Archive for the ‘St. Peter Claver’ Tag

Feast of Blessed Mary Theresa Ledochowska and St. Ursula Ledochowska (May 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  A Partial Family Tree

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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BLESSED MARY THERESA LEDÓCHOWSKA (APRIL 29, 1863-JUNE 6, 1922)

Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver

“Mother of the African Missions”

Her feast transferred from July 6

sister of

SAINT URSULA LEDÓCHOWSKA (APRIL 17, 1865-MAY 29, 1939)

Foundress of the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (the Gray Ursulines)

Born Julia Ledóchowska

Celebrating saints related to each other and writing about them in one post is positive.  Doing so is consistent with emphasizing relationships, one of my goals for this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

The Ledóchowska sisters, from a pious family, devoted their lives to God.  Count Antoni Halka-Ledóchowski (Polish) and Countess Josephine Salis-Zizers (Austrian) had titles yet not wealth.  They also had faith, which they inculcated in their children.  Aside from the featured sisters, another notable offspring was Wlodomir Ledóchowski (1866-1942), the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus from 1914 to 1942.  The featured sisters, born in Loosdoor, Austria, moved with their family to Saint Poelten, Austria, in 1873, because of financial difficulty.  Count Antoni died of small pox in 1885.  That year, Blessed Mary Theresa recovered from the disease.  In Count Antoni’s absence, an uncle, a cardinal, became more involved in the lives of the children.  Through his intervention, Blessed Mary Theresa became a lady-in-waiting to Princess Alice of Parma, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, at her palace in Salzburg.

Blessed Mary Theresa continued her faith journey at Salzburg.  She joined the Third Order of Saint Francis.  Members of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary visited the court to raise funds for their African missions (especially in Madagascar) and anti-slavery activity two consecutive years in the late 1880s.  The second year, Blessed Mary Theresa concluded that she had found her calling.  She left the court and moved in with a community of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul at Salzburg in 1889.  Blessed Mary Theresa organized the Solidality of Saint Peter Claver for the African Missions and the Liberation of Slaves in 1894.  Members were lay women.  St. Peter Claver (1580/1581-1654) had been the “Apostle to the Slaves” or the “Apostle of the Negroes” (depending on which source one quotes).  The Solidality became the Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver on September 8, 1897.  Blessed Mary Theresa, as head of the order, traveled in Europe to raise funds.  She became the “Mother of the African Missions.”

Julia became an Ursuline nun as Ursula.  She founded the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (the Gray Ursulines) in 1906.  At the request of Pope Pius X, she worked as a missionary in Russia from 1907 until the Bolsheviks, having come to power, expelled her.  Then St. Ursula served as a missionary in Finland for a few years.  She translated and published a Finnish catechism.  Then St. Ursula returned to Rome at the request of Pope Benedict XV (reigned 1914-1922).  She administered the order from Rome for the rest of her life.

Blessed Maria Theresa, 59 years old, died of tuberculosis in Rome on June 6, 1922.  Pope Paul VI beatified her in 1975.

St. Ursula, 74 years old, died in Rome on May 29, 1939.  Pope John Paul II declared her a Venerable then beatified her in 1983.  He canonized her in 2003.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 16, 2020 COMMON ERA

THURSDAY IN HOLY WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERNADETTE OF LOURDES, VISIONARY

THE FEAST OF CALVIN WEISS LAUFER, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMNODIST

THE FEAST OF ISABELLA GILMORE, ANGLICAN DEACONESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT MIKEL SUMA, ALBANIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, FRIAR, AND MARTYR, 1950

THE FEAST OF PETER WILLIAMS CASSEY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL DEACON; AND HIS WIFE, ANNIE BESANT CASSEY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL EDUCATOR 

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servants

Blessed Mary Theresa Ledóchowska and Saint Ursula Ledóchowska.

who made the good news known in Africa, Russia, and Finland.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the Gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 63:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59

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Feast of Sts. Francis Borgia, Peter Faber, Alphonsus Rodriguez, and Peter Claver (September 9)   3 comments

Above:  Logo of the Society of Jesus

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT FRANCIS BORGIA (OCTOBER 28, 1510-SEPTEMBER 30, 1572)

“Second Founder of the Society of Jesus”

Also known as Francisco de Borja y Aragon

His feast transferred from September 30, October 3, and October 10

worked with

SAINT PETER FABER (APRIL 13, 1506-AUGUST 1, 1546)

Apostle of Germany, and Cofounder of the Society of Jesus

His feast transferred from August 1

taught

SAINT ALPHONSUS RODRIGUEZ (JULY 25, 1532-OCTOBER 31, 1617)

Spanish Jesuit Lay Brother

His feast transferred from October 31

counseled

SAINT PETER CLAVER (1580/1581-SEPTEMBER 8, 1654)

“Apostle to the Negroes”

His feast day = September 9

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One of my goals in renovating my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days is to emphasize relationships and influences.  That goal is germane to this post.

I began by taking notes about St. Peter Claver.  During that process I noticed the link to St. Alphonsus Rodriguez.  While I took notes on him, I saw the name of St. Peter Faber.  I took notes about him and noticed the link to St. Francis Borgia, so I added Borgia to the post too.

Above:  St. Francis Borgia, S.J.

Image in the Public Domain

St. Francis Borgia, born in Gandia, Valencia, Aragon, on October 28, 1510, was a nobleman.  He, related to Aragonese royalty, was a great-grandson of the infamous Rodrigo Borgia, who, in 1492, bribed his way into the Papacy and became Alexander VI.  Our saint, raised in the court of King Charles I of Spain/Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, married Eleanor de Castro (d. 1546) in 1529.  The couple had eight children.  From 1539 to 1543 Borgia was the Viceroy of Catalonia.  Then, in 1543, he became the Duke of Gandia.

Borgia made his greatest contributors as a Jesuit.  He, a friend of St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), joined the Society of Jesus in 1548.  Three years later our saint became a priest.  His responsibilities increased as time passed.  Borgia had oversight of missions in the East Indies and the West Indies before become the superior in Spain in 1560.  Five years later Borgia became the Superior General of the order.  In a few years he revitalized the order and established missions in Peru, Florida, and elsewhere in the Spanish Empire in the Americas.  Our saint, convinced that Jesuits were working too much and praying too little, introduced the hour-long meditation.

Borgia died in Ferrara (now in Italy) on September 30, 1572, about a month prior to what would have been his sixty-second birthday.  Pope Gregory XV beatified him in 1624.  Pope Clement X canonized him in 1670.

Above:  St. Peter Faber

Image in the Public Domain

Borgia worked with St. Peter Faber, born in Villaret, Savoy, on April 13, 1506.  Faber, from a farm family, worked as a shepherd when he was young.  Our saint was devout from childhood; he even catechized other children when he was one.

Faber, educated at Saint-Barbe College, Paris, became a priest in 1534, the same year he and his friend, St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founded the Society of Jesus.  Faber, also a friend of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), was an active participant–a preacher and theologian–in the Counter-Reformation.  He enabled St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597), leader of the Counter-Reformation in Germany, to fulfill that function.

Faber, aged 40 years, died in Rome on August 1, 1546.  Toward the end he was too ill to attend the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and to become the Patriarch of Ethiopia.  Pope Leo XIII beatified Faber in 1872.  Pope Francis canonized our saint in 2013.

Faber prepared the 10-year-old St. Alphonsus Rodriguez for First Communion.

Above:  St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Image in the Public Domain

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, once a businessman, became a Jesuit lay brother and an influential spiritual advisor.  He, born in Segovia, Spain, on July 25, 1532, was the third of eleven children of prosperous wool merchant Diego Rodriguez, who died when our saint was 15 years old.  That death ended the education of young Alphonsus by the Jesuits, for a time.  Our saint, back home, took over the family business.  Rodriguez married Maria Suarez when he was 26 years old.  The couple had three children, two of whom predeceased their mother.  Rodriguez buried his wife then his mother in his thirties.  Next he sold the business and moved in with his sisters, who helped to raise the young son and taught our saint prayerful meditation.

Rodriguez had a vocation to religious life.  After the death of his third (of three) child, he inquired about becoming a novice.  Our saint did not meet the educational requirement to become a novice.  Attempts to acquire that education ended in failure.  He could, however, become a lay brother and study with children.  After six months the order sent Rodriguez to the College of Montesión, Palma, Majorca/Mallorca.  There our saint was the porter for 46 years; he delivered packages, gave alms to the poor, and assisted travelers in search of lodging.  Rodriguez made his final vows in 1586/1587, when he was 54 years old.

Above:  St. Peter Claver

Image in the Public Domain

St. Peter Claver, born into a farming family in Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580/1581, grew up and became a great missionary.  His parents sent him to Barcelona, to study under Jesuits.  The Jesuit influence rubbed of on Claver, who became a novice at Tarragona.  The order sent him to Palma, Majorca/Mallorca, where he was unsure about what his future should be.  St. Adolphus Rodriguez convinced the novice to ask to become a missionary to the New World.  Claver arrived in Cartagena (now in Colombia) in 1610.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez continued to live at Palma until he died, aged 87 years, on October 31, 1617.  He was 87 years old.  Pope Urban VIII declared Rodriguez a Venerable in 1626.  Pope Leo XII beatified him in 1825.

Claver spent the rest of his life in Cartagena, where he was the “Apostle to the Negroes.”  He was initially the assistant to Father Alphonsus de Sandoval, S.J., who ministered to recently arrived African slaves, still in slave pens, prior to auction.  Sandoval was a dedicated minister to slaves; Claver was more so.  He, ordained to the priesthood in 1815, catechized and baptized more than 300,000 African slaves through 1650.  Against strong opposition from powerful people and much indifference from his superiors in Cartagena, Claver labored faithfully.  He could not end slavery, but he did what he could; he advocated for improved conditions on plantations, and succeeded.  Mostly he was present with and sympathetic to slaves.  Claver described himself as

the slave of the Negroes forever.

Claver, ill and unable to leave his room during the last four years of his life, endured the company of just one servant, who beat him frequently.  Our saint died in Cartagena on September 8, 1654.  Surprisingly, the Church gave him a grand funeral.

Pope Pius IX beatified Claver in 1851.

Pope Leo XIII canonized Claver and Rodriguez together in 1888.

Sts. Francis Borgia, Peter Faber, and Alphonsus Rodriguez enabled the productive ministry of St. Peter Claver.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT EDITH STEIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONK AND MISSIONARY TO THE ALEUT

THE FEAST OF JOHN DRYDEN, ENGLISH PURITAN THEN ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF MARY SUMNER, FOUNDRESS OF THE MOTHERS’ UNION

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Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants

Saint Francis Borgia, Saint Peter Faber, Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez, and Saint Peter Claver,

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them 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

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 724

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