SAINT OF THE DAY: 08 MAY, 2015

Blessed Catherine of St. Augustine

Virgin
(1632-1668)

Blessed Catherine of St. Augustine

A young future missionary to New France, Catherine de Longpré, in religion Sister Marie-Catherine of Saint Augustine, was a nursing nun in the community of the Hospitaler Sisters of Saint Augustine in Evreux. Born in France in 1632, she went to Quebec at the age of sixteen.

Having offered her life for the sick and the sanctification of souls, she found in Quebec City a newly-established and very poor hospital, where she would labor for twenty years with unfailing devotion and courage.

Blessed Catherine’s physical and moral sufferings increased to a measure which few Saints have surpassed; she was chosen as a victim by God for the expiation of sins, in this territory which He destined for Himself in a particular way.

To sustain her in the terrible obsessions which she endured, to preserve other souls who could not have withstood hell’s assaults, she was given for her heavenly spiritual director, Saint John de Brebeuf, the North American martyr who had died not long before, in what is now Ontario.

The entire history of her interior life was written by her confessor, the Jesuit Paul Ragueneau, who had been a friend of the great Martyr and had labored with him.

Father Ragueneau recognized as authentic his fellow Jesuit’s spiritual role in the life of this remarkable religious.

The sale of alcoholic beverages to the Indians in exchange for furs was a grievous abuse which the saintly first bishop of Quebec, Monsignor Francis Montmorency de Laval, was striving to abolish; sins of the tongue, immodesty and impiety were rampant in the city and surroundings.

Monsignor de Laval recognized in Sister Catherine a soul of predilection, and he often asked her intercession for particular persons, for the colony and the Indians, whose souls were his great concern, as they were also of his clergy and missionaries.

She, for her part, complied by her prayers and sacrifices, and saw in vision how the demons of hell were working for the ruin of the colony, in various places and in various ways.

A spiritual battle of great proportions was underway, to win Canada for Christ.

Blessed Catherine died at the age of 36, saying shortly before she expired: My God, I adore Your divine perfections; I adore Your divine Justice; I abandon myself to it with my whole heart.

One of the great mystics of the Church, her life remains a prodigy of sacrifice and love, a gold mine of doctrine for those who seek understanding of God’s ways with His Saints and His people.

(SOURCE: Fr. Paul Ragueneau, S.J., La vie de la Mère Catherine de Saint Augustin, (F. Lambert: Paris, 1671). Reprinted in Quebec City, 1923, by the Augustinian nuns.)

COMMENTARY FOR 08 MAY, 2015

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Commentary on the Reading of the day provided by :

Benedict XVI,pope from 2005 to 2013

Encyclical “ Spe salvi ”, § 38-39

(SOURCE: Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“Love one another as I love you”

The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer.

This holds true both for the individual and for society.

A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society…

The Latin word con-solatio, “consolation”, expresses this beautifully.

It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude.

Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme…

To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself. Yet once again the question arises: are we capable of this?…

In the history of humanity, it was the Christian faith that had the particular merit of bringing forth within man a new and deeper capacity for these kinds of suffering that are decisive for his humanity.

The Christian faith has shown us that truth, justice and love are not simply ideals, but enormously weighty realities.

It has shown us that God —Truth and Love in person—desired to suffer for us and with us.

READING OF THE DAY: 08 MAY, 2015

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“Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

This I command you: love one another.”” -John 15:12-17.