This is the presentation of the Saint of the day for March 22, Saint Nicholas Owen by Catholic Lectionary.
Who is Saint Nicholas owen?
O Christian Soul, St Nicholas Owen was a Jesuit lay brother, and we were told that he was diminutive in nature, in fact that he was slightly taller than a dwarf. He was from a devoutly Catholic family.
At the time of the persecution of Catholics in England in the 16th Century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and James I of England, Little Nicholas made himself the protector of priests and even secular Catholics.
While growing up, he learnt carpentry work from his father and he also learnt masonry. He used these two talents of his to build “priest holes”.
He spent over eighteen years building holes inside walls of people’s homes and even in some public buildings, by breaking through thick stonework; and to minimize the likelihood of betrayal, he often worked at night and alone.
The location of these secret little rooms was known only to himself and the owner of the house. In this way, he saved the lives of many Catholic priests whom if were to be caught would be severely tortured and killed.
The day he was captured, he was with two priests, and in order for them not to be discovered, he revealed himself and the priests hid inside the hole he had made in the wall which the authorities could not discover.
He was submitted to terrible torture, but despite his great sufferings, he refused to neither disclose his “priest holes” nor reveal the names of Catholic priests and Catholic faithful.
Nicholas Owen dangled from a wall with both wrists held fast in iron bands and his body hanging, and his torturers kept him suspended day after day although he was ill and suffering from hernia.
The prolonged strain so extended the martyr’s body that his bowels broke in a terrible way, the iron bands assisting to tear and enlarge the wounds. In the midst of terrible anguish, he passed into his eternal reward.
Reflect on your Life
St John Mary Vianney said, “When you see a priest, think of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Do you believe it O Christian Soul? If yes, then why do you persecute our priests and bishops with your mouth and by your actions? What have you done to save a priest whom you think is not doing it rightly? Pray for the priests, protect the priests, excuse the priests, be patient with the priests, and help the priests whenever the opportunity arises. It may someday be your ticket to heaven.
Call for Meditation
‘If the parish priest is a saint, his people will be holy; If the priest is holy, but not yet a saint, his people will be good; If he is good, his people will be lukewarm, and if he is lukewarm, his parishioners will be bad. And if the priest himself is bad, his people will go to Hell’ [St John Mary Vianney].
This day Jesus, the most Saintly Priest, help me to pray rather than castigate You in our priests. Amen.
Having gone through this piece about saint of the day for March 22, make effort Oh Christian soul to amend your life. Peace of Christ be with you.
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