Wednesday 22nd October 2014

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Robert Bellarmine

May 13, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Two days a week I attend Mass in Flushing, Mich., at the Parish of St. Robert Bellarmine. The altar is beautiful, but nothing prepared me for the beauty of the decorations for Easter with an empty tomb on one side, the risen Christ on another, and across to the back side draped in white linen all surrounded with beautiful, fragrant flowers. There was much more with which the patron, St. Robert Bellarmine, must have been so pleased. St. Robert has not been as universally popular as the Little Flower, but he certainly offers much to write about since he is one of the few who have been designated as a doctor of the Church. In 1542, the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of Beverley

May 6, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the history of Christianity, as one pagan country after another was converted to Catholicism, a trail of saints could be found. St. Paul was followed by St. Timothy, and St. Cyril was accompanied by St. Methodius. Although Christianity had been brought to the British Isles many years before the time of St. Cuthbert, the people for the most part remained pagan. During the late seventh century, in the lowlands of Scotland, St. Cuthbert (whose feast was celebrated in March) was followed by other saints whom God had provided to bring people to His Church. One of these was St. John of Beverley. Before the Protestant Reformation decimated the Catholic Church in England and Scotland, one of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph, The Worker

April 29, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, countries will be observing a holiday started by the International Labor Movement — a day celebrating the workingman. In the Catholic Church we have observed this day, May 1, as the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, ever since it was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955. On September 14, 1981, Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical, Laborem Exercens or On Human Work. Eight years later he issued the apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos or Guardian of the Redeemer. Both of these explain the honor and respect due to St. Joseph, patron of workers. While much of the secular world celebrates this day in honor of workers,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Adalbert

April 22, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN We will all die as a result of original sin — and we will be judged at the time of our death. There are two judgments that we will face after we end our existence on this earth. First, we will face the particular judgment at the time of our death, where we will then go to one of three places: Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell. At the end of the world, there will be a general judgment where all persons ever created will face the final judgment of God of our actions, or what we have failed to do. These good actions or unrepentant failings of ours will not only be revealed to all souls, but will…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

April 15, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to be the King of Israel. He chose the undiplomatic Peter to be the head of the apostles and He also chose Bernadette to receive the miraculous events of the grotto in Lourdes, France. Bernadette came from a family so poor that they lived in a damp, dark dungeon that was not even used as a jail anymore because of its…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Julie Billiart

April 7, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Across North America there are churches and schools named after St. Julie Billiart. They carry on the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur founded by Julie and her friends during the turbulent years of the late 18th and early 19th century of the French nation when Catholics were being persecuted. Throughout the history of the Church, there have been saints from families of both the very rich and the very poor. St. Julie Billiart, the sixth of seven children, arrived on July 12, 1751 to Jean-Francois Billiart and his wife Marie-Louise-Antoinette Debraine at Cuvilly in the Diocese of Beauvais, Picardy, France. Her parents were poor peasant farmers who could little afford an education for…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Of Paola

March 31, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Down in southern Italy, in the year 1416, a loving couple welcomed their son into the world after many years of hoping for children. Their devotion to St. Francis of Assisi was well known as they sought to imitate his great love of poverty and devotion to prayer. Since St. Francis answered their pleas for children, they named their son after him in keeping with the vow they had made. A few years later the young boy was stricken with a serious illness causing much swelling in his face. The danger of losing his eyesight was very real. Once again the parents prayed to St. Francis of Assisi for his intercession in granting a cure to their…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Rupert

March 24, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Salzburg: Almost everyone has heard of Salzburg. The pearl of Austria with its beautiful vistas and rich heritage claims among its citizens Johann Amadeus Mozart and the Von Trapp family singers made famous by the movie Sound of Music. Most important, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI came from this area as well. This city, one designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, was founded by St. Rupert in the seventh century. Perhaps “refounded” would be a better word since it was built upon the ruins of a city destroyed by the barbarian hordes who descended upon southern Europe in the past. Rupert’s origins are uncertain. Some claim he was an Irishman, which could be possible…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Cuthbert

March 17, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which is located about 30 miles south-southeast of Edinburgh, attracts more visitors than just about any other attraction in Scotland. Although mostly in ruins now, the abbey boasts a museum and other sites of interest, such as the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson revived interest in him with the making of Braveheart. Three miles to the east of this abbey, there was once another Melrose Abbey founded by St. Aidan and later there was also the abbey of which St. Cuthbert served as prior for a brief period of time. St. Cuthbert, claimed by some Irishmen to be from their country, more likely was born in the Lowlands of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Nicephorus

March 10, 2014 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the end of the patrician age, iconoclasm reared its ugly head in the Christian community. Iconoclasm “rejected as superstition the use of religious images and advocated their destruction . . .occasioned by the rise of Islam which considers all sacred images idolatrous” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John A. Hardon, p. 263). In defending the true teaching of the Church, St. John Damascene nearly lost his life. However, some decades later, the iconoclasts gained more recognition and again sought to destroy the sacred images in use at the time. Eventually, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 clearly defined the teaching that sacred images were permissible and to be venerated. Largely through the efforts of St. Nicephorus,…Continue Reading