Saint Pope John Paul II beatified Marcel Callo (1921-1945) on October 4 1987. Clearly heroic and virtuous, Blessed Marcel also suffered at least one episode depression. This occurred when he was deported to a work camp soon after the Germans occupied France during World War II. Links to his biography are at the end of this post. You will find them both interesting and inspiring.
Here, I would like to highlight some things about Blessed Marcel’s life that have something to say about resisting or persevering through depression and buffering ones psychological self against bullying, which is simply another word for persecution.
- Blessed Marcel knew his values and they were based in the belief that human persons are children of God. Everything he did was guided by this foundation.
- He had awareness that suffering has purpose and one can grow from it.
- His clarity and strength only came in association with his community of like-minded peers, church, and grace via sacraments. (He had become depressed when he was isolated).
- He asked for help when unable to stand his ground both as a youth being taunted and teased, and as a man.
At first sight these qualities may not seem associated with depression or bullying. However, being solid in ones values (“set like flint”) and part of a tight supportive community, whether that is family, peers, or church do help ones’ psychology and spirituality. You can’t withstand what the world and interior vulnerabilities dish out without those two things.
Blessed Marcel Callo’s feast day is on March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph.
Picture is the liberation of Mauthause, the concentration camp where Bl. Marcel Callo died. US Federal Government, public domain.