Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saint Joseph Calasanz
Everyone knows the great merit and dignity attached to that holy ministry in which young boys, especially the poor, receive instruction for the purpose of attaining eternal life. This ministry is directed to the well-being of body and soul; at the same time, that it shapes behavior it also fosters devotion and Christian doctrine.
Moreover the strongest support is provided not only to protect the young from evil, but also to rouse them and attract them more easily and gently to the performance of good works. Like the twigs of plants, the young are easily influenced, as long as someone works to change their souls. But if they are allowed to grow hard, we know well that the possibility of one day bending them diminishes a great deal and is sometimes utterly lost.
All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest of patience, and, most of all, profound humility. They must perform their work with earnest zeal. Then, through their humble prayers, the Lord will find them worthy to become fellow workers with him in the cause of truth. He will console them in the fulfillment of this most noble duty, and finally, will enrich them with the gift of heaven.
As Scripture says, "Those who instruct many in justice will shine as stars for all eternity." They will attain this more easily if they make a covenant of perpetual obedience and strive to cling to Christ and please him alone, because, in his words, "What you did to one of the least of my brethren, you did to me." - from the writings of Saint Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648)
Beatified on the 18th of August 1748, by Pope Benedict XIV
Canonized on the 16th of July 1767, by Pope Clement XIII