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Thursday 16 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cornelius and Cyprian
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Blessed Pierre-Joseph Cassant

A faithful son of Saint Benedict


Public Domain

Trappist Monk (1878-1903)

His life

+ Pierre-Joseph was born in Casseneuil, France. He felt called to the priesthood at a young age, but after months of tutoring by his parish priest, it became clear that he would never be able to master studies in the diocesan seminary.

+ He entered the Trappist abbey of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert, in part because he could still pursue the priesthood but in an environment where the studies would be less demanding and there would be no expectation of pastoral responsibilities.

+ As a monk, he was known by the religious name “Marie-Joseph.”

+ Pierre-Joseph was ordained a priest in 1902, but he lived as a priest-monk for only nine more months. A victim of tuberculosis, his health was already failing at the time of his ordination.

+ After being granted a visit to his family, he asked to return to the abbey and he spent his final days caring for the other monks in the infirmary. He died in his monastery on June 17, 1903.

+ Blessed Pierre-Joseph was beatified in 2004.

Spiritual bonus

The Trappist Order represents a form of the strict observance of the Cisterican way of life, a reform of the Order of St. Benedict. Today there are more than 2,100 Trappist monks and 1,800 Trappist nuns living lives of prayer and contemplation in nearly 170 monasteries throughout the world.

For reflection

Prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”—The Rule of St. Benedict


O God, who in your kindness called your servant blessed Pierre-Joseph to the following of Christ, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may hold fast to you with all our heart. 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 a Monk)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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