A Catholic Monthly Magazine

August Saints

Feast: 5 May
Died: 29 August

Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice

Edmund Rice was born in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland. He received a good education and, at age 17, joined his uncle in Waterford supplying ships for long trips. When he was 23, he married Mary Elliott but, less than four years later, Mary died giving birth to a disabled daughter, Mary. This tragedy left a permanent mark on Edmund.

While developing his uncle’s business, his spiritual life led him into a deep attraction to, and care of, the poor of Waterford. He felt called to become a monk, but was persuaded by a friend to do something significant for the “quay kids” of the city. Having properly cared for his daughter, in 1802 Edmund began a night school for uneducated boys. He desired to found a religious order of men for this task but neither his volunteers nor the paid teachers he employed could stick to it. 

When his dream seemed doomed to failure, he was joined by two men from Callan not only to teach with him but also to found a religious order. In 1808, seven of them took religious vows and were known as the Presentation Brothers. 

The Brothers effected a transformation in the “quay kids” whom they educated, clothed and fed. Several Bishops in Ireland sent men to follow the Brothers’ way of life and the Order spread throughout the country. From the time his Order became a Pontifical Congregation, they were called Christian Brothers.

Edmund’s spirituality was strong and practical. He believed there was a great need “to give to the poor in handfuls”, and give of himself to all who needed him. He endured many trials and his Congregation was nearly suppressed by the law of the land. In 1838, this astute businessman, loving husband, devoted father, grieving widower, innovative educator, courageous founder and compassionate champion of the poor retired from leadership of the Congregation and went to live in Waterford where he died in 1844.

Blessed Edmund, like you, may we have a great heart for the poor.

Source: Internet – various

27 August

Saint Margaret the Barefooted

Margaret was born to a poor family in Italy. At the age of 15, she was married to an Italian nobleman who abused her cruelly for years for her attachment to the Church and her perceived ministry to the poor. 

Despite the physical and mental abuse she suffered, Margaret bore everything in silence and humility, even going so far as to hide her bruises from others. She loved her husband dearly and prayed constantly for his return to the Church. In the end her prayers prevailed and he died a holy death.

As a widow, Margaret devoted herself to penance and gave out of her own poverty to the poor. She gave up shoes, dressed and appeared as a beggar to better associate herself with the poor. She prayed and fasted constantly and died in 1395. She is the patron of brides, difficult marriages, victims of abuse and widows.

Saint Margaret, help us to have compassion for the poor.

25 August

Saint Mary Micaela

Maria Micaela Desmaisières y Lopez de Dicastillo, was born in Madrid in January, 1809. From the age of nine to twelve, she was a pupil of the Ursulines in Pau, France. Her father died when she was thirteen. 

In 1844, she visited the Hospital of Saint John of God in Madrid, and saw with compassion the plight of young girls living a disordered life. In 1845 she established a school to re-educate them, becoming its director in 1849.

She resolved in 1847 to live for God alone, and in Paris, during the same year on Pentecost, received a mystical grace of union with God. She was drawn to an ardent love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as to an apostolate for the feminine youth of Madrid. Until 1856, she dedicated herself entirely to the school she had founded there, and then founded the Institute of Religious Adorer-Slaves of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of Charity. 

Mother Mary promoted and animated various apostolic works for the laity — the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul, Sunday Schools for public school children; she counselled the Sisters of the Love of God at Zamora, at the request of their founder. She died on August 24, 1865, a victim of her charity for the cholera victims of Valencia.

Saint Mary Micaela, teach us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to our vocation.   

Source: http://sanctoral.com/en/saints/saint_mary_micaela.html 

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