Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SAINTS AND VETS



 We all suffer when our beloved pets are ailing but there are several saints, not well-known, who can help us in matters of healing these friends!

Jaime Domínguez Montes

Born in 1245 in Sant'Angelo, ST. NICHOLAS of TOLENTINO took his name from St. Nicholas of Myra, at whose shrine his parents prayed to have a child. Nicholas became a monk at 18, and seven years later, he was ordained a priest. He gained a reputation as a preacher and a confessor. Around 1274, he was sent to Tolentino, near his birthplace. The town suffered from civil strife between the Guelphs, who supported the pope, and Ghibellines, who supported the Holy Roman Emperor, in their struggle for control of Italy. St. Nicholas was primarily a pastor to his flock. He ministered to the poor and the criminal. He is said to have cured the sick with bread over which he had prayed to Mary, the Mother of God. He gained a reputation as a wonder-worker. He died in 1305 after a long illness. People began immediately to petition for his canonization. Pope Eugene IV canonized him in 1446, and his relics were rediscovered in 1926 at Tolentino.



Jànos Hajnal
On account of his kind and gentle manner his superiors entrusted him with the daily feeding of the poor at the monastery gates, but at times he was so free with the friary's provisions that the procurator begged the superior to check his generosity. Once, when weak after a long fast, he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Augustine who told him to eat some bread marked with cross and dipped in water. Upon doing so he was immediately stronger. He started distributing these rolls to the ailing, while praying to Mary, often curing the sufferers; this is the origin of the Augustinian custom of blessing and distributing bread. This bread, known as "St. Nicholas' Bread," was claimed to have caused numerous miracles including the extinguishing of fires and the healing of of sick animals.

Another story tells how St.Nicholas, a vegetarian, was served a roasted fowl over which he made the sign of the cross, and the wretched bird flew out a window.


Our second saint is more modern, and while born in Germany, is considered an American saint.

BL. FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS (1819-1867) was a Redemptorist missionary. 
Many Veterinarians consider him to be their patron, but I have not yet discovered why.


Francis Xavier Seelos was born in Fussen, Germany, in 1819. Expressing his desire for the priesthood since an early age, he entered the diocesan seminary of Augsburg after completing his studies in philosophy. Upon learning of the charism and missionary activity of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, he decided to join and go to North America. He arrived in the United States on April 20, 1843, entered the Redemptorist novitiate and completed his theological studies, being ordained a priest on December 22, 1844. He began his pastoral ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he remained nine years, working closely as assistant pastor of his confrere St. John Neumann, while at the same time serving as Master of Novices and dedicating himself to mission preaching. In 1854, he returned to Baltimore, later being transferred to Cumberland and then Annapolis, where he served in parochial ministry and in the formation of the Redemptorist seminarians. 

He was considered an expert confessor, a watchful and prudent spiritual director and a pastor always joyfully available and attentive to the needs of the poor and the abandoned. In 1860, he was a candidate for the office of Bishop of Pittsburgh. Having been excused from this responsibility by Pope Pius IX, from 1863 until 1866 he became a full-time itinerant missionary preacher. He preached in English and German in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. He was named pastor of the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he died of the yellow fever epidemic caring for the sick and the poor of New Orleans on October 4, 1867, at the age of 48. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.


Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Prayer for healing of a pet:
Divine Physician, You infused Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos with the gift of Your healing. By the help of his prayers, sustain in me the grace to know Your will and the strength to overcome my [pet's] afflictions. For love of You, make [him/her] whole. May I learn from the example of Father Seelos and gain comfort from his patient endurance. Amen.

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