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St Francis Caracciolo
Founder of the Minor Clerks Regular (entered heaven in 1608)
Fight on, my bold young nephew, fight on! Your cause is just and the Kingdom needs your victory, but it also needs your integrity. Forgive me for being so candid, but a man in my position (I haven’t seen natural light for ages – my very skin is becoming fluorescent) pulls no punches. If you are lobbying to start Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on campus, even once a week for an hour, you should already be spending personal time with Christ in the Eucharist. Otherwise, your efforts will carry a political overtone, as if you were more interested in contradicting the powers that be than in bringing more of your fellow students closer to Christ. Ask yourself why you don’t spend more time in the chapel, keeping our Lord company and speaking to him about what’s important to you and what’s important to him. Today’s saint would have a word or two of advice for you.
St Francis Caracciolo had the inspired idea to start a congregation of priests who would lead an active and a contemplative life at the same time. It was in the aftermath of the Protestant rebellion, and the Church was in great need of worthy ministers. As co-founder and second superior general of the congregation, St Francis obliged every member of the order to spend an hour a day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He understood deeply that the heart of fruitful activity in the Church and the world is union with God, intimacy with Jesus Christ; and he further understood that in the gift of the Eucharist Christ has left us the most powerful means to grow in his friendship. Francis’ own life showed the results of his frequent and intimate conversations with Christ in the Eucharist: he performed numerous cures merely by making the sign of the cross over sick people; his ministry in the confessional and from the pulpit moved so many people so deeply that everyone simply knew him as “The Preacher of the Love of God”; and as death approached and he retired from his more active duties, he was often found prostrate in his cell and transported in ecstasy. So closely was he bound to his Lord that he entered the better life at the young age of 44, and his dying words were the excited exclamation, “To heaven! To heaven!”
If you want to do something lasting for the Church, for your college, and for your neighbor, you have to be united firmly to the living vine that is Jesus Christ, and the best place to make that happen is on your knees in front of the Eucharist.
Love, Uncle Eddy