January Feast Days

St.Andrew Corsini

Feast Day:January 9 (Carmelite Calendar)

Bishop and Confessor
by Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, 1840

Andrew Corsini affords us, in his life, an example from which we may learn how efficacious is the intercession of the Queen of Saints, in withdrawing the sinner from the error of his way, and exciting him to aspire to, and attain, a high degree of perfection. Before the birth of Andrew, he was offered to the Blessed Virgin, by his holy parents as the first fruits of their marriage. On the night in which he was bom, his mother, Peregrina, had a dream which filled her with alarm. It seemed to her, as if she had brought forth a wolf, who, fleeing to a church, was changed into a lamb. This was a picture of what was afterwards to happen to Andrew. His pious parents employed every care and precaution, to bring him up in the fear of God; but, as too often happens, through the influence of bad company, an immoderate desire of play, and neglect of duty, he fell into the greatest disorders. Dissipation hurried him from one vice to another; until he was without affection for his parents, whom he disobeyed without remorse; so that all who knew him were full of apprehension for the future.

Meanwhile, his mother, mindful of her dream, sought consolation from Mary by continual prayer. Andrew, while one day preparing for a party of pleasure, expressed himself in a very disrespectful manner to his mother; she burst into tears, and told him the depth of her affliction. “Indeed, son,” said she, “you are the wolf that I saw in my dream.” Somewhat moved at these words, he said: “What do you say, mother? Am I a wolf?” Peregrina hereupon related the dream that she had had, and also mentioned that, before his birth, she had offered him to the Blessed Virgin. So great was the impression this made on Andrew, that he was unable to sleep during the following night. The thought, that he had been dedicated to the Mother of God occupied his mind. “Virgin Mother,” he at length exclaimed, “because I am thy servant, I will unceasingly serve thee.” 

At the break of day, he went to the church of the Carmelites, and prostrating himself before an image of Mary, offered himself up to this merciful Mother, and bade her change this wolf into a lamb. He frequently repeated this prayer; at length it was heard. To serve the holy Virgin in a perfect manner, he asked the prior of the convent to admit him into the order. Having obtained this request, he showed, by the piety of his life, that the dream of his mother was not an idle fancy. Andrew made great advances in virtue, and was soon an experienced master in perfection. He was subsequently ordained priest, in obedience to the orders of his superior, and soon after was made bishop. In all the circumstances of his life, he cherished a fervent devotion to Mary, his powerful protectress; and sought all opportunities of proclaiming her praises. He was called to the nuptials of the heavenly Lamb in 1373, and experienced, in his last hours, the powerful intercession of her, who had procured for him the grace of conversion, and inspired him with the desire for perfection. 

Carmelite saints, November Feast Days

Saint Raphael Kalinowski

Father Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski, was born at Vilna, 1st September 1835, and at baptism received the name Joseph. Under the teaching of his father Andrew, at the Institute for Nobles at Vilna, he progressed so well that he received the maximum distinction in his studies. He then went for two years (1851-1852) to the school of Agriculture at Hory-Horky. During the years 1853-1857, he continued his studies at the Academy of Military Engineering at St Petersburg, obtaining his degree in Engineering, and the rank of Lieutenant. Immediately afterwards he was named Lecturer in Mathematics at the same Academy. In 1859, he took part in the designing of the Kursk-Kiev-Odessa railway.

In 1863 the Polish insurrection against their Russian oppressors broke out. He resigned from the Russian forces, and accepted the post of Minister of War for the region of Vilna, in the rebel army. On 24th March 1864, he was arrested and condemned to death, a penalty that was mitigated to 10 years hard labour in Siberia. With an admirable strength of spirit, patience, and love for his fellow exiles, he knew how to instill into them the spirit of prayer, serenity and hope, and to give material help together with a word of encouragement.

Repatriated in 1874, he accepted the post of tutor to the Venerable Servant of God, Augusto Czartoryski, living mostly in Paris. His influence on the young prince was such, that Augusto discovered his true vocation as priest and religious. He was received into the Salesians by their founder, Saint John Bosco, in 1887. On the other hand, Joseph Kalinowski entered the Discalced Carmelites at Graz in Austria, and received the religious name of Brother Raphael of Saint Joseph. He studied theology in Hungary, and was ordained Priest at Czerna near Krakow, 15th January 1882.

Afire with apostolic zeal, he did not spare himself in helping the faithful, and assisting his Carmelite brothers and sisters in the ascent of the mountain of perfection.

In the sacrament of Reconciliation, he lifted up many from the mire of sin. He did his utmost for the work of reunification of the Church, and bequeathed this mission to his Carmelite brothers and sisters. His superiors entrusted him with many important offices, which he carried out perfectly, right until the time of his death.

Overcome by fatigue and suffering, and held in great respect by all the people, he gave his soul to God, 15th November 1907, at Wadowice in the monastery founded by himself. He was buried in the monastery cemetery, at Czerna, near Krakow.

During his life and after death, he enjoyed a remarkable fame for sanctity, even on the part of the most noble and illustrious of people, such as the Cardinals Dunajewski, Puzyna, Kakowski and Gotti. The Ordinary Process for his eventual beatification, was set in motion in the Curia of Krakow during the years 1934-1938, and later taken to Rome where in 1943 was issued the Decree concerning his writings. His cause was introduced in 1952. From 1953-1956 the Apostolic Process was carried out, and the Congregation proceeded to the discussion on his virtues.

Pope John Paul II, on the 11th October 1980, promulgated the Decree on the heroicity of his virtues. After the approval of the miraculous healing of the Reverend Mis, the Holy Father beatified Father Raphael Kalinowski at Krakow on 22nd June 1983.

As the fame of his miracles was increasing, the Curia of Krakow in 1989, set in motion the Canonical Process to investigate the extraordinary healing of a young child. The discussions of the doctors, theologians and cardinals, were brought to a happy conclusion. On the 10th July 1990, the Holy Father John Paul II, approved the miracle for the canonization.

In the Consistory of 26th November 1990, Pope John Paul together with the Cardinals, decided to canonize Blessed Raphael Kalinowski. They set the ceremony for Sunday, 17th November 1991.

Pope John Paul II, today canonizes him, and presents him as a model to all Christians in the universal Church.

~Source:Vatican.va