Jul 15, 2022, 2:43:08 AMJul 15
July 15th – Bl. Ceslas Odrowatz of Poland, OP
Born in Kannen, Silesia, Poland, 1180; died 1242. Ceslaus Odrowatz was
a near relative, probably a brother, of Saint Hyacinth, and shared
with him the apostolate of Northern Europe. Little is known of his
youth. He was born in the ancestral castle and educated with Saint
Hyacinth, by his uncle, a priest of Cracow. Both young men became
priests and, being well-known for their holiness, were chosen to be
canons in the cathedral chapter in Cracow. When their uncle received
an appointment as bishop of Cracow, the two young priests accompanied
him on his trip to Rome, where he would be consecrated.
It was in Rome that the two zealous young priests first heard of the
work of Saint Dominic. The order was then only four years old, and its
eager members had penetrated to almost all parts of Christendom and
were pushing into the lands of the Tartars and the Mohammedans.
The new bishop strongly desired that some of the friars should come to
Poland. Since Saint Dominic was then in Rome, they went to him for
missionaries. Dominic was deeply regretful that he had no friars who
were able to speak the languages of the North. However, he was much
drawn to the bishop's two young nephews, and promised to make them
Dominican apostles if they would remain with him.
After their novitiate training, Hyacinth and Ceslaus went home.
Ceslaus went to Prague, and other parts of Bohemia, where he founded
convents of Friar Preachers and also established a group of nuns. Then
he went to Silesia, where he founded the convent of Breslau that was
to become his center of activities. He also acted as the spiritual
director for duchess Saint Hedwig of Poland.
The life of Blessed Ceslaus, like that of Saint Hyacinth, is a record
of almost countless miracles, of unbelievable distances travelled on
foot through wild and warlike countries, and of miracles of grace. He
cured the sick and the maimed, raised the dead to life, and
accomplished wonders in building convents. His most remarkable miracle
was the raising to life of a boy who had been dead for eight days.
In 1241 the Tartars swooped down upon the Christian kingdoms and laid
waste the labor of centuries. Blessed Ceslaus was in Breslau at the
time the Tartars laid siege to the city. He and his community fasted
and prayed incessantly that the city would be saved, and when the
cause looked darkest, Ceslaus mounted the ramparts with a crucifix in
his hand. While the Tartars gazed in astonishment, a huge ball of fire
descended from heaven and settled above him. Arrows of fire shot out
from the heavenly weapon, and the Tartars fled in terror, leaving the
Our Lady came to receive the soul of Blessed Ceslaus, who had been
tireless in preaching her glories (Benedictines, Dorcy).
If you wish to find a short and compendious method, which contains in
itself all other means, and is most efficacious for overcoming every
temptation and difficulty, and for acquiring perfection, it is the
exercise of the presence of God.
-- St. Basil
THIRTY-ONE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS
FROM THE PURGATORIAN MANUAL (Imprimatur 1946)
8th Day PAIN OF HELPLESSNESS AND DESOLATION
The souls in Purgatory have entered into the realm of Divine
Justice. The penance and satisfaction due for their faults must be
made, either by the pain of Purgatory itself, or by the suffrages of
the faithful, consisting in prayer, good works, and the spiritual
treasure of indulgences bestowed upon them; for the suffering souls
can no longer merit, and are entirely unable to assist themselves. A
sick man and a beggar have a tongue to ask for help, and the very
sight of their misery will move others to compassion. The suffering
souls, however, have no resource but that of patience, resignation,
and hope. To all their moans there is but one answer, "the night hath
come, in which no man can work."
Hence in their extreme desolation and distress, they incessantly
cry out to us for relief and assistance; but since they cannot do this
in a manner perceptible to us, holy Church does it for them, by
instituting many touching devotions in their behalf. Can we, then, be
cold and heartless towards these souls? "A hard heart will fare evil
at the last." Be not then indifferent to your own interests.
Prayer: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory, in
their helplessness and desolation. Comfort them by the prayers and
petitions of the angels and the just in Heaven and upon earth; shorten
the time of their suffering, and reward them with joys eternal.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the most forsaken and helpless souls.