Sunday, 8 September 2013
9 September: St. Omer; Saint Peter Claver (butlers 1894 saint of the day)
ST. OMER was born toward the close of the sixth century, in the territory of Constance. His parents, who were noble and wealthy, gave great attention to his education, but, above all, strove to inspire him with a love for virtue. Upon the death of his mother he entered the monastery of Luxen, whither he persuaded his father to follow him, after having sold his worldly goods and distributed the proceeds among the poor. The father and son made their religious profession together. The humility, obedience, mildness, and devotion, together with the admirable purity of manners, which shone forth in every action of St. Omer, distinguished him among his saintly brethren, and he was soon called from his solitude to take charge of the government of the Church in Terouenne. The greater part of those living in his diocese were still pagans, and even the few Christians were, through a scarcity of priests, fallen into a sad corruption of manners The great and difficult work of their conversion was reserved for St. Omer. The holy bishop applied himself to his task with such zeal that in a short time his diocese became one of the most flourishing in France. In his old age St. Omer became blind, but that affliction did not lessen his pastoral concern for his flock. He died in the odor of sanctity, while on a pastoral visit to Wavre, in 670.
September 9.--SAINT PETER CLAVER.
PETER CLAVER was a Spanish Jesuit. In Majorca he fell in with the holy lay-brother Alphonsus Rodriguez, who, having already learned by revelation the saintly career of Peter, became his spiritual guide, foretold to him the labors he would undergo in the Indies, and the throne he would gain in heaven. Ordained priest in New Granada, Peter was sent to Cartagena, the great slave-mart of the West Indies, and there he consecrated himself by vow to the salvation of those ignorant and miserable creatures. For more than forty years he labored in this work. He called himself "the slave of the slaves." He was their apostle, father, physician, and friend. He fed them, nursed. them with the utmost tenderness in their loathsome diseases, often applying his own lips to their hideous sores. His cloak, which was the constant covering of the naked, though soiled with their filthy ulcers, sent forth a miraculous perfume. His rest after his great labors was in nights of penance and prayer. However tired he might be, when news arrived of a fresh slave-ship, Saint Peter immediately revived, his eyes brightened, and he was at once on board amongst his dear slaves, bringing them comfort for body and soul. A false charge of reiterating Baptism for a while stopped his work. He submitted without a murmur till the calumny was refuted, and then God so blessed his toil that 40,000 negroes were baptized before he went to his reward, in 1654.
Reflection.--When you see any one standing in need of your assistance, either for body or soul, do not ask yourself why some one else did not help him, but think to yourself that you have found a treasure.