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St. Andrew Dung Lac

November 12, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the docks of Kuala Terengganu, a village on the east coast of Malaysia, we waited to board the fishing boat. The craft bobbed up and down with each incoming wave. Timing was essential to land properly on the deck. Once aboard, we relaxed for the three-hour trip out to Pulau Bidong, an island in the South China Sea off the coast of West Malaysia, just 400 miles southwest of Vietnam. This island was uninhabited a few years previously, but with the flood of Vietnamese boat people escaping from the Communist regime in Vietnam after its fall in 1975, it now held over 40,000 refugees. The members of the U.S. refugee office from Kuala Lumpur typically stayed…Continue Reading

St. Martin of Tours

November 5, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the fourth century, after the signing of the Edict of Milan, which enacted toleration of Christianity, paganism still flourished on the European continent. It would be centuries before France would be called the Daughter of the Church. It would not be a man of Gaul who would convert much of France. Rather it would be a young man born of pagans, whose father was a soldier in the Roman army. St. Martin of Tours was born around AD 315 in Sabaria which was located in Pannonia, now known as the eastern part of Croatia. Since his father was in the army, the family moved as needed. Thus, Martin’s father took his young family to Pavia, which…Continue Reading

St. Teresa Of Avila

October 14, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Many parents have bemoaned a strong-willed child. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, said, however: “Be thankful. Only strong-willed children become saints.” St. Teresa of Avila was a strong-willed child. In fact, one biographer called her a troublemaker. Born of Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and his second wife, Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, she loved her parents. She was born on March 28, 1515 of a large family and admits that they were all virtuous except her. Teresa’s early years were occupied with reading about the saints with her brother Rodrigo. They thrilled at the victories of martyrs. Hoping to win the same eternal rewards, she and Rodrigo left to go to the Moors and to beg God to…Continue Reading