Thursday 23rd September 2021

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Fidelis Of Sigmaringen

May 4, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Fidelis Of Sigmaringen

By DEB PIROCH There aren’t too many saints that started off in life as lawyers, and ended up as martyrs. St. Thomas More comes to mind. But the saint today, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Germany (1577-1622)? After getting his doctorate in law at Freiburg, he found he was seeking to help the poorest clients, refused to detract from the characters of the opposition, used no invective, and indeed, soon became so disillusioned with law because of all the evils associated with it, that he left to embrace life as a Capuchin. But one mustn’t get ahead of his story.Born in 1577 to noble parents Johannes and Genovefa, his given name was either Markus Rey or Markus Roy, and his father…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica

April 27, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica

By DEB PIROCH Her name was “Veronica,” which literally means “true icon” or image from the Latin “vera” and Greek “eikon.” Is the mystery of the saint who wiped the sweat and blood from the sacred face of Christ perhaps just a literal translation of the service rendered?We know very little about St. Veronica, except what has been passed down through tradition. She is not in the Bible. She is just famously mentioned in the Stations of the Cross. The stations were simply in early Christian times for pilgrims who wanted to walk in the steps of Jesus, and they developed further during the Middle Ages.An apocryphal or invented “gospel” of Nicodemus, dating to the fourth century, mentions her and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lydwina Of Schiedam

April 20, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Blessed Lydwina Of Schiedam

By DEB PIROCH Not all of us are so holy that St. Thomas à Kempis witnessed to some of our miracles. Such was the saintliness of Blessed Lydwina of Schiedam, Holland, born Palm Sunday, 1380, into a poor family of nine children. With four older and four younger brothers, she was a lively and fine child up until the age of 15, and devoted to the Blessed Virgin. We know this, and that she had already taken a vow of perpetual virginity. But that winter she had been ill, and not fully recovered, and went out to ice skate and fell. At the time she was believed to have broken a rib, which led to illness the rest of her…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Gertrude Of Nivelles

April 13, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Gertrude Of Nivelles

By DEB PIROCH The next time St. Patrick’s Day rolls around and you are tempted to drink a mug of green beer, you might recall that March 17 is also the feast day of a lesser-known saint, but one dear to many hearts who lived less than two hundred years later than St. Patrick: St. Gertrude of Nivelles, virgin.Though Christianity was no more popular in seventh century than in modern-day Belgium, St. Gertrude, born in 626, knew at the young age of ten that her calling was to the religious life. The daughter of a nobleman, her father asked her if she wished to marry the son of another noble and she would have no part of it, stating only…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jeanne Jugan

April 6, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jeanne Jugan

By DEB PIROCH “The Seventh Commandment implies the obligation of assisting the poor and needy as far as we are able. . . . Our Lord declares the omission of alms deeds will be punished by eternal damnation (Matt. 25:46). . . . For many persons, without their own fault, are pitiably destitute, e.g. orphans, widows, the sick and disabled, the deformed, the insane, and the like” —The Gospels and Epistles of the Sundays and Feasts with Outlines for Sermons.To care for the sick is a corporal work of mercy. Officially St. John is the patron saint of caregivers, for Christ handed him His Mother’s care when they stood at the foot of the cross, watching Him die. But St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Pius X

March 30, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Pius X

By DEB PIROCH “He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep” (John 26:16-17).His family knew him as “Bepi.” Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, born in 1835 near Venice, was the second eldest son of a poor Italian postman and his dressmaker wife. Two of his ten siblings did not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

March 23, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

By DEB PIROCH Part 2 We spoke in last week’s column, part one, about the encyclical of Pope Pius XII’s Predecessor, entitled Mit Brennender Sorge, in which he had a role. This evidenced part of a continuum shown by the Church, in which Pacelli, the future Pope, showed the Church’s antipathy toward and disgust with the evil of Hitler’s ideology.One of the most vile and most repeated lies perpetuated today is that the Church, along with Pope Pius XII, remained “silent” while Jews and others were killed during the Holocaust. Most who repeat this falsehood do not realize no one thought to invent this fiction until the 1960s. It was introduced in the German work, Der Stellvertreter, a play by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

March 16, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

By DEB PIROCH Part 1Few Popes have been as unjustly maligned in our day and age as Pope Pius XII. He has been accused by many anti-Catholics with complicity in the Nazi Holocaust, which is heinous, when he was really responsible for saving as many as 800,000 lives (Israeli diplomat and historian Pinchas Lapide, Author of Three Popes and the Jews, 1967).This two-part article on Pope Pius XII aims to address some of the vicious slander hurled against this saintly man, whom Pope Benedict declared venerable in 2009. As the vicious lie is still so often repeated, it behooves every Catholic to have ready answers to refute such propaganda. Ironically, the falsehood began decades after the war and even after…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John The Baptist

March 9, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes… St. John The Baptist

By DEB PIROCH “What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are in costly apparel and live delicately, are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you: Amongst those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist” (Luke 7:24-28).St. John the Baptist is a special prophet,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich

March 2, 2021 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich

By DEB PIROCH Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, born at the beginning of the twentieth century in 1901, would be the first American-born citizen beatified on American soil. She was born in Bayonne, N.J., of Slovak immigrant parents, Alexander and Johanna. Miriam was the youngest of seven, all raised and confirmed in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church.Miriam already had a call to the religious life after attending high school and graduating as valedictorian, but her mother was ill and she put off any plans in order to nurse her. She would die of the flu when Miriam was 17. Already Miriam’s piety was noted, but she had yet not decided where to enter.So, she opted to go to college, attending St. Elizabeth’s…Continue Reading