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Saint of the Day: St. John Baptist of the Conception

The Call to Renewal

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Trinitarian Priest (1561-1613)

His life

+ Juan García Gijón was born in south-central Spain in 1561. He studied Scripture and theology as a young man and was known for his strong devotion to the saints. At the age of nineteen he entered the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitairans).

+ The Trinitarian Order had been founded in France in 1198 by Saint John de Matha and Saint Felix of Valois for the purpose of ransoming Christian captives from the Moors. Like other religious orders at this time (including the Carmelites, who were later reformed by Saint Teresa of Avila), the Trinitarians had become lax in their religious observance. John Baptist of the Conception (as he was known in religious life) would do for the Trinitarians what Saint Teresa did for the Carmelites.

+ Although the Trinitarians’ General Chapter of 1594 decreed that their religious communities should return to the ancient observance of their order’s rule of life, no houses took steps to do so. This frustrated John Baptist and he founded a new Trinitarian community in 1597 for the purpose of putting this directive into effect.

+ Two years later he received approval from Rome for his efforts. Unfortunately, rather than this being a first step in bringing renewal to the Trinitarians, a break in the Order resulted. In time, John Baptist’s reformed branch of the Trinitarians flourished and is the branch of the Trinitarians that we know today.

+ One year before John Baptist’s death in 1613, a women’s branch of the Trinitarian Order was founded. Saint John Baptist of the Conception was canonized in 1975.

For prayer and reflection

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”—Ezekiel 36:26

Vocations

To learn more about the life and mission of the Trinitarian Friars, visit: http://www.trinitarians.org/index.html

To learn more about the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity, visit: http://www.srstrinity.com/

Prayer

O God, by whose gift blessed John Baptist of the Conception persevered in imitating Christ, poor and lowly, grant us through his intercession that, faithfully walking in our own vocation, we may reach the perfection you have set before us in 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 Religious)

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

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