Monday, May 23, 2016


One of the things that strikes me when I look for new saints to write about, is that so many lived during my lifetime. I ask myself, how old was I and where was I during this saint's lifetime?

Another great Benedictine saint is BLESSED ALFREDO ILDEFONSO SCHUSTER . He was born in Rome of Bavarian parents in 1880.  His father was a tailor and widower, and Maria Anna Tutzer.

He entered the Benedictine monastery of St Paul-Outside-the-Walls when he was 11, taking the name of Ildefonso, and was ordained a priest in 1904. He served his own community in various offices until he was elected abbot in 1918. He taught at several pontifical institutes, served as consultor to the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and held other high offices. Pope Pius XI appointed him Archbishop of Milan in 1929, consecrated him and created him a Cardinal.

Bl. Afredo gave priority to catechesis and promoted the role of the laity in the parish and in Catholic Action. He denounced Fascism and its racist ideology. He refused to participate in ceremonies involving Mussolini, and condemned racist legislation.  The cardinal was primarily concerned with the spiritual well-being of his flock, the physical needs of the poor, assistance to newly married couples in order to create strong marriages, and with the administration of the Archdiocese. Having a great love of the Liturgy, he founded the Institute of Ambrosian Chant and Sacred Music.

A few days before he died (1954) he withdrew to Venegono Seminary.
His last, moving words were to the seminarians:

“You want something to remember me by.  All I can leave you is an invitation to holiness...”.

When the process of beatification came to a certain point, church officials opened Cardinal Schuster’s tomb and found his body to be incorruptible. One sign of holiness. He was announced as a Venerable Servant of God in 1994 and beatified by St. John Paul II on May 12, 1996.  His feast day is 30 August.

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