Friday 19th April 2019

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Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Of St. Joseph De Betancur

April 18, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Of St. Joseph De Betancur

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health care in the world. As of 2013, more than 40,000 hospitals, clinics, and homes for the elderly were run by the Catholic Church throughout the world. The pioneering work of many devout saints for centuries provided care for the sick and the homeless. To care for the sick is one of the seven corporal works of mercy. Many servants of God have zealously cared for them, seeing a way of loving Christ by loving their neighbor. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the most recent example of such Christian charity. St. Zoticus built a hospital during the age of Constantine. Saints Cosmos and Damian were honored for their healing…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

April 11, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered time to be one of the most influential men both within the Church and among the rulers of Europe. St. Hugh the Great was born in 1024, the eldest son of Count Dalmatius of Semur and Aremberge of Vergy. He was descended from the noblest families of Burgundy, France, located about 200 miles southeast of Paris. As a noble, Hugh’s…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict The Moor

April 4, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict The Moor

By CAROLE BRESLIN Many have heard of St. Josephine Bakhita, who had been sold into slavery, was purchased by an Italian family, converted to Catholicism, and became a great saint. There are so many wonderful African saints and one of them, like St. Josephine, was also a slave. His parents were slaves owned by an Italian family and when he was young, the owner of his parents gave him his freedom. St. Benedict the Moor — or as some called him St. Benedict the Black — possessed great virtue at a very young age. In 1526, Cristoforo Manasseri and his wife, Diana, welcomed their son, Benedict. Both were African slaves owned by a wealthy Sicilian landowner and both converted to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jozef Bilczewski

March 28, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jozef Bilczewski

By CAROLE BRESLIN Jozef Bilczewski was born in Poland as the country regained some of its respect as a cultured people. Chopin’s music spread across Europe and he is famous today for his wonderful sonatas. Madame Curie, who discovered the use of X-rays, was born seven years after Jozef. Ignacy Lukasiewicz invented the kerosene lamp and an oil refinery was built in Poland soon after — the world’s first. Jozef was born to Franciszek Biba and Anna Kuczmierczyk on April 26, 1860. Jozef was the oldest of nine children born to the peasant parents in Wilamowice in the Diocese of Bielsko Zywiec, which was part of the Diocese of Krakow at the time. As a young boy, from age eight…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello

March 21, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello

By CAROLE BRESLIN Mary and Joseph led a chaste life, as husband and wife for the greater glory of God. The parents of Therese of Lisieux, Marie-Azélie Guérin and Louis Martin, also hoped to live this way, but their spiritual director advised them not to do so. In obedience, they provided the Church with a wonderful example of holiness. Another couple, with the approval of their bishop, lived a chaste life: Giovanni Frassinello and Benedetta Cambiagio. Genoa lies on the Mediterranean coast of northwest Italy. In the village of Langasco, the last of the six children born to Giuseppe Cambiagio and Francesca Ghiglione was born on October 2, 1791. Two days later, the child, Benedetta, was baptized. The family provided…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Cuthbert

March 14, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Cuthbert

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which is located about 30 miles south-southeast of Edinburgh, attracts more visitors than just about any other attraction in Scotland. Although mostly in ruins now, the abbey boasts a museum and other sites of interest, such as the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson revived interest in him with the making of Braveheart. Three miles to the east of this abbey, there was once another Melrose Abbey founded by St. Aidan and later there was also the abbey of which St. Cuthbert served as prior for a brief period of time. St. Cuthbert, claimed by some Irishmen to be from their country, more likely was born in the Lowlands of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Jane Frances De Chantal

March 7, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Jane Frances De Chantal

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church was reeling from the Protestant Reformation, which led to the Council of Trent (1545-1563) to renew the Church. In addition, God provided many holy men and women to help usher in a spiritual revival as well. Some of those champions of the Counter Reformation were St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), and St. Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641). Jane came from noble roots. Her father was prominent as the royalist president of the Parliament of Burgundy, France. Jane was born in Dijon on January 23, 1572, an only child. A pious, faithful Catholic, Jane’s father…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Eustochio Verzeri

February 28, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Eustochio Verzeri

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the first part of the 1800s, the Jansenists continued to spread their heresy. To them God was an angry God. Everyone’s fate was sealed and could not change and so there was no point in developing an intimate relationship with Jesus, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Catholics were urged to stay away from Holy Communion since they were not worthy to receive our Lord because of their sinfulness. Into this chaos a woman was born who loved our Lord and who labored to help others learn of God’s love through the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The village of Bergamo lies in the foothills of the Italian Alps, about 50 miles northwest of Milan. Antonio Verzeri and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Daniel Brottier

February 21, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Daniel Brottier

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Eighth Station of the Cross tells us that on His way to Calvary, our Lord counseled the women of Jerusalem. Without self-pity, He set aside His pain and suffering to think only of saving souls. Many saints have suffered great pains and dark nights, but they did not use these sufferings as excuses to avoid doing God’s work. Blessed Daniel Brottier suffered from severe headaches for most of his life, yet he accomplished many great deeds to honor God’s Kingdom. John-Baptiste Brottier, and his wife, Herminie (née Bouthe), lived in a commune in La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, about 125 miles south of Paris. On September 7, 1876 they welcomed their newborn son Daniel. His father supported Daniel, his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

February 14, 2019 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara

By CAROLE BRESLIN India has almost as many people (1.37 billion) as China (1.42 billion), which has three times the land area. Of the population of India, under three percent are Christian. In Kerala, a state on the southwest coast of India, nearly 20 percent are Christian. Perhaps the greater proportion is a result of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who came from Kerala and was the first male Indian to be canonized. The Catholic community in Kerala dates back to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle. Kuriakose’s parents, Iko Chavara and Mariam Thoppil, came from an ancient Nasrani Christian family. Kuriakose was born in Kainakary on February 10, 1805 and was baptized at St. Joseph’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on…Continue Reading