Saturday, April 23, 2011

This saint told heretics: " I came to destroy your heresy, not to embrace it…"

                        April 24 ---------- St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

            Mark Rey began his life in 1577 at Sgmaringen, Prussia.  After receiving his law degree, he traveled with three young princes as a tutor. 

Later, he obtained a doctorate in canon and civil law and began a serious law practice.  After witnessing open fraud in the law along with a general corruption in society, Mark abandoned the world to enter the Capuchin Order taking the name of Fidelis. 

He wrote," From now on I want to live in complete poverty, chastity and obedience amidst sufferings and persecutions and in austere penance and profound humility. I came from the womb of my mother with nothing, and with nothing I desire to return to the arms of my Savior."

St. Fidelis became a remarkable orator and preached tirelessly to convert heretics of the Calvin and Zwingli sects. Having achieved great successes , the heretics plotted to destroy him and stop his work.  Surrounded by Calvinist preachers, he was offered his life if he would apostatize. 

His reply was: " I came to extirpate your heresy , not to embrace it."  For these words, he won the crown of martyrdom.

St. Fidelis was an audacious and strong missionary who stopped at nothing in his efforts to save sinners from false doctrines.  He saw what needed to be done and acted accordingly with wisdom and reason. For his position, he was attacked by the enemies of the Church. But he did not shirk his duty and met then as an indomitable warrior.

Let us ask St. Fidelis to give us a love of wisdom and the strength to use it for the glory of Holy Mother Church.

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