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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).


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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