A Catholic Monthly Magazine

May Saints

3 May

Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis

Élodie Paradis was born in the village of L’Acadie, Quebec, the third in a family of six children. As she was growing up, a family friend, Camille Lefebvre, told Élodie about the existence of a community of religious women, the Marianite Sisters of Holy Cross, whose mission was to serve in institutions established by priests and men religious. She entered their novitiate at the age of 14, taking the name in religion of Sr Marie of Sainte Léonie.

She taught in Varennes and in Saint-Martin de Laval before being sent, in 1862, to New York, where the Sisters had just accepted responsibility for an orphanage. She was called, in 1874, to direct a team of novices and postulants at Memramcook College in New Brunswick.

Drawn to offer domestic service in colleges, Marie-Léonie opened a sewing workshop for young Acadian women attracted to the consecrated life. The community evolved, and in 1877, fourteen of the young women donned the religious habit. On 31 May 1880, the new community, based on the model of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, was recognised by the Holy Cross Fathers.

After nearly 20 years’ persistence in asking the Bishop of St. John, New Brunswick, to approve her Institute as an autonomous religious community, some of the Sisters went to serve in the diocesan seminary in Sherbrooke. The Bishop of Sherbrooke welcomed the motherhouse and the novitiate of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, and approved the Institute on 26 January 1896.

Mother Marie-Léonie pursued the work of educating and promoting the human and spiritual welfare of the poor illiterate girls who were attracted by the new community. She understood the importance of the service they offered to the diocesan colleges which were struggling to find adequate personnel. She travelled regularly to respond to new needs, but especially to oversee the formation of her Sisters and to resolve the practical problems involved in the management of their communities. In her correspondence, advice on cooking, menu preparation, gardening and building maintenance is given along with advice on spirituality and health. She died on 3 May 1912. 

Saint Marie-Léonie, help us to stay true to our calling.

Source: www.cccb.ca

16 May

St Richard Pampuri

Ermino Pampuri was born in Travolzio, Italy, in 1897, the tenth of eleven children. When he was three, his mother died and he went to live with his aunt.

Following his primary education, he completed his high school studies as a boarder at St Augustine's College, Pavia, after which he enrolled in the Medical Faculty of Pavia University. During World War I he served first as a sergeant and later underwent officer training in the Medical Corps.

After a three years’ practical experience with his doctor uncle, he was appointed to the practice of Morimondo, Milan.

Very soon his heart and mind began opening up to the Christian ideals of medicine and the apostolate. Even as a young boy he had wanted to become a missionary priest, but was dissuaded from this because of his delicate health. From his youth, Ermino was a shining example of Christian living. He loved prayer, received the Eucharist often and had tremendous devotion to Our Lady. He belonged to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Third Order of St Francis and organised retreats for the Youth Club, farm labourers and local workers, generally paying their expenses.

As well as being studious and competent in practising his profession, he was generous, charitable and very concerned for his patients. Since most of them were poor, he gave them medicines, money, food, clothing, and blankets. When he left his practice to become a religious, the grief at having lost the ‘holy doctor’ was greatly felt everywhere.

Dr Pampuri joined the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, taking the name of Brother Richard, and made his profession of religious vows on 24 October 1928.

Appointed Director of the dental clinic attached to the St. John of God Brothers' Hospital at Bresci, Brother Richard continued to give himself untiringly to all.

He suffered an attact of pleurisy, which degenerated into specific bronco-pneumonia. He died in sanctity in 1930 at the age of 33 years.

St Richard, help us to be more attentive to the needs of the sick and the poor.

Source: www.vatican.va

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