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THE BROTHER WHO DID ORDINARY THINGS EXTRAORDINARILY WELL

Father Francis's picture
Blessed Nicholas of Gesturi

A holy life, making his daily tasks an offering to God, resulted in a recent beatification.

A year after he was born in Sardinia in 1882, the sixth of seven children, the father of Giovanni died and his Catholic upbringing was guided by his mother and the parish priest.

At the age of 14 he made his First Communion and this seems to have had a profound effect on him. He developed a habit of diligent work, prayer and daily Holy Communion. In his late twenties he began to consider a religious vocation. Then, when he was ill, he promised God that if he recovered he would become a Capuchin, making his final vows in 1919, aged 37, and taking the name Nicholas.

For the next ten years he worked in various friaries in Sardinia as a cook before being given a new job as questor, going from house to house begging for food on behalf of the friars. It must have been at times a tedious job, but Nicholas thought of his work as a prayer, something worthwhile he could offer to God. He came across many people from all walks of life and with various problems, treating everyone with great patience and gentleness, showing them that he wanted to love and serve them. His very presence, his way of life, his serenity and trust in God, gave witness to his Christian faith and made a great impression on all who met him. Through Nicholas many troubled people learnt how to cope with life's problems.

We can all be Christian witnesses. We need not do anything on a grand scale. Simply by the way we carry out our work, our attitude to God, our willingness to care, to listen and console, we can bring love into other people's lives. Blessed Nicholas was effective because he gave great attention to prayer and drew strength from it. Let us follow his example and ask him to join his prayers with ours.

Blessed Nicholas of Gesturi, pray for us.