Feast of the day

Feast Of The Day

10/5/2020 12:00:00 AM

Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos

        Bl. Francis was born in Füssen, Bavaria, Germany on January 11, 1819. He was one of 12 children born to Mang and Frances Schwarzenbach Seelos, and was baptized the same day in the parish church. Having expressed a desire for the priesthood since childhood, he studied philosophy and theology in Munich.

        In Munich, Seelos was touched by letters published in the Catholic newspaper Sion describing the lack of spiritual care for German-speaking immigrants. After visiting the Redemptorists in Altötting, Seelos decided to enter the Congregation, asking to be allowed to work as a missionary in the United States.  On December 22, 1844, Seelos was ordained a priest in Baltimore, Maryland. He was assigned for six years to St. Philomena’s Parish in Pittsburgh as an assistant to St. John Neumann. Regarding their relationship, Seelos said, "He has introduced me to the active life" and "has guided me as a spiritual director and confessor."

        Several years in parish ministry in Maryland followed, along with responsibility for training Redemptorist students. His availability and innate kindness in understanding and responding to the needs of the faithful quickly made him well known as an expert confessor and spiritual director, so much so that people came to him even from neighboring towns. His confessional was open to all: "I hear confessions in German, English, French, of Whites and of Blacks". He practiced a simple lifestyle and a simple manner of expressing himself. The themes of his preaching, rich in Biblical content, were always understood even by the simplest people. Father Seelos is described a man with a constant smile and a generous heart, especially towards the needy and marginalized.

        For several years he preached in English and German throughout the Midwest and in the Middle Atlantic states. Assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Church community in New Orleans, he served his Redemptorist confreres and parishioners with great zeal. In 1867, he passed away from yellow fever, having contracted that disease while visiting the sick.



       Sister Mary Faustina, an apostle of the Divine Mercy, belongs today to the group of the most popular and well-known saints of the Church. Through her the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the great message of God's mercy and reveals the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors.

        She was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec in Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of ten children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish Church of Swinice Warckich. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of nine she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended school for three years. At the age of sixteen she left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrów, Lodzi i Ostrówek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

        At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. Called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, on August 1, 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sister Mary Faustina. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years and lived in several religious houses. She spent time at Kraków, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.

        Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.

        It is the mystery of the Mercy of God which she contemplated in the word of God as well as in the everyday activities of her life that forms the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating and getting to know the mystery of God's mercy helped develop within Sr. Mary Faustina the attitude of child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward the neighbors. O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life (Diary 1242). Sister Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church which she loved like a Mother and a Mystic Body of Jesus Christ. Conscious of her role in the Church, she cooperated with God's mercy in the task of saving lost souls. At the specific request of and following the example of the Lord Jesus, she made a sacrifice of her own life for this very goal. In her spiritual life she also distinguished herself with a love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.

        The years she had spent at the convent were filled with extraordinary gifts, such as: revelations, visions, hidden stigmata, participation in the Passion of the Lord, the gift of bilocation, the reading of human souls, the gift of prophecy, or the rare gift of mystical engagement and marriage. The living relationship with God, the Blessed Mother, the Angels, the Saints, the souls in Purgatory - with the entire supernatural world - was as equally real for her as was the world she perceived with her senses. In spite of being so richly endowed with extraordinary graces, Sr. Mary Faustina knew that they do not in fact constitute sanctity. In her Diary she wrote: Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God (Diary 1107).

        The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Mary Faustina as the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His great message. In the Old Covenant - He said to her -I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart (Diary 1588).

        The mission of Sister Mary Faustina consists in 3 tasks:

- Reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God toward every human being.

- Entreating God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners, among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus, such as: the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: Jesus, I Trust in You, the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.). The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the above forms of devotion, provided one entrusted one's life to God and practiced active love of one's neighbor.

- The third task in Sr. Mary Faustina's mission consists in initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy which undertakes the task of proclaiming and entreating God's mercy for the world and strives for Christian perfection, following the precepts laid down by the Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina. The precepts in question require the faithful to display an attitude of child-like trust in God which expresses itself in fulfilling His will, as well as in the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors. Today, this movement within the Church involves millions of people throughout the world; it comprises religious congregations, lay institutes, religious, brotherhoods, associations, various communities of apostles of the Divine Mercy, as well as individual people who take up the tasks which the Lord Jesus communicated to them through Sr. Mary Faustina.

        The mission of the Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina was recorded in her diary, which she kept at the specific request of the Lord Jesus and her confessors. In it, she recorded faithfully all of the Lord's wishes, and also described the encounters between Him and her soul. The Lord said her, "Your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about My mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted in their souls and will have the courage to approach Me" (Diary 1693). In an extraordinary way, Sr. Mary Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the Divine Mercy. It delights not only the simple and uneducated, but also scholars who look upon it as an additional source of theological research. The Diary has been translated into many languages, among others, English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak.

        Sister Mary Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis and sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, died in Krakow at the age of just thirty three on October 5, 1938 with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew as did the cult to the Divine Mercy and the graces obtained from God through her intercession. In the years 1965-67, the investigative process into her life and heroic virtues was undertaken in Kraków; and in 1968, the Beatification Process was initiated in Rome. The Beatification was completed on December 1992. On April 18, 1993, St. John Paul II raised St. Faustina to the glory of the altars; canonizing her on April 4, 2000. St. Mary Faustina's resting place is at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Lagiewniki.


(6th century)

        St. Placid was born in Rome in the year 515, of a patrician family, and at the age of seven was taken by his father to the monastery of Subiaco. At thirteen years of age, he followed St. Benedict to the new foundation at Monte Casino, where he grew up in the practice of piety and innocence of life.

        He had scarcely completed his twenty-first year when he was selected to establish a monastery in Sicily upon some estates which had been given by his father to St. Benedict. He spent four years in building the monastery, and a fifth had not elapsed when an inroad of barbarians burned everything to the ground, and put to a lingering death not only St. Placid and thirty monks who had joined him, but also his two brothers, Eutychius and Victorinus, and his holy sister Flavia, who had come to visit him.

        The monastery was rebuilt and has St. Placid as its patron.


Saint Flora of Beaulieu
(c. 1300-1347)

        St. Flora lived in fourteenth century France. She came from a pious family and was a devout child. She resisted her parents' plans for her to marry, and entered a convent of nuns at Beaulieu in 1324. Once she gave herself to God as his spouse, he allowed her to prove her love by overcoming diverse trials and temptations.

        Because she persevered, Sister Flora grew dearer and dearer to God. She was granted many unusual and mystical favors. Soon, people realized Sister Flora was very holy; and came asking her for prayers and advice.

        Sister Flora also received a grace of suffering the pain from Christ's cross. It pressed into her side and made a wound. She joyfully accepted the suffering in love with Jesus Christ.

        In 1347, St. Flora was called to her eternal rest. As proof of His love, God worked many miracles at St. Flora's tomb.