Quote of the day: 6 November

Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

Psalm 4:3

These words of the Responsorial Psalm express the secret of the life of Bl. Nuno de Santa María, a hero and saint of Portugal. The 70 years of his life belong to the second half of the 14th century and the first half of the 15th, which saw this nation consolidate its independence from Castille and expand beyond the ocean not without a special plan of God opening new routes that were to favour the transit of Christ’s Gospel to the ends of the earth.

St. Nuno felt he was an instrument of this lofty design and enrolled in the militia Christi, that is, in the service of witness that every Christian is called to bear in the world. He was characterized by an intense life of prayer and absolute trust in divine help. Although he was an excellent soldier and a great leader, he never permitted these personal talents to prevail over the supreme action that comes from God.

St Nuno allowed no obstacle to come in the way of God’s action in his life, imitating Our Lady, to whom he was deeply devoted and to whom he publicly attributed his victories. At the end of his life, he retired to the Carmelite convent whose building he had commissioned.

I am glad to point this exemplary figure out to the whole Church particularly because he exercised his life of faith and prayer in contexts apparently unfavourable to it, as proof that in any situation, even military or in war time, it is possible to act and to put into practice the values and principles of Christian life, especially if they are placed at the service of the common good and the glory of God.

Pope Benedict XVI

Homily, Holy Mass for the Canonization of Nuno de Santa María (excerpts)
St. Peter’s Square, 26 April 2009

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day: 6 November

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  1. I used to have a priest who was a soldier before Ordination. He had a wake-up call then 30 minutes to be on parade. So he spent 5 of those minutes in deep, structured prayer. I thought that was exemplary. So I relate to this Saint in this account of him. To retain priorities. And I have lots of free time: the onus is on me to make use of it to deepen my prayer life, which I tend to subjugate to communication, thinking that (as this) service. But Fr Matt Blake OCD, Provincial, taught us on my only OCDS retreat, directed by him, that “if we are not based in prayer, our works, however good, are not apostolic”. I never forgot that.

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