Tuesday 17th October 2017

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Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

October 17, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is little recorded. There is not much information about St. Catherine of Alexandria but her impact on the early Church provides material for deep reflection. Alexandria, a great city at the mouth of the Nile River in Egypt was the center of Hellenistic knowledge at the turn of the fourth century. St. Catherine’s family lived in Alexandra since her father, Constus,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

October 10, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so common when a kingdom is sought by more than one party. Edward, the son of King Ethelred the Unready and his second wife, Emma of Normandy, was born in 1003. He was the seventh son of Ethelred, but the firstborn of his second wife who also gave birth to another son, Alfred, and daughter, Godgifu. The family lived in Islip,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Anna Schaffer

October 3, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Anna Schaffer

By CAROLE BRESLIN There have been a number of well-known saints who have endured the painful wounds given to them by Christ. St. Rita suffered a permanent wound in her forehead, representing Christ’s crown of thorns. Others such as St. Francis and St. Padre Pio suffered the stigmata, the wounds in the hands and feet representing the holes where the nails pierced Christ’s hands. St. Catherine of Siena suffered similar pains and so did a lesser-known saint, St. Anna Schaffer. Anna was born on February 18, 1882 in Mindelstetten, Germany, about 75 miles west of the Austrian border. Anna was the third of six children. Her father, a carpenter, died in 1896 when Anna was 16 years old. This left…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

September 26, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

By CAROLE BRESLIN Ireland, the Emerald Isle, a green country of lush fauna, friendly people, and beautiful views — if you can find a clear day — has a rich and troubled heritage. It is a land full of the lore of elves, fairies, and, most important, Catholic saints. Numerous books have been written about the many Irish saints and one of the most revered in Aidhne for nearly 1,400 years is St. Colman. Before he was even born in 560, Colman’s existence caused much persecution for his mother. Colman’s mother, Rhinagh, descended from royalty, fled for her safety from her husband, Duagh, an Irish chieftain. Rhinagh, still pregnant with Colman, received a prophecy that her son’s holiness would surpass…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Thomas Villanova

September 19, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Thomas Villanova

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord drew amazing men and women from the population of Spain to protect that country from the ravages that swept through Germany and the Scandinavian countries in the Reformation era. Two events marked by Augustinian monks sparked these events. In Germany, an apostate Augustinian monk who fell from grace led hundreds of thousands into error — Martin Luther. The second “event” was the raising of great saints in Spain: John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, and Thomas of Villanova. These saints helped edify and sustain faithful Catholics. In 1488 the Catholic parish in Fuentellana counted a pious but impoverished family among its members. Aloazo Thomas Garcia, a miller, was the father, and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

September 12, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul (1542-1591) all lived during the lifetime of St. Simon de Rojas. While they focused on the spiritual formation of souls, St. Simon focused on organizing the laity to play a more active role in performing the corporal works of mercy. In the year 1552 there was a Catholic…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Gabriel Perboyre

September 5, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Gabriel Perboyre

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the dawn of the 19th century, France was emerging from the devastation of the French Revolution. The Catholic Church suffered many tragic losses as priests and religious bore the crown of martyrdom. Churches, monasteries, and schools were confiscated by the anticlerical forces. Anyone who remained true to the Catholic Church and her teachings must have had a deep love and commitment to following Christ. The Perboyre family was among those who did have that love. John Gabriel Perboyre was born into that family on January 6, 1802. Among John’s siblings, three became missionaries of St. Vincent de Paul while two others became Daughters of Charity, another order founded by de Paul. To have six of their…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aubert

August 29, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aubert

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the west coast of France just below England lies the See of Avranches. If you take a drive around the waterways for about 24 miles, you will arrive at one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages, another World Heritage Site — one of 41 in France. This place, Mont Saint-Michel, is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, since he appeared to St. Aubert and ordered him to erect the church in his honor. Born late in the seventh century, Aubert was born of a noble family from Genetas. He received an extensive education and became known for both his wisdom and his piety. “He behaved in such a way that all considered him an angel of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

August 22, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted among that number. Near Dijon, France, lies a town called Fontaines where Bernard of Clairvaux was born. Both his father’s family and his mother’s family were pious Christians. Before marrying St. Bernard’s father, Elizabeth — daughter of Count Bernard de Montbar — had planned to join a cloister. His father, Teceline, Lord of Fontaines, possessed a great fear of God.…Continue Reading

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