De La Salle Christian Brother (1838-1890)
+ Nicholas-Jules was born to a poor family in the province of Lorraine, France. He suffered the effects of his parents’ unhappy marriage and his mothers’ depression. He took refuge in study and prayer.
+ During his time working as a coachman and teamster (a mule driver), he began to work alongside the De La Salle Christian Brothers, helping to teach catechism classes on Sunday evenings. He subsequently entered the community and was clothed in the brothers’ habit in 1862, receiving the religious name “Arnold.”
+ Although he was sent to study, he did not complete his teaching certificate and he was never a successful teacher, largely because of his inability to maintain order in his classroom. His teaching experiences left him with a deep sense of failure.
+ During the Franco-Prussian War he served as a nurse for both French and German soldiers, earning a bronze cross from the International Red Cross for his service.
+ In 1877, Brother Arnold’s superiors appointed him as novice master. He excelled in this ministry and became a skilled spiritual director, instilling in the novices a strict sense of obedience to the community’s rule of life.
+ Brother Arnold lived a life of deep prayer and was known for his strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart. His spirituality was rooted in the liturgy of the Church and the prayer of his community and he set aside time each day to read Scripture and pray the rosary.
+ Blessed Arnold Rèche died on October 23, 1890, and was beatified in 1987.
For prayer and reflection
“I recommend to all of my brothers and sisters that they serve God faithfully. Granted, it is sometimes difficult to resist evil and remain virtuous. But with the grace of God that we obtain from prayer we can do anything. All we have to do is to will it.”—Blessed Arnold Rèche
O God, who called blessed Arnold to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through his intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. 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 Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.