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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.

April 1
Blessed Anaclete Gonzales Flores
(1890-1927)


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As a law student during the time of the persecution in Mexico, Anaclete Gonzales felt he needed to challenge his godless professors and, so, organized the Catholic students in defense of the Church. He himself joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Believing in the power of the press, he founded a weekly newspaper called The Word, and was a regular contributor to other Catholic periodicals. He also started a second weekly called The Sword. The government tried on a number of occasions to silence him by jailing him. His efforts would then turn to evangelizing his fellow prisoners.

Finally the government decided to make an example of Anaclete. Because he refused to reveal the whereabouts of the archbishop, he was hung up, whipped and pierced with daggers. Anaclete maintained his silence, but to one of his executioners said, "I have labored unselfishly to defend the cause of Christ and his Church. You will kill me: But know that the cause will not die with me. I go, but with the assurance that from heaven I shall behold the triumph of religion in my native country."

Anaclete was run through with a bayonet and died from a volley of bullets. It was April 1, 1927. He left a young wife and two small sons.

His funeral was cause for a great outpouring of faith among the people and loud cries of "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!), a powerful tribute to a lay Franciscan who lived and died for the kingdom.



Comment:

Ever since the first Christians refused to sacrifice to the gods of Rome, believers have maintained a dissident stance at the risk of their lives. We may not be called to join the company of martyrs, but we are certainly called to raise our voices in defense of the poor and the unborn, to protest dependence on violent solutions in the international arena. We may keep our lives, but we risk another kind of martyrdom: the disapproval of our peers.


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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Peter Canisius: The energetic life of Peter Canisius should demolish any stereotypes we may have of the life of a saint as dull or routine. Peter lived his 76 years at a pace which must be considered heroic, even in our time of rapid change. A man blessed with many talents, Peter is an excellent example of the scriptural man who develops his talents for the sake of the Lord’s work. 
<p>He was one of the most important figures in the Catholic Reformation in Germany. His was such a key role that he has often been called the “second apostle of Germany” in that his life parallels the earlier work of Boniface (June 5). </p><p>Although Peter once accused himself of idleness in his youth, he could not have been idle too long, for at the age of 19 he received a master’s degree from the university at Cologne. Soon afterwards he met Peter Faber, the first disciple of Ignatius Loyola (July 31), who influenced Peter so much that he joined the recently formed Society of Jesus. </p><p>At this early age Peter had already taken up a practice he continued throughout his life—a process of study, reflection, prayer and writing. After his ordination in 1546, he became widely known for his editions of the writings of St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Leo the Great. Besides this reflective literary bent, Peter had a zeal for the apostolate. He could often be found visiting the sick or prisoners, even when his assigned duties in other areas were more than enough to keep most people fully occupied. </p><p>In 1547 Peter attended several sessions of the Council of Trent, whose decrees he was later assigned to implement. After a brief teaching assignment at the Jesuit college at Messina, Peter was entrusted with the mission to Germany—from that point on his life’s work. He taught in several universities and was instrumental in establishing many colleges and seminaries. He wrote a catechism that explained the Catholic faith in a way which common people could understand—a great need of that age. </p><p>Renowned as a popular preacher, Peter packed churches with those eager to hear his eloquent proclamation of the gospel. He had great diplomatic ability, often serving as a reconciler between disputing factions. In his letters (filling eight volumes) one finds words of wisdom and counsel to people in all walks of life. At times he wrote unprecedented letters of criticism to leaders of the Church—yet always in the context of a loving, sympathetic concern. </p><p>At 70 Peter suffered a paralytic seizure, but he continued to preach and write with the aid of a secretary until his death in his hometown (Nijmegen, Netherlands) on December 21, 1597.</p> American Catholic Blog While we await the full and unending experience of God drawing near to us, we must continue to work in the vineyard. We must continue to make God’s love real in every condition and circumstance of our lives.

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