Friday 1st August 2014

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter, Pope

February 17, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matt. 16:18; Mark 8:27). As I was looking at a replica of the Vatican, whose architecture is in the shape of a key in a keyhole, I realized that Christ really did build His Church on St. Peter. Deep in the recesses of St. Peter’s Basilica are the relics of St. Peter. There is no other church in all of Christendom that can claim to be built on St. Peter. There is little known about Peter’s early life except that he was born in Bethsaida, a small town near Lake Genesareth. More of his history, however, can be gained from the passages in Scripture that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Claude De La Colombière

February 10, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, paired with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, has become one of the most popular devotions for Catholics. Although the Sacred Heart had been part of the tradition of the Church for centuries, it never was promoted to the extent it is today until a young nun was urged by Christ Himself to do so. The instructions she received brought her great turmoil until our Lord promised to send her a priest who would be her guide in response to His requests. This priest was a humble Jesuit, St. Claude de la Colombière. Another saint in the long line of French saints, Claude was born in Saint-Symphorien d’Ozon in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Cyril Of Alexandria

February 3, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the 2,000-year history of Christianity, the Catholic Church has only recognized 35 persons as doctors of the Church. A doctor of the Church is one whose writing or preaching is outstanding for guiding the faithful in all periods of the Church’s history. Such well-known saints as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Francis de Sales are doctors of the Church. In the beginning there were four men from the Western Church and four from the Eastern Church who were considered doctors of the Church. St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome were from the West and St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Blaise And The Candles

January 27, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Candles have a deep and lovely history in the Catholic Church. Candles have an aura of peace and quiet. They represent the light of the world, Jesus Christ, in many of our liturgical celebrations. In the early days of February, the Church celebrates two feasts regarding candles. On February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord begins with the Blessing of Candles Procession. On February 3, St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, has an optional memorial Mass. Many centuries ago, about the time of the 11th century, the blessing of the candles to be used in the liturgy for the following year took place on this day. It is reminiscent of the Light of the World…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Angela Merici

January 20, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 15th-century Europe, women were not seen and rarely heard. Education was reserved for men or for the cloistered women in the convents, but certainly not for young women of the laity. Young women who had no family were placed in a most precarious situation. Then through a providential series of incidents, the Lord prepared a young maiden to begin the work of educating and caring for young women. Long before the “women’s liberation movement,” which in reality is Marxism cloaked in a different name, Angela Merici empowered women to help other young women forge their way in safe environments. On March 21, 1474, Angela Merici entered the world, the second daughter of a faithful Catholic family.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes

January 13, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church, the personal pronoun used when referring to the Church has been “she.” Frequently we pray for Holy Mother Church. Thus, in similarity to the wedding feast of eternity in Heaven, we have the priests who are in some sense “married” to the Church. Perhaps this is one reason why women are not called to the priesthood. Yet it would seem that women are called to a much higher dignity to which men can never hope to aspire: becoming the bride of Christ Himself. Thus some orders have their nuns wear a wedding gown on the day of their final profession. Some women saints have had mystical marriages with Christ, one such…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R.

December 30, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the early years of the 19th century the Catholic Church was thriving in what is now known as the Czech Republic. In England, in the meantime, the Anglican Church of King Henry VIII was also meeting with popularity. Into the English population John Henry Newman, who later converted to the Catholic Church, was born in 1801, and beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010. In Bohemia John Nepomucene Neumann was born on March 28, 1811. These two men with names so similar were very different in appearance and in speech, but very much alike in their love of God and education. Neumann was born in Prachatitz which was then part of the Austrian Empire. Not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Canisius

December 10, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN When the Pope recognized the challenges of the Church, he called a council. After the council, the Pope called a Jesuit to write a catechism to clearly state the teachings of the Church. Such was the case for Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, in the last half of the 20th century when Pope Paul VI called for a definitive catechism. His book, The Catholic Catechism, has sold well over a million copies. Similarly, King Ferdinand of Austria ordered St. Peter Canisius to write a catechism after the Council of Trent, in the 16th century. St. Peter Canisius, the second apostle to Germany — St. Boniface being the first — was born in 1521. From…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of The Cross

December 3, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over 2,000 years ago a child was born into poverty. His advent would change the world to such an extent that even our calendars are numbered according to the days He walked on the earth. About 1,500 years after His death, another child was born into poverty. Although his significance is not nearly as important as the Christ Child’s, he left a great impact on the spirituality of the Catholic Church. The people of Spain have recognized him as the greatest Spanish poet in their history. St. John of the Cross, a man of God, denied himself, took up his cross, and followed Christ. In 1542, a poverty-stricken weaver, Gonzalo de Yepes, who had been disinherited by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ambrose

November 27, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Even Truman Compote could have some interesting insights such as, “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” It would seem to follow then that holiness is a chain of holiness as witnessed by St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, and St. Ambrose and St. Thomas Aquinas. We are channels of grace meant to not only serve God, but to bring others to the same eternal end. The year of Ambrose’s birth is placed somewhere around AD 340. It is likely that he was born in Gaul where his father, also named Ambrose, was prefect for the Romans. While Ambrose…Continue Reading