Lent: March 8th
Monday of the Third Week of Lent; Optional Memorial of St. John of God, religious
"God is love! Whoever abides in love; abides in God and God in him" (motto of St. John's community). St. John of God, who was of Portuguese descent, was first a shepherd, a dealer and then a soldier. At the age of forty he was converted, and devoted himself to the care of those sick in mind, showing himself in this thankless task to be a true innovator and a saint of super-human heroism. He founded the Order of the Brothers Hospitallers, which bears his name. He died at Granada in 1550. Pope Leo XIII declared him Patron of Hospitals and Patron of the Sick and commanded his name to be placed in the Litanies of the Dying.Stational Church
St. John of God
In 1503, at the age of eight, John fled from his parents for some unknown reason. For a while he was a shepherd, then a book dealer. Matters spiritual were of no particular interest until he heard the preaching of Blessed John of Avila. Then his conversion was so sincere and sudden that he was considered to be out of his mind. He was incarcerated in the Royal Hospital in Granada, and suffered the cruel treatment of the day. Here he discovered how to show his love for God, through caring for those who were unable to respond to this cruel treatment. He resolved to devote the remainder of his life caring for people living on the margins of society.
- St. John of God followed his impulses when it came to serving Christ. He never reconsidered or second-guessed the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, but he acted on them instantly, whether or not they seemed practical. Today do not dissuade yourself from doing heroic little acts of charity, but follow God's will immediately as it is manifested to you.
- St. John of God never thought of himself but always reached out to others. Examine your conscience tonight and ask yourself: do I habitually give greater importance to others' needs before my own? Do I esteem myself over-highly, or do I consider myself of least importance?
- There is something lacking in present-day hospital methods that characterized the age-old practice of the Church, viz., a harmonious, organic relationship between liturgy and care of the sick. Pray the Litany of the Sick for those hospitalized. And pray that hospital care will incorporate the Christian dimension and respect each person as an image of God.
Station at St. Anastasia al Palatino (Santa Anastasia):
Today's stational church is St. Anastasia in Rome, where, formerly, the Mass of the Aurora on Christmas Day was celebrated. The first church was built in the late 3rd or early 4th century, and was one of the first parish churches of ancient Rome. It was given by a woman called Anastasia and called titulus Anastasiae after her. Later, it was dedicated to the early 4th century martyr St. Anastasia of Sirmium, who is included in the Roman Canon. Pope Francis granted the church to the Syro Malabar Church in July 2020.
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.