Monday 23rd April 2018

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Catholic Heroes… St. Pedro Calungsod

April 19, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Pedro Calungsod

By CAROLE BRESLIN Guam, a small island about 1,600 miles east of the Philippines, is an unincorporated territory of the United States. This small island, which has played an important role in U.S. military activities in Southeast Asia since the early twenty-first century, was recently a pawn in the political chess game with North Korea. The Jesuits first came to the Philippines in 1581. They frequently went to Guam to preach the Gospel. In the mid-seventeenth century, they took a young man, Pedro, with them who served faithfully until his death. Little is known about Pedro Calungsod, including where he was born and who his parents were. He was probably born in Visayas, a village in the Philippines — certainly…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Montepulciano

April 12, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Montepulciano

By CAROLE BRESLIN When St. Therese of Lisieux was only 15 years old, she begged her father to let her enter a convent. Her parents, Saints Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin, were faithful Catholics and raised their children to cherish the religious life. About six hundred years before St. Therese was born, another saint had the same ambition: to join the convent at an early age. St. Agnes started much younger, however, when she broached the subject at the tender age of six. Agnes was born of the wealthy Segni family in 1268. An aura of bright lights surrounded the house of the saint on the day of her birth. Thus her future was foreshadowed. Her parents guided her development…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Hermann Joseph

April 5, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Hermann Joseph

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some saints undergo extraordinary conversions, including St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Ignatius of Loyola. Some saints, on the other hand, seem to possess an uncommon holiness from very early in their lives, such as St. Rose of Lima, St. Teresa of Lisieux, and St. Hermann Joseph, who had a deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. Hermann was born in Cologne, Germany, around 1150 to a noble but impoverished Catholic family. From his childhood he enjoyed a special relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Frequently, he would leave his playmates and go before the statue of Mary in his parish church. This tender devotion was noticed by the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Leonardo Murialdo

March 29, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Leonardo Murialdo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the early nineteenth century a devout Catholic family lived in Turin, Italy. The father, Leonardo Murialdo, had married Theresa Rho, and together they had nine children. Olympia, Aurelia, Dionisia, Emily, Clementine (who died as an infant), Domitilla, and Ernest were all born before the future saint Leonardo was born. Two years after his birth, Delfina came along. On October 27, 1828, Leonardo and Theresa took their baby Leonardo to San Dalmazzo Catholic Church for his Baptism, the day after his birth. Leonardo was a wealthy and highly respected financier, but the wealth meant little to him compared to the faith he and his wife treasured so dearly. Their piety and generosity filled their home with peace…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

March 22, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

By CAROLE BRESLIN Spain is one of two countries located on the Iberian Peninsula. During the time of the Roman Empire, it was the Romans who first called this land “Hispania.” To this land the Romans brought the Latin language, civil organization, and law, as well as the Christian religion. However, as the Roman Empire began to crumble during the fifth century, the Germanic tribes from the north invaded Spain. The Suevi, Vandals, and Alans moved in. These peoples were then conquered by the Visigoths, who controlled the entire Iberian Peninsula by the end of the sixth century. Two centuries of their control left civilized society in ruins with little culture, few manners, and weakening faith. The Visigoths were pagan,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

March 13, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

By CAROLE BRESLIN It has been said that the four characteristics of good prayer are that it must be sincere, it must be humble, it must be confident, and it must be persevering. This can also be said of the Christian life and a person’s approach to seeking to do the will of God: humble, sincere, confident, and persevering. St. Monica was certainly all of these: she prayed for the conversion of one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Catholic Church for 33 years. Examining the life of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer reveals another soul who was humble, sincere, confident, and persevering in his pursuit of doing God’s will despite the numerous setbacks he endured during his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Luigi Orione

March 6, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Luigi Orione

By CAROLE BRESLIN Suffering, great persecutions, humiliations, obstacles to entering the religious life — all of these seem to be the lot of those destined to become saints. In fact, without these pains present in their lives, chances are that their causes for canonization would not proceed. Why would someone want to become a saint if that is the path? Without the cross there is no salvation, but there is much more. Though saints may have been deprived of earthly pleasures, the joy they experience in knowing they are embracing God’s will for them, the graces our Lord bestows on them, and the fruits of their labors that they may live long enough to see, far surpass the pains endured.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Frances Of Rome

February 27, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Frances Of Rome

By CAROLE BRESLIN Saints come from all states of life and forms of associations within the Church. Quite a few of them were members of Third Orders. A Third Order is an “association of the faithful established by religious orders. Dating from the 13th century, they may be either secular or regular. If secular, they are lay persons, commonly called tertiaries. If regular, they are religious, bound by public vows, and live in community. Originally, Third Orders were Franciscan or Dominican, but the Holy See has since approved many others, both secular and regular, e.g., the Augustinians, Carmelites, Servites, Benedictines, and Trinitarians” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, p. 538). These associations are called Third Orders since the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

February 20, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the thirteenth century, many alliances were solidified by a marriage between members of royalty from other nations. There were also quite a few royal persons who were known for their holiness by following Christianity, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus of Czechoslovakia. Related to all of these saints, Princess Agnes also loved our Lord. Even though she became a pawn in the betrothal scheming, she refused all suitors and spurned the various marriages others were planning for her. Agnes, the daughter of Ottokar, king of Bohemia, and Constance of Hungary, was born on June 20, 1211. Her father is frequently called the father of the Czech Republic as he led the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

February 13, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but later in life Mary Magdalene and Jesus appeared to her as their beloved. Her change in behavior was so abrupt and was so different from her unwholesome ways that she was once again driven away by her family — not because of her immorality, but because of the extremes to which she went in loving repentance. Margaret was born in…Continue Reading