Capuchin Franciscan Lay Brother (1556-1625)
+ Jon Coştist was born into a pious family in Oltenia, Moldavia (then in the Ottoman Empire).
+ When he was 19 years old, he immigrated to Italy, hoping that the “greatest” Christians could be found there. He became a Capuchin Franciscan friar, known as “Brother Jeremiah” in religious life.
+ In 1585, Jeremiah was assigned to the infirmary of the Friary of St. Ephrem in Naples. He would live here for the rest of his life.
+ Brother Jeremiah was known for his special care for the sick friars and the poor, and his tireless work in begging for alms to care for those unable to provide for themselves.
+ His compassionate spirit is embodied in the five years of care he offered for one mentally ill friar and others suffering from mental illness.
+ Blessed Jeremiah died in Naples, Italy, on March 5, 1625, and was beatified in 1983.
For prayer and reflection
“Yes, Jesus come. Thank you.”—the final words of Blessed Jeremiah
According to long standing tradition, the patron saint of the mentally ill—who were cared for by Blessed Jeremiah—is Saint Dymphna. According to tradition, Dymphna was an Irish princess who was murdered by her father for her faith in Christ. Her major shrine is in Gheel, Belgium, which is also the site of her martyrdom. It is said that this was the city where her father found her as she tried to escape his crazed hatred for her Christin faith. Saint Dymphna is celebrated on May 30.
O God, who called blessed Jeremiah to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through his intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.