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Saturday 19 June |
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Saint of the Day: Bl. Alexandru Rusu

Archbishop martyred by the Communists

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0

Bishop and Martyr (1884-1963)

His life

+ One of the twelve children of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Rite pastor of the Saulia Commune in Mures, Romania, Alexandru was ordained to the priesthood in 1910.

+ He was consecrated as the first bishop of Maramures, Romania, in 1930 and he was appointed archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Iulia in 1946, despite opposition from Communist government.

+ Because he was seen as defying the authorities, Archbishop Rusu was arrested in October 1948. Although he was initially placed under a form of house arrest in monasteries, he was eventually sent to prison.

+ It was only in 1957 that he was finally placed on trial and, to no one’s surprise, he was convicted of treason for remaining faithful to the Catholic Church. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, passing away in the prison in Gherla, Cluj, Romania, on May 9, 1963.

+ Blessed Alexandru Rusu was beatified with six other Greek-Catholic bishops in 2019.

For prayer and reflection

I would like to encourage you to bring the light of the Gospel to our contemporaries and to continue, like these Beati, to resist these new ideologies now springing up. It is our turn to struggle now, as it was theirs to struggle in their time.May you be witnesses of freedom and mercy, allowing fraternity and dialogue to prevail over divisions, and fostering the fraternity of blood that arose in the period of suffering, when Christians, historically divided, drew closer and more united to one another.”—Pope Francis, from the homily for the beatification of Blessed Alexandru Rusu and his companions

Prayer

O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Alexandru with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr During the Easter Season)

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

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