Monday 10th December 2018

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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

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Raymond Lull

June 28, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Raymond Lull

By CAROLE BRESLIN Occasionally our Lord will bring into the world a man so brilliant that few can comprehend how one person could possess so much knowledge and wisdom. Leonardo da Vinci, famous for painting the Mona Lisa, also conceived ideas and drawings, such as an anemometer to measure wind speed, a flying machine — one like a helicopter and one like a fixed-wing plane — a parachute, a machine gun, an armored car like a tank, a robotic knight, scuba gear, and a revolving bridge. These ideas predated their construction by 300 to 400 years. Einstein and his theory of relativity also come to mind. But a man few people have heard about is Raymond Lull, who is credited…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

June 21, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Truman Capote wrote: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” More important, grace is a chain of grace with one grace leading to another. And holiness a chain of holiness as God pours His love through one person to another, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, pours graces upon her children on Earth. This is evident from the life of St. Monica, who is largely responsible for the conversion of both her husband and her son, St. Augustine of Hippo. Similarly, St. Thomas Aquinas was the student of St. Albert the Great, and Saints Louis and Zélie Martin were the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, doctor…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

June 14, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth century that a simple man was inspired by God to write a plethora of hymns dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Bartholomew, St. Nicholas, and to many others. He composed so many hymns that he came to be known as St. Joseph the Hymnographer. Joseph, born around 810 on the Italian island of Sicily, had exemplary Christian parents. His…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

June 7, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

By CAROLE BRESLIN Detachment from worldly goods and temporal pleasures sometimes comes to a person after years of devotions, fasting, and prayer. By giving up one vice at a time or practicing one virtue and mastering that one, then moving on to the next, a person can grow in holiness. Occasionally, our Lord will bring a child into the world who practices such heroic virtue from his earliest days, that it is clear he will become a great servant of God. St. Medard was such a man, becoming one of the most distinguished prelates in the history of France. Both his parents possessed royal lineages with his father, Nectaridus, an important French nobleman in the king’s court, and his mother,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Justin Martyr

May 31, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Justin Martyr

By CAROLE BRESLIN Catholicism is universal. Its teachings and doctrines are ever old and ever new, as is the need to evangelize, applicable to all times and to all people. Redemptoris Missio, issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1990 on the missionary nature of the Church, names three types of evangelization and how to be an effective evangelist. This document — well worth the time it takes to read it — names three types of evangelization: 1) to the nations, 2) to serving Christian communities, and 3) to fallen-away Christians. (The New Evangelization refers mainly to the third form of evangelization, to fallen-away Christians.) Since the first Pentecost, the Church has been reaching out to bring people closer…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

May 24, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 19th century the Canadians endured a crisis of education called the Manitoba question. Prelates, priests, politicians, and laity joined in both the private and the public debate that lasted for years. The Catholic Church was deeply divided over the question of the schools and letters crossed the Atlantic to and from Rome in efforts to find a solution. In the middle of this controversy was Blessed Louis-Zéphirin. Halfway between Montreal and Quebec in the village of Bécancour, Louis Zephirin and Marie-Marguerite Champoux welcomed the fifth of their thirteen children into their family on April 1, 1824. The son, Louis Zéphirin, was born prematurely and was sickly. Their parish priest, Fr. Charles Dion, urged Louis…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

May 17, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all come to mind. Likewise, Ivan Merz, a Croatian, converted later in life and served the Lord faithfully. Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it is now called, was filled with political and cultural tensions during the early 20th century, with multiple countries striving to control it. In addition, the region held several different religious groups, and varying ethnicities. The underlying discontent came to a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bede The Venerable

May 10, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bede The Venerable

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern England — what is now known as the county of Tyne and Wear — on the Wear River sits St. Peter’s at Monkwearmouth. About seven miles away are the ruins of St. Paul’s Parish, which contain the oldest stained-glass window in the world. Both churches played an important role in the development of Christianity in England, leading them to be selected as a World Heritage Site and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In the mid-seventh century, Benedict Biscop received some land from Egfrid, king of Northumbria, to build a monastery and church. The monastery, completed in 674, became the major Anglo-Saxon center of learning in northern England. In 678, the Pope — probably Pope Agatho, who…Continue Reading