Friday 20th May 2022

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

May 17, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By DEB PIROCH St. Joseph, born in 1603, experienced his first ecstatic vision when he was only elementary school age and, his jaw dropping in astonishment, he was in utter amazement at what was shown him. Classmates not surprisingly bestowed on him the name of “bocca aperta,” or “open mouthed.” The only son of Felix and Frances Desa, he was not bright. However, he was raised piously and even had two uncles who were religious. He used to joke that he had no need of the novitiate, for he had undergone that ritual already under the stern eye of his mother.His father fell badly into debt and had to flee to escape his lenders. Perhaps a lack of secular ambition…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Agnes

May 10, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Agnes

By DEB PIROCH “What threats the executioner used to make her fear him, what allurements to persuade her, how many desired that she would come to them in marriage! But she answered: ‘It would be an injury to my spouse to look on any one as likely to please me. He who chose me first for Himself shall receive me. Why are you delaying, executioner? Let this body.’ She stood, she prayed, she bent down her neck. You could see the executioner tremble, as though he himself had been condemned, and his right hand shake, his face grow pale, as he feared the peril of another, while the maiden feared not for her own. You have then in one victim a twofold…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict Joseph Labre

May 3, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict Joseph Labre

By DEB PIROCH Like so many brilliant souls who shine in the world but a short time, St. Benedict Joseph Labre burnt brightly and intensely, before falling asleep in the Year of Our Lord 1783, at the mere age of 35.Born one of 15 children to a French family in the Diocese of Boulogne-sur-Mer, at 12 he went to study with his uncle and godfather, Fr. Francis Joseph Labre, a parish priest. (Benedict had six priests in the family!). As Benedict was enraptured by tales of the saints and Holy Scripture, Benedict’s uncle had a hard time impressing on him the importance of Latin and the other subjects needed to achieve Holy Orders. Eventually he would become quite proficient in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Apostle

April 26, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Apostle

By DEB PIROCH The Greeks called him the Divine Apostle. We know him better as the Beloved Apostle. He was a Galilean and the youngest of the Apostles: St. John.John was the brother of James, another apostle, and was with Andrew one day when St. John the Baptist pointed out Christ to them. This is when Andrew first became aware of Christ, as we mentioned in a previous column on St. Andrew. Andrew and St. John the Apostle were both likely followers of St. John the Baptist, who was making the way for Christ.Every Good Friday it should hit us anew that “the disciple,” as he is called, or St. John, was the only apostle and the only man who…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hermann Joseph Von Steinfeld

April 19, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hermann Joseph Von Steinfeld

By DEB PIROCH If you find yourself in Steinfeld, Germany, in North-Rhine Westphalia just southwest of the former German capital of Bonn, you might consider making a pilgrimage. Once a week for nine weeks running from the Fourth Sunday of Lent to Pentecost, pilgrims visit the marble sarcophagus of St. Hermann Joseph von Steinfeld. This pilgrimage has existed for over two centuries, which is really nothing, given that people have actually traveled to see and pray at this saint’s tomb ever since he died in 1241.Hermann was born in Cologne, Germany, and came from a devout family; his mother was St. Hildegund and his sister declared “blessed” by Rome. Before age seven in school he was already devoted to our…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Christina Of Stommeln (1242-1312)

April 12, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Christina Of Stommeln (1242-1312)

By DEB PIROCH Never was there a child born so meant to be a mystic as Blessed Christina, daughter of well-to-do farmer Heinrich Bruso and wife Hilla. They lived in a village about nine miles outside of Cologne, Germany, where the cathedral now has a statue of Christina among the many holy people portrayed there.Already at the age of five, she was having visions. Some say that had she not had bystanders to testify to her life’s events, she would have been written down as mentally ill. However, any actions that happened clearly bear witness to the supernatural presence of good and evil in her life.She believed that at age ten she became the bride of Christ and, by age…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Camillus De Lellis

April 5, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Camillus De Lellis

By DEB PIROCH “If someone inspired by the Lord God wishes to exercise works of mercy, corporal and spiritual, according to our Institute, he should know that he must be dead to all the things of this world, that is to say relatives, friends, possessions, and to himself, and live only for the Crucified Christ” — St. Camillus + + His mother dreamt before giving birth that she would have a son, one who would lead a band of men with crosses on their shirts. She misunderstood what she saw and was afraid her son would head a gang of brigands.St. Camillus was born in 1550 in Abruzzi, Italy, with his mother dying when he was but 12. Handed around…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mary Magdalene

March 29, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Mary Magdalene

By DEB PIROCH “Jesus crying again in a loud voice, yielded up the ghost….And there were many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among whom was Mary Magdalene” (Matt. 27:49, 55-56).All apostles but John were in in hiding. At the foot of the cross along with Mary, Virgin Mother, and Mary of Cleophas, stood Mary Magdalene. God favored her greatly in grace and fortitude that she, too, remained with Him.Mary was a very common name of the age. “Magdalene” means she came from Magdala, an ancient city on the Sea of Galilee, where they processed fish. The Gospel of Luke mentions her being exorcised from demons: “And certain women who had been healed of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Erasmus Of Formia

March 22, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Erasmus Of Formia

By DEB PIROCH Erasmus means “beloved” in Greek. We know little about him — not where or when he was even born. But there can be no doubt that he was beloved of God.The saint is often confused with St. Erasmus of Antioch, a different saint entirely. And because St. Erasmus of Formia was born in the second century AD, approximately 1,900 years ago, tangible proofs have disappeared over the course of history.What is powerful to see are murals and paintings from even the 1500s that depict his death and the popular instruments of his martyrdom. One Swedish mural predates the Protestant Reformation, when Sweden was still a Catholic country, and another painting even exists in St. Peter’s, in Rome.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Relics Of The Saints: The Forgotten Sacramentals

March 15, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Relics Of The Saints: The Forgotten Sacramentals

By DEB PIROCH Catholics, as members of the Church founded by Christ Himself, know that our bodies are “Temples of the Holy Spirit.” At our Resurrection, you will recall, we will be reunited, body and soul. Therefore, all bodies — even the dead — are accorded utmost respect. Funeral Masses are done before the body is buried or cremated, and the latter is allowed only if not intended to disrespect the Church’s teachings.This is why it is so horrendous that the bodies of thousands or millions of martyrs have been tossed aside, thrown in pits, or otherwise “disposed of,” without even the decency of a burial. A modern analogy would be that of the disposal of aborted babies, who though…Continue Reading