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Monday 17 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Rasso of Grafrath
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Blessed Alexandre Planas Saurí

Salesian layman, deaf sculptor



Layman, Salesian affiliate, Martyr – (1878-1936)

His life

+ Alexandre was born in Mataró, Spain. He felt called to religious life and hoped to become a member of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco. He was unable to fulfill his desire, however, because he was deaf.

+ He was, however, able to spend more than 40 years living as a lay affiliate of the Salesians in the house at San Vicent dels Horts, near Barcelona. He was well-liked and respected by the community and was considered to have been a gifted sculptor and man of prayer.

+ In 1936, as the religious persecutions of the Spanish Civil War erupted, claiming the lives of thousands of bishops, priests, religious, and lay Catholics, the Salesian community was disbanded and the religious went into hiding after sending the students home.

+ Alexandre stayed behind, believing he would be safe because he was a layman. A few days later, on November 19, one of the Salesian brothers, Eliseo Garcia, came to visit Alexandre. Brother Eliseo was followed by a band of soldiers, however, and the two men were shot outside the Salesians’ house.

+ Blessed Alexandre and Blessed Eliseo were beatified together with more than two hundred other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, including thirty Salesian priests and brothers, in 2001.

Spiritual bonus

On the 19th day of November, the Church celebrates the memory of the Prophet Obadiah. We know next to nothing about his life, aside from the fact that he lived during the 5th century before Christ. The majority of the book that bears his name announces punish for the enemies of the People of Israel.


“See how rich is the Saints’ reward from God; they died for Christ and will live for ever.”—Communion Antiphon for the Mass for Several Martyrs


May the sight of the great number of your holy Martyrs gladden us, O Lord, making our faith stronger and bringing us consolation by the prayers of them all. 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 Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)

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

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