Saints: March 2008 Archives

Solemnity of Saint Joseph

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General Intercessions

That the Holy Catholic Church, entrusted to the protection of Saint Joseph,
may continue to bear witness to the sanctity of human life
from the moment of conception until natural death,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That bishops and priests may seek the intercession of Saint Joseph to whom God entrusted the safekeeping of the Living Bread from Heaven,
and, like him, learn to trust the Eternal Father, believing in the night, and hoping against hope,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That the leaders of nations
may turn from the path of destruction, bloodshed, and war,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That, through the intercession of Saint Joseph,
children may be spared the horrors of war,
refugees comforted in their flight,
and the elderly surrounded with companionship and care,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That priests living in situations of difficulty, transition, or spiritual struggle
may find in Saint Joseph
a model of faith in the night, obedience in adversity,
chastity in tenderness, and hope in uncertainty,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That the dying
may experience the nearness of Saint Joseph in their final hour,
and pass, in his company, from darkness to light,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.

That it may be given us,
and through the prayer of Saint Joseph,
to accept with faith every displacement, change, or journey
willed or permitted by Divine Providence,
let us entreat the Lord. R. Look upon us, and have mercy.


Almighty and ever-living God,
who led Saint Joseph from one place to another by night,
with no light save that which burned within him,
grant us, we beseech you,
a share in his spirit of trusting obedience,
that accompanied by him in all our journeys,
it may be given us to take comfort in the nearness of your Christ
and of his Virgin Mother,
and to pass, at length, through the mystery of the Cross
into the brightness of the Resurrection.
Through the same Christ our Lord.

Saint Colette

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Holy Restlessness

Saint Colette is a suitable patroness of those blessed by the instability of a holy restlessness, by insatisfaction, and by the burning desire to correspond to Divine Grace. Her spiritual journey led her from the Béguines to the Benedictines, from the Benedictines to the Poor Clares, from the Poor Clares to reclusion in a cell as a Franciscan Tertiary, and from her solitude to a mission of reform as an itinerant Poor Clare Abbess!

The Search

Born at Corbie on January 13, 1381, Saint Colette’s parents named her Nicolette in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker whom they had invoked in their great desire to have a child. Orphaned at eighteen years of age, Colette obtained permission from her guardian, the Lord Abbot of a nearby monastery, to enter the Béguines of Amiens, in spite of her young age. Béguines were, as a rule, women of a mature age. Colette stayed with the Béguines for a year. She found their life too soft. Then she tried Benedictine life. There too, Colette wasn’t satisfied. After the Benedictines, Colette entered a monastery of the Poor Clares. Even among the daughters of Saint Clare, she longed for something else. Her spiritual father finally had her pass, as a last resort, from the Second Order of Saint Francis (Poor Clares) to the Third Order. As a tertiary, Colette became a recluse.

Abbess in Perpetuity

Had Colette found the place of her spiritual rest? Hardly. God called her out of her reclusory to reform the Second Order of Saint Francis, the Poor Clares. Colette encountered Pope Benedict XIII who, during the troubled period of the Great Western Schism, reigned from Avignon. In 1406 Colette traveled to Nice to meet again with Pope Benedict XIII, temporarily in residence there out of fear of the plague. She asked his blessing on her project of reforming the Poor Clares. On October 14, she made monastic profession in the presence of the Pope and, in this way, entered the Second Order of Saint Francis. Benedict XIII named Colette, “Lady, Mother, and Abbess of the Reform in perpetuity.” Abbess Colette’s privileges were confirmed by Pope Innocent IV once the Western Schism had come to an end.


Ever on the Road

Saint Colette was an Abbess on the road. Ceaseless travels allowed her to impart a flame of spiritual renewal to monasteries of both nuns and friars that had grown cold in compromise. Among the monasteries of nuns founded or reformed by Saint Colette are Besançon (1410), Poligny (1417), and Amiens (1443). Saint Colette died at Gand on March 6, 1447. She was beatified in 1623, and canonized in 1807.

Barhamsville and Drumshanbo

Among the saintly daughters of Saint Colette is the Venerable Margaret Anne Sinclair (1900-1925), born in Edinburgh and professed in 1925 as a Colettine Extern Sister under the name of Sister Mary Frances of the Five Wounds. She died in London in the year of her profession on November 24th.

In the United States, the beautiful Bethlehem Monastery of the Poor Clares in Barhamsville,Virginia, together with several other monasteries of the same Federation, represents the Colettine tradition of Poor Clare life.

In Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, though not of the Colettine lineage, form a radiant hearth of ceaseless prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Women desirous of offering themselves to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in a life of perpetual adoration at Drumshanbo should write to:

Reverend Mother M. Angela, Abbess
Convent of Perpetual Adoration
Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland

Saint Katherine Drexel

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Mother Drexel's Sweetest Joy

"My sweetest joy is to be in the presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament. I beg that when obliged to withdraw in body, I may leave my heart before the Holy Sacrament. How I would miss Our Lord if He were to be away from me by His presence in the Blessed Sacrament!" (Saint Katherine Drexel)

Preaching in Tulsa

On this feast of Saint Katherine Drexel (1858–1955), I returned from Oklahoma where I had the Laetare Sunday joy of preaching a Day of Recollection to deacons, candidates, and aspirants of the Diocese of Tulsa. The whole experience left me with an impression of a Church alive with the desire for holiness. I am profoundly grateful to His Excellency, Bishop Edward Slattery, and to Monsignor Patrick Brankin, a reader of Vultus Christi, for the opportunity they gave me to offer something to the Church they serve and love with such fidelity and zeal. Saint Katherine Drexel was a friend of the Church in Oklahoma.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory