Friday 17th August 2018

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Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

June 7, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

By CAROLE BRESLIN Detachment from worldly goods and temporal pleasures sometimes comes to a person after years of devotions, fasting, and prayer. By giving up one vice at a time or practicing one virtue and mastering that one, then moving on to the next, a person can grow in holiness. Occasionally, our Lord will bring a child into the world who practices such heroic virtue from his earliest days, that it is clear he will become a great servant of God. St. Medard was such a man, becoming one of the most distinguished prelates in the history of France. Both his parents possessed royal lineages with his father, Nectaridus, an important French nobleman in the king’s court, and his mother,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Justin Martyr

May 31, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Justin Martyr

By CAROLE BRESLIN Catholicism is universal. Its teachings and doctrines are ever old and ever new, as is the need to evangelize, applicable to all times and to all people. Redemptoris Missio, issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1990 on the missionary nature of the Church, names three types of evangelization and how to be an effective evangelist. This document — well worth the time it takes to read it — names three types of evangelization: 1) to the nations, 2) to serving Christian communities, and 3) to fallen-away Christians. (The New Evangelization refers mainly to the third form of evangelization, to fallen-away Christians.) Since the first Pentecost, the Church has been reaching out to bring people closer…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

May 24, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 19th century the Canadians endured a crisis of education called the Manitoba question. Prelates, priests, politicians, and laity joined in both the private and the public debate that lasted for years. The Catholic Church was deeply divided over the question of the schools and letters crossed the Atlantic to and from Rome in efforts to find a solution. In the middle of this controversy was Blessed Louis-Zéphirin. Halfway between Montreal and Quebec in the village of Bécancour, Louis Zephirin and Marie-Marguerite Champoux welcomed the fifth of their thirteen children into their family on April 1, 1824. The son, Louis Zéphirin, was born prematurely and was sickly. Their parish priest, Fr. Charles Dion, urged Louis…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

May 17, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all come to mind. Likewise, Ivan Merz, a Croatian, converted later in life and served the Lord faithfully. Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it is now called, was filled with political and cultural tensions during the early 20th century, with multiple countries striving to control it. In addition, the region held several different religious groups, and varying ethnicities. The underlying discontent came to a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bede The Venerable

May 10, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bede The Venerable

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern England — what is now known as the county of Tyne and Wear — on the Wear River sits St. Peter’s at Monkwearmouth. About seven miles away are the ruins of St. Paul’s Parish, which contain the oldest stained-glass window in the world. Both churches played an important role in the development of Christianity in England, leading them to be selected as a World Heritage Site and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In the mid-seventh century, Benedict Biscop received some land from Egfrid, king of Northumbria, to build a monastery and church. The monastery, completed in 674, became the major Anglo-Saxon center of learning in northern England. In 678, the Pope — probably Pope Agatho, who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Marie-Leonie Paradis

May 3, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Marie-Leonie Paradis

By CAROLE BRESLIN North America has been blessed with many woman saints! St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the American Sisters of Charity, was the first person born in the United States to be declared a saint. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was born in what is now Auriesville, N.Y., has been declared a saint. And now Blessed Marie Leonie Paradis from L’Acadie, Quebec, may be canonized, joining other Canadian woman saints such as Marguerite d’Youville. Alodie-Virginie was born on May 12, 1840, the third child of Joseph Paradis and Emilie Gregoire. They were poor and very devout Catholics. Emilie had six children, but only Alodie and her two older brothers survived: Joseph-Edouard Emilien and Vital. Although the parents had little…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Gianna Beretta Molla

April 26, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Gianna Beretta Molla

By CAROLE BRESLIN God provides for His Church in this vale of tears. During times of doctrinal error, He raised up such saints as St. Athanasius, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Augustine. During the times of spiritual confusion after Luther posted his 95 theses, He provided the wonders of the spiritual exercises and depths of prayer through St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross. So it is not surprising that during this battle for the sanctity of marriage and the protection of the unborn, He has provided us with Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who gave her life so…Continue Reading

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