Saturday 28th January 2023

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Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Damian

January 24, 2023 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Damian

By DEB PIROCH For those in search of a night free of insomnia, it’s said those with a clean conscience sleep blissfully. Yet, many of us know it is not quite that easy to vanquish insomnia and in truth, the longer one tries, the less one is inclined to fall sleep. At the least it can be exhausting, at the most, incapacitating.In searching for help amongst the lives of the saints, we find mainly tales of those offering up the sleep they could have, and or fighting to stay awake. St. Jerome, when he got sleepy, would dash himself against the ground in an attempt to remain alert. Many religious, including saints, fasted from sleep. Or sleeping on rough ground,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Dunstan

January 17, 2023 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Dunstan

By DEB PIROCH Before St. Thomas Becket, the saint most likely to be invoked by an Englishman was St. Dunstan. He was successively appointed the abbot of Glastonbury, the bishop of Worcester, the bishop of London, archbishop of Canterbury and later, the bishop of Winchester. Additionally, he was related to at least one archbishop and three bishops; perhaps being a priest and confessor was in the blood. He would be an adviser to kings and the first to invent the coronation process as it exists today.Born around AD 909, he was an apt scholar, who learned from Irish monks in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. He dreamt of restoring the abbey, which one day he indeed would do. But before…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . The Pontifical Patron Saint Of Benedict XVI

January 10, 2023 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . The Pontifical Patron Saint Of Benedict XVI

By DEB PIROCH “The abbot . . . must be chaste, sober and merciful, ever preferring mercy to justice, that he himself may obtain mercy. Let him hate sin and love the brethren. And even in his corrections, let him act with prudence, and not go too far, lest . . . the vessel be broken. Let him keep his own frailty ever before his eyes, and remember that the bruised reed must not be broken . . . and let him study rather to be loved than feared.”St. Benedict of Nursia, the St. Benedict who invented the Rule and co-patron of Europe with Saints Cyril and Methodius, was the pontifical patron saint chosen by our dear departed Pope Emeritus…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Sylvester

January 3, 2023 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Sylvester

By DEB PIROCH “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty….and in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages….Begotten, not made, consubstantial of the Father, by whom all things were made. . . . And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. . . .” — Nicene Creed.The early period of the Church was a difficult one, stained with the blood of many martyrs. Not until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine would Christianity suddenly become the favored and dominant religion, throughout the Roman Empire.When Diocletian was ruler, he divided his empire into two parts and went into seclusion,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… In Honor Of The Holy Family

December 20, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… In Honor Of The Holy Family

By DEB PIROCH “Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. . . . And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering the house they found the Child with Mary His mother. And falling down, they adored him.”The family is an earthly union that mirrors the Blessed Trinity. Christ is the center, held and nurtured by the loving arms of the Virgin, encircled by the protecting arms of St. Joseph. In imitating the Holy Family, we are choosing to follow the holiest of any saints. The Church also celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family the first Sunday after Christmas, which is still part of the Christmas season.Because of St. Francis of Assisi, readers…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lucy

December 13, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Lucy

By DEB PIROCH “So that the multitudes marveled seeing the dumb speak, the lame walk, and the blind see: and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matt. 15:31). + + Her lungs burst forth her first baby cries in Syracuse, Sicily; St. Lucy’s father was Roman, her mother Greek. And while her father sadly died when she was young, they were of noble blood and were well endowed financially. Her mother, though, had a disease which caused her to bleed incessantly. And as time continued, few answers existing at that time, it occurred to them as Christians to travel to pray at the tomb of St. Agatha. The female saint had died approximately half a century before and was a…Continue Reading

St. Cajetan (1480-1547)

December 6, 2022 saints Comments Off on St. Cajetan (1480-1547)

By DEB PIROCH Such love of the poor he could have only received in grace from our Lord. Born to a wealthy family in 1480, Cajetan sought out poverty most of his life. At age three he built the first chapel in his room, and as a child was trying to give food to the poor. His life came to be influential not in what he wrote, not in miracles that were wrought, but in his stellar witness to the faith.This was the time of Martin Luther. Corruption was rife in the Church and the laxness and laziness by religious and ignorance by Christians was a great cross. But instead of seeking (Protestant) reformation, Cajetan sought reform!A lawyer educated both…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Padre Pio And The Poor Souls

November 29, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Padre Pio And The Poor Souls

By DEB PIROCH Part 2 “Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in the most need of Thy mercy” — Fatima prayer. + + This week we continue to discuss the special closeness St. Pio had with the suffering souls in Purgatory. Yes, he often knew which souls had made it into Purgatory and also the duration of their stay there, probably an insight given by our Lord because of his great love for his neighbor. He saw, for instance, that on the day of his death, Pope Pius XII was in Heaven.We may like to think that only great sinners land in Purgatory,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Francis De Sales, Author And Apologist

November 22, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Francis De Sales, Author And Apologist

By DEB PIROCH Anger is not a sin. It is how one employs anger that can lead to sin, but Christ Himself was justifiably angered when His house of prayer was transformed into a “den of thieves.” What did Christ mean?A church is for praying, for celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass, for the distribution of the sacraments. It is not for trade like a public market, nor for lascivious acts by evil men who molest children, nor to spread scandal or deny the righteous teachings of Christ.We know from our own day and times that many politicians have exploited the Church as an institution. While “heresy” is not a popular word, it hails from the Greek word meaning “…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

November 15, 2022 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By DEB PIROCH This week’s column is particularly dedicated to all the cooks preparing for the Thanksgiving feast. In searching out recipes, one could do worse than remember the patron saint of cooks: St. Lawrence.St. Lawrence, despite having died as long ago as AD 258, is among the most remembered of the saints, for his sense of humor, as well as his sanctity. For those who might like to assert he didn’t exist, we have very early accounts of his existence, as well as churches and basilicas, which offer proof. Often, we also turn to a contemporary for the closest biography of the saint, but as we find none in existence, we turn next to ones based on surviving oral…Continue Reading