S. Paul of the Cross| S. Louis-Mary Grignion de Montfort| S. Peter Chanel| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Paul of the Cross
Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul Daneo lived at a time when many regarded Jesus as a great moral teacher but no more. After a brief time as a soldier, he turned to solitary prayer, developing a devotion to Christ’s passion. Paul saw in the Lord’s passion a demonstration of God’s love for all people. In turn that devotion nurtured his compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was known as one of the most popular preachers of his day, both for his words and for his generous acts of mercy.
In 1720 Paul founded the Congregation of the Passion, whose members combined devotion to Christ’s passion with preaching to the poor and rigorous penances. Known as the Passionists, they add a fourth vow to the traditional three of poverty, chastity, and obedience, to spread the memory of Christ’s passion among the faithful. Paul was elected superior general of the Congregation in 1747, spending the remainder of his life in Rome.
Paul of the Cross died in 1775, and was canonized in 1867. Over 2000 of his letters and several of his short writings have survived.
Paul's devotion to Christ's passion must have seemed eccentric if not bizarre to many people. Yet it was that devotion that nurtured Paul's compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day, known for both his words and his generous acts of mercy.
Paul wrote that God's love "penetrates the inner core of one's being, changes the lover into his beloved. And on a higher level whre love is merged with sorrow and sorrow mingled with love, there results a certain blend of love and sorrow that is so complex that the love can no longer be distinguished from the sorrow nor the sorrow from the love."
Patron Saint of:
St. Louis-Mary Grignion de Montfort
Louis's life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church. Totus tuus(completely yours) was Louis's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II, October 22) chose it as his episcopal motto.
Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his Baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.
Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with Church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life.
Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.
Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.
Note: Click Here- for paryers to be recited with True Devotion. This is the same method as used by S. John-Paul II. There are nineteen (19) yearly Plenary Indulgences for those who complete the necessary requirements as outlined on the Total Consecration page of this website listed above.
Like Mary, Louis experienced challenges in his efforts to follow Jesus. Opposed at times in his preaching and in his other ministries, Louis knew with St. Paul, “Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7). Any attempt to succeed by worldly standards runs the risk of betraying the Good News of Jesus. Mary is “the first and most perfect disciple,” as the late Raymond Brown, S.S., described her.
“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin).
St. Peter Chanel
Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania where he was entrusted with an apostolic vicariate (term for a region that may later become a diocese). The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island in the New Hebrides, promising to return in six months. He was gone five years.
Meanwhile, Pedro struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit and endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death, his body cut to pieces.
Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.
Suffering for Christ means suffering because we are like Christ. Very often the opposition we meet is the result of our own selfishness or imprudence. We are not martyrs when we are "persecuted" by those who merely treat us as we treat them. A Christian martyr is one who, like Christ, is simply a witness to God's love, and brings out of human hearts the good or evil that is already there.
"No one is a martyr for a conclusion, no one is a martyr for an opinion; it is faith that makes martyrs" (Cardinal Newman, Discourses to Mixed Congregations).
Patron Saint of:
Love Is Vulnerable:
The world is full of broken hearts because a heart can love and love is vulnerable. There are broken hearts scattered all over the world. Yes, the heart is a vulnerable thing because it yearns to love. The human heart is just like the heart of God.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
You will excuse everyone with Christian charity, keeping before your eyes the example of the divine Master, who excused even His crucifiers before the Father.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 118: An Obstinate Heart
One of the primary ways we stop the Mercy of God from entering into our lives is through obstinacy. Specifically, when we obstinately hold onto our own opinion, as a result of our pride, and therefore fail to be open to the truth, we shut the door to grace. This is a particularly dangerous sin because obstinacy, by its very definition, implies there is an unwillingness to repent and change. The obstinate person remains, day after day, year after year, closed to the grace of God. The only cure for an obstinate heart is humility before the Truth of God. Coming to God, with a sincerely open heart, ready and willing to change our convictions the moment He speaks, is the first step to being rid of this sin. Humble yourself by listening, setting aside your own firm opinion, being open and willing to change. This may be difficult at first, but you will be truly grateful you did (See Diary #560).
What are you obstinate about? Is there a long-standing thought you hold against another? Is there something that you are convinced you are right on? Make sure that God feels the same way. Seek, today, to be open to change. The first step is to ask the Lord to open your eyes to see. The second step is to let yourself see this tendency within your heart.
Lord, I know I am obstinate. I see it within my soul. I hold on to my will and refuse to listen to others out of pride. Give me the grace of an open mind that I may shed my stubbornness. Help me to humble myself before You and others and help me to be ready and willing to listen to Your Truth. Jesus, I trust in You.