Oil Dedicated to St Fidelis of Sigmaringen
As a lawyer, St Fidelis gave special attention to the plight of the oppressed. In fact, he became known as The Poor Man’s Lawyer.
He was born as Mark Rey in Germany in 1577. The more he practiced law. However, the more disenchanted and disgusted he became with the lengths to which his colleagues would go in order to win a case. He decided to leave his life as a lawyer and dedicate his life to God in a religious community.
His brother was a Capuchin Franciscan. So he joined that order, took the name Fidelis, and was ordained a priest. He was zealous in his practice and proclamation of the faith. And once declared, “Woe to me if I should prove myself but a half-hearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned captain!”
St Fidelis was sent to minister in several different regions of Germany, where he reformed whole cities with his preaching. He also cared for the sick, especially during a severe outbreak of disease. Because of his effectiveness, he was chosen to head a party of Capuchins to go to Switzerland to convert people back to the Catholic faith there.
His preaching was enhanced by his own witness and the hours he would spend in prayer, and many people were inspired by his example. Opponents threatened his life, and tried to arouse people against him by claiming that he was a spy.