Our Saints

January 20, 2017 SSH Admin

Fr. Raimundo dos Anjos Beirao
He was born in Lisbon, on March 8, 1810. At the age of 16 joins the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi and takes the name of Friar Raimundo dos Anjos Beirao. He is ordained as a Priest in 1833. Due to the impact of Liberalism he is forced to abandon the Convent and decides to dedicate himself entirely to preaching, throughout the country. By the Decree of May 6, of 1855, he is declared Apostolic Missionary, Singer, Musician and publishes some booklets with novenas and based on other religious themes.

In the beginning of his Priestly Life, he starts the Association of the Sons of Saint Cajetan – boys whom he educates and who accompany him in questing and distributing among the poor, the alms that were received. The contact with misery causes him to dream about starting a Religious Congregation that would minimize the suffering of the needy. Libania do Carmo is the instrument that God provides him for the realization of this dream. He dies in the grace of God on the July 13, 1878, surrounded by the Religious Family founded by him.

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Queen Isabel (sometimes known as the PEACEMAKER) was born in 1271 and died in 1336. She was named after her great-aunt, the great Elizabeth of Hungary, but is known in Portuguese history by the Spanish form of that name, Isabel. The daughter of Pedro III, King of Aragon, and Constantia, grandchild of Emperor Frederick II, she was educated very piously, and led a life of strict regularity and self-denial from her childhood: she said the full Divine Office daily, fasted and did other penances, and gave up amusement. Elizabeth was married very early to Denis, King of Portugal, a poet, and known as Rei Lavrador, or the working king, from his hard work in is country’s service. His morals, however, were extremely bad, and the court to which his young wife was brought consequently most corrupt. Nevertheless, Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood, whilst doing her best to win her husband’s affections by gentleness and extraordinary forbearance. They had two children, a daughter Constantia and a son Affonso. She was devoted to the poor and sick, and gave every moment she could spare to helping them, even pressing her court ladies into their service. She was the peace maker within her family, when her son Prince Affonsa revolted against his father King Denis in war. she rode to the battle ground and brought peace between her husband and son. King Denis died in 1325, his son succeeding him as Affonso IV.

St.Elizabeth then retired to a convent of Poor Clares which she had founded at Coimbra, where she took the Franciscan Tertiary habit, wishing to devote the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. But she was called forth to act once more as peacemaker. In 1336 Affonso IV marched his troops against the King of Castile, to whom he had married his daughter Maria, and who had neglected and ill-treated her. In spite of age and weakness, the holy queen insisted on hurrying to Estremoz, where the two king’s armies were drawn up. She again stopped the fighting and caused terms of peace to be arranged. But the exertion brought on her final illness; and as soon as her mission was fulfilled she died of a fever, full of heavenly joy, and exhorting her son to the love of holiness and peace. St. Elizabeth was buried at Coimbra, and miracles followed her death. She was canonized by Pope Urban VIII in 1625, and her feast is kept on 4 July.

St. Clare of Assisi
Clare was born in Assisi, in 1194, the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Clare was born into one of the richest noble families in Assisi. It is said that when Lady Ortulana was pregnant with Clare, she received a prophecy that her unborn child would be a great saint and bring light into a dark world. As a child Clare was devoted to prayer and yearned for a more spiritual life.

In 1210, Clare was drawn by Francis’ preaching and by his values. Francis received her into religious life in 1212. Initially, she lived with the nuns in a Benedictine monastery, but later, Clare and her younger sister Agnes moved to San Damiano, where they founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares). There they lived an enclosed life wearing simple tunics as signs of their acceptance of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Clare played a significant role in encouraging and aiding Francis, whom she saw as a spiritual father figure: she took care of him during his illnesses at the end of his life, until his death in 1226.

Clare is renowned for her loyalty to Saint Francis, so much so that she was sometimes referred to as being alter Franciscus, another Francis. Clare died on 11th August, 1253 at the age of 59.

Mt. Maria Clara Memino Jesus
Maria is born in Amadora, Lisbon, on the 15th of June, 1843. She is baptized in the Church of Na S.ra do Amparo, Benfica, on the 2nd of September, 1843. She loses her parents, victims of cholera and yellow fever, in the years 1856 and 1857 respectively. In October 1857, she joins the Boarding of Ajuda, meant for the orphans of the noble families. As a consequence of the expulsion of the French Daughters of Charity, in May 1862 she leaves the Boarding and is received in the house of the Marquees de Valada, where she lives for 5 years. After that she goes to the Home of St. Patricio, with the Conceptionist Capuchinhas, under the guidance of Fr. Raimundo dos Anjos Beirao.

Having understood the call of the Lord, in 1869, she receives the habit of the Capuchinhas, and takes the name of Sister Maria Clara of the Child Jesus. She is sent to Calais – France, on February 10, 1870, to do her Novitiate, with the intent of starting later on a new Congregation in Portugal. She starts the first Community, in St. Patricio, Lisbon, on May 3, 1871 and 5 years after, on March 27, 1876, the Congregation receives Pontifical Approval. She opens a large number of houses to receive the poor and the needy people in Portugal and sends Sisters to the Missions Ad Gentes: Angola, Goa and Guino-Bissau. She dies on December 1, 1899, in Lisbon, after having lived a life totally dedicated to doing good where there is good to be done.

St. Francis of Assisi
Francis was born in Assisi in 1182, the son of a rich cloth merchant Pietro Bernadone and his wife, Lady Pica whom he possibly met on one of his many business trips to France. The child was baptised John, but his father named him Francesco, ‘ the little Frenchman’ and it is by this name ‘Francis’ that he has become known and loved throughout the centuries. He died in 1226 at the age of 44. Francis was very outgoing and full of fun. It seemed that in his teens, he loved fine clothes, singing, feasting and revelry of all kinds. He was a generous and charming person and the natural leader of his friends. At that time, social change brought about wars between the nobility who were the landlords of the feudal system and the poor people of the communes in Assisi. Francis joined the side of the communes.

The nobles fled to Perugia which in turn waged war on Assisi. Francis was taken prisoner and held for nearly a year. When he returned home, he became seriously ill. As a young man, he had been ambitious and desired more than anything to receive a knighthood. He was devastated as he saw his hopes of gaining a knighthood for bravery in war slip further away from him. At about the age of 22, he decided to join the Crusades in the hope of still realising this ambition. However, no sooner did he set off than he returned without going to war at all. Why? Well, while on his way to the Crusades, at Spoleto, Francis had a dream. He heard a voice say to him: “Francis is it better to serve the Lord or the servant?” He answered, “Sir, the Lord, of course.”

Francis realised that he was following his own desires and not the Lord’s. Francis began to face his own limitations, and being a realist, he accepted them. It was the beginning of a slow unfolding process, but Francis began to realise that God was leading him to greatness, but in a very different way from his illusory knighthood. So Francis returned home knowing full well the misunderstanding and mockery this would cause him. Indeed his own father found it hard to comprehend the change in his outgoing, fun-loving and ambitious son.

Initially, everyone was convinced that Francis had gone mad. Even his friends were confused by his quiet and pensive ways – so different from the Francis they had known. They would mockingly ask him if he was in love. “Yes,” he would reply, “I am going to marry a most beautiful and gentle lady called ‘Lady Poverty.'” All during his life, he did give up all material goods and all worldly ambition to be one with the poor.

Francis, as every saintly pligrim, found consolation only in Prayer. And as he prayed, he remained close to the Crucifix of San Damiono, in which the dim immobile face of Jesus spoke to him saying “Francis, do you see that my house is falling to ruins? Go and repair My Church.” Now in his happiness that God had given him something to do he went off to find money for the work. Taking a couple of bales of cloth from his father’s shop, he headed for the market and sold it as well as his horse and brought the proceeds to the church. When the priest refused to take it, he threw the money on a window sill. Pietro Bernadone was so furious when he found out what his son had done that he would have nothing more to do with him.

What was he meant to do? How was he to rebuild the Church? He started begging for stones so that he could do the re-building himself – but in time, Francis became aware that even this was not really what the Lord was inviting him to do. Slowly, he became aware that he was being invited to rebuild with living stones – to renew the life of the Church.

Soon others, even some of the nobles, were drawn by his joyful example and sincere holiness and goodness to others. They too left all that they owned and joined him. Inspired by God, Francis gave his followers a way of life which was simply to live the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ as given to us in the Gospels. That was the challenge that he passed on to the three Orders he founded: the Friars Minor, the Poor Clares and the Third Order.

Although Francis only lived to the age of 44, his life’s message of simplicity and the power of prayer has never faded. Today, St. Francis is a symbol of spiritual love, guidance and hope.

St. Clare of Assisi
Clare was born in Assisi, in 1194, the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana. Clare was born into one of the richest noble families in Assisi. It is said that when Lady Ortulana was pregnant with Clare, she received a prophecy that her unborn child would be a great saint and bring light into a dark world. As a child Clare was devoted to prayer and yearned for a more spiritual life.

In 1210, Clare was drawn by Francis’ preaching and by his values. Francis received her into religious life in 1212. Initially, she lived with the nuns in a Benedictine monastery, but later, Clare and her younger sister Agnes moved to San Damiano, where they founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares). There they lived an enclosed life wearing simple tunics as signs of their acceptance of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Clare played a significant role in encouraging and aiding Francis, whom she saw as a spiritual father figure: she took care of him during his illnesses at the end of his life, until his death in 1226.

Clare is renowned for her loyalty to Saint Francis, so much so that she was sometimes referred to as being alter Franciscus, another Francis. Clare died on 11th August, 1253 at the age of 59.

Stages On The Journey Towards Final Commitment

The process of becoming a Professed Sister includes a number of commitment stages. These are:

  • Pre-postulancy for an unspecified period of time
  • Postulancy for one year
  • Novitiate for two to two and a half years
  • First Vows from three to nine years

We profess three vows: chastity, poverty and obedience. These vows are also known as the “evangelical counsels.” These vows are taken on freely and are a means of a Sister dedicating herself wholeheartedly to the service of God in others. By living out her vowed commitment, a Sister strives to live out the Gospel more fully.

Perpetual Vows last for the duration of a Sister’s life
In Hospitality, Fraternity, Simplicity To be like Jesus with a passion for God and passion for Humanity… In the footsteps of ST FRANCIS … And with the heart of OUR FOUNDERS
To Love In Service…
Jesus is calling you Can you hear HIM?
In the poor, sick, lonely, in those excluded and isolated in the Global Village of consumerism, terrorism, pollution etc.