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Friday, July 11, 2014

Lives of the Saints and St. Joseph de Clairval Abbey

St. Ignatius' conversion began with an injury on the battlefield that left him laid up in bed for months. The only reading material he had was Scripture and the lives of the saints. He preferred the romances of the time about knights and their adventures, but when he compared the fleeting entertainment of those stories with the examples of true love and courage reflected by the saints, he was changed forever.

On retreat we listen to readings at meals from the Imitation of Christ and the lives of the saints. What a blessing to be filled with true examples of those who conformed their lives to Christ and became living witnesses to His love.

I receive a monthly newsletter from Saint Joseph de Clairval Abbey in France that each month features a particular saint (or saint in the making). Some are well known like the children of Fatima or St. Damien or St. Therese of Lisieux, but many of those featured are lesser known. Their stories are inspiring and often riveting. If you want wonderful bedtime reading, ask to be put on their mailing list. Think of going to bed contemplating the life of men or women who loved Christ enough to give their lives completely to Him. Each story is short, only four pages, but a wonderful introduction to a hero or heroine. Here's an example of a favorite saint of mine, Margaret Clitherow, one of the English martyrs, a wife and mother executed for nothing other than loving the Mass and letting priests say it in her home. You can read about her here.

I regularly have masses said for my loved ones at the Abbey. Their newsletters have been such a gift to me that I want to return the favor by supporting them.


Consolamini said...

It isn't Margaret of Clitherow, simply Margaret Clitherow--Clitherow was her surname

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks for the correction. I didn't have the biography in front of me when I wrote this and I read it several years ago. I've fixed it.