Tuesday 28th June 2016

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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

Catholic Heroes . . . Servant Of God Augustus Tolton

March 15, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN When God calls a man to the priesthood, sometimes the call is heard clearly and few obstacles are placed in the path of the aspiring man of God. Sometimes, however, that man must overcome numerous obstacles to his vocation before achieving the honor of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Such was the case of Augustus Tolton, born into slavery in Missouri. A well-to-do Catholic family lived in Kentucky, owning a number of slaves, one of which was a lovely young girl named Martha Jane Chisley. Just before 1850, her owners, Stephen and Savilla Elliot, moved to Missouri, taking Savilla’s personal slave, Martha, with them. In 1851, Martha married Peter Paul Tolton in St. Peter Church in Brush…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Giacomo Cusmano

March 8, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our human frailty, it is easy to become discouraged when there is so much tragedy, corruption, and sorrow in our lives. However, that is when God is especially close to us. It is a normal way of life for the Christian to suffer, but also a normal way of life for true Christians to see the grace in the midst of suffering. “Now the law entered in, that sin might abound. And where sin abounded, grace did more abound” (Romans 5:20). Blessed Giacomo Cusmano was an angel of mercy, bringing solace to the suffering of the island of Sicily in face of its trials from the revolutions. On March 15, 1834, a man of God was…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Casimir Of Poland

March 1, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord told His disciples quite clearly that it is difficult for the rich to enter into Heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24 and Luke 18:25). Nonetheless, there are many saints who came from wealthy and noble parents. They lived simple lives, often in seclusion, forgoing the trappings of their station and seeking only to know and do the will of God. St. Francis of Assisi, King Louis IX and his sister St. Isabel of France, and St. Casimir of Poland are just a few of them. St. Casimir…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Isabel Of France

February 23, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN France, because of her early and continual faithfulness to the Catholic faith, has been called the Eldest Daughter of the Church. The ties with the Catholic Church began with the conversion of King Clovis I (466-511) and continued through the Protestant Revolution until the present time — even with the persecutions France suffered during the French Revolution. One of the Catholic kings who became a saint had a sister who has also been declared a saint, St. Isabel of France. In Pays de France, just outside of Paris, along the Seine, lived King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, the queen of France. The royal couple were a holy example of Christian love, and they already had…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Giovanni Da Fiesole, OP

February 16, 2016 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the Renaissance, a return to classical interests surged with cultural, social, and educational reforms. Diplomacy and manners became popular once again, but the most remarkable accomplishments were in the art of the era. Many famous artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci created masterpieces that are still highly prized centuries later. But there is only one of them whom the Catholic Church ever declared a blessed: Blessed Giovanni da Fiesole. Blessed Giovanni was born in about 1395 in Rupecanina, Tuscany, just northwest of Florence. Little is known about his parents, who gave him the name Guido di Pietro at his birth. The first of any evidence about the man was recorded on October 17,…Continue Reading