Sunday 1st August 2021

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Catholic Heroes… St. Callistus

July 27, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Callistus

By DEB PIROCH Memory can be fleeting — ashes to ashes and dust to dust. But to God, no one is forgotten, every soul remains forever mirrored in His mind’s eye. And the redeemed all belong to the Communion of Saints. Even more amazing is when someone is known long after one’s death, despite the fickleness of history.Such is the situation with St. Callistus, whom we still remember nearly 1,800 years after his life. Ironically, what we largely know of him is through the writings of another saint, St. Hippolytus, who was angry at St. Callistus for years and saw him as his enemy. But more on that below.Callistus was a Roman born in the second century after Christ. He…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Of Calcutta

July 20, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Of Calcutta

By DEB PIROCH Long before Princess Diana hugged AIDS victims, a diminutive nun no one had heard of from Macedonia rescued her first dying man from the gutter. Carrying him back with her, she washed his wounds and removed maggots, covered him in clean sheets and gave him water. And he said, “I have lived like an animal, but I will die like an angel [because I am loved].”The term “iconoclast” hails from the Greek, literally “image destroyer.” The meaning stands for both those who literally smash images — including Catholic ones — and also those who would destroy institutions, like the faith we hold dear. Attacks on the Church began long before “God is dead,” long before Communism or…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Rupert Mayer, SJ

July 13, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Rupert Mayer, SJ

By DEB PIROCH Fr. Rupert Mayer is also known as “The Limping Priest,” because of a World War I injury he sustained. Fr. Mayer was German, and the “Apostle of Munich” was an army chaplain who was raised actually in Stuttgart, then attended the seminary in Switzerland. He was ordained in 1899, joined the Jesuit order in 1900, and, after the novitiate, went to the Netherlands for more study from 1906-1911. For a year, he journeyed in three nations as a priest, before being assigned to a parish in Munich, ministering largely to migrants.However, with the advent of World War I, he volunteered to be an army chaplain, and after a brief hospital assignment he was sent to the trenches.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

July 6, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By DEB PIROCH St. Bridget (1303-1396), mystic and saint, was born after her mother had just been saved from drowning. Afterward, her mother was told by an angel who appeared that she had been rescued so as to give life to Bridget. She was one of three children to survive childhood; four others did not.Born in Uppland, east-central Sweden, at age seven Bridget saw her first vision. In the dream she was proffered and accepted a heavenly crown. Three years later, at ten, she saw Christ crucified, and blood coursing from His wounds.Her mother, related to the royal family, was most pious. Another close relative was also a saint, St. Ingrid, who had died twenty years before Bridget’s birth.Her wealthy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Venerable Bede

June 29, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… The Venerable Bede

By DEB PIROCH Among the 36 ranking doctors of the Church, she names only one Englishman — the Venerable Bede (673-735). His feast day is May 25.We have little personal history of this great Northumbrian scholar and saint, other than what he wrote himself. Among the approximately forty works he wrote, covering a wide array of subjects, the one acknowledged universally as his masterpiece is the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed just four years before he died. The work, written in flowing Latin, is the first historical work to chronicle history in terms of “AD” years.Moreover, he was the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholar of his day and, some say, perhaps of all time. In it, he documents his country’s…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

June 22, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By DEB PIROCH Born on the Feast of John the Baptist, her given name was Ursula. At 17 she entered the Capuchin Poor Clares in Umbria. This took some doing; her father had strongly wanted her to marry, to the point of introducing suitors while she still insisted on her vocation. He eventually relented. And the bishop who clothed her predicted she would be a saint, when she made her profession on All Saints’ Day, 1678.She had been given the religious name of Veronica, one who is the image of Christ. This showed prescience, for Veronica would be one throughout her life with Our Crucified Lord. She was the seventh and last child of her parents, five of whom would…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peregrine

June 15, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Peregrine

By DEB PIROCH Peregrine Laziosi (1260-1345) lived a long life, thanks to a miraculous healing. But one might be surprised at the many turns in the journey of this person’s life, for he was born in a region not only politically anti-papal but also under papal interdict and excommunicated, for its defiance of the Holy Father.The only child of well-to-do parents, Peregrine as a teenager lived in an area that was in open defiance of the Pope. To try to smooth over the discord, St. Philip Benizi, the founder of the Friar Order Servants of Mary, was sent to his town of Forli, in northern Italy. While Philip was speaking, the crowd grew unruly and, more to the point, a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Cardinal Von Galen, “The Lion Of Munster”

June 8, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Cardinal Von Galen, “The Lion Of Munster”

By DEB PIROCH As efforts to combat unorthodoxy in Germany continue, we would do well to remember another German of the era of the Second World War, one who remains an eternal witness for us today. Just over a year ago, Germany’s Constitution Court determined physician assisted suicide is constitutional. Until recently, any form of euthanasia has been highly taboo, given “Aktion T4,” the program which Germans know as Hitler’s widespread euthanasia campaign. The program terminated anyone seen as unfit — the handicapped, sick and elderly, even babies.“The Lion of Munster,” Blessed Clemens August Cardinal von Galen, would have bellowed loudly against the Constitution Court. Made bishop of the diocese named for the German town in 1933, he was fearless…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Andrew Bobola

June 1, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Andrew Bobola

By DEB PIROCH “Andrew,” the name of Christ’s first apostle, is a name taken from the Greek, meaning “strong and manly.” Two of the Gospel writers say Andrew was brother to Peter, both fishermen famously called to follow Christ and become “fishers of men.” Tradition says the first St. Andrew even traveled as a missionary to some of the Slavic nations, and as such makes an excellent namesake for St. Andrew Bobola (1591-1657), our saint this week.St. Andrew Bobola is a secondary patron saint of Poland. (And Poland has quite a few patron saints!) Born of noble parents in an area of Poland named Sandomir, he became a Jesuit in the best tradition, after studying in Vilnius, during a time…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . The 40 Martyrs Of England And Wales

May 25, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . The 40 Martyrs Of England And Wales

By DEB PIROCH There’s a special reason we’re focusing a year late on the 50th anniversary of the canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, on October 1970 by Pope Paul VI. COVID, as we know, has thrown a spanner in the works everywhere. Last year there was to be an exhibition featuring relics of these blessed martyrs but, since it had to be canceled, the exhibit still opted to continue, albeit a year delayed, in virtual form.Not only is this riveting to behold, but I highly recommend you share this with your friends and family, as well.Search online under “How Bleedeth Burning Love,” and you will be directed to the exhibit at the UK Jesuits’ website. This…Continue Reading