Feast of Sts. John Leonardi and Joseph Calasanctius (October 10)   2 comments

Above:  The Vatican Flag

SAINT JOHN LEONARDI (CIRCA 1550-1609)

Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca

His feast transferred from October 9

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SAINT JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS (1556-1648)

also known as Saint Joseph Calasanz

Founder of the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools

His feast transferred from August 25

I, when pondering demonstrated sanctity, find certain aspects appealing.  One of these is educating those who, due to financial constraints, would otherwise lack access to learning.  Another is tending to the needs of plague victims.  Both of these apply in this post.

St. John Leonardi (circa 1550-1609) was born at Diecimo, Italy.  He, originally a pharmacist’s assistant, became a priest in 1572.  The saint worked in hospitals and prisons, but did not labor alone; he recruited others to join him.  Leonardi, inspired by the Council of Trent, proposed a new order, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, which the Roman Catholic Church recognized in 1583.  St. Philip Neri (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/feast-of-st-philip-neri-may-25/) and St. Joseph Calasanctius assisted him regarding the new order.  Pope Clement VIII confirmed the order in 1595.

Leonardi, cofounder of the College for the Propagation of the Faith, died at Rome on October 9, 1609.  He had contracted a deadly case of influenza during an epidemic while ministering to victims.  His active compassion led to his death.  Pope Pius XI canonized the saint, patron of pharmacists, in 1938.

St. Joseph Calasanctius (1556-1648), a collaborator of St. John Leonardi, was born near Peralta de la Sal, Aragon, Spain, on September 11, 1556.  His father wanted him to become a soldier, but Calasanctius earned his law degree and became a priest instead.  The Bishop of Urgel appointed him to revive and reform religious practices in that part of the Pyrenees Mountains.  The saint, successful, next became vicar general of the district of Tremp.  He resigned in 1592 and traveled to Rome, becoming part of the household of Ascanio Cardinal Colonna.

At Rome the saint’s true calling became his lived reality.  There, in 1595, he ministered among plague victims.  There he became involved in the cause of educating poor children, opening the first free school in in modern Europe (in 1597).  At Rome Calasanctius supervised a community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools, devoted to this work.  The Roman Catholic Church recognized the order in 1621. The saint, the order’s first superior general, had to leave that post due to internal dissension.  Later, however, he returned to the job.

In 1646 Pope Innocent X transformed the order into a community of secular priests subject to diocesan bishops.  Nevertheless, the Church restored the religious order in 1669.

I was happy to read that Calasanctius defended his good friend, Galileo Galilei (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/feast-of-galileo-galilei-january-8/).  The saint even used his order’s resources to aid the alleged heretic, officially one until 1992.  Such assistance proved controversial, and the saint paid the price for doing the right thing.

Calasanctius died at Rome on August 25, 1648.  The Church canonized him in 1767.

A misinformed understanding of suffering holds that the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer.  This is a perspective which the Book of Job refutes.  This is a point of view which the examples of Jesus, the persecuted saints, and some Hebrew prophets refute.   This is a perspective which the examples of these two saints refute.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ANNA E. B. ALEXANDER, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK AND HAAKON VII OF NORWAY, BROTHERS AND KINGS

THE FEAST OF PAULINE SPERRY, POLITICAL ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN, ECUMENIST

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served.

Lead us by his love to serve all those whom the world offers no comfort and little hope.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the  weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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2 responses to “Feast of Sts. John Leonardi and Joseph Calasanctius (October 10)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of All Christian Educators and Intellectuals (October 15) « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Feast of All Christian Medical Professionals (October 16) « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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