Monday 1st September 2014

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Catholic Heroes… St. John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R.

December 30, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the early years of the 19th century the Catholic Church was thriving in what is now known as the Czech Republic. In England, in the meantime, the Anglican Church of King Henry VIII was also meeting with popularity. Into the English population John Henry Newman, who later converted to the Catholic Church, was born in 1801, and beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010. In Bohemia John Nepomucene Neumann was born on March 28, 1811. These two men with names so similar were very different in appearance and in speech, but very much alike in their love of God and education. Neumann was born in Prachatitz which was then part of the Austrian Empire. Not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Canisius

December 10, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN When the Pope recognized the challenges of the Church, he called a council. After the council, the Pope called a Jesuit to write a catechism to clearly state the teachings of the Church. Such was the case for Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, in the last half of the 20th century when Pope Paul VI called for a definitive catechism. His book, The Catholic Catechism, has sold well over a million copies. Similarly, King Ferdinand of Austria ordered St. Peter Canisius to write a catechism after the Council of Trent, in the 16th century. St. Peter Canisius, the second apostle to Germany — St. Boniface being the first — was born in 1521. From…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of The Cross

December 3, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over 2,000 years ago a child was born into poverty. His advent would change the world to such an extent that even our calendars are numbered according to the days He walked on the earth. About 1,500 years after His death, another child was born into poverty. Although his significance is not nearly as important as the Christ Child’s, he left a great impact on the spirituality of the Catholic Church. The people of Spain have recognized him as the greatest Spanish poet in their history. St. John of the Cross, a man of God, denied himself, took up his cross, and followed Christ. In 1542, a poverty-stricken weaver, Gonzalo de Yepes, who had been disinherited by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ambrose

November 27, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Even Truman Compote could have some interesting insights such as, “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” It would seem to follow then that holiness is a chain of holiness as witnessed by St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, and St. Ambrose and St. Thomas Aquinas. We are channels of grace meant to not only serve God, but to bring others to the same eternal end. The year of Ambrose’s birth is placed somewhere around AD 340. It is likely that he was born in Gaul where his father, also named Ambrose, was prefect for the Romans. While Ambrose…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Edmund Campion

November 19, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people are raised Catholic by very devout parents or at least one parent. When the child grows and becomes independent, then he rejects the faith. Some never come back, but there are those who, having failed to remain faithful to the teachings of the Church, come back with great zeal and drive to spread the Truth. St. Augustine comes to mind. There is a martyr of the English Reformation who also comes to mind: St. Edmund Campion. Edmund was born to a bookseller and his wife on January 25, 1540 in London, England. Edmund Campion showed great promise as a child. He was a star in the darkness of that era; he was not only brilliant…Continue Reading

St. Andrew Dung Lac

November 12, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the docks of Kuala Terengganu, a village on the east coast of Malaysia, we waited to board the fishing boat. The craft bobbed up and down with each incoming wave. Timing was essential to land properly on the deck. Once aboard, we relaxed for the three-hour trip out to Pulau Bidong, an island in the South China Sea off the coast of West Malaysia, just 400 miles southwest of Vietnam. This island was uninhabited a few years previously, but with the flood of Vietnamese boat people escaping from the Communist regime in Vietnam after its fall in 1975, it now held over 40,000 refugees. The members of the U.S. refugee office from Kuala Lumpur typically stayed…Continue Reading

St. Martin of Tours

November 5, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the fourth century, after the signing of the Edict of Milan, which enacted toleration of Christianity, paganism still flourished on the European continent. It would be centuries before France would be called the Daughter of the Church. It would not be a man of Gaul who would convert much of France. Rather it would be a young man born of pagans, whose father was a soldier in the Roman army. St. Martin of Tours was born around AD 315 in Sabaria which was located in Pannonia, now known as the eastern part of Croatia. Since his father was in the army, the family moved as needed. Thus, Martin’s father took his young family to Pavia, which…Continue Reading

St. Teresa Of Avila

October 14, 2013 saints Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Many parents have bemoaned a strong-willed child. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, said, however: “Be thankful. Only strong-willed children become saints.” St. Teresa of Avila was a strong-willed child. In fact, one biographer called her a troublemaker. Born of Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and his second wife, Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, she loved her parents. She was born on March 28, 1515 of a large family and admits that they were all virtuous except her. Teresa’s early years were occupied with reading about the saints with her brother Rodrigo. They thrilled at the victories of martyrs. Hoping to win the same eternal rewards, she and Rodrigo left to go to the Moors and to beg God to…Continue Reading