St. John of St. Fagondez Lives of saints (Catholic)
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;'                but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.                If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.                'It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'                but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.                'Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,'                but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;                nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.                Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black.                But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.                'You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'*                But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.                If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.                Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.                Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.                'You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor,* and hate your enemy.*'                But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,                that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.               
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St. John of St. Fagondez

June 12

ST. JOHN was born at St. Fagondez, in Spain. At an early age he held several benefices in the diocese of Burgos, till the reproaches of his conscience forced him to resign them all except one chapel, where he said Mass daily, preached, and catechised. After this he studied theology at Salamanca, and then labored for some time as a most devoted missionary priest. Ultimately he became a hermit of the Augustinian Order, in the same city. There his life was marked by a singular devotion to the Holy Mass. Each night after Matins he remained in prayer till the hour of celebration, when he offered the Adorable Sacrifice with the most tender piety, often enjoying the sight of Jesus in glory, and holding sweet colloquies with Him. The power of his personal holiness was seen in his preaching, which produced a complete reformation in Salamanca. He had a special gift of reconciling differences, and was enabled to put an end to the quarrels and feuds among noblemen, at that period very common and fatal. The boldness shown by St. John in reproving vice endangered his life. A powerful noble, having been corrected by the Saint for oppressing his vassals, sent two assassins to slay him. The holiness of the Saint's aspect, however, caused by that peace which continually reigned in his soul, struck such awe into their minds that they could not execute their purpose, but humbly besought his forgiveness. And the nobleman himself, falling sick, was brought to repentance, and recovered his health by the prayers of the Saint whom he had endeavored to murder. He was also most zealous in denouncing those hideous vices which are a fruitful source of strife, and it was in defence of holy purity that he met his death. A lady of noble birth but evil life, whose companion in sin St. John had converted, contrived to administer a fatal poison to the Saint. After several months of terrible suffering, borne with unvarying patience, St. John went to his reward on June 11, 1479.

Reflection.—All men desire peace, but those alone enjoy it who, like St. John, are completely dead to themselves, and love to bear all things for Christ.


The above text was published in March 2017.

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