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Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

August 4
Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla

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The first Gypsy to be beatified was a martyr and a Secular Franciscan.

Ceferino was born in Fraga (Spain). He had a successful business, buying and selling horses. Ceferino and his wife had no children though they adopted one of his wife’s nieces. He attended Mass frequently and joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Always generous to the poor, he was known as a reconciler among Gypsies.

During the Spanish Civil War, he was arrested for defending a priest who had been dragged through the streets of Barbastro and for having a rosary. As the firing squad prepared to kill him, Ceferino clutched his rosary and cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!) When he was beatified in 1997, thousands of Gypsies attended the ceremony.


Ceferino shows us that Christ’s love is not limited by race or culture. The daily living out of his Baptism prepared Ceferino for making the supreme sacrifice of his life. For better or for worse, the decisions we make today prepare us for future decisions.


At Ceferino’s beatification, Pope John Paul II said: "His life shows how Christ is present in the various peoples and races, and that all are called to holiness which is attained by keeping his commandments and remaining in his love (John 15:11)" (L'Osservatore Romano 1997, Vol. 1, No. 6).

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Monday, August 4, 2014
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Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

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