St. Henry De Osso y Cervello, Priest
OCD: optional memorial
from the Common of Pastors
Henry was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on the 16th October 1840 and
was ordained priest on 21st September 1867. He was an apostle to young
people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for
the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director he was fascinated by
St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of
the Church who is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa
of Avila. In the light of her teaching, he founded the Company of St.
Teresa (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and
following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the
apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and
sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on the 27th January, 1896.
He was canonized on 16th July, 1993, in Madrid, by Pope John Paul II.
Office of Readings
From the writings of Saint Henry de Osso, priest (A Month in the Heart of
Jesus, Prologue, EEO III, Rome, 1977, pp. 456-458)
“Identification with Jesus Christ”
This is our main endeavor: to think, to feel, to love as Christ Jesus, to
act and to speak as He-in a word, to conform our whole life to Christ’s. No
one can be saved unless they are formed in the image of Christ. To conform
our life to Christ’s, we need, above all, to study His life, know it, and
meditate upon it, not only in its outward appearance, but by immersing
ourselves in the thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams of Jesus Christ so as
to do everything in union with Him. In His goodness, Jesus Himself invites
us, both in word and hi action, to do this. For example, if we do not know
the sentiments of His heart so as to put them into practice, how can we
learn from His gentleness and humility? Or how can we come into His presence
each time we act in order to imitate Him? Christ lived, ate, slept, spoke,
kept silent, walked, worked, sweat, got tired, rested, was hungry, thirsty
and poor; in a word, He suffered and died for us and for our salvation.
Why is it, then, that we cannot make or imagine Jesus as real and down to
earth, but only in theory and as the ideal, which is the reason we do not
love and imitate Hun in everything, as we must? Jesus is our brother, flesh
of our flesh, blood of our blood, bone of our bones. This is who our Jesus
is, true God and true Man, alive, personal, and intimate. He let Himself be
seen; He lived and spoke with us. For our salvation, being the eternal Word
of God, He descended from heaven, became flesh, suffered, died, rose,
ascended into heaven, and remained among us until the end of time to be our
companion, our consolation, and our food in the Blessed Sacrament.
Eternal life, then, our only happiness in time and eternity, consists in
knowing Jesus more intimately. How happy will be the person who learns this
lesson and lives it daily. What an inspiring thought! I will live, sleep,
speak, listen, work, suffer-I will do everything, I will suffer everything
in union with Jesus, with the same divine intention and sentiments that
Jesus had and with which He suffered, which is what Jesus wants of me.
Whoever does this-and all of us are called to do it-will lives in this life
the life of the world to come and will be transformed into Jesus, able to
say with St. Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”
you wonderfully joined in your Priest,
Saint Henry de Osso,
a life of continual prayer
and untiring apostolic activity.
By the help of his prayers
may we persevere in the love of Christ
and serve your Church
by word and deed.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.