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DAILY QUOTE for May 4, 2015

God, to procure His glory, sometimes permits that we shou...

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May 4

 

God, to procure His glory, sometimes
permits that we should be dishonored and
persecuted without reason.
He wishes thereby to render us conformable to His Son,
Who was calumniated and treated
as a seducer, as an ambitious man, and as one possessed.

St. Vincent de Paul

 

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SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Gothard of Hildesheim

Though he had a great love for the truly needy, he looked...

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St. Gothard of Hildesheim

Gothard was born in the Bavarian village of Reichersdorf. Ratmund, his father, worked for the Canons of the neighboring Benedictine Abbey of Nieder-Altaich.

Educated by the Benedictines, the young Bavarian attracted the attention of the bishops of Passau and Regensburg, and the favor of the Archbishop of Salzburg. The latter made the studious youth Provost of the Canons at age nineteen.

When the Benedictine rule was restored in Nieder-Altaich, Gothard, by now a priest, became a monk in the abbey. He went on to become abbot, his installation being honored by the presence of St. Henry, then Duke of Bavaria, and later Emperor, and who greatly esteemed the holy abbot. St. Cunegunde, the wife of the saintly Emperor, embroidered a belt for Gothard, which was long venerated as a relic.

When the see of Hildesheim became vacant, St. Henry nominated Gothard to the post, to which the saint submitted complying with the wishes of his monarch and the support of the clergy.

Despite being already sixty years old, he threw himself into the work of his diocese with the zest and energy of a young man. He restored and built many churches, fostered education, and built a hospice for his beloved sick in the outskirts of Hildesheim.

Though he had a great love for the truly needy, he looked askance at able-bodied professional tramps. He called them “peripatetics” and would not allow them to stay more than two or three days in his hospice.

The holy bishop died after a brief illness on May 4, 1038, and was canonized in 1131.

Photo by: Ji?í Janí?ek

 

WEEKLY STORY

Humility Is Compatible with the Rich Dress of One’s Office*

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a...

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Humility Is Compatible with the Rich Dress of One’s Office*

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a journey during Lent, went to the church attached to a monastery of Capuchin friars. He arrived at sermon time; the preacher had taken ostentation in dress as his sermon’s theme and was inveighing vehemently against prelates and ecclesiastical dignitaries who, instead of setting an example of humility, wore splendid garments.

When the sermon ended, the bishop went into the sacristy and summoned the preacher. Once they were alone, Saint Francis said, “Reverend Father, your discourse was edifying. It may also be true that we who are in authority in the Church are guilty of sins from which the inmates of the cloister are exempt. Nevertheless, I consider it highly unwise to say such things as you did on this subject from the pulpit, to the common people. Moreover, I wish to call your attention that for many reasons it is a matter of necessity that the princes of the Church should keep up an appearance befitting their rank. Besides, one never knows what may be hidden beneath a silken robe.”  Saint Francis unbuttoned the upper part of his purple cassock, and let the monk see that he wore a ragged hair shirt next to his skin. “I show you this,” Saint Francis added, “so that you may learn that humility is quite compatible with the rich dress of one’s office. From henceforth see that you are less harsh in your judgments and more prudent in your speech.”

If the dignitaries of the Church were wretchedly dressed, they would lose the respect due to themselves and to their office. Therefore it is not only permissible, but obligatory upon them, to dress in accordance with the official rank they hold.

* Adapted from Father Francis Spirago’s Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1904), 187–188.

Saint Francis de Sales, the bishop of Geneva, while on a journey during Lent, went to the church attached to a monastery of Capuchin friars. He arrived at sermon time; the preacher had taken ostentation in dress as his sermon’s theme and was inveighing vehemently against prelates and ecclesiastical dignitaries who, instead of setting an example of humility, wore splendid garments.