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  • Marian Reflections

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Marian thought for March

“Let us go full of confidence to Our Lady, because She has brought us to God, and is in a certain way an aqueduct from which we will easily draw the heavenly water of Christ to our gardens; She is a very rich and generous queen. What safer place than in the wounds of Jesus, and the arms of the Queen of Angels?” (Saint John Berchmans).

Saint John Berchmans was born in Belgium on March 13, 1599, to a good catholic family. He was one of five children, 3 of whom consecrated themselves to the Lord. He always behaved well at home, helping his mother as much as he could. He studied at the seminary in Mechelen and then entered the Jesuit novitiate of the same city. John was distinguished by his charity, study and piety. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin whom he wanted to love with a very affectionate love, not wanting to stop until he achieved such love. He always lived under the gaze of this sweet Mother. During his life he was a defender of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and in the last year of his life, John had committed himself, signing with his own blood, to "affirm and defend the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception wherever it is found". He wanted to practice all the virtues and made an effort to observe perfectly his obligations, without excuses. He took advantage of his daily crosses, worked passionately for the glory of God, did everything by supernaturalizing the intention. He said "when you have to pray, pray with all love; when you have to study, study with all interest; when you have to practice a sport, practice it with all enthusiasm." He wanted to do things always with more love. He studied thinking about the future apostolate he would have and the souls he would meet. He died young saying that his greatest consolation was never having broken, in his religious life, any rule or order of his superiors and never having committed a venial sin. Before dying he pressed close to his chest a crucifix, a rosary and the book of the Rules, saying "these are my three most beloved garments, with them I die happy." He died on August 13, 1621. His last words were: Jesus, Mary.

St. John Bosco

s juan bosco

“Love, honor, and serve Mary. Procure making Her known, loved, and honored by others. Not only will the child of this Mother not perish, but he could also aspire to a great crown in Heaven.”

St. John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in Becchi, 25 kilometers away from Turin. Margherita, his mother, was an extraordinary woman who educated her sons in poverty and strength of spirit. Francis, his father, died of pneumonia when John was just 2 years old. When he was 9, John Bosco had the first dream that marked the rest of his life. In it God's plans for him (his work with the youth to bring them to Jesus and Mary) were unveiled to him. His desire was to become a priest, and to that end drew people to his house on Sundays and preached to them by two pear trees. He completed his primary education at a public school near his house, and secondary school in Chieri. To pay for his studies, he had to do all kinds of jobs. Finally, he was able to gain access to studies for the priesthood. He was ordained on June 5, 1841, and celebrated his first Mass in Turin. Immediately he dedicated himself to picking up street kids to form what would later be known as the Oratories of St. Francis de Sales. To attend to them, he founded the Salesian Priests who soon spread all throughout Italy, France, and Spain. St. John Bosco loved the youth and tried to educate them, tirelessly dedicating his entire life to this end. He died on January 31, 1888.

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