Wednesday, June 19, 2019

How to acquire the spirit of God

We should strive to keep our hearts open
to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people,
and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion
which is truly the spirit of God.

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Romuald

Romuald was born into a noble Italian family in 956. He spent his youth wildly in comfort and laziness. One day, when he was twenty, he saw his father kill another man in a duel. He fled to a monastery in disgust, and he stayed there for three years before deciding to travel, and spending the next thirty years building monasteries and hermitages in Italy.

On one occasion, Romuald was falsely accused of a scandalous crime. The accuser was a young nobleman whom the holy monk had previously rebuked, and Romuald’s fellow monks believed the young rake. Romuald was severely reprimanded, forbidden to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and excommunicated, an unwarranted sentence which he endured for six months without complaint.

Of the monasteries established by Romuald, the most famous was called Camaldoli. There he developed an order he called “Camaldolese Benedictine,” where he brought together the monastic and hermitical ways of life.

Romuald died on June 19, 1027 at the monastery of Valdi-Castro, which he founded. Eventually, his father too became a monk. He gave up his wealth and followed his son to spend the rest of his life doing penance for his sins.

Miraculous Recovery

I walked into the kitchen and saw my mother hang up the phone, a worried look on her face.
“What is it, Mom?”
“It was your sister. She said one of the ambulance drivers for the medical office she works for is in a deep coma because of a gas leak in his trailer last night.”
“Wow… Will he recover soon?” I asked hopefully.
But as the weeks wore on, the young man failed to give any sign of life, and the doctors began to lose hope. The next time my mother asked after him, the decision had been made to disconnect life support.
Hearing of this decision, I felt a sudden rush of confidence: I remembered America Needs Fatima was launching a national drive to promote the Medal of Our Lady of Graces, a special devotional given to St. Catherine Labouré in an apparition of the Blessed Virgin in 1830. Coined to the exact specifications of Our Lady, so many blessings, graces and miracles have been granted to those who wear it, that it has consequently become known as the “Miraculous Medal.” 
“We need to get a Miraculous Medal to him!”  I told my mother. She enthusiastically agreed. My sister thought it a good idea, and asked a colleague of the sick man to deliver a medal to the hospital to be placed under his pillow (regulations forbade any metal on patients).
As we prayed, and shortly after the devotional was placed under his head, something incredible happened: the comatose began mumbling! The decision to disconnect life support was put on hold.
A few weeks later, the young man was released from the hospital and soon returned to work. He warmly thanked my sister for sending him the devotional and confided in her that he believed the Miraculous Medal saved his life.
By Andrea F. Phillips

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Some things we need to forget

Forget the services
you have rendered to others, but not
those rendered to you.

St. John Bosco

St. Gregory Barbarigo

Gregory Barbarigo was born in 1625, of a very ancient and distinguished Venetian family. A brilliant student, he embraced a diplomatic career and accompanied the Venetian Ambassador, Contarini, to the Congress of Munster in 1648. He was later ordained to the priesthood and became the first Bishop of Bergamo consecrated by Pope Alexander VII. Eventually he became a Cardinal with authority over the diocese of Padua. Through his efforts the seminaries of both Padua and Bergamo were greatly increased.

Gregory worked unceasingly toward the Counter-Reformation – the movement by the Council of Trent as a response to the Protestant Reformation specifying Catholic doctrine on salvation, the sacraments, and the Biblical canon.

Gregory died at Padua of natural causes in 1697. He was canonized in 1960 and his body is buried in the Cathedral of Padua.
Photo by: Wolfgang Moroder

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bad company

If I had to advise parents, I should tell them
to take great care
about the people with whom their children associate …
Much harm may result from bad company,
and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse
than what is better.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Albert Chmielowski

Born on August 20, 1845, Albert belonged to a wealthy, aristocratic Polish family. Involved in politics from a young age, at eighteen he lost his leg during an uprising against Czar Alexander III of Russia.

Albert had a great talent for painting, and eventually became a well-know and rather popular artist. But he soon became aware of the suffering of the poor of the city, and felt compelled to help those in need. He abandoned his art and became a Secular Franciscan to dedicate his life to helping those in need. In 1887, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor, known as the Albertines or the Gray Brothers. Then, in 1891, he founded a community of Albertine sisters, known as the Gray Sisters. The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless of any age or religion, dedicating their good works to God.

Albert died on Christmas Day, 1916.  He was canonized on November 12, 1989.