On Sunday, Pope John Paul reached the record number of 1,320 blessed during the ceremony of beatification of Juan Nepomuceno Zegri y Moreno of Spain (1831-1905), Valentin Paquay of Belgium (1828-1905), Luigi Maria Monti of Italy (1825-1900), Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro of Spain (1837-1905), and Rosalie Rendu of France (1756-1856).
In his homily, while speaking about the new blessed, the Pope said, “Juan Nepomuceno Zegri y Moreno, a priest of deep Eucharistic piety, understood well how the proclamation of the Gospel must be converted into a dynamic reality, capable of transforming the apostle’s life.”
“With this goal, he developed his redeeming spirituality, born in intimacy with Christ and oriented toward charity with those most in need. Invoking Our Lady of Mercy, Mother of the Redeemer, he was inspired to found the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, with the goal of always making the love of God present,” the Pontiff also said.
Speaking of the Belgian Franciscan Friar, Fr. Valentin Paquay, John Paul said he was “a disciple of Christ and a priest according to the heart of God. Apostle of mercy, he spent many hours in the confessional with a particular gift for setting sinners on the right track, reminding human beings of the grandeur of divine forgiveness.”
“Putting the celebration of the Eucharistic mystery at the center of his priestly life, he invites the faithful to join frequently in the communion of the Bread of Life.”
The Pope said later that Blessed Luigi Maria Monti, the Italian founder of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception, “dedicated his life entirely to clean the wounds of the body and soul of the sick and orphaned. He liked to call them ‘Christ’s poor ones’ and he served them, inspired by a lively faith and sustained by intense and constant prayer.”
Speaking later of the Spanish nun, founder of a congregation dedicated to helping working women in Spain and Latin America, the Holy Father said, “Since the person is the image and likeness of God, purification is necessary in order to defend him or her, regardless of social condition or occupation. This is what Blessed Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro consecrated herself completely to, as she was a hard worker and understood the risks of this social condition of her time.”
The Pope concluded by speaking about Blessed Rosalie Rendu, of the Society of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul: “In a time troubled by social conflicts, she became a happy servant to the poor, in order to give back to each person his or her dignity, through material help, education and the teaching of Christian mystery.”
The secret to doing so many things, he concluded, “is in an intense life of prayer and incessant recitation of the Rosary which she never left out.”