Throughout this July, we have the lives of three blesseds we can look to for inspiration in these modern times. All three of these blesseds lived during the 1900s and experienced many of the same ups and downs that we may face today. Today, we celebrate Bl. Maria Romero Meneses who lived from 1902-1977 and ministered in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Then, on July 28th we will celebrate Bl. Stanley Rother who was born in Oklahoma in 1935 and martyred in Guatemala in 1981. Finally, on July 30th we will celebrate Bl. Solanus Casey, a Capuchin who lived from 1870 until 1957 and ministered in New York and Detroit for much of his life. The lives of all three of these blesseds can help guide us today.
Bl. Maria Romero Meneses
Bl. Maria Romero Meneses was born in Nicaragua in 1902 and in her youth, she became extremely sick, but after her arduous recovery, she committed herself to becoming a religious sister. She joined the Salesian Sisters when she was 27 and was transferred to Costa Rica where she completed most of her ministry. She focused on both helping the poor in her community and helping the rich understand how they could help those who were struggling. In today’s world, I find it can be easy to silo ourselves or others to just doing one thing, but, Bl. Maria is an example to us of helping those in need while also trying to help the structural causes of their need. While most of us won’t have the opportunity to work and minister in places like Nicaragua and Costa Rica, let us pray for Bl. Maria’s intercession for guidance on how to help the poor in our community and help change the structures that lead to poverty.
Bl. Stanley Rother
Bl. Stanley Rother was born in 1935 in Oklahoma. He became a priest for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and in 1968 was assigned to the Oklahoma mission to Guatemala with the Tzʼutujil people. While in Guatemala, Bl. Stanley did more than just preach, he founded a radio station and a hospital, taught language lessons, and did whatever else he could for the Tzʼutujil people. He even taught himself Spanish and the Tzʼutujil language so he could best minister and be present to the people there. Bl. Stanley ended up being killed during the Guatemalan Civil War because his missionary work put him in the middle of the two sides. One lesson I have learned from Bl. Stanley is how we can minister to people in so many ways, not just through preaching. He learned the Tzʼutujil language not just to preach, but so he could engage with the Tzʼutujil in their day-to-day life and be present to them.
Bl. Solanus Casey
On July 30th we will close out the month by celebrating the feast of Bl. Solanus Casey. Bl. Solanus was born in 1870 and entered the Capuchins around the turn of the century. He spent the first twenty years of his ministry in New York and then in 1924 was transferred to Detroit. While in Detroit, he mainly served as a porter at the Capuchin monastery. Even as he did the relatively simple task of a porter, Bl. Solanus was attentive to the visitors to the monastery and would pray with and for them for their illnesses and other hardships. He was renowned for his special Masses celebrated for the sick and people would travel just for these Masses with Bl. Solanus. I find the example of Bl. Solanus as the porter inspiring in our world today. He had a simple task, but he did it very intentionally and with great love, bringing many people closer to Christ. May we all pray for the intercession of Bl. Solanus to do our tasks with the same great intentionality and love!
As we continue through this July, let us pray for the intercession of Bl. Maria Romero Meneses, Bl. Stanley Rother, and Bl. Solanus Casey as we strive to grow closer to Christ and bring other to Him.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
To view a calendar of the feast days in July, and each month, click here.