Saint Francis Faa di Bruno (1825-1888), priest and scholar. Born to nobility in northern Italy, the last of 12 children, Francis joined the Sardinian army, intending to make a career of military life. Having been appointed as an officer, captain-of-staff, his intellect and character soon attracted the attention of his superiors, including the King, Victor Emmanuel II. Desiring a tutor for his children, the king asked Francis to serve at that post, which he graciously agreed to do. However, given the anti-Catholic sentiment of the time, and the fact that Francis was a vocal member of the Catholic community, the king was forced to choose a different tutor.
“tall and not always well dressed, but he was simple and good natured. He was of a solitary disposition and spoke seldom (and not always successfully in the classroom). He cultivated music and was said to be a good pianist…admired, not only for his genius, but also for his religious fervor and his philanthropy.”
After graduation from the Sorbonne, Francis returned to Turin where he earned a doctorate in mathematics. He was a gifted mathematician, and contributed greatly to the field. However, he was also drawn to philanthropy, causes of social justice, and service to others. In Turn, he met and grew to appreciate Saint John Bosco, who had established a number of schools and residences for boys in need of learning a trade. Inspired by the great saint, Francis entered the seminary and was ordained a priest. He then established the Society of Saint Zita (Suore Minime di Nostra Signora del Suffragio), a religious order dedicated to helping young women in need of help and education. He served unmarried mothers, maids and domestics, prostitutes, and anyone in need of help, providing not only lodging but education and skills training. Saint Francis established lodging houses for the poor, ill, and elderly, himself ministering to those in need every day. From his mathematics success, having published several books, he used his earnings to finance his charity.
"Too late, have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved Thee! Thou wast with me, and I was not with Thee; I was abroad, running after those beauties which Thou hast made...Thou hast called, Thou hast cried out, and hast pierced my deafness. Thou hast enlightened, Thou hast shone forth, and my blindness is dispelled. I have tasted Thee, and am hungry of Thee. Thou hast touched me, and I am afire with the desire of thy embraces."
(Today is the last day of my 45 day Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes. May her peace and intercession continue for all of you who have submitted prayer requests, or held them in your hearts. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us who have recourse to thee!)
Day 86 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Steadfast faith; Those unable to worship due to fear of persecution.
Requested Intentions: For Healing (A); The blessing of children (S); Safety of travelers (J); Improved family relationship with the Lord, using gifts for His glory (L); For a restorative, faith-deepening Lent for all those who are struggling (L).
Special Intentions (Day 45 of 45-day Novena to Our Blessed Lady of Lourdes): The intentions of all those who read this blog, whether submitted or retained in the quiet of their hearts; Penance, Penance, Penance for sinners; For all those who are suffering.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."