Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Novena to Saint Filippo Smaldone

Novena to Saint Filippo Smaldone
(Feast June 6th)

Dear St. Smaldone, in your earthly life you were a model of charity.  Your love for those with disabilities especially the deaf brought you the beloved name “Apostle of the Deaf”.  In your heavenly home please intercede for us here on earth that we may see Jesus in those hardest for us to love.  Take our hand and gently guide us on the surest way to salvation.  We humbly ask that you place our petitions before the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Amen
1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory Be
Saint Filippo Smaldone was born in Naples Italy on July 27th 1848.  He is known as the “Apostle to the Deaf”. He was drawn early in his priesthood to a ministry based in education of the deaf.  Despite many obstacles to his work he persisted.  One of his favorite sayings was: “The Lord sends us trials and tribulations to settle our debt to Him”. Fr. Smaldone founded the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart and later expanded his work to include education of blind children and orphans. He passed away on June 4th 1923. He was beatified on May 12 1996 by Pope John Paul II. The beatification ceremony was translated into sign language, a first for a papal rite in St. Peter Square. Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on Oct 15th 2006.  
Excerpt from the Homily by Pope Benedict XVI at the Canonization Mass of St. Filippo Smaldone (February 27, 2011)
"St Filippo Smaldone, son of South Italy, knew how to instil in his life the higher virtues characteristic of his land. A priest with a great heart nourished continuously on prayer and Eucharistic adoration, he was above all a witness and servant of charity, which he manifested in an eminent way through service to the poor, in particular to deaf-mutes, to whom he dedicated himself entirely.The work that he began developed thanks to the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts founded by him and which spread to various parts of Italy and the world. St Filippo Smaldone saw the image of God reflected in deaf-mutes, and he used to repeat that, just as we prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, so we should kneel before a deaf-mute. From his example we welcome the invitation to consider the ever indivisible love for the Eucharist and love for one’s neighbour. But the true capacity to love the brethren can come only from meeting with the Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist".

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