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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Wednesday

Above all, love your calling in life

"Above all, love your calling in life, your daily duty, your daily work. Everything with the purest intention, and when difficulties arise say: O Jesus, I embrace my cross, I kiss it, I want to carry it after you until death." (From "Sincerely Seelos: The Collected Letters of Blessed Francis X. Seelos")

Today we celebrate the feast of Blessed Francis X. Seelos, a 19th-century Redemptorist who clearly loved his vocation. He was known for his cheerful disposition even in the face of difficulties, and his down-to-earth, gentle manner attracted many people to him.

As prefect of students in Cumberland, MD, in the late 1850s, Seelos once found himself mingling with a small group of seminarians who had formed a "laughing society." One member of the group cracked a joke and the other members were not allowed to laugh until they had all agreed how large a laugh the joke deserved. The scene is related in Fr. Michael Curley’s Seelos biography, "The Cheerful Ascetic:"

"Father Seelos joined the society one day to find out what it was all about. He could easily laugh at a joke, but unfortunately could not stop laughing at the signalled moment, and so was condemned to say several prayers. In ten minutes, when Seelos had two or three rosaries to say, he fled from the grinning group lest he be obligated to further penalties."

Blessed Seelos’ cause for canonization is underway. For more information, visit www.seelos.org.

"My Dear Child, have Jesus before your mind, and him as the ‘crucified,’ but most beloved Son of the Heavenly Father. Have him before your eyes and all those that have followed him on the narrow way. One look into the mystery of our Redemption, one look on the condition of this life,  one look on our real and happy life and a stream of light and strength will immediately gush into our souls, and all and every thing, which some moments before looked so dreary, takes on a bright appearance. It is the preparation of the Children of God for heaven." (From a letter to Miss Mary, November 14, 1864, "Sincerely Seelos")