Wednesday 17th September 2014

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas The Apostle

July 1, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are so many saints named St. Thomas that it is a common practice to call them all by more than Thomas, such as Thomas à Becket, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, or any one of the more than 30 others listed in the 1981 edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints. (I always felt sorry for the good apostle named Judas [Jude] because the other Judas, the betrayer, rather ruined it for him since Judas became a name associated with a person of evil and betrayal.) It is somewhat curious that St. Thomas the Apostle, about whom there is little known, has had so many famous saints named after him. Although Thomas is not mentioned much in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Anthelm

June 24, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the mountains of Vermont you can visit the home — now a resort — of the famous Von Trapp family in Waitsfield, Vt. If you travel south from there, and meander about 100 miles through the mountains, you will see the Carthusian Monastery of the Transfiguration near Lake Madeleine in Equinox, Vt. This is the only Carthusian monastery in the United States. The Carthusians have held so closely to the vision of their founder, St. Bruno, that they have had no need of reform, unlike many other orders, such as the Carmelites. The austerity and quiet lifestyle of the Carthusians back in the 12th century had such a profound effect on St. Anthelm that it changed…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Osanna Of Mantua

June 17, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Since the days of St. Dominic and the establishment of the Third Order of Dominicans for the laity, there have been many tertiary Dominican saints. Two who come to mind are St. Catherine of Siena, who lived in the 14th century in Italy, and St. Rose of Lima, who lived at the end of the 16th century in Lima, Peru. Between these two saints and their times lived another third order Dominican, Blessed Osanna. whose life had some similarities beyond their common profession to Dominic’s third order. On January 17, 1449, Blessed Osanna came into the world in Mantua, Italy, halfway between Venice and Milan in northern Italy. As the daughter of the noble Niccolò Andreasi and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . 108 Polish Martyrs

June 10, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is only one organization on the face of the earth whose leader unfailingly draws the largest crowds in history. Literally millions will crowd into the city where the leader will be. Of course, it is the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. No wonder political leaders down through history have tried to destroy the Church, but all have failed. In 1995, five million gathered in Manila for World Youth Day, while in 2013, three million gathered in Rio de Janeiro for another World Youth Day. On June 7, 1999, in Warsaw, Poland, there was another huge gathering of the Polish people. During his seventh pastoral visit to his native country,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Rita Of Cascia

May 20, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The vendetta in Italy gained a reputation as being brutal and persevering. For centuries, families would hold animosity resulting from an offense. A vendetta means a series of acts done over a long period of time to cause harm to a disliked person or group. Even in Catholic Italy of the 14th century, the vendettas were very real. Only the saintly, such as Rita of Cascia, could defuse the vendettas of her time. In 1381, the Lotti couple, Antonio and Amata, had long hoped for a child. Finally they received a daughter to whom they gave the name Margherita, meaning pearl. They were known in their tiny village of Roccaporena in Cascia as being the Conciliatore di…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Robert Bellarmine

May 13, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Two days a week I attend Mass in Flushing, Mich., at the Parish of St. Robert Bellarmine. The altar is beautiful, but nothing prepared me for the beauty of the decorations for Easter with an empty tomb on one side, the risen Christ on another, and across to the back side draped in white linen all surrounded with beautiful, fragrant flowers. There was much more with which the patron, St. Robert Bellarmine, must have been so pleased. St. Robert has not been as universally popular as the Little Flower, but he certainly offers much to write about since he is one of the few who have been designated as a doctor of the Church. In 1542, the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of Beverley

May 6, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the history of Christianity, as one pagan country after another was converted to Catholicism, a trail of saints could be found. St. Paul was followed by St. Timothy, and St. Cyril was accompanied by St. Methodius. Although Christianity had been brought to the British Isles many years before the time of St. Cuthbert, the people for the most part remained pagan. During the late seventh century, in the lowlands of Scotland, St. Cuthbert (whose feast was celebrated in March) was followed by other saints whom God had provided to bring people to His Church. One of these was St. John of Beverley. Before the Protestant Reformation decimated the Catholic Church in England and Scotland, one of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph, The Worker

April 29, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, countries will be observing a holiday started by the International Labor Movement — a day celebrating the workingman. In the Catholic Church we have observed this day, May 1, as the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, ever since it was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955. On September 14, 1981, Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical, Laborem Exercens or On Human Work. Eight years later he issued the apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos or Guardian of the Redeemer. Both of these explain the honor and respect due to St. Joseph, patron of workers. While much of the secular world celebrates this day in honor of workers,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Adalbert

April 22, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN We will all die as a result of original sin — and we will be judged at the time of our death. There are two judgments that we will face after we end our existence on this earth. First, we will face the particular judgment at the time of our death, where we will then go to one of three places: Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell. At the end of the world, there will be a general judgment where all persons ever created will face the final judgment of God of our actions, or what we have failed to do. These good actions or unrepentant failings of ours will not only be revealed to all souls, but will…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

April 15, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to be the King of Israel. He chose the undiplomatic Peter to be the head of the apostles and He also chose Bernadette to receive the miraculous events of the grotto in Lourdes, France. Bernadette came from a family so poor that they lived in a damp, dark dungeon that was not even used as a jail anymore because of its…Continue Reading