Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 26 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Paula of St. Joseph Calasanz
home iconChurch
line break icon

In Mauritius, Pope Francis stops to pray at tomb of another apostle to peoples who suffered slavery

POPE AND Father Laval on Mauritius

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/09/19

Like St. Peter Claver, Blessed Jacques-Désiré Laval has his feast day on September 9

Known especially for his ministry to enslaved people arriving in the New World, St. Peter Claver’s feast is on September 9. But another holy servant of those who suffered slavery is also celebrated on this same day: Blessed Jacques-Désiré Laval. Father Laval is known as the Missionary of Mauritius, and today on his feast, Pope Francis stopped at his sanctuary to pray.


ŚWIĘTY PIOTR KLAWER

Read more:
How St. Peter Claver converted nearly 300,000 people

Blessed Jacques-Désiré Laval (September 18, 1803 – September 9, 1864) couldn’t decide what vocation he wanted to pursue as a young man: medicine or the priesthood. He decided on medicine, obtaining his degree and opening a practice. But as time passed by — and spurred on by a near fatal accident — he returned to his desires for the priesthood and was ordained.

A native of northern France, he was ordained a priest by the archbishop of Paris, but shortly thereafter joined the Spiritans because of his desire to be a missionary priest. He was sent to Mauritius, where his skills in medicine were put to good use. He provided education and health care to the poor of his island, who were mostly former slaves. He learned their language and lived a life of self-denial, going without as his people had to. By the time of his death, he was incredibly beloved by his flock.

Pope Francis spoke of Father Laval during Mass he celebrated today on Mauritius.

Quoting Saint Paul, the pope said Blessed Laval knew that evangelization entails becoming “all things to all people.” That is why “he learned the language of the recently freed slaves and taught them the Good News of salvation in simple language.”

Father Laval’s pastoral care earned him “the trust of the poor and outcast,” noted the pope. “Through his missionary outreach and his love, Father Laval gave to the Mauritian Church a new youth, a new life, that today we are asked to carry forward.”

Pope John Paul II beatified Father Laval on April 29, 1979, and visited his tomb during his apostolic trip to Mauritius some 10 years later, on October 14, 1989.

Pope Francis returned to Madagascar at the end of his day on Mauritius, and from there he leaves for Rome on Tuesday morning.

[wpvideo Vpx9IkMs]


Temporary

Read more:
Pope meets measles survivors in Madagascar

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
500 YEARS OF CHRISTIANITY
J-P Mauro
A song to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines
4
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
5
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
6
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Padre Pio says this is a sin that’s difficult to forgive &#...
7
Palm Sunday
Philip Kosloski
10 Lenten traditions you might see at Mass
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.