Sunday, October 05, 2008

October 5: Bl. Bartholomew Longo, OPL

Most people who keep track of these things know that today is the Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy through whom we have been given the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It is also the memorial of Bl. Raymond of Capua, Dominican priest, spiritual director of St. Catherine of Siena and Master-General of the Order of Preachers during the late 14th century.

But there is another and quite interesting personage whose memorial is also celebrated today. Venerated by Pope Paul VI in 1975 and beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, Bartholomew Longo led a roller-coaster of a spiritual life. Having started as a devout, Rosary-praying child, he grew up to become a lawyer; in his life beyond his practice, he slid from general dissolution into the occult. From there, he sank into out-and-out Satanism, even becoming a Satanist priest. He eventually emerged from the abyss and attained to heights of sanctity as a Dominican Tertiary.

Read his fascinating story here and here.

Prayer for the Intercession of Bl. Bartholomew Longo
(Who, By the Way, Could Use a Miracle for Canonization)

All-powerful and merciful God, in Blessed Bartolo, a promoter of the rosary of the Blessed Virgin, you showed a wonderful example of holiness and of charity for needy children and orphans. Through his prayers may we learn to see Christ your Son in our neighbors and to love him through them. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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