A Catholic Monthly Magazine

May Saints

Saint Francis Coll y Guitart (1812-1875)

Francis Coll y Guitart was born in 1812 in Gobeny, Spain. When he was only four, his father died, leaving a widow and ten children in dire straits. Francis’ mother raised him as a devout Catholic and he was confirmed in 1818. Four years later he entered the seminary at Vichy, France, earning his own way by teaching catechism and grammar to local children.

In 1830, Francis entered the Dominican Priory at Gerona but his studies for the priesthood were undertaken under great stress because the anticlerical government closed the house of studies there and dispersed the students. Eventually, in 1836, he was ordained in Vichy and assigned to the parish of Arles where he served for three years.

His next appointment was Moyá, an area which had been devastated by war and in which the people were starving. Francis served them for ten years, aiding them through charitable programmes. Although unable to live in a monastery, he scrupulously maintained his religious life. In 1846, he willingly assisted his ex-classmate, St Anthony Claret, to form a new priestly group called the ‘Apostolic Fraternity’. He also became the director of the Third Order of St Dominic in Vichy.

On December 2 1869, Francis was struck blind by a stroke while preaching at Sallent. He endured great pain and suffering, as well as some confusion and irrationality. The loss of his mental faculties was not total. He did have lucid moments. In these brief periods he accepted his condition as being the will of God for him. His mental darkness was accompanied by physical darkness, because for the six years before his holy death in 1875, he was also blind. Once he said, “If it is the will of God that I be blind, then even if I could recover my sight by touching my eyes, I would not do it.”

He was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.

Saint Francis, help us always to do the will of God in our lives.

(Source: John Paul II’s book of saints. Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson. Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, Indiana. 1999)

Saint Stanislaus of Cracow (1030-1078)

Patron saint of Poland and bishop of Cracow, Stanislaus was born to a noble family and studied at Gniezno and possibly Paris. Named bishop of Cracow in 1072, he soon became a controversial figure owing to his bitter struggle with King Boleslav II. Apparently, Stanislaus rebuked the king for his immorality and cruelty, and subsequently joined the opposition party among nobles who resisted Boleslav’s policies. In 1078, the bishop was arrested and condemned for treason. According to tradition, Boleslav’s knights refused to execute the prelate, forcing the king himself to stab Stanislaus in the chapel of St Michael in Cracow.

His feastday is May 7.

Saint Stanislaus, teach us to be strong against evil.

(Source: OSV encyclopedia of saints. Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson. Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, Indiana. 2003) 

Our Lady Help of ChristiansOur Lady, Help of Christians 

May 24

The feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, was instituted by Pius VII. By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested in 1808 and detained a prisoner for some years. Set free in January 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, the pope’s journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church, after so much agony and distress, to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images. Following a further period of exile in Savona, the pope returned to Rome, July 7, 1815. To give thanks to God and Our Lady he instituted for the Papal States the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, to be celebrated on May 24, the anniversary of his first return. Our Lady Help of Christians is the patron of Australasia.

Our Lady, Help of Christians, give us a strong and active faith.

(Source: www.rc.net/newzealand/palmerston/ourlady/origin.htm)

Tagged as: , ,

Comments are closed.