A Catholic Monthly Magazine

March Saints

Saint Teresa Eustochio Verzeri

Saint Teresa Verzeri was born in Bergamo, Italy, the first of seven children to be born to Antonio Verzeri and Countess Elena Pedrocca-Grumelli. Teresa learned from her mother to know and love God. Intelligent, gifted with an open spirit, vigilant and upright, she was educated to discern, to seek true values and to be faithful to the action of grace. From childhood, she sought always to surrender totally to God.

This desire led naturally to the religious life. At first, she joined the Benedictine Monastery of St Grata but, after a long search for the right path to follow, she left the monastery to found the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bergamo. The first half of the 1800s was marked in Italy with political changes, revolutions and persecutions that did not spare the Church. At a time when devotion to the Sacred Heart met resistance, Teresa gave to her first daughters this testament: “To you and to your Institute Jesus Christ has given the precious gift of his heart, for from no one else can you learn holiness, he being the inexhaustible source of true holiness.”

She saw very clearly the pressing needs of her times. Wherever charity called, she seized the situation, even the most dangerous and serious, being always available wherever there was hardship. With her first companions, she dedicated herself to diverse apostolic services: education of middle class troubled girls; homes for orphans who were abandoned; public schools, Christian doctrine, retreats, holiday recreations and other forms of help. She built orphanages and retreat centres, and provided help to the old, the sick and the infirm. Teresa revealed a special talent as spiritual guide, apostle and teacher. As well as the Constitutions and Book of Duties for the congregation, she left over 3,500 letters, in which are found all the richness of her spiritual and human experience.

Teresa Verzeri died in Brescia on 3 March 1852, leaving a legacy of service to the poor in the name and in the spirit of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saint Teresa, open our eyes to the needs of the less fortunate.

Source: Internet – various

Saint Paul the Simple (d 339)

Paul had long been a humble farmer in Egypt when, at the age of sixty, he discovered that his wife was unfaithful. Leaving her, he set out for the desert and went to Anthony to become a follower.

Anthony at first refused him, owing to Paul’s advanced years and because he doubted Paul’s sincerity. As Paul was persistent, Anthony gave him a host of demanding and arduous tasks which Paul fulfilled with such humility, obedience, and simplicity that Anthony allowed him entry into the community.

Paul was termed by Anthony the ideal monk and the so-called ‘Pride of the Desert,’ bearing with honour the title ‘the Simple.’ There is a tradition that he could read minds and cure the sick.

Saint Paul, teach us persistence in following Jesus.

Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5281

Saint Joseph Zhang Dapeng of Duyun
(c 1754-1815)

A clever and inquisitive boy, he was much attracted to Taoism in his youth. He moved to Guiyang in 1794, entering the silk business. He learned of Christianity, converted, but was unable to join the Church because, in the custom of the day, he kept a concubine. He left her, and in 1800, against strong opposition from his family and business associates, he joined the Church, taking the name Joseph.

Because of trouble at his business over his new-found faith, he went out on his own, opening his own store. He began a ministry of preaching and teaching, and converted a house into a small school for teaching religion. He became a school principal in 1808, and worked as a catechist and altar server.

During the anti-Christian persecutions led by the White Lotus Cult, Joseph went briefly into hiding, continuing his catechist work covertly. In 1814 he was betrayed by his anti-Christian brother-in-law, and was arrested. He spent his time in prison ministering to other prisoners. He was offered his freedom if he would denounce Christianity; he declined and was strangled to death.

Saint Joseph, obtain for us the grace to share our faith with others.

Source: http://catholicsaints.mobi/calendar/12-march.htm

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