History, Saints Stories

List of Child Saints

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Saints Stories

The Poor Kid Who Could Never Catch a Break

Bl. Nunzio Sulpizio
Memorial: May 5

There almost was never a time when Bl. Nunzio Sulprizio’s life was not difficult.

The blessed was born just after Easter on April 13, 1817, during a time of great famine in Pescosansonesco, a village in the province of Pescara, Italy, and he was named after his paternal grandfather.

When the child was just three, his beloved father died. His younger baby sister died roughly four months later. Two years later, his mother Rosa remarried a much older man out of financial necessity (she had no other support), and like many – not all – stepparents, the man had no use for the boy, seeing him as merely the child of his spouse. Along with regular food, he regularly fed little Nunzio “with harshness and contempt.”

It was this time that he began to attend a small school run by the priest Fr. De Fabiis. In addition to their letters, Father taught his pupils to know and love Jesus and desire to serve him.

Because of stepfather’s treatment, Nunzio bonded with his mother and maternal grandmother Rosaria Luciani del Rossi, an illiterate woman of great faith and goodness. Thus when his mother died on March 5, 1823, he went to live with Rosaria. They were very happy together, and would walk and pray, attend Mass, and do housework. He continued to attend school in his new home, this one run by a Fr. Fantacci, who used to take the children to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which Nunzio loved.

Sadly Rosaria died on April 4, 1826. Now his uncle Domenico Luciani, a blacksmith, took him into his home but out of school and made him his apprentice.

Like his stepfather, Nunzio’s uncle was not kind to him. He worked him very hard, and when he perceived the boy needed correction or discipline, his punishment was to not feed the boy. If he needed an errand run or materials transported or fetched, he sent his nephew, not matter how far the distance or how heavy the burden. If he didn’t do the errand to his liking, Domenico would beat and curse him. For anyone but especially a child, this was a great burden.

Instead of despairing, however, the boy would think of Jesus as he beat on the anvil and think of how Our Lord had been beaten for mankind’s sins. As he suffered the “scourge” of inhumane work and treatment, he thought of Christ’s suffering the scourging at the pillar during His sacred Passion. When he suffered, he offered these pains up to the One Who had mastered suffering “in reparation for the sins of the world” and so that he might more perfectly “do the will of God” and to be found worthy of entering into the Son’s rest.

Because of a wound incurred during one errand on a winter morning, Nunzio’s foot became infected. He became so ill, he couldn’t rise from bed. His uncle demanded that he get to work because “if you do not work, you do not eat.”

The lack of proper care led to his contracting gangrene. Still his uncle told him, “If you can not lift the hammer, then you pull the bellows.” The boy was in so much pain by this point that every movement was torture. His sore oozed puss and required constant cleaning. Once he went to a nearby stream to clean his wound, but a woman coming to wash her laundry chased him away saying he would pollute the water. Finally he found his own stream and would pray many Rosaries while letting the water cleanse his sores.

Finally he had to be sent to a hospital, first at L’Aquila and then Naples. All along he offered up his sufferings in union with the cross. He also helped care for other patients who were worse off than he.

It was during his hospitalization in L’Aquila that his father’s brother Francesco Sulprizio, a soldier, heard of his plight and brought him to Naples in 1832. Shortly thereafter he acquainted his nephew with another soldier, Colonel Felice Wochinger. Col. Wochinger, known as “father of the poor” for both his faith and charity, took the youth under his wing and essentially became a second father to him.

It was at this time that a priest came to visit. A good priest asks: “Do you suffer much?”. He responded, “Yes, I do the will of God.”

“What would you like?”

“I wish to confess and receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time!”

“You have not made their First Communion?”

“No, in our area, we have to wait until we are 15 years old.”

“And your parents?”

“Dead”

“Who cares for you?”

“The providence of God.”

So began Nunzio’s preparation for confession and First Holy Communion. His confessor later related that “from that day the grace of God began to work in him in way that was outside of the ordinary, so that you could see him run from virtue to virtue. His whole person breathed love of … Jesus Christ.”

It was around this time that he also met St. Gaetano Errico, the Neapolitan priest who founded the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The holy cleric promised the teenager he could join the order when the time came.

His desire to enter the religious life stemmed out of the fact that from the time he was little, he had attended Mass of his own volition. Not only did he know the person of Jesus Christ, but he worked to mirror him to others in everything he did.

He spent two years at the hospital in Naples and at a spa in Ischia. He would read, pray in the chapel, and teach the child patients their catechism. He would tell the sick, “Always be with the Lord, because from Him comes all that is good. Suffer for the love of God and with joy.”

At first Nunzio’s situation seemed to improve, but then he contracted bone cancer. Doctors believed their only recourse was to amputate his leg. This did nothing. Indeed his situation and suffering worsened, and his pain was acute. He hoped that God might heal him, but he never lost his faith that the Lord was guiding him every step of the way.

He would tell visitors, “Jesus endured so much for us and for his merits awaits us eternal life. If we suffer for a while, we will enjoy in Paradise,” and, “Jesus suffered a lot for me. [So what if] I cannot stand for Him?” or, “I would die to convert even one sinner.”

One of the last things he told the colonel was, “Be cheerful. From heaven I will always be helping you.”

In early May 1836, the youth asked to make his last confession and to receive extreme unction and viaticum. He died May 5.

Following his death, his body was exhibited for five days because of all the Neapolitans who had heard about him and wanted to see “lu santariello” (“our little saint” in the local dialect), and there remained during this entire period the strong smell of roses.

Nunzio became one of the first people beatified by Bl. Pope Paul VI when he was raised to the altars on December 1, 1963, before all the world’s bishops at a session of the Second Vatican Council.

A Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio Shrine exists in Pittsburgh at St. Cyril of Alexandria Church in the Brighton Heights section. It was originally established in the home of the late Delfina Del Russo Cesarespada, who believed Bl. Nunzio saved her from death, but it was moved here in 2006 following first her death and then her husband Francesco’s.

As one source put it, his life shows we “must believe and obey the Crucified and Risen Christ, Who makes all things new.”

A potential miracle needed for his canonization is currently under investigation at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

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“Let us work, my daughters, we shall rest in heaven!”

Marie-Léonie Paradis

Memorial: May 3

Today we remember an indefatigable worker in the Lord’s vineyard, a Canadian foundress of a religious order, Bl. Marie-Léonie Paradis.

Born Alodie-Virginie Paradis in L’Acadie, Quebec on May 12, 1840, she came from a distinguished Catholic family, descended from a clan that had given the Church several bishops, including an archbishop of Quebec.

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“Élodie,” as her family called her, was homeschooled until age nine, which is when her parents sent her to the boarding school run by the Notre-Dame Sisters. Although the Sisters were quite kind to her, she was often miserably homesick. It was here that she received her First Holy Communion and Confirmation in 1849 and 1850, respectively. Continue reading

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Saints Stories, Uncategorized

The Tough Nun Nurse Who Stood Up to the Nazis

Bl. Maria Restituta Kafka (1894-1943)
Feast: March 30
Beatified: June 21, 1998

We know the Nazis’ wickedness cowed many into silence, but not everyone. Take, for instance, Bl. Maria Restituta.

Born Helen Kafka, she was from a family of Czech extraction, and she grew up in Vienna. After leaving school at 15, Helen tried her hand at various jobs before settling on a nursing career with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

After several months, Helen asked her parents to join the order. When they refused, she ran away from home. Ultimately, her parents relented, and so the congregation accepted her. Helen took the name Restituta after an early martyr who had been beheaded and made her final vows at age 23 in 1918. (One source says that one of the meanings of “Restituta” is “obese.” Given her keen sense of humor, maybe she also chose the name as a joke? We can only speculate.)

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Her hospital’s best surgeon was difficult. Nobody wanted to work with him … except Sr. Restituta, and within a short time, she was running his operating room. Eventually, she became a world-class surgical nurse.

Sister was tough. People called her “Sr. Resolute” because of her stubbornness. Mostly, however, Restituta was easy-going and funny. After work, she’d visit the local pub and order goulash and “a pint of the usual.”

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Given her very vocal opposition to the Nazis, she was also brave. After Restituta hung a crucifix in every room of her hospital’s new wing, the Nazis ordered them taken down. She refused. The crucifixes stayed.

However, when the Gestapo found anti-Nazi propaganda on her, she was arrested and later sentenced to death for treason.

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Sister’s mug shot

Bl. Restituta spent her remaining days ministering to other prisoners. As she approached the guillotine wearing a paper shirt and weighing just half her previous weight, her last words were, “I have lived for Christ; I want to die for Christ.”

She was the only “German” religious living in “Greater Germany” martyred during the Second World War. St. Edith Stein and her sister were living in the Netherlands before their deportation to Auschwitz.)

Fearing that Catholic Christians would promote her as a martyr, the Nazis did not hand over her body. Rather they buried it in a mass grave.

In the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber in Rome is a chapel dedicated to 20th century martyrs. The crucifix that hung from Bl. Restituta’s belt is kept there as a relic.

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Saints Stories, Uncategorized

The Nerdy-Looking Martyr

Bl. Marcel Callo
Memorial: March 19

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. They even come looking like the quintessential nerd.

Case in point? Bl. Marcel Callo, a Frenchman who lost his life doing slave labor at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

Bl. Marcel was born December 6, 1921, as one of nine children in Rennes, which is in Brittany, northwestern France. His father was a failed farmer turned chemical factory worker. His mother served in the home.

After leaving school at age 13 to help his family pay the bills, Marcel became an apprentice printer. When his mother asked him why he did not enter the seminary like his brother, Marcel told her, “I do not feel called to the priesthood; I think I do more good by remaining in the world.”

And he did do good. Despite how one might judge his somewhat nerdy looks, he was a terrific leader. He had a great sense of humor, and while he wasn’t an athlete (he did play sports, though), he was very good at ping pong and cards. He liked going to the movies and dances.

Once he scandalized some adults by organizing a group outing to the cinema on All Soul’s Day. Despite his elders’ complaints, the group went. Afterward these youth not only showed up for Mass that day, they arrived early.

A friend later said, “We thought that in order to be a good Christian, all you had to do was your morning and evening prayer and go to Sunday Mass—not much else. Since Marcel taught me, I no longer just ‘attend’ Mass, I try to participate, coming not with ‘empty hands,’ but with something to offer from my life.”

Marcel was an altar server and a Boy Scout, and he was devout from a young age. In fact another group he joined was the Eucharistic Crusade, whose motto was, “Pray, receive Holy Communion, offer yourself up, and be an apostle.”

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Marcel as a Boy Scout.

In fact Callo was so devout and took his faith so seriously, he wouldn’t hang out with his fellow workers at the print shop. Why? Because they cussed and said inappropriate things about women.

One day he came home and complained about the bawdy talk. His mother taught him that the way to fight them was not with words but with a short prayer of consecration to the Blessed Mother: “Dear Mother, remember that I belong to you. Watch over and protect me as your very own possession.”

Thereafter whenever there was a break, Callo would find an unfrequented part of the shop and kneel on the ground to pray this prayer.

To help with his efforts to be a Christian in the workplace, Marcel joined an organization that is prominent just about everywhere but North America, the Young Christian Workers. Founded by the late Belgian prelate and Servant of God Joseph Cardinal Cardjin, the YCW’s members, said Cardjin, had “a divine mission from God, second only to that of the priest, to bring the whole world to Christ.”

Callo realized that separating himself from his poorly formed companions might keep him pure. It wouldn’t, however, bring them “to Christ.”

Therefore he studied the Church’s social teaching so he could discuss the questions of the day from a Catholic perspective. He also resolved to be the hardest and best worker of the group. Soon his coworkers saw this and that he always respectfully stood up for himself and his beliefs and usually had good arguments.

“Marcel quickly understood that the ideal of the [YCW] was to help workers understand the dignity of their work, which they believed to be scorned, and to make them aware that they were all children of God. This required apostles who were proud to belong to Christ, who were pure, joyful, and triumphant. Some evenings, the discussions were acrimonious. Marcel, who had an uncompromising nature, knew his first head-on conflicts—nevertheless, his comportment commanded respect. Sometimes, when their words or wrongdoings shocked him, he did not hesitate to express his anger, without however losing respect for his opponents. Little by little, he learned to master his outbursts, and after saying all he had to in defense of the truth quickly found peace again.”

Marcel was by no means perfect. According to one source, “His main fault was without question stubbornness, but he recognized his faults. At school, he was reprimanded for his uneven work—yet, all in all, his teachers found him hard working …”

“We are often poor instruments in the hands of God because we have bad habits, bad inclinations,” he wrote. “Sin dampens our spiritual life, lowers us, and keeps us from being activists, from dedicating ourselves. It is in the measure that we put on Christ that we will work for the good of the community. Every day I must be a little more conformed to Christ.”

Before the Nazis invaded France in 1940, there was a steady stream of Eastern European refugees. Marcel and his YCW friends would go to the train station to give these struggling people assistance.

One of his partners in such endeavors, Marguerite Derniaux, he asked to be his partner in life. She said yes. She was the first girl he had ever dated. He had waited until he was 20 to start looking for a wife because as he later told a friend, “I knew I had to wait for real love. I had to perfect my heart before I could offer it to the one whom Christ had chosen for me.”

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Marcel and Marguerite

Because of the war, however, the two never married. They did attend Mass and receive the Eucharist together on a frequent basis, though, and they prayed for their future family.

When the Germans were conquering France, they bombed Rennes, including the building in which Marcel’s younger sister Madeleine was working. To his grieving parents he said, “If God has taken Madeleine from us, it is because He judged her ready for Heaven. Later, would she have had the same dispositions? Might she not have been lost? Providence knows better than us what must be done.”

On March 19, 1943, the Germans conscripted him for forced labor. For over a week, he debated whether to go or do like many young men of the time and head for the bush to join the French Resistance (the French word for the “bush” is maquis, and the Resistance was called “le Maquis” because they were guerrilla fighters who waged war from the bush). Realizing, though, that if he didn’t go, the Germans would exact revenge on his family, he reported at the appointed time.

At the train station, his fiancée told him he would die a martyr, to which he incredulously replied, “I could never deserve such an honor.”

The Germans sent him to Zella-Mehlis is a town in the Schmalkalden-Meiningen district, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. It was the site of the Walther Arms and J.G. Anschutz weapons factories. There he labored in a sweltering plant on his feet for 10 hours each day. After work, however, he helped coordinate Masses for his fellow conscripts, retreats, and other meetings. Soon he became head of the YCW in Zella-Mehlis.

A year and a month later to the day of his leaving Rennes, the Gestapo arrested him for his apostolate amongst his fellow prisoners. The arresting officer said his incarceration was because “Monsieur is too much a Catholic.”

The young man took his rosary, shook his friend Joel’s hand, and asked him, “Write to my parents and my fiancée and tell them I’ve been arrested.”

The context is this: The infamous war criminal and SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner had signed a document titled, “Activity of French Catholic Action among the French civilian workers in the Reich.” It created in the Reich Main Security Office the “antikatholischen Dezernat” (anti-Catholic Department) as part of the Gestapo section dedicated to eradicating “politschen Katholizismus” (political Catholicism) and anyone seen as promoting it, regardless of nationality. This is largely what started the concentrated persecution of Catholics and the subsequent martyrdoms across German-occupied Europe.

Part of what triggered this was an effort by the French bishops. After the Germans started conscripting French labor, the Church deployed priests to minister to these men. As such in 1943, they secretly sent 26 priest to Germany posing as conscripted workers. Supporting them in this were members of the YCW, people such as Bl. Marcel.

In fact, when Marcel had left in 1943, he said, “I’m leaving not as a worker but as a missionary in the service of my companions—there is so much to do to make Christ known,” although it wasn’t until November 1943 that former Carmelite seminarian Jean Tinturier recruited him in Germany for this purpose (Tinturier would later be arrested for his “work for Catholic Action amongst the French, while serving compulsory labor, as a danger to the German people;” he died at Mauthausen three days before Marcel)

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Jean Tinturier

It was around the same time as he been approached by Tinturier that Callo got to go to Mass, something he had not been able to readily do since leaving home. Up to this point, he had progressively grown more and more depressed and was losing weight.

He wrote Marguerite, “The two months after my arrival were painful and hard. I had no interest in anything. I had become insensitive, I felt I was going slowly … But suddenly Christ made ​​me react. He made ​​me realize what I was doing was not proper. He told me not to give in to despair. He told me to take care of my friends, and the joy of life came back to me.”

This was necessary because as Callo’s cellmate in Gotha Fernand Morin recounted, “Many young people—cut off from their usual habits, their families, in the middle of this forced exile—found themselves disoriented, and soon their lower instincts emerged. The YCW, Boy Scouts, seminarians and of course priests responded quickly and got them regrouped …”

He described Callo as a lively, jovial sort, who was warm and always writing his family and fiancée on whatever scraps of paper he could find.

“He lived on the memory of his fiancée,” says one source, “about whom he spoke often, which forestalled some of his fellow workers’ bawdy talk. He only needed to arrive on the scene for the tone to change, for simply his presence inspired respect.”

In addition to times of prayer and spiritual reflection, Marcel also organized card games, theater presentations, and sports.

That Marcel achieved all of this in the labor camp is remarkable. Making his efforts even more impressive is that he suffered from boils, stomach pains, skin burns, infected teeth, and headaches.

Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard, archbishop of Paris somehow heard of his efforts and wrote, “Thank you for the good that you are doing among your fellow workers. I bless your labors and pray for you.”

The Gestapo received the Kaltenbrunner document on December 3, 1943, beginning the persecution of the no-longer-secret priests and their YCW cooperators. The wave of persecution reached its peak in spring 1944. While some of the activists got sent back to France, the majority—including Marcel—got placed in concentration camps.

On October 7, Callo first got sent to Gotha. There by God’s providence he and his companions were all housed in a single barracks they called “The Upper Room.” The guards called it “The Church,” because an Evangelical pastor had once been imprisoned there and had preached to his fellow inmates. With them was a priest with a missal. Another man had a rosary. Another had woven a cross made of flowers. (It has survived to this day. In 2005, Fernand, his roommate at Gotha, donated it to the French Church.)

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The flower cross that survived the War.

Here he wrote his brother, “Fortunately, [Jesus] is a Friend, who never deserts me for an instant. He supports and consoles me. With Him, you can bear everything, even those terrible hours so filled with torment. How grateful I am to Christ. He has marked out the path for me, and now I am walking in it…. This painful separation will enable me to understand life a bit better—it is in suffering that we become better.”

On July 16, he received Communion. It had been 88 days since his previous reception. He did not know it would be the last time. He wrote in his secret diary, “Communion. Great joy.”

Then Marcel was moved to Flossenburg. Finally on October 20, the Germans took him to the Gusen I and Gusen II satellites of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, about 25 miles away from Linz.

Early in its history, Mauthausen had morphed from a mere prison for run of the mill convicts into an “extermination by labor” camp, designed for the Nazis’ political and ideological enemies. The Germans in the Reich Main Security Office nicknamed it Knochenmühle – the bone-grinder (literally bone-mill). Its purpose was to force men to labor for 12 hours each day. In Marcel’s case, he labored in B8 Bergkristall, the code name for an underground aircraft factory for the mass production of Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters.

After a few months the inmates would become “Muselmänner,” that is, too sick to work. If not already dead, they might be left to die in the infirmary, killed by lethal injection, or placed inside a gas chamber that could hold 120 people.

Marcel died on March 19, 1945, from various diseases. He had become one of Muselmänner, having contracted tuberculosis, a painful skin condition, and dysentery. He actually did quite well, in a certain respect. The average inmate coming into Mauthausen at this time survived only three months. He had survived roughly five.

His fellow inmate, French Resistance officer Col. Albert Tibodo says that on the day Marcel died, he had crawled to the pit that served as a toilet to relieve himself yet again … and fell in. Tibodo pulled him out.

Knowing the 23-year-old was dying, the colonel later recounted, “Then I saw that he was not a normal boy … he had only one look. His eyes were seeing something else … His eyes expressed the deep conviction that he was going to happiness … “

At Callo’s beatification inquest, Tibodo declared that this look “was an act of Faith and Hope in a better life. Never have I seen on another dying man—and I have seen thousands—a look like his. He had the look of a saint. It was a revelation for me.”

One report says that for some reason he was not cremated but buried in a mass grave. In any event, his remains have never been found.

Interestingly it was not the French bishops who proposed his beatification but those of German and Austria as a means of reconciliation and promoting Franco-Germanic peace.

His beatification took place on October 4, 1987, in St. Peter’s square. During his homily, Pope St. John Paul II told the congregation, “To all of us, laypeople, monks, priests, and bishops, [Marcel Callo] points out the universal call for holiness: that holiness and youth of spirit, of which our old western world stands in such great need, that it may proclaim the Gospel ‘in season and out of season’” (2 Tim 4: 2).

He continued, “Marcel did not achieve evangelical perfection at once. Although he was talented and full of good will, he had to engage in a long struggle with the spirit of the world, with himself, and with the weight of people and things. But he was fully open to the workings of grace and allowed God to lead him by degrees—to the very point of martyrdom. His love of Christ achieved maturity amid trials…. Having achieved eternal joy with God, Marcel Callo is living proof that the Christian faith does not remove earth from heaven. We prepare for heaven here, on earth, in justice and love. When we love, we are ‘blessed.’”

A quick note about Marguerite. She never married. She became a postal clerk and died in 1997.

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Saints Stories, Uncategorized

Moved by a ghost toward the Holy Ghost

Bl. Pietro Geremia
Memorial: March 10

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Although from a family of Bolognese aristocrats, Pietro Geremia (b. 1381) was born and raised in Palermo, Sicily. At first he wanted to be a lawyer. But in 1422, just before graduating from law school in Bologna, he had a complete conversion of heart and longing for God, and so he decided to enter the Dominicans, despite his father’s opposition.

What happened was this: One night as he lay in bed in his third floor room, he was daydreaming about all the great things his life would bring after he had earned his shingle. At that moment, someone repeatedly knocked at his window. Remember he was on the third floor. There was no ledge, no way for anyone to stand outside and rap on the pane.

Frightened, he called out, “Who’s there.”

“A hollow voice responded that he was a relative who had just died, a successful lawyer who had wanted human praise so badly that he had lied to win it, and now was eternally lost because of his pride.”

As another source puts it, he who had defended so many causes in his life now had no one to defend his cause before the divine tribunal.

“Peter was terrified, and acted at once upon the suggestion to turn, while there was still time, from the vanity of public acclaim. He went the next day to a locksmith and bought an iron chain, which he riveted tightly about him. He began praying seriously to know his vocation.

“Soon thereafter, God made known to him that he should enter the Dominican Order.

It is said his father traveled to Bologna to retrieve his son, screaming at and demanding of the prior that he fetch the young man. He was prepared to vent his full fury on the boy for having ruined his dreams for him and choosing to “waste” his life in this fashion when he saw Pietro walking down the hall, a smile brightening his face. The father immediately recognized his son had found happiness, and his heart softened. He thus give his child his blessing.

After receiving ordination in 1424, he became an itinerant preacher (the Dominicans are officially known as the “Order of Preachers”). His preaching became so well known, he always had to preach in a town’s piazza (or square) or in a field “because there was no church large enough to hold the crowds that flocked to hear him.”

In 1433, his superiors made him prior at the ex-Convent of Santa Cita in Palermo, Sicily (it is now the Oratorio del Rosario in Santa City).

One day, his monks informed him there was no food, so he went to the water and asked some fishermen to donate a portion of the catch they were just then hauling in. They rudely dismissed his request.

So he got in a boat, put out a short distance away and called for the netted fish to come to his boat. The fish strained and broke through the net and did as he had commanded.

The frightened fishermen saw their sin and asked forgiveness. Pietro then gave a sign to the fish, which swam back into the nets. From that day on, the monastery had fish to eat.

Pope Eugene IV (1431-47) had a great appreciation for his skills, and during the Council of Florence (1431-45), which briefly reconciled the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, the Pontiff relied on Pietro to help mediate between the two sides.

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“At one time, when Peter was preaching at Catania, Mount Etna erupted and torrents of flame and lava flowed down on the city. The people cast themselves at his feet, begging him to save them. After preaching a brief and pointed sermon on repentance, Peter went into the nearby shrine of Saint Agatha, removed the veil of the [eponymous] saint, which was there honored as a relic, and held it towards the approaching tide of destruction. The eruption ceased and the town was saved.

“This and countless other miracles he performed caused him to be revered as a saint. He raised the dead to life, healed the crippled and the blind, and brought obstinate sinners to the feet of God.”

In addition to his miracles, he founded the University of Catania and help established several Dominican monasteries. He died at Santa Cita in 1452.

Peter’s life teaches us that, “God has a mission for each of us and has given us the gifts to successfully complete the purpose for which He created us. Our job is to discern our role in His creation. The gifts He has given us can be the instrument of our damnation when used against His purposes; when we discern correctly through prayer and spiritual direction these same talents and abilities can sanctify us and those around us. It’s not too late to seek God’s will for your life—in fact, we should attempt to understand His will for our every action, each day, using all the gifts his has given us.”

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St. Pietro’s tomb.

 

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