Friday 17th August 2018

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Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

January 16, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has been blessed with a plethora of doctrinal resources, thanks in large part to Pope St. John Paul II. The Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the many encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books, and letters continue to provide the Church with a solid foundation for learning and applying the truths of our faith. Canon Law has been around for many centuries thanks to the pioneering work of a man who lived at the beginning of the 13th century: Raymond Penafort. Although St. Ivo of Chartres (1040-1115) and St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) are credited with great contributions to the development of canon law, St. Raymond Penafort (1175-1275) is recognized for making the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

January 9, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord has no limits and conditions for persons whom He calls to sainthood. They may be the richest, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or the poorest such, as the children of Fatima. They may be powerful, such as St. Louis, king of France, or humble, such as our Lady. They may be the most brilliant, such as St. Augustine of Hippo, or the simplest, such as St. Joseph of Cupertino. They can also be very normal, average persons. Marguerite Bourgeoys was not outstandingly brilliant, poor, smart, or simple. Her greatest trait was her love of God and her eagerness to serve. Marguerite was born into unusual times in France. King Louis XIII of France, with…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John The Apostle

January 2, 2018 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John The Apostle

By CAROLE BRESLIN John the Apostle, who wrote one of the four Gospels, three letters, and the Book of Revelation, is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Perhaps because John was so young, innocent, virginal, and pure Jesus loved him in a special way. Or perhaps it was because He knew that John would be the only apostle who would stand by His Mother at the foot of the cross. Could it be because John’s Gospel would be the one that spoke of Christ in an ethereal way, uncommon to the other Evangelists? John the Apostle, also called John the Evangelist, was born around AD 15. Although some claim he came from noble birth, others point to the fact…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Stephen, Protomartyr

December 26, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Stephen, Protomartyr

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the popular Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, a different gift is given for each of the twelve days of Christmas. This celebration of twelve days begins with December 26, the Feast of St. Stephen, and ends with the Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on January 6. The Catholic Church celebrates the Christmas octave, eight days of observing the great Feast of Christmas, from December 25 through January 1. The day after the birth of Christ, the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church, is celebrated by many Christian denominations. Outside of Sacred Scripture little or nothing is known about St. Stephen. In the Acts of the Apostles, the speech given by Stephen when…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Peter Friedhofen

December 19, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Peter Friedhofen

By CAROLE BRESLIN Feeling sick, suffering from prolonged and terminal illness, not being able to eat, a Catholic cannot use any of these reasons for not doing God’s work. The Church has many saints who suffered such conditions. Teresa of Avila had severe digestive troubles; Saint Therese of Lisieux suffered from tuberculosis; and Saint Catherine of Siena could not eat anything except Holy Communion. Blessed Peter Friedhofen also suffered from bad lungs for many years before they finally caused his death. The sixth of seven children, Peter Friedhofen was born to Peter Friedhofen and Anna Maria Klug on February 5, 1819 in Weitersburg, Koblenz, in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He lost both of his parents at a young age. His…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Miguel Pro

December 12, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Miguel Pro

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929) was one more episode in the universal and eternal conflict between the Catholic Church and secularist governments. The seeds of the conflict were sown at the turn of the century, leading to the enactment of the Mexican constitution in 1917. Then it was enflamed when President Plutarco Elias Calles (president from 1924-1928) decided to enforce the rules of the constitution in order to eradicate the influence of the Catholic Church in Mexican society. When the Mexican government suppressed religious celebrations, and closed Catholic hospitals, schools, and churches, a grassroots uprising began and spread rapidly. Over 500 Cristero leaders were executed, along with the more than 2,000 supporters and 40 priests who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Damasus I

December 5, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Damasus I

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord gave us a very comforting promise in Matt. 16:18 when He said, “And I say to thee: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.” The Catholic Church has survived the intrigues of numerous antipopes. An antipope is a “false claimant to the Holy See in opposition to the Pope canonically elected” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, p. 31). Pope St. Damasus was the fourth Pope who had to persevere against an antipope: Ursinus (366-367). Damasus’ parents originally came from Lusitania, an ancient Iberian Roman province. His father, Antonius, and his mother, Laureatia, lived in Rome when he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Charles De Foucauld

November 28, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Charles De Foucauld

By CAROLE BRESLIN A priest once said, “Great sinners make great saints.” This we know to be true when we reflect on the lives of saints such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Mary Magdalen, and St. Augustine of Hippo. Such is also true of Blessed Charles De Foucauld who lived in the 19th century. Charles, who was born on September 15, 1858 in Strasbourg, France, had a younger sister named Marie. The boy remembered his mother whom he deeply loved and recalled how she taught him his morning and evening prayers: “My God, bless my father, mother, Grandfather and Grandmother Foucauld, and my little sister….” In 1864, Charles and Marie lost both their parents and Grandmother Foucauld, leaving Charles…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Vicente Liem De La Paz

November 21, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Vicente Liem De La Paz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Vietnam received its first missionaries of the Catholic Church in the 1500s. These missionaries were predominantly Portuguese in the 16th century, with French Jesuits and the Dominicans coming in the 17th century. Throughout the following centuries the priests and missionaries suffered excruciating tortures and martyrdom. When the Communists captured northern Vietnam, Catholics fled to the south and the country was partitioned. When the south was also captured, many fled the country, and those who remained were persecuted. Today Catholic religious orders are flourishing, more Catholic schools and institutions are opening, and the number of professed Catholics is increasing. The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church, as we have heard so many times. The first…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

November 14, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Scotland

By CAROLE BRESLIN Quite frequently saints have left their home country and died in another country, but most of them died in a foreign land because they left to serve as missionaries to Asia, Africa, or America. The land of Hungary, however, has seen a few saints depart because they were of royal families, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who went to Germany to be married, and St. Margaret of Scotland. They lived virtuous lives, loved the poor, and made heroic sacrifices. Thus they became saints. Margaret’s parents were heirs to the throne of England around the time of 1016 when King Ethelred died. The royal family was forced to flee when the Danes invaded England and controlled the throne…Continue Reading