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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seminarian Saints

Dear Sister Mary Martha:
I was just accepted to Seminary for next year, and I was wondering if you could recommend some saints for me. I already know about St. John Vianney, since the seminary I will be attending is named after him. I was hoping for some more obscure saints. 

Thank you very much.

Obscure saints, eh?  How come? Not that that isn't a fine idea. Are you thinking, being obscure, they'll have more time for you?  Works for me!

So, my suggestion for you is Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara, who is not obscure, obscure, but I'll bet most Americans don't know him from Adam.  He was a parish priest from Mexico.  He was a busy guy. He opened schools, a newspaper, a catechism center and even a power plant.  In his youth he was a shepherd, a farm boy, so he knew from farming life.  He was able to start up farm co-ops with towns people. Move over farmer's market!

Here's where the rubber meets the road, where you are concerned, patron saint-wise.  The anti Church government closed down all the seminaries, so St. Cristobal opened one on his one and gathered up all the displaced seminarians.  It was quickly suppressed.  He quickly opened a new one. Which was suppressed. So he opened another one. Over and over and over again. As fast as they closed him down, he reopened.  When they were all closed he met with the seminarians in private homes.

How's that for devotion to seminarians?

It didn't work out well for St. Cristobal.  He preached against the rebellion and one day he was arrested as an instigator of the guerilla resistance, which wasn't true. He was arrested on his way to say Mass. Falsely imprisoned with no trial, he was sentenced to the firing squad.  He gave away all his possession to his captors and forgave them and gave them absolution.

You can actually find pictures of him being led down the street, standing in front of the firing squad and the final kill shot (as the Navy Seals say) online.  The firing squad actually didn't kill him and he was then shot point blank in the head.

So if it's bravery, devotion, energy and strength that you feel you need, there you go.

And if he isn't enough for you, there were a bunch of these guys.  He was martyred with St. Agustin Caloca.  The rebellion made quite a few martyrs.

And then there's this little fellow. He never got to become a priest because of the mess his country was in.  I'm sure he'd love to help you.


Emily said...

Hello Sister!

Thank you for mentioning all these great saints. I'm wondering if there was a patron saint for finding a vocation. Obviously, you're the one to ask. :) Thanks!

Zora said...

You must mention Blessed M. Joseph Cassant, a Trappist monk who was beatified by Blessed JPII. He suffered and struggled greatly to become a priest. His feast is today, June 17th. Here is more about him: http://bit.ly/lmWrqX

Lisa said...

St Augustine is great for finding a vocation. He was the least likely candidate for holy orders, with his ambitious pagan father, heretical commitments, beautiful concubine, and beloved son. But then he heard a voice say "take it, read it" (in Latin, obviously), and he opened the bible and read God's call to him. Off he went to become a Christian, a monk and a priest. Woudn't hurt to ask his mom, St Monica, for her prayers since her [rayers for his conversion were so thoroughly answered.

Anonymous said...

hi sister

I have eye trouble (i.e. myopia, bad eyesight)...please do help me find a patron saint to pray to!

Anonymous said...

Hi sister

Can you please PLEASE tell me more about sacred heart? What is it about? What do you have to do as part of the devotion? I'll even give you a little heart ( <3) please because I want to know more about it :)

your reader

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Sister!

I have a saint-matching request.

I recently moved to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium but I don't speak any Dutch! Learning foreign languages doesn't come easily to me.
Can you recommend a saint for me for either language learning in general and/or Dutch in particular?

Many thanks for any help!

Sister Mary Margaret said...

I would pray to Blessed John Paul II, as he spoke many languages. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

How about St. Anthony? He could speak only a couple of languages, but people could hear him no matter what language they spoke. He was a 13th century example of St. Peter's Pentecost sermon.

Anonymous said...

That picture is Blessed Padre Miguel Pro. I did find some pictures of St Cristobal online, but the pictures I found online of a priest of the rebellion being led down the street, confronted by a firing squad, and being executed by a final shot to the head - those were all Padre Pro too. Read up on him, he's an amazing saint - master of disguise and quick getaways as well as the Mexican hat dance.

Catherine (have to post as anonymous, because I don't have the google account etc)

Anonymous said...

For the original poster. Patron saint of seminarians? my nominee would be Venerable Father Solanus Casey. <3

He had so much trouble in the seminary, being Irish from Wisconsin where the language of the seminary he entered was German. Poor Bernard Casey (as he was then) had big problems with that because he had never studied German, but he muddled through somehow and became a priest, and a very good one, although his seminary marks were so dismal. Much like St Jean-Marie Vianney in fact.


Anonymous said...

I am confused, the picture in this web site shows Blessed Father Miguel Pro, Mexican Martyr, but you are talking about Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara and I could not find the name of Fr.Pro in your comments.

Anonymous said...

what about st gabriel of the sorrowful mother - gabriel possenti

feast 27th February