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Saint of the Day—available on the iPhone!

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.

June 26
Blessed Raymond Lull
(1235-1315)


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Raymond worked all his life to promote the missions and died a missionary to North Africa.

Raymond was born at Palma on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. He earned a position in the king’s court there. One day a sermon inspired him to dedicate his life to working for the conversion of the Muslims in North Africa. He became a Secular Franciscan and founded a college where missionaries could learn the Arabic they would need in the missions. Retiring to solitude, he spent nine years as a hermit. During that time he wrote on all branches of knowledge, a work which earned him the title "Enlightened Doctor."

Raymond then made many trips through Europe to interest popes, kings and princes in establishing special colleges to prepare future missionaries. He achieved his goal in 1311 when the Council of Vienne ordered the creation of chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean at the universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca. At the age of 79, Raymond went to North Africa in 1314 to be a missionary himself. An angry crowd of Muslims stoned him in the city of Bougie. Genoese merchants took him back to Mallorca, where he died. Raymond was beatified in 1514.



Comment:

Raymond worked most of his life to help spread the gospel. Indifference on the part of some Christian leaders and opposition in North Africa did not turn him from his goal.

Three hundred years later Raymond’s work began to have an influence in the Americas. When the Spanish began to spread the gospel in the New World, they set up missionary colleges to aid the work. Blessed Junipero Serra belonged to such a college.



Quote:

Thomas of Celano wrote of St. Francis: "In vain does the wicked man persecute one striving after virtue, for the more he is buffeted, the more strongly will he triumph. As someone says, indignity strengthens a generous spirit" (I Celano, #11).


Thursday, June 26, 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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Christmas at Greccio: What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223. 
<p>Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby (we’re not sure if it was a live infant or the carved image of a baby), hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. Word went out to the people of the town. At the appointed time they arrived carrying torches and candles. </p><p>One of the friars began celebrating Mass. Francis himself gave the sermon. His biographer, Thomas of Celano, recalls that Francis “stood before the manger…overcome with love and filled with a wonderful happiness…/” For Francis, the simple celebration was meant to recall the hardships Jesus suffered even as an infant, a savior who chose to become poor for our sake, a truly human Jesus. </p><p>Tonight, as we pray around the Christmas cribs in our homes, we welcome into our hearts that same Savior.</p> American Catholic Blog As the midnight hour approaches and we greet Christmas day, let us be committed to create new memories that we keep and cherish and bless the Lord for. Our memories take us into a future where we will be gathered around an eternal banquet table and celebrate there forever the visitation of God, Emmanuel, the God who calls us into the holiness and the fullness of life.

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