Saint of the Day ~ December 17

SAINT JOSEP MANYANET Y VIVES (1833-1901), priest and founder

Today, the Church honors Saint Josep Manyanet y Vives, a holy priest who felt especially called by God to present to the world the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Josep was born in Catalonia, Spain on January 7, 1833. At the age of five, Josep’s mother dedicated him to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and he entered the seminary as a youth. He was ordained a priest in 1859 and served as the secretary to the bishop for the Diocese of Urgell in Spain. He also served as the seminary librarian and the chancery administrator before responding to the call of founding two religious Orders.

He founded the Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph in 1864 and the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family of Nazareth ten years later, both Orders with the mission to honor, imitate and propagate the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christian formation of families, especially through catholic education of children and youth and through priestly ministry.

Father Josep also founded schools and ministerial centers in several Spanish towns, encouraged devotion to the Holy Family, and wrote many books on family issues and spiritual guidance. To this date, both of the congregations he founded are present in several European countries, as well as North and South America and in Africa.

He also worked with the Servant of God Antonio Gaudí in the construction of Antonio’s masterpiece – the Temple of the Holy Family or La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, which was consecrated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2010.

Father Josep suffered from physical illnesses all his life, and, in particular, two open wounds in his sides for his last 16 years. He died on December 17, 1901, from natural causes in his school, Jesús, María y José, in Barcelona, Spain. His remains are interred in a burial chapel at the school.

Father Josep Manyanet y Vives was canonized a saint by Pope St. John Paul II on May 16, 2004 in Rome, Italy.

We commemorate his feastday on December 17.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com and vatican.va/news_services)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons of Holy Men ~ Religious)

“Lord God, You kept Saint Josep faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May his prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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