Thursday 27th July 2017

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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

Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

April 18, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Francis Mary of Camporosso, St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Leopold of Mandic, and St. Seraphin of Montegranaro are just a few of the 115 Capuchin men and women who have been declared saints or blesseds by the Catholic Church. There are so many that Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “They say you Capuchins are poor, but you are actually very, very rich. You have saints!” St. Conrad of Parzham, a porter for the Capuchins, is numbered among these holy men and women. St. Conrad’s parents were Bartholomew Birndorfer and Gertrude Niedermayer, who welcomed his arrival on December 22, 1818, naming him John. Even though they were peasant farmers in Bad Griesbach, Passau,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Hermenegild

April 11, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Hermenegild

By CAROLE BRESLIN Martyrdom, the crown of Christian perfection, usually happens slowly, beginning with a dying to self and a living for Christ. Some Christians pray for martyrdom with confidence, knowing that God provided the grace to many in the past and does so now around the world. To prepare for martyrdom, many saints began lives of deprivation, of saying no to their own wants as they fasted and performed penances. Before his martyrdom, St. Hermenegild remained faithful to Christ, saying yes to Him and saying no to earthly comforts. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Around the year 564 in Toletum of the Visigoth Kingdom (now Toledo, Spain), King Liuvigild and his first wife, Princess Theodosia,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aphraates

April 4, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Aphraates

By CAROLE BRESLIN The sounds of war drift up to the ancient monastery perched high on a hill to the east of Mosul, Iraq. Behind its stone walls refugees from the city, Catholics who were betrayed by friends and neighbors, fled for the lives to the safety on the hill. The fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have seized much of the land of Mosul, but conflict continues to the west as forces try to reclaim the land. Many Christians are now refugees with no homes and even some of the inhabitants of Mar Mattai, the monastery of St. Matthew, have fled in fear. Over the past 1,600 years, the monks have been persecuted and sometimes expelled,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

March 28, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

By CAROLE BRESLIN Brescia is an Italian city in the foothills of the Alps. It has stunning vistas, ancient ruins, historic forts, castles, and modern buildings standing beside ones that are many centuries old, as well as foundations that date back to 1,200 BC. Brescia was once a Roman province. In the early Middle Ages, it was captured by the Lombard army and then it was taken from them by Charlemagne. In the 16th century, Brescia rebelled against French control, and eventually became a puppet state of Austria. In the middle of the 19th century, the people again revolted against foreign control, during the bloody and devastating “Ten Days of Brescia.” On April 1, 1849, the last day of that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

March 21, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II of Spain wanted to ensure that the judges were fair and well versed in legal codes, especially those of the Church. Therefore, he appointed a brilliant and devout Catholic, Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo. Toribio, born in 1538, came from a very wealthy and noble family from Mayorga de Campos, Leon, Spain, located 175 miles northwest of Madrid. Although little is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

March 14, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the period of Spanish colonization during the 16th century. The country received its independence in 1810, but this joyful event was soon overshadowed by civil war which lasted until 1861. When peace returned, Buenos Aires was set up as the capital of Argentina and magnificent buildings were erected to house the government offices. During this time, an itinerant preacher, Fr. Brochero,…Continue Reading