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S. Bruno of Cologne| Bl. Marie Rose Durocher| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
This saint has the honor of having founded a religious order which, as the saying goes, has never had to be reformed because it was never deformed. No doubt both the founder and the members would reject such high praise, but it is an indication of the saint's intense love of a penitential life in solitude.
Bruno was born in Cologne, Germany, became a famous teacher at Rheims and was appointed chancellor of the archdiocese at the age of 45. He supported Pope Gregory VII (May 25) in his fight against the decadence of the clergy and took part in the removal of his own scandalous archbishop, Manasses. Bruno suffered the plundering of his house for his pains.
He had a dream of living in solitude and prayer, and persuaded a few friends to join him in a hermitage. After a while he felt the place unsuitable and, through a friend, was given some land which was to become famous for his foundation "in the Chartreuse" (from which comes the word Carthusians). The climate, desert, mountainous terrain and inaccessibility guaranteed silence, poverty and small numbers.
Bruno and his friends built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other. They met for Matins and Vespers each day and spent the rest of the time in solitude, eating together only on great feasts. Their chief work was copying manuscripts.
The pope, hearing of Bruno's holiness, called for his assistance in Rome. When the pope had to flee Rome, Bruno pulled up stakes again, and spent his last years (after refusing a bishopric) in the wilderness of Calabria.
He was never formally canonized, because the Carthusians were averse to all occasions of publicity. Pope Clement extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.
If there is always a certain uneasy questioning of the contemplative life, there is an even greater puzzlement about the extremely penitential combination of community and hermit life lived by the Carthusians.
“Members of those communities which are totally dedicated to contemplation give themselves to God alone in solitude and silence and through constant prayer and ready penance. No matter how urgent may be the needs of the active apostolate, such communities will always have a distinguished part to play in Christ's Mystical Body...” (Vatican II, Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 7).
Also today in Ordinary Time we commemorate Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
DUROCHER, EULALIE (baptized Mélanie), named Mother Marie-Rose, founder and first superior of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Canada; b. 6 Oct. 1811 in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Lower Canada, daughter of Olivier Durocher and Geneviève Durocher; d. 6 Oct. 1849 in Longueuil, Lower Canada.
Eulalie Durocher was the tenth of 11 children, 3 of whom died in infancy. Her father, a wealthy farmer, had partially completed his classical studies, and her mother had been given the most attentive schooling at the Ursuline convent in Quebec. Consequently both were in a position to ensure that their children obtained a good education. Eulalie’s brothers Flavien*, Théophile, and Eusèbe entered the priesthood, and her sister Séraphine joined the Congregation of Notre-Dame.
Eulalie did not attend the village school; her paternal grandfather Olivier Durocher, a distinguished and scholarly man who served in the militia, undertook to be her teacher at home. Upon his death in 1821, however, the little girl went as a boarding-pupil to the convent run by the Congregation of Notre-Dame in Saint-Denis on the Richelieu. After taking her first communion at the age of 12, she returned home; there she was again tutored privately by Abbé Jean-Marie-Ignace Archambault, a teacher at the Collège de Saint-Hyacinthe. Eager to dedicate herself to God in the religious life, she entered the boarding-school of the Congregation of Notre-Dame in Montreal in 1827, intending to do her noviciate there as had her sister Séraphine. But after two years of study broken by long periods of rest, she had to abandon her plans for the religious life because of poor health. She went back home, to await God’s good time.
At her mother’s death in 1830 Eulalie took over her role and became the life and soul of the family. Of an ardent temperament, easily peremptory, deeply pious, she had a special influence on those around her. Her brother Théophile, curé of Saint-Mathieu parish in Belœil, managed to persuade his father to move from the ancestral farm to the presbytery at Belœil; Eulalie assumed the housekeeping duties, which she carried out from 1831 till 1843. In the comings and goings of the busy presbytery, Eulalie’s calling gradually took shape. The serious political, educational, and religious problems of the day were freely discussed there. She took an interest in them and became aware of the urgent need to make education accessible to children in the countryside whether rich or poor. As there was an alarming shortage of schools and teachers, she began to dream of a religious community that could easily establish more convents. When in 1841 the parish priest of Longueuil, Louis-Moïse Brassard*, appealed to the Sœurs des Saints-Noms de Jésus et de Marie of Marseilles, in France, Eulalie enrolled herself in advance, with her friend Mélodie Dufresne, as a novice in this congregation. But the French sisters did not proceed. The bishop of Marseilles, Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod, who had founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, then advised the bishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget*, to set up a fledgling religious community with the two women who had been eager to be part of the anticipated French group.
In the mean time an initial party of Oblates, including Father Adrien Telmon, had arrived in Montreal. Telmon came to Belœil to conduct popular missions, and he quickly recognized in Eulalie a mentor able to gather kindred souls about her and guide them in the ways of the spirit. He lost no time in encouraging her to found a religious community typically Canadian in its dedication to educating the young. She, Mélodie, and Henriette Céré, the first three candidates, began to prepare themselves for the religious life under the guidance of the Oblates in October 1843. They moved into a building in Longueuil used as a school, in which Henriette Céré taught. On 28 Feb. 1844 Bishop Bourget conducted the ceremony when the three young women took the habit. Eulalie became Sister Marie-Rose in the community, which assumed the name and the institutions of the Sœurs des Saints-Noms de Jésus et de Marie of Marseilles. On 8 December of that year Bourget received the religious vows of all three in the parish church. Marie-Rose was then named superior, mistress of novices, and depositary.
Mother Marie-Rose faced many difficulties, not the least being her community’s disputes with Abbé Charles Chiniquy*. Chiniquy entered the Oblates’ noviciate in 1846 and wanted to take control of the teaching in the schools established by the sisters When he met with refusals from the perspicacious superior, he publicly disparaged the community. Despite the storms Mother Marie-Rose stood firm. A woman of great virtue, in close communion with the Lord and a peerless educator, she gave the community an impetus that has not been lost with the passage of time. When she died on 6 Oct. 1849, on her 38th birthday, the community already had 30 teachers, 7 novices, 7 postulants, and 448 pupils in 4 convents.
After the funeral Bourget told the mourning sisters: “I confess to you with heartfelt sincerity that I was deeply moved to see so many virtues knit together in one soul. . . . I begged her to procure me the same zeal for governing my diocese as she had for directing you.” Thirty years later, in 1880, Bourget was to say: “I invoke her aid as a saint for myself, and I hope that the Lord will glorify her before men by having the church award her the honours of the altar.” His last wish was fulfilled on Sunday 23 May 1982 in St Peter’s Square in Rome, when before a huge crowd Pope John Paul II proclaimed Marie-Rose Durocher blessed.
God's Love for You:
Being born into a Catholic family is not what makes you Catholic. Being Catholic, following Christ, is a decision of the heart. It is a relationship with Love Himself and a commitment to be faithful to the One who has faith in you.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Let us ask Jesus for the grace to love Him and to see Him loved more and more.
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 279: Your Inner Conviction
You must seek to hear God speak to you through an inner conviction within your soul. At times you may sense that God’s Voice is loud and clear, and at other times it may seem faint and confusing. There are many things that can compete with the Voice of God but if you are open, you will come to know His Voice with familiarity. This is important for your spiritual life. Learning to hear Him speak and coming to recognize His Voice allows you to more easily walk in His ways throughout your life. Seek to know this inner conviction that His Voice presents to you. And as you learn to discern it, grow in confidence at His commands of love. Daily obedience to Him in this way must become the foundation of all that you do in life and it will become an abundant source of His outpoured Mercy (See Diary #1383).
How familiar are you with the Voice of God? You most likely will not hear Him speak to you in an audible way. His Voice often comes as a strong sense that we ought to do this or avoid that. He speaks by influencing our will even more than our mind. We may be attentive in our mind to what we sense, but the conviction God gives us is a spiritual sense. Though God may speak to each person in a unique way, this inner conviction is a common experience of God’s communication. Reflect, today, upon God speaking in this way and if you struggle with this goal, recommit yourself to listen. Through this habit you will discover the abundant Mercy that God has in store for you as He guides you day by day.
Lord, I desire to hear Your Voice speaking to me in the depths of my conscience. Please do speak and fill my will with a sense and a conviction of Your holy and perfect Will. May I learn to be attentive to You every day and follow Your gentle commands as the guiding light of my life. Jesus, I trust in You.