O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph

O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph
In you we place all our faith and all our trust.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

St. Seraphin of Monte Granaro - Feastday: October 12 (Biography # 3)

+ JMJ +

St. Seraphim of Montegranaro

Saint Seraphin of Monte Granaro

Feastday: October 12

Seraphin De Nicola, baptized Felice, was born in Monte Granaro, Italy, in 1540.  His parents were poor in earthly goods and obscure in the sight of men.  But the spirit of prayer, which his mother instilled in the boy, was an inheritance of priceless value.   The loving lessons of his mother caused Seraphin to make the firm resolve to remain innocent and become a saint.

His father and brother were masons, but Felice was not strong or skilled, so he was sent to work as a shepherd, a job he enjoyed because it allowed him to be by himself and pray. 

On the death of his parents, Seraphin was subjected to a severe trial.  His brother, a bricklayer and a man of a violent temper, needed Seraphin to help with the business, so he took him into his employ.  He was given tasks he could not complete.  No matter what the boy did, he received nothing but harsh words and blows from his ill-tempered brother.  He would beat him and belittle him.  Seraphin bore the cruel treatment with great patience and recognized in it the way to holiness. 

A friend urged him to accept his more spiritual side and suggested he speak with the Capuchins.  Desiring to consecrate himself to the service of God, he entered a Capuchin convent when he was only 16 years old.  He served in various friaries as porter and questor.

He devoted the night to prayer.  In the evening he would visit the Blessed Sacrament and remain there for hours absorbed in prayer and contemplation.  Then he would take a short rest, after which he would get up once more to attend the midnight office.  God seemed to preserve his bodily strength in a marvelous way.

During a famine, he ate but a fourth of his own meager meal, in order to have so much more to give to the poor.  As porter of the convent, charged with providing for the poor, he once exceeded the bounds of obedience.  For, as he had nothing more to give and there were still some poor waiting for help, he went into the garden and gathered a supply of the vegetables growing there. 

When his superior took him to task for it, the good brother assured him that the community would in no way suffer on his account, and the next morning a new growth of vegetables appeared in the garden.

The miraculous power with which God rewarded the charity of His servant continued to manifest itself.  Countless sick were restored to health when he made the Sign of the Cross over them.

Seraphin endeavored, nevertheless, to withdraw as much as possible from contact with the world.  While engaged in the quiet work about the convent, his heart was busy contemplating the sufferings of Christ.

His life was noted for its unaffected simplicity, close union with Christ, and great love for the poor and for sinners.  Inflamed with the love of God, Seraphin departed from this life on October 12, 1604, in his 64th year.  Many miracles occurred at his grave, and Pope Clement XIII canonized him in 1767.

 +  PRAYER  + 

God, our Father, You endowed Saint Seraphin with the manifold gifts of the Spirit, and made him an admirable witness of the riches of Christ.  Through his intercession make us grow in knowledge of You that we may walk faithfully before You according to the truth of the gospel.  

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

[Sources of text and pictures: Capuchin Franciscans, Province of St. Mary, and Steven Wood's reflections.]

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