A Catholic Monthly Magazine

May Saints

Saint Joan of Arc (d. 1431)

Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux, Joan was 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices she later identified as Saints Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.

During the Hundred Years’ War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. Captured near Compiègne the following year, Joan was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported the judge at her trial. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success, to which Joan contributed.

In 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.

Saint Joan, keep us open and true to God’s inspirations.

Source: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1741

Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno (1831-1900)

One of six children born to a wealthy, pious family, Rose Maria was baptised the day after her birth. She was educated at home.

She married Gerolamo Custo in 1852. The couple first moved to Marseilles, France, but financial difficulties forced them to return to Genoa, Italy. Their oldest child was rendered deaf and mute by illness. Gerolamo died of natural causes in 1858, leaving Rose Maria a widow with three children. The youngest died a few months later.

Rose Maria took these trials as a lesson, and an indication of a vocation. She knew pain, poverty and trial, and was thus qualified to work with others experiencing them. Though she continued to provide for her children, she took private vows of chastity and obedience in 1858, a vow of poverty in 1861, and became a Franciscan tertiary. In 1862 she received the hidden stigmata.

Though she preferred silence and solitude, Catholic associations began soliciting her help. She became president of the Pious Union of the New Ursuline Daughters of Holy Mary Immaculate, and revised its Rule. While working on it, she received a call to form her own congregation. Though she was encouraged by everyone, including the Archbishop of Genoa, she hesitated, fearing it would take her away from her children. She approached Pope Pius IX about it, hoping he would discourage the idea, but he told her to begin work on it immediately.

With Father Giovannio Battista Tornatore, she co-founded the Institute of the Daughters of Saint Anne, Mother of Mary Immaculate, in Piacenza, Italy, in 1866, with a mandate to work with the poor and sick. She took the habit of the Institute in 1867, and in 1870 she and twelve sisters made their solemn profession, during which she took the name Anna Rosa. The Institute received official approval in 1879, and its rule was approved in 1892. She worked with Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini and died in 1900.

Blessed Anna Rosa, remind us to turn to God in grief and trouble.

Source: http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-anna-rosa-gattorno/

Saint Joseph the Worker

The feast of St. Joseph
the Worker was established
by Pope Pius XII in 1955, in order to Christianise the concept of labour and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labour in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, Saint Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all labourers. ‘Workmen and all those labouring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares’ (Leo XIII).

‘May Day’ has long been dedicated to labour and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labour and would bring a spiritual dimension to labour unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honoured on this day.

Saint Joseph, obtain for us the grace to work honestly and diligently.


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