“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mark 7:6)
On August 30th, Norbertines celebrate the feast day of Blessed Bronislava, a Norbertine nun from Cracow, Poland, who died on August 29, 1259 at age 56; she entered the convent at age 16, and that same community of Norbertine nuns continues in Poland today. Sister Bronislava died while tending the sick in her city after the city had been invaded and destroyed; she told her community, “Do not be afraid; the Cross will save us.” She was beatified in 1839; two parishes in the United States (in Wisconsin and Illinois) are dedicated to her, and her image is in the dome of the Polish Chapel at the National Shrine on the campus of The Catholic University in Washington, DC.
On August 30, 1879, Sister Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, died in France at age 87. At age 45 she began caring for the poor in her attic apartment; six years later Jeanne and some helpers formed a religious community. Sister Jeanne was canonized in 2009. The Little Sisters of the Poor have 32 homes for the elderly in North America, including homes in Newark, DE and Philadelphia, PA.
In today’s Gospel Jesus quotes Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”. Blessed Bronislava and Saint Jeanne had hearts close to God and close to God’s people.
– Father McLaughlin