July 28th - St. Samson
Saint Samson was born in Wales around the year 485 and is considered one of the greatest missionaries to come from Britain. At the age of seven, his parents dedicated him to the service of God in gratitude for his birth after a long period of childlessness. He was enrolled under Saint Illtud at his monastery at Llanwit, Glamorgan; when he reached manhood Samson was ordained deacon and priest by Illtud himself. This caused considerable jealously among a number of the monks, and two nephews of Illtud attempted to murder Samson, who therefore left the community to live as a hermit on the island of Caldey off the coast of Pembrokeshire.Samson's father Amon and his uncle Umbrafel joined him on the island after Amon had recovered from a serious illness, having received the last rites from his son. When the abbot Piro died, Samson succeeded him but resigned after a trip to Ireland and resumed his eremitical life in Wales with Amon and two others.After a time, Samson went to Cornwall were he was consecrated bishop as well as abbot of Saint Dubricius Monastery. He then traveled throughout Cornwall, working as a missionary, founding monasteries and churches, and gathering to himself many followers. He crossed the Channel to continue his missionary activities in Brittany. There he was given some land on which to build a monastery; this site in time became the town of Dol, which became the spiritual center of Brittany.Sensing that the end of his earthly life was near, Samson undertook a journey throughout the whole region of Neustria, moving slowly from parish to parish, often stopping to preach or to celebrate the Divine Office. His missionary activities throughout Britain and Brittany ended only with his death around the year 565.During his life and after his death many miracles were attributed to Saint Samson. Some of his relics, including an arm and a crosier, were acquired in the 10th century by King Athelstan of Wessex for his monastery at Milton Abbas in Dorset, which is why Samson's feast is kept in many places in England. Samson's name is still greatly revered throughout Brittany and Wales.
Lessons - Samson
1. St. Samson was a great missionary of his time, spreading the Word of God throughout Britain and Brittany. While we pray for all missionaries, let us not forget that we too are called to be missionaries, called to bring the Word of God to all those we come in contact with.
2. St. Samson's work in the Lord's vineyard didn't end until his death. If we are retired or approaching retirement age, let us not forget that the spreading of the Gospel is not something we should ever retire from. Whatever our age, whatever our walk in life, we can-and must-all work to bring Christ to the world.
Saint Quote: It is here, my daughters, that love is to be found-not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.--St. Teresa of Avila
1. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the spirit, if any bowels of commiseration:
2. Fulfill ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment.
3. Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves:
4. Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's.
5. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:1-5)
O blessed Trinity, one God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope,Thee I love, Thee I adore, have mercy on me now and at thehour of my death, and save me.Almighty, everlasting God, grant us an increase of faith,hope, and charity; and that we may merit to attain what Thoudost promise, grant us to love what Thou dost ordain.Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, myunderstanding, and all my will, whatsoever I have andpossess. Thou hast given all these things to me; to Thee, OLord, I restore them; all are Thine, dispose of them all ac-cording to Thy Will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, forthis is enough for me.