Each week, we like to introduce you to a friend in the Communion of Saints, who is a model for us on our spiritual journey, as well as a friend who can pray for us.
Our Saint of the Week this week is a very special friend for Pilgrim Center of Hope, St. Henry de Osso. Our building at Pilgrim Center of Hope was formerly a convent of the Teresian Sisters, and St. Henry de Osso was the founder of their community. In fact, as you drive onto the property, you see a life-size bronze sculpture of St. Henry! After we share a bit with you about his life, we have a special invitation for you to venerate his relic this week.
He was born in Spain in 1840, and had a love for God and others at an early age. As a boy, he would pause while playing with friends, to accompany the parish priest as he brought Holy Communion to the sick.
He himself became a priest, and was deeply inspired by the life and spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila. He began founding different groups for every ages, all based on her spirituality—friendship with Jesus in prayer that leads to action. An example is “The Friends of Jesus Club” for children, to teach them to love Jesus, to talk to Him every day, and to do whatever He asks.
Father Henry wrote numerous publications, many of which were directed to women, because he believed in the power of impacting women to transform communities and their love for God and one another. In January 1896, he wrote the following words in St. Teresa’s Magazine:
“My Jesus and my all. Let me love you or die, rather, to live and die loving you above everything else. Do not let me leave this world without having loved you and made you known and loved as much as I can. Give glory, honor and riches to others, but give me, your servant, only your love and that will be enough. My Jesus and my all. Praised be Jesus my love.”
He died January 27, 1896. Upon hearing of his death, a friend, Father Francisco Marsal wrote, “The servant of God, Henry de Ossó, was the most faithful model of Jesus Christ that I have ever seen. His speech, conduct and actions always made me think: That is how Christ acted.”
We at Pilgrim Center of Hope especially love St. Henry de Osso because of his many connections to our story. Not only did our building used to belong to his religious order, the Teresian Sisters, but he was also canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II on June 16, 1993; just six days before Pilgrim Center of Hope was officially consecrated.
It’s especially fitting, then, that we invite you to Pilgrim Center of Hope this week, to venerate a relic of St. Henry de Osso, during our very first Day of Hope & Evening of Hope. These are events we’re beginning in 2018, to be monthly opportunities for you to be renewed in hope! The schedule is flexible, so come and go whenever you can. Join us this Thursday, January 11th for our Day of Hope from 9am to 2pm. You’re welcome to bring a brown bag lunch if you’d like. That evening at 6pm, we’ll offer a light dinner and have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Then at 7pm, we’ll begin the Evening of Hope, to conclude at 8:30pm. Again, come learn about St. Henry de Osso and venerate his relic, encounter Jesus, pray, we’ll have spiritual presentations and time for your questions & answers.