St. John Berchmans
Feastday: November 26
Patron of Altar Servers
Born at Diest in Brabant, 13 March, 1599; died at Rome, 13 August, 1621. His parents watched with the greatest solicitude over the formation of his character. He was naturally kind, gentle, and affectionate towards them, a favourite with his playmates, brave and open, attractive in manner, and with a bright, joyful disposition. Yet he was also, by natural disposition, impetuous and fickle. Still, when John was but seven years of age, M. Emmerick, his parish priest, already remarked with pleasure that the Lord would work wonders in the soul of the child. Many are the details that reveal him to us as he was in the Society of Jesus. He was but nine years of old when his mother was stricken with a long and serious illness. John would pass several hours each day by her bedside, and console her with his affectionate though serious, words. Later, when he lived with some other boys at M. Emmerick’s house, he would undertake more than his share of the domestic work, selecting by preference the more difficult occupations. If he was loved by his comrades, he repaid their affection by his kindness, without, however, deviating from the dictates of his conscience. It was noticed even that he availed himself discreetly of his influence over them to correct their negligences and to restrain their frivolous conversation. Eager to learn, and naturally endowed with a bright intellect and a retentive memory, he enhanced the effect of these gifts by devoting to study whatever time he could legitimately take from his ordinary recreation.
What, however, distinguished him most from his companions was his piety. When he was hardly seven years old, he was accustomed to rise early and serve two or three Masses with the greatest fervour. He attended religious instructions and listened to Sunday ser[mons]
Source: St. John Berchmans – New Advent
Image Catholic Online. 2016. St. John Berchmans – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=454. [Accessed 26 November 2016].
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. John Berchmans. 2016. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. John Berchmans. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08450a.htm. [Accessed 26 November 2016]