Thursday 26th May 2016

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of Capistrano

October 20, 2015 saints Comments Off

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

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. John XXIII

October 13, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 As we saw in part 1, the ecclesiastical career of Angelo Roncalli up until 1953 had already shown him to be a man dedicated to the Church. Frequently he had to serve the Church despite family tragedies. Wherever the Church asked him to go, he went obediently without complaint. Despite the many persecutions, sacrifices, and sufferings, he carried out his responsibilities without hesitation or complaint. From 1944 until 1953, Roncalli resided in France as the apostolic nuncio. He also served as the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 1951 and 1952 he addressed the sixth and seventh general assemblies of UNESCO. Then he was…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

October 6, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but firm, to those under him, and quietly went about doing what his superiors expected him to do. Then he became Pope and surprised the world with his leadership of the oldest organization on Earth. Angelo was born on November 25, 1881 at Sotto il Monte in Bergamo, a province of Lombardy in northern Italy near the Swiss border. His parents…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

September 29, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant role in the conflict between the barons and the king of England. This man, St. Thomas de Cantilupe, was born in 1218 in Hambleden in Buckinghamshire in England, just northwest of London. His father, William de Cantilupe, the second Baron Cantilupe, was a minister of King John while his mother, Millicent de Gournay, was also from an illustrious and influential…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

September 22, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul (1542-1591) all lived during the lifetime of St. Simon de Rojas. While they focused on the spiritual formation of souls, St. Simon focused on organizing the laity to play a more active role in performing the corporal works of mercy. In the year 1552 there was a Catholic…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Arbues

September 15, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The enemies of the Catholic Church attack her for many things, one of which is the Inquisition or more specifically the Spanish Inquisition. Although it was not until the Middle Ages that the Inquisition became more widespread, the roots of its activities date back to the time of St. Augustine when heresy threatened the eternal destiny of so many souls. St. Augustine opposed the use of force as did St. Bernard who wrote, “By persuasion, not by violence, are men to be won to the faith.” Thomas Aquinas also abhorred heresy — in particular the unrepentant heretics, who, he thought, should be put to death. He held that the man who destroys the soul is much more…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aubert

September 8, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the west coast of France just below England lies the See of Avranches. If you take a drive around the waterways for about 24 miles, you will arrive at one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages, another World Heritage Site — one of 41 in France. This place, Mont Saint-Michel, is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, since he appeared to St. Aubert and ordered him to erect the church in his honor. Born late in the seventh century, Aubert was born of a noble family from Genetas. He received an extensive education and became known for both his wisdom and his piety. “He behaved in such a way that all considered him an angel of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

September 1, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St. Joseph of Cupertino. He was frequently called the village idiot. However, by God’s Providence, he became not only a priest but one of the most amazing levitating saints in the history of the Church. Joseph was born in Cupertino, a village about ten miles southeast of Rome, on June 17, 1603. His father had contracted so many debts that he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

August 25, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St. Cyril and Methodius, who developed the Cyrillic alphabet to convert the Slavic peoples, are also patrons of Europe. Aidan, an Irishman who studied in Wales and served as a bishop in Scotland, has been proposed as the patron saint of the United Kingdom. St. Bede the Venerable, the first to write a detailed ecclesiastical history of England, recounted the story…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

August 18, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted among that number. Near Dijon, France, lies a town called Fontaines where Bernard of Clairvaux was born. Both his father’s family and his mother’s family were pious Christians. Before marrying St. Bernard’s father, Elizabeth — daughter of Count Bernard de Montbar — had planned to join a cloister. His father, Teceline, Lord of Fontaines, possessed a great fear of God.…Continue Reading