Archive for the ‘Saints Beati and Venerables’ Category.

American Ecclesiastical Review – Bishop Francis Gonzaga

main article for Bishop Francesco GonzagaThe good news is published in the official acts of the Franciscan Order that the Sacred Congregation of Rites has resumed the process of Beatification of P. Francesco Gonzaga, the man to whom Saint Aloysius owed perhaps above all others the realization of his wish to become a Jesuit, when the opposition of the family threatened to frustrate the Divine call and to deprive the Church of so fair a Saint. Francis Gonzaga had been, before his entrance into the Franciscan Order, attached to the Court of Charles V of Spain, and at the age of eleven, as page elect, accompanied the special embassy of the Emperor to Alessandro Farnese in Flanders. A few year later, he was deputed as escort to Philip of Spain, son of Charles, for the royal coronation ceremony, to Brussels. That same year, however, he renounced the pleasures and honors of the court, and being scarcely eighteen years of age, entered the novitiate of the Friars Minor at Alcala. He became an eminent theologian, and in 1579, at the age of thirty-three, was elected General of the entire Franciscan Order. It was on his return from a visitation of the Minorite communities in Spain, that he took the young son of Count Ferrante Gonzaga of Castiglione, with him to Italy. Aloysius Gonzaga was then about eighteen years old. A few months later, after Aloysius had entered the novitiate of the Jesuits, P. Francesco came to Don Ferrante who was on his deathbed at Milan, and moved him fully to second the sacrifice which his beloved boy had made in leaving behind him the prospects of a military and courtly career in order to assume the black gown of the militia of Christ.

When the archiepiscopal see of Milan had been left vacant by the death of Saint Charles Borromeo, the Pope nominated P. Francesco Gonzaga as his successor, but the latter declined to accept the dignity, as he deemed himself unworthy and incapable of sustaining the work begun by the saintly Archbishop. Later on, he was prevailed upon to assume the difficult post of Bishop to the see of Cefalu in Sicily. Here he laid the foundations of the first ecclesiastical seminary on the model prescribed by the Council of Trent. He was relentless in enforcing the reforms sanctioned by the decrees of the Council, and effectually resisted the political intriguers who, in the name of the King, sought to maintain certain abuses among the clergy under the title of ecclesiastical prerogatives, which they found to their temporal advantage. On one occasion, when an officer of high degree pleaded his past loyalty to the King as an excuse for refusing to recognize the ordinances of the Bishop, the latter answered: “You speak of loyalty to the King, as though the Bishop had no such sentiments. Let me remind you, sir, that the Gonzagas have shed a greater quantity of blood in defence of the King than you have consumed wine during your lifetime, which I think cannot be little.”

Later, P. Francesco was nominated Bishop of Pavia; but, at the urgent instance of the Duke of Mantua, he was appointed to the see of the ducal city, where he also founded a seminary, and enforced the reforms of the Council. To his efforts were largely due the Beatification of his holy young relative, Aloysius, which occurred within fifteen years after the death of the youthful Saint. The final canonization was not effected until a hundred and twenty years later. There is a biography of P. Francesco Gonzaga from the pen of Donesmondi, published in Venice, 1625. The body of the Venerable Francesco Gonzaga is preserved in the Cathedral of Mantua; the figure of the Bishop is there seen sitting upon the episcopal throne erected in the vault under the high altar.

– from American Ecclesiastical Review, 1905

nun

Article

A nun is a maid or widow who has consecrated herself to God by the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and bound herself to live in a convent under a certain rule.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “nun”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Light from the Altar – The Visitation, 2 July

detail of a stained glass representing the Visitation, date and artist unknown; Church of Saint Thomas, Excideuil, Dordogne, France; photographed on 2 March 2010 by Père Igor; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsThe Angel Gabriel had just left our Lady in the little cottage at Nazareth. Her beautiful face was lit up with joy – the joy of Divine motherhood. It was the hour of the first Communion ever celebrated on earth, and Mary was making her thanksgiving. But as the sun rose over the Sea of Galilee, and a few of its bright rays shone through the window upon the tiled floor, Mary left her prayer and began her preparation for a journey. The angel’s last words to her were as a command. They told her that her cousin, Saint Elizabeth, had been blessed by God and was to have a son in her old age. Elizabeth lived far off, down among the hills of Judea, at least four days’ travel from Nazareth. But distance was nothing to Mary when there was question of a kindness. So “in haste” she left her home and set forth upon her way. It was the Spring of the year, the lowliest time in Galilee. Flowers of the brightest hues grew around in thousands; there were gaudy tulips, blood-red anemones everywhere, lilies and poppies in the meadows, in the hedges, in the corn-fields, by the roadside. The sun shone brightly on the restless Jordan water; a slight breeze stirred the olives and palms and fig-trees. Mary saw it all and whispered love-songs to her God. On the road she met men and women going to keep the Pasch at Jerusalem and she joined their company. She made all welcome – the poor, the sinful, the sorrowful, the outcast; she shunned none, she kept aloof from none. She was too near God Himself to be exclusive.

There have been saints whom God has drawn into solitude and whose virtues have grown and brought forth fruit far away from men. But Mary was not of these. We find her all through her life answering the call of charity, no matter from whence it came nor whither it led. Today it leads her to the wealthy house of the priest Zachary; soon it will bid her welcome the rough shepherds from the mountain side, then the high-bred strangers from the East. We shall find her in the crowded company returning from Jerusalem “amongst her kins-folk and acquaintances”; later again in the throng with the brethren, seeking Jesus; we see her a wedding-guest at Cana, a mourner at the foot of the Cross with reviling crowds around. Mary’s life like our Lord’s was spent with the people, consoling, rejoicing, and helping. So this is why we see her now, upon the highroad, beaming with holy joy, pure as the lily flower; so full of grace that she seems to impart it to others as by radiation.

As the days passed the travellers drew near to Jerusalem, and the way grew more rugged; the road crossed hills and descended again through rocky ravines; the flowers grew more scarce; and but for some red anemones ceased altogether as Jerusalem rose to the view. At the western gate Mary parted with most of her company and went southward into the hill country. At last Ain Karim, “the city of Juda,” was reached, and Mary stood on the threshold of her cousin’s house. Oh, then there was joy! Elizabeth came out of her retirement with wondering surprise and great humility. “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this that the mother of my Lord should come to me!”

Then Mary’s lips were unsealed for the first time. Elizabeth knew her secret and called her blessed, and Mary revealed to her the inner-most feelings of her soul. She is blessed, and so shall she be called by all generations, she says; but it is the blessedness of a lowly one made great by the Most High; of a humble one exalted by the might of God’s arm. Nor is this greatness hers alone. Israel, the chosen people, has now obtained its desire of a thousand years. God has shown mercy to Abraham’s children, the Word is made flesh. So Mary “magnifies the Lord and rejoices in God her Saviour.”

Mary and Elizabeth! See them standing together on the threshold. See the exultation in the dear faces. Until Elizabeth’s greeting, Mary had been silent in her joy; but Elizabeth’s praise called forth into speech Mary’s overflowing gratitude and humility and wondering acknowledgment of God ‘s great gifts. And so we got the “Magnificat.”

Three months Mary passed in Zachary’s house. The old man was deaf and dumb; cut off from friends and kindred and servants, but Mary was there to do him loving service, to gladden his eyes with her beaming beauty, to soothe his heart with her kind attentions and by her sanctity help him to a holy resignation. She was there to assist Elizabeth and do her such services as a child would do for its mother.

And these little things were the purport of Mary’s visit; in one word kindness, not charity merely, but loving-kindness which has to do with manner rather than with the act itself. And oh! what a difference manner makes! Let any one in a family, father, mother, child, or servant, alter his way of doing (if need be); let him adopt a cheerful, joyous manner, bestow smiles instead of frowns, freely praise, give alms with a kind word, listen with true interest, congratulate with unfeigned joy, compassionate with a feeling heart, and he will change any household in less than a month. True joyous kindness, Saint Philip Neri’s special gift, is wonder-worker compared to which other miraculous powers are insignificant.

Try it, you gentle souls, who pine to convert your neighbor, to sanctify your own souls, to do good to all men. Be charitable kindly, cheerfully, and you will bring our Lord near to many a heart which otherwise would never know him. Let Mary, the Mother-Maid, in her sweet Visiting, teach us how to love each other in God our Savior.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “The Visitation, 2 July”. Light from the Altar, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <http://catholicsaints.info/book-of-saints-/>

Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 5, Chapter II – Meditation on the Benefit Conferred on Us by God in Calling us to His Service

Saint Francis de Sales1. Consider the points on which you are about to renew your resolutions.

Firstly, that you have forsaken, rejected, detested and renounced all mortal sin for ever.

Secondly, that you have dedicated and consecrated your soul, heart and body, with everything appertaining thereto, to the Service and Love of God.

Thirdly, that if you should unhappily fall into any sin, you would forthwith rise up again, with the help of God’s Grace.

Are not these worthy, right, noble resolutions? Consider well within your soul how holy, reasonable and desirable an act it is to renew them.

2. Consider to Whom you make these promises; for if a deliberate promise made to men is strictly binding, how much more those which we make to God. “My heart is inditing of a good matter. I will not forget Thee,” David cried out.

3. Consider before Whom you promised. It was before the whole Court of Heaven. The Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph, your Guardian Angel, Saint Louis, the whole Company of the Blessed, were looking on with joy and approbation, beholding, with love unspeakable, your heart cast at your Saviour’s Feet and dedicated to His Service. That act of yours called forth special delight in the Heavenly Jerusalem, and it will now be renewed if you on your part heartily renew your good resolutions.

4. Consider how you were led to make those resolutions. How good and gracious God was then to you! Did He not draw you by the tender wiles of His Holy Spirit? Were not the sails by which your little bark was wafted into the haven of safety those of love and charity? Did not God lure you on with His Heavenly Sweetness, by Sacraments, prayer, and pious books? Ah, my child, while you slept God watched over you with His boundless Love, and breathed thoughts of peace into your heart!

5. Consider when God led you to these important resolutions. It was in the flower of your life, and how great the blessing of learning early what we can never know soon enough. Saint Augustine, who acquired that knowledge when he was thirty years old, exclaimed, “Oh, Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new, too late I loved Thee! Thou were within and I abroad: Thou were with me, but I was not with Thee.” Even so you may say, “Oh, Blessedness of ancient days, wherefore did I not appreciate Thee sooner!” You were not yet worthy of it, and yet God gave you such grace in your youth; therefore say with David, “Thou, O God, hast taught me from my youth up until now; therefore will I tell of Thy wondrous works.” Or if you who read should not have known Him till old age, bethink you how great His Grace in calling you after you had wasted so many years; how gracious the Mercy which drove you from your evil courses before the hour of death, which, had it found you unchanged, must have brought you eternal woe.

Consider the results of this call; you will surely find a change for the better, comparing what you are with what you were. Is it not a blessing to know how to talk with God in prayer, to desire to love Him, to have stilled and subdued sundry passions which disturbed you, to have conquered sundry sins and perplexities, and to have received so many more Communions than formerly, thereby being united to the Great Source of all eternal grace? Are not all these things exceeding blessings? Weigh them, my child, in the balances of the sanctuary, for it is God’s Right Hand which has done all this: “The Right Hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence, the Right Hand of the Lord brings mighty things to pass. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” with heart, lips and deeds.

After dwelling upon all these considerations, which will kindle abundance of lively affections in you, you should conclude simply with an act of thanksgiving, and a hearty prayer that they may bring forth fruit, leaving off with great humility and trust in God, and reserving the final results of your resolution till after the second point of this spiritual exercise.

Venerable María Natividad Sánchez Villoria

Also known as

  • María Francisca of the Child Jesus

Profile

Poor Clare nun.

Born

Died

Venerated

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable María Natividad Sánchez Villoria“. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Venerable Jean-Louis-Marie-Joseph Querbes

Venerable Jean-Louis-Marie-Joseph QuerbesProfile

The son of a tailor, he was born in the middle of the French Revolution, baptized the day of his birth, and a bomb destroyed his home when he was one day old. Educated in the parish school of Saint Nizier and the Saint Irenaeus seminary, his classmates included Saint John Mary Vianney, Blessed Jean-Claude Colin and Saint Marcellin-Joseph-Benoît Champagnat. Jean-Louis was drawn to the Jesuits, but the Order was outlawed in France at the time. He was ordained a priest on 17 December 1816. He first served as a parish priest at Saint-Nizier in Lyon, then in 1822 was transferred to the parish of Saint Bonnet in Vourles, France where he served the remaining 37 years of his life. Between 1826 and 1831 he established a group of catechists that would become the Congregation of the Clerics of Saint Viator (Viatorians) teaching order. The Viatorians received papal approval in 1838, and continue their good work in places around the world today.

Born

Died

Venerated

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Jean-Louis-Marie-Joseph Querbes“. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Venerable Augusto Cesare Bertazzoni

Venerable Augusto Cesare BertazzoniProfile

Educated by the Salesians of Don Bosco, Augusto was one of the many boys mentored by Saint John Bosco, himself. Friend of Saint Luigi Orione, Saint Giovanni Calabria and the future Pope Pius X. Ordained a priest on 23 February 1899, he served in the parish at San Benedetto Po, Italy from 30 April 1904 until 30 June 1930; he received the honorific title Monsignor in 1922. Chosen bishop of Potenza e Marsico Nuovo, Italy from 30 June 1930 until his retirement on 30 November 1966, serving for over 36 years; his episcopate was noted for supporting vocations and teaching the catechism. Received the personal title of Archbishop on 30 November 1950. Council Father in all five sessions of the Second Vatican Council. Chosen Titular Bishop of Temuniana on 30 November 1966.

Born

Died

Venerated

MLA Citation

  • “Venerable Augusto Cesare Bertazzoni“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Blessed Benigna Cardoso da Silva

Blessed Benigna Cardoso da SilvaMemorial

Profile

The youngest of four children born to José Cardoso da Silva and Thereza Maria da Silva; her father died before she was born, her mother before Benigna was a year old, and she and her brother were then adopted by another family. Benigna was known as a pious girl, always willing to help at home and school, a good student who would interfere when other childen were being cruel or destructive, and was brought to tears whenever she saw a classmate punished. She was murdered fighting off a rapist, she is considered a martyr to chastity.

Born

Died

Venerated

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Benigna Cardoso da Silva“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Blessed Joan Roig i Diggle

Blessed Joan Roig i DiggleMemorial

Profile

Born to a poor family, the son of Ramón Roig Fuente and Maud Diggle Puckering. Educated by the La Salle Brothers, and then the Piarists. Student of Blessed Ignasi Casanovas Perramón and Blessed Francisco Carceller Galindo. To find work, his family moved to El Masnou, Spain, and while still in school, Joan worked as a store clerk and on a factory floor. Member of the Federación de Jóvenes Cristianos de Cataluña (Federation of Young Christians of Catalonia in El Masnou; he was soon entrusted with running the branch of the group devoted to children under 14. Known as a pious young man, Joan would spend hours lost in Eucharistic Adoration. Friend of Blessed Pere Tarrés i Claret. Entrusted with the Eucharist to bring Communion to the house-bound. During the Spanish Civil War, when the antiChristian militia came to ‘arrest’ him for his faith, he quickly ate the Hosts to prevent desecration, hugged his mother, and left with his captors. He died forgiving and preaching to his killers. Martyr.

Born

Died

Venerated

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Joan Roig i Diggle“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>

Blessed Francesco Mottola

Blessed Francesco MottolaMemorial

Profile

The son of Antonio and Concetta Braghó Mottola; his mother committed suicide in 1913 when the Francesco was only 12. He studied in Tropea and Catanzaro, Italy, and was ordained a priest of the diocese of Tropea, Italy on 5 April 1924; as a seminarian, he was known for devotion to Mary under her title Madonna di Romania, and for his frequent sessions of Eucharistic Adoration. Member of Catholic Action. Rector of the seminary of Tropea from 1929 to 1942 where he also served as teacher and preacher. Founded the Secular Institute of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart in 1930. Canon of the cathedral of Tropea in 1931. Founded the Casa della Carità (House of Charity) in Tropea. Partially paralyzed in 1942, Father Francesco gave up his work at the seminary and devoted his remaining 27 years to organizing small groups and helping them serve those in need.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Francesco Mottola“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 October 2019. Web. 15 November 2019. <>