A Catholic Monthly Magazine

April Saints

Blessed Luigi Boccardo

Luigi Boccardo was born in Moncalieri, Italy, the seventh of nine children. Although his parents were farmers, they encouraged Luigi in his desire to study and enrolled him with the Barnabite Fathers.

When the young man wanted to study for the priesthood, however, his parents were reluctant but Luigi entered the diocesan seminary in 1877. He nearly died from typhus fever and recovered only when given Lourdes water to drink, sparking within Luigi a filial devotion to the Mother of God, to whom he consecrated himself. He was ordained in 1884.

After two years of temporary assignments, Father Luigi was named vice-rector and spiritual director for young priests in Turin, a role he filled for the next 30 years, thus guiding the overall formation of generations of diocesan priests.

In 1914, Father Luigi was appointed Superior General of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan, a congregation founded by his brother, Giovanni. This expanded Luigi’s outlook considerably as most of his previous years had been spent in a male seminary environment. Some years later he became Director of the Institute for the Blind, next to whose premises he was able to install the General House of the Poor Sisters.

In response to a request for a church to be built next to the Sisters’ house, he worked on the Shrine of Christ the King, consecrated in 1931, the first in Piedmont to spread this devotion.

As spiritual director of the Institute of the Blind, he met with some people who would have consecrated their lives as religious but were refused because of their blindness. For their benefit he founded the Sisters of Christ the King, a contemplative branch of the Poor Sisters. Their work was to pray for the Church, the Pope, priests and especially the most needy.

Among Father Luigi’s accomplishments are the 1,027 letters gathered into seven volumes from 1901-1936 addressed to lay people, priests and religious in which are expressed all the spirituality and trust in God of this humble priest. He died peacefully on 9 June 1936.

Blessed Luigi, inspire us to give ourselves generously to God.

(Source: Internet – various)

St Agnes of Montepulciano
(c 1268-1317)

Saint Agnes of Montepulciano was born into a noble family in the village of Gracciano, Italy. At the age of nine she entered the Dominican monastery at nearby Montepulciano, where she lived an austere life, sleeping on the ground with a stone for a pillow, and fasting on bread and water.

At age 15, at the command of the Pope, Agnes became superior of a new convent in Procena. Many miracles involving her were recorded at this time and thereafter.

Following a vision of Mary, Agnes established a convent under the Dominican rule in Montepulciano, as she had been instructed by an angel, about the year 1300, as the citizens of the town had built a new convent there, hoping to lure Agnes back
to them. She governed there until her death in 1317.

Shortly before her death, Agnes was sent to bathe in springs that were thought to have curative powers. The waters did nothing to help Agnes, but, while there, the saint prayed over a child who had recently drowned, bringing the child back to life.

Agnes then went back to the monastery, where she died at the age of 43.

Saint Agnes, teach us to live quietly in God.

(Source: http://www.roman-catholic-saints.com/st-agnes-of-montepulciano.html)

Saint Zita

Zita was born at Monte Sagrati, Italy and entered into the service of wool dealers in Lucca, at the age of twelve. Immediately disliked by the other servants for her hard work and obvious goodness, she earned their special enmity because of her habit of giving away food and clothing, including those of her employers, to the poor.

According to one tradition, the other servants were convinced when one day they found an angel taking Zita’s place baking and cleaning. Throughout her life she worked on behalf of the poor and suffering as well as imprisoned criminals. Canonised in 1696, she is the patroness of servants and is depicted in art with a bag and keys, or loaves of bread and a rosary.

Saint Zita, help us to become servants of others.   

(Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2085)

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