New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ - 26th August 2009

Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer. He was ordained a priest at the age of twenty-eight. Joseph was given high positions and he did his work well. Yet he felt that God was calling him to do some special work for poor children in Rome. Obedient to the Lord's call, he gave up everything he had in Spain and went to Rome. There his heart was filled with pity for all the orphans and homeless children he saw everywhere. They were ignorant and neglected. Joseph began to gather them together to teach them all the regular subjects, and especially their religion. Other priests joined him. Soon Joseph became the superior of a new religious order. But he never let his duties as founder and superior stop him from teaching his beloved children. He would even sweep the classrooms himself. He often led the little ones to their homes after school was over.

St. Joseph had much to suffer from people who tried to take over his order. They wanted to run it their way. Once he was even led through the streets like a criminal. He was almost put in jail, although the good priest had done nothing wrong. When he was ninety years old, the saint received terrible news. His order had been forbidden to continue in the way he had started it. Yet despite this suffering, Joseph only said: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. My work has been done simply out of love for God."

Two years later, in 1648, the saint died a calm, peaceful death. He was ninety-two years old. Several years afterward, his order, the Piarist Fathers, was allowed to continue St. Joseph's wonderful mission. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Clement XIII in 1767. Pope Pius XII declared him patron of Christian schools in 1948.

Sometimes events or situations turn out differently from what we had planned. We might not be able to understand why. St. Joseph Calasanz shows us how to trust God and be patient. When we find that difficult, we can ask this saint to strengthen us.

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