Wednesday 29th June 2016

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Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Virgo

November 24, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at the convent of “the Pink Sisters.” She even showed me pictures of the Pink Sisters in an article that had been written about them in her diocesan paper. They got their name because of their rose-colored habits. My aunt explained that the Pink Sisters are contemplatives. I have since learned that there are also Blue Sisters, missionaries, that were established…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

November 17, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many terms we use in our language which are clichés. We hear people say that somebody “kicked the bucket,” meaning that he has died, or “I’ll send you to outer Mongolia,” meaning that they will ship you so far away no one will find you. Fr. Kalinowski not only went to a place just north of “outer Mongolia,” but he was forced to walk there as a prisoner of the Russians. Andrew Kalinowski, the assistant superintendent professor of mathematics, and his wife, Josephine Polonska, welcomed their second son into the world on September 1, 1835 in the city of Vilna, the capital of modern-day Lithuania. At his Baptism they gave him the name Joseph. His…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Eugene Bossilkov

November 10, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1694 Paul Francis Danei was born in Ovada, Italy. Pope Benedict XIII gave Paul permission to accept novices to his new penitential order in 1725; the Pope ordained Paul and his brother on June 7, 1727. Pope Benedict XIV approved the rules of this order on May 15, 1741. The character of the order was a combination of the solitary existence of the Carthusians and the active life of the Jesuits focusing on the Passion of Christ. The order became known as the Passionists. A little more than 200 years later, one of their priests, Eugene Bossilkov, would be executed for his Catholic faith. On November 16, 1900, a Bulgarian Latin Rite Catholic family living in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Leonard Of Limoges

November 3, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of Europe’s most popular pilgrimages is the Santiago de Compostela or the Way of St. James. People who make this pilgrimage begin from many locations around Europe, walking the hundreds of miles to the western coast of Spain. Some do it to complete a vow made when prayers were answered. Others do it for a petition or simply to accomplish a lifelong goal. In the pilgrimage from Paris, the travelers stop at Catholic shrines along the way. One of the stops is at Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat, about 250 miles from Paris, which is the home of the cult of St. Leonard, a nobleman who became a priest in the sixth century. Leonard was born to French nobility, his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Dorothy Of Montau

October 27, 2015 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Around AD 1100, with the rise of the middle class, farmers in the Netherlands began to purchase swamp land and drain the water from it in order to raise crops. As dikes grew in importance in this area, the need for expert dike builders/farmers rose. However, after two hundred years most of the work had been done, and the decreased need for dike builders left many men without employment. One such man was a Dutch peasant named Wilhelm Swarze. He left his home country with his wife and family and settled in Prussia seeking better means to support them. On January 25, 1347, Wilhelm’s wife gave birth to Dorothy of Montau, an area in West Prussia. She…Continue Reading

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