Saturday 4th December 2021

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Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

April 7, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply regretted this brief wayward journey later in life. As happened with many saints, Anselm’s mother provided a good example of holiness and patience. St. Anselm was greatly devoted to his mother whom he missed dearly when she died. His father treated him so poorly that he was forced to leave home, traveling to the other side of the country. In…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

March 31, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a similar law shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, in Quebec, where the French colonies were thriving, Catholics had built churches and established parishes. In fact, the records of the Catholic churches have become famous for their genealogical records, kept from as early as 1621. St. Marguerite d’Youville was born into this era on October 15, 1701 in Varennes, Quebec. Varennes is located on…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

March 24, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Faustina And Divine Mercy

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Divine Mercy Chaplet had never been one of my favorite devotions until my aunt died. As she lay in the hospital during her final hours, I sat in the room, visiting with the endless stream of visitors who stopped in to see their fellow volunteer. By six o’clock, the room was quiet. I decided to read my book, but the Holy Spirit would have none of that. Concentration eluded me. Then I decided that I would massage my aunt as I said the Divine Mercy chaplet. When I came to the last prayer of the chaplet, my aunt’s heart beat for the last time. From that moment, I became a great promoter of Divine Mercy. It…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

March 17, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN In our time, it is common to hear parents bemoan the fact that their child is impulsive, or strong-willed, or irresponsible. Even the Holy Family suffered when our Lord, at the age of twelve, stayed behind in the Temple. How Mary and Joseph must have agonized over the missing Child Jesus. How do you tell God you lost His Son? Similarly, St. John of God caused his mother such grief that some historians claim she died of it. St. John of God was born on March 8, 1495 in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, located in the northwest section of the country. His parents, Andre Cidade and Teresa Duarte, were once prominent, but they had lost all their wealth. Despite…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louise De Marillac

March 10, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louise De Marillac

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every soul possesses dignity. “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2258). St. Louise de Marillac, who devoted her life to serving the sick and the poor, was born out of wedlock. In 1591, Louise was born near Meux, France. Little is known about her mother since she died when Louise was still very young. Rather than disowning the young girl, her father, Louis de Marillac, provided for her livelihood and education. He taught her for a while before placing her with the royal monastery in Poissy.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

March 3, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Isidore Of Seville

By CAROLE BRESLIN Spain is one of two countries located on the Iberian Peninsula. During the time of the Roman Empire, it was the Romans who first called this land “Hispania.” To this land the Romans brought the Latin language, civil organization, and law, as well as the Christian religion. However, as the Roman Empire began to crumble during the fifth century, the Germanic tribes from the north invaded Spain. The Suevi, Vandals, and Alans moved in. These peoples were then conquered by the Visigoths, who controlled the entire Iberian Peninsula by the end of the sixth century. Two centuries of their control left civilized society in ruins with little culture, few manners, and weakening faith. The Visigoths were pagan,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

February 24, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustus Chapdelaine

By CAROLE BRESLIN Christianity has never been warmly welcomed by the authorities in China, but that did not stop the missionaries over the centuries who have gone there to save souls. Christianity has existed in various forms since the Tang Dynasty (eighth century). The first reports of Catholic priests going to China go back to the 13th century. John of Montecorvino, an Italian Franciscan, arrived in Beijing in 1294. Although he made many converts, and he began to translate the Holy Bible into Mandarin, the official Chinese language, the mission did not thrive. In 1582 Matteo Ricci was sent to China. His subtle approach and his diplomacy met with some small success with the emperor and with Chinese authorities. Even…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

February 17, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Jacinta Marto

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic classic Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, we learn that wisdom is to be valued much more than knowledge. There is an entire book of the Old Testament called the Book of Wisdom. While holiness does not equal happiness, we can be sure that joy comes only from God. Little Jacinta Marto, the youngest of the three children who saw Our Lady at Fatima, displayed uncommon holiness during her short life. Likewise, she found joy in being able to suffer, and suffer terribly, for the salvation of souls. Jacinta was the seventh child of Manuel and Olimpia de Jesus Marto, a pious and hard-working couple. They owned some sheep that Jacinta took for…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Saints Cyril And Methodius

February 10, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . Saints Cyril And Methodius

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Bible men and women have had their names changed by God — usually to reflect a new identity in Him. Abram and Sarai became Abraham and Sarah respectively. Jacob became Israel, Simon became Peter, and Saul became Paul. In the ninth century a man named Constantine took the name Cyril just before he died at the young age of 42. Some sources mention that his brother, Methodius, received the name Michel at his birth. In 827, Christian parents welcomed their youngest of seven sons, Constantine, into their lives. His father was Greek while his mother most likely came from a Slavic country. Though born of a Christian family, the boys received a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josephine Bakhita

February 3, 2015 saints Comments Off on Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josephine Bakhita

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is a patron saint for almost any group of persons or causes. A patron saint is “a saint or blessed who, since early Christian times, has been chosen as a special intercessor with God for a particular person, place, community, or organization” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, p. 410). There are also some recently canonized saints who have been named as special patrons as well. St. Josephine Bakhita, canonized on October 1, 2000, by Pope St. John Paul II, is the patron saint of Sudan in Africa. When the saint we know of as Josephine Margaret Bakhita was born, her parents gave her a name. However, because of the traumatic events of her…Continue Reading