Friday 24th November 2017

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Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

September 12, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul (1542-1591) all lived during the lifetime of St. Simon de Rojas. While they focused on the spiritual formation of souls, St. Simon focused on organizing the laity to play a more active role in performing the corporal works of mercy. In the year 1552 there was a Catholic…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Gabriel Perboyre

September 5, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Gabriel Perboyre

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the dawn of the 19th century, France was emerging from the devastation of the French Revolution. The Catholic Church suffered many tragic losses as priests and religious bore the crown of martyrdom. Churches, monasteries, and schools were confiscated by the anticlerical forces. Anyone who remained true to the Catholic Church and her teachings must have had a deep love and commitment to following Christ. The Perboyre family was among those who did have that love. John Gabriel Perboyre was born into that family on January 6, 1802. Among John’s siblings, three became missionaries of St. Vincent de Paul while two others became Daughters of Charity, another order founded by de Paul. To have six of their…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aubert

August 29, 2017 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… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

August 22, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted among that number. Near Dijon, France, lies a town called Fontaines where Bernard of Clairvaux was born. Both his father’s family and his mother’s family were pious Christians. Before marrying St. Bernard’s father, Elizabeth — daughter of Count Bernard de Montbar — had planned to join a cloister. His father, Teceline, Lord of Fontaines, possessed a great fear of God.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

August 15, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in the Catholic Church. Fr. Kentenich had been assigned the pastoral care of students living in Schoenstatt. He prepared the students to entrust their lives to Mary and to establish a chapel which would become a home where they could obtain the grace of welcome, interior transformation, and a fruitful apostolate. In 1964, the group received formal approval. Thus the laity…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

August 8, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are ten servants of God, three venerables, three blesseds, and four saints. St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was the first Indian to be canonized. The noble family of Muttathupadathu of Kudamalar, Changanacherry in India had a terrible shock in 1910. When Maria Puthukari was pregnant she fell asleep only to be wakened when a deadly snake had wrapped itself around…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Vianney

August 1, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Vianney

By CAROLE BRESLIN During these challenging times in the Church and with the dangers of religious becoming secularized, the Church has a shining example of a holy and sanctifying priest in the Curé of Ars, the patron saint of priests. The Curé of Ars, also known as St. John Vianney, was not particularly brilliant and almost did not become a priest, but he had a love of both God and neighbor that led him to heroic practices to win souls for the Kingdom of God. On May 8, 1786, Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze brought their newborn baby straight to the church to be baptized in Dardilly, near Lyons, France. He was the fourth of six children. His baptismal name…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

July 25, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries of the Church as well as during World War II. Another holy man the Church honors is not only a lay person, but perhaps the only lay person who founded several religious orders. In Grabonog, Poland, there lived a pious and wealthy family of landowners, Walenty Bojanowski and Teresa Uminska and their son Edmund who was born on November 14,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

July 18, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may have been called Veronica because the name comes from the Latin words meaning “true icon.” St. John Chrysostom’s name came from his gift of oratory; it means “golden tongue.” Likewise, St. Bonaventure’s name comes from the Latin words meaning “good adventure.” This saint was born in 1221 in Bagnoregio, Italy, to Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella, who gave their…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

July 11, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of God. St. Bridget of Sweden experienced all of these in her lifetime. St. Bridget, a descendant of Swedish royalty, was born on June 13, 1303, in the province of Uppland, north of Stockholm on the Baltic Sea. Her father, Birger Persson, came from the Finsta family, which possessed great wealth and influence. Birger acted as governor and judge while being…Continue Reading