Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Carmelite Saint of the Day

Aloysius Rabata

Born in Erice near Trapani in Sicily about the middle of the fifteenth century. Aloysius joined the Carmelites and became prior of the reformed convent in Randazzo. There he died in 1490 from a head wound, forgiving his attacker and refusing to reveal his identity.

Office of Readings

Second Reading
from the Canonical Process

I knew Brother Aloysius well and often conversed intimately with him when he

was a member of the Carmelite community of St. Michael in the town of

Randazzo, where he was prior. He was a model of all virtues. He lived

frugally on bread and water, and led the life of a real saint and exemplary

religious. He shunned superfluous contacts and gave himself to honest work.

Because of his virtuous life he came to be hated, and was persecuted by his

fellow religious. These vexations and trials he bore with singular patience

and he devoted himself unceasingly to his spiritual patience and he devoted

himself unceasingly to his spiritual growth and to the good of the

community. The austerity of his life showed in his emaciated appearance,

his sunken eyes and his pallid features, through which, nonetheless, his

goodness shone out. To visitors he appeared as a model of all that was

good. One in particular who often came to see him has testified that he

was so profoundly moved by his example and holy conversation as to dissolve

in tears.

Though he was prior, Brother Aloysius shared in every task, even the

humblest, being willing to go from door to door in Randazzo begging bread,

grain or other such gifts to support the community and to help others in

need. While he was on his begging rounds, other poor people would in turn

ask alms from him, knowing they would never by refused.

Once, on Easter Sunday the community had meat for dinner, but he declined

it, preferring his usual bread and water--I was told this by Brother Peter

Cupani, a companion of Aloysius. He also recounted that once when Aloysius

was collecting twigs and branches for firewood in the nearby fields and

roadways, he was wounded in the forehead and suffered for a long time in

consequence. Many people tried to find out from him who had dealt the blow,

but he would never reveal it and always repeated with great patience, 'I

pray that God awill pardon him, and will be glorified by what has happened.'

The street that led to the monastery of St. Michael was dangerous and had a

bad reputation. To put an end to those scandals and shameful deeds, Brother

Aloysius managed to secure a nearby piece of land, thereby opening up a good

wide street. Though others aided in the project, he with his own hands

worked as hard as any. Whenever he needed anything for his monastery, all

were willing to aid him, for they recalled his kindness and hospitality

towards everyone.

After his death his body was enclosed in a casket and placed behind a grille

under the altar of the church. Here many came with great piety and devotion

to pray to him, especially those who were suffering from quartan fever, many

of whom were cured. Quite a number of such cures were reported at the time,

and the reports continue till the present day.


R/. Whenever you come to prayer * if you have anything

against anyone you must forgive him, and your Father

in heaven will forgive your failing too (alleluia).

V/. If you do not forgive others, your Father in heaven will

not forgive your failings either. * If you have anything

against anyone you must forgive him, and your Father

in heaven will forgive your failings oo (alleluia).


You distinguished Bl. Aloysius Rabata

with extraordinary charity and patience in bearing injuries.

May we honor his memory by showing love,

as he did, even for our enemies,

and thus merit an eternal reward.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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