Last week I was in San Antonio, watching our Saint Mary’s Seminarians playing against the seminarians of Assumption Seminary in a sports tournament. I was driving home from the tournament with my friend, Molly. It’s not a long drive but we decided to break it up by stopping at an antique store in Seguin Texas just off Highway 10.
We walked in and were immediately drawn to the few Virgin Mary’s that were there. BUT……next to Mary, (and there were a few distracting Mary’s let me tell you), was a larger statue that seemed familiar to me. Looking at it more closely, it was Blessed Isidore. Blessed Isidore the Passionist Blessed!!! WHAAAAAT! The whole thing, he had a Passionist symbol on his chest, the belt, everything. I was so excited, all the years of training that my mother gave me in the antique stores of my youth, lost in the thrill of the find. There was no getting a ‘good deal’ on this statue. We all knew no matter the price Isidore was coming home with me!
Blessed Isidore was born on April 15, 1881 in Belgium. He professed religious vows as a Passionist Brother on September 13, 1903. Blessed Isidore was a humble and generous, always serving others and leading a life of intense prayer and penance. He sought to do God’s will to which he totally abandoned himself. He structured his day with this in mind and in it he found peace and serenity. Isidore was known by all as the “good brother … the brother of the will of God.”
In 1911, his right eye was removed due to an incurable disease. The illness, as expected, degenerated into cancer. Throughout the incredible pain and suffering, Isidore did not lose his peace and wrote: “If God has so willed this I will bear it without moaning and groaning. All that God wants! We must do the will of God in all things. Alone I could not endure this suffering, but with the Lord is possible.” He died at the age of thirty-five. Pope John Paul II declared him “Blessed” on September 30, 1984.
I am reminded of God’s abundant surprises and the lessons that often come like the Joy at the ‘find.’ Blessed Isidore for me was a Passionist Blessed that I knew about but had no personal relationship with. Now I do. Hopefully some of you will too. Click HERE for more information about Blessed Isidore of St. Joseph.