A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Saints for June

by Killian de Lacy

Saint Felix of Nicosia (1715-1787

St FelixSt Felix was born in Nicosia, Sicily, in 1715. The family was poor, but very religious. As a young boy, Felix did not go to school, but worked for a shoemaker close to the Capuchin friary. The more he saw of them, the more he wanted to join them.

At the age of 20, Felix asked to be admitted to the Order as a lay brother – being illiterate, he could not be a priest. Each year for eight successive years, the friars rejected him. Finally, in 1743, he was accepted and began his novitiate, making his profession the following year. He was distinguished among the novices by his flair for obedience, his angelic purity, his love of mortification and his truly seraphic patience.

The new friar was given the job of collecting alms in his home town. He would always say “Thank you” for anything received. When he was refused, he would say: “Let it be for the love of God.” Although unable to read or write, Felix was immersed in Christian doctrine. He was devoted to the crucified Christ, fasting and doing penance. He loved Our Lady.

When he was relieved of duties because of his ill health, he was always ready to serve others. At the end of May 1787, he was overtaken by a sudden, raging fever, told the doctor to save his medicines as they were useless for him, and died shortly afterwards.

Saint Felix, obtain for us perseverance in doing what God wants of us.

Saint John Francis Regis (1597-1640)

John Francis Regis was born in 1597, of a noble Catholic family. From youth he showed evidence of uncommon sanctity by his innocence of life, modesty, and love of prayer. After being educated by the Jesuits, at age nineteen he decided to join them. There he was viewed as a model of every virtue, and was called the Angel of the College. He was sent in 1628 to study theology in Toulouse, and ordained a priest in 1630. His first ministry in Toulouse was for the victims of the plague, after which he was assigned to the mission lands of France.

He began his apostolic work in Montpellier, established an association of women to procure aid for prisoners, and founded numerous confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament. Miracles and conversions followed wherever he went.

Saint John Francis was so inflamed with the love of God that he seemed to breathe, think, and speak of Him alone. He offered up the Holy Sacrifice with such attention and fervour that those who attended it could not but experience with him something of the fire consuming him. After twelve years of unceasing labour, having taken a wrong turn on a strange road, and having remained for the night in a cabin open to the wind, he contracted a severe pleurisy and rendered his pure and innocent soul to his Creator at the age of forty-four.

Saint John Francis, so inflame our hearts with God’s love that our lives are transformed into beacons of faith.

Saint Emily
of Vialar

Emily de Vialar was born in France in 1797, an only daughter of wealthy parents. Following her education, her father was interested in finding a suitable husband for his daughter and was very upset when she insisted on giving her life to God instead, a tense situation which existed for years.

When Emily was twenty-one, she confided her desire to help the poor and sick to Father Mercier, who helped her set up an out-patient service right on the terrace of the de Vialar home. When Emily’s grandfather died leaving her a large fortune, she became independent and able to begin her great work for God. With Father Mercier’s help, she bought a large house in her hometown and began a religious order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, to care for the sick and poor, and educate children. Twelve young women joined the group within three months. Sister Emily pronounced her vows in 1835 along with seventeen other sisters.

The Sisters of St. Joseph started branch convents. In 1847, the sisters went to Burma and in 1854, to Australia. In forty years, Mother Emily saw her congregation grow to some forty convents around the world. She wrote many letters which showed her great love for God, for his Church and for people. She saw in her heart people everywhere who needed the truth of the Gospel and the love that Christ brings. Mother Emily died in 1856.

Saint Emily, open our hearts to all those who need our help.


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