Saint Julia

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Saint Julia

Virgin, Martyr
Patron of Corsica
(Fifth century)

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria. In the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in household affairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to take her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. When he reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned. The governor of the island, Felix, a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. The merchant informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail upon her to renounce her religion; nonetheless, he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her. The governor offered him four of his best slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, No; all you are worth will not purchase her; for I would lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her.

Nonetheless Felix, while the inebriated merchant was asleep, attempted to compel her to sacrifice to his gods. He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply. The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be, as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ. The pagan, offended by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of her head to be torn off. Finally he ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she expired. Certain monks from the isle of Gorgon transported her relics there, but in 763 the king of Lombardy transferred them to Brescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion.

Reflection. Saint Julia, whether free or a slave, whether in prosperity or in adversity, was equally fervent and devout. She adored all the sweet designs of Providence; and far from complaining, she never ceased to praise and thank God for all His holy designs. God, by an admirable chain of events, raised her by her fidelity to the honors of a Saint, and to the dignity of a virgin and martyr.

Holy Indifference

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Holy Indifference

CHRIST:

MY CHILD, let Me do with you as I please. I know what is best for you. You think as a human being, so that your judgments are often influenced by your feelings, moods or prejudices.

2. I take better care of you than you could ever take of yourself. Anyone who does not give Me his whole-hearted attention and loyalty, is taking a great risk. I alone can lead you to eternal life. Let Me do with you as I please. Whatever I do will always be best for you.

3. Knowing all things, I know your most important needs. I want you to gain the perfect and unending joy of Heaven. For this reason I will place you at times in a spiritual darkness of doubts and confusion. Then again I will let you enjoy the light of My truth and joy. One day I will console you, and on the next day you may find life hard and sorrowful. But through all these changing conditions, remember that My hand is leading you on toward Heaven.

4. Follow My Will in all things. Be just as ready to experience suffering as to have joy, just as glad to be poor and needy as to be well off. If you prefer My Will in all these things, you will be preferring the Perfect Wisdom and the Highest Good.

THINK:
God made me for the perfect life of Heaven. Whatever He sends me is sent with this goal in view. Some things I can remedy and improve in my daily life, while other things are beyond my control. After I have done my best, I should accept the results as God’s Will for me. Be it hard or easy, pleasant or disagreeable, I can always be sure that God knows, wants and permits what is good for my soul.

PRAY:
My God and my All, You made and control all things in my daily life. How can I forget this truth and complain about anything? Grant me the holy dispositions which you mentioned a moment ago. Make me equally willing to receive from Your hand the sweet and the bitter, the joy and the sorrow. I thank you now for whatever You decide to send me. Only keep me from sin, and I shall fear neither death nor hell. As long as You do not separate me from You forever, nor blot me out of the book of life, whatever suffering comes to me will not hurt me for long. Grant me the grace to see, love, and prefer Your Will in everything that happens to me today. Amen.

St. John Baptist de Rossi

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St. John Baptist de Rossi

(De Rubeis).

Born at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 May, 1764; feast on 23 May. His parents, Charles de Rossi and Frances Anfossi, were not rich in earthly goods, but had solid piety and the esteem of their fellow-citizens. Of their four children, John excelled in gentleness and piety. At the age of ten he was taken to Genoa by friends for his education. There he received news of the death of his father. After three years he was called to Rome by a relative, Lorenzo de Rossi, who was canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin. He pursued his studies at the Collegium Romanum under the direction of the Jesuits, and soon became a model by his talents, application to study, and virtue. As a member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and of the Ristretto of the Twelve Apostles established at the college, he led the members in the meetings and pious exercises, in visits to the sick in the hospitals and in other works of mercy, and merited even then the name of apostle. At the age of sixteen he entered the clerical state. Owing to indiscreet practices of mortification he contracted spells of epilepsy, notwithstanding which he made his course of scholastic philosophy and theology, in the college of the Dominicans, and, with dispensation, was ordained priest on 8 March, 1721. Having reached the desired goal, he bound himself by vow to accept no ecclesiastical benefice unless commanded by obedience. He fulfilled the duties of the sacred ministry by devoting himself to the labourers, herds, and teamsters of the Campagna, preaching to them early in the morning, or late in the evening, at the old Forum Romanum (Campo Vaccino), and by visiting, instructing, and assisting the poor at the hospital of St. Galla. In 1731 he established near St. Galla another hospital as a home of refuge for the unfortunates who wander the city by night (“Rom. Brev.”, tr. Bute, Summer, 573). In 1735 he became titular canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin, and, on the death of Lorenzo two years later, obedience forced him to accept the canonry. The house belonging to it, however, he would not use, but employed the rent for good purposes.

For a number of years John was afraid, on account of his sickness, to enter the confessional, and it was his custom to send to other priests the sinners whom he had brought to repentance by his instructions and sermons. In 1738 a dangerous sickness befell him, and to regain his health he went to Cività Castellana, a day’s journey from Rome. The bishop of the place induced him to hear confessions, and after reviewing his moral theology he received the unusual faculty of hearing confessions in any of the churches of Rome. He showed extraordinary zeal in the exercise of this privilege, and spent many hours every day in hearing the confessions of the illiterate and the poor whom he sought in the hospitals and in their homes. He preached to such five and six times a day in churches, chapels, convents, hospitals, barracks, and prison cells, so that he became the apostle of the abandoned, a second Philip Neri, a hunter of souls. In 1763, worn out by such labours and continued ill-health, his strength began to ebb away, and after several attacks of paralysis he died at his quarters in Trinità de’ Pellegrini. He was buried in that church under a marble slab at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. God honoured his servant by miracles, and only seventeen years after his death the process of beatification was begun, but the troubled state of Europe during the succeeding years prevented progress in the cause until it was resumed by Pius IX, who on 13 May, 1860, solemnly pronounced his beatification. As new signs still distinguished him, Leo XIII, on 8 December, 1881, enrolled him among the saints.

Sources

HERBERT, St. John B. de Rossi (New York, 1906), Roman Breviary; SEEBÖCK, Herrlichkeit der kath. Kirche (Innsbruck 1900), 1; BELLESHEIM, Der hl. Joh. B, de Rossi (Mainz, 1882): CORMIER (Rome, 1901); Theol. prakt. Quartal-Schrift, XXV, 752.

About this page

APA citation. Mershman, F. (1910). St. John Baptist de Rossi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Mershman, Francis. “St. John Baptist de Rossi.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.