A Catholic Monthly Magazine

December Saints

Saint1Blessed Phillip Rinaldi


Phillip was born on 28 May 1856 at Lu Monferrato (Alessandria) and at twenty one years old he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. As an ordained priest his first responsibility was the formation of aspirants and novices. In 1889 he was sent to Spain as Rector of the community at Sarria and later, as Provincial, contributed hugely to the development of the Salesians in Spain.

As Vicar General, he displayed even more of his fatherly gifts and his willingness to take new initiatives: care of vocations, setting up centres for spiritual and social support of young workers, guide and support of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at an important stage of their history. He conceived and saw through a plan to set up a new form of consecrated life in the world.

Elected Rector Major in 1922, Don Rinaldi focussed his energy on adapting the spirit of Don Bosco to the current situation. He was a master of Salesian ways and spirituality and brought about a renewal in the interior life of Salesians, absolute confidence in God and unlimited trust in Mary Help of Christians. He took great care of the missions and sent many young Salesians to learn languages and customs so that they could be more immersed in local culture and spread the gospel more effectively. He died on 5th December 1931.

Blessed Phillip, help us to spread the Gospel effectively in our society.

(Source: www.salesians.org.uk/html/blessed_phillip_rinaldi.html)

Saint2Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko

Jerzy Popieluszko was born to a farming family on 14 September 1947, in Okopy, Podlaskie, Poland, of devout Catholic parents. When his mother was pregnant with Jerzy, she consecrated him for the glory of God and to Mary, praying that he would become a priest one day. Her prayer was answered. From his childhood, Jerzy was fascinated by the priesthood and would walk five kilometres each day to serve Mass before school. After school he would go back to the church to pray the rosary.

Following his ordination in 1972, Father Jerzy was associated with workers and trade unionists from the Solidarity movement. He strongly opposed communism, and in his sermons interwove spiritual exhortations with political messages, criticising the communist system and motivating people to protest.

His sermons were routinely broadcast by Radio Free which caused the secret police to threaten and pressure Father Jerzy to stop his activities. He ignored them. His enemies fabricated evidence against him and had him arrested in 1983. The clergy intervened and he was released.

The communists tried several times to kill him and eventually Father Jerzy and his driver were kidnapped by the Polish secret police. The priest was beaten, bound, gagged and stuffed into the boot of an unmarked police car. He escaped when they pulled in at a secluded parking lot, but was captured again, beaten and stuffed in a sack weighed down with stones and thrown into the Vistula River. His driver managed to escape and report Father Jerzy’s abduction. His body was found two weeks later.

Blessed Jerzy, give us courage always to stand up for the truth.

(Source: Internet- various)

Saint3Saint Frances Cabrini


Frances Xavier Cabrini was a tiny woman with a huge heart and an extraordinary dream. As a child in Lombardy, Italy, she dreamed of being a missionary to China. Her older sister Rosa poured scorn on this idea because of her size. But Frances kept her dream alive and, when she had finished school, applied three times for admission to a religious order without success, so she stayed at home to help care for her parents until they died.

After some years, the bishop suggested that she found her own missionary order. The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart spread very quickly. With complete trust in God, they found He always provided for their needs. Mother Frances’ dream of China gave way to the needs of Italian emigrants to America and, with six of her Sisters, she landed in New York in 1889.

The pattern of Frances’ life was simple – see the need and do something about it. Pray, then act. Slow in learning English but with great business acumen, she showed through her work the love in her heart. “Rest?” she would exclaim. “We will have all eternity to rest. Now let us work.” And work she did, with amazing results, dying in Chicago in 1917.

Saint Frances, fill us with zeal to spread the Gospel.


Tagged as: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.