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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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All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

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