“Whoever is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23)
On This Date…
On March 3, 1175 NorbertineAbbot Frederick died in Holland. He was the son of a poor widow, became first a teacher, then a priest, and finally a Norbertine. Just before he died he asked his community, “Pray for me because I could not care for the poor as much as I wished since the monastery was so poor.” He has been venerated as a saint since 1728.
Saint Katharine Drexel
On March 3, 1955 Mother Katharine Drexel died in Philadelphia at age 96. She and her two sisters were raised in Philadelphia by their father, a widower and banker; he set up a trust fund for his daughters. Her sisters married but Katharine became a nun and founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1891. Mother Katharine established 145 Catholic missions, built 112 school for Native Americans and 50 schools for African Americans, donating her trust fund of $20 million dollars for her charitable work. Mother Katharine was canonized on October 1, 2000.
In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me”. Abbot Frederick and Mother Katharine were “with Jesus” in their care for the poor, models for us in Lent.
On August 27, 387, Saint Monica died in Ostia, the seaport of Rome, at age 65, after an illness of nine days. She had two sons and a daughter. Saint Augustine was her oldest child, and she had prayed for his conversion since he was 16 years old. Augustine was baptized in 387 at age 32, along with his own 16 year old son, Adeodatus. Saint Monica was present and was overjoyed at the baptisms of her son and grandson; both Augustine and Adeodatus were with Monica when she died.
On August 27, 1910 Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India was born in Yugoslavia. She entered the convent in Ireland at age 18 and that same year went as a missionary to India where she first taught high school and later became principal of a girls’ academy; she served in India until her death in 1997.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Monica’s last words to Augustine were, “Nothing is far from God,” words Mr. Gabriel posted today on the Oratory screen. Through the lives of Saint Monica and Mother Teresa we know that “nothing is far from God.”