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John de Britto, was born in Lisbon on March 1, 1647 to a noble Portuguese family. His father died while serving as Viceroy of Brazil.

Growing up, John was a playmate to the future King of Portugal, Pedro II. At fifteen, the young nobleman applied to join the Society of Jesus into which he was duly accepted. His talent for academic excellence was soon noted by his superiors; however, John’s great admiration and devotion to St. Francis Xavier urged him to apply to serve in the Indian missions.

Amid strong opposition from his family, in 1673 John traveled to Madura in southern India.

As he traveled throughout India on foot, John lived austerely. He dressed himself in the saffron cloak and turban of the native Indians, abstained from eating meat and lived humbly. Through his holy efforts, John soon became well-known, and developed a group of catechists.

Though the practice of Catholicism was not illegal in India, John was hated by many because of his faith. He and his followers were often subjected to agonizing torture, but each time John miraculously recovered.

In 1683, John was banished from India, and departed for Portugal. Returning soon after, the ardent missionary continued in his apostolate for three more years. In 1693, he was again arrested, tortured and once more commanded to leave India. When he refused, John was sentenced to death. “I await death, and I await it with impatience,” he wrote to his superior. “It has always been the object of my prayers. It forms today the most precious reward of my labors and my sufferings.”

On February 4, John de Britto was executed. As he knelt at the execution block, the rajah's order of death was read aloud.

The executioner hesitated, but John said to him, "My friend, I have prayed to God. On my part, I have done what I should do. Now do your part.”

John de Britto was canonized in 1947.

 


 

  

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 12, 2019

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach...

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November 12

 

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.

St. Rose of Lima


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Josaphat Kunsevich

“Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the...

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St. Josaphat Kunsevich

John Kunsevich was born in Lithuania around the year 1580. His father, a burgess for a wealthy family, raised his son as a Catholic and instilled in him a great love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a young man John spent much of his time learning Church Slavonic as he desired to assist and participate more fully in the divine worship that he loved so much. In 1604, he entered the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Vilna taking the name Josaphat, and dedicated his life to uniting the Ruthenians with the Roman Church.

Josaphat was ordained a deacon and soon after, a priest, becoming widely known as a Catholic reformer. While retaining unity with Rome, Josaphat opposed the total Latinization of the Ruthenian peoples and the suppression of Byzantine traditions. He was beloved for his great sermons and preaching, eventually becoming abbot of the monastery in Vilna. By 1617, he was consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, and after the death of the archbishop a year later, succeeded him. He immediately sought unity with Rome, and began to reinstate Catholic practices that had fallen into disuse. By 1620, he succeeded in the endeavor.

Soon after Josaphat’s great victory, however, his work began to unravel. Meletius Smotritsky, the Archbishop of Polotsk, claimed that Josaphat’s goal was to completely eliminate Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity, and Latinize all Ruthenians. Meletius gained a number of followers and so frenzied was the agitation against him that a plan was contrived to kill Josaphat. As he walked to church for morning prayers, he was attacked by the group of Meletius’ followers. He was beaten and shot as his attackers cried, “Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the river Dvina and carelessly thrown into the water.

St. Josaphat was canonized in 1867, the first saint of the Eastern churches to be officially canonized.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nu...

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A Favor Granted

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and Mary said to her:

"Oh Lady, the favor you do me of visiting me at this hour emboldens me to ask you another favor, namely, that I may die at the same hour that you died and entered into heaven.”

"Yes," answered Mary Most Holy. "I will satisfy your request; you will die at that hour, and you will hear the songs and praises with which the blessed accompanied my entrance into heaven; and now prepare for your death."

When she had said this she disappeared.

Passing by Mary’s cell, other nuns heard her talking to herself, and they thought she must be losing her mind. But she related to them the vision of the Virgin Mary and the promised grace. Soon the entire convent awaited the desired hour.

When Mary knew the hour had arrived, by the striking of the clock, she said:

"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear the music of the angels. At this hour my queen ascended into heaven. Rest in peace, for I am going now to see her."

Saying this she expired, while her eyes became bright as stars, and her face glowed with a beautiful color.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her,

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