Posted on March 20, 2024 11:30

5th & 6th Week of Lent- Reflection on St. Benedict Joseph Labre


The following articles are an excerpt from our annual 2024 newsletter: The Holywayferer was completed earlier than expected and will be released in anticipation for April 16th, 2024 

the Feast day of St. Benedict Joseph Labre

Guild of Grace, Labor of Love for the Mentally ill

The Guild was borne of Our Blessed Virgin Mother’s embrace of those who suffer from mental illness, and as expressed in the life of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, of whom Father Benedict Groeschel once remarked to the late Mildred Duff (Co-Founder of the Guild of St. Benedict Joseph Labre): He is the Blessed Mother’s little schizophrenic hobo. Pray to him! In a special way—though there are other Saints who especially intercede for those in the throes of emotional turmoil, psychologically or psychiatrically—St. Benedict Joseph Labre is singularly the patron Saint of the mentally ill in the latter days for several reasons.

His was a pronounced, distinctively eccentric presence of his times, much like many of the severely disturbed in our modern, chaotic world. Homelessness is at an all time high as is severe cognitive discord. Persons are in misery, baffled by their own personhood, disordered in the intellect, imprisoned by passion, and blinded in conscience. The Saint's tatttered clothes are still hanging in the relic case on the wall in the small chapel near the Church where he is buried in Rome.The Saint's tattered cloths still hangs in the relic case

St. Joseph Labre, in his day and for us now, shows the way to seek the spiritual and psychological help necessary to not only accept the struggles associated with mental illness but to also elevate the soul above the physical psychosis that threatens to turn persons against themselves in rage and self destruction. Through pray, genuine compassion, and authentic community, persons with mental illness can find freedom from the chains of depression, mood swings, and dissociative conditions that lead to self loathing and often death and accept their suffering, along with wise assistance of others.

 Written by Timothy and a Guild member who wished to remain anonymous.


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