28 Apr – Memorial for St. Peter Chanel, priest & martyr; Memorial for St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, priest
Peter Chanel (1803-1841) was born to a peasant family and was a shepherd as a boy. He was an excellent student and was ordained at 24. He was assigned to Crozet, a parish in decline; he turned it around, in part because of his ministry to the sick, and brought a spiritual revival. He joined the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) in 1831, and taught in the Belley seminary for five years.
In 1836, he led a band of missionaries to the New Hebrides, an area where cannibalism had only recently been outlawed. He converted many, often as a result of his work with the sick. He learned the local language and taught in the local school. He was killed by order of Niuliki, a native king who was jealous of Peter’s influence. He was the first martyr in Oceania.
“He loves us. He does what he teaches. He forgives his enemies. His teaching is good.”
– one of St. Peter’s catechumens, explaining why he believed Peter’s teachings.
Louis-Marie (1673-1716) was born poor. He studied in Paris, France, and was ordained in 1700. While a seminarian he delighted in researching the writings of Church Fathers, Doctors and Saints as they related to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was singularly devoted.
Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the care of the destitute. During this work, he began his apostolate of preaching the Rosary and authentic Marian devotion. He preached so forcefully and effectively against the errors of Jansenism that he was expelled from several dioceses in France.
In Rome, Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of ‘Missionary Apostolic’, which enabled him to continue his apostolate after returning to France. He preached Mary everywhere and to everyone.
He was a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic, and was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day and, by means of his miraculously inspiring book, The Secret of the Rosary, he is still so today. The most common manner of reciting the Rosary is the method that originated with St. Louis’ preaching. In 1715, he founded a missionary band known as the Company of Mary.
His greatest contribution to the Church and world is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. He propagated this in his day by preaching and after his own death by his other famous book True Devotion to Mary. Consecration to Mary is for St. Louis the perfect manner of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been espoused by millions, especially Pope John Paul II, who has consecrated not only himself but every place he has visited as pope.
In True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis prophesied that the army of souls consecrated to Mary will be her instrument in defeating the Devil and his Antichrist. As Satan gains power in the world, so much more shall the new Eve triumph over him and crush his head.
The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued.
- Patron Saint Index
The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:
Jesus said to his disciples:
I have learnt of the importance of putting everything in God’s hand. This means that we need to abandon all our plans to God. We must plan but we must also let God the Holy Spirit take control of what we want.
St Paul definitely wanted to convert both Jew and Gentile but the situation at that point in time meant that the Gentiles were more receptive. He accepted the challenge of reaching out to that group and then decided to preach it fully. This means that St Paul accepted the change in plans and decided to embrace it wholeheartedly.
The challenge before us today is to discover the plan God has before us and to see if our lives are in alignment with this plan. If there is a divergence, we should take it to prayer and ask God to share with us what his plans are. As we continue in our Easter journey, let us pray for the strength to accept the plan which God has for us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer:Father, we pray for the grace to accept the plan you have for us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the grace to love the people around us.