Prot. N. 451/00/L

October 5

Blessed Francis was born in Fussen, Germany in 1819. He entered the diocesan seminary upon completion of his studies in philosophy. After coming to know the charism of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, he decided to join it and to go to North America. He entered the novitiate on April 20, 1843, and, after completing his theological studies, he was ordained a priest on December 22, 1844. He began his pastoral ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as assistant pastor of his confrere St. John Neumann, while at the same time serving as Master of Novices and dedicating himself to preaching. He became a full-time itinerant missionary preacher, preaching in English and German in a number of different states in North America. He died in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 4, 1867, at the age of 48.

Office of Readings

Second Reading

From the Letters of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, priest

Archives of the Baltimore Province

Place nothing ahead of God's love

     This desire to bring a sacrifice to God again and again extends to everything that I ever loved in this life, and upon which my heart was set.
      When I think of the beauties of nature, these do not stir up longing and melancholy, but I am filled with the greatest joy, because, since I am not giving God any real and true gifts, I can give him imagined and pretended ones. At the same time, in the overflowing of my good fortune, I cannot at all get away from the thought that in heaven God will give me those that, for him, I have forsaken in the world, and for this I also constantly pray.
      And so, the novitiate and its completion, the taking of vows, the life with confreres of the Order, and above all, the insight to cherish these goods to the best of my ability, so that there is nothing left for me to desire, except to fulfill my duties better - these were the first blessings of divine mercy.
     Everything was completely against my nature. But precisely the joyful acceptance of them, in God's boundless grace, made so clear to me the mystery of renunciation and patience in this world that I feel that I am much too fortunate in the possession of my religious confreres and all the spiritual and temporal blessings that are bound together with it. And what is still more, that God has exalted me so high as to announce the Gospel to the poor, and to teach, and share with them his treasures.
      Every offering has value only insofar as one snatches it away from one's own benefit and dedicates it to God through this self-conquest. One loves and gives precisely because one loves, and because one considers what is given as a good, as a treasure. Love of creatures must be subordinated to the love of God, whom one is pledged to love above all things.
      Time, in which we have found nothing to offer up to God, is lost for eternity. If it is only the duties of our vocation that we fulfill with dedication to the will of God; if it is the sweat of our faces that, in resignation, we wipe from our brow without murmuring; if it is suffering, temptations, difficulties with our fellowmen - everything we can present to God as an offering and can, through them, become like Jesus his Son. Where the sacrifice is great and manifold, there, in the same proportion, is the hope of glory more deeply and more securely grounded in the heart of him who makes it.

Responsory Ps 119, 1-2; Mk 8, 34

R/. Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord
* Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart

V/. Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me
* Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart

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