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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for August

"Just as two friends, frequently in each other's company, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar convsersation with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary and by living a life of communion, we can become, to the extent of our lowliness, similar to them and can learn from these supreme models a life of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience and perfection” (Blessed Bartolo Longo).

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.

St. John XXIII

s juan xxiii

"Oh Immaculate Mary, you are the morning star that dissipates the darkness of night; we come to you with great trust!"

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII, was born on November 25, 1881 in Sotto il Monte inBergamo, Italy.
He was confirmed and received his First Holy Communion in 1889. Three years later, he entered the Seminary of Bergamo. In 1901, he went to the Pontifical Roman Seminary, thanks to scholarship that the Diocese of Bergamo offered him. He was ordained a priest on August 10, 1904, in the Church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, in Piazza del Popolo in Rome. The Bishop of Bergamo named him as his secretary. He continued this task until 1914. The war broke out in 1915 and he became a military chaplain for the hospitals. He also coordinated the moral and spiritual assistance to the soldiers. In 1919, he was named spiritual director of the Seminary of Bergamo. He was called to Rome by Pope Benedict XV, who named him the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. From then on, he was given many important tasks, such as his nomination as Apostolic Visitor in Bulgaria. He was ordained bishop in 1925, and served as such in many parts of the world. In 1953, he was created cardinal, and on January 25 of that same year was sent to Venice as Patriarch. After Pius XII's death, he was elected Pope on October 28, 1958. His pontificate lasted 5 years, during which he showed himself as a true shepherd, humble and attentive, decisive and brave. During his pontificate, he summoned the Second Vatican Council, which was concluded by Bl. Paul VI. He died on June 3, 1963. He was beatified by John Paul II on September 3, 2000, and canonized on April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis.

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