Saint for the Day - February 16 - St. Onesimus
Don Pedro II. of
Portugal, when a child, had among his little pages a
modest boy of rich and princely parents. Much had
John de Britto—for so was he called—to bear from his
careless-living companions, to whom his holy life
was a reproach.
A terrible illness made him turn for aid to St.
Francis Xavier, a Saint so well loved by the
Portuguese; and when, in answer to his prayers, he
recovered, his mother vested him for a year in the
dress worn in those days by the Jesuit Fathers. From
that time John's heart burned to follow the example
of the Apostle of the Indies. He gained his wish. On
December 17, 1662, he entered the novitiate of the
Society at Lisbon; and eleven years later, in spite
of the most determined opposition of his family and
of the court, he left all to go to convert the
Hindus of Madura.
When Blessed John's mother knew that her son was
going to the Indies, she used all her influence to
prevent him leaving his own country, and persuaded
the Papal Nuncio to interfere. "God, Who called me
from the world into religious life, now calls me
from Portugal to India," was the reply of the future
martyr. "Not to answer the vocation as I ought,
would be to provoke the justice of God. As long as I
live, I shall never cease striving to gain a passage
For fourteen years he toiled, preaching, converting,
baptizing multitudes, at the cost of privations,
hardships, and persecutions. At last, after being
seized, tortured, and nearly massacred by the
heathens, he was banished from the country. Forced
to return to Portugal, John once more broke through
every obstacle, and went back again to his labor of
love. Like St. John the Baptist, he died a victim to
the anger of a guilty woman, whom a convert king had
put aside, and, like the Precursor, he was beheaded
after a painful imprisonment.
Saint for the Day - St. Onesimus
Read about the Saint for today - February 16 and spare a thought for family or friends who might suffering from ill health or are experiencing times of trouble.
"It is a great honor, a great
glory to serve; God, and to
contemn all things for God. They
will have a great grace who
freely subject themselves to
God's most holy will."—The
Imitation of Christ.
Saint for the Day Website
We hope that you gain spiritual knowledge and inspiration reading about the saint for today - February 16. An online Catholic resource providing a short Reflection for the year ahead. Use these short, inspiring words to request guidance or assistance for yourself and for the sake of others.