Tuesday 24th May 2016

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

May 24, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine, who came at the invitation of King Ethelbert who asked him and his monks to come to please his Christian wife, Bertha. Up until that time, what remained of the Christian presence was quite isolated from the Roman Church and in need of holy priests to administer the sacraments and preach to the people. The life of St. Augustine began…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

May 17, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image of our Lady to be painted on a tile which he placed near an oak tree at the edge of his vineyard. Over time many travelers stopped to admire and pray by the image. Whenever someone tried to steal the image, it would miraculously reappear at the foot of the oak tree. In 1467 as the plague raged through Viterbo,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Leopold Mandic

May 10, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In February 2016, Rome excitedly awaited the arrival of the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio lived from 1887 to 1968) in celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy. As a Capuchin, Padre Pio was recognized not only for his extraordinary celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and his ability to read souls in the confessional, but also for his gift of the stigmata. The relics of another Capuchin, not nearly as well-known as St. Pio but more or less a contemporary of his (both were canonized by Pope St. John Paul II), also arrived at the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls in Rome. His name is St. Leopold Mandic. After a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno

May 3, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the western border of Italy lies Monaco. Driving northeast along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea for about 110 miles, the traveler arrives in the coastal city of Genoa, home of a truly remarkable woman who served the Kingdom of God as a wife, mother, widow, layperson, and religious. Although she suffered from hidden wounds, she accomplished much in the service of God and her neighbor. A wealthy family, devout in the practice of their faith, raised a holy, serene yet gently outspoken young lady. Anna Rosa Gattorno was born to Francesco and Adelaide Campanella on October 14, 1831, during a time of rising anticlericalism. Anna was baptized either the same day or the next day…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

April 26, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered time to be one of the most influential men both within the Church and among the rulers of Europe. St. Hugh the Great was born in 1024, the eldest son of Count Dalmatius of Semur and Aremberge of Vergy. He was descended from the noblest families of Burgundy, France, located about 200 miles southeast of Paris. As a noble, Hugh’s…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Gabriella Of Unity

April 19, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Just before Italy formally entered World War I in April 1915, a poor farmer and his wife welcomed a little girl into the peaceful land of Sardinia, an island about 150 miles west of Italy. Maria Sagheddu was born on March 17, 1914, the fifth of eight children. During the war that lasted until 1918, over 1,800,000 Italian men were killed, crippled, or wounded. The Italians were humiliated in the treaty negotiations, receiving no recognition for the sacrifices the country had made. This holy Italian woman, who is the patroness of unity, then died just before the outbreak of World War II in September of 1939. She was a contemporary of St. Faustina Kowalska, the apostle of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Gonzalez

April 12, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN For millennia, tributaries in southern Spain have drained into the Guadalquivir River, which flows into the Gulf of Cadiz in the Atlantic Ocean. Along this river, famous cities have sprung up, such as Seville and Cordoba. Cordoba, the warmest city in Europe during the summers, is home to one of the most famous examples of Moorish architecture in southern Spain. Paradoxically, it is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. Like Cordoba, the “Mosque-Cathedral” as it is known, has a colorful history. The Cathedral of Cordoba was originally built by the Visigoths in the early seventh century. However, in 711 the Moors captured Cordoba, a Christian village a mere 100 miles north of the Straits of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Baptist De La Salle

April 5, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN When some men hear the call of God, it is sudden with great changes made in their lives, as with St. Paul and the children of Fatima. However, for most people, it takes years to see where God is leading them. One man even admitted that if he had known when he began where God was leading him, he never would have begun the work to which he had been called. That man was St. John Baptist de La Salle from Reims, France. Louis de La Salle and Nicole de Moet de Brouillet were the parents of seven children, the oldest one being John Baptist de La Salle born on April 30, 1651. Nicole came from a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores

March 29, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN During Holy Week, we hear our Lord say during the Passion, “For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:31). Throughout the history of the Church, Catholics have been persecuted and martyred and they continue to be persecuted and martyred today. This is the normal situation of Catholics, one in which we should rejoice to be able to join our Lord in winning souls for Heaven. Persecution also decimated Catholic activities in Mexico during the early 20th century. Graham Greene wrote that the persecution of the Church in Mexico was second only to the persecution of Catholics in England under Queen Elizabeth I. The Cristero War (1926-1929)…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Lucy Filippini

March 22, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Since the beginning of the Catholic Church, the family has been recognized as the foundation of both the Church and society. Without a strong family structure, chaos ensues with violence, conflicts, abuse, and heartache. Likewise, the Church has always recognized that while the man is the head of the home as Christ is the head of the Church, the woman is the heart of the home and the foundation for a vitalized Church. In the 17th century, as civilization deteriorated, Mark Anthony Cardinal Barbarigo saw that the Church needed to be revitalized and began planning for this work. Our Lord provided him a most fitting assistant to meet his needs. On January 13, 1672 a little girl…Continue Reading