Saint Theophane Venard (1829-1861)
for November 24
Saint Theophane Venard was brought up in a devout family. He was ordained to the priesthood and followed God's call to become a missionary to southeast Asia. Saint Theophane spent several months ministering to the faithful in Hong Kong, then transferred his ministry to West Tonkin, in what is today Vietnam. Shortly before Saint Theophane's arrival, the ruler of West Tonkin, Minh-Menh, began to persecute Christians in the area. Because of this persecution, priests and bishops were forced into hiding. Even though he suffered from poor health, Saint Theophane continued ministering to the Christian community in secret. After four years of this secretive ministry, Saint Theophane was handed over to the government by one of his parishioners, and was arrested. He was kept in a cage for several weeks after refusing to save himself from punishment by denying Jesus Christ. He was executed by beheading, and is one of the Martyrs of Vietnam.
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"If, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him" (Romans 8:17). “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” We hear this from friends and family when we are going through a hard time. They help us to see the positive side of things or at least help us to realize that our troubles won’t last forever. In hard times, we need words of hope. Paul provides these words of hope to the Romans and therefore to all of us as we experience difficulties in life. He reminds us of Christ’s death but also of his Resurrection. He reminds us that Christ suffered for us and also brought us the hope of new life. These comforting words helped the Romans in hard times, and they provide the same comfort to us. By asking ourselves, Where is my ultimate and lasting hope? we are able to see that Christ is the light at the end of the tunnel. (Taken from “By My Side: A Teen Prayer Companion.”)
Lord of hope, help me to see your light at the end of the tunnel, especially in hard times. (Taken from “By My Side: A Teen Prayer Companion.”)