Sunday, November 10, 2019

Novena to St. Raphael Kalinowski

 St. Raphael of St. Joseph was a Polish Carmelite saint greatly venerated by St. John Paul. His feast is November 19. From Aleteia:
Born Joseph Kalinowski to a noble Polish family in 1835, the future saint lost his mother when he was just a baby, then his stepmother when he was 10. His father’s third wife became a great influence in his life, encouraging him spiritually as well as in his remarkable academic career. He graduated from the boarding school his father taught at, then headed to the improbably-named Hory Horki for university. Equally good, it seems, at a variety of sciences, he chose to study zoology, chemistry, agriculture, and apiculture (beekeeping).
But Kalinowski’s love of creation didn’t extend to a love of the Creator; gradually he drifted further and further from the faith of his youth. For him, knowledge and worldly success were enough. He had no particular need, he felt, of the things of God. Despite his aptitude, Kalinowski’s options were limited because of his ethnicity; Poles at the time were only permitted to pursue graduate studies if they were members of the Russian army. So Kalinowski enlisted in the Imperial Russian Army and began to study engineering. He spent some time as a math professor before beginning his work designing the railroad that would connect Kursk to Odessa.
It was during this time that the call of the Lord began to penetrate Kalinowski’s heart. As he worked on the railroad, he had many hours to spend in solitude. There, in the silence, God began to draw the young engineer back. He began to realize the need for an interior life, but still he remained far from the sacraments, seeing God more as an idea than as a lover.
Meanwhile Kalinowski was rising through the ranks, but his heart wasn’t with the Russian cause. He sympathized with the plight of his oppressed Polish brethren and when he was 27 he made the difficult decision to become a traitor—or, rather, a patriot.
After he defected to the Polish rebels during the 1863 January Uprising, Kalinowski’s brilliant mind was put to good use as minister of war. But while he had left behind the Russians, he still hadn’t left behind his sin. For 10 years, Kalinowski had been away from the sacraments; finally, his younger sister and his stepmother told him they would only get a particular gift for a friend of his if he would go to confession. Though not at all eager, Kalinowski went; in that moment, he experienced profound grace, mercy, and fullness of conversion. “After 10 years of apostasy,” he said, “I have returned to the bosom of the Church.” (Read more.)
More HERE.

Prayer in honor of Saint Raphael:
Lord God, You made Your Priest St. Raphael strong in adversity and filled Him with a great love in promoting Church unity. Through his prayers make us strong in faith and in love for one another, that we too may generously work together for the unity of all believers in Christ. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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