Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. José María de Yermo y Parres, who was canonized by Saint John Paul II on May 21, 2000. Born into a wealthy family in Mexico, this humble saint pursued the priesthood at a young age, and he devoted his life to caring for the poor.
In 1885, St. José María founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor. He and his congregation extended the mercy of Christ’s Sacred Heart to the poor and the sick. He also started the Christian Mercy program in order to help women escape lives of prostitution.
In his homily for the canonization of St. José María, St. John Paul II said that the new saint:
…lived his priestly commitment to Christ by following him with all his might, distinguishing himself at the same time by an essentially prayerful and contemplative attitude. In the Heart of Christ he found guidance for his spirituality and, in reflecting on his infinite love for men, he desired to imitate him by making charity the rule of his life.
St. José María de Yermo y Parres, please pray for us, that we might also imitate Christ by making charity the rule of our lives.