St Benedict Joseph Labre and A Litany of Saints to End the COVID 19 Pandemic
Well, here it is, as promised. I put together a litany of saints for the COVID 19 pandemic. I chose 13 saints which also includes our own St. Benedict Joseph Labre as you know from my previous blog. (click here if you haven't read it). I havent placed it to formal prayer yet but you can have fun reading down the following excerpts and in one case an article to learn who they are. Perhaps you too have a saint to suggest.
Please send me an email and let me know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Duff, STM, MA Cert., ERD and BCC
Guardian and Co Founder
Why you should read St. Catherine of Siena—in her own words—during the coronavirus pandemic
The Black Death has been described as the greatest catastrophe in history. Between 1346 and 1353, this epidemic of bubonic plague killed 50 million people—60 percent of the population in Europe. Caterina di Giacomo di Benincasa, better known as St. Catherine of Siena, was born right in the midst of it, on March 25, 1347.
You may have heard a lot about St. Catherine’s life. You have probably heard about how she was instrumental in bringing the papacy back to Rome from Avignon in 1377. You also may know that she cut her hair short as a teenager in defiance of her parents. They had been pressuring her to be more ladylike and more attentive to her appearance so she could attract a husband.
But Catherine had her heart set on someone else. She had her first vision of Christ when she was 6. At 18, she joined a group of lay Dominican women, known as the Mantellata, and dedicated her life to prayer, penance and charitable works, especially tending to the sick.
Catherine is a model of contemplation in action, no doubt. But for many, the biography of her life has overshadowed her writings.
Source: by J.D. Long-García April 29, 2020 on America Magizine.org
St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)
The Patron Saint of AIDS Patients and Caregivers
As the eldest son and heir of a wealthy family in 16th century Spain, Aloysius was expected to marry well, raise a family, expand the Gonzagas' wealth and influence, and, if the opportunity arose, slaughter their enemies. Yet secretly he was planning to renounce his title and become a Jesuit priest. At age fifteen, he revealed his intentions to his parents. He gave up his inheritance and set off to become a Jesuit novitiate in Rome.
Aloysius was aggressive and unyielding, with a pronounced antagonistic streak. He brought the same ferocious energy to religious life that his ancestors had carried onto the battlefield.
Suspecting that the young nobleman needed to learn the virtues of obedience and humility, the Jesuit superior sent Aloysius to work in one of the city's hospitals. Aloysius did as he was told, but he loathed every minute of it. It took all his Gonzaga willpower to get through each day.
Aloysius had a change of heart, however. In January 1591 a terrible epidemic struck Rome. Soon the city's hospitals were overwhelmed with patients, so convents and monasteries threw open their doors. Aloysius went out every day to collect the sick and dying. He found beds for them, washed them, fed them, comforted them, and prayed with them. Sadly, his heroic service lasted only a few weeks; he himself fell victim to the epidemic and died.
In recent years, AIDS patients and their caregivers have adopted as their patron St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the man who overcame his fear of the sick and the dying and became their most kindhearted nurse.
From This Saint's for You!: 300 Heavenly Allies for Architects, Athletes, Brides, Bachelors, Babies, Librarians, Murders, Whales, Widows, and You © 2007 by Thomas J. Craughwell. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books
St. Sebastian (circa 256–288)
Sebastian was a Christian martyr who was sentenced to die for his faith by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ordered him tied to a post and shot to death by arrows. During the Middle Ages he became a popular saint to pray to during plague epidemics. He epitomizes the suffering Christian and some see similarities between his arrow wounds and the bulbous sores of the plague. His popularity increased during the plague epidemics in Europe.
Oratio ad depellendam pestem, circa 16th or 17th century.
A prayer sheet to be used during times of plague epidemic. St.Sebastian is at center, flanked by Sts. Adrian, Anthony, Benno, and Roch.
National Library of Medicine #1013927655
These saints know firsthand about surviving pandemics 2020
But even more, they know about how a pandemic can become a way to serve God and neighbor.. Finding a saint who worked with victims of plagues and other epidemics can be a struggle—because there are too many to count! During the 3rd-century Plague of Cyprian (famous for killing upwards of 5,000 people a day in Rome), Christians were reported running toward sufferers, eager to nurse them whatever the cost. In Alexandria (where two thirds of the population was lost to this plague) St. Dionysius wrote of the Christians, “Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains.” In fact, so many Christians died nursing the sick in Alexandria, the group of unnamed heroes was awarded a feast day (February 28) and venerated as martyrs. As coronavirus spreads around the globe, leaving many sick and many more frightened, we would do well to ask the intercession of those who fought plagues and epidemics and won halos in the process.
St. Godeberta of Noyon (c. 700) cared for the sick in a less direct way that many others. An abbess with great influence over the people who lived near her abbey, Godeberta encouraged them to pray for the end of a plague. After they spent three days fasting in sackcloth and ashes, the plague ended quite suddenly. (Pictured on right)
St. Roch (1295-1327) embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome when he was 20, begging all the way. When he arrived in Italy, he discovered a country ravaged by the plague. Roch set about caring for the sick strangers he came upon (often curing them miraculously) until he himself contracted the disease. Knowing nobody, Roch dragged himself to the forest to die, but a local dog brought him food and licked his wounds until Roch recovered.
St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) was a cardinal when famine and plague struck Milan. Though most nobles fled the city, Cardinal Borromeo organized the religious who remained to feed and care for the hungry and sick. They fed over 60,000 people a day, the bill largely footed by the Cardinal, who went into personal debt to feed the hungry. He also personally visited those suffering from plague and bathed their sores, having first written his will and prepared himself for death. But the good Cardinal was spared, living another six years after what would eventually be called “the Plague of St. Charles.”
St. Henry Morse (1595-1645) was born an English Protestant but became a Jesuit priest and returned to England to serve covertly. Much of his work consisted in serving victims of the plague, both in the 1624 outbreak and again (after he had been banished from England but secretly returned) in 1635. In 1635-1636, Morse contracted the plague three times but recovered each time. When he was later captured, his work with plague victims was considered and he was released. The next time he was captured, there was no such clemency, and Morse was martyred.
St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli (1587-1651) was a wealthy widow when a plague broke out in Genoa. She housed many of the sick in her home; running out of space, she rented a vacant convent, then built more housing. Though the plague ended, Virginia’s hospital continued serving hundreds of sick people, and the religious order Virginia founded in the midst of all this continues to this day.
Bl. Peter Donders (1809-1887) was a Dutch Redemptorist priest who served in Suriname for 45 years. He fought for the rights of enslaved people, evangelized indigenous people, and nursed the sick during an epidemic (to which he briefly succumbed). He spent his last three decades serving in a leper colony and advocating with the authorities to obtain better care for his people.
St. Jose Brochero (1840-1914) was an Argentinean priest. Immediately after his ordination, Fr. Jose nursed the sick through a cholera epidemic and emerged unscathed. Then, to serve his parishioners, he built 125 miles of roads and connected his parish with mail and telegraph services and a railway line. Eventually, he contracted leprosy and began to go blind, after which he retired both from active ministry and from single-handedly building the infrastructure of the region. He had spent over 40 years serving as priest, nurse, lobbyist, carpenter, and construction worker.
St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918) answered the call of the king of Hawaii to bring her Sisters to Hawaii and serve the lepers alongside St. Damien of Molokai. Though many feared the disease then thought to be extremely contagious, Marianne assured her Sisters that not one of them would contract it. Through strict hygiene practices and a good amount of grace, the Sisters worked with the lepers of Molokai for nearly a century without one of them contracting the terrible disease.
Source: article by Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Mar 12, posted on Aletia.org
Get to Know a Great Woman- St. Maria Soledad- Foundress of the Sister Servants of Mary
Mother Soledad Torres Acosta was a woman who was completely open to the action of the Holy Spirit. She knew how to see the hand of God in everything that happened around her. She let herself be seduced by His loving and irresistible call that invited her to follow Him. She welcomed Christ into her heart, and her life was transformed into a gift for others. In humility and with God as her sole support, she even dared to undertake a great work in the Church: The Institute of the Servants of Mary.
Saint Maria Soledad was born on December 2, 1826, in Madrid,Spain. She was the second child of Francisco Torres and Antonia Acosta. She was baptized two days later and was given the name Antonia Bibiana Manuela.
Her childhood and youth passed by in the simplicity of daily life like any other young girl of her time; however, her love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and for prayer already stood out in her. When she was 25 years old, she heard the Lord’s call and asked to be admitted into the new Institute of the Servants of Mary that Father Michael Martinez, the parish priest of the neighborhood of Chamberí, had set out to begin for the purpose of caring for the sick in their own homes. The foundation took place on August 15, 1851. Manuela, who from then on would be called Sister Maria Soledad, would be the seventh of the founding group.
This is how Mother Soledad began her long journey through inspirations and darkness as she placed herself at the service of the poorest of the poor–the sick–seeing in them Christ Himself. With the total gift of herself, she went about showering the most exquisite and diligent charity upon the sick and poor. With profound humility and her great capacity to love, she understood the richness that the poor and sick possessed: they were nothing less than Christ Himself, the Divine Patient. It was Him for whom she kept vigil at night. She would look at Him, talk to Him, love Him and cure His wounds and kiss them… and the encounter was transformed into trust, hope and salvation. In this way she collaborated in the building up of the Kingdom of God.