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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.

January 10
Servant of God Vico Necchi
(1876-1930)


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On January 9, 1930, Ludovico (Vico) Necchi, professor of biology at the University of Milan, died. According to his will, his headstone was to be inscribed with the simple words: Vico Necchi, Franciscan Tertiary. An extraordinary man, he is buried in the chapel of the University of the Sacred Heart in Milan in the expectation that one day he will be raised to the altars.

As a young man Vico was deeply in love with Christ, St. Francis and the Church. Invested in the habit of the Third Order, he displayed the enthusiasm of Paul and the gentleness of Francis. He used his position as a physician to counter the secular, anti-Christian attitudes of his age and to bring others to Christ. One of his converts was the radical, Augustine Gemelli, who with Vico was the cofounder of the University of the Sacred Heart.

Vico himself was a prayerful, humble, charming and cheerful man who stood at the forefront of the new Italian Catholic Action. Despite opposition and trials, he used his medical profession as a holy apostolate for the conversion of his patients while his charity was being lavished on retarded children.



Comment:

One of the documents produced by the Second Vatican Council explored the apostolate of the laity. Vico was born long before that council sat, but he took seriously his role as apostle. We too are called by Christ to be his apostles: to spread his reign of forgiveness and peace, to bring his healing touch wherever we go—at home, at work, to the marketplace or wherever else our daily journey takes us.

Quote:

“To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer. This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers...or to the faithful” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 239).


Saturday, January 10, 2015
Saint of the Day for 1/9/2015 Saint of the Day for 1/11/2015

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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