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Saint James of the Marche

Painting titled Saint James of the Marche, by Francisco de Zurbarán
Image: Saint James of the Marches | Francisco de Zurbarán | photo by Galería online

Saint of the Day for November 28

(1394 – November 28, 1476)
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Saint James of the Marche’s Story

Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop!

James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. Saint Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances.

James studied theology with Saint John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people–250,000 at one estimate–and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives, and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence.

With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano, and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the “four pillars” of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching.

To combat extremely high interest rates, James established montes pietatis—literally, mountains of charity—nonprofit credit organizations that lent money on pawned objects at very low rates.

Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476, and was canonized in 1726.


Reflection

James wanted the word of God to take root in the hearts of his listeners. His preaching was directed to preparing the soil, so to speak, by removing any rocks and softening up lives hardened by sin. God’s intention is that his word take root in our lives, but for that we need both prayerful preachers and cooperative listeners.


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Daily Readings for Sunday, November 28, 2021

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Celebrate Sunday Mass - First Sunday of Advent - 11.28.21

The video for Sunday's Mass will be available to view on Sunday morning.

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Reading 1: Daniel 7:2-14, Responsorial Psalm: Daniel 3:75-81, Gospel: Luke 21:29-33

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Act of Entrustment to Mary: Prayer of the Day for Friday, November 26, 2021

1. "Woman, behold your Son!" (Jn 19:26). As we near the end of this Jubilee Year, when you, O Mother, have offered us Jesus anew, the blessed fruit of your womb most pure, the Word made flesh, the world's Redeemer, we hear more clearly the sweet echo of his words entrusting us to you, making you our Mother: "Woman, behold your Son!" When he entrusted to you the Apostle John, and with him the children of the Church and all people, Christ did not diminish but affirmed anew ...