Thursday 23rd February 2017

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Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

February 21, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this wonderful devotion by assigning the month of July for the intentions of the Most Precious Blood.) Dr. Antonio Fusco, a pharmacist, and Stella Giordano, a woman of noble descent, were highly respected in the community of Pagani, Salerno, Italy. They were faithful in the practice of their faith and when the seventh of their eight children was born, December 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

February 14, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli loved our Lord and worked tirelessly to draw others to find the peace and joy they found in His presence. On the very day that Caterina Comensoli was born — January 18, 1847 — her parents, Carlo and Maria Milasi Comensoli, took this fifth child to the nearby church to have her baptized. Her parents would have…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

February 7, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

By CAROLE BRESLIN Croatia, the crossroads of Europe where people traverse the continent from north to south and east to west, has been a land of turmoil for centuries, with many nations seeking to control its destiny. In World War I and World War II, a fiery Croatian loved this small land with all his heart and fought for the Croatians to be free from the tyranny of both the Nazis and the Communists. Blessed Aloysius Stepinac came from humble beginnings, but came to be a significant figure on the world stage. Aloysius Viktor Stepinac was born on May 8, 1898 to Josip Stepinac and his second wife Barbara Penic. He was the fifth of nine children (plus three children…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Elisabeth Canori Mora

January 31, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Elisabeth Canori Mora

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is a growing challenge facing the Catholic Church in the modern world. People are becoming more aware of the problems associated with spousal abuse. This abuse can be perpetrated by either the husband or the wife. In the history of the Church there were not a few women who suffered this way and their holiness eventually led to the conversion of their spouses. St. Monica, Elisabeth Leseur, and Blessed Elisabeth Canori Mora are among such women. Elisabeth was born on November 21, 1774. Her parents, Tommaso Canori and Teresa Primoli, both of whom were aristocrats, had 12 children. The family experienced many tragedies, losing six of those children in infancy. Her parents placed a great importance…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Henry De Osso

January 24, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Henry De Osso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the centuries, Spain has yielded many saints for the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the fourth century, St. Maginus was martyred. In the twelfth century, there was St. Raymond of Penafort. In addition, the great 16th-century Carmelites, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, made matchless contributions to spirituality. In the 19th century, St. Henry de Osso did much to re-establish catechesis and strengthen the family. Born in Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on October 16, 1840, Henry de Osso was the last of three children born to Jaime and Micaela de Osso y Cervello. His parents were simple people residing in northeast Spain. Their other son, Luis, became famous as an athlete…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi

January 17, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi

By CAROLE BRESLIN Beginning at the mouth of the Niger River in the Gulf of Guinea, you can reach some of the most remote areas of Africa. About 150 miles inland from the delta, the Anambra tributary branches to the northeast and if you travel another 15 miles up the river, you can disembark and travel another five miles to the east to Aguleri, a village in Nigeria where Iwene Tansi lived. This area was a British colony at the time of his birth in September 1903, to traditional non-Christian parents. An altercation between the Nigerians and the British left a lasting impression on his father, ultimately resulting in Iwene becoming not only a Christian, but one whose cause for…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. André Bessette

January 10, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. André Bessette

By CAROLE BRESLIN High on Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, stands the largest Catholic church in Canada, the Basilica of St. Joseph’s Oratory. As the pilgrims climb the steps through the lovely grounds and statuary, they can turn and see the city of Montreal spread out below. Once inside they can visit the main statue of St. Joseph, surrounded by hundreds of votive candles. This magnificent church had very humble beginnings — a vision of a sick and frail man who could not seem to keep any job to support himself. On August 9, 1845, in the small village of Mont-Saint-Grégoire, 25 miles southeast of Quebec, a child was born. Isaac Bessette, a carpenter, and his wife, Clothilde Foisy, a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

January 3, 2017 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 our 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 . . . St. Thorlak Thorhallsson

December 26, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thorlak Thorhallsson

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Iceland, the land on the far north of the Atlantic Ocean, the people prepare for Christmas with traditions that go back nearly 1,000 years. They thoroughly clean their homes from top to bottom. Then they prepare a meal of cured skate (shark meat), mashed potatoes, and a shot of Brennivin as they close out the final day of Christmas fasting. This is called Thorlak’s Tradition. In the tapestry of Icelandic history, he became the patron saint of Iceland. In Iceland, the earliest inhabitants included Irish monks who came for the quiet solitude of the distant land. However, they were soon driven out by the Vikings who brought their Norse paganism in the ninth century. Around 900,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Stephen, Protomartyr

December 20, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Stephen, Protomartyr

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the popular Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, a different gift is given for each of the twelve days of Christmas. This celebration of twelve days begins with December 26, the Feast of St. Stephen, and ends with the Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on January 6. The Catholic Church celebrates the Christmas octave, eight days of observing the great Feast of Christmas, from December 25 through January 1. The day after the birth of Christ, the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, is celebrated by many Christian denominations. Outside of Sacred Scripture little or nothing is known about St. Stephen. In the Acts of the Apostles, the speech given by Stephen when…Continue Reading