Daily Martyrology for October 4

In 1226, at Assisi, St. Francis. Francis was born in 1182, the son of a cloth merchant. He was a worldly young man. At 20, he became a soldier. He spent one year as a prisoner of war, the next as an invalid. He underwent a conversion and began caring for lepers. He broke with his father and spent several years as a solitary, praying, helping the poor, begging, and rebuilding three churches: San Damiano, St. Peter’s, and St. Mary of the Angels or the Portiuncula. In 1208, in the Portiuncula, a reading from the gospel of Matthew clarified his vocation: he was to have no possessions and preach the gospel. Many followers gathered around him and the organization of the order gradually took shape. St. Clare (August 11) and Francis founded a female branch, the Second Order, in 1212, and in 1221, he founded the Third Order. He received the stigmata at La Verna in 1224. While visiting St. Clare he composed the Canticle of the Sun; he had the verse about “Sister Death” sung to him as he was dying.

About 350, St. Ammon, a monk of Nitria, who founded nearby Kellia for monks who wished to live in greater solitude. When Ammon died, St. Antony (January 17) is said to have had a vision of his soul ascending to heaven.

In 1867, in New Orleans, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. He was into born into a devout family in Bavaria. By the time he was eleven, he had decided to become a priest. Near the end of his seminary studies, he applied to the Redemptorists, who sent him to New York for his novitiate. He was ordained in 1845. He proved to be a holy, dedicated and effective priest. His first assignment was under St. John Neumann (January 5) in Pittsburgh. He served in parishes in Maryland, in a mission band, and then in parishes in Detroit and New Orleans. While ministering to victims of yellow fever, he became ill and died at the age of 48.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.