Feast of St. John Berchmans (November 26)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logo of the Society of Jesus

SAINT JOHN BERCHMANS (MARCH 13, 1599-AUGUST 13, 1621)

Roman Catholic Seminarian

“If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.”–St. John Berchmans

St. John Berchmans grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family in Belgium.  He had four siblings, two of which entered religious life.  The saint’s piety was obvious when he was a boy.  His devotion led him to take his tasks as an altar boy quite seriously.  He was also devoted to his ailing mother, caring for her.  The young man become a Jesuit novitiate in 1616.  He wanted to do great things to God–to become a missionary priest in China and to spend part of his life in Europe, working among migrants from various nations.  So Berchmans took his seminary studies seriously and studied the major languages of Europe.    Seminary brought him to Rome, where he died of natural causes at age twenty-two.

Pope Pius IX beatified Berchmans in 1865; Pope Leo XIII canonized him in 1888.  The saint is the patron of altar servers, oblate novices, and young people.

The universal opinion regarding St. John Berchmans among those who knew him well was that he was a holy young man who cared deeply for others, loved Jesus, had a devotion to Mary, prayed often, and dreamed of bringing others to Christ.  Circumstances cut his life short, but he did the best he could with the time he had.  May we do the same.

I sing a song of the saints of God,

patient and brave and true,

who toiled and fought and lived and died

for the Lord they loved and knew.

–Lesbia Scott

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALBERT THE GREAT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF REGENSBURG

THE FEAST OF MARGARET MEAD, ANTHROPOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF PHILIP WILLIAM OTTERBEIN, COFOUNDER OF THE CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST

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The Collect and Lections for a Saint I, from The Book of Common Prayer (1979):

Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:  Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Saint John Berchmans, may persevere in running the rage that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

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