The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

February 16, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

John de Britto

Born 1647, died 1693, of a noble Portuguese family in Lisbon. De Britto led an exemplary life as a page at the court of King Pedro II, and was cured of a severe illness by praying to the Jesuit St. Francis Xavier. After that, he joined the Jesuits and, after his ordination, set sail for India, despite the objections of his family and of the court. He spent the rest of his life in the Madura mission of southern India, covering vast regions on foot, bearing severe heat, fevers and other hardships in his efforts to bring the love-message of Jesus to the Indian people. His goodness was returned with hatred and persecution; one day he and his catechists were seized and hanged on chains for several days, suspended from trees. Released, he was recalled to Lisbon, but soon returned to the mission of Madura, where he labored for three more years -- until he converted a prince who had had many wives. When the convert put away his multiple wives, one of them complained to her uncle, the raja of Marava, putting the blame on Father de Britto. The raja began a furious persecution of all Christians, and he had John de Britto beheaded for subverting the religion of the country. De Britto left a moving letter to his fellow missionaries which is still extant. In it, he spoke of his love for those who were persecuting him.

MODEL: John de Britto's love for his enemies. How do we love our enemies? We try not to hate them. We try to wish them well.

Your Birthday Today:

February 16
Day of Life

Spirited, Full of life, Spontaneous

Abrupt, Uncommitted, Explosive

Lively, aren't you? If you were born on February 16, you are a spirited go-getter with a zest for life and new things. Ruled by the number 7 and the planet Neptune, you sometimes fail to follow through on your ideas and lose touch with reality.

Just do it. You admire spontaneity and frown upon those who plod along, stiff to change and fresh ideas. You see flexibility as the key to life and see birth, innovation and other beginnings as the natural order of things.

Sincerity. You also like things that are genuine, uncomplicated and direct. This can be seen in your love for children and animals. You even react positively to people with different backgrounds, beliefs or politics, as long as they're honest about it.

Never look back. However, when something has been brought to life, it may have to be maintained. Herein lies the problem for you. You easily grow discouraged when your creation runs into snags and may want to trash it and start over too soon.

The end. Bringing things to a graceful close is another of your weak points. You tend to just walk off right in the middle of things: relationships, projects, jobs. True, it might be time to move on, but burning bridges is rarely good for your future.

A Little Advice : Don't give up when things get bad. Every up has it's down, so accept the occasional downer. And remember, eventually all good things must come to an end. Be patient with people who don't seem to be moving as fast as you.

Also born on this day:
John McEnroe (tennis star) John Schlesinger (British film director) LeVar Burton (actor) Edgar Bergen (ventriloquist) Sonny Bono (singer, mayor) Anthony Dowell (British ballet dancer) Max Baer (boxing champ, actor) Mario Pei (linguist, scholar) Robert Flaherty (documentary filmmaker) George Kennan (scholar, diplomat) John Corigliano (composer)