the first to receive the graces of the Virgin of Aés.

The Chapel has been rebuilt and renovated several times over the centuries, most recently in 1993. An annual procession to the mountain Shrine outside the village of Aés on 23 May, the apparition anniversary, draws participants from the entire valley. There are no acceptable images of the Chapel or the procession available.

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Euphrosyne of Polotsk
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena
St Guibertus of Gorze (892-962) Monk, Hemit
Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret

St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764) Priest, Preacher and Teacher
About St John:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-john-baptist-de-rossi-1698-1764/

Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov

St Michael of Synnada (Died 826) Bishop, Confessor, Monk, Emmissary and Diplomat of Peace.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-saint-michael-of-synnada-died-826/

St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice

St William of Rochester (Died c 1201) Martyr, Laymam – Patron of adopted children.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-william-of-rochester-died-c-1201-martyr/

Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France.

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia.

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c 430.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 23 May

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Euphrosyne of Polotsk
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena
St Guibertus of Gorze
Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret
St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)
About St John:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-john-baptist-de-rossi-1698-1764/

Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov
St Michael of Synnada (Died 826)
St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice
St William of Rochester (Died c 1201) Martyr
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-william-of-rochester-died-c-1201-martyr/
Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France.

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia.

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c 430.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on IGNORANCE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi

Quote/s of the Day – 23 May – The Memorial of St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)

“Ignorance is the leprosy of the soul.”ignorance is the leprosy of the soul st john baptist de rossi 23 may 2019

“Courage! We are not in the world
to follow our own will and pleasure
but to imitate the Lord.”

St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)courage we are not in the world - st john baptist de rossi 23 may 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 May – ‘… Believing is not enough’

One Minute Reflection – 23 May – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts 15:7-21 and the Memorial of St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)

“He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.” …Acts 15:9

REFLECTION – “Faith in God purifies the heart, the pure heart sees God.   But faith is sometimes defined, as followed by people, who wish to deceive themselves, —  as if it were enough merely to believe — some people, you see, promise themselves the vision of God and the kingdom of heaven for believing, while living bad lives.  Against these the apostle James indignantly took umbrage out of spiritual charity, so he says in his letter, “You believe that God is one.”   You pat yourself on your back for your faith, you observe that many godless people assume there are many gods and you congratulate yourself for believing that there is only one God.   “You do well. The demons also believe — and shudder.”   Shall they too see God?   Those who are pure of heart shall see Him.  Whoever would say, that the unclean spirits are pure of heart?   And yet, “they believe—and shudder.”

So our faith must be distinguished from the faith of demons.   Our faith, you see, purifies the heart, their faith makes them guilty.    So let us distinguish our faith and see that believing is not enough.   That is not the sort of faith that purifies the heart. “Purifying their hearts,” it says, “by faith.”   But which faith, what sort of faith?   The one, surely, which the apostle Paul defines when he says “faith that works through love.”   This faith is different from the faith of demons, different from the morals of dissolute and desperate people.   “Faith,” he says. “Which faith?”   The one “that works through love,” hopes for what God promises.   You could not have a more perfect, a more carefully thought-out definition than that.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor (Sermon 53)acts 15 9 by faith he purified - faith in god purifies the heart - st augustine 23 may 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, we were sinners and Your grace made us holy, we were without hope and You filled us with faith and joy.   Stand by us, in Your saving work and stay with us, in Your gifts of grace.   May we never fail to persevere in the holiness that comes from faith.   Listen to the prayers of the Mother of our Lord and our Mother and those of St John Baptist de Rossi, whom we ask for supplication.   Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.blessed virgin mary holy mother pray for us 23 may 2019

st john baptist de rossi pray for us 23 may 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 23 May

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Euphrosyne of Polotsk
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena
St Guibertus of Gorze
Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret
St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)
About St John:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/saint-of-the-day-23-may-st-john-baptist-de-rossi-1698-1764/

Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov
St Michael of Synnada
St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice
St William of Rochester (Died c 1201) Martyr
Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France.

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia).

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia.

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c 430.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764)

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi (1698-1764) born Giovanni Battista de Rossi (22 February 1698 at Voltaggio, diocese of Genoa, Italy –  23 May 1764 at Trinita dei Pellegrini, Italy of multiple strokes) Priest, Preacher and Teacher,  Apostle of Charity.  Patronage – Voltaggio.

St John was born in 1698, near Genova, Italy.    When he was 10, he went on a summer holiday to his relatives, a very pious couple.    They noted the piety of the youth and asked permission of his parents to take him to their house in Geneva to educate him there.   Capuchin priests came often to visit the house of this couple to ask for assistance for the poor.    These religious recommended the youth to the Provincial Father.    He made arrangements for John to study in Rome.    In the Roman College he studied with great application, gaining the liking of his professors and friends.    He was ordained a priest at the age of 23. ST JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI - HEADER - maxresdefault

He read in some exaggerated book, that recommended doing very strong penances and he dedicated himself to mortify himself in food, drink and sleep, so intensely that a nervous depression overtook him that left him incapable of doing anything for several months.    He was able to regain his strength but from then on he always had to struggle against his poor health.    He learned that the best mortification is to accept the sufferings and the work of every day, doing well in each moment what one must do and to have patience with the people and the bothers of life.

From the time he was a seminarian, he felt a great predilection for the poor, the sick and the abandoned.    The Supreme Pontiff had founded a shelter to receive people that did not have anywhere to spend the night and the young John Batiste went there for many years to care for the poor and the needy, to teach them catechism and to prepare them to receive the Sacraments.    He took several friends with him, over whom the work had a great influence.    He also agreed to go himself in the early hours of the morning to the market, when the farmers were arriving to sell their produce.    There he taught the children and the adults catechism and prepared to make their confession and receive first Communion.

The first years of his priesthood he almost never dared to confess because it seemed to him that he would not be able to give the proper counsel.    But one day a holy Bishop asked him to dedicate himself to hearing confessions in his Diocese for a time.    There John Batiste discovered that this was the office for which God had destined him.    Upon returning to Rome, he told one of his friends, “Before I was asking myself what would be the path for me to achieve heaven and to save many souls.    I have discovered that the help that I can give to those that want to be saved is to confess them.    The great amount of good that can be done by confession is incredible.”

He went to help a priest in a church that very few people attended.    But from the time that Rossi began to confess there, the Church was frequented by hundreds and hundreds of penitents that came to be absolved of their sins.    Each penitent brought other people with them to be confessed by him and the conversions that were happening were admirable.

The Supreme Pontiff entrusted to him the office of going to confess and preach to the prisoners in jail and the employees that worked at the prisons.    And there he obtained many conversions.    They invited from everywhere the sick, prisoners and people that desired to be converted.   He went to many places to preach missions and obtained from heaven numerous conversions.    In the hospitals he was an esteemed confessor and consoler of the sick.    His friends were always the poor, the helpless, the sick, street children and sinners seeking conversion.    He lived for them and he totally spent his life for them.    He always remained humble and ready to help as many as possible.  .

On May 23, 1764, he suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 66.  His poverty was such that they had to use alms to pay for his burial.    260 priests, the Archbishop, many religious and an immense crowd attended his funeral.    The requiem Mass was sung by the Pontifical choir of the Basilica in Rome.

On a superficial level St John Baptist de Rossi’s life was uneventful.    A simple priest, for forty years he worked in the capacity of an assistant pastor in Rome.   On a spiritual level, however, he touched thousands of needy people—the sick, the homeless, prostitutes, transient cattle drivers who came to market in Rome and other rough sorts. By day he devoted himself to the sick poor in Rome’s hospitals.   By night he ministered to street people at a refuge.

Caregivers can look to John Baptist as a model.   Before he would speak to a dying person about salvation, he did all he could to relieve their suffering.   No service for the sick, no matter how repugnant, repulsed him.   And his selflessness won people’s hearts.

Once, for example, a young man dying of syphilis rebuffed de Rossi’s attention until the priest emptied his bedpan.   Touched by John Baptist’s humble care, the fellow finally listened to him and made a good confession before he died.   Other priests and penitents were amazed by John Baptist’s persuasiveness in the confessional.   With a few gentle words he turned people’s lives.   Once a young man came to him who was sexually entangled with a woman who kept coming to his house under the pretence of washing and mending his clothes.   A brief conversation with John Baptist broke the youth’s addiction.   As a sign of his cure, the next day he brought the priest a pile of his clothes he had taken from the woman.

John Baptist exhorted others to follow his example in caring for souls.   Here is an excerpt from one of his sermons to his fellow priests:

“Ignorance is the leprosy of the soul.   How many such lepers exist in the church here in Rome, where many people don’t even know what’s necessary for their salvation?   It must be our business to try to cure this disease.   The souls of our neighbours are in our hands and yet how many are lost through our fault?   The sick die without being properly prepared because we have not given time or care enough to each particular case.   Yet with a little more patience, a little more perseverance, a little more love, we could have led these poor souls to heaven.”

Many of us shrink from going to the hospitals from fear of infection or from the sights and smells that await us there.   Courage!   We are not in the world to follow our own will and pleasure but to imitate the Lord.

John Baptist de Rossi, himself worn out by his unselfish service, suffered a stroke in 1763 and died a year later.   “The poor come to church tired and distracted by their daily troubles. If you preach a long sermon they can’t follow you.   Give them one idea that they can take home, not half a dozen, or one will drive out the other and they will remember none.”

St John Baptist de Rossi was Canonised on 8 December 1881 by Pope Leo XIII.st-john-baptist-de-rossi

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 23 May

Thought for the Day – 23 May

St John Baptist de Rossi not only gave his life totally to the care of all the needy – whatever their need might be!
Sick, homeless, poor and needy – by day he devoted himself to the sick and poor in Rome’s hospitals, by night he ministered to those on the street and in shelters.   But he didn’t stop there – he alleviated their bodily sorrows firstly and then he cared for their souls and he exhorted fellow priests to follow his example and to care for all – both body and soul.
Many of us shrink from going to the hospitals from fear of infection or from the sights and smells that await us there.
Courage! We are not in the world to follow our own will and pleasure but to imitate the Lord.

St John Baptist de Rossi, pray for us!

st john baptist de rossi - pray for us

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 May

One Minute Reflection – 23 May

The Servant of the Lord….must be an apt teacher, patiently and gently correcting those who contradict him…..2 Tm 2:24-25

2 TIMOTHY 2 24-25

REFLECTION – “All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest patience and, most of all, profound humility.   They must perform their work with earnest zeal.   Then through their humble prayers, the Lord will find them worthy to become fellow workers with Him in the cause of truth.”………….St Louis

all who undertake to teach-st louis of france

PRAYER – Dear Lord, help me to teach others about You by my example as well as my words.   Grant that I may spread Your love and Your truth and Your light wherever I go. St John Baptist de Rossi, you always showed the way by your example, your love for the poor and helpless and by your teachings to seminarians, priests and all the people, please pray for us, amen,

st john baptist de rossi - pray for us.jpg 2

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi born Giovanni Battista de’ Rossi (22 February 1698 at Voltaggio, diocese of Genoa, Italy –  23 May 1764 at Trinita dei Pellegrini, Italy of multiple strokes) Priest, Preacher and Teacher and apostle of Charity.

St John Baptist was born at the beginning of 1698 in Voltaggio as the last of four children to Carlo de’ Rossi and Francesca Anfosi who were poor but pious.   His initial education was under the care of the two priests Scipio Gaetano and Giuseppe Repetto who noted his potential and brilliance and held him as their favorite student.   In 1708 he met a noble couple (Giovanni Scorza and Maria Battina Cambiasi) from Genoa after a Mass who took him in as a page after noting his potential – after his father approved – and he went to school there until 1711.  His father’s sudden death in 1710 saw his mother plead with him to return home but Rossi was firm in his resolve to continue with his studies; his sole brother (older than him) died not long after their father.   Rossi met two Capuchin friars at the Scorza residence one evening (he had begged to meet them) who thought well of him and offered to help him continue his studies.   He had known the friars – or of them – for an uncle was one of them as he mentioned to them.  ] At the suggestion of his cousin Lorenzo de’ Rossi – the canon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin – he travelled to Rome in 1711 in order to commence his studies at the Collegium Romanum under the guidance of the Jesuits (he first had to receive his mother’s permission).   Rossi also studied at the Dominican College of Saint Thomas (underwent his philosophical and theological studies under them).   It was around this time that he joined the “Ristretto of the Twelve Apostles”.   On one occasion he attended Mass but fainted and was found to have had suffered an epileptic seizure;  this would be something he would have to grapple with for the remainder of his life and it meant he would not be able to attend classes sometimes due to the tiredness and the pain.

His desire to become a priest was strong but was hampered due to his suffering of epileptic fits which would exclude one from the priesthood in normal circumstances. Nonetheless he was granted a special dispensation on 3 March 1721 and was ordained to the priesthood soon after on 8 March.   He worked in Rome on behalf of homeless women who wandered the streets while being careful to the needs of the sick while helping to found a hospice for homeless women near Saint Galla’s.   He also aided prisoners and workers and became an ultra-popular confessor.  Rossi became known as a second Saint Philip Neri and he was known for a strong and special devotion to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

st john baptist de rossi.jpg 3

On a superficial level St. John Baptist de Rossi’s life was uneventful.   A simple priest, for forty years he worked in the capacity of an assistant priest in Rome.   On a spiritual level, however, he touched thousands of needy people—the sick, the homeless, prostitutes, transient cattle drivers who came to market in Rome, and other rough sorts.   By day he devoted himself to the sick poor in Rome’s hospitals.   By night he ministered to street people at a refuge.

Caregivers can look to John Baptist as a model.   Before he would speak to a dying person about salvation, he did all he could to relieve their suffering.   No service for the sick, no matter how repugnant, repulsed him.   And his selflessness won people’s hearts.   Here is an excerpt from one of his sermons to his fellow priests:

“Ignorance is the leprosy of the soul. How many such lepers exist in the church here in Rome, where many people don’t even know what’s necessary for their salvation? It must be our business to try to cure this disease.   The souls of our neighbours are in our hands and yet how many are lost through our fault?   The sick die without being properly prepared because we have not given time or care enough to each particular case.   Yet with a little more patience, a little more perseverance, a little more love, we could have led these poor souls to heaven.”

Once, for example, a young man dying of syphilis rebuffed de Rossi’s attention until the priest emptied his bedpan.   Touched by John Baptist’s humble care, the fellow finally listened to him and made a good confession before he died.   Other priests and penitents were amazed by John Baptist’s persuasiveness in the confessional.   With a few gentle words he turned people’s lives.   Once a young man came to him who was sexually entangled with a woman who kept coming to his house under the pretense of washing and mending his clothes.   A brief conversation with John Baptist broke the youth’s addiction.   As a sign of his cure, the next day he brought the priest a pile of his clothes he had taken from the woman.

John Baptist exhorted others to follow his example in caring for souls and assisted his fellow priests and seminarians by his words and his life, in a homily to them he said:

“The poor come to church tired and distracted by their daily troubles.   If you preach a long sermon they can’t follow you. Give them one idea that they can take home, not half a dozen, or one will drive out the other and they will remember none.”

John Baptist de Rossi, himself worn out by his unselfish service, suffered strokes in 1763 and died a year later.

The cause for canonisation began under Pope Pius VI on 27 June 1781 but suffered brief though significant setbacks due to the French Revolution and the ensuring Napoleonic Wars and Revolutions of 1848.   Rossi was beatified after Pope Pius IX attributed two miracles to his intercession on 7 March 1859 and presided over the celebration in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 13 May 1860.   On 8 December 1881 the acknowledgement of two more miracles in 1881 enabled Pope Leo XIII to canonise him as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.   His relics initially at Saints Trinita church but were translated to Saint John Baptist Rossi parish church in Rome, Italy in 1965.

st john baptist de rossi