By Sr. Elvira Mª Garro, SHM/
Anacleto González Flores was born in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, near Guadajalara, Mexico, in 1888, into a very humble family. His apostolic soul was stirred after attending a mission preached by a priest in his hometown. From that moment on, Anacleto made the decision to receive Holy Communion daily and to teach catechism to other youth. In 1908 he joined the Conciliar Seminary of San Juan de Lagos, and later the Seminary of Guadalajara. He stood out in his studies so much that he was able to substitute the professor, which earned him the nickname “Professor Cleto.” However, upon discovering that his vocation was not to the priesthood, he left the seminary and entered law school (“Escuela Libre de Leyes”), where he obtained the highest qualifications.
By Sr. Elvira Mª Garro, S.H.M.
Africa has given to the Church countless saints, martyrs, confessors, and virgins such as St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, St. Cyril, St. Cyprian, the martyrs St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, the Scillitan and Carthaginian martyrs, and martyrs from the Vandal persecution. Along with these, in the nineteenth century we have the Ugandan martyrs Charles Lwanga and his twelve companions. The photograph was taken in the Bukumbi Mission in Tanganyika (Mwanza), in September or October 1885. The 20 future martyrs went to welcome and congratulate the new Bishop of Uganda, Leon Livinhac.
Álvaro Cárdenas Delgado, a priest from the Diocese of Getafe, Spain, has been working for years on the Spanish translation of the Autobiography of Marcel Van, a Vietnamese religious, contemporary of Cardinal Van Thuan. The Spanish translation has recently been released. Here we offer a summary of Marcel Van’s life as presented in this book. His cause for beatification was opened in 1997 by Cardinal Van Thaun and is currently underway.
By Sr. Elvira Garro, SHM
Karl Leisner was born in Rees, Germany on February 28, 1915 and educated in Kleve. From the time of his youth he kept his love for Christ ardently aflame with prayer, the reading of the Word of God, and daily Mass. “Christ, You are my passion,” was written in his diary. As a high school student he joined the Schoenstatt Movement and became an apostle of deep Marian devotion, the same devotion which inspired Fr. Kentenich and the Schoenstatt Movement.
By Sr. Elvira Garro, S.H.M.
The French Revolution broke out in 1789 in an apparent hostile environment for the Church. The confiscation of Church goods and the expulsion of religious orders rapidly ensued. In 1790, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy condemned by Pius VI, was approved, and converted the French Church into a national and schismatic Church, separate from Rome. The clergy was divided by a sworn oath: priests who swore on the Civil Constitution, thus becoming employees of the State, and “refractory priests” or “non-jurors,” who remained faithful to Rome. The latter group were removed from their duties, and parishes were handed over to “jurors” (priests who took the oath). Those who did not take the oath were threatened with dismissal, deportation, or the guillotine.
Spain is known for its many martyrs, especially the many who lost their lives during the religious persecution that broke out in the 1930s. Over 1,870 martyrs from this time period have already been officially recognized by the Catholic Church and many more are on their way to canonization.
Barbastro (Huesca, Spain) was the diocese that suffered most during the persecution. 80% of the clergy, the highest figure in all of Spain, were killed. A total of 18 Benedictines, 9 Piarists, 51 Claretians, 13 canons of the Cathedral, 114 diocesan priests, 5 seminarians, and a bishop were martyred.
By Sr. Ana Mª Cabezuelo, S.H.M.
Holiness knows no age, nor is it measured in physical dimensions of height, weight, etc, but by the degree to which we allow Christ to transform us from within. Proof of this is the host of young men and women whose heroic lives have become an example of what it means to be Christian.
By Sr. Elvira Garro, SHM
“Do not fear death of the body nor the torments, little brother. Calmly receive the strike of the sword. The God who has seen fit to call us to such a great grace will give us the necessary strength to endure the sufferings that await us.”
By Sr. Beatriz Liaño, SHM
Pope Francis authorized the promulgation decree recognizing the heroic virtues of the servant of God, Tomás Morales, priest of the Society of Jesus and found of the secular institue "The Crusaders of St. Mary" and the association of families "Home of St. Mary."
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