Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. John of God (1495-1550) was born in Portugal to poor and devout Christian parents. How he came to be separated from them and homeless at the age of 8 is uncertain, but he eventually found work as a shepherd until the age of 22. At that time he enlisted as a soldier in the Roman Emperor's army to escape an offer of marriage to the shepherd's daughter. There he led a wild and dissolute life; fond memories of his parents is all that kept the spark of faith alive in his heart. At the age of 40 he left the army and reformed himself, beginning with a penitential pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella (The Way of St. James) in Spain. Appalled at his sinful and wasted life, he was determined to spend his remaining days in good works. He was affirmed in this direction by a vision of the Infant Jesus and a sermon of St. John of Avila, who was to become his spiritual director. He later dedicated his life in service to the poor, homeless, and sick, especially the mentally ill, by starting a hospital and homeless shelter. Many people were attracted to him and his work, and he organized his followers into the Order of Hospitallers. They were approved by the Holy See as the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God, which still exists to this day. St. John of God is the patron saint of many causes, especially of hospitals, hospital workers, nurses, the sick, and the dying. His feast day is March 8.
The Church traditionally dedicates the month of March to the special veneration of St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19th. "He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife," says St. Bernardine of Siena. "He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying 'Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.'" Due to St. Joseph's leadership of the Holy Family, he has been declared the protector and patron of the universal Catholic Church.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment
That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.