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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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John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

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