Tuesday 4th August 2015

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Charles Lwanga And Companions

May 19, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church in Africa has experienced unprecedented growth in the past century. In 1900, shortly after the martyrdom of Charles Lwanga and companions, there were two million Catholics in Africa. When Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa in 2009, the Catholic population was 158 million. Once again the Church has witnessed that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. Around 1860 Charles Lwanga was born to a Musaze father and a Merne mother in the Kingdom of Buganda in southern Uganda. At the time, few Westerners had bothered with the landlocked country in central Africa bordering Lake Victoria. Likewise, the Ugandans have been historically hostile to foreigners. It wasn’t long before the French and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Philip Neri

May 5, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church when great persecutions and heresies have been promoted, there were also great saints who underwent persecution in their attempts to protect the Deposit of Faith. Such was the case in the early 16th century, when the Catholic Church was suffering her greatest crisis to date with the Protestant Revolt. During this time, the Church engaged in the Catholic Counterreformation. This counterreformation was aided by a humble man, St. Philip Neri, born of poor parents in the year 1515 in Florence, Italy, on July 22, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen. When he was a child, many noticed his patience, charity, and cheerfulness. The only incident of being less than virtuous occurred…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius V

April 28, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Can anyone imagine a more challenging time in the history of the Church than the 16th century — besides this century? The Protestant Revolt north of Rome decimating the numbers of faithful Christians; to the west, England persecuting all Catholics; to the southeast, the Turks of the Ottoman Empire conquering at will place after place, setting their sights on all of Christendom — even together these were not enough to destroy the Catholic Church. For God sent to the faithful many great saints to renew and reform the Church. There are those who criticize Pope St. Pius V for his passionate fight against error, but the man was holy, humble, and instrumental in leading the Church through…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Spain

April 21, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Saints come from all walks of life. There are scholars and illiterate, rich and poor, men and women, religious and laity, kings and peasants. There are those who are more active in their faith and those who are more contemplative. Despite the widely varying backgrounds of the saints, they all have several things in common. First of all, they loved deeply. They loved God above all things, of course, but they also loved their fellow creatures. Secondly, they were persecuted not only by those who did not know them but also by those closest to them. Thirdly, they found joy in this suffering, knowing that it pleased God to allow it and that it gave them the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

April 7, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply regretted this brief wayward journey later in life. As happened with many saints, Anselm’s mother provided a good example of holiness and patience. St. Anselm was greatly devoted to his mother whom he missed dearly when she died. His father treated him so poorly that he was forced to leave home, traveling to the other side of the country. In…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

March 31, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a similar law shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, in Quebec, where the French colonies were thriving, Catholics had built churches and established parishes. In fact, the records of the Catholic churches have become famous for their genealogical records, kept from as early as 1621. St. Marguerite d’Youville was born into this era on October 15, 1701 in Varennes, Quebec. Varennes is located on…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

March 24, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read my book, but the Holy Spirit would have none of that. Concentration eluded me. Then I decided that I would massage my aunt as I said the Divine Mercy chaplet. When I came to the last prayer of the chaplet, my aunt’s heart beat for the last time. From that moment, I became a great promoter of Divine Mercy. It…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

March 17, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our time, it is common to hear parents bemoan the fact that their child is impulsive, or strong-willed, or irresponsible. Even the Holy Family suffered when our Lord, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the Temple. How Mary and Joseph must have agonized over the missing Child Jesus. How do you tell God you lost His Son? Similarly, St. John of God caused his mother such grief that some historians claim she died of it. St. John of God was born on March 8, 1495 in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, located in the northwest section of the country. His parents, Andre Cidade and Teresa Duarte, were once prominent, but they had lost all their wealth. Despite…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louise De Marillac

March 10, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every soul possesses dignity. “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2258). St. Louise de Marillac, who devoted her life to serving the sick and the poor, was born out of wedlock. In 1591, Louise was born near Meux, France. Little is known about her mother since she died when Louise was still very young. Rather than disowning the young girl, her father, Louis de Marillac, provided for her livelihood and education. He taught her for a while before placing her with the royal monastery in Poissy.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

March 3, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Spain is one of two countries located on the Iberian Peninsula. During the time of the Roman Empire, it was the Romans who first called this land “Hispania.” To this land the Romans brought the Latin language, civil organization, and law, as well as the Christian religion. However, as the Roman Empire began to crumble during the fifth century, the Germanic tribes from the north invaded Spain. The Suevi, Vandals, and Alans moved in. These peoples were then conquered by the Visigoths, who controlled the entire Iberian Peninsula by the end of the sixth century. Two centuries of their control left civilized society in ruins with little culture, few manners, and weakening faith. The Visigoths were pagan,…Continue Reading