Who is the Profund Person?- St. Benedict Joseph Labre
Our patron is extraordinarily special. I believe God has chosen St. Benedict Joseph Labre to have a future role in the Church perhaps even in our lifetime or maybe not. One thing for sure though is that only time will tell. Allow me to explain: many saints are mystics who have had moments of Ecstacy. This means that through the Grace of God alone, they have been given a glimpse of the heavenly realities. The Catholic Encylopedia gives a definition. New Advent is a website that places these volumes into an internet resource. Here is an excerpt on the experience of ecstasy:
Supernatural ecstasy may be defined as a state which, while it lasts, includes two elements:
the one, interior and invisible, when the mind rivets its attention on a religious subject;
the other, corporeal and visible, when the activity of the senses is suspended, so that not only are external sensations incapable of influencing the soul, but considerable difficulty is experienced in awakening such sensation, and this whether the ecstatic himself desires to do so, or others attempt to quicken the organs into action.
That quite a large number of the saints have been granted ecstasies is attested by hagiology; and nowadays even free-thinkers are slow to deny historical facts that rest on so solid a basis.
Click here to read the full article on ecstasy
Many saints had moments of ecstasy. St. Benedict Joseph Labre, on the other hand, lived in this state for most of his adult life. Refer to the article I wrote this past January: One of the Miracles Used for the Canonization of Benedict Joseph, Posted on January 23, 2019 This was evident by many extraordinary events that took place. Our patron would often be witnessed kneeling for hours at a time even though he had massive tumors on his knees. It was documented that the janitor of Sancta Maria Dei Monti would leave a corner of the Church unswept because Benedict Joseph would be seen in prayer the back corner of the Church levitating off the ground. There were many witnesses who shared that they have seen our saint in ecstasy before images and statues of Jesus and Mary.
My 25 year study of his life, traveling around to holy places honoring our saint, reading and talking with people who are associated with him in some way prove to me that he lived continually in the presence of the Blessed Trinity. Pope Leo XIII called St Benedict Joseph, "Holiness Itself" and the famous artist Cavalucci was so taken by his face that he painted St Benedict Joseph Labre more than twice and even used his face to paint pictures of Christ. The famous picture by Cavalucci below and to the right is called "The Incarnation of Mysticism"
If anyone would like a holy card of this image which has been touched to his first-class relic. ( A piece of the saints bone in a reliquary.) You may write to me and I will send you one.
This interior state of St Benedict Joseph's soul is was what made him extraordinary. He always walked with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth. Achieving this heightened state was the gift God bestowed on him for his continual love for Jesus' real presence in the Blessed Sacrament. He adored Our Lord in adoration for most of his adult life until he died at the age of 35 years old.
Wouldn't it be something, if at some point in the future, God lifted the veil, sort of speak, and all of us humans on earth suddenly recognized (even if for a brief moment) who we were in the eyes of God as St Benedict Joseph Labre continually did? Is this possible? Could we be blessed to even have this happen on April 16th (the feast day of our saint) at some point in the future? For humans, this is very impossible! But for God, all things are possible. If you ask me, do I believe it? I'd say I certainly hope such an event could happen but I am not holding my breath to wait for it. I certainly am praying and hoping it does happen for humanity's sake.
However, believe it or not, there are some private revelations that speak of such an event and see it as a "Warning". I just don't know about that because I see it as a beautiful gift and ask then, what would the world be like afterward if something like this did in fact happen? Would the hearts of man change? Unfortunately, humanity does not have a good track record (just read the Old Testament). Again, only time will tell. I will write more soon, so stay tuned.
Timothy Duff- Guardian and Co-Founder