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By Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Aleteia, 01/09/21
These men and women found holiness even as their worlds seemed to be crumbling around them.
After a year of uncertainty, fear, and suffering on a global scale, many of us found ourselves counting down the months to 2021 with some hope that the new calendar year would bring an end to the “unprecedented times” we’ve been suffering through since March. But the end of 2020 didn’t erase the pandemic, restore the global economy, or settle any nation’s political turmoil. Fortunately, we know that saints are forged in times of unrest, perhaps even more readily than in times of stability. As we seek to become saints in a tumultuous world, let’s look to those who’ve gone before, who found holiness even as their worlds seemed to be crumbling around them.
Bl. Jacques Jules Bonnaud (1741-1792) was born in Haiti but sent to France as a child in order to avoid the difficulties his dark skin brought him as a biracial boy in the Americas. In France, he was educated by Jesuits and soon entered the Society of Jesus. When he was still in formation, the Jesuit order was dissolved in France and Bonnaud was forced to find another way to pursue his vocation in a diocesan seminary. Once ordained, Fr. Bonnaud lived according to the Jesuit rule as best he could while serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of Paris; later he became vicar general of Lyon for several years, as the French Revolution rocked the country. He was eventually martyred for refusing to swear allegiance to the state. …