St. Regis Clet

Image may contain: 2 people

St. Regis Clet

A Lazarist missionary in China; b. 1748, martyred, 18 Feb., 1820. His father was a merchant of Grenoble in France, his mother’s name was Claudine Bourquy. He was the tenth of fifteen children. The family was deeply religious, several members of it having consecrated themselves to God. Francis attended the Jesuit college at Grenoble and afterwards entered the diocesan seminary which was in charge of the Oratorians. His extant letters in French and Latin show a cultivated mind. On 6 Mar., 1769, he entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, at Lyons. There he made his vows in 1771 and was ordained priest in 1773. The same year he went as professor of moral theology to the diocesan seminary at Annecy. His zeal and learning produced excellent fruits. In the sixteenth year of his stay at Annecy he was sent to Paris for the election of a superior general of the congregation. He did not return, for the new superior general appointed him director of the internal seminary, at the motherhouse in Paris. Scarcely a year had elapsed when the sacking of St. Lazare, on the eve of the taking of the Bastille, scattered his flock. Many of the young men returned to the dismantled house the next day and gathered around their director, but the fury of the revolution prevented their remaining.

It was at this period that his ambition to become missionary was manifested. His superior yielded to his desires, and he was sent to China in 1791. The first post assigned him was in Kiang-Si, one of the most destitute Christian settlements in China. He had great difficulty in acquiring the language, which he never fully mastered. The next year he was sent to Hou-Kouang where he laboured for 27 years. Death soon deprived him of his two brother-priests and for several years he ministered alone to a vast district. In spite of difficulties, he succeeded in keeping up the fervour of the Christians and bringing many pagans to fold. In July, 1812, his church and schoolhouse were destroyed, but he escaped. In 1818 the persecution broke out again with renewed fury. After several remarkable escapes from the seaching parties, he was betrayed by a Chinese Christian, for the 1500 dollars set on his head, and was taken, 16 June, 1819. He had to undergo the greatest cruelty for five weeks, but not a word of complaint escaped him. Being transferred to another prison, he was treated more humanely and found there Father Chen, a Chinese Lazarist, from whom he could receive the sacraments. On 1 Jan., 1820, however, sentence of death was passed on him. The execution took place, 18 Feb., 1820. He was tied to a stake erected like a cross, and was strangled to death, the rope having been relaxed twice to give him a three-fold death agony. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII, 27 May, 1900, and his feast day is on the 17 February. His remains rest in the chapel of the mother house of the Lazarists, in Paris. His holy life and death were the inspiration of Blessed John Gabriel Perboyre, also a Lazarist, who was martyred in China in 1840.

Sources
Lives by VAURIS (Paris, 1853); DEMINUID (2 vols., Paris, 1893); RONGEST (Paris, 1900); DE MONGESTY (Paris, 1906).

About this page
APA citation. Randolph, B. (1909). Blessed Francis Regis Clet. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Randolph, Bartholomew. “Blessed Francis Regis Clet.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph P. Thomas. In memory of Fr. Mathew Kanippillil M.C.B.S.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

 

St. Simeon

No photo description available.

St. Simeon, Bishop of Jerusalem, Martyr

A.D. 116.

ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister of the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin-german to Christ. Simeon and Simon are the same name, and this saint is, according to the best interpreters of the holy scripture, the Simon mentioned, 1 who was brother to St. James the Lesser, and St. Jude, apostles, and to Joseph of José. He was eight or nine years older than our Saviour. We cannot doubt but he was an early follower of Christ, as his father and mother and three brothers were, and an exception to that of St. John, 2 that our Lord’s relations did not believe in him. Nor does St. Luke 3 leave us any room to doubt but that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles; for he mentions present St. James and St. Jude, and the brothers of our Lord. Saint Epiphanius relates, 4 that when the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after our Saviour’s resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that church. 1
In the year 66, in which SS. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city, and by a divine revelation 5 commanded to leave it, as Lot was rescued out of Sodom. They therefore departed out of it the same year, before Vespasian, Nero’s general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judæa, and retired beyond the Jordan to a small city called Pella; having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem, they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. St. Epiphanius 6 and Eusebius 7 assure us, that the church here flourished extremely, and that multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it. 2
Continue reading

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Virgin
(1844-1879)

Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born at Lourdes, in the Pyrenees mountains, in 1844. This young girl, fragile of health, born of a very poor but pious family, at fourteen years of age witnessed eighteen apparitions of Our Blessed Lady at Lourdes, from February 11, 1858 to July 16th of the same year. She was instructed to make known the healing powers which the Blessed Virgin, by Her presence, would give to the miraculous spring of Lourdes. A worker who had lost an eye in an explosion recovered his sight when he washed his face in this water; a dying child was plunged into the small basin which had formed around the spring, and the next day began to walk. The police attempted to stop the crowds from going to the Grotto for the foretold apparitions, but were unable to do so. On March 25th, the Beautiful Lady identified Herself in response to Bernadette’s request: I am the Immaculate Conception.

Bernadette was accused of having hallucinations, of spells of mental illness, of lying, but her great simplicity eventually made evident her innocence and entire sanity. Through the benevolent understanding and collaboration of the bishop of nearby Tarbes, Bishop Laurence, who later authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes, a chapel and then a beautiful basilica were raised above the grotto of the apparitions, on the banks of the Gave River, now a world-famous pilgrimage site.

In 1866 Saint Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity at Nevers, taking her perpetual vows in 1878. She died in 1879 at the age of 36, after long and painful sufferings which she bore very willingly, even with joy. When one of the Mothers said to her: We will pray that God may relieve your pain, she answered, No! Don’t pray for relief for me, only for patience. The last words she wrote in her little spiritual notebook were: The more I am crucified, the more I rejoice. She was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1925, canonized by him in 1933.

Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O. Cist., Ph.D. (Catholic Book Publishing Co.: New York, 1951-1955).