St. Vincent Strambi

I find the biographies of most of our saints–I’m thinking now of the saints of my community, the Passionists– weak in history, which tends to remove them from their time and their interaction with it. That makes them less challenging. They can make you believe that holiness means withdrawing from the world you live in when, actually, to be holy means engaging your times, not leaving them.

The world we live in is the path we’re put on when we’re born and our companion through our lifespan. It’s the cross we carry, the calvary on which we are displayed. Our blood, mingled with the blood of Christ, must fall on it to redeem it.

I’ve been thinking of St. Vincent Strambi, a Passionist who lived in Italy as the 18th century gave way to the 19th century. His cross was a world convulsed by Napoleon’s dreams of conquest and the changes brought about by the Enlightenment.

Strambi had a great devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus, which for him was inspired by the sufferings he saw in the world around him.Some say over 4 million people were killed in the Napoleonic wars, military and civilians. So much innocent blood was shed then.

Strambi was part of that world; his blood was being shed too, not literally, but in the crucifying events of war, confusion, famine, sickness and change that affected his church, his community, his diocese, his country and the people he served. His devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus came mainly from his experience of his time, I think.

Father Fabiano Giorgini, a fine historian who died recently, wrote a short biography of Strambi which we’re going to translate into English. Someday I hope it will be an ebook.

I wonder, too, if a new generation of hagiographers is needed, drawn from the laity and not from religious communities who may be too prone to promote their own heros.


3 Comments

Filed under Passionists, Religion

3 responses to “St. Vincent Strambi

  1. Howard

    God bless you, Fr. Victor. Thank you for this: “The world we live in is the path we’re put on when we’re born and our companion through our lifespan. It’s the cross we carry, the calvary on which we are displayed. Our blood, mingled with the blood of Christ, must fall on it to redeem it.” The Passionist saints are alive and well. May they pray for us.

  2. jim

    Vincent Strambi had to accept a lot of “No”s” in his life before he achieved hiS spiritual and temporal goals.. His father said NO when he wanted to be a priest, St. Paul of the Cross said NO when he wanted to enter the Passionists, the Vincentians said No to him, ST Paul of the Cross said no
    again but then reaiized this man was something special, so he said a
    Provisional YES to vincent Strambi…
    IF WE CAN ACCEPT FULLY, A NO IN OUR LIVES, AND NOT
    RESIST THAT NO, THE “NO” WILL OFTEN BECOME A YES.
    As it did in St. Vincent Strambi’s life, he became a Passionist, A Bishop, a teacher, and a great friend and confidant of the Pope. So when you get
    a NO today, don’t get too discouraged, KEEP OPEN, KEEP TRYING…..

  3. Thank you, Father Victor, for reminding us of what a great saint we have in Saint Vincent Strambi. He’s one of my favorites of all the Passionist family we have in heaven. I hope that Father Fabiano’s biography of Saint Vincent will inspire a lot of the faithful once it is published. Saint Vincent was one who struggled and persevered all his life, and let that be our model and inspiration, to struggle always in the midst of adversities, and never to give up or surrender to the baser elements. Saint Vincent of Strambi, pray unto God for all of us…May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts.

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