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Thursday 03 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis Xavier
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Blessed Niels Stenson

A physician and convert who eventually became a priest and bishop


Public Domain

Bishop – (1638-1686)

His life

+ Niels was bornr in Copenhagen, Denmark.

+ He became a doctor of medicine and was a pioneer in the fields of anatomy, physiology, and paleontology. He is credited with scientific theories that are now fundamental precepts in the study of geology and crystallography. His contributions to medicine include discoveries about the operation of the glandular system.

+ In 1667, while working in a hospital in Florence, his search for the truth led him to the Catholic Church. After returning to Denmark, he lost his position at the exclusively Lutheran University of Copenhagen, but he retained his post as “Royal Anatomist.”

+ Stensen was ordained a priest in 1675 and was later named suffragan bishop of Münster, with episcopal oversight of Catholics in Germany and Scandinavia.

+ Blessed Niels Stensen died in 1686 and was beatified in 1988.

Spiritual bonus

Today is also the commemoration of Saint Crispina. This wife and mother was martyred for her faith in Thebeste (in modern-day Tunisia) in 304. It seems that Saint Augustine of Hippo had devotion for Crispina and he often mentioned her in his homilies on the matyrs.


“God loves to make himself heard in the silence of creation, in which the intellect senses the transcendence of the Lord of Creation. Everyone who seeks to understand the secrets of creation and the mysteries of man must be ready to open their mind and heart to the deep truth which manifests itself there.”—Pope Saint John Paul II


Lord God,

who graciously imbued blessed Niels Stensen with heavenly doctrine,

grant, through his intercession,

that we may keep that same teaching faithfully

and express it in what we do.

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.

(Prayer from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Bishop)

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

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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