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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.

May 21
St. Crispin of Viterbo
(1668-1750)


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Crispin, who lived during the Age of Enlightenment, showed the enlightenment that gospel living provides.

Born in Orvieto, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker. In 1693 he received the Franciscan Capuchin habit and the name Crispin. After serving as a cook at Tolfa and Albano, he was the official beggar of the friary in Orvieto for almost 40 years.

He developed a reputation for curing the sick and catechized those he encountered in his work. The poor and needy recognized him as their friend. One of Crispin’s favorite sayings was, "God’s power creates us, his wisdom governs us, his mercy saves us." He was canonized in 1982.



Comment:

Henri de Lubac, S.J., once wrote, "We should have a great love for our age, but make no concessions to the spirit of the age, so that in us the Christian mystery may never lose its sap" (The Splendor of the Church, p. 183). Crispin appreciated the people whom God brought into his life and the historical period in which God placed him. Crispin became a living gospel for his confreres and for the people of Orvieto. His holiness encouraged them to live out their baptism more generously.

Quote:

During his homily at Crispin’s canonization, Pope John Paul II said that the human family is frequently "tempted by false autonomy, by denial of Gospel values, for which it necessarily needs saints, that is, models who concretely express by their lives the reality of Transcendence, the values of the Revelation and Redemption achieved by Christ" (L'Osservatore Romano 1982, Vol. 26, No. 1).


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 of Alcantara: Peter was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. He served as confessor to St. Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter’s day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended. 
<p>Born into a noble family (his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain), Peter studied law at Salamanca University and, at 16, joined the so-called Observant Franciscans (also known as the discalced, or barefoot, friars). While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest; at the age of 39, he was elected provincial; he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.</p><p>Peter’s penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter’s reform began with himself. His patience was so great that a proverb arose: "To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara."</p><p>In 1554, Peter, having received permission, formed a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.</p><p>As spiritual director to St. Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars and the Poor Clares.</p><p>He was canonized in 1669.</p> American Catholic Blog Remember the widow’s mite. She threw into the treasury of the temple only two small coins, but with them, all her great love…. It is, above all, the interior value of the gift that counts: the readiness to share everything, the readiness to give oneself. —Pope John Paul II

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