A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Saints for November

Image: marypotter.org.nz

Image: marypotter.org.nz

Venerable Mary Potter

Mary Potter was born in Bermondsey, Surrey. Her mother, a recent convert, had her baptised despite the objections of her father, who left the family of five children shortly afterwards, never to be seen in their lives again.

The household moved in 1865 to Southsea, where Mary made the acquaintance of Godfrey King, to whom she eventually became engaged. Godfrey was a devout young man who introduced Mary to spiritual reading and prayer, which resulted in her discerning her religious vocation and breaking off the engagement.

Mary tried her vocation with the Sisters of Mercy but became very ill and had to return home. In 1874, when reading her Bible, Mary took to heart Jesus’ words: ‘I chose you, I appointed you to go on and bear fruit, fruit that shall last,’ and felt inspired to nurse the sick, pray for the dying and form an institute of women dedicated to this purpose. She waited patiently for three years for God’s guidance and then presented herself to the Bishop of Nottingham with a request to care for the sick in his diocese. The Bishop sent her to Hyson Green, an impoverished area where he had long wanted to start a mission. A dilapidated old silk factory became the Congregation’s first convent.

The first five Sisters received the habit and their distinctive pale blue veils in July 1877. The title of the Congregation, The Little Company of Mary, represented those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother, Mary.

Because Mother Mary herself endured painful and chronic illnesses, she understood intimately the emotional and spiritual distress of the sick and dying and could empathise with their suffering. She was gifted with the ability to inspire others to carry out her holistic ministry of physical, emotional and spiritual healing – the forerunner of the modern hospice movement.

At a time when infant and maternal mortality was excessively high, Mary considered that the main apostolate of her congregation ought to be midwifery, but Canon Law put a stop to that. However, she overcame the problem by recruiting a number of Hyson Green women to attend local women in their confinement.

Mother Mary Potter died in Rome in 1913, and her great work lives on today.

Venerable Mary, obtain for us a great love of caring for the sick in our community.

(Source: Internet – various)

saint-2Saint Mechtildis of Helfta

Born to a pious, powerful Thuringian noble family, Mechtildis’ older sister was a nun. Convent–educated from age seven, she herself became a nun at Rodersdorf, Switzerland. She moved to the Helfta monastery in 1258 where her sister served as Abbess.

She became a teacher and choir director at the convent school at Helfta. A visionary and mystic, Mechtildis was novice mistress for Saint Gertrude the Great who wrote The Book of Special Grace about Mechtildis’ teachings. She became a much sought after spiritual advisor to her sister nuns, laity and learned Dominicans, and died in 1298.

Saint Mechtildis, guide us in our search for God in our lives.

(Source: http://catholicsaints.info/saint-mechtilde-of-helfta/)

saint-3Saint Leonard Murialdo

Leonard Murialdo was the eighth child of a wealthy, but religious, family in Turin, Italy, and lost his father when he was four years old. As an adolescent, a profound spiritual crisis and interior conversion led to his vocation to the priesthood, and he was ordained a priest in 1851.

As a seminarian he assisted his cousin, Don Roberto Murialdo, at the Guardian Angels’ Oratory in Turin and worked closely with Saints Joseph Cafasso and John Bosco. For a time, he took charge of the Oratory of St. Louisan educational centre for boys.

He went on to take charge of a college for young working men founded by Don Giovanni Cocchi and, although taking on the daunting assignment hesitantly, and only ‘provisionally,’ he remained at this post for the next thirty-seven years. Partly to fund the college, he founded the Pious Association of St. Joseph.

From Turin this association spread throughout Italy and then to America. Leonard also founded agricultural centres for young delinquents. He was a great proponent of true social justice, and was ecclesiastical assistant to the Catholic Workers’ Union, a forerunner of Catholic Action. He was equally dedicated to the spread of piety, particularly devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Saint Leonard, inspire us in our efforts to educate our young people in the faith.

(Source: https://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Saints-Heroes/st-leonard-murialdo.html)

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