Wednesday 31st August 2016

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Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

August 30, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1994 a musical phenomenon took the world by storm. Nothing like it had ever been popular before, but this new recording became a hit around the world. People raved about the peace it brought them when they listened to it. The songs were sung by Benedictine monks from their monastery near Burgos, Spain. Although Gregorian Chant may have been refined years later, the essence of this music originated with Pope Gregory I in the sixth century. Gregory was born in 540 in Rome to a couple prominent not only in civil matters but also in Church affairs. His father, Gordianus served as a senator, as the prefect of Rome, and “Regionarius” in the Church. Gregory’s mother,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal

August 23, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1605 Fr. Robert De Nobili, a Jesuit priest, arrived in India to evangelize the people. He found them to have a noble bearing and a deeply spiritual life filled with fasting, prayer, and meditation. Difficulties presented themselves to him as he struggled to convert them: “If these people did not see me do such penance, they would not receive me as one who can teach them the way to Heaven, because that is the way of life their own teachers observe.” Further south, a community of Syrian Catholics grew and established a parish in Kerala. From this community we now honor St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal. She was born on October 17, 1877 in Edathuruthy, in the district…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

August 16, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St. Joseph of Cupertino. He was frequently called the village idiot. However, by God’s Providence, he became not only a priest but one of the most amazing levitating saints in the history of the Church. Joseph was born in Cupertino, a village about ten miles southeast of Rome, on June 17, 1603. His father had contracted so many debts that he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

August 9, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in the Catholic Church. Fr. Kentenich had been assigned the pastoral care of students living in Schoenstatt. He prepared the students to entrust their lives to Mary and to establish a chapel which would become a home where they could obtain the grace of welcome, interior transformation, and a fruitful apostolate. In 1964, the group received formal approval. Thus the laity…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Vianney

August 2, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Vianney

By CAROLE BRESLIN During these challenging times in the Church and with the dangers of religious becoming secularized, the Church has a shining example of a holy and sanctifying priest in the Curé of Ars, the patron saint of priests. The Curé of Ars, also known as St. John Vianney, was not particularly brilliant and almost did not become a priest, but he had a love of both God and neighbor that led him to heroic practices to win souls for the Kingdom of God. On May 8, 1786, Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze brought their newborn baby straight to the church to be baptized in Dardilly, near Lyons, France. He was the fourth of six children. His baptismal name…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Olaf

July 26, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Olaf

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Vikings! The word Viking comes from a Scandinavian word vik meaning bay or creek, with the extended word meaning pirate. The images the word brings to mind are amazing ships landing around Europe, even on the northeastern fringes of North America, to raid, pillage, and destroy. Although this did happen to some extent, the Vikings also handed down an amazing gift for shipbuilding, downhill skiing, the comb used to subdue unruly hair, and also the founding of such wonderful Irish cities as Dublin and Limerick. Had the Vikings not traveled to the lower parts of Europe, then the Scandinavian countries would not have been converted to Christianity. King Olaf II is credited for the spread of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Cassian

July 19, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Cassian

By CAROLE BRESLIN Frequently, the lives of the saints demonstrate that God calls us to go in directions that we would never consider unless it became clear that it is God’s will. St. Francis Xavier went to the Far East, St. Damien died in Hawaii on the opposite side of the world from his native Belgium, and St. John Cassian made a circuitous route from his birthplace in Eastern Europe to his final resting place in France. John Cassian, born about 360, came into the world in Scythia Minor, a region now shared by Romania and Bulgaria. A passage in one of his writings indicates that he had a sister, who joined one of his monasteries in France. Born of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Saints Louis And Azelie-Marie Guerin Martin

July 12, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Saints Louis And Azelie-Marie Guerin Martin

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Lord sends the Church the men and women who are needed to keep her holy in times of trouble. Among these are: St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Faustina, and the first married couple ever to be canonized together: Louis and Azelie-Marie (Zelie) Martin. Their feast day is July 12. Pope Benedict beatified them in 2008 and Pope Francis canonized them on October 18, 2015. Louis Martin, the third of five children, was born August 22, 1823 in Bordeaux, France. His father came from a long line of soldiers. His parents, Pierre-Francois Martin and Marie-Anne-Fanny Boureau, baptized him Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus Martin and, of all his siblings,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

July 5, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of the 20th century, our Lord sent a man to Italy to be servant of God to those in need. Nearly 60 years before Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People — Vatican II), Pier Giorgio discerned that God had called him to remain a layman so that he could serve the poor and the needy more effectively. Alfredo…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Junipero Serra

June 28, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Junipero Serra

By CAROLE BRESLIN With the supremacy of the Spanish navy, the discovery of the New World, and the founding of the Jesuit order, the distances that Catholic missionaries traveled increased dramatically. St. Francis Xavier, after arriving in India, spent many years sailing all over Southeast Asia. However, either by land or by sea, few saints have traveled more than St. Junipero Serra. There is a lovely island about 200 miles east of Spain called Majorca, where the small village of Petra is located. In this village lived Antonio Nadal Serra, and Margarita Rosa Ferra, two farmers. On the day of the future saint’s birth, November 24, 1713, they took him to the church for Baptism, giving him the name Miguel…Continue Reading