Wednesday 26th April 2017

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Damascene

December 6, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Damascene

By CAROLE BRESLIN “The Fathers of the Church were those saintly writers of the early centuries whom the Church recognizes as her special defenders of orthodoxy. And the Patristic Age is the period during which they lived. “It is generally held that the last of the Western Fathers (Latin) was St. Bede the Venerable (673-735), and the last of the Eastern Fathers (Greek) was St. John Damascene (675-749). Their writings have been the most influential in shaping the minds and hearts of Christian believers. Every one of these men has so deeply inspired future generations that he would qualify as father in spirit not only of Christianity but of all human civilization” (Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, The Catholic Lifetime Reading…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

November 29, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic Church, there are many examples throughout history of religious orders that have been reformed or have been in need of reform. After many years the members of religious orders tend to relax rules until they do not live much differently than the laity. It seems that discipline and fervor are closely related — without one you will not have the other. St. Peter Fourier recognized this truth both in his personal life and the life of both the parishioners he guided and the order that he later reformed in the late 1500s. Peter Fourier was the eldest of three sons, born on November 30, 1565 in Mirecourt, France. This village was located in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

November 15, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is little recorded. There is not much information about St. Catherine of Alexandria but her impact on the early Church provides material for deep reflection. Alexandria, a great city at the mouth of the Nile River in Egypt was the center of Hellenistic knowledge at the turn of the fourth century. St. Catherine’s family lived in Alexandra since her father, Constus,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Moscati

November 8, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Moscati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Most of the saints were in the priesthood or the religious life, but there are many saints who were lay persons, such as Saints Felicity and Perpetua, Louis and Zelie, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Frances of Rome, St. Agnes, St. Pier Giorgio, and many, many more. Some of the lay saints, although they thought they would enter the religious life, were advised that they could do more in their lay positions, such as St. Joseph Moscati, a brilliant and most holy doctor of medicine. Benevento, Italy, nearly 40 miles northeast of Naples, became a favored vacation spot for many Italians. Francesco Moscati, a prominent lawyer and president of the Court of Assize in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

November 1, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

By CAROLE BRESLIN Which Asian country has the largest population of Catholics? As a former Spanish colony, the Philippines has 80 million Catholics out of a population of 100 million. This is not only the greatest number in one country, but also the greatest percentage of Catholics for any Asian nation. From this country, two persons have been canonized and a third, although the son of Spanish parents, is considered a son of the Philippines and has recently been beatified by Pope Francis: Blessed José Maria de Manila. The last Spanish mayor of Manila, Don Eugenio del Saz-Orozco, and his wife, Dona Felisa Mortera y Camocho, were the parents of Eugenio Saz-Orozco Jr., who later took the religious name of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

October 25, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

By CAROLE BRESLIN Ireland, the Emerald Isle, a green country of lush fauna, friendly people, and beautiful views — if you can find a clear day — has a rich and troubled heritage. It is a land full of the lore of elves, fairies, and, most important, Catholic saints. Numerous books have been written about the many Irish saints and one of the most revered in Aidhne for nearly 1,400 years is St. Colman. Before he was even born in 560, Colman’s existence caused much persecution for his mother. Colman’s mother, Rhinagh, descended from royalty, fled for her safety from her husband, Duagh, an Irish chieftain. Rhinagh, still pregnant with Colman, received a prophecy that her son’s holiness would surpass…Continue Reading

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

October 18, 2016 saints Comments Off on Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not to be feared if we look forward to living in the next. So lived the priest Fr. Giuseppe Puglisi in the past century, fighting evil by working with youth, and paying the ultimate price: with his life. Giuseppe was born in a working-class neighborhood called Brancaccio, into a family of simple people. His father was a shoemaker and his mother…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

October 11, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

By CAROLE BRESLIN God works many miracles through the weakest persons so that their lives read like a fairy tale. Old or young, sick or poor, powerful or destitute, all are touched deeply by their encounters with such men of God. Such was the life of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of expectant mothers and young children. Domenica, a tailor, and his wife Benedetta had three daughters in Muro, a village in southern Italy, when on April 6, 1726 they received their son, Gerard, into this world. As the mother of this devout, hardworking family, Benedetta frequently ushered her three youngest children to the chapel at Capotignano. When Gerard was four years old, he told his mother that he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

October 4, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

By CAROLE BRESLIN The complex roots of the Spanish Civil War (February 1936 to April 1939) sprouted many years before hostilities broke out. Little by little the Catholic Church had lost its influence and then it became a prime target for both the revolutionaries and the government. Of Church personnel, those executed during the Spanish Civil War included 12 bishops; 283 religious sisters and nuns; 4,184 priests; 2,365 religious priests; and an unknown number of laypeople, according to a July 20, 2011 Our Sunday Visitor article by Russell Shaw. Among the martyrs are the Nine Martyrs of Turon, whose feast is celebrated on October 9. Eight of them were Brothers of the Christian Schools and one was a Passionist priest:…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

September 27, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans founded another mission that is the oldest “still in use” building in California. This was a church where the recently canonized saint, Fr. Junipero Serra, celebrated Mass. For centuries, the swallows would nest in the buildings of this mission which was one of the most ornate missions in the state. Every March 19, on the Feast of St. Joseph, the…Continue Reading