Wednesday 31st August 2016

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Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

February 2, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church observes the Church Unity Octave from January 18 through January 25. For each day of the octave, we pray for a different form of unity. For example, on January 18, the intention is for the return of separated Eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See. Another day the intention is for the restoration of lapsed Catholics to the sacramental life of the Church. Both of these intentions formed the spiritual life and apostolic activity of Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament. Boleslava was born on July 3, 1862 in Lowicz, Poland, to Martin Cyqamoska and Lucia Lament. She was the eldest of eight children. During this period of high infant mortality, Boleslava witnessed the deaths…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Vincent Pallotti

January 26, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Vincent Pallotti

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church, beginning with Christ Himself, disenfranchised youth have found a friend in the followers of the Lord. St. John Bosco and St. Philip Neri come to mind. There is another saint who also helped both young men and young women, St. Vincent Pallotti, a man born and raised in Rome during the time of the Jesuit suppression. Peter Paul Pallotti and his wife Maddalena were a devout Catholic couple with two children when Vincent was born on April 21, 1795. He was the third of ten children, who were raised by attending daily Mass and many devotions in the neighboring churches of Rome. As a child he had learning troubles, so his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marianne Cope

January 19, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marianne Cope

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the hills outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a leper settlement, Sungai Buloh, located in a lush valley. It is an excellent model for proper urban planning. Lovely gardens, sewers, and wells, churches and other places of worship virtually eliminate the need to leave the village. With a cure having been found for leprosy, the patient population there has diminished, but their industry in growing some of the most beautiful plants in the country brings people from miles around to purchase them. Conditions were not like that in the 19th century when lepers were exiled to Molokai, Hawaii, where Marianne Cope eventually went to minister to them. When Sr. Marianne was born, her father, Peter Koob,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hilary Of Poitiers

January 12, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hilary Of Poitiers

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the fourth century, despite the results of the Council of Nicaea in 325, the Arian heresy spread throughout the Christian world. Not only did the emperor support the Arians, but many bishops and priests inside the Church also promoted the heresy. In God’s mercy and Providence, many holy men suffered persecution and even martyrdom to preach the Truth: Jesus Christ is one divine person having two natures, the human and the divine. These men included Saints Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus, Athanasius, Eusebius of Vercelli, and a Frenchman who was born into a pagan family, but became a doctor of the Church — St. Hilary of Poitiers. Hilary, the son of prominent pagan parents, was…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josephine Bakhita

January 5, 2016 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josephine Bakhita

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is a patron saint for almost any group of persons or causes. A patron saint is “a saint or blessed who, since early Christian times, has been chosen as a special intercessor with God for a particular person, place, community, or organization” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, p. 410). There are also some recently canonized saints who have been named as special patrons as well. St. Josephine Bakhita, canonized on October 1, 2000, by Pope St. John Paul II, is the patron saint of Sudan in Africa. When the saint we know of as Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born, her parents gave her a name. However, because of the traumatic events of her…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thorlak Thorhallsson

December 22, 2015 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 . . . Blessed Mary Frances Schervier

December 15, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Mary Frances Schervier

By CAROLE BRESLIN Holy people come from all walks of life. St. Francis of Assisi came from a wealthy family and he surrendered all that wealth to live in poverty for the love of God. St. Joan of Arc came from a somewhat poor family in France. St. Joseph of Cupertino, whose father died shortly after his birth, was thought to be the village idiot when he was young, yet became a priest. St. Josephine Bakhita was captured as a young girl in Sudan and sold into slavery and now is honored in the communion of saints. Perhaps one day soon, Blessed Mary Frances Schervier will also be declared a saint. In Aachen, Germany, Blessed Mary Frances was born on…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Gregory III

December 8, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Gregory III

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Lord promised us that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His Church. Each heresy that gained ground in the Church has done so because at least one bishop has supported it. However, our Lord has also provided the Church staunch — and sometimes unlikely — defenders of the Truth. Such was the case when iconoclasm was promoted by the Byzantine Emperor Leo III, who persecuted so many in the eighth century. During that time, St. John Damascene wrote simple but compelling theses on the veneration of sacred images. About the same time, a simple Syrian priest became Pope and also fearlessly defended the veneration of sacred images: Pope St. Gregory III. Very little is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Damascene

December 1, 2015 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… Blessed Maria Virgo

November 24, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Virgo

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