May 05th - Angelus
Most often we hear of the movement of monastic missionaries from Europe out into the world at large - it is not often that we hear of them coming to Europe to save the Church.
Angelus and his twin brother were baptized when their mother converted and then were ordained and became one of the first Carmelites to leave the Middle East to preach the Faith in Europe. He even preached in Rome where he met Francis and predicted his stigmata; to return the favor Francis praised him for his upcoming martyrdom.
Angelus initially retreated into a solitary life of a hermit but emerged to travel to Italy and then began preaching to convert and call back those who had fallen away. He was martyred at the behest of a man he was trying to convert.
Just shows that we should never be too proud to listen to those, especially outsiders, who call us to true repentance away from our sins and true conversion away from false belief.
Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. But then certain people came forward to debate with Stephen, some from Cyrene and Alexandria who were members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, and others from Cilicia and Asia. They found they could not get the better of him because of his wisdom, and because it was the Spirit that prompted what he said. So they procured some men to say, ‘We heard him using blasphemous language against Moses and against God.’ Having in this way turned the people against him as well as the elders and scribes, they took Stephen by surprise, and arrested him and brought him before the Sanhedrin. There they put up false witnesses to say, ‘This man is always making speeches against this Holy Place and the Law. We have heard him say that Jesus the Nazarene is going to destroy this Place and alter the traditions that Moses handed down to us.’ The members of the Sanhedrin all looked intently at Stephen, and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.
...When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.
-- Acts 6:8-15, 7:54-60
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