Blog Post - November 13th
S. Frances Xavier Cabrini (USA)| S. Didacus| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized; she became a U.S. citizen in 1909. Her deep trust in the loving care of her God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ.
Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877 she made her vows there and took the religious habit.
When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined her.
Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.
She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York City, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she did.
In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.
As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.
The compassion and dedication of Mother Cabrini is still seen in hundreds of thousands of her fellow citizens, not yet canonized, who care for the sick in hospitals, nursing homes and state institutions. We complain of increased medical costs in an affluent society, but the daily news shows us millions who have little or no medical care, and who are calling for new Mother Cabrinis to become citizen-servants of their land.
At her canonization on July 7, 1946, Venerable Pius XII said, "Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond the strength of a woman."
Also to day in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Didacus, Confessor. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Who is St. Didacus?
His impoverished parents placed him as a child in the care of a hermit living not far from San Nicolás del Puerto Seville - Spain, his native town. Feeling called to the religious life, he applied for admission to the Franciscan Order at the convent of Arizafa and was received as a lay brother. In 1445 he was chosen guardian of the Franciscan community on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, where in 1446, the Observantist Franciscans founded the Convent of San Buenaventura. There, though it was an exception to the ordinary rules for a lay brother to be made superior; his great zeal, prudence, and sanctity justified this choice.
In 1449 he was recalled to Spain, whence he went to Rome to be present at the canonization of Bernardino of Siena in 1450. At Alatraz he fulfilled the humble office of infirmarian in the convent of Ara Coeli; and his biographers record the miraculous cure of many whom he attended, through his pious intercession. He was finally recalled to Spain and was sent by his superiors to the Convento de Santa María de Jesús in Alcalá, where he spent the remaining years of his life in penance, solitude, and the delights of contemplation. There he died on November 12, 1463 due to an abscess. It was said that it amazed everyone that instead of a foul odor, fragrance emitted from his infection. His body was also rumored to have remained incorrupt, did not undergo rigor mortis and continued to emit a pleasant odor.
Saint Didacus was canonized by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 and in the General Roman Calendar his feast day was celebrated on 13 November, since 12 November, the anniversary of his death, was occupied by that of Pope Saint Martin I. However, the celebrated his feast day on 12 November, and Saint Didacus's feast day was finally placed on 12 November for the whole of the Church in the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, which also moved Pope Martin I's feast day to his dies natalis, 13 April.
Saint Didacus is the saint to whom the Franciscan mission that developed into was dedicated.
The Spanish painter Bartolomé Estéban Murillo is noted for painting representations of Didacus of Alcalá.
On a hunting trip, Henry IV of Castile fell from his horse and injured his arm. In intense pain and with his doctors unable to relieve his agony, he went to Alcalá and prayed to Didacus for a cure. The saint's body was removed from his casket and placed beside the king. Henry then kissed the body and placed the saint's hand on his injured arm. The king felt the pain disappear and his arm immediately regained its former strength.
Don Carlos, Prince of Asturias, son of King Philip II of Spain, was of a difficult and rebellious character. On the night of April 19, 1562, he was groping around in the dark after a night spent with some ladies when he fell down a flight of stairs and landed on his head. There he was found the next morning, unconscious and partially paralyzed. He later became blind, developed a high fever and his head swelled to an enormous size. In a moment of lucidity, he asked that he wanted to make a personal petition to St. Didacus. The saint's body was brought to his chambers. The prior of the convent placed one of Carlos' hands upon the chest of St. Didacus, whereupon the prince fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. Six hours later, he awoke and related that in a dream, he saw the saint telling him that he would not die. The prince recovered from his brush with death.
As far as Christians are concerned, all human beings are equally important, because all human beings are infinitely important. We are all brothers and sisters because God is our Father, and Christ came to save us all.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Tranquility is the daughter of love of God and of the resignation of our own will.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 317: Passing Judgment
It is very easy to pass judgment on another, but it is very difficult to withhold judgment. Why is that so? Why might you find yourself easily passing judgment on others when you truly do not know their heart? There certainly can be many reasons for this sin; one of them is that some people do not even know themselves well enough to judge their own conscience. When this is the case, the person will be in no position to try to judge another. Judging another often comes from a heart that has little interior knowledge, understanding or personal insight. They feel this disorder within and project it out on others. This is helpful to understand for two reasons. First, if you tend to judge, stop and look into your heart. There is a very good chance that you do not know who you are, what your sins are, or how God sees your soul. Second, if you become the object of another’s judgment, do not be offended. Instead, use it as an opportunity to have a holy sympathy for them. Chances are that their judgment of you is a sign of their own interior confusion. This should evoke compassion toward them, not judgment in return (See Diary #1528).
Reflect today upon these two experiences of judgment. First reflect upon whether you judge and why. Also spend time reflecting upon the way you react when others judge you. Seek the truth in both of these experiences and surrender your own judgments and your experience of others’ judgments to the Mercy of God.
Lord, please free me from having a judgmental heart. You and You alone probe the minds and hearts of all Your children. Give me insight into my own soul so that I may continually examine my life in the light of Your Truth, and give me a heart of mercy that I may love others with the Mercy of Your Divine Heart. Jesus, I trust in You.