A celebration for the Catholic Church! Tomorrow, October 21, seven Blessed will be canonized. Whew! Seven new Saints. I am so ecstatic. I am so excited. I want to celebrate. To shout it out to the world… “Everyone, our faith is very much alive!” Thanks to the lives of these 7 people. Seven who offered their very lives for the service of God. Seven who believed in His love, His might, His power. Seven who endured, persevered and loved.
They lived and died in different times, different settings, different cultures. But aside from their differences, they worshipped the same God, the same Lord, the same Savior… Unchanging, Constant, Everlasting.
1. Carmen Salles
Born in Spain in 1848. She protested that women should have the right to education and should not just stay at home. Because of this, Carmen was admired as well as criticized by the people back in her time. Decided to dedicate her life to God and became a nun.
“She went through all types of hardships. From the economical, to critics both within the Church and in society. However she had hope and she believed that something better is always possible. In fact, the motto for her canonization is: Forward, always forward, God will provide.” – Mother Asuncion Valles (Postulator)
1841, Giovanni was born in the city of Brescia in Northen Italy in a poor family. He had a difficult time growing up especially when he lost his mother at the age of 9. Growing in the slums and experiencing the difficulty of finding education and work himself, he decided to dedicate his life and tirelessly help the youth (in the streets) find opportunities by developing projects for them.
“In his personal story can be read also the roots of his holiness: orphan, poor, helpless, eager to do good, but the atmosphere around him made him not easy. His idea is that if a young person is given the opportunity, confidence, he can achieve miracles.” – P. Igor Manzillo (Postulator)
The ones who offered their pain and sufferings
The Pocahontas of the Catholic Church! Kateri was born in a native town in New York on 1656. She was the daughter of a Mohawk Warrior (now, look at that!) and because of this, she was known to be the “Lily of the Mohawks.” Kateri was attacked by a disease called smallpox that disfigured her face and left her with scars. This disease also killed her family. She was 20 when she converted with the help of the French Jesuits. Kateri was persecuted by her own tribe, so she fled to Canada to care for the sick and the elderly.
“Every morning, even in bitterest winter, she stood before the chapel door until it opened at four and remained there until after the last Mass. She was devoted to the Eucharist and to Jesus Crucified. She died on April 17, 1680 at the age of twenty-four.” (Catholic.org)
Born in 1882 in Germany, Anna from the age of 19 was bedridden. She slipped into a boiling lye, her legs left paralyzed, suffered cancer and brain injury. But for over 20 years of being in bed, Anna’s faith grew. She received communion everyday and offered her pain and sufferings to God.
She also helped encourage others, who is also suffering or sick to cling on more to God and just devote their lives to Him.
She died on October 5, 1925.
Born in Germany and eventually her family moved to the United States. Became a nun and founded 2 of the first 50 hospitals in the country. Marianne was assigned in Hawaii when the King of Hawaii requested help to care for the lepers. Marianne together with six others from the Sisters of St. Francis answered that call.
“Because of her great faith that she lived all by following a call of God No mather where she was called, no mather the sacrified was unespecially going to Hawai and caring for 30 years the people were underindependece of Hansen disease was a safe essavage she made. But she felt always called by God to do”. – Sister Grace Anne Dillenschneider, Vice Postulator
The Martyrs (and the second Filipino Saint)
A Jesuit Father. A missionary assigned in Madagascar who was attacked and kidnapped by the villagers while accompanying refugees. Fr. Berthieu was brought to the tribe’s chief, and he was offered to be the tribe’s councellor as a reward if he renounced his faith. If he won’t he will die. Fr. Berthieu didn’t think twice. Immediately, he was killed, his body was thrown into the river and was never recovered.
“We will make you our counselor. We will make you our head. He very simply said, ‘My son, I’m sorry, that I cannot do. I prefer to die.” – Fr. Mark Lindeijer
(and of course… our second Filipino Saint!!!)
7. Pedro Calungsod
A Filipino. A Missionary. Young, Migrant, Martyr. Accompanied the Jesuit Fr. Diego de San Vitores to the Mariana Islands in Guam, Pedro became a young catechist who offered his life to serve the natives. Together with Fr. Diego, many were converted. The one that caused them their lives is when Fr. Diego baptized the chieftain’s daughter. Attacked by the angry father, Pedro could have run and hide, but then he opted to stay with the half-blind Fr. Diego. A faithful friend and companion he was. Both bodies were thrown into the river and were never recovered. (And yes, Pedro is my inspiration.. in everything you do, do it with love.)
There you go! The new magic seven! Let these new saints inspire us to live and even die for the sake of the call. For our love for God. Let these new saints inspire us to serve without counting the cost, to give our very lives to the one who created them Himself.
Life that is offered. Faith that is proclaimed.
*sources: catholic.org, romereports