A Catholic Monthly Magazine

October Saints

18 October

Saint Peter of Alcantara
(1499-1562)

Peter was born in Alcantara, Spain in 1499. The son of a provincial governor, he was privately tutored and attended the University of Salamanca, after which he was accepted as a Franciscan Friar of the Stricter Observance 1515. At age 22, he was sent to found a community of the Stricter Observance at Badajoz.

He was ordained as a priest in 1524 and, as superior, drew up new constitutions for the order of Stricter Observance. These being met with resistance, he eventually resigned from his post as superior.

Peter then began a new life of greater spiritual responsibility, preaching with great success to the poor. When not preaching, he would spend long periods of time in meditation and prayer. After two years of solitude, he made a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome to obtain permission from the Pope to establish friaries. These friaries were compelled to follow a strict constitution which contained reforms that proved fruitful.

Peter was known for frequently experiencing ecstasy during his prayer and meditation. He died in prayer on October 18, 1562.

Saint Peter, give us great zeal in the practice of our faith.

Source: www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=777

11 October

Blessed Jakob Griesinger
(1407-1491)

Jakob Griesinger was born in Swabia as the second child of Theodoric. He became a soldier in Naples in 1432 after having stopped in Bologna and then going on a pilgrimage to Rome in Lent to visit the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. He enlisted because he did not have enough funds to go back home. He soon became disillusioned with his life and spent time as the private aide to a solicitor in Capua from 1437 until 1441.

That year, he became a member of the Order of Preachers in Bologna, after having visited the basilica there. He became the glass maker for the order, and became famous for the fine glass works and stained glass windows he produced.

He died on 11 October 1491 and was buried in the Basilica of San Domenico.

Blessed Jakob, may our lives, like yours, produce beauty for the glory of God.

Source: Internet, various

29 October

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano
(1971-1990)

Chiara Badano was born in Sassello, northern Italy, an only child, much desired by her parents and greatly loved and treasured as a special gift from God. Showing early signs of piety, she was of strong but docile character, and radiated joy and kindness.

In 1981, Chiara discovered the Focolare movement through a friend who invited her to join. She had a close relationship with the foundress, Chiara Lubich, who gave her the name Luce (Light). At the age of 16, she decided to pursue a consecrated life.

One day, at age 17, while playing tennis, the young woman felt an acute pain and returned home, causing her mother alarm at her unnatural pallor. When asked why she had come home, she explained, “Because during the match I felt such a sharp pain in my back that I dropped the racquet”. Gradually the pain became worse and she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in her shoulder. She began intense chemotherapy while she continued her daily life with the same joy and faith, once she had faced the struggle of saying “yes” to what Jesus was asking of her. This faith moved her to give all of her savings to a friend who was going to be a missionary in Africa.

Despite the efforts of her doctors, her illness progressed rapidly. She lost the use of her legs after unsuccessful surgery. “If I had to choose between walking or going to heaven, I’d choose heaven”, she told her family. She suffered severe haemorrhaging in July 1989 and her death appeared imminent. She told her parents, “Don’t cry for me. I am going to Jesus. At my funeral I don’t want people to cry, but rather to sing with all their voices”.

Chiara prepared her own funeral: the songs and readings for the Mass, the dress and hairdo. Everything was for her a celebration. She made one last exhortation to her mother: “When you dress me, you must repeat three times: Now Chiara is seeing Jesus”.

She died on October 7, 1990, surrounded by her parents and friends. Her final words were, “Ciao. Be happy because I am”. 

Blessed Chiara, help us to say “yes” to anything Jesus asks of us.   

Source: Internet, various


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