Wednesday 17th January 2018

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

February 14, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

(Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.)

+ + +

Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli loved our Lord and worked tirelessly to draw others to find the peace and joy they found in His presence.
On the very day that Caterina Comensoli was born — January 18, 1847 — her parents, Carlo and Maria Milasi Comensoli, took this fifth child to the nearby church to have her baptized. Her parents would have five more children.
Caterina, playful, determined, and devout, demonstrated at an early age what God was calling her to do for His Kingdom. By the age of seven, she yearned so deeply to receive our Lord in Holy Communion that she decided to do something about it. One morning she rose early, grabbed her mother’s black shawl and quietly left the house. Quickly she walked to St. Mary’s Catholic Church and attended Mass. When it came time for Holy Communion, she approached the Communion rail and received her First Holy Communion.
Profoundly affected by the experience, she told of her feelings when questioned about her action. She described the “heavenly joy” of being united with Jesus and vowed her eternal love for Him. Caterina’s demeanor changed dramatically after this event as she became more prayerful and focused her attention Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament even more.
At this tender age, God called her to love Jesus in the Real Presence. Her true desire was to carry the Eucharist to the highest hill for all the world to see — to adore, to love, to know that Jesus is near to us and loves us.
She also recognized that Jesus spent many hours alone in the tabernacle as on Holy Thursday night when the apostles could not stay awake. To address this situation, Caterina organized the Guard of Honor with the motto, “Jesus, loving you and making others love you.” In fact, those words described her life’s mission.
At the age of only 15, Caterina left her parents to join the Sisters of Charity in Brescia. Her piety, cheerfulness, and zeal led people to believe that she would do well in the convent. However, as has happened with so many saints, Caterina became ill and had to return home.
She eventually recovered, but soon had to leave home again since her parents needed help in supporting their family. Not forgetting the role of divine Providence, Caterina accepted the need for her to become a domestic servant for two persons who would play important roles in her vocation.
Fr. G.B. Rota, the pastor of Chiari, became her first employer and then she worked for the Countess Fé-Vitali. Both of them recognized the uncommon holiness and zeal of Caterina and supported her desire to promote the Real Presence as she became more and more devoted to Jesus in the tabernacle each year.
On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1876, Caterina wrote down her rules for living and followed them faithfully for the rest of her life. Two years later, with her confessor’s permission, Caterina made a formal vow of chastity. This reaffirmed the vow she made when she received her First Holy Communion.
She continued fulfilling her responsibilities as a domestic servant and in her spare time she volunteered to catechize the children of San Gervasio, Bergamo, while the Eucharist remained her primary love in life. Edified by prayer, works of mercy, and penances, Caterina sought to be perfectly and cheerfully obedient to the will of God.
This she did in accepting the death of her parents. Although deeply grieved by their deaths, she also realized that she would be able to focus her energies more completely on spreading devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
When the bishop of Bergamo visited the Fé-Vitali home where Caterina was working, he gave her permission to establish an institute devoted to eucharistic adoration. When she went to Rome with the Fé- Vitalis in 1880, she met Pope Leo XIII.
Caterina quickly explained her desire to begin an institute for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He agreed to her proposal, but asked her to also include the improving the plight of young female factory workers by educating them.
Having obtained the Pope’s approval, Caterina returned to Bergamo and under the direction of the bishop and with the assistance of Fr. F. Spinelli, she and two of her friends established the Congregation of the Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo on December 15, 1882.
Two years later the new order held its first community Hour of Eucharistic Adoration on December 15, 1884 at which time Caterina took the name Geltrude. The young women were soon tested when they had to leave their first home and the protective sponsorship of the bishop of Bergamo because of financial difficulties. With confidence in God’s love, the nuns transferred to Lodi where Msgr. Rota joyfully welcomed them, providing them a home in Lavagna di Comazzo.
With patient perseverance Geltrude overcame a number of challenges and after seven more years, Fr. Rota, now bishop of Lodi, gave canonical recognition to the institute on September 8, 1891.
More women joined the new congregation which Mother Geltrude managed so well. Her life of prayer before Jesus nourished her life of virtue as she accepted persecutions, served the poor, and practiced mortifications. Above all she sought to obey and practice humility perfectly for love of Jesus Christ. She loved Jesus in adoration, but she also loved Him in the poor and needy.
By the turn of the century, the sisters thankfully announced that they could ensure that our Lord would be continuously adored in the Blessed Sacrament both in public and in private. Her mission accomplished, Mother Geltrude began to fade.
On February 18, 1903, at noon, Mother Geltrude bowed her head toward the chapel where our Lord was being adored. She then breathed her last and entered eternity. Her remains lie in a special chapel in the house of the institute that she established in Bergamo; the house is attached to the church where adoration is held.
Her cause for canonization opened on February 18, 1928. She was declared venerable in April 26, 1961 by Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II beatified her on October 1, 1989. Pope Benedict XVI canonized her on April 26, 2009 and her feast is celebrated on February 18.
Dear St. Geltrude, you now behold the Beatific Vision in the glorious presence of God. Help us to recognize that we, too, can be in the divine Presence of Jesus if we but make the time. Pray for us that we may learn the joy and peace that only God can give in the Real Presence — may we not neglect such a treasure. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vikings quarterback lists winning pass as 3rd best life-moment, behind finding Jesus

January 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum said throwing the game-winning pass in the last few seconds of Sunday’s championship game against the New Orleans Saints was only the third best moment in his life. Keenum’s first best…Continue Reading

On the purpose of politics and the salvation of souls

“Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to…Continue Reading

Don’t let fear keep you from welcoming the stranger, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2018 / 04:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can’t let…Continue Reading

Notre Dame could face legal investigation for flip-flopping on contraception coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, January 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of over sixty Notre Dame alumni attorneys has written an open letter to the university’s president, Father William Jenkins, CSC, to protest the university’s decision to continue the dissemination of…Continue Reading

Poland: Marches of the Three Kings Draw 1.2 Million

Under the motto “God is for everyone”, 1.2 million Poles in more than 660 cities and towns in Poland and abroad joined in the March of the Three Kings. This year’s event was accompanied by fundraising “Kings for the East”,…Continue Reading

Bishops’ letter on sexual identity prompts LGBT counter-lobbying

Washington D.C., Jan 5, 2018 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Several Catholic bishops’ call for clarity and compassion on sexual identity issues such as transgenderism drew the ire of a dissenting Catholic group which is part of a well-funded LGBT…Continue Reading

Rural Minnesota Catholic parish dismisses musicians over gay marriages

For weeks now, a Catholic parish in the rural St. Croix River Valley north of the Twin Cities has been praying through turmoil, brought by a trio of startling dismissals. On one hand, even many of the most distressed don’t…Continue Reading

Trump replaces Obama-appointed gay ambassador with family man: report

MADRID, January 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump Administration recently installed a new Ambassador to Spain. The former Obama appointee who was a pro-LGBT openly gay man ‘married’ to a man was replaced with a family man who has a…Continue Reading

Former bishop of Charlotte’s Catholic diocese dies at 90

Bishop William Curlin, who presided over the rapidly growing Catholic Diocese of Charlotte from 1994 to 2002, died Saturday at Carolinas Medical Center. He was 90. The cause of death was cancer, which he had battled for years. Curlin was…Continue Reading

Pope takes 27 candidates a step closer to sainthood‎

Pope Francis has authorized 12 decrees on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of 22 men and 5 ‎women. ‎ by Robin Gomes Pope Francis on Monday took 27 men and women a step closer to sainthood.  The Pope received Card. Angelo Amato,…Continue Reading

Catholic League: Boston Globe Refuses to Name Its Own Abusers

The Boston Globe, which has turned stories about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests into a cottage industry, refuses to publish the names of its own staff members who have been charged with sexual harassment, according to Bill Donohue, president…Continue Reading

Facebook Nixes Photo of Vatican Nativity Scene as ‘Sexually Provocative’

In one of the least likely stories of all time, Facebook has vetoed a photo of the Vatican’s yearly Nativity scene, referencing its policy against “sexually suggestive or provocative” images. The manger scene integrates into the typical depiction of the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Dutch abortion activist: Pope Francis honoring me is a ‘confirmation’ of my abortion work

January 15, 2018 (Lepanto Institute) – On January 12, OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute reported that Liliane Ploumen, a Dutch politician and international abortion activist, was received into the Order of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 2017 — a pontifical honor given for “meritorious service to the Church.” Multiple diplomatic sources around the Vatican have now confirmed to OnePeterFive and the Lepanto Institute that the award was given to Ploumen last year when she took part in…Continue Reading

U.S. Congressman: Pro-life ‘turf battle’ preventing vote on bill to ban nearly all abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life groups and members of Congress are divided over whether on the day of the March for Life, the U.S. House should vote on a bill that would ban nearly all abortions, or instead a bill to ban infanticide after botched abortions. The Heartbeat Protection Act would make it illegal to abort babies whose heartbeats can be detected. “It’s the most protective incremental bill in existence,” said one…Continue Reading

Professor rebukes new Academy for Life member’s ‘disastrous’ approval of contraception

ROME, January 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A prominent Austrian Catholic philosopher has issued a forceful rebuttal to the call of a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life to allow contraception in some circumstances. Professor Josef Seifert, co-founder of the International Academy of Philosophy (IAP) and a former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has said the positions of Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, delivered on Dec. 14, 2017 during a public lecture at the…Continue Reading

Catholic groups decry end of immigration protection for Salvadorans

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As the Catholic Church in the U.S. began observing National Migration Week, a time to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, immigrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims, the administration of President Donald Trump announced that it would end an immigration program for thousands of Salvadorans, one of the largest groups of modern-day immigrants in the country and one that includes many Catholic

New Academy for Life member uses Amoris to say some circumstances ‘require’ contraception

ROME, January 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Responsible parenthood can obligate a married couple to use artificial birth control, a recently appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life has argued, basing his theory on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Italian moral theologian Father Maurizio Chiodi said at a December 14 public lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome that there are “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Restoring The Sacred Humility In The Sacred Liturgy

By JAMES MONTI One of the most serious and endemic problems in how the sacred liturgy is celebrated in many parishes in our own age is a conspicuous lack of humility. Certain contemporary hymns seem calculated to drum into the congregation how supposedly holy, gifted, lovable, and prophetic they are, with scarcely a word about…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Sexual Harassment “Crisis” — Time For Some Clear Thinking

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Revisiting “The Four Loves”: The Four Rights

By DONALD DeMARCO C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, which was published in 1960, is a classic. The author succeeded with his accustomed wit and wisdom in showing how four kinds of love — affection, friendship, amorous love, and charity — are both distinctive as well as interrelated. He penned this work just three years before…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… The Close Of The Fatima Centenary

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth and final article in a series on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. The staff and readers of The Wanderer wish to thank Fr. Connolly for his scholarly and inspiring…Continue Reading

Court Strikes Baltimore Forced Abortion Speech Law

BALTIMORE — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 5 struck down a Baltimore City Ordinance seeking to impose notification requirements on unlicensed pregnancy centers. The ordinance compelled these pregnancy resource centers to post notices that conspicuously state in English and Spanish that they do not provide nor refer women for abortions or birth…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

“Ad Orientem” Dei Gloriam

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have all heard the saying that “he who hesitates is lost.” We don’t hear enough about the fact that dithering in the face of opportunity can also mean the loss of an immortal soul. How many priests hesitate every day to courageously proclaim the truth or to offer the traditions of the Church in…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… Confirmation: A Spiritual Coming Of Age

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 11 In previous lessons, we have learned that out of the seven sacraments instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, three of them can be received only once in life, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. This is so because they imprint a “character,” that is, a spiritual, indelible mark that lasts forever, and, therefore,…Continue Reading

Requirements For Matrimony

By DON FIER The celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony between two baptized Catholics, as we saw last week, normally takes place during the Eucharist. “Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a…Continue Reading

Follow The Lord And Repent

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: John 3:1-5, 10 1 Cor. 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 In the beginning of our Lord’s public ministry, the first message He spoke, as St. Mark recorded it, was that it is a time of fulfillment and that the Kingdom of God is at hand; therefore, it is necessary to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In the Mass readings leading up to Christmas, we have the Angel Gabriel appearing first to Zechariah and then to Mary. Both seemed to have the same doubts about the angel’s words, but Zechariah was struck mute and Mary was not. Why were they treated differently? — E.M., via e-mail. A. Zechariah was punished because he doubted (“How shall…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has been blessed with a plethora of doctrinal resources, thanks in large part to Pope St. John Paul II. The Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the many encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books, and letters continue to provide the Church with a solid foundation for learning and applying the truths of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord has no limits and conditions for persons whom He calls to sainthood. They may be the richest, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or the poorest such, as the children of Fatima. They may be powerful, such as St. Louis, king of France, or humble, such as our Lady. They may be the most brilliant,…Continue Reading