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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.

May 21
St. Eugene de Mazenod
(1782-1861)


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Born into a noble family in Aix (Provence), Eugene spent part of his childhood in Italy because of the French Revolution. Ordained a priest at Amiens in 1811, he soon organized missionaries to go to rural parts of Provence, instructing the people whose religious training had been disrupted for many years by the French Revolution and its aftermath.

Eugene began the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1816, obtaining papal approval for them 10 years later. From rural preaching, they soon moved into running seminaries to improve the quality of the clergy. Their first foreign mission was in Canada in 1841; soon they were in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America.

In 1851, Eugene followed his uncle as archbishop of Marseilles; Eugene died in that city 10 years later. He had focused his energies on Church renewal and reform while vigorously defending the Church’s right to spread the Good News.

His congregation has grown to become one of the largest in the Church, serving in over 50 countries, especially in northern and western Canada. Many of its members have become missionary bishops.

At Eugene’s canonization in 1998, Pope John Paul II praised his vision, perseverance and conformity to God’s will.



Comment:

Eugene de Mazenod allowed the grace of God to bear rich fruit in his life. That required a certain amount of flexibility as well as courage to face the problems every growing group encounters. We look to saints like Eugene not to borrow their courage and zeal but, with God’s grace, to discover our own, always seeking first God’s kingdom (see Matthew 6:33).

Quote:

“Holiness is the grace of God operating in and through human beings” (Kenneth Woodward, Making Saints).


Thursday, May 21, 2015
Saint of the Day for 5/20/2015 Saint of the Day for 5/22/2015

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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Maria Goretti: One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti. 
<p>She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class. </p><p>On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. “No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger. </p><p>She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack. </p><p>Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother. </p><p>Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, may the medals we wear be constant reminders of the lives they depict. While wearing them, may we be blessed through the saints’ intercession and protected from harm. Help us to continue to spread the messages of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels.

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