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Lessons Learned: Weekly Message for 08-25-2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Today we remember two saints who had radically different callings, but both showed they’d learned the lessons taught them and translated them into lives worth imitating: Saint Louis (the IX, the King of France) and St. Joseph Calasanz. In a month when school is resuming in person, online, on campus, or at home we can all appreciate the importance of a good education when the last school year ended with parents thrust into a teaching role that went beyond helping their children with homework as schools closed and classes went online due to the pandemic.
St. Louis’s mother took personal charge of her son’s upbringing and education despite being a queen who could have relegated that to tutors and wet nurses. St. Louis often said the most important lesson he learned at the feet of his mother was when she said, “I love you, my dear son, with all the tenderness a mother is capable of; but I would infinitely rather see you fall down dead at my feet, than that you should ever commit a mortal sin” (quoted in Butler’s The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Volume III, P. J. Kennedy, New York 1903, page 458). He became king at twelve years old and she was named regent until he was old enough to rule, fending off a confederation of some of the kingdom’s greatest lords who wanted to depose him. She taught him religion and how to be a king, but it was clear in her mind, and his, that his relationship with the Lord was the most important priority. That priority led him to launch one failed crusade in support of persecuted Christian Palestinians and die in 1270 of dysentery while pursuing another. At home in France and abroad he was known for his piety and goodness, even with the subjects who rebelled against him. He learned that lesson at the feet of his mother.
St. Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648) was declared the patron of Christian schools by Pope Pius XII in 1948. He was ordained a priest in 1583 and nine years later went to Rome to be the tutor of the Colonna family. He also helped in hospitals and catechesis. He realized at Rome the importance of religious education and the plight of children who had no opportunities for education, so he founded a free school for poor children along with three other priests. Twenty years later, with schools in multiple Italian cities and no lack of students, his community of teachers was recognized as a religious congregation: the Clerks Regular of the Pious Schools. Today the Order of the Pious Schools is in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America with two universities and 197 schools.
Whether from our parents, in our schools, or due to experiences, good or bad, the lessons we know we’ve learned are those that shape us and what we do for Christ and for others. Saint Louis and Saint Joseph Calasanz communicated those lessons to many others, and still do. If you feel you have a few more lessons to learn you might consider enrolling in the courses available in our Online Classroom. There’s always something new to learn.
May the Lord help you transform life’s lessons into love for him at the service of others.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Maximizing the Mass
The Online Classroom at RC Spirituality