A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Saint for November

Saint1Saint Charles Boromeo

Saint Charles Borromeo was born to a noble family and was a cardinal by age 22, though not ordained priest and bishop till 1563. He was largely responsible for the success of the Council of Trent, but his work as a bishop is his chief claim to fame.

His large diocese was in a scandalous state, and he dedicated himself to reforming it, beginning in 1566. He established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for instructing children, thus anticipating the Sunday schools of Robert Raikes by two hundred years, and particularly provided for the proper carrying out of the sacred liturgy. His reforms were not carried through without an attempt on his life, but his selflessness during the great plague of 1576 sealed his great influence.

Charles was the first great prelate of the Counter-Reformation. Incredibly hard-working, personally austere and devoted to anything that would forward the cause of true religion, he died in 1584.

Saint Charles, help us to appreciate our faith.

(Source: A New Dictionary of the Saints,  Donald Attwater. 1993 Burns & Oates, Kent)

Saint2Saint Gertrude of Helfta (1256-1302)

From her childhood, Gertrude lived at the nunnery of Helfta in Saxony, and her life was without exterior incident. It was her supernatural revelations, which began at age 26, that made her name famous.

Gertrude, who is called “the Great”, was of considerable intellectual ability, as her writings show, but only the second book of the world commonly called the Revelations of St Gertrude is hers. She was a pupil of Saint Mechtilde, and with both the love of the Heart of Jesus was a recurring theme.

For the last ten years of her life, Gertrude suffered greatly from poor physical health, and she died in 1302.

Saint Gertrude, show us the way to a great love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(Source: A New Dictionary of the Saints,  Donald Attwater. 1993 Burns & Oates, Kent)

Saint3St Miguel Pro (1891-1927)

Miguel Augustine Pro was born in Guadalupe in 1891 to the prosperous, devout family of a mining engineer. The education he received at home refined his innate sense of goodness, understanding and closeness to the less fortunate. He was blessed with a rich sense of humour and was well known for his jokes, which enabled him to establish friendly relations with other people.

In 1911, Miguel entered the novitiate of the Jesuits, taking his first vows before having to flee the country in 1914. He went to Granada, Spain, and then to Belgium to continue his studies and was ordained on August 31, 1925. The following year, despite a government ban on all religious practices, he returned to Mexico and embarked on varied and profoundly vigorous pastoral activities. Disregarding the law and knowing full well what the consequences could be, he administered the Sacraments, taught catechetics and supported the poor while resorting to all kinds of subterfuges to avoid the authorities. Giving himself totally day and night to his ministry, he never lost his cheerfulness and serenity.

He wrote, “The revolution is worsening. Reprisals will be terrible especially in Mexico City. The first to be arrested will be those who have had a hand in religious matters; and I… I have had mine up to the elbow!” He became an object of special surveillance and an arrest warrant was issued against him for being guilty of carrying on religious propaganda.

An assassination attempt against the President became the occasion for arresting Father Pro and his two brothers. The fact that they had had nothing to do with the incident meant little. Denied a formal trial which would have proved the charges not only false but ridiculous, the men were sentenced to death by firing squad. Not long before this, someone had asked Father Pro, “What will you do if you are condemned to death?” He replied, “I would ask for three things; that I may be permitted 1) to kneel down and make an act of contrition; 2) to put my arms in the form of a cross to receive the shots; 3) to shout: “Long live Christ the King!”

The good priest got his wish and was executed on 23 November 1927. He was beatified in 1988. When he was buried, thousands of the faithful defied the authorities by making a public display of mourning.

Saint Miguel, obtain for us the grace to persevere in the faith until death.   

(Source: Internet – various)

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