One Saint speaking of another Saint
As we begin the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism, we are encouraged by the example of thousands upon thousands of our brothers and sisters in the Vincentian Family who lived, with all their hearts, souls, and minds, the Vincentian charism and spirituality throughout the 400 years since our foundation. They passed on to us God’s gift, a way to sanctity, so that we, in turn, might hand it over to future generations. The Church also recognizes many of them officially as Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God.
Among these is the Servant of God, Bishop Janez Frančišek Gnidovec, CM, whose process for beatification has been completed and now is awaiting a miracle so that the Church might recognize him officially as blessed.
As members of the Vincentian Family, but, of course, not just limited to its members, we all have a wonderful opportunity to turn to the many Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God in our Family. We ask them to intercede for us before Jesus for our different intentions and needs, to help us, and all those for whom we pray, on our day-to-day pilgrimage on earth.
At the end of January and the beginning of February 2018, the Superioress General of the Daughters of Charity, Sister Kathleen Appler; the General Councillor, Sister Hanna Cybula; the Visitor of our Province of Italy, Father Nicola Albanesi; the Visitatrix of the Province of Slovenia, Sister Francka Saje; the Superior of the community at the General Curia of the Congregation of the Mission, Father Giuseppe Carulli; and I visited Albania and Kosovo. In all the places we visited, we felt the vivid spiritual presence of and the memory the people have for Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She was of Albanian origin, born in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.
In addition to Mother Teresa’s spiritual presence and memory among the people in Albania and Kosovo, we also felt the same for the Servant of God, Bishop Janez Frančišek Gnidovec, CM. He was the Bishop of the Diocese of Skopje-Prizren, a territory where many Albanians lived, including Mother Teresa.
Bishop Gnidovec knew Mother Teresa from her childhood. He accompanied her in her early years and he was one of the tools in Jesus’s hands to help Mother Teresa discover her vocation to consecrated life and to make the final decision to give herself totally to Jesus. Bishop Gnidovec celebrated the Eucharist at which Mother Teresa was present before she left from home to enter the consecrated life.
Years later, when Janez Frančišek Gnidovec’s beatification process began, Mother Teresa was asked to be one of the witnesses. She wrote a short note in the Croatian language. A copy, in her own handwriting, is attached.
The note reads:
Our Bishop Gnidovec was a saint. Everyone called him by this name. He was truly a priest according to Jesus’s heart, with a gentle and humble heart.
When I was leaving for the missions, he celebrated the Eucharist for me, gave me Holy Communion, blessed me, and said:
“You are going to the missions. Give it all to Jesus, live just for Him, be only His, love Him alone, offer yourself solely to Him. Let Jesus be all in your life.”
I am convinced that he prays for me and that I have in him an intercessor before Jesus.
Mother Teresa, MC
A saint speaking of another saint.
May this wonderful life story and example help us to regularly turn our eyes to heaven and ask for the intercession of the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family to accompany us who are still on our earthly pilgrimage. They are eager to help us!
Through our trust, confidence, and faith, miracles will continue to happen and those whom the Church does not yet recognize officially as Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God will, through our prayers, their intercessions, and the miracles accepted by the Church, be acknowledged formally as Saints.
Of course, the Saints, as such, do not need this recognition. It is for our sake. We need these extraordinary examples of Christian life to help us reach the ultimate goal of every Christian, of every human being, life in heaven, eternally united with Jesus, attaining all our deepest desires forever and ever.
As we continue or begin to take this road, I would like to ask you please to send information about graces and miracles received through the intercession of our Vincentian Family Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God to: the International Vincentian Family Office (VFO), Father Joseph Agostino, CM, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That office will forward the information to the persons responsible for the various processes of our Blessed and Servants of God, the Vice-Postulators in the different countries where the processes are taking place or to the Postulator General for the entire Vincentian Family in Rome, Father Giuseppe Guerra, CM.
May our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, intercede for us!
A short biography of Bishop Janez Frančišek Gnidovec, CM:
- English: http://gnidovec.si/l_english.htm
- French: http://gnidovec.si/l_france.htm
- Spanish: http://gnidovec.si/l_spain.htm
- Italian: http://gnidovec.si/l_italy.htm
- German: http://gnidovec.si/l_germany.htm
Tomaž Mavrič, CM