Lumen Gentium, 58
St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain. He studied in the Jesuit school, where he received his First Holy Communion in 1919. He showed a very great openness to the things that had to do with God from a very early age. The first signs of the illness that would mark the rest of his life appeared in 1922. His father, who believed that his recovery was due to the Virgin Mary’s special intervention, took Rafael to Zaragoza in thanksgiving and consecrated him to Our Lady of Pilar. As years went by, he developed many different traits, such as friendship. He also grew in his Christian life. God placed the desire in his heart to consecrate himself in monastic life. He met the Trappist monks of San Isidro de Dueñas and felt very attracted to that life, because he saw that it corresponded to his intimate desires. He entered there on January 15, 1934. He had to leave the convent three times due to the diabetes that God mysteriously used to test him. Each time he returned, he came back with more desires to be generous and faithful. These desires were fulfilled on April 26, 1938, when he left this world at only 27 years of age. He was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and canonized on October 11, 2009.
This ancient Hispanic rite was part of the group of Latin language liturgies that were constituted in the West between the fifth and seventh centuries.
Bartolo Longo was born in Latiano, a province of Brindisi, Italy, on February 10, 1841. He went to Naples in 1863 to finish his education and got involved in spiritism because of professors and bad company. He completely abandoned the Catholic Faith in which he had been educated. Discontent, assaults from the devil and deep sadness led him to search for help, which he found in a Catholic professor. The words of the professor were a shock for Bartolo: "You're going to die in a lunatic asylum and be condemned for eternity!" Later he went to a Dominican, Fr. Alberto Radente. On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1865, he went to Confession and returned to the Church. This caused great joy in his family, which had not ceased to beg God for his conversion since he had gone astray. After Bartolo's conversion, a thought tormeneted him: "How could he be saved after the life he lived in the past? He felt a voice inside of him say, "If you spread the Rosary you will be saved." He understood that his vocation was to spread the Rosary and devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. In his lifetime he saw several works in favor of this mission and its extension throughout the world. A large church would be erected in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. He did not limit himself to this mission alone, but also helped in different works of Christian charity directed especially toward orphans and the poor. He died on October 5, 1926, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 26, 1980.
This ancient Hispanic rite was part of the group of Latin language liturgies that were constituted in the West between the fifth and seventh centuries.Saint John Berchmans was born in Belgium on March 13, 1599, to a good catholic family. He was one of five children, 3 of whom consecrated themselves to the Lord. He always behaved well at home, helping his mother as much as he could. He studied at the seminary in Mechelen and then entered the Jesuit novitiate of the same city. John was distinguished by his charity, study and piety. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin whom he wanted to love with a very affectionate love, not wanting to stop until he achieved such love. He always lived under the gaze of this sweet Mother. During his life he was a defender of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and in the last year of his life, John had committed himself, signing with his own blood, to "affirm and defend the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception wherever it is found". He wanted to practice all the virtues and made an effort to observe perfectly his obligations, without excuses. He took advantage of his daily crosses, worked passionately for the glory of God, did everything by supernaturalizing the intention. He said "when you have to pray, pray with all love; when you have to study, study with all interest; when you have to practice a sport, practice it with all enthusiasm." He wanted to do things always with more love. He studied thinking about the future apostolate he would have and the souls he would meet. He died young saying that his greatest consolation was never having broken, in his religious life, any rule or order of his superiors and never having committed a venial sin. Before dying he pressed close to his chest a crucifix, a rosary and the book of the Rules, saying "these are my three most beloved garments, with them I die happy." He died on August 13, 1621. His last words were: Jesus, Mary.
Saint Catherine was born in France in 1806. Her mother passed away when Catherine was 9 years old. This made her entrust herself to the Virgin Mary in a special way so that She would be her Mother. Since a young age, Catherine desired to dedicate her life to God in the religious life. Her father resisted her going because there was no one to attend to the duties at home. Disconsolate, she begged the Lord insistently to grant her what she desired: to become a religious. One night in a dream, she saw an elderly priest who said to her, "One day you will help me take care of the sick." When she was 24, she visited her sister and saw in the convent Saint Vincent de Paul's portrait. She recognized the elderly priest from her dream and understood that she had to dedicate her life there. After insisting a great deal, she obtained permission and was accepted by the community. On November 27, 1830, she was praying in the convent's chapel when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, completely radiant and shedding beautiful rays of light from her hands to the earth. She entrusted Catherine the making of an image of the apparition and a medal. On one side, the medal would have the Virgin Mary's initials--m and a cross--with the quote, "Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The medal was made, and through it many miracles and special graces were obtained for those who wore it and prayed the prayer on it. From 1830 until 1876, when she died, Catherine lived in the convent and no one thought that she was the one the Virgin Mary had appeared to. Eight months before her death, Catherine told her new superior about all of the apparitions in detail, and it was known who was the one who had seen and heard the Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII declared her a saint in 1947.