Monthly Archives: May 2017

Weekly Inspiration from St. Gianna Molla

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“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”

Gianna Beretta Molla was the first married laywoman to be declared a saint. (though there are many sainted widows). She was also the first canonized woman physician — a professional woman who was also a “working mom” four decades ago, when this was unusual.

She considered her work in the field of medicine as a “mission”.  She was also very active in her Catholic community. With simplicity, she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor, and her passion for life.

Gianna and her husband, Pietro, had two children. When expecting their third child, complications arose. A few days before the child was due, she told her husband and the doctors: “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child—I insist on it. Save the baby.”

Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of 28 April, among unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you,” Gianna died.  She was 39 years old.  Her daughter, Gianna Emanuela, is today a physician herself, and involved in the pro-life movement. Gianna’s husband and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2004.

Our work can also become our “mission”; by asking the Lord to sanctify it and imploring the Holy Spirit to guide us in all decisions and actions.  This can also bring true happiness. Gianna was a Wife, Mother & Physician; let us learn from her life and, with the help of God, we, too, can bring harmony into our family life and friends.

Feast Day:  April 28

Weekly Inspiration from St. Andre Bessette

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This week, we share with you some inspiration from a dear friend of Pilgrim Center of Hope, Brother Andre Bessette, a humble Holy Cross Brother:

If one were to ask any Canadian for the name of the person who built [the Oratory of St. Joseph], he would be told, ‘Brother Andre.’ Yet, this little lay brother’s name does not appear on any of the official records of the building of the Oratory. He was only a porter – a doorman – at a college owned and operated by his religious congregation. He was a little man, both in size and, if one were to judge by appearance, in importance. He was not a priest; therefore he could neither offer Mass nor preach. Because of poor education, he did not know how to read or write until he reached the age of twenty-five.

How is it, then, that this little brother is known and venerated all over the world as the little saint built built the Oratory of Saint Joseph in Montreal? Because of his prayer and humility, God used him to heal thousands of people who flocked to the Oratory.

Though Brother Andre was given the grace to heal others, he was constantly sick himself. He suffered from stomach illness all of his life. As a result, he could eat little more than a mixture of flower and watered-down milk, or sometimes break soaked in the same. To him, these sufferings were an opportunity for reaching greater sanctity. As we shall see, his final sickness provided him with many such opportunities. When asked if he was in great pain, he said, “Indeed I am, but I thank God for giving me the grace to suffer; I need it so much!”

When we are undergoing trials because of sickness, financial problems, or relational difficulties we should pray for the grace, not only for a solution, but to recognize how God might use the trial to strengthen our faith and for the benefit of another soul according to his plan.

Source: “Saint André Bessette: Montreal’s Miracle Worker” by Brother Andre Marie (Catholicism.org)

St. Andre, pray for us to have the humility to seek the will of God in all things.

Optional Memorial: January 6

Weekly Inspiration from St. Irenaeus

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St. Irenaeus was a disciple of St. Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John the Apostle.

“The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place amongst the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the gnostics, they delivered the Catholic faith from the real danger it ran from being leavened by the insidious doctrines of those heretics.” – Butler’s Lives of the Saints

St. Irenaeus lived at the time when many Christians were being martyred for their faith, and he is celebrated as a martyr. His faith was his life. His most famous quote is, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive; fully alive consists in beholding God.”

We are only fully alive when we are in the state of grace and intimately united to Jesus Christ in our prayer and sacrifices. We give God glory when we are faithful to what he has revealed to us through the Church and the Scriptures, which enables us to experience joy and peace, even in the most difficult circumstances.

We live in a confused world, in which many people reject the truths for which the martyrs died. We should ask for the intercession of St. Irenaeus when we are tempted to compromise the faith that has been handed down to us.

Feast Day: June 28

Weekly Inspiration from Bl. Charles de Foucauld

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Charles de Foucauld was born in France in 1858; he lived in Paris for some time. After inheriting money from his grandfather, he began living a reckless life and ceased to be a Christian.  His cousin, Marie, lived near his apartment in Paris.  She was a deeply spiritual young woman.  Through her example, Charles began to change and rediscovered his faith in God and love for Christ. Regarding his conversion, Charles said,

The moment I realized that God existed, I knew I could not do otherwise than to live for Him alone.

He returned to the sacraments and lived as a Trappist monk. He was ordained a priest and went to Algeria to take up the life of a hermit in the desert.  His witness of charity, patience, and his deep faith, became a witness to those around him. While attempting to warn two Arab soldiers of danger from a group of rebels, Charles was murdered.

The life of Charles de Foucauld was a seed which had to die before it sprouted.  Today, religious congregations exist based on his example: Jesus Caritas, Little Brothers of Jesus, Little Sisters of Jesus, and Little Sisters of the Gospel.  They witness their Christian life in charity and patience.

His Prayer of Abandonment:

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:   I am ready for all, I accept all.  Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.  I wish no more than this, O Lord.  Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve,
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

Feast Day: December 1

Suggested Reading:

  •  Journey of the Spirit by Cathy Wright
  • Two Dancers in the Desert: The Life of Charles De Foucauld by Chalres Lepetit