Blessed Pope Urban V was born Guillaume de Grimoard at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310. He studied canon law and theology in Avignon and became a Benedictine monk. He was named abbot of his monastery in 1352, served as a papal diplomat and was sent as an ambassador to various locations. He also served as a bishops around Italy and throughout Europe.
He was elected pope in 1362 while on diplomatic business, even though he was not a cardinal. A Benedictine monk and canon lawyer, he was deeply spiritual and brilliant. He lived simply and modestly, which did not always earn him friends among clergymen who had become used to comfort and privilege. Still, he pressed for reform and saw to the restoration of churches and monasteries.
His reign was blessed by his peacekeeping activity between the French and Italian kings, the founding of many universities, his zeal for the crusades and his decision to return the papacy to Rome and end the Avignon exile of the popes.
However, the breakout of war between England and France, forced him to return to Avignon on a peacekeeping mission. On his return to Avignon he died, and his body, which had been buried at Avignon was then transferred to Marseille according to his own wishes, and his tomb became the site of many miracles. He died on December 19, 1370.
He always had a Benedictine spirit and even wore his monk’s habit as pope. His virtue and honesty were noted, especially in a Europe plagued by scandal and corruption. It is said that as he lay dying he called the people to surround his deathbed saying “the people must see how popes die.”
(Thank you to uCatholic)
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” In their sight Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead.
Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Another story is that despite being put into a leaking boat by the Jews at Jaffa, he, his sisters and others landed safely in Cyprus. There he died peacefully after serving as bishop for 30 years.
A church was built in his honor in Constantinople and some of his reputed relics were transferred there in 890. A Western legend has the oarless boat arriving in Gaul. There he was bishop of Marseilles, was martyred after making a number of converts and was buried in a cave. His relics were transferred to the new cathedral in Autun in 1146.
It is certain there was early devotion to the saint. Around the year 390, the pilgrim lady Etheria talks of the procession that took place on the Saturday before Palm Sunday at the tomb where Lazarus had been raised from the dead. In the West, Passion Sunday was called Dominica de Lazaro, and Augustine tells us that in Africa the Gospel of the raising of Lazarus was read at the office of Palm Sunday.
(Thank you to uCatholic)
Today we remember St John of the Cross (1542 – 1591), Priest and Doctor.- He was born in Spain, in about 1542. He spent some time as a Carmelite friar before, in 1568, Saint Teresa of Ávila persuaded him to pioneer the reform of the Carmelite order. This was a difficult task and a dangerous one: he suffered imprisonment and severe punishment at the hands of the Church authorities. He died at the
monastery of Ubeda in Andalusia on 14 December 1591: the monks there had initially treated him as the worst of sinners, but by the time he died they had recognized his sanctity and his funeral was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm.
His works include two major mystical poems – he is considered one of the great poets of the Spanish language – and detailed commentaries on them and the spiritual truths they convey. He was canonized in 1726 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1926.
St. John, pray for us!
Bellow is a short video that talks about the impact and the life of St. John of the Cross from “Word on Fire.”
(Thank you to Daylesford Abbey)
Today we remember St. Lucy, virgin and martyr.- St. Lucy was a young Christian. She died at Syracuse, Sicily, probably during the persecution of Diocletian. She consecrated her virginity to God, refused to marry a pagan, and had her dowry distributed to the poor. Her would-be husband denounced her as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse. Miraculously unable to move her or burn her, the guards took out her eyes with a fork. After a long and glorious combat she died in prison of the wounds she had received,—about the year 304. Devotion to her spread rapidly across practically the whole Church and her name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Lucy, Pray for us!
(Thank you to Daylesford Abbey’s Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/daylesford.norbertines)