Wednesday 20th February 2019

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Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

February 14, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

By CAROLE BRESLIN India has almost as many people (1.37 billion) as China (1.42 billion), which has three times the land area. Of the population of India, under three percent are Christian. In Kerala, a state on the southwest coast of India, nearly 20 percent are Christian. Perhaps the greater proportion is a result of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who came from Kerala and was the first male Indian to be canonized. The Catholic community in Kerala dates back to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle. Kuriakose’s parents, Iko Chavara and Mariam Thoppil, came from an ancient Nasrani Christian family. Kuriakose was born in Kainakary on February 10, 1805 and was baptized at St. Joseph’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Jacoba Of Settesoli

February 7, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Jacoba Of Settesoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN Two millennia of Catholicism have produced saints from all walks of life: rich and poor — and the wealthy who became poor, such as St. Francis of Assisi who renounced his inheritance, St. Anthony of Egypt who gave his wealth away, and St. Thomas Aquinas who became a poor monk. There have also been those who lived prominent lives with heroic sanctity such as St. Louis IX, King of France (1214-1270), and St. Stephen of Hungary (973-1038). There are those who have lived lives of heroic virtue within the state of their life, such as the martyr St. Felicity, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and Blessed Jacoba of Settesoli. Most Catholics know of St. Clare of Assisi who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Catherine Kaspar

January 30, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Catherine Kaspar

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the crisis of the Protestant Revolution, the Lord sent such towers virtue and prayer like St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Teresa of Avila to strengthen the Church. In another era, St. Francis of Assisi was personally asked by our Lord to rebuild His Church. Not all saints of the Church have had such broad and lasting influence — some have done what they discerned God called them to do in their own environment. They have seen a need among a few and have mobilized their meager resources, blessed by the grace of God, and have helped the marginalized. Today the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, among other ministries, are working to stop the trade in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Vincent Pallotti

January 24, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Vincent Pallotti

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church, beginning with Christ Himself, disenfranchised youth have found a friend in the followers of the Lord. St. John Bosco and St. Philip Neri come to mind. There is another saint who also helped both young men and young women, St. Vincent Pallotti, a man born and raised in Rome during the time of the Jesuit suppression. Peter Paul Pallotti and his wife Maddalena were a devout Catholic couple with two children when Vincent was born on April 21, 1795. He was the third of ten children, who were raised by attending daily Mass and many devotions in the neighboring churches of Rome. As a child he had learning troubles, so his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

January 16, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Teresa of Calcutta answered a call within a call by founding the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Soon her apostolic endeavors to serve the most destitute of persons spread throughout the world, while she said that the greatest poverty is in the West where people do not know the love of God despite all of their wealth. One hundred years before she answered her call, another man answered a similar call by helping the most vulnerable in his locality and, as with St. Teresa, his work soon spread throughout the world. John Calabria found certain truths to be universal. Beauty, peace, and love have no price though great…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

January 9, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds are finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in our minds for considering the things of God. St. Anthony of Egypt, a young man who had been left a great estate, comprehended this truth more than anyone of his time. Thanks to the biography written by St. Athanasius (died 373) a detailed history of St. Anthony of Egypt is available. In 251, a Christian couple in Egypt gave birth…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Servant Of God Walter Ciszek

January 2, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Servant Of God Walter Ciszek

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 After living 23 years in Russia in prison camps and various towns in northern Russia, Fr. Walter Ciszek was suddenly given orders to be prepared to go to Moscow. He was never told why he was being transferred to the capital of Russia. When he first arrived, he wondered what was happening. For once, he was treated with respect, but still kept in darkness about his presence in Moscow. His odyssey in Moscow began when he had been living in Abakan and was allowed to write letters. Eventually, his sister received one of his letters, but was skeptical that it was really her brother. Over several exchanges she determined that it was truly him. Mrs.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes … Servant Of God Walter Ciszek

December 13, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes … Servant Of God Walter Ciszek

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Unless people are faced with no choice in hardship, they will never know just how much pain and suffering they are able to endure, especially with the help of God’s grace. The concentration camps of World War II, the flotillas of Vietnamese boat people escaping a repressive regime, and the horrors of fighting in armed combat bring out the hero in a person. Fr. Walter Ciszek persevered through the frigid winters of Siberia wearing little more than rags, survived on starvation rations, and withstood countless brutal interrogations. Enduring such things is amazing enough, but loving those who perpetrated such treatments is most heroic. Walter, the son of Polish immigrants, was born to Martin and Mary…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Maria Virgo

December 6, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Maria Virgo

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at the convent of “the Pink Sisters.” She even showed me pictures of the Pink Sisters in an article that had been written about them in her diocesan paper. They got their name because of their rose-colored habits. My aunt explained that the Pink Sisters are contemplatives. I have since learned that there are also Blue Sisters, missionaries, that were established…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

November 22, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many terms we use in our language which are clichés. We hear people say that somebody “kicked the bucket,” meaning that he has died, or “I’ll send you to outer Mongolia,” meaning that they will ship you so far away no one will find you. Fr. Kalinowski not only went to a place just north of “outer Mongolia,” but he was forced to walk there as a prisoner of the Russians. Andrew Kalinowski, the assistant superintendent professor of mathematics, and his wife, Josephine Polonska, welcomed their second son into the world on September 1, 1835 in the city of Vilna, the capital of modern-day Lithuania. At his Baptism they gave him the name Joseph. His…Continue Reading