St. Joseph Calasanctius
‘To thee is the poor man left: thou wilt be a helper to the orphan.’ Proud Venice has already seen these words realized in her noble son Jerome Emilian: to-day they indicate the sanctity of another illustrious person, descended from the first princes of Navarre, but of still higher rank in the kingdom of charity.
God, who waters the trees of the field as well as the cedars of Libanus, because it is He that planted them all, takes care also of the little birds that do not gather into barns: will He then forget the child, who is of much more value than the birds of the air? Or will He give him corporal nourishment, and neglect the soul hungering for the bread of the knowledge of salvation, which strengthens the heart of man? In the sixteenth century one might have been tempted to think our heavenly Father’s granaries were empty. True, the holy Spirit soon raised up new saints; but the reviving charity was insufficient for the number of the destitute; how many poor children, especially, were without schools, deprived of the most elementary education which is indispensable to the fulfilment of their obligations, and to their nobility as children of God: and there was no one to break to them the bread of knowledge! Continue reading