A Catholic Monthly Magazine

November Saints

by Killian de Lacy

St AgostinaSaint Agostina Livia Pietrantoni (1864-1894)

Olivia Pietrantoni was born on 27 March 1864. Her parents were farmers and Livia’s childhood and youth were imbued with the values of an honest, hard-working, religious family.

The child received Confirmation when she was only four, and Holy Communion about eight years later. At the age of seven, she began to work, transporting thousands of sacks of stones and sand for constructing a local road. After five years, she left for Tivoli to help reap the olive harvest. In this demanding work, Livia took moral and religious responsibility for her companions, and often stood up for their rights against arrogant and unscrupulous bosses.

As a young woman, Livia was wise beyond her years, generous and attractive, and several young men had thoughts of marriage. But she had other plans. Jesus had stolen her heart and she offered herself to the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne-Antide Thouret. After an initial rejection, she was accepted and, at age 22, Livia arrived in Rome. It was soon discovered that she had the makings of a true Sister of Charity. She received the habit and the name Agostina. Having never heard of a Saint Agostina, she had a premonition that there lay her destiny.

Sister Agostina was sent to the Hospital of Santo Spirito, where she gave expression to charity to the point of heroism. The atmosphere in the hospital was hostile to religion. The Capuchin Fathers were driven out, the crucifix and all other religious signs were forbidden. The authorities even wanted to send the Sisters away, but this was considered potentially unpopular. Instead they made the Sisters’ lives impossible and forbade them to speak of God.

However, actions speak louder than words, and Sister Agostina didn’t need a pulpit from which to proclaim the Gospel. In caring for the sick, she showed a total dedication and an extraordinary concern for each sick person, especially the most difficult, violent and obscene ones like Joseph Romanelli. Again and again, in her vigils and sacrifices, she offered Romanelli, the worst of them, to Our Lady. When his behaviour eventually caused his expulsion from the hospital, he vowed in his fury to kill Sister Agostina.

Romanelli was not joking. On 13 November 1894, he caught her unawares and stabbed her to death while her lips uttered nothing but invocations to the Virgin Mary and words of forgiveness.

Saint Agostina, obtain for us the courage to stand up against temptation.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint Leonard Murialdo 

Saint Leonard Murialdo (1828-1900)

Born to a wealthy, pious family, Leonard studied at the University of Turin and the College of Saint Sulpice in Paris, France, before being ordained in 1851. After studies in France, he returned to Italy to take the assignment of provisional director of an impoverished college for young working men. He would spend his career there.

He founded the Society of Saint Joseph of Turin modelled after and under the patronage of Saint Joseph, the model for working people. Leonard supported the Catholic Workers’ Union and established a national federation to improve the level of Italian journalism. A model for Christian social workers, he was called a socialist for advocating an 8-hour work day in 1885. He died in 1900.

Saint Leonard, show us how to help our young people to know and love God.

(Source: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-leonard-murialdo/)

St Catherine LaboreSaint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876)

Catherine Labouré was born on May 2, 1806. At an early age she entered the community of the Daughters of Charity, in Paris, France. Three times in 1830 the Virgin Mary appeared to her, a twenty-four year old novice.

On July 18, the first apparition occurred in the community’s motherhouse. Catherine beheld a lady seated on the right side of the sanctuary. When she approached her, the heavenly visitor told her how to act in time of trial and pointed to the altar as the source of all consolation. Promising to entrust Catherine with a mission which would cause her great suffering, the lady also predicted the anticlerical revolt in 1870.

On November 27, the lady showed Catherine the medal of the Immaculate Conception, the ‘Miraculous Medal.’ She commissioned Catherine to have one made, and to spread devotion to this medal. At that time, only her spiritual director, Father Aladel, knew of the apparitions. Forty-five years later, Catherine spoke fully of the apparitions to one of her superiors. She died on December 31, 1876.

Saint Catherine, teach us to have confidence in the intercession of Mary.   

(Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=266)


Tagged as: , ,

Comments are closed.