“The greatest among you must be your servant” (Matthew 23:11)
On This Date…
On March 3, 1175, Norbertine Abbot 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 honored as a saint since 1728.
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 two sisters married but Katharine became a nun and founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1891. Mother Katharine established 145 Catholic missions and built 112 schools for Native Americans and 50 schools for African Americans, donating her trust fund of 20 million dollars to her missions and schools. Mother Katharine was canonized a saint in 2000.
On March 3, 1996, Cardinal John Krol died in Philadelphia at age 85; at age 9 he worked in a butcher shop and in high school he did carpentry and managed the meat department of a grocery store. He was ordained a priest in 1937 and was Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1961 to 1988. On August 15, 1967 he dedicated Daylesford Abbey.
Abbot Frederick, Mother Katharine, and Cardinal lived Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel: “The greatest among you must be your servant”.
– Father McLaughlin