Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio

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Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio was born of poor peasants in the year 1502, at Gudena in the Spanish province of Galicia. In his youth, he attended his father’s sheep. When he was twelve years old, he was seized with a pestilential disease. His anxious mother carried him to a little hut far out in the field so that no one else would be infected by him. While he lay there one day quite helpless and alone, a wolf from the neighbouring woods approached by the providence of God and bit open the plague spot with the result that Sebastian recovered completely.

When he arrived at young manhood, Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio left home to look for work among strangers in order to support his poor parents and his brothers and sisters. Because he was comely in appearance, wicked women frequently set snares for his purity. In order to escape them, he resolved, at thirty-one years of age, to sail for America which had been discovered recently. On the voyage, he had to endure much ridicule from the sailors and his fellow passengers because of his piety and reserve.

Arriving safely at Puebla, Mexico, he at once resumed work in the fields. Also, he made ploughs and wagons, which were until then unknown to the half-civilized inhabitants, and taught them how to use them. With his team he ploughed the fields of as many of the people as possible, never asking any compensation. He also built roads through the forests and mountains to the cities and seaports, making it easier to transport the produce. The main highway that to this day connects the mountain city of Zacatecas with the capital of Mexico was his work.

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio undertook, in a carrier of his own, to transport grain and other wares, thus acquiring great wealth. He used the money for worthy purposes, while he himself lived like a poor man. In this way, he won the esteem and the love of the natives as well as of the Spaniards. He married twice, each time choosing a poor but devout young woman; and with their consent, he lived with them in virginal purity.

When death robbed him of his second wife, he gave all his possessions to the poor and to a convent of Poor Clares which he had established in Mexico City. Then, in the year 1573, when he was already seventy-one years old, he asked for admission among the lay brothers in the Order of St Francis. It was only after frequent and urgent requests that his petition was finally granted. In the novitiate he would not exempt himself from any of the hardships or works of penance, though he was an old man; he outdid even the most zealous of the young brothers.

After Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio had made his solemn vows, he was appointed to the task of collecting alms for the convent. He performed this trying task for the remainder of his mortal life to the great edification of the brethren and the faithful. Despite the many distractions that his work afforded, he was able to keep recollected in God, and his encouragement and example were instrumental in gaining many infidels and sinners for God.

He added certain rigorous penances to his daily labours, and God, who does not let Himself be outdone in generosity, granted him extraordinary graces. Sebastian could read the innermost secrets of hearts and could foretell future events. The wildest animals willingly obeyed him; and frequently, when he was in special need, angels brought him assistance in remarkable ways, at times bringing him food, another time protecting him from falling down a precipice, at other times again directing him on the right road.

In his ninety-eighth year, Sebastian died in the convent at Puebla on February 25, 1600. When his body lay in state, the crowds that gathered were so great, and the miracles wrought were so numerous, that he could not be buried for a long time. More than three hundred miracles which he worked in his lifetime were cited at the process for beatification. Pope Pius VI beatified him in 1787, and efforts are being made in Mexico to have his cause of canonization introduced.

*from: The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM

St. Walburge

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St. Walburge, Virgin, Abbess in England

SHE 1 was daughter to the holy king St. Richard, and sister to SS. Willibald and Winebald; was born in the kingdom of the West Saxons in England, and educated, in the monastery of Winburn in Dorsetshire, where she took the religious veil. After having passed twenty-seven years in this holy nunnery, she was sent by the abbess Tetta, under the conduct of St. Lioba, with several others, into Germany, at the request of her cousin St. Boniface. 2 Her first settlement in that country was under St. Lioba, in the monastery of Bischofsheim, in the diocess of Mentz. Two years after she was appointed abbess of a nunnery founded by her two brothers, at Heidenheim in Suabia, (now subject to the duke of Wirtemburg,) where her brother, St. Winebald, took upon him at the same time the government of an abbey of monks. This town is situated in the diocess of Aichstadt, in Franconia, upon the borders of Bavaria, of which St. Willibald, our saint’s other brother, had been consecrated bishop by St. Boniface. So eminent was the spirit of evangelical charity, meekness, and piety, which all the words and actions of St. Walburge breathed, and so remarkable was the fruit which her zeal and example produced in others, that when St. Winebald died, in 760, she was charged with a superintendency also over the abbey of monks till her death. St. Willibald caused the remains of their brother Winebald to be removed to Aichstadt, sixteen years after his death; at which ceremony St. Walburge assisted.  Continue reading

Introit: Reminíscere

Dominica II in Quadragesima ~ I. classis

Ps 24:6; 24:3; 24:22

Reminíscere miseratiónum tuarum, Dómine, et misericórdiæ tuæ, quæ a saeculo sunt: ne umquam dominéntur nobis inimíci nostri: líbera nos, Deus Israël, ex ómnibus angústiis nostris.

Ps 24:1-2

Ad te, Dómine, levávi ánimam meam: Deus meus, in te confído, non erubéscam.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

Reminíscere miseratiónum tuarum, Dómine, et misericórdiæ tuæ, quæ a saeculo sunt: ne umquam dominéntur nobis inimíci nostri: líbera nos, Deus Israël, ex ómnibus angústiis nostris.


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The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

The Introit of this day’s Mass, which begins with the word Reminiscere, from which this Sunday derives its name, is the prayer of a soul begging God’s assistance, that she may sin no more:

INTROIT Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies, which are from the beginning, lest at any time our enemies rule over us: deliver us O God of Israel, from all our tribulations. To Thee O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed. (Ps. XXIV.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT O God, who seest us to be destitute of strength, keep us both inwardly and outwardly; that we may be defended in the body from all adversities, and cleansed in our mind from all evil thoughts. Through our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE (I Thess. IV. 1-7.) Brethren, we pray and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us, how you ought to walk, and to please God, so also you would walk, that you may abound the more. For you know what precepts I have given to you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication; that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God: and that no man over-reach nor circumvent his brother in business; because the Lord is the avenger of all these things, as we have told you before, and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification; in Christ Jesus our Lord. Continue reading