Saint Benedict Joseph Labre: A ‘gem’ of a Saint who radically strove for Heaven.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre, a ‘gem’ of a Saint.

He was born 26 March 1748.

He is very ‘a propos’ in 2024 as a ‘Saint of the homeless. Homelessness is on the rise worldwide during these very evil times. St. Benedict Joseph Labre himself was ‘homeless’ for the most part of his life. But, he used every moment of his life with a mission, as we shall see.

As I read about his life, the words of my precious mother came back: “I pray and hope that my four boys will ‘strive’ for Heaven.” (Leona Bruneau, RIP)

St. Benedict Joseph Labre strove for Heaven with a ‘tsunamic determination’. He also had a ‘laser focus’ on his goal to become Holy, to radically love God and his neighbor.

The author of this book, “Rev. Giuseppe Loreto Marconi”, who knew St. Benedict Labre very well as his Confessor explains this:

“Being a desendant of Adam, he soon perceived that there was in man a law in the…flesh…waging war against the law of his…mind..

And being always obedient to the motions of Divine Grace, every…assault…of his passions convinced him that the Christian in this world is in a…continual WARFARE: and that the soldier of Jesus Christ must never lay down his arms, till the moment in which he is to receive his…Crown.

From hence proceeded the courageous resolution, which he formed in his infancy, and which he firmly adhered to, of restraining the first motions of his natural passions and inclinations and of always corresponding with the grace of God, that in all things he might be guided entirely by the lights and motions of…His Divine Spirit.” (Pg 4)

St. Benedict Joseph Labre knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish in this so brief earthly journey. He wanted a ‘heart’ conformable to that of his…crucified Savior.

“And to form in himself…a heart…which might be comformable to that of his crucified Savior, he resolved to make it his indispensable practise to chastise his body and bring it into subjection, by a privation of all sensual satisfactions, by the exercise of continual self-denials and mortifications and by treating it with a great deal of contempt; that thereby he might prevent any rebellion of the…flesh…against the law of the …Spirit.” (Pg 7)

His iron clad resolution to be …Holy…has greatly inspired me.

Until a month ago, in January, 2024 , I never knew about him. It was while I was researching and reading about ‘Fr. Michel Rodrigue’ that I discovered the name of St. Benedict Joseph Labre.

He was the one chosen by God to wake up and speak to Fr. Michel Rodrigue, in the early morning hours, about founding the ‘Fraternity of Benedict Joseph Labre’, in Amos, Quebec, only 3 hours drive from my place. (See frmichelrodrigue.com )

God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre was a ‘prayer warrior’, who spent numerous hours daily, motionless, in his homeless rags before the Tabernacle, in the Catholic churches in Rome, adoring and communicating with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

“St. Benedict Joseph Labre desired so much to enter the Monastic State. His many attempts failed.”

The author explains St. Benedict Joseph Labre’s decision at age 22 to live a Monastic life ‘in the world’, as a homeless pilgrim:

“He was now persuaded in his own mind that if it was not the will of God that he should enterinto a Monastic State, at least it was His divine will that he should, even remaining in the world, practice that renunciation of the world, that interior solitude and recollection, that self-denial, that life of prayer, that poverty, the penitential austerities, and every other virtue which is practiced by those who are engaged in a Monastic State.” (Pg 52)

St. Benedict Joseph Labre died on Wednesday of Holy Week of the year 1783 at the young age of 35.

When he died the little children filled the street with these words:

“The Saint is dead, the Saint is dead.” (P 50)

Shortly after his death there was witness of many miracles.

The author states:

“Wherefore dear Reader, I will conclude with what St.Bernard says of S. Malachias:

“You have in him something to…wonder at…, and something to imitate.”

As for myself, I repeat: “This gem of a Saint ‘strove for Heaven’ with a tsunamic determination”.

Joseph Donald Andre Bruneau, B.Th., M.P.Th.

March 2, 2024.

About Donald

Donald Andre Bruneau is a Metis, Canadian, Traditional Catholic, evangelist, writer, poet, Married 51+ years, pro-LIFE, exposer of Evil, proclaimer of Truth.

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