A Catholic Monthly Magazine

December Saints

Blessed Liduina Meneguzzi

Saint Dec1  (1901-1941)

Elisa Angela Meneguzzie was born in 1901 in Giarre, Italy. From her humble farming family, she learned strong values of honesty and faith. As a child she also formed a deep spirit of prayer, and would walk two kilometres to attend daily Mass. She loved her catechism, was happy to speak about God to her siblings and eventually became a catechist.
At the age of fourteen, she began to help support her family by taking service jobs with well-off families and hotels in a thermal resort. Her mild and willing personality endeared her to all.
Her desire to dedicate herself to God sent her to join the Salesian Sisters in 1926. In the Sisters’ boarding school for girls, Sister Liduina worked as a servant in charge of linen, as sacristan, and as a nurse. For the girls of the school, she provided a listening ear, wise advice, encouragement, serenity and endless patience.

In 1937, her Superiors sent her to Dire-Dawa in Ethiopia as a missionary. Her secret dream had come true. In this cosmopolitan town, she had to deal with a mosaic of races and religions. Although uneducated in theology, she brought to her tasks a strong inner charge nourished by a deep contact with her Lord.

Sister Liduina acted as a nurse in the Parini Civil Hospital which, after the outbreak of the Second World War, became a military hospital. She was a true angel of charity to the injured soldiers, and nursed their physical ailments with tireless devotion. In every suffering brother, no matter what his race or religion, she saw the image of Christ, and treated him accordingly.
She became known by the natives as Sister Gudda (Great). In the middle of bombings of the city, she risked her life to carry the wounded to shelters, assist the dying, and baptise children who were struck down by military fire.
Her gift was not only for the Italians and the Christians, but for whites and blacks, Catholics and Coptics, Muslims and Pagans. In all her dealings she followed her true ecumenical spirit, taking joy in speaking about the goodness of God and the heaven He has prepared for them.

An incurable disease began to undermine her health, but she looked after the injured to the end. A few days before her death she underwent major surgery, and died of complications “with joy and bliss”– at the early age of forty.

Blessed Liduina, obtain for us a heart for the poor and sick.
(Source: Internet – various)

Saint Dec3Blessed Vincent Grossi


Blessed Vincent Grossi was born March 9, 1845 in Pizzighettone (CR): next to last of seven brothers. From his mother he learned to live by faith and prayer, from his father commitment and seriousness in the work.
He soon wanted to join the seminary, but it was only in 1866 he entered the seminary of Cremona and was ordained May 22, 1869. First he was commissioned to curate in several parishes, then a parish priest in 1873 and in 1883 he went to Regona Vicobellignano.
In 1885 he founded the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory, giving rules with the apostolate of the Christian education of youth. He died on 7 November, 1917. A few days earlier, to the Mistress of Novices, he said: “Try not to complain ever, even try to rejoice when things go contrary to your desires.” By his death in 1917, serene and totally available to God, he closed an exemplary life and generous.
Blessed Vincent, teach us a spirit of generosity in God’s service.

Saint Dec2Saint Peter Canisius


Saint Peter Canisius was born at Nijmegen, then in Germany, in 1521, and joined the Society of Jesus. His energies were devoted to rebuilding the Church in the Empire after the disasters of the Reformation; he went to and fro in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Bohemia, preaching, instructing, arbitrating, writing catechisms and other works, and reforming and establishing colleges and schools.

In an age of violence he stands out as a man of moderation, and he did more to restore the faith and purify lives in south and west Germany than any other. He was one of the originators of the “Catholic press”, and was the first ‘literary’ Jesuit. He was also the first saint to be declared a Doctor of the Church at his canonisation.
Saint Peter, help us to be peacemakers in our society.
(Source: A New Dictionary of the Saints, Donald Attwater. 1993 Burns & Oates, Kent)

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