Friday 13th December 2019

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Catholic Heroes… St. Charbel

December 12, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Charbel

By CAROLE BRESLIN Lebanon is a small country bordering both Syria and Israel on the Mediterranean coast line. It has a great diversity of religions as small as it is. There are Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims—who possess hostile attitudes toward each other. There are also Greek Orthodox and Maronite Christians. They all have a common interest in a man who has worked many wonders for many persons regardless of their religious affiliation. Hence they all have a special devotion to St. Charbel. This “Wonder Worker of Lebanon” was born on May 8, 1828 in the Lebanese village of Béka-Kafra, high in the mountains. Baptized Youssef (Joseph) Antoun Makhlouf, he was one of five children born to Antoun Zaarour Makhlouf…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Fulton Sheen

December 5, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Fulton Sheen

By CAROLE BRESLIN Saints do not seek after fame, but sometimes it comes their way anyway, for the edification of the faithful and the world at large. Mother Teresa in her humble and simple way was known around the world and even won the Nobel Peace Prize. And television will certainly catapult a dynamic personality blessed with Irish wit and wisdom to worldwide fame. Such was the case for Fulton J. Sheen as his audience grew with unprecedented speed. Born in El Paso, Ill., on May 8, 1895, Sheen was the eldest of four sons. His parents, farmers whose families came from County Roscommon in Ireland, named their son Peter John Sheen. When still an infant, Peter contracted tuberculosis and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Anthony Fasani

November 28, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Anthony Fasani

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are so many Franciscan saints that they are listed by categories and subcategories. The Franciscan martyrs are separated by the Capuchin martyrs and the 26 martyrs of Japan. There are both men and women martyrs and saints who came from wealthy families such as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare. There are also saints who have come from impoverished families such as St. Francis Anthony Fasani. Some of the saints were professed religious and some were laity belonging to the Third Order Franciscans. One thing they all had in common was an all-consuming love of God. St. Francis Fasani, called a “son of the soil,” came from a peasant family in Lucera, Italy, a part…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mechtilde

November 21, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Mechtilde

By CAROLE BRESLIN The path to sainthood varies considerably. Some saints go through miraculous conversions after a life of tepidity and even sinful pleasure such as St. Camillus, St. Augustine of Hippo, and St. Francis of Assisi. Others possess remarkable sanctity from the day of their birth — or even earlier such as the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist. At Helfta in central Germany, about 200 kilometers southwest of Berlin, members of one of the most powerful and most noble families of Thuringia were also known for their extraordinary holiness. St. Gertrude was counted among its members and they were cousins to the emperor of Germany. Around 1240 a daughter was born to the family and named…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Guido Maria Conforti

November 14, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Guido Maria Conforti

By CAROLE BRESLIN Many men and women who have established religious orders had to overcome various obstacles to obtain canonical approval. In addition to finding those persons with the same heart to serve God’s people, they must acquire housing, and find funding. These may be worldly concerns, but they are still important. Founders must also consider the statutes for their congregation, give attention to the evangelical counsels, and work with Church officials to get approval according to the Directives of Formation in Religious Institutes published by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life. No wonder, then, that so many founders have been canonized for their holy lives. One of these is St. Guido Maria Conforti. To complete the process of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Pignatelli

November 7, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Pignatelli

By CAROLE BRESLIN Since the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola up to the mid-eighteenth century, the order of priests and brothers had met with phenomenal success. But despite the high respect the Jesuits received from Popes, bishops, and kings, they eventually found themselves exiled and suppressed. The same bishop who started the Jansenist movement had been rejected by the Jesuits when he applied to become a novice. Enraged by this rejection, he vowed to destroy the Jesuits and — along with other forces working against the order — nearly did so. His undermining of the order slowly worked its way through all levels of society and the Jesuit priests were suppressed in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Servant of God Jacques Fesch

October 31, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Servant of God Jacques Fesch

By CAROLE BRESLIN “Great sinners make great saints. God has big plans for you.” These are words of wisdom from the Church as handed down by Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, which explain the lives of great saints. In Sacred Scripture we meet St. Matthew, a reviled tax collector, who became one of the apostles; Mary Magdalene, a woman of pleasure, who stood at the foot of the cross and became the apostle to the apostles after the Resurrection; and St. Dismas, a repentant thief, who was promised Paradise as he died next to Christ on the cross. Likewise, St. Augustine of Hippo not only espoused the heresy of Manichaeism, but also fathered a child out of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Laura Of St. Catherine Of Siena

October 17, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Laura Of St. Catherine Of Siena

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a woman who possessed classic beauty. Although her looks were not outstanding, she emanated an interior serenity and peace that enhanced her features. Her eyes were alight with wisdom, her forehead free from the lines of anxiety and stress. Her mouth was smooth and always carried a hint of a smile as is common with those who are filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Like her namesake, she loved our Lord and she greatly admired that Italian woman who became a bride of Christ, St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). Juan de la Cruz, a doctor and merchant, married Dolores Montoya Upegui. They had three children: Carmelia, Juan de la Cruz, and another daughter,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Borgia

October 10, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Borgia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The mere sight of the name Borgia brings to mind the family that was influential in both the Church and society — notorious for their political maneuvering and murder. But God can bring good out of evil and even from this family: Francis Borgia had great influence in the development of the Society of Jesus and served as its third superior general. Francis Borgia was born on October 28, 1510 in Valencia, Spain. His father, Juan Borgia, was the Duke of Gandia, and the grandson of Pope Alexander VI. Juana, his mother, was the daughter of the archbishop of Zaragoza. When Juan died, Juana took her children back to her duchy to raise them in peace and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

September 26, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

  By CAROLE BRESLIN The complex roots of the Spanish Civil War (February 1936 to April 1939) sprouted many years before hostilities broke out. Little by little the Catholic Church had lost its influence and then it became a prime target for both the revolutionaries and the government. Of Church personnel, those executed during the Spanish Civil War included 12 bishops; 283 religious sisters and nuns; 4,184 priests; 2,365 religious priests; and an unknown number of laypeople, according to a July 20, 2011 Our Sunday Visitor article by Russell Shaw. Among the martyrs are the Nine Martyrs of Turon, whose feast is celebrated on October 9. Eight of them were Brothers of the Christian Schools and one was a Passionist…Continue Reading