Thursday 27th July 2017

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thorlak Thorhallsson

December 26, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thorlak Thorhallsson

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Iceland, the land on the far north of the Atlantic Ocean, the people prepare for Christmas with traditions that go back nearly 1,000 years. They thoroughly clean their homes from top to bottom. Then they prepare a meal of cured skate (shark meat), mashed potatoes, and a shot of Brennivin as they close out the final day of Christmas fasting. This is called Thorlak’s Tradition. In the tapestry of Icelandic history, he became the patron saint of Iceland. In Iceland, the earliest inhabitants included Irish monks who came for the quiet solitude of the distant land. However, they were soon driven out by the Vikings who brought their Norse paganism in the ninth century. Around 900,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Stephen, Protomartyr

December 20, 2016 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… St. John Cantius

December 13, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John Cantius

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the heart of Chicago, about three miles from Lake Michigan, sits a Roman Catholic church, a stunning example of baroque architecture erected in the late 19th century by Polish immigrants. Widely known for its reverent liturgies and faithfulness to the teachings of the Catholic Church, it attracts visitors from all over the country. In April 2016, this glorious church — St. John Cantius — was voted “the most beautiful church in America.” It is filled with precious, stunning sacred art; it is the home of excellent liturgical music; and is also the home of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is a new order founded in 1998 dedicated…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Damascene

December 6, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Damascene

By CAROLE BRESLIN “The Fathers of the Church were those saintly writers of the early centuries whom the Church recognizes as her special defenders of orthodoxy. And the Patristic Age is the period during which they lived. “It is generally held that the last of the Western Fathers (Latin) was St. Bede the Venerable (673-735), and the last of the Eastern Fathers (Greek) was St. John Damascene (675-749). Their writings have been the most influential in shaping the minds and hearts of Christian believers. Every one of these men has so deeply inspired future generations that he would qualify as father in spirit not only of Christianity but of all human civilization” (Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, The Catholic Lifetime Reading…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

November 29, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic Church, there are many examples throughout history of religious orders that have been reformed or have been in need of reform. After many years the members of religious orders tend to relax rules until they do not live much differently than the laity. It seems that discipline and fervor are closely related — without one you will not have the other. St. Peter Fourier recognized this truth both in his personal life and the life of both the parishioners he guided and the order that he later reformed in the late 1500s. Peter Fourier was the eldest of three sons, born on November 30, 1565 in Mirecourt, France. This village was located in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

November 15, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is little recorded. There is not much information about St. Catherine of Alexandria but her impact on the early Church provides material for deep reflection. Alexandria, a great city at the mouth of the Nile River in Egypt was the center of Hellenistic knowledge at the turn of the fourth century. St. Catherine’s family lived in Alexandra since her father, Constus,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Moscati

November 8, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Moscati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Most of the saints were in the priesthood or the religious life, but there are many saints who were lay persons, such as Saints Felicity and Perpetua, Louis and Zelie, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Frances of Rome, St. Agnes, St. Pier Giorgio, and many, many more. Some of the lay saints, although they thought they would enter the religious life, were advised that they could do more in their lay positions, such as St. Joseph Moscati, a brilliant and most holy doctor of medicine. Benevento, Italy, nearly 40 miles northeast of Naples, became a favored vacation spot for many Italians. Francesco Moscati, a prominent lawyer and president of the Court of Assize in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

November 1, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed José Maria De Manila

By CAROLE BRESLIN Which Asian country has the largest population of Catholics? As a former Spanish colony, the Philippines has 80 million Catholics out of a population of 100 million. This is not only the greatest number in one country, but also the greatest percentage of Catholics for any Asian nation. From this country, two persons have been canonized and a third, although the son of Spanish parents, is considered a son of the Philippines and has recently been beatified by Pope Francis: Blessed José Maria de Manila. The last Spanish mayor of Manila, Don Eugenio del Saz-Orozco, and his wife, Dona Felisa Mortera y Camocho, were the parents of Eugenio Saz-Orozco Jr., who later took the religious name of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

October 25, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

By CAROLE BRESLIN Ireland, the Emerald Isle, a green country of lush fauna, friendly people, and beautiful views — if you can find a clear day — has a rich and troubled heritage. It is a land full of the lore of elves, fairies, and, most important, Catholic saints. Numerous books have been written about the many Irish saints and one of the most revered in Aidhne for nearly 1,400 years is St. Colman. Before he was even born in 560, Colman’s existence caused much persecution for his mother. Colman’s mother, Rhinagh, descended from royalty, fled for her safety from her husband, Duagh, an Irish chieftain. Rhinagh, still pregnant with Colman, received a prophecy that her son’s holiness would surpass…Continue Reading

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

October 18, 2016 saints Comments Off on Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not to be feared if we look forward to living in the next. So lived the priest Fr. Giuseppe Puglisi in the past century, fighting evil by working with youth, and paying the ultimate price: with his life. Giuseppe was born in a working-class neighborhood called Brancaccio, into a family of simple people. His father was a shoemaker and his mother…Continue Reading