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Article: June 12 + Saint John of Sahagun

June 12 + Saint John of Sahagun - VENXARA®

June 12 + Saint John of Sahagun

John was born in 1419 in Sahagun, a small town in northern Spain. He was a brilliant and attractive young boy, educated in the household of a bishop. He became one of the Hermits of Saint Augustine. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was so great that he spent every night, from the hour of Matins at midnight, to the hour of Mass in the morning, in adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist.

During Mass, John often saw the Host surrounded by light and sometimes had visions of the bodily form of Christ at the moment of consecration. His devotion, and his visions, often led to some very lengthy Masses. He was reported to levitate during his prayers. John could read hearts in confession, and became a sought-after spiritual director. He was a great preacher whose sermons helped change social conditions in Salamanca.

John fearlessly preached the word of God and spoke harshly against the crimes and vices of the day, despite the fact that this greatly offended many who were rich and powerful. He soon made many enemies who went so far as to hire assassins to kill him, but the would-be murderers lost courage when they recognized John’s holiness, and would not touch him, confessed to him, and asked forgiveness. Some women of Salamanca, outraged by his strong denunciation of extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards.

Miracles were attributed to John’s intervention, before and after his death. One occurred in Salamanca when a small child fell into a well. The locals made every effort but could not orchestra a rescue. They sent for John who went to the scene, laid his waistband on the stone wall of the well, and prayed that the waters return the child. The well water rose to ground level, floating the child to safety.

Like St. John the Baptist, John’s fearless speech against sin and corruption may have brought about his own death: He died at the age of 60, reportedly poisoned by the mistress of a man he had convinced to leave. John was willing to stand up for what he knew to be true and moral, even when doing so would risk his life. He knew that he could die for his actions, but the depth of his passion prevented him from shirking his moral responsibility to speak out. Let us strive to be courageous as he was, for as Our Lord tells us, “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (St. Matthew 5:10)

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