Saint Gaspar del Bufalo

I cannot – I must not – I will not!!
These are the words of a young priest, when confronted by an evil government to deny his loyalty to his Pope, and give it to a dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte. His reward for his refusal to give in to this despot and his demands was four years in prison, in four of the worst prisons in Italy. And each year when he was asked to change his mind and pledge his loyalty to Napoleon, his response was always the same, “I cannot – I must not – I will not!!
Family, we just finished a program on a little known Saint here in the United States, but one who is so powerful, we know we can all relate to his heroism in these special days we’re living in. His name is Gaspar del Bufalo, and he is Roman by birth. He was ordained a priest at age 22 in 1808, and two years later, in 1810, the French demanded he pledge his allegiance to Napoleon.
He lasted in these terrible prisons longer than his fellow priests, who, little by little, gave in to the tyrant, and were freed. When he refused for the last time in 1813, he was sentenced to go to a prison in Corsica, where he would certainly not return alive. But before those orders could be carried out, Napoleon came up against his greatest enemy, and one to whom he gave no importance at all, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He was defeated, and in January 1814, while Gaspar was being repatriated back to Rome, Napoleon was on his way into exile.
In the fall of that same year, 1814, St. Gaspar founded a religious community, Missionaries of the Precious Blood, which has spread all over the world. He survived that horrendous four years, and the Lord blessed him for it.
We find ourselves in a similar set of circumstances in the world today. Despotic forces are threatening to take over the world. Will an oath of loyalty be required of us? To give in is to betray all that we believe in. Not to give in is to welcome suffering for the sake of the Blood of Jesus. But if we hang in there, as did our St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the Lord will bless us also. When we’re asked to compromise our beliefs, will we take up the battle cry of St. Gaspar del Bufalo; I CANNOT – I MUST NOT – I WILL NOT!!? Pray on it.

For more informatin about Saint Gaspar del Bufalo click this link

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