Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest; St. Gianna Beretta Molla
April 28, 2023
Information: St. Louis de Montfort – Feast Day: April 28
Born: 31 January 1673 at Montfort-La-Cane, Brittany, France
Died: 1716 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sovre, France
Canonized: 1947 by Pope Pius XII
Information: St. Peter Chanel – Feast Day: April 28
Born: July 12, 1803, Cuet, near Belley, France
Died: April 28, 1841, Futuna Island
Canonized: 12 June 1954, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine: Futuna
Patron of: Oceania
Information: St. Gianna Beretta Molla – Feast Day: April 28
Born: October 4, 1922, Magenta, Italy
Died: April 28, 1962, Monza, Italy
Canonized: May 16, 2004 by Pope John Paul II
Patron of: mothers, physicians, preborn children
CATHOLIC ALMANAC Saturday, April 28
Liturgical Color: White
Today is the optional memorial of St. Louis de
Montfort, priest, born in 1673. St. Louis is best
known for his total devotion to Jesus through
the Blessed Virgin. He consecrated his life to
her service, preaching on the rosary wherever
Easter: April 28th
Optional Memorial of St. Peter Chanel, priest and martyr (NZ, Feast); Optional Memorial of St. Louis Mary de Montfort, priest; Gianna Molla, mother (Italy)
Old Calendar: St. Paul of the Cross, confessor
St. Peter Chanel was born in France in 1802. He was ordained a priest in 1827, and engaged in the parochial ministry for a few years; but the reading of letters of missionaries in far-away lands inflamed his heart with zeal, and he resolved to devote his life to the Apostolate. He joined the Society of Mary (Marists), and in 1836 he embarked for Oceania. He died a martyr’s death on the island of Futuna, Melanesia. He is called the apostle of Oceania where he spread the Gospel.
St. Louis Mary de Montfort during his relatively short life as a missioner, especially among the poor, had to overcome considerable setbacks and opposition. He founded the Daughters of Wisdom and before his death established a society of priests, the Company of Mary, to carry on his work. His book on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has been widely diffused in many languages.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Paul of the Cross. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on October 20.
In Italy the feast of St. Gianna Beretta Molla is celebrated today. She was a pro-life doctor and mother who gave her life for her unborn child.
St. Peter Chanel
On April 18, 1841, a band of native warriors entered the hut of Father Peter Chanel on the island of Futuna in the New Hebrides islands near New Zealand. They clubbed the missionary to death and cut up his body with hatchets. Two years later, the whole island was Catholic.
St. Peter Chanel’s death bears witness to the ancient axiom that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” He is the first martyr from Oceania, that part of the world spread over the south Pacific, and he came there as the fulfillment of a dream he had had as a boy.
Peter was born in 1803 in the diocese of Belley, France. At the age of seven, he was a shepherd boy, but the local parish priest, recognizing something unusual in the boy, convinced his parents to let him study, in a little school the priest had started. From there Peter went on to the seminary, where it was said of him: “He had a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child, and he led the life of an angel.”
He was ordained a priest and assigned to a parish at Crozet. In three years he had transformed the parish. In 1831, he joined the newly founded Society of Mary, since he had long dreamed of being a missionary; but for five years he was assigned to teach at the seminary in Belley. Finally, in 1836, his dream was realized, and he was sent with other Marists to the islands of the Pacific. He had to suffer great hardships, disappointments, frustration, and almost complete failure as well as the opposition of the local chieftain. The work seemed hopeless: only a few had been baptized, and the chieftain continued to be suspicious and hostile. Then, when the chief’s son asked for baptism, the chief was so angry that he sent warriors to kill the missionary.
Peter’s violent death brought about the conversion of the island, and the people of Futuna remain Catholic to this day. Peter Chanel was beatified in 1889 and canonized in 1954.
Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens
Things to Do:
- Learn more about the Society of Mary.
- Read a little about the island where St. Peter Chanel suffered martyrdom.
St. Louis Mary de Montfort
Louis’s life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the church. Totus tuus (completely yours) was Louis’s personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.
Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary’s ongoing acceptance of God’s will for her life.
Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.
Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.
Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.
Things to Do:
- Read a longer biography of St. Louis de Montfort’s life.
- Read some of St. Louis de Montfort’s works and/or read articles about his spirituality.
- Consider making the consecration to Mary recommended by St. Louis de Montfort.
- Resolve to pray the rosary daily starting today.
- Learn about the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) and support their work with your prayers, sacrifices and financial offerings.
- From the Catholic Culture Library The Spiritans and Under the Banner and Protection of Mary.
St. Gianna Molla
Gianna Beretta was born in Magenta (Milan) October 4, 1922. Already as a youth she willingly accepted the gift of faith and the clearly Christian education that she received from her excellent parents. As a result, she experienced life as a marvellous gift from God, had a strong faith in Providence and was convinced of the necessity and effectiveness of prayer.
She diligently dedicated herself to studies during the years of her secondary and university education, while, at the same time, applying her faith through generous apostolic service among the youth of Catholic Action and charitable work among the elderly and needy as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. After earning degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in Pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly and poor.
While working in the field of medicine-which she considered a “mission” and practiced as such-she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young” and, at the same time, expressed her joie de vivre and love of creation through skiing and mountaineering. Through her prayers and those of others, she reflected upon her vocation, which she also considered a gift from God. Having chosen the vocation of marriage, she embraced it with complete enthusiasm and wholly dedicated herself “to forming a truly Christian family”.
She became engaged to Pietro Molla and was radiant with joy and happiness during the time of their engagement, for which she thanked and praised the Lord. They were married on September 24, 1955, in the Basilica of St. Martin in Magenta, and she became a happy wife. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi, in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.
In September 1961 towards the end of the second month of pregnancy, she was touched by suffering and the mystery of pain; she had developed a fibroma in her uterus. Before the required surgical operation, and conscious of the risk that her continued pregnancy brought, she pleaded with the surgeon to save the life of the child she was carrying, and entrusted herself to prayer and Providence. The life was saved, for which she thanked the Lord. She spent the seven months remaining until the birth of the child in incomparable strength of spirit and unrelenting dedication to her tasks as mother and doctor. She worried that the baby in her womb might be born in pain, and she asked God to prevent that.
A few days before the child was due, although trusting as always in Providence, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: “If you must decided between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child – I insist on it. Save him”. On the morning of April 21, 1962, Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you”, the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her funeral was an occasion of profound grief, faith and prayer. The Servant of God lies in the cemetery of Mesero (4 km from Magenta).
“Conscious immolation”, was the phrase used by Pope Paul VI to define the act of Blessed Gianna, remembering her at the Sunday Angelus of September 23, 1973, as: “A young mother from the diocese of Milan, who, to give life to her daughter, sacrificed her own, with conscious immolation”. The Holy Father in these words clearly refers to Christ on Calvary and in the Eucharist.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, during the international Year of the Family. She was canonized on May 16, 2004, by Pope John Paul II.
— Vatican Website
Meditation: Acts 13:44-52
Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
They shook the dust from their feet. (Acts 13:51)
Has this ever happened to you? You try hard to do what you think God wants, but things don’t turn out the way you hope. You offer to pray with a co-worker for healing, but he politely declines. You dive into a parish ministry, only to find that your help isn’t needed after all. Despite your persistent praying, a family member still won’t return your phone calls.
Even the apostles Paul and Barnabas encountered disappointments in their journeys. But instead of giving in to frustration or discouragement, they “shook the dust from their feet” and moved on (Acts 13:51). This might sound like a gesture of condemnation, but perhaps we should look at it as a way of separating themselves from a volatile situation. Rather than staying mired in a fruitless conflict, they commended the people to God, and moved on to the next town.
What would shaking the dust look like for us? After all, we can’t always move from town to town! Here are three suggestions:
First, forgive. Let God’s mercy cover the past. Don’t let resentment or bitterness weigh you down. Instead, trust that God will take care of whatever situation you could not resolve.
Second, let go. Be careful not to replay the situation over and over in your mind. You have left it in God’s hands, and now you are free to take the next good step.
Third, move on. What is God asking of you now? Maybe he wants to show you a different path. Maybe you need some time away from the situation to regroup and let the Lord step in.
Spend a few moments reflecting on a recent disappointment, and walk yourself through these three steps: Forgive. Let go. Move on. But always in a spirit of patience and love. Remember that like Paul and Barnabas, it’s your job to plant the seeds, and it’s God’s part to give the growth. Some seeds take time. Some seeds remain underground for years before they sprout and grow. Keep praying, and trust that the Lord will work out his plan according to his wisdom in his own good time.
“Lord, help me to shake off the ‘dust’ of resentment, disappointment, and frustration. Jesus, I trust in your timing.”
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
Daily Marriage Tip for April 28, 2018:
Share a childhood memory with your beloved. What was your favorite song, TV show, toy, or outdoor activity? Can you recreate it for a date?
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Father Steven Reilly, LCJohn 14:7-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Introductory Prayer: Father, how empty is the life that doesn’t know the joy of Jesus your Son. I have come to this prayer today to know you and your Son better, to love you more and to imitate your perfections. Thank you for this time of prayer.
Petition: Father, help me to be aware of your presence in my soul.
1. The Father and Jesus Are One: The liturgy gives us a second look at this Gospel passage. The great truth that Jesus is sharing with Philip is that as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus and the Father are one – they are inseparable. We worship Christ. We don’t merely honor him as the best of men; he is the God-man whom we adore. What Jesus is by nature we are empowered to be by grace. With our baptism, we became adopted children of God. Brought into the family of the Trinity, the divine persons dwell in our soul as in a temple. Do we realize the dignity we have been given?
2. Doing the Same Works As Jesus: Herein lies the possibility of doing the works of Jesus. If he lives in us, he can work through us. What an opportunity to cooperate with grace! When we are loving, kind and disciplined, we aren’t merely being good. These good deeds are more than just good; they have an eternal value. After all, they are the “works of Jesus.” We receive the reward for his works. Such is the generosity of the Master whom we serve!
3. Ask and You Shall Receive: The name of Jesus is powerful. He commands us to ask in his name for the things we need so that in granting them to us, the Father may be glorified. When we kneel before the tabernacle, we must approach the Lord with total and absolute confidence. He knows that our faith will grow when we experience his power in action: “Ask and you shall receive!” (Matthew 7:7-9).
Conversation with Christ: Lord, what a consoling thought is it that the Holy Trinity dwells in my soul. I am a child of God! Help me to do the works of God! I ask this in your name.
Resolution: Because God dwells in my soul I will try to treat others as he would treat them.
One Bread, One Body
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The thought of abortion for convenience is repugnant
Thus, the thought of abortion for the sake of convenience does not appeal to me. I am not saying that we should abandon our efforts to save baby seals and a host of other animals. Rather I am saying shouldn’t we consider adding human fetuses and babies to the list?
Source: Washington Times, “Physicians View on the Sanctity of Life” , Jan 21, 2014 , Dr. Ben Carson