Saint of the Day Quote: Saint Zdislava Berka

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The life of St. Zdislava, who was born in Moravia and lived in northern Bohemia in the thirteenth century, is marked by an extraordinary capacity for self-giving. This is shown particularly by her family life, in which as the wife of Count Havel of Lemberk she was–to use the words of my venerable predecessor Paul VI–“an example of marital fidelity, a support of domestic spirituality and moral integrity”. It is also confirmed by her generous efforts in charitable and relief work, especially at the bedside of the sick, for whom she showed such care and concern that even today she is remembered as the “healer”.

St. Zdislava, by intensely living the spirituality of a Dominican tertiary, was able to make a gift of herself, in the words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). This is the secret of the great attraction which her figure always exercised during her life, as well as after her death and still today. Her example seems remarkably timely, particularly with regard to the value of the family, which–she teaches us–must be open to God, to the gift of life and to the needs of the poor. Our saint is a marvellous witness to the “Gospel of the family” and to the “Gospel of Life”, which the Church is more than ever committed to spreading during this transition from the second to the third Christian millennium.

Saint Pope John Paul II

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