Tuesday 27th June 2017

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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

Catholic Heroes… St. John Francis Regis

June 6, 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

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

May 30, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

By CAROLE BRESLIN The end of the 18th century in France was a time of persecution for the Catholic Church with many priests and religious driven from convents and rectories, and others put to death. As more and more priests were martyred, the Church searched for good young men to replace them. In the history of the Church, there have been men who seemed unable to fulfill the role, but nonetheless became great saints, such as St. Joseph of Cupertino and the Curé of Ars, who studied with St. Marcellin Champagnat — another seemingly unqualified candidate for the priesthood. Marcellin was the ninth of the ten children of Jean-Baptiste and Marie Therese Chirat Champagnat. He was taken to the church…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

May 23, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1748, the Viceroy of Peking with great frustration asked, “What are we to do with these men? Their lives are certainly irreproachable. . . . Their jailers and their families become their disciples and embrace their religion. To prolong this state is only to give them the opportunity of increasing the number of Christians.” Thus Peter Sanz and his companions — Fathers Joachim Royo, John Alcober, Francis Diaz, and Francis Serrano — became the first martyrs in Fo-kien China. St. Peter Sanz was born on September 22, 1680 in the Catalan region of Spain. His uncle, an ecclesiastic of the Cathedral of Lerida, monitored his education before Peter entered the Dominican order. He professed his religious…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

May 16, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace and harmony; and in memory of St. Benedict of Nursia who is the patron saint of Europe — a man also venerated by many Christian denominations. Pope Benedict XVI was elected on April 19, 2005, the feast day of an important German Pope of the Middle Ages: Pope St. Leo IX. Nearly eight years later on February 11, 2013, he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Dymphna And Friends

May 9, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Dymphna And Friends

By CAROLE BRESLIN With the increasing speed of technological development, the rate of depression has also increased. In Future Shock (1970), Alvin Toffler explained why too much change in too little time will have a detrimental effect. People will feel disconnected, suffering from stress and disorientation caused by information overload. Time spent on things leaves less time for God. We are blessed in the Catholic Church to have recourse to patrons for mental illness. Following are the stories of four of them. St. Dymphna On May 15, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Dymphna. Born to royal Irish parents in the seventh century, Dymphna was an only child. After her Christian mother’s death, her pagan father grieved inordinately…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Magdalena Of Canossa

May 2, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Magdalena Of Canossa

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is a palace overlooking the Adige River that twists through Verona, Italy — about 75 miles east of Venice. In 1527 the Marquises of Canossa commissioned Michele Sanmicheli to build it, and it still stands today, having had such prominent guests as Alexander I of Russia, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Francis I of Austria. Although you cannot go inside, you can view it from the street and see the home where St. Magdalena of Canossa was born on March 1, 1774. Magdalena was the third child born to Marquis Ottavio di Canossa and his Hungarian countess wife, Teresa Szluha. Sadly their first two children died shortly after birth, as did their fourth child, a boy. In 1776,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Chanel

April 25, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Chanel

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are a number of small islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, many of them predominantly Catholic. About 2,000 miles east of Australia is a tiny island nation for which one man paid the ultimate price for its conversion from paganism to Catholicism. St. Peter Chanel left his home in France to fulfill a lifelong desire to be a missionary for the Kingdom of God. As the late historian Warren Carroll informed his readers, France became known as the First Daughter of the Church because she was the first of the countries established by barbarians after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 to become Christian and Catholic. From there, her Catholic children were instrumental…Continue Reading