While reflecting on the saints and blesseds that we newly added to our Feast Day website for this month of May, I was struck by the beauty in the diversity of lives they lived. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that there isn’t just one way to be a saint; in fact, there aren’t even one hundred set ways to be a saint. The way that God is calling us to be a saint is unique and individual to each one of us. I find it inspiring to learn about the lives of saints and take tidbits of their life as encouragement and motivation in my day-to-day path of following Christ.
Bl. Sandra Sabattini
Last week, we got to celebrate the feast of Bl. Sandra Sabattini. Before working on this project, I had never heard of Bl. Sandra; now she is someone I hope to read more about, and I find myself praying for her intercession. She was born in Italy in 1961, and after high school she worked in clinics helping those addicted to drugs. In her work there, she felt God’s call to work in medical missions in Africa, so she went to medical school. She was hit by a car and killed in 1984 when she was only twenty-two, but her legacy continues today because of her holiness. She strove to help others grow closer to Christ, no matter their situation, and she sought to do so by using her God-given gifts and talents in her own unique way to give back to the community. For me, as a young person in the biomedical field, the life of Bl. Sandra has many, many lessons.
This coming Monday we will celebrate the feast of St. Dymphna. If it wasn’t for their shared Catholic faith, I don’t think anyone would even mention St. Dymphna and Bl. Sandra in the same sentence. Dymphna was a seventh-century saint who was born into royalty, but upon her mother’s death, she had to flee from her mentally deranged father. She was martyred by her father when she was only fifteen because of her father’s desire to remarry. Throughout the centuries, St. Dymphna has grown to become the patron saint of mental health and those with nervous afflictions. Ultimately, while Bl. Sandra and St. Dymphna had very different lives, it is their same faith in Christ that guided and helped them live the saintly lives for which we remember them today.
St. Paschal Baylón
On Wednesday, May 17, we will celebrate a saint whose humility can inspire us to get through a challenging week and help us put everything in perspective. St. Paschal Baylón was a Spanish Franciscan brother in the sixteenth century. He grew up in a poor family, and before he joined the Franciscans, he was a shepherd. Upon joining the Franciscans as a brother, he held small but important roles in the community, like porter and gardener. He undertook these tasks with great dedication and would use his time in solitude during his work for personal contemplation. Paschal became known for his teachings on the Eucharist, which were rooted in his time spent in personal contemplation. As we live in this busy world of never-ending things to do, let us take time to allow a space for personal contemplation and conversation with God throughout our daily tasks.
Bl. Louis-Zéphirin Moreau
On the opposite side from a quiet, contemplative gardener is a bishop who spent his twenty-five years in the episcopate founding schools and churches throughout his diocese. Bl. Louis-Zéphirin Moreau was a nineteenth-century Canadian bishop who served as bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe from 1875 to 1901. As bishop, he helped revitalize the diocese by founding schools, churches, and two religious communities who served within the diocese. I can’t imagine how busy someone like Bishop Moreau must have been, trying to complete all of his tasks as bishop while at the same time trying to serve the diocese. Yet through it all, as many people commented during his beatification process, he maintained his personal piousness, never wavering in his devotion and trust in Christ throughout all of his work. So from the humble gardener to the revitalizing bishop, let us try to take a page from their book and take time in our weeks to give ourselves to Christ and let Him lead us.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
Bl. Sandra Sabattini, pray for us.
St. Dymphna, pray for us.
St. Paschal Baylón, pray for us.
Bl. Louis-Zéphirin Moreau, pray for us.