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

Our Lady of Good Help (1859) USA and Memorials of the Saints – 9 October

Our Lady of Good Help (1859) USA – 9 October :
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/09/feast-of-our-lady-of-good-help-and-memorials-of-the-saints-9-october/
Sr Adele’s life and mission here:
http://catholicism.org/first-approved-marian-apparition-in-the-us-champion-wisconsin.html

St Denis of Paris (Died c 258) and Companions – the First Bishop of Paris, Martyr, Confessor (Optional Memorial) One of the 14 Holy Helpers
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-saint-denis-of-paris-died-c-258-and-companions-martyrs/

St John Leonardi (1541-1609) (Optional Memorial)
Priest, Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, wherein he assumed the name of “Giovanni of the Mother of God”, Confessor, Reformer, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, Marian devotee.
Biography here:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-john-leonardi-1541-1609/

Bl Aaron of Cracow
St Abraham the Patriarch
St Alfanus of Salerno
St Andronicus of Antioch
St Athanasia of Antioch
Bl Bernard of Rodez
St Demetrius of Alexandria
St Deusdedit of Montecassino
St Domninus
St Dorotheus of Alexandria
St Donnino of Città di Castello (Died 610) Lay Hermit
St Eleutherius
St Geminus
St Gislenus
St Goswin
Bl Gunther

St John Henry Newman Cong. Orat. (1801-1890) “A Mind Alive,” Priest, Cardinal, Theologian, Philosopher, Prolific Preacher, Writer and Poet.
St John Henry:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/10/09/saint-of-the-day-blessed-cardinal-john-henry-newman-1801-1890-a-mind-alive/

St Lambert

St Louis Bertrand OP (1526-1581) “Apostle of South America” – Dominican Priest, Missionary, Preacher, Confessor, Teacher, Spiritual Director, Miracle-Worker.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-louis-bertrand-o-p-1526-1581-apostle-of-south-america/

St Publia
St Rusticus
St Sabinus of the Lavedan
St Valerius

Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – Martyrs of Astoria – (9 saints): Also known as Martyrs of Turon: A group of Brothers of the Christian Schools and a Passionist priest martyred in the persecutions during the Spanish Civil War. They are –
• Aniceto Adolfo
• Augusto Andrés
• Benito de Jesús
• Benjamín Julián
• Cirilo Bertrán
• Inocencio de la Immaculada
• Julián Alfredo
• Marciano José
• Victoriano Pío
They were martyred on 9 October 1934 in Turón, Spain and Canonised on 21 November 1999 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Laodicea – (3 saints): Three Christians martyred together in Laodicea, but no other information about them has survived but their names – Didymus, Diodorus and Diomedes. They were martyred in Laodicea, Syria.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – “Whoever does not gather with me, scatters.” Luke 11:23

Quote/s of the Da -y 11 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 7:23-28, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7,8-9, Luke 11:14-23

“Whoever does not gather
with me, scatters.”

Luke 11:23

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips
and the world in your heart.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (37-105)
Bishop & Martyr

“How can you become a sharer,
in His glory (1 Pt 5:1)
if you will not consent,
to become a sharer,
in His humiliating death?”

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

“Without the Way, there is no going,
Without the Truth, there is no knowing,
Without the Life, there is no living.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

“The medicine of God,
is Jesus Christ,
Crucified and Risen,
the measure of all things.”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“We ought to glory in nothing
other than, the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are blessed and don’t know it.
You have Jesus Crucified, with you!”

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 30 January – “Why are you so afraid? – Mark 4:40

Quote/s of the Day – 30 January – Mark 4:35-41

And the wind ceased
and there was a great calm.
He said to them,
“Why are you so afraid?
Have you still no faith?”

Mark 4:39-40

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening
and the day is almost over.”

Luke 24:29

“Come along then, every human family,
full of sin as you are
and receive the forgiveness of your sins.
For I Myself, am your Forgiveness,
I am the Passover of salvation,
the Lamb slain for your sakes,
your redemption, life and resurrection;
I am your Light, your Salvation and your King.
It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven,
I, who will raise you up;
it is I, who will bring you to see the Father
who is from all eternity;
it is I, who will raise you up
by My all-powerful Hand.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“Look upon the face of the Crucified,
who invites you to follow Him.
He will be a Father, Mother–everything to you.”

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

“Keep Jesus Christ
as your dial, at all times,
His Cross for mast,
on which to hoist
your resolutions, as a sail.
Let your anchor be,
profound trust in Him
and set out early!”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The DIVINE INFANT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – “May We Love Only You”

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

“May We Love Only You”

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening
and the day is almost over.”

Luke 24:29

“You hide your heart from man –
hide it from God if you can.
… Where will you go?
Where will you flee?
Do you want to hear some advice?
If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him.
Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding,
for you cannot hide but you can Confess.
Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7)
and let there be nursed in yo,
the love that alone leads to life.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

May We Love Only You
By St Columban (543-615)

Loving Saviour,
be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock,
so that in knowing You,
we may love only You,
love You alone,
desire You alone,
contemplate only You, day and night
and always think of You.
Inspire in us the depth of love
that is fitting for You to receive as God.
So may Your love pervade our whole being,
possess us completely
and fill all our senses,
that we may know no other love
but love for You,
Who are everlasting.
May our love be so great,
that the many waters of sky, land and sea
cannot extinguish it in us –
many waters could not extinguish love.
May this saying be fulfilled
in us also, at least in part,
by Your gift,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
to whom be glory forever and ever.
Amen

“How good and pleasant it is
to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded?
Who can refuse a return of love
to a Heart so loving?
Amen.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Who could ever soften this heart of mine
but YOU alone O Lord!”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“During the night
we must wait
for the light.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly.
Let scientists go on asking – Where is God?
He is where those clever ones,
arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS on FAITH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Making our way to Life

Quote/s of the Day – 30 October – Making our way to Life

“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple
must repudiate a human obligation,
however honourable it may appear,
if it slows us, ever so slightly,
in giving the wholehearted obedience
we owe to God.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

O Lord,
You have given us Your word
for a light to shine upon our path,
grant us so to meditate on that word
and follow its teaching,
that we may find in it,
the light that shines more and more
until the perfect day.
Amen

St Jerome (343-420)
“The Man of the Bible”
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Rest is in Him alone.
Man knows no peace in the world
but he has no disturbance
when he is with God.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“We must make our way towards eternity,
never regarding what men think of us,
or of our actions,
studying only to please God.”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“Only one thing is necessary:
Jesus Christ!
Think unceasingly of Him. ”

St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840)
Martyr for Christ

“Our vocation, yours and mine,
is not to go harvesting in the fields of ripe corn,
Jesus does not say to us;
“Lower your eyes, look at the fields and go and reap them,”
our mission is still loftier.
Here are Jesus’ words: “Lift up your eyes and see….”
See how in My Heaven there are places empty,
it is for you to fill them! …
each one of you is my Moses praying on the mountain (Ex 17:8f),
ask Me for labourers and I shall send them,
I await only a prayer, a sigh from your heart!”

“Let us go forward in peace,
our eyes upon heaven.
the only one goal of our labours.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873 – 1897)
Doctor of the Church

“We must always be ready.
Let our faith be lively and active
and our minds turned towards God,
Who is waiting for us.
There is no need to be afraid.
He is good and merciful.
He desires our salvation.
This is a wonderfully consoling thought.
God desires my salvation!
Let us surrender ourselves to Him, therefore,
as if we had to die this very moment!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOMINICAN OP, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Quote/s of the Day – 9 October – St Louis Bertrand OP, St John Leonardi OMD, St John Henry Newman C.Orat

Quote/s of the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of St Louis Bertrand OP (1526-1581) “Apostle of South America”, St John Leonardi OMD (1541-1609), Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God and St John Henry Newman C.Orat (1801-1890)

“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 (1526-1581)

“The medicine of God,
is Jesus Christ,
Crucified and Risen,
the measure of all things.”

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

St John Henry Newman Quotes here:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/10/09/quotes-of-the-day-9-october-the-memorial-of-blessed-john-henry-newman-1801-1890/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/09/quote-s-of-the-day-9-october-the-memorial-of-blessed-john-henry-newman-1801-1890/

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Feast of Our Lady of Good Help (1859) USA and Memorials of the Saints – 9 October

St Denis of Paris (Died c 258) and Companions – the First Bishop of Paris, Martyr (Optional Memorial) One of the 14 Holy Helpers

St John Leonardi (1541-1609) (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-john-leonardi-1541-1609/

Our Lady of Good Help (1859) USA – 9 October:
I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners.
Such is the way the Mother of God introduced herself to a twenty-eight-year-old Belgian immigrant, Adele Brise, on 9 October 1859.
The pious young woman was on her eleven mile walk home to Robinsonville (now Champion), Wisconsin, after attending Mass in Bay Settlement. Adele was travelling at the time with two companions, her sister and another woman, as well as a male guardian who was working for the Holy Cross Fathers at the Settlement. Our Lady had appeared earlier to Adele the day before and, again, that same morning at the same spot but she had not spoken. Her companions did not see or hear anything.
The young woman was told by Heaven’s Queen that she must pray for the conversion of sinners and warn them, for if they do not convert, her Son was going to punish them. She was told to gather together the children in this remote area and teach them the truths they must know for their salvation; teach them the catechism; teach them how to bless themselves with the Sign of the Cross; and teach them how to approach the sacraments.
Our Lady ended by telling Adele, whose faith was strong but simple, to fear nothing and be confident in her help.
For the next thirty-seven years of her life, until her death in 1896, Sister Adele Brise was faithful to this mission.

Sr Adele’s life and mission here:
http://catholicism.org/first-approved-marian-apparition-in-the-us-champion-wisconsin.html

Bl Aaron of Cracow
St Abraham the Patriarch
St Alfanus of Salerno
St Andronicus of Antioch
St Athanasia of Antioch
Bl Bernard of Rodez
St Demetrius of Alexandria
St Deusdedit of Montecassino
St Domninus
St Dorotheus of Alexandria
St Donnino of Città di Castello
St Eleutherius
St Geminus
St Gislenus
St Goswin
Bl Gunther

Bl John Henry Newman Cong. Orat. (1801-1890)
SAINT John Henry now:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/10/09/saint-of-the-day-blessed-cardinal-john-henry-newman-1801-1890-a-mind-alive/

St Lambert
St Louis Bertrand OP (1526-1581)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-louis-bertrand-o-p-1526-1581-apostle-of-south-america/
St Publia
St Rusticus
St Sabinus of the Lavedan
St Valerius

Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – Martyrs of Astoria – (9 saints): Also known as Martyrs of Turon: A group of Brothers of the Christian Schools and a Passionist priest martyred in the persecutions during the Spanish Civil War. They are –
• Aniceto Adolfo
• Augusto Andrés
• Benito de Jesús
• Benjamín Julián
• Cirilo Bertrán
• Inocencio de la Immaculada
• Julián Alfredo
• Marciano José
• Victoriano Pío
They were martyred on 9 October 1934 in Turón, Spain and Canonised on 21 November 1999 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Laodicea – (3 saints): Three Christians martyred together in Laodicea, but no other information about them has survived but their names – Didymus, Diodorus and Diomedes. They were martyred in Laodicea, Syria.

Posted in ADVENT, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorial of Our Lady of Good Help and of the Saints – 9 October

St Denis of Paris (Died c 258) (Optional Memorial)
St John Leonardi (1541-1609) (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-john-leonardi-1541-1609/

Our Lady of Good Help: 1859
More here:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/9-october-our-lady-of-good-help-and-memorials-of-the-saints/

Bl Aaron of Cracow
St Abraham the Patriarch
St Alfanus of Salerno
St Andronicus of Antioch
St Athanasia of Antioch
Bl Bernard of Rodez
St Demetrius of Alexandria
St Deusdedit of Montecassino
St Domninus
St Dorotheus of Alexandria
St Donnino of Città di Castello
St Eleutherius
St Geminus
St Gislenus
St Goswin
Bl Gunther

Bl John Henry Newman Cong. Orat. (1801-1890)

St Lambert
St Louis Bertrand OP (1526-1581)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/09/saint-of-the-day-9-october-st-louis-bertrand-o-p-1526-1581-apostle-of-south-america/
St Publia
St Rusticus
St Sabinus of the Lavedan
St Valerius

Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – Martyrs of Astoria – (9 saints): Also known as Martyrs of Turon: A group of Brothers of the Christian Schools and a Passionist priest martyred in the persecutions during the Spanish Civil War. They are –
• Aniceto Adolfo
• Augusto Andrés
• Benito de Jesús
• Benjamín Julián
• Cirilo Bertrán
• Inocencio de la Immaculada
• Julián Alfredo
• Marciano José
• Victoriano Pío
They were martyred on 9 October 1934 in Turón, Spain and Canonised on 21 November 1999 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Laodicea – (3 saints): Three Christians martyred together in Laodicea, but no other information about them has survived but their names – Didymus, Diodorus and Diomedes. They were martyred in Laodicea, Syria.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

Dear brothers and sisters, St John Leonardi’s existence was always enlightened by the splendour of the “Holy Face” of Jesus, kept and venerated in the Cathedral Church of Lucca, becoming the eloquent symbol and the indisputable synthesis of the faith that animated him.   Conquered by Christ like the Apostle Paul, he pointed out to his disciples and continues to point out to all of us, the Christocentric ideal for which “it is necessary to divest oneself of every self interest and only look to the service of God,” having “before the mind’s eye only the honour, service and glory of Christ Jesus Crucified.”

Along with the face of Christ, he fixed his gaze on the maternal face of Mary. She whom he chose patroness of his order, was for him teacher, sister and mother and he felt her constant protection.   May the example and intercession of this “fascinating man of God” be, particularly in this Year for Priests, a call and encouragement for priests and for all Christians to live their own vocations with passion and enthusiasm. (Pope Benedict XVI, October 7, 2009)

What can one person do?   The answer is plenty!   In the life of each saint, one thing stands clear:  God and one person are a majority!

What one individual, following God’s will and plan for his or her life, can do is more than our mind could ever hope for or imagine.
Each of us, like John Leonardi, has a mission to fulfill in God’s plan for the world.
Each one of us is unique and has been given talent to use for the service of our brothers and sisters for the building up of God’s kingdom.

St John Leonardi, Pray for us!

st john leonardi pray for us

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Saint of the Day – 9 October – St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

Saint of the Day – 9 October – St John Leonardi (1541-1609) – Priest, Founder, Confessor, Reformer, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, Marian devotee.  Born Giovanni Leonardi in 1541 at Diecimo, Lucca, Italy – 8 October 1609 at Rome, Italy of natural causes).   He was buried in Santa Maria in Portico and was Beatified in 1861 and Canonised on 17 April 1938 by Pope Pius XI.  St John founded the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, wherein he assumed the name of “Giovanni of the Mother of God” as his religious name.   Patronages – Pharmacists and the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca.   Attributes – Cassock.

John Leonardi was born in 1541 in Diecimo, in the province of Lucca.   The last of seven siblings, his adolescence was sprinkled with rhythms of faith lived in a healthy and industrious family group, as well as the assiduous frequenting of a shop of herbs and medicines in his native town.   At age 17 his father enrolled him in a regular course in pharmacy in Lucca, with the aim of making him a future pharmacist, that is, an apothecary, as they were called then.   For close to a decade young John Leonardi was vigilant and diligent in following this, but when, according to the norms established by the former Republic of Lucca, he acquired the official recognition that would have allowed him to open his own shop, he began to think if perhaps the moment had not arrived to fulfill a plan that he had always had in his heart.

After mature reflection he decided to direct himself toward the priesthood.   And thus, having left the apothecary’s pharmacy, and acquired an appropriate theological formation, he was ordained a priest and celebrated his first Mass on the feast of Epiphany of 1572.   However, he did not abandon his passion for pharmaceutics because he felt that professional mediation as a pharmacist would allow him to realize fully his vocation of transmitting to men, through a holy life, “the medicine of God,” which is Jesus Christ crucified and risen, “measure of all things.”

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Animated by the conviction that, more than any other thing, all human beings need such medicine, St John Leonardi tried to make the personal encounter with Jesus Christ the fundamental reason of his existence.   It is necessary to “start anew from Christ,” he liked to repeat very often.

The primacy of Christ over everything became for him the concrete criterion of judgment and action and the generating principle of his priestly activity, which he exercised while a vast and widespread movement of spiritual renewal was under way in the Church, thanks to the flowering of new religious institutes and the luminous witness of saints such as Charles Borromeo, Philip Neri, Ignatius of Loyola, Joseph Calasanzius, Camillus of Lellis and Aloysius Gonzaga.

He dedicated himself with enthusiasm to the apostolate among youth through the Company of Christian Doctrine, gathering around himself a group of young men with whom, on Sept. 1, 1574, he founded the Congregation of Reformed Priests of the Blessed Virgin, subsequently called the Order of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God.   He recommended to his disciples to have “before the mind’s eye only the honour, service and glory of Christ Jesus Crucified,” and, like a good pharmacist, accustomed to giving out potions according to careful measurements, he would add:  “Raise your hearts to God a bit more and measure things with him.”

Moved by apostolic zeal, in May 1605 he sent newly elected Pope Paul V a report in which he suggested the criteria for a genuine renewal of the Church.   Observing how it is “necessary that those who aspire to the reform of men’s practices must seek especially and firstly, the glory of God,” he added that they should stand out “for their integrity of life and excellence of customs thus, rather than constraining, they gently draw one to reform.”   Moreover, he observed that “whoever wishes to carry out a serious moral and religious reform must make first of all, like a good doctor, a careful diagnosis of the evils that beset the Church so as to be able to prescribe for each of them the most appropriate remedy.”   And he noted that “the renewal of the Church must be confirmed as much in leaders as in followers, high and low.   It must begin from those who command and be extended to the subjects.”

It was because of this that, while soliciting the Pope to promote a “universal reform of the Church,” he was concerned with the Christian formation of the people, especially of the young, educating them “from their early years … in the purity of the Christian faith and in holy practices.”

He chose the Blessed Mother to be the patroness of his order because he had a strong devotion to her.   He always kept his gaze on our Lady and she was his teacher, sister and mother who protected him and led him closer to Jesus Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters, the luminous figure of this saint invites priests, in the first place and all Christians, to tend constantly to the “high measure of the Christian life,” which is sanctity — each, of course, according to his own state.   In fact, only from fidelity to Christ can genuine ecclesial renewal spring.

In those years, in the cultural and social passage between the 16th and 17th century, the premises of the future contemporary culture began to be delineated, characterised by an undue separation of faith and reason.   This has produced among its negative effects the marginalization of God, with the illusion of a possible and total autonomy of man who chooses to live “as if God did not exist.”   This is the crisis of modern thought, which many times I have had the opportunity to point out and which often leads to a form of relativism.

John Leonardi intuited what the real medicine was for these spiritual evils and he synthesized it in the expression: “Christ first of all,” Christ in the centre of the heart, in the centre of history and of the cosmos.   And humanity — he affirmed forcefully — needs Christ intensely, because he is our “measure.”   There is no realm that cannot be touched by his strength;  there is no evil that cannot find remedy in him, there is no problem that cannot be solved in him. “Either Christ or nothing!”  Here is his prescription for every type of spiritual and social reform.

There is another aspect of the spirituality of St John Leonardi that I would like to highlight.   In many circumstances he had to confirm that a living encounter with Christ is realised in his Church:  holy but fragile, rooted in history and in a sometimes dark future, where wheat and weeds grow together (cf. Matthew 13:30), but, nevertheless, always the sacrament of salvation.   Having a clear awareness that the Church is the field of God (cf. Matthew 13:24), he was not scandalised by her human weaknesses.   To oppose the weeds he chose to be good wheat:   He decided, that is, to love Christ in the Church and to contribute to render her an ever more transparent sign of Him.

He saw the Church with great realism, her human frailty, but also her being “God’s field,” the instrument of God for the salvation of humanity.   And not only this.   For love of Christ he worked with alacrity to purify the Church, to render her more beautiful and holy.   He understood that every reform is made within the Church and never against the Church.

In this, St John Leonardi was truly extraordinary and his example is always timely.   Every reform certainly involves structures but in the first place it must be engraved in the hearts of believers.   Only the saints, men and women who allow themselves to be guided by the divine Spirit, ready to carry out radical and courageous choices in the light of the Gospel, renew the Church and contribute, in a decisive way, to building a better world.

Together with Monsignor Juan Bautista Vives and Jesuit Martin de Funes, he planned and contributed to the establishment of a specific Congregation of the Holy See for the missions, that of Propoganda Fide, and to the future birth of the Pontifical Urbanian Athenaeum “De Propoganda Fide,” which in the course of centuries has forged thousands of priests, many of them martyrs, to evangelise peoples.   We are speaking, therefore, of a luminous priestly figure, which I am pleased to point out as an example to all presbyters in this Year for Priests.   He died in 1609 from influenza contracted while he was giving himself to the care of all those who had been stricken by the epidemic in the Roman quarter of Campitelli.     He was venerated for his miracles and religious fervour and was canonised in 1938 by Pope Pius XI.  He was chosen as the patron of pharmacistss.

General Audience
On St John Leonardi
“To Oppose the Weeds He Chose to be Good Wheat”
H.H. Benedict XVI
7 October 2009

St John Leonardi

st john leonardi relics close-up