Americas saint’s feast a time for prayer, evangelization

Vatican City, Nov 5, 2012 / 06:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Vatican official called Nov. 5 “an occasion of prayer” and renewed evangelization efforts, as the day marks the feast of Saint Emeric, a patron saint of the Americas.

“It's a time to thank our Lord for the great blessings he has bestowed not just on the United States but upon all the Americas, and to pray for the future – for the re-evangelization of our own United states, of North America and certainly South America,” said Monsignor Richard Soseman, a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy.

In a Nov. 5 interview with CNA, Msgr. Soseman explained that America gets its name from Amerigo Vespucci, a 15th century Italian mapmaker.

Vespucci was in turn named after St. Emeric, as Amerigo is the Italian form of Emeric. “Today then, in that sense, is the name day of all the Americas,” Msgr. Soseman observed.

“When Vespucci drew the maps of the New World, he saw this continent without a name, so he put his own name on it, 'Ameriga.'”

During his remarks, the priest's thoughts turned to the United States elections which will take place Nov. 6.

“My heart is filled with pride that our country has had peaceful elections since the beginning, and I expect the same for tomorrow…that we can be an example for others, that even if you disagree, you can go in to vote your conscience, and eventually there will be in a month or two a peaceful transfer of power.”

“When I study things from other parts of the world, we see terrible strife, battles at election time, and we don't have that in the United States, so I'm pleased about that.”

St. Emeric was a prince of Hungary who died in 1031. He was the son of Saint Stephen of Hungary. His tomb was the site of several healings and conversions. He was canonized in 1083 along with his father and also his teacher, Bishop Gerard Sagredo.

As St. Emeric is listed in the Roman Martyrology for Nov. 5, priests are free to celebrate a Mass in his honor at their will.

In addition to serving the Congregation of Clergy, Msgr. Soseman is a priest of the Diocese of Peoria. In January, he will have served in Rome for five years. He oversaw the collection of documents for the cause of Venerable Fulton Sheen, and assists the Sheen Foundation at coordinator of international outreach.

The monsignor also teaches the extraordinary form at the North American College in Rome, and teaches the epistles of St. Paul at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts' Rome semester program.

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