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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.

September 1
St. Beatrice of Silva
(1424-1491)


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Beatrice has a slim but significant connection to the Franciscan movement. The Order she founded was not incorporated into the Franciscans until after her death but is today a major branch of the Franciscan family.

Beatrice was born in Ceuta, Morocco. She was related to the Portuguese royal family and served for a time as a lady-in-waiting to the queen of Castile. Leaving that position, she went to a Dominican convent in Toledo, where she lived (though she never took the vows of that Order) for 37 years.

Seven years before her death, Beatrice established a contemplative community that observed the Cistercian Rule. Three years after her death, Pope Alexander VI placed her community under the Observant Friars Minor and gave it the Rule of St. Clare. These nuns are now known as the Conceptionist Poor Clares and by 1968 formed almost 20 percent of the Second Order. Beatrice was canonized in 1976.



Comment:

Some people are awed by the prayer and penances of the Poor Clares. Others are inspired by the charity and self-sacrifice required to keep such a community faithful to its goal: serving the Lord and his Church in greater and greater purity of heart.

Quote:

Celano wrote of the early followers of Francis: "For above everything else there flourishes among them that excelling virtue of mutual and continual charity, which so binds their wills into one that, though forty or fifty of them dwell together in one place, agreement in likes and dislikes molds one spirit in them out of many" (I Celano, #19).


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Saint of the Day for 8/31/2015 Saint of the Day for 9/2/2015

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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