Archive for the ‘Saints Beati and Venerables’ Category.

Venerable Bruno Marchesini

Venerable Bruno MarchesiniProfile

Born to a large, poor but pious farm family, Bruno was a happy and popular boy who loved soccer and swimming. He knew early on that he had a call to the priesthood, and studied in the seminaries in the archdiocese of Bologna, and in Rome, Italy; he proved to be an excellent student with a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Therese of Lisieux. Diagnosed with meningitis at age 23, he consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and tried to keep up his studies, but was finally reduced by pain and exhaustion to spend all his time in prayer.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Bruno Marchesini“. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 February 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Élisabeth Eppinger

Blessed Élisabeth EppingerAlso known as

  • Mother Alphonse-Marie
  • Sister Alphonse-Marie
  • Alfonsa Maria Elisabeth Eppinger
  • The Niederbronn Ecstatic

Memorial

Profile

Eldest of eleven children born to a poor farm family. Élisabeth was a sickly but very pious child. In 1846 she had the first of a series of visions, including of Jesus Christ. The combination led her to her belief that suffering could block a person from experiencing God‘s love, and relieving suffering could free a person to easier find God. When Bishop Andreas Raess examined her in July 1848 and came away convinced that she was called to serve the poor and sick.

On 28 August 1849, in Niederbronn-les-Baines, France, Élisabeth founded the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer to care for the impoverished sick in their own homes. She placed it under the patronage of Saint Alphonse Maria Liguori, and served as the first superior of the Congregation. She made her religious vows on 2 January 1850, taking the name Alphonse-Marie. The Congregation received approval of Emperor Napoleon III in 1854; later that year they worked with victims of a cholera pandemic. They were praised by Pope Pius IX in 1863 by which point there were 700 Sisters in 83 houses; they received full Vatican approval in 1866, and continue their good work today in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Argentina.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Patronage

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Élisabeth Eppinger“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 February 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Lucien Botovasoa

Blessed Lucien BotovasoaMemorial

Profile

Eldest of nine children, Lucien was baptized at age 10 in 1918, and made his First Communion at 14 in 1922. From 1922 to 1927, he studied at the Jesuit Saint Joseph College, and became a school teacher, dedicated to both religious and secular education of children; at the end of each class, he would read about the lives of the saints to the students who wanted to stay and listen. On 10 October 1930, in the diocese of Farafangana, Madagascar, he was married to Suzanna Soazana; they were the parents of five, including the child she was carrying when he died.

Lucien joined the Crusaders of the Heart of Jesus on 18 August 1935, and served as its treasurer from 1936 to 1947. He leaned to speak Chinese, German and French, had a fine singing voice, was a musician and director of his parish choir. He was a pious man so drawn to religious life that he searched for material on saints who were married in order to learn to combine the two ways of life; his wife was afraid for a while that he was going to leave her for the monastery. He joined the Secular Franciscans in 1940 and found his spiritual home. He was enthusiastic about spreading devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi and the spiritual benefits of being a Franciscan, often fasted, and wore a khaki shirt and tan trousers instead of the traditional black ones of a teacher; the colour he chose was traditional for tertiaries.

In 1947 some of the local people wanted him to run for political office, but Lucien declined saying that he knew nothing of politics and did not want to be part of it. In the spring of 1947 a persecution of Christians broke out in his region with priests and nuns at first being imprisoned, and then Christians killed at random and in groups for their faith. On the afternoon of 14 April 1947 he learned that the antiChristian forces would be coming for him; he refused to run and instead spent the rest of the day with his wife and children. He was arrested that night, judged and condemned by the local chief, and executed; his guards and executioner were men he had taught when they were school boys. Martyr.

Born

Died

  • beheaded with a sword between 10pm and midnight on 14 April 1947 on the banks of the Mattanana River near Ambohimanarivo, Manakara, Madagascar
  • he was wearing his tertiary “uniform” – khaki shirt and trousers with a black cord for a belt
  • his body was tossed into the river

Venerated

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Lucien Botovasoa“. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 February 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Nazaria Ignacia March y Mesa

Blessed Nazaria Ignacia March y MesaAlso known as

  • Nazaire de Sainte-Thérèse March Mesa
  • Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesus

Memorial

Profile

Fourth of eighteen children born to José Alejandro March y Reus, a merchant, fisherman and industrial worker, and Nazaria Mesa Ramos; Nazaira had a twin sister, Ignazia, and ten brothers who survived infancy. She and her sister were baptized on the day they were born, Nazaria made her First Communion on 21 November 1898 and made a personal vow of consecration to God. Unlike many children who are drawn to religious life at an early age, her family was indifferent to the faith, and grew so tired of her of her devotions that they once “grounded” her from going to Mass. By the time she was confirmed on 15 March 1902, which was celebrated by Blessed Marcelo Spínola y Maestre, her family had grown used to her piety, and allowed her to join the Franciscan Third Order and more actively practice her faith. She succeeded in getting several of them to return to the Church.

In late 1904, business failures led the family to move to Mexico. On the trip, Nazarie met sisters in the Instituto de Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados (Institute of Sisters of the Abandoned Elders), and was so inspired by their charism that on 7 December 1908 she followed a calling to religious life, and entered the Institute in Mexico City, Mexico; she made her perpetual vows on 1 January 1915, and took the name Sister Nazaire de Sainte-Thérèse. Her diaries of the time show a deep devotion to her calling, but struggles with her vows of obedience to her superiors.

She was assigned to the Institute hospice in Oruro, Bolivia where she worked as a cook, housekeeper, nurse and occasional beggar to support the poor and neglected for twelve years. The region around Oruro was not entirely Christian, many Protestant groups were establishing missions, and the few priests in the area were often lax or lived scandalous lives. Beginning in 1920 Sister Nazaire began to feel a call to found a new congregation devoted to missionary work, evanglization and religious education. On 18 January 1925, the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Sister Nazaire made a special vow of obedience to the Pope, and on Pentecost that year she made a vow to work for the union and extension of the Holy Catholic Church. On 16 June 1925, with six other sisters, she founded the Pontifical Crusade, later renamed the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church, and began service as their superior. The mission of the Congregation was to catechize children and adults, support the work of priests, conduct missions, and to print and distribute short religious tracts.

Mother Nazaire met with opposition to her work, much of it from within Church administration. Her sisters in the Institute treated her as a traitor to her original vocation for turning away from their work; her superiors considered her disobedient, and some Claretian clergy considered her a glory-hound, ignoring all the help members of their order had given her. But Nazaire clung to Christ and pressed on.

Monsignor Felipe Cortesi, while in Bolivia, had worked to help Mother Nazaire to found the Congregation. When he was assigned to be the apostolic nuncio of Argentina in 1930, he asked had her open a Missionary Crusader house in Buenos Aires. The Congregation received an early test under fire during the 1932 to 1935 war between Bolivia and Paraguay; Mother Nazaire and the sisters cared for and brought the sacraments to soldiers on both sides, and helped establish homes for war orphans. In 1934 she founded the first magazine in Bolivia for women in religious life, Al Adalid de Cristo Rey, and the first female trade union, Sociedad de Obrera Católicas

In early 1934, Monsignor Cortesi asked the Vatican Congregation of Religious to approve the rules for the Crusaders that Nazaire had written, based on Ignatian spirituality. Later that year, Mother Nazaria travelled to Rome with an Argentinian pilgrimage group to work for the approval of her Rule. She made pilgrimages to several sites, and had a private audience with Pope Pius XI during which Nazaire said that she was willing to die for the Church; the Pope told her that she must, instead, live and work for the Church.

Leaving Italy for her native Spain, Mother Nazaire founded a retreat center for spiritual exercises in Madrid under the flag of Uruguay; the sisters there survived the Spanish Civil War as Franco did not wish to risk the international incident killing them would cause. With the help of the Bolivian government, Mother Nazaria was able to leave the persecutions in Spain and return to the Americas. She summoned a general chapter of the Congregation in 1937 to strengthen the unity and zeal of her sisters. Worked on the spiritual formation of new sisters, and set an example by her pious, simple life. To the superiors of the Congregation houses she always recommended a maternal approach to the sisters in their care, to remember their role as Mother of the house. When the Spanish Civil War ended, Nazaire returned to Spain to check on the sisters she had left behind, then returned to the Americas for the final time. The Congregation spread throughout South America and began to work in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Camaroon. Though Nazaire did not live to see it, the Congregation received Vatican recognition on 9 June 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Canonized

Patronage

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Nazaria Ignacia March y Mesa“. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 February 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Antoine Chevrier

Blessed Antoine ChevrierMemorial

Profile

An only child in a family of workers in the silk industry, Antoine was baptized at the age of 2 days. He made his First Communion in 1837, and in 1840, at age 14, he considered becoming a priest – and had such a sense of happiness at the idea that he knew he had a calling to the priesthood. He began his seminary studies in 1842. While studying, he considered joining the foreign missions, but his mother threatened to disown him. “Do you think I raised you for you to be eaten by savages?”, she demanded. “Savages you can find in Lyon!” He was ordained a priest in the archdiocese of Lyon, France on 25 May 1850.

Father Antoine’s first assignment was to the parish of Saint-André de la Guillotière, an area of the poorest of Lyon‘s poor. There he dedicated himself to helping the poor, relieving some of the spirit-grinding misery in which they lived, and convincing others to do the same. He preached against greed, helped organize charity, and on Christmas Eve 1856, while meditating before a Nativity creche and contemplating the humble beginnings of Christ on Earth, he felt a call to not just work with the poor himself, but to organize a religious congregation for others with the same dedication. In January 1857 he sought the counsel of Saint John Marie Vianney on the matter, and the Cure of Ars encouraged him follow the call. Chevrier received permission to leave parish work, and with the help of the layman Camille Rambaud, he began working with and sheltering poor children, abandoned children, factory working children, and those who had already been sent to prison as children.

He joined the Franciscan Third Order in 1859, and on 10 December 1860 he purchased an old ballroom and converted it to a chapel, shelter and school for poor children. During his lifetime he personally worked with around 2,400 boys and young men. In 1866 he opened a school for the boys who felt a call to priestly or religious life, and to teach them to work with young poor people; the group became the Institute of the Priests of Prado, and the female branch, the Sisters of Prado opened soon after; the two groups were often known as the Work of Prado. The first of the Priests of Prado were ordained in Rome, Italy in 1876.

Father Antoine helped quell civil unrest in Lyon in 1871 by leading a Eucharistic procession thorugh the streets on the Feast of Corpus Christi; no one on either side of the conflict dared disrupt such an event. Chevrier wrote the books Disciple of Jesus Christ and God Sends Revolutions, which was a critique of priests who were devoted to comfort, worldly goods or careerism. Though Antoine did not live to see it, the Work received diocesan approval in 1924, was made part of the Conventual Franciscans in 1930, received a decree of papal praise for their work by Pope John XXIII on 28 October 1959, and continues its good work today in dozens of countries.

Born

Died

  • 2 October 1879 in Lyon, Rhône, France of natural causes
  • around 10,000 people attended his funeral, many of them the people the Work of Prado had helped
  • he was buried in the chapel he had built, and the street in front of it is now named for him

Venerated

Beatified

Patronage

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Antoine Chevrier“. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 February 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Jean Chevillard

Blessed Jean ChevillardMemorial

Profile

Member of the Missionaries of Africa, making his vows on 29 June 1949. Ordained a priest in Carthage, Tunisia on 1 July 1950. He spent the rest of his life serving in Algeria. Father Jean supervised a vocation formation center, was a regional superior and regional bursar for the Missionaries. Kidnapped from his office and murdered by Islamic forces. Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Jean Chevillard“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 January 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Alain Dieulangard

Blessed Alain DieulangardMemorial

Profile

Alain studied law, and passed the bar in 1943; later in 1943 he and joined the Missionaries of Africa, making his final vows at Thibar on 29 June 1949. Ordained a priest on 1 February 1950. Missionary to northern Africa for over 40 years. Murdered by Islamic forces. Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Alain Dieulangard“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 January 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Charles Decker

Blessed Charles DeckerMemorial

Profile

Member of the Missionaries of Africa, making his vows on 21 July 1949. Ordained a priest on 8 April 1950. Father Charles studied Arabic in Tunis, then Berber in Tizi-Ouzou, and then ran a youth hostel. Director of the El Kalima Centre in Brussels, Belgium, a centre devoted to inter-faith dialogue, education and documentation between Christians and Muslims. He worked in Yemen from 1982 to 1987, and then returned to Algeria to serve as the priest of the parish of Our Lady of Africa. Murdered by Islamic forces while preparing for Mass. Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Charles Decker“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 January 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Christian Chessel

Blessed Christian ChesselMemorial

Profile

Graduated with a degree in engineering in 1981. Worked as a volunteer in Ivory Coast for two years. Joined the Missionaries of Africa in 1985, taking his vows on 26 November 1991 in Rome, Italy. Ordained a priest on 28 June 1992. In November 1994, Father Christian travelled to the Abbey of Our Lady of Atlas at Tibhirine near Médéa, Algeria to participate in the inter-faith dialogue conducted at the group Ribât-al-Salam (The Place of Peace). Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Christian Chessel“. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 January 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>

Blessed Dénise Leclerc

Blessed Dénise LeclercAlso known as

  • Sister Bibiane

Memorial

Profile

Member of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles, joining on 4 March 1959, taking the name Sister Bibiane, and making her first vows on 8 March 1961. She was assigned to a maternity ward in Algeria, working with infants and new mothers. In 1964 she was assigned to teach sewing and embroidery to young people in Algiers. There she began working with the poorest of young women in the city. Martyred by Islamic forces.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Dénise Leclerc“. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 January 2018. Web. 23 February 2018. <>