As we live our lives, there are just some people, who, for whatever reason, tend to do wicked things. They are usually cooking up some well-practiced way to harass other people or drag everyone down. These people who do wicked things, wherever they are, carry on with confidence because they assure themselves that God will do nothing to stop them and nothing to help. Those who choose the path of wickedness, spend their day and night conspiring to take what doesn’t belong to them. They relish the thought of extinguishing the bright light of those who shine, because that light threatens their exposure in the dark.
Though the world still produces such people, God also sends others among us to show us the way out of darkness back into the light. Today we celebrate the memory of such a man, a Polish Franciscan, Simon of Lipnica, who was canonized in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. He was known as a great preacher who brought many to repentance and a renewed commitment to the Gospel. He had a special devotion to St. Bernardine of Siena because of his love for the name of Jesus. His brothers esteemed him so much that they
Simon died on this date in 1482 while caring for victims of the plague that was claiming the lives of many people. Because of his devotion to their care, he was also infected by the disease and died six days after becoming ill.
Though he was beatified in 1685 by Pope Innocent IV, his cause did not advance and was eventually forgotten until it was revived by Pope Pius XII. Even so it took several decades to complete the process until Pope Benedict took it up again.
The deeds of the wicked plague us yet today. However, God is always looking for ways to bring us to the light. Celebrating the lives of the saints is just one more way for us to thwart the efforts of the evildoers.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator