28 September, Wednesday — Loving Jesus, Following Jesus

Sep 28 – Memorial for St. Wenceslaus, martyr; Memorial for St. Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs

St. Wenceslaus (907-929) was the son of Vratislav I, Duke of Bohemia, whose family had been converted by St. Cyril and St. Methodius, and Drahomira, daughter of a pagan chief, who was baptised on her wedding day but apparently never seriously took to the faith. He was the grandson and student of St. Ludmilla.

When his father was killed during a pagan backlash against Christianity, Wenceslaus ascended to power as the Duke of Bohemia and fought the pagans with prayer and patience. He was murdered by his brother, Boleslaus, at the door of a church. Though he was killed for political reasons, he is normally listed as a martyr since the politics arose from his faith. Miracles have been reported at his tomb, and he is the subject of the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas.

  • Patron Saint Index

St. Laurence Ruiz (1600–1637) had a Chinese father and a Filipino mother, both of whom were Christians. He learned Chinese and Tagalog from them, Spanish from the Dominicans whom he served as altar boy and sacristan. He was a professional calligrapher and documents transcriptionist. He was a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. He was a married layman, and the father of two sons and a daughter.

For unknown reasons, Laurence was accused of murder. He sought asylum on board ship with three Dominican priests, St. Antonio Gonzalez, St. Guillermo Courtet, and St. Mguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest, St. Vincente Showozuka de la Cruz, and a layman St. Lazaro of Kyoto, a leper. Only when they were at sea did he learn that they were going to Japan during a time of intense Christian persecution.

Laurence could have gone to Formosa (modern Taiwan), but feared the Spaniards there would hang him, and so stayed with the missionaries as they landed at Okinawa. The group was soon exposed as Christian, arrested, and taken to Nagasaki. They were tortured in several ways for days. Laurence and the Japanese priest broke at one point, and were ready to renounce their faith in exchange for release, but after their moment of crisis, they reclaimed their faith and defied their tormentors. He was the first canonised Filipino martyr.

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Job 9:1-13,14-16
Lk 9:57-62

I will follow you wherever you go.”

I once had someone knock on my door to try to spread the Gospel to me. The person was an earnest young man who sincerely felt that it was his duty to spread the faith to all around us. My father, who answered the door bell, remarked to me after asking the young man to go that “anybody willing to knock on the doors of people must be prepared to accept rejection.”

Rejection is something that I hate to receive. I am not sure if you have been rejected before, but it sure is terrible to be told that you are not needed nor wanted. The Gospel of today reminds us that rejecting the way of the world is the only way we can become a true follower of Christ.

Jesus pointed out that we must choose to prioritise our goal. We are Christian and hence, the objective of our lives is to live one which edifies.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia) 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, let us follow your example to be a good role model to all around us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who love us through their actions.

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