Friday 19th January 2018

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Catholic Heroes… St. Hermenegild

April 11, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Hermenegild

By CAROLE BRESLIN Martyrdom, the crown of Christian perfection, usually happens slowly, beginning with a dying to self and a living for Christ. Some Christians pray for martyrdom with confidence, knowing that God provided the grace to many in the past and does so now around the world. To prepare for martyrdom, many saints began lives of deprivation, of saying no to their own wants as they fasted and performed penances. Before his martyrdom, St. Hermenegild remained faithful to Christ, saying yes to Him and saying no to earthly comforts. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Around the year 564 in Toletum of the Visigoth Kingdom (now Toledo, Spain), King Liuvigild and his first wife, Princess Theodosia,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aphraates

April 4, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Aphraates

By CAROLE BRESLIN The sounds of war drift up to the ancient monastery perched high on a hill to the east of Mosul, Iraq. Behind its stone walls refugees from the city, Catholics who were betrayed by friends and neighbors, fled for the lives to the safety on the hill. The fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have seized much of the land of Mosul, but conflict continues to the west as forces try to reclaim the land. Many Christians are now refugees with no homes and even some of the inhabitants of Mar Mattai, the monastery of St. Matthew, have fled in fear. Over the past 1,600 years, the monks have been persecuted and sometimes expelled,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

March 28, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lodovico Pavoni

By CAROLE BRESLIN Brescia is an Italian city in the foothills of the Alps. It has stunning vistas, ancient ruins, historic forts, castles, and modern buildings standing beside ones that are many centuries old, as well as foundations that date back to 1,200 BC. Brescia was once a Roman province. In the early Middle Ages, it was captured by the Lombard army and then it was taken from them by Charlemagne. In the 16th century, Brescia rebelled against French control, and eventually became a puppet state of Austria. In the middle of the 19th century, the people again revolted against foreign control, during the bloody and devastating “Ten Days of Brescia.” On April 1, 1849, the last day of that…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

March 21, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II of Spain wanted to ensure that the judges were fair and well versed in legal codes, especially those of the Church. Therefore, he appointed a brilliant and devout Catholic, Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo. Toribio, born in 1538, came from a very wealthy and noble family from Mayorga de Campos, Leon, Spain, located 175 miles northwest of Madrid. Although little is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

March 14, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the period of Spanish colonization during the 16th century. The country received its independence in 1810, but this joyful event was soon overshadowed by civil war which lasted until 1861. When peace returned, Buenos Aires was set up as the capital of Argentina and magnificent buildings were erected to house the government offices. During this time, an itinerant preacher, Fr. Brochero,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marie Eugenie De Jesus

March 7, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Marie Eugenie De Jesus

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the fall of Napoleon, the Catholic Church needed to regroup. Under Napoleon, the government of France held all Church property, closed many of the Catholic schools, and persecuted Catholics. The number of priests and religious declined dramatically, but with the heroic work of the laity as well as other faithful priests and religious, the number of priests was restored. One of the persons deeply affected by this era and by the Restoration in France was St. Marie Eugenie de Jesus. Anne Eugenie Milleret de Brou was born on August 17, 1817 in Metz, France, about 50 miles south of the border with Luxembourg. Her parents were barely practicing their faith and her father was a follower…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Katharine Drexel

February 28, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Katharine Drexel

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the Civil War between the North and the South, there were still many persons who had little respect for non-white people. However, there were those charitable groups who loved all men regardless of their race and practiced the faith by serving the marginalized and less fortunate. The Drexels of the late 19th century — one of the wealthiest families in the United States — were both a devout Catholic and a generous family. Katharine Drexel used her fortune to help those most in need: the African Americans and the Native Americans. Katharine, born on November 26, 1858 in Philadelphia, was the daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel, a wealthy banker and broker of prestigious investment funds. Hannah…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

February 21, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this wonderful devotion by assigning the month of July for the intentions of the Most Precious Blood.) Dr. Antonio Fusco, a pharmacist, and Stella Giordano, a woman of noble descent, were highly respected in the community of Pagani, Salerno, Italy. They were faithful in the practice of their faith and when the seventh of their eight children was born, December 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

February 14, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli loved our Lord and worked tirelessly to draw others to find the peace and joy they found in His presence. On the very day that Caterina Comensoli was born — January 18, 1847 — her parents, Carlo and Maria Milasi Comensoli, took this fifth child to the nearby church to have her baptized. Her parents would have…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

February 7, 2017 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Aloysius Stepinac

By CAROLE BRESLIN Croatia, the crossroads of Europe where people traverse the continent from north to south and east to west, has been a land of turmoil for centuries, with many nations seeking to control its destiny. In World War I and World War II, a fiery Croatian loved this small land with all his heart and fought for the Croatians to be free from the tyranny of both the Nazis and the Communists. Blessed Aloysius Stepinac came from humble beginnings, but came to be a significant figure on the world stage. Aloysius Viktor Stepinac was born on May 8, 1898 to Josip Stepinac and his second wife Barbara Penic. He was the fifth of nine children (plus three children…Continue Reading