Monday 21st August 2017

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Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

August 15, 2017 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. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

August 8, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are ten servants of God, three venerables, three blesseds, and four saints. St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was the first Indian to be canonized. The noble family of Muttathupadathu of Kudamalar, Changanacherry in India had a terrible shock in 1910. When Maria Puthukari was pregnant she fell asleep only to be wakened when a deadly snake had wrapped itself around…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Vianney

August 1, 2017 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… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

July 25, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries of the Church as well as during World War II. Another holy man the Church honors is not only a lay person, but perhaps the only lay person who founded several religious orders. In Grabonog, Poland, there lived a pious and wealthy family of landowners, Walenty Bojanowski and Teresa Uminska and their son Edmund who was born on November 14,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

July 18, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may have been called Veronica because the name comes from the Latin words meaning “true icon.” St. John Chrysostom’s name came from his gift of oratory; it means “golden tongue.” Likewise, St. Bonaventure’s name comes from the Latin words meaning “good adventure.” This saint was born in 1221 in Bagnoregio, Italy, to Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella, who gave their…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

July 11, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of God. St. Bridget of Sweden experienced all of these in her lifetime. St. Bridget, a descendant of Swedish royalty, was born on June 13, 1303, in the province of Uppland, north of Stockholm on the Baltic Sea. Her father, Birger Persson, came from the Finsta family, which possessed great wealth and influence. Birger acted as governor and judge while being…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Southwell, Blessed William Carter

July 4, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Southwell, Blessed William Carter

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1964 a plaque was placed near the Marble Arch in London. It came to be known as the Tyburn Tree, listing the many Catholics who were hung in Tyburn for refusing to deny their faith. The plaque has been restored and rededicated, placed on one of the busiest intersections in Hyde Park. This infamous place of execution began in 1196 in a village of Middlesex. It reached its peak of notoriety during the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I when anyone found guilty of practicing the Catholic faith was hung on the Tyburn Tree, then drawn and quartered. More than 350 men and women won the crown of martyrdom in this way. Among…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Peter To Rot

June 27, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Peter To Rot

By CAROLE BRESLIN Papua New Guinea is an island nation about 175 miles north of Queensland, Australia. The capital, Rabaul, is on the eastern tip of a smaller New Guinea island that sits just east of the main island. It is an island with a dark history of witchcraft, cannibalism, and violence against women. Into this bleak place, the light of Christ had a bearer of good news: Blessed Peter To Rot. Peter To Rot (pronounced Toe Rote) was the third of six children born to Angelo Tu Puia and his wife, Maria la Tumul. Shortly after their marriage, Angelo, a highly admired chief, and his wife had converted to Catholicism and raised their family in the small hamlet of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

June 20, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the history of the Church saints have commonly lived at the same time and worked together for the Kingdom of God. Pope St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. John of Avila (of the Cross) and St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori and Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli. Blessed Gennaro was the son of noble parents, born on September 12, 1702, in Naples, Italy. The Baron of Salerno Angelo Sarnelli, and his wife, Caterina Scappo, lived in the Zapata palace on the Piazza Trieste e Trento when their fourth of eight children was born. Gennaro received an education commensurate with his station in life. Like many saints, he was modest about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Francis Regis

June 13, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Francis Regis

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 16th century, Calvinism began to make significant advances in the Catholic population of France. More and more Catholics left the faith, or simply stopped going to Mass and practicing their faith. Then God sent a man to the French who preached tirelessly and then spent hours in the confessional, helping the penitents return to a vibrant practice of the faith. On January 31, 1597 in Fontcouvarte, France, John Francis Regis came into the world, welcomed by his father, Jean Regis, who was honored for his service during the Wars of the League — a Catholic organization dedicated to removing Protestantism from France — and his mother, Marguerite de Cugunhan, who was from a noble…Continue Reading