October 12th: Servant of God James Rem, SJ

Servant of God JAMES REM, SJ

Born: June 1546
Died: October 12, 1618

James Rem was born in Bregenz, Belgium. His first contact with the Jesuits was when he enrolled at the Jesuit-run college in Dillingen where after two years under the Jesuits tutelage, he asked to be admitted into the society. He was sent to Rome in August 1566 and began his noviceship on September 10, 1566 and among his fellow novices were St Stanislaus Kostka and Bl Rudolph Acquaviva. After his vows in September 1568, he returned to Dillingen to complete his studies and was ordained in Augsburg on May 16, 1573.

Fr Rem began his teaching ministry in Dillingen. Within the first year he established the first Sodality of Our Lady in southern Germany as he was familiar with it while in Rome where the first sodality had been formed in 1563. As he wanted to keep the number of sodalists small, he went about seeking young men who took their Catholic faith seriously and were willing to lead fervent Christian lives, consecrated to Our Lady. Fr Rem also established a sodality in Munich, his next posting. In 1586, he was transferred to Ingolstadt where he remained for thirty-two years until his death. In Ingolstadt, Fr Rem was in charge of students in the boarding school and started a sodality for them which grew and developed over the years. Later he formed the Colloquium Marianum, a group of his best sodalists with high ideals and holiness. He wrote the rules for this group which were later approved by Pope Paul V in 1612.

Fr Rem was responsible for choosing Mater ad mirabilis, “Mother most admirable” which is one of the titles in the litany of Loretto. He was uncertain what title Our Lady herself would have preferred. However, on April 6, 1604, while singing the litany with his sodalists, Our Lady appeared to him, as they sang the words Mater admirabilis, ora pro nobis, to let him know that this was the title she wanted them to use for her. Today in Ingolstadt, it is still customary for sodalists to repeat this invocation three times when reciting the litany.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Dillingen an der Donau, Donauried region, Swabia, Bavaria, Germany, Europe

Fr Rem left a long-lasting influence on his sodalists that they kept in touch with him after they left school and many chose to become priests and religious because of his model role and religious dedication. For his holiness and devotion, Fr Rem was blessed with several appearances from Our Lord and Our Lady during prayer and he also entered into ecstasy when celebrating Mass. He was gifted with the ability to prophesy, and many of his prophesies came true. He was also able to know when sodalists in other cities had departed this life.

In 1618 when Fr Rem was seventy-two, his health declined and on Oct 9, when he took a turn for the worse, he was anointed. He passed away on Oct 12. At his death, Fr Rem had been a Jesuit for fifty-two years and was well loved by his brethren and his students. He is known throughout Bavaria, Germany for his tireless zeal in promoting devotion to Our Lady. His cause has recently been opened.