Thursday 21st February 2019

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Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Thomas Tsuji

September 6, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Thomas Tsuji

By CAROLE BRESLIN Kyoto, Tokyo, Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Mount Fuji are among the most well-known places in the island nation of Japan. From a Catholic perspective, the best known would be Nagasaki, capital of the Nagasaki Prefecture located on the southwestern-most area of Japan. It was the first part of Japan to be colonized by the Portuguese and Dutch after the landing of the famous Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier. Their faith was so strong that it is probably the only place on Earth that held to the Catholic faith for over 200 years without a priest. In a country that has historically been far from friendly to Catholicism, The Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region have been declared a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Narcisa de Jesus

August 30, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Narcisa de Jesus

By CAROLE BRESLIN Twice a year, pilgrims from Ecuador, Peru, Europe, and the United States flock to Canton Nobol in Ecuador for a procession. On Good Friday, thousands participate in the procession of the Way of the Cross placed at the outdoor shrine. On October 22, they come in memory of their beloved saint who was canonized on October 22, 2008 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The young lady was St. Narcisa de Jesus. Narcisa (1832-1869) was born just a few years after the Republic of Ecuador was founded in the early nineteenth century. Peter Martillo, a simple and devout landowner, and his wife, Josephine Moran, had nine children — Narcisa was their sixth child. They lived in a tiny…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

August 23, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Gregory The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1994 a musical phenomenon took the world by storm. Nothing like it had ever been popular before, but this new recording became a hit around the world. People raved about the peace it brought them when they listened to it. The songs were sung by Benedictine monks from their monastery near Burgos, Spain. Although Gregorian Chant may have been refined years later, the essence of this music originated with Pope Gregory I in the sixth century. Gregory was born in 540 in Rome to a couple prominent not only in civil matters but also in Church affairs. His father, Gordianus served as a senator, as the prefect of Rome, and “Regionarius” in the Church. Gregory’s mother,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

August 16, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

By CAROLE BRESLIN In central Italy about one hundred miles north of Rome, lies the peaceful town looking down on the Clitunno River named Montefalco. It attracts tourists with its wildlife, wineries, and vineyards, and stunning churches. One of the most beautiful churches with its vaulted, painted ceilings, marble pillars, and inspiring altars is the Basilica of St. Clare of Montefalco. Clare came from a well-to-do family that lived simply, practicing their faith with careful attention to devotion and charitable works. The people of Umbria, where Montefalco is located, were known in that day for their ability to settle disputes rationally without recourse to either violence or litigation. Her parents, Damiano and Iacopa Vengente, welcomed Clare in 1268. They had…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

August 9, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By CAROLE BRESLIN Valencia, claim its inhabitants, is the premier city in all of Spain. Located along Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coastline, it boasts stunning beaches, ancient history, and magnificent churches. Perhaps the most famous is the Valencian Cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, which holds a chalice which has been defended as the relic of the true Holy Grail. St. Lawrence is believed to have been instrumental in secreting the Holy Grail (the sacred vessel used by Christ for His Precious Blood) out of Rome during a particularly brutal persecution of the early Church. His parents lived in Huesca, a city well known for the silver coins it produced, but also for its nobility and Christian population…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Frederic Janssoone

August 2, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Frederic Janssoone

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1342 The Franciscans were charged with the care of the sites in the Holy Land promoting the Way of the Cross. More than 500 years later, Fr. Frederick Janssoone received the same responsibility — to guard the holy sites in Jerusalem. In Ghyvelde, the Nord Department of northern France, Pierre Janssoone and Marie-Isabella Bollengier became the proud parents of Frederick on November 19, 1838. He was the youngest of 13 children. His mother called him her gift from St. Elizabeth of Hungary since it was her feast day. In 1847, Pierre died, leaving the children in the care of their mother who had a deep devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. The year after his father’s…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

July 26, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern Israel between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, a mountain range stretches inland. This range, although named Mount Carmel, is really a series of mountains stretching inland. The main site of the Mount, the Stella Maris monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the city of Haifa. The view of the sea, the lands, and mountain range beyond the monastery is stunning. In fact the name Carmel comes from the ancient Hebrew word meaning garden, named after its many beautiful flowers, shrubs, and fragrant herbs. So beautiful was this mount that people compared it to the bride in the Song of Songs (7:5). Although we think of Our Lady…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Symmachus

July 19, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Symmachus

By CAROLE BRESLIN Although Chinese people are not familiar with a popular saying, some attribute it to them: “May you live in interesting times.” Certainly its context seems benevolent on the surface, but it is intended to be more of an unkind expectation. Interesting times are not necessarily peaceful times, such as the reign of Pope Symmachus, which can definitely be classified as an interesting time. Symmachus was one of those saints whose younger days are obscure, but who became more widely known in his later years. He was born in Sardinia, an idyllic island in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy. Most historians believe his father, Fortunatus, and his mother were pagans, since Symmachus was not baptized until he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

July 12, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is remembered. Some saints become widely known because of their active lives founding religious orders, helping the poor, or traveling to foreign lands to evangelize, leaving behind a great deal of information. Others are mystics and have led lives of seclusion and the only way we know much about them is by the journals they wrote in obedience to their superiors,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

July 5, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of the 20th century, our Lord sent a man to Italy to be servant of God to those in need. Nearly 60 years before Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People — Vatican II), Pier Giorgio discerned that God had called him to remain a layman so that he could serve the poor and the needy more effectively. Alfredo…Continue Reading