Fearing that he might not resist the temptations commonly experienced by lawyers, Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1578–1622) became a Capuchin priest, a noted preacher, and a martyr.
Each of us will die eventually. “What kind of conscience will I bring to that moment?” should be our main concern.
“By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors,” writes Pope Benedict XVI in Door of Faith, his apostolic letter about the current Year of Faith.
Fidelis preached in Feldkirch, Germany, nursed soldiers felled by an epidemic, and in 1622 was named by the Holy See’s new Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to lead a group of preachers in Switzerland. Because he had some success there, Calvinists in Seewis killed Fidelis while he was preaching. He is a patron of lawyers and that congregation’s first missionary martyr. As he was about to die, Fidelis did not regret his choice to join the Franciscan family as a Capuchin.
Our daily choices matter because they reaffirm what St. Paul described as our “old self” or a “new self” (Col 3:9–11). May our choices reflect our Baptism into Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection!
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