The last few months have seen an incredible and unexpected new level of output related to the life and spirit of Fr Doyle. Firstly, Worshipper and Worshipped, a major new biography, was published in November 2013. Then in January 2014 the Catholic Truth Society published an excellent ans accessible new biography of Fr Doyle. And now, a new 150 page, lavishly designed, full colour book about Fr Doyle has been published in French!
The full text of the book can be found here: Amis de Saint Benoit Labre Even if you can’t speak French it is worth looking at it!
The book is published by the Amis de St Benoit Labre, and commemorates Fr Doyle’s devotion to this wonderful saint. It is presented on this site today to commemorate Benedict Labre’s feast day.
The author of the book is Didier Noel; here is a short article from him on the Amis de St Benoit Labre, with a discussion on his motivation for producing the book. Enjoy.
Today is Saint Benedict-Joseph Day; this year April 16th is on a holy Wednesday, and he died in Rome on a Wednesday too, on April 16th, 1783.
The day when he died, the children suddenly ran in the streets of Rome and said loud: “The holy man is dead! The holy man is dead!” His miraculous healings and conversions were soon recognized. For example, the conversion to Catholicism of a Presbyterian minister called John Thayer. The Roman Catholic Church has recognized the holiness of Saint Benedict-Joseph Labre’s life and canonized him on December 8th, 1881. During his lifetime, a lot of baptized people were inspired by him.
He’s the patron Saint of spiritual groups and he inspires them within their apostolic actions. He was chosen as a patron Saint by a lot of parishes, places of worship as well as many charities. His name was finally given to streets or places to remember of many places where he went and to refer to prominent events in his life.
April 16th is a great opportunity for Christians to meet together at his birthplace; among these Christians you can find the “Friends of Saint Benedict Labre”. We are a spiritual family founded on mutual friendship and prayers for each other, which makes our unity stronger. In addition to that day, there is a big novena in Amettes, where he was born, once in a year beginning on the last Sunday in August until the next Sunday in September.
And actually I have been writing for years many published works on the web for the two associations of Amettes in France and Amos in Canada during my holiday after having travelled and visited a lot of places where Saint Benedict-Joseph Labre has been. The main purpose of this published work on the web called “Byways” consists in collecting all traces of Saint Benedict Labre’s European travels. As part of this whole work, I’ve written the first number of a new edition called “Light on the way” in order to give importance to the spiritual influence of the holy pilgrim’s life among Christians and many priests who have chosen him as a patron Saint in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
Fr William Doyle received a grace in the bedroom of the holy Pilgrim in Amettes. Fr Doyle had a real human soul in which we can feel the deep unity of a holy icon: body and soul were deeply connected … the human part and the divine part together… Remembering his story and reviving his memory in the heart of “Saint Benedict Labre’s Friends” was very meaningful to me. As a military chaplain, Fr Doyle set his heart on serving God among men.
Suffering is a kind of test, a kind of a way to sanctification. Fr Doyle’s personality puts us in the mind of the holy pilgrim of Amettes for whom he had a great and glorious devotion.
While you’re reading my published work about Father Doyle, you’ll get to know that his visit in Saint Benedict Labre’s birthplace (1916 – 1917) has changed his life. Saint Benedict Labre has become a pillar of Fr Doyle’s ministry during which he was confronted every day with evil and real suffering in the war.
A long time ago I visited Amettes and in a spiritual way, I have “met” Benedict-Joseph, God’s holy beggar. In his small house I’ve learnt how to manage my life, I’ve learnt the meaning of life.
Like Father William Doyle, I was deeply impressed by the feeling of Benedict Labre’s real presence … even until now.
Introducing him to all of you is my life purpose, a kind of quest; this is my tribute too for all friends of Father William Doyle so that I can make him “shine” more and more. It’s for me another way of building tomorrow’s Church. This is Benedict-Joseph Labre’s message too on the way to a new evangelization.
If you want to join “Saint Benedict Labre Friends”, you just have to:
- Know Saint Benedict Labre’s life by reading one the several published biographies.
(Have a look at his biography on the following website: http://www.amis-benoit-labre.net)
Afterwards please ask yourself how far Saint Benedict Labre’s life inspires your Christian life?
If you want to be registered in the Friends’ list, please send an email to Father Raymond Martel at this following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Don’t forget to write your first and last names as well as the country where you’re living in.
Your name will be then published on the “Saint Benedict Labre’s Friends” website.
Of course, your email-address won’t be published for reasons of confidentiality.