St. Seraphin of Montegranaro (1540-1604)

Today is the feast day of St. Seraphin of Montegranaro (1540-1604)!


Born into a poor Italian family, young Seraphin lived the life of a shepherd and spent much of his time in prayer. Mistreated for a time by his older brother after the two of them had been orphaned, Seraphin became a Capuchin Franciscan at age 16 and impressed everyone with his humility and generosity.

Serving as a lay brother, Seraphin imitated St. Francis in fasting, clothing and courtesy to all. He even mirrored Francis' missionary zeal, but Seraphin's superiors did not judge him to be a candidate for the missions.

Faithful to the core, Seraphin spent three hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament daily. The poor who begged at the friary door came to hold a special love for him. Despite his uneventful life, he reached impressive spiritual heights and has had miracles attributed to him.

Seraphin died on October 12, 1604, and was canonized in 1767.

Comment: For many people these days, work has no significance beyond providing the money they need to live. How many share the belief expressed in the Book of Genesis that we are to cooperate with God in caring for the earth? The kind of work Seraphin did may not strike us as earth-shattering. The work was ordinary; the spirit in which he did it was not.

Quote: In Brothers of Men, Rene Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: "Now this holiness [of Jesus] became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of work, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God." Christians are convinced, he says, "that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of a man who is poor and obliged to work for his living."

The Saints and Mary

In tonight's class we discussed Saints and Mary and how she is a key part of our Catholic theology.

If you're still curious about her and would like to learn more, here are some great resources:

The Blessed Virgin Mary -

Mary (mother of God) - Wikipedia

Theotokos - Wikipedia

Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic) - Wikipedia

Marian Theology Book Suggestions - Aquinas & More

Also, here is more information about some of the Saints that we mentioned (and more!) and their patronage:

The Archangels:

St. Michael the Archangel: sailors, policemen, warriors, Germany, Guardian of the Catholic Church; protector of the Jewish people

St. Gabriel the Archangel:  messengers, those who work for broadcasting and telecommunications such as radio and television, remote sensing and postal workers

St. Raphael the Archangel: apothecaries; blind people; bodily ills; diocese of Madison, WI, druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares, nurses; pharmacists; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; shepherds; sick people; travelers; young people

St. Augustine: brewers, printers, theologians, 

St. Francis of Assisi: animals, the environment, Italy, merchants, stowaways

St. Dominic: astronomers, astronomy, falsely accused people, The Dominican Order

St. Joseph: The Catholic Church, unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, against doubt and hesitation, and of a happy death, Vietnam, Philippines

St. Therese of Lisieux: missionaries; France; Russia; AIDS sufferers; florists and gardeners; loss of parents; tuberculosis

St. Monica (Augustine's mother): Those who have difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, victims of (verbal) abuse, and conversion of relatives

St. Charles Borromeo: colic; intestinal disorders; seminarians; spiritual directors; spiritual leaders; starch makers; stomach diseases

St. Maria Goretti: crime victims, teenage girls, modern youth, Children of Mary

St. Agnes: betrothed couples, chastity, crops, rape victims, virgins

St. Dymphna: mental disorders, neurological disorders, runaways, victims of incest

St. Peter: laborers, foot problems, fevers, longevity, The Papacy