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Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

November 1, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

By CAROLE BRESLIN Which Asian country has the largest population of Catholics? As a former Spanish colony, the Philippines has 80 million Catholics out of a population of 100 million. This is not only the greatest number in one country, but also the greatest percentage of Catholics for any Asian nation. From this country, two persons have been canonized and a third, although the son of Spanish parents, is considered a son of the Philippines and has recently been beatified by Pope Francis: Blessed José Maria de Manila. The last Spanish mayor of Manila, Don Eugenio del Saz-Orozco, and his wife, Dona Felisa Mortera y Camocho, were the parents of Eugenio Saz-Orozco Jr., who later took the religious name of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

October 25, 2016 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

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

October 18, 2016 saints Comments Off on Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not to be feared if we look forward to living in the next. So lived the priest Fr. Giuseppe Puglisi in the past century, fighting evil by working with youth, and paying the ultimate price: with his life. Giuseppe was born in a working-class neighborhood called Brancaccio, into a family of simple people. His father was a shoemaker and his mother…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

October 11, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

By CAROLE BRESLIN God works many miracles through the weakest persons so that their lives read like a fairy tale. Old or young, sick or poor, powerful or destitute, all are touched deeply by their encounters with such men of God. Such was the life of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of expectant mothers and young children. Domenica, a tailor, and his wife Benedetta had three daughters in Muro, a village in southern Italy, when on April 6, 1726 they received their son, Gerard, into this world. As the mother of this devout, hardworking family, Benedetta frequently ushered her three youngest children to the chapel at Capotignano. When Gerard was four years old, he told his mother that he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

October 4, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

By CAROLE BRESLIN The complex roots of the Spanish Civil War (February 1936 to April 1939) sprouted many years before hostilities broke out. Little by little the Catholic Church had lost its influence and then it became a prime target for both the revolutionaries and the government. Of Church personnel, those executed during the Spanish Civil War included 12 bishops; 283 religious sisters and nuns; 4,184 priests; 2,365 religious priests; and an unknown number of laypeople, according to a July 20, 2011 Our Sunday Visitor article by Russell Shaw. Among the martyrs are the Nine Martyrs of Turon, whose feast is celebrated on October 9. Eight of them were Brothers of the Christian Schools and one was a Passionist priest:…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

September 27, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans founded another mission that is the oldest “still in use” building in California. This was a church where the recently canonized saint, Fr. Junipero Serra, celebrated Mass. For centuries, the swallows would nest in the buildings of this mission which was one of the most ornate missions in the state. Every March 19, on the Feast of St. Joseph, the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

September 20, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order that spent most of its time ministering to the poor, she would have scoffed at such a suggestion. In the southeast forested hills of Poland, there is a small village, Pyzuny Lukawica. Amidst the natural beauty of this area so close to the Ukrainian border, Bernardina Maria Jablonska was born on August 5, 1878. Although her parents were not wealthy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aubert

September 13, 2016 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… Blessed Frederic Ozanam

September 6, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Frederic Ozanam

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of the best-known Catholic charities in the world is the St. Vincent de Paul Society. When challenged by a non-Catholic that the Church no longer helped the poor, Frederic Ozanam and his college friends decided to prove the man wrong. They would go out and help the poor. Today this society has over 800,000 members in over 140 countries, more than two centuries after its beginning in Lyons, France, in 1833. As Napoleon’s armies marched across Europe, one of his officers was stationed in Milan, Italy — Jean-Antoine Ozanam. On April 23, 1813, he and his wife, Marie, had their fifth child born in Milan. They named him Frederic and he was the fifth of 14…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

August 30, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1994 a musical phenomenon took the world by storm. Nothing like it had ever been popular before, but this new recording became a hit around the world. People raved about the peace it brought them when they listened to it. The songs were sung by Benedictine monks from their monastery near Burgos, Spain. Although Gregorian Chant may have been refined years later, the essence of this music originated with Pope Gregory I in the sixth century. Gregory was born in 540 in Rome to a couple prominent not only in civil matters but also in Church affairs. His father, Gordianus served as a senator, as the prefect of Rome, and “Regionarius” in the Church. Gregory’s mother,…Continue Reading