Sunday, January 31, 2010

St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco was born on 16 August 1815 at Castelnuovo d'Asti, and received from his mother Margarita Occhiena a solid Christian and human education. Endowed with intelligence, memory, will and physical agility uncommon since childhood was followed by his contemporaries, who organized games that broke the sound of the bells to bring them to church. He was ordained priest in Turin in 1841, where he began his pastoral work with St. Joseph Cafasso.
His program, or rather, his passion was the education of youth, the poor and abandoned. He gathered a small group that had to play, to pray often to dine with him. The uncomfortable and noisy company of Don Bosco (as it was called and took him familiarly called) had to be continually changing places until I finally found a permanent place under the shed Pinardi, which was the first cell of the Oratory.One of the boys who was with John Bosco was St. Dominic Savio. They had a strong friendship. Until Dominic died.

With the help of mum Margaret, without material and between the persistent hostility of many, gave birth to the Don Bosco Oratory of St. Francis de Sales was the Sunday meeting place for young people wishing to spend a day of good cheer, a pension with schools of art and crafts for young workers, and regular schools to the humanities, as a pedagogy that would become known worldwide as "precautionary approach" and based on religion, reason and love. "The practice of preventive method is based entirely in the words of St. Paul who says:" Charity is kind and patient, suffering everything, but expects everything and hold everything. "
To ensure continuity of his work, St. John Bosco founded the Pious Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians) and FMA (the Salesians). He was a prolific popular writer, founded schools typefaces, magazines and publishers for the increase of the Catholic press, "good news". Although alien to the political struggles, he lent his services as an intermediary between the Holy See, the Italian government and the House of Savoy.
It was a cheerful and amiable saint, was "a priest in the poor house, a priest in the palace of the King and the Ministers". Good debater against the sect of the Vaudois, in the mind of the time, never been shy about his friendships with Protestants and Jews of good will: "We condemn the errors, wrote in the" Catholic ", but always respect the people" . St. John Bosco died on January 31, 1888 and was canonized by Pius XI in 1934.

you called John Bosco
to be a teacher and father yo the young.
Fill us with love like his:
may we give ourselves completely your service
and to the salvation of mankind.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our

References: Catholic.Net

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saint Mutien-Marie Wiaux

Saint Mutien-Marie Wiaux was a Belgian member of the Brothers of Christian Schools. He was born Louis Wiaux, the third of six children, in French-speaking Belgium to a devout Catholic family. After joining the Christian Brothers, he took the religious name Mutien-Marie, "Mutien" being a reference to the early Roman martyr Mucian. He began the novitiate at Namur.
After teaching at an elementary school, he was assigned to teach at a boarding school, where he taught fine arts, including music and art, for fifty-eight years. At first teaching was a difficult assignment for him, and his students were known as disruptive and out of control. But in time Brother Mutien grew into an effective teacher also known for his patience and piety. He taught music and art, a saint of sensibility not intellect.
Mutien-Marie was buried in Malonne. His fame began to grow after his death and miracles were attributed to him.

Lord bless us with the memory of your humble servant Mutien-Marie, so that we too may live a life of love for you and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 29, 2010

St. Juniper

Saint Juniper called "the renowned jester of the Lord," was one of the original followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. Not much is known about Juniper before he joined the friars. In 1210, he was received into the order of the Franciscans by St. Francis of Assis himself. "Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," Saint Francis would pun.
St. Francis of Assis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When St. Clare of Assisi was dying, Juniper consoled her.He died 1258. Juniper is buried at Ara Coeli Church at Rome.

Fahter may the name of Juinper
let us be your jester so
we can love you more each
day like Christ loved

References: Wikipedia.Org

Thursday, January 28, 2010

St.Thomas Aquinas

Thomas was born in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily in the year 1225. He was born into the Italian Nobility and was destend to be a Count as his father had been. Thomas was a well eduacted young man, that at the age of five he was taught at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict between Pope Gregory IX and Emperor Fredrick II. After this his mother, Theodora Countess of Theate, enrolled him at Studium Generale , in Naples, which would now relate to the University. Here is where St. Thomas learned about Aristotle and the many other great philosophers who influenced his philosophy. It was also during his study at Naples that Aquinas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, who was part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers. Here his teacher in arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music was Petrus de Ibernia. In the year 1244, Thomas decided that he was going to join the Dominican Order. Thomas' family was not very happy when they heard the news about his change in career path. According to legend, by the orders of his mother Thomas' brothers tried to abduct him as he was drinking from a spring in a nearby village, their attempt was successful and he was tempted by local girls his mother had convinced to meet him. Family members became desperate to dissuade Aquinas, who remained determined to join the Dominicans. At one point, two of his brothers hired a prostitute to seduce him, but he drove her away, wielding a burning stick. According to legend, that night two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate. As a reward for his fidelity, God conferred upon him the gift of perfect chastity, which has merited for him the title of the "Angelic Doctor". After this attempt failed which lasted two years, his mother noticed that his heart truly did belong to GOD and she then supported him through out his religious life. During his time in captivity he spent most of his days, educating his sisters in the faith and speaking with some Dominican Friars. After his liberation Aquinas was sent first to Naples and then to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order. In 1245, Aquinas was sent to study at the University of Paris' Faculty of Arts, where it is said that he met Albertus Magnus. When the new university was opened in Cologne, Germany wher Albertus was appointed, it is said that Thomas followed him there too. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but he was really a brilliant student. At the age of twenty-two, he was appointed to teach in the same city. At the same time, he also began to publish his first works. After four years he was sent to Paris. The saint was then a priest. At the age of thirty-one, he received his doctorate. At Paris he was honored with the friendship of the King, St. Louis, with whom he frequently dined. In 1261, Urban IV called him to Rome where he was appointed to teach, but he positively declined to accept any ecclesiastical dignity. St. Thomas not only wrote (his writings filled twenty hefty tomes characterized by brilliance of thought and lucidity of language), but he preached often and with greatest fruit. Clement IV offered him the archbishopric of Naples which he also refused. He left the great monument of his learning, the "Summa Theologica", unfinished, for on his way to the second Council of Lyons, ordered there by Gregory X, he fell sick and died at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in 1274.

God our Father,
you made Thomas Aquinas known for his holiness and learning.
Help us to grow in wisdom by his teaching
and in holiness by imitating his faith.
May we too be guided by the Holy Spirit, as he was.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

St. Angela Merici

Born in Italy in 1474 and is credited with having founded the first female religious community to educate girls.
She grew up in a peasant family in a believer, where every night reading the life of a saint, and that the aroused much and excited by religion.
Lost her father and mother while still very young and it impressed her very much. After all her life she would ask God for forgiveness for not trusting enough in her youth in Divine Providence that no one leaves.
Her childhood is very patient and has to work hard but that makes it strong and makes sympathetic to poor girls who need help in order to be adequately instructed.
Franciscan Tertiary and is made without having primary school but, becomes Minister of governors, bishops,doctors of the church,and priests. It had received the Holy Spirit the gift of the Council, which consists of knowing what is best to do and avoid each time.
Seeing that the girls who were not educated and free her from mortal danger, and that theories were new people to want to organize their lives as if God did not exist, he founded the Community of the Ursulines (in honor of St. Ursula, the fourth-century martyred saint, who headed the group of girls called "The eleven thousand virgins, who died defending their religion and chastity).
What struck her most was that girls in the countryside and villages he visited knew nothing or almost nothing about religion. Her parents or did not know or would not teach them catechism. So she organized her friends into an association dedicated to teaching catechism in every neighborhood and every village.
Angela was short but had all the qualities of leadership and guidance to influence others. And he was very sympathetic and kind in their treatment.
In Brescia founded a school and from there spread its Ursuline Community of many parts. A group of 28 very pious girls came to live at home with Angela and they founded the Community. In a vision she saw a huge group of young girls dressed in
Angela de Merici, Saint
white flying into the sky and a voice said: "These are your religious educators.
The Saint Ursula people considered as a great leader or guide for women. So Angela began her religious name Ursulines.
The Community of Ursuline was founded in 1535 and died five years after its founder, St. Angela, on January 27, 1540. She was canonized in 1807.
A man asked her one day on the street: What advice do you recommend to behave properly? And she said: "Behave every day as I wanted to have behaved when the time comes to die and give account to God."
Her last words were: "My God, I love you".

may Saint Angela commend us to your mercy;
may her chairity and wisdom help us
to be faithful to your teaching
and to follow it in our lives.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ss. Timothy and Titus

St. Timothy
Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewess. He joined St. Paul when Paul preached at Lystra replacing Barnabas, and became Paul's close friend and confidant. Paul allowed him to be circumcised to placate the Jews, since he was the son of a Jewess, and he then accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. When Paul was forced to flee Berea because of the enmity of the Jews there, Timothy remained, but after a time was sent to Thessalonica to report on the condition of the Christians there and to encourage them under persecution, a report that led to Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians when he joined Timothy at Corinth. Timothy and Erastus were sent to Macedonia in 58, went to Corinth to remind the Corinthians of Paul's teaching, and then accompanied Paul into Macedonia and Achaia. Timothy was probably with Paul when the Apostle was imprisoned at Caesarea and then Rome, and was himself imprisoned but then freed. According to tradition, he went to Ephesus, became its first bishop, and was stoned to death there when he opposed the pagan festival of Katagogian in honor of Diana. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy, one written about 65 from Macedonia and the second from Rome while he was in prison awaiting execution.

St. Titus
Titus was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostle in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborer in many apostolic missions. From the second epistle which St. Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the Corinthians we gain an insight into his character, and understand the strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a two-fold office, needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and wavering in their faith; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms for the church at Jerusalem. St. Paul meanwhile anxiously awaited the result. At Troas he writes, "I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother." He set sail to Macedonia. Here at last Titus brought the good news. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Corinthians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faithful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he in turn received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.
The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his Master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, "received him with fear and trembling." He was patient and painstaking. St. Paul "gave thanks to God who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus." And these gifts were enhanced by a quickness to detect and call out all that was good in others, and by a joyousness which overflowed upon the spirit of St Paul himself, who "abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus."

God our Father,
you gave your saints Timothy and Titus
the courage and wisdom of the apostles:
may their prayers help us to live holy lives
and lead us to heaven, our true home.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Conversion of St. Paul

Paul, called Saul on the use and rigorous Jewish vehemently asserted that the gospel he preached had not learned or received from men.
He belonged to the caste of the Pharisees. He was born in Tarsus, a city that belonged to the Greco-Roman world, who was born there was the Roman citizen status was less so when the centurion, the prosecutor, the magistrate or tribune. Necessarily, being Jewish does not fit him better luck in childhood hiding his condition to walk among the rest of the people, hiding their belief as superstition held by the heathen Romans. This may be going on inside him and he affirmed his faith even when he grew older and had to defend himself going against the tide.
Was rather low, with broad shoulders and somewhat lame. Strong and solid as a log. A grin that had made him a fan. He knew the old manuscripts written with signs that the Greeks and Romans seemed unintelligible scrawl, but they contained all the wisdom and rationale of a people. Usually as a scholar in Greek schools of Tarsus, familiar with the poets and philosophers who had spent his time writing on clay tablets or thinking. For the Greeks it was only a Jew, a member of those families living in a social island, isolated from mysteries inaccessible to those of another race, one of those who were forbidden access to intelligentsia and leaders, was one of those that were made negligible for its puritanism, by his idiosyncrasies to food, the way to have fun, get married, to understand life, not going to church at all clear atmosphere!
At eighteen he went to Jerusalem to learn about the true Jew, the homeland of the Act, the reason for manners; anxious about the history of the people and in their worship. Gamaliel informed him well for a few quarters. He learned things by going to the root, not as some people said the people learned simple and plain. He learned more and more of the power of the one God, learned to give honor and praise in the highest respect and stand with his people badly this domain imposing invader. This made him furious. The prophets gave clues to a resurgence and sang psalms God's victory over other peoples and cultures very important that once subjugated the Jews and disappeared and despite his arrogance, as would happen with the current rulers. The Liberator could take. Meanwhile, it was necessary to keep the idiosyncrasies of the people at any cost and not be like the Herodians, hoping to make possible their survival as a nation. We could not let him aside one iota of loyalty to the customs of his country. This made him jealous.
And look for where this heresy was ruining everything he needed the people. Locos were worshiping a crucified man. We could not allow to enter their own broadening the circle of dissidents. He had to do something. It passed, but the news said they were everywhere as if there was widespread metastases of a national cancer. For years he was already collaborating as he could, the stoning of one of those visionaries ready, helpful, compassionate and charitable, but they did much damage to the Jewish high officialdom, was when they stoned for blasphemy on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and unfortunately he could only save the cloaks of those who stoned him. He even seemed to remember even his name, Stephen.
His conversion was unsuspected in one day. Nothing propitiated that change. It had letters of recommendation from the Jews of Jerusalem to Damascus, he wanted to put Christians behind bars he found. Until then extended the authority of the chief priests and Pharisees main, as were customs of religion, the Romans recognized them without disgust. Saul led a delegation warrior but not very active, almost angry, anxious to fulfill a mission which involved well-pleasing to God and to the stability necessary purge of Jews and to protect the purity of the traditions that were the parents. It seemed the forefront of an army in battle array, with the clatter of hooves on the horses' hoofs on the hard rock floor to Damascus where the horses pranced. They had been several days trekking, considered themselves good employees if management successfully ended. He was Saul "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord." Inside were good dose of anger.
"It happened that, on arriving near Damascus, suddenly surrounded him glimmering light from the sky, falling earth and heard a voice saying 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Said: Who are you, Lord ? And he: I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But arise, and go into the city and will tell thee what thou shalt do. And men who accompanied him had stopped, speechless with horror, hearing the voice but without seeing anyone. Saul got up from the ground and eyes open, saw nothing. And taking him by the hand he made in Damascus, and was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank "(Acts 9, 3-9 ).
Three days to brood over its defeat and take over inside of what had happened. And then the baptism. A life change, change works, change of thought, ideals and projects. His passionate nature will set the course now possible human smooth _su surrender was without condiciones_ and the desire to lead his people first and then the whole world the joy of love of God in Christ.
The story is the historian Luke, who knows his craft. I had heard time and sometimes the same character. No question. He saw the resurrected himself and tell him more times, and very seriously to the Corinthians. For this he was able to suffer shipwreck at sea and persecution in the land, and whipping and prison hunger and humiliation and criticism, and trial and death of the sword, so he travels around the empire, ranging from end to end. And do not think he complained, he knew that illusions do it because it was mandated only pray the pain and suffering, rather, had the credentials and the sores on his body the thought as a guarantee of ultimate victory in fidelity desired.
Among the many conversions of saints, that of Paul is exemplary, paradigmatic. More is palpable in her divine action to human effort, also teaches the unexpected consequences that a radical change.

Father may the conversion
of Paul help us become
better sheep in Christ's
herd so we can love
him since he is our

References: Catholic.Net

Sunday, January 24, 2010

St. Francis de Sales

Born in Savoy in the heart of a Catholic family, a rarity in a region that Calvin had imposed his doctrine of predestination against the odds.
His father wanted to study law and sent him to Paris. But it was here that he felt love for theology and the problems of predestination.
The pernicious Calvinistic doctrine had penetrated into himself for moments.
It was believed destined for damnation.
In this state of crisis, read something that turned him completely. It was a prayer of St. Bernard.
He gave a course of 180 degrees to your life. He was full of joy, giving life to all its rich pastoral bishop of Geneva.
He also began his writing with "Introduction to the Devout Life."
He stayed and lived near Geneva, in Annecy, not to be bothered with headquarters and the emporium of the Calvinists.
He devoted himself to making contact with the Catholics of his time, helped all he could to bring it to fruition the reform of Caramel and the very foundation of the Oratory, founded by St. Philip Neri.
Enlightened by God, founded the Order of the Visitation to take the girls to the source of holiness.
The work cited above, is dedicated to all the baptized. He reminds all secular sanctification is achieved happily fulfilling daily work. That expresses the will of God.
He died in 1622. Francis is a Bishop, Doctor, and Confessor of the Church.

Father may the life of
Francis help us become
Better Christians so
We to can love you
So we devote our lives
To you.
We ask this through
Christ our Lord.

References: Catholic.Net

Saturday, January 23, 2010

St. Emerentiana

Emerentiana was around Saint Agnes' time, because her mother was the nurse and nanny of St. Agnes. Emerentiana was a catechumen still learning about Christianity before being officially baptized. Catholics believe martyrs are "baptized by blood," and otherwise go to heaven.. A few days prior to the death of St. Agnes she was found weeping on her tomb and praying by her tomb; upset upon the death of her best friend and foster sister, she claimed that she was a Christian as well and belittled the pagans who had killed Agnes, and was stoned to death by the crowd.

Lord may we love and venerate your beloved daughter Saint Emerentiana,
and may all who are in formation to recieve a sacrament, may their prayers unite with hers so that they may worship you forever.AMEN.

Friday, January 22, 2010

St. Vincent of Saragossa

Vincent was born third century AD Saragossa, Spain. Not much is known about his early life. But he was a deacon. He was taken prisoner for not denouncing his faith. He was thrown in jail. The prison guards made him starve. He refused to worship the pagan gods. He was tortured by being burnt on a grid iron. He burnt but he lived. They starved him even more. Until his martyrdom finally he was crucified in a cross shaped like an X.

Vincent is the patron saint of wine growers,wine,vinegar makers, and Portugal.
He is the protomartyr of Spain.

Father may the martyrdom
of saint Vincent help us
understand that your name
is holy we must defend with
all our faith and strength.
We ask this through Christ
our Lord.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

St. Agnes of Rome

Agnes was born into a family of Christians and Roman Nobles in the year 291. Agnes was raised Christian and had a huge love for Christ and God. Agnes was a beautiful, wealthy Roman maiden who had, in childhood, dedicated herself to God. Though at the age of 13 the Prefect Sempronius went to ask for her hand in marriage for one of his sons. Agnes refused and was condemned to death due to her refusal. But due to Roman Law, it was not allowed to kill Virgins, then the Prefect stripped her and dragged her all the way to a brothel. As she was being dragged to said place she never stopped praying. Along the way her hair grew and grew until it covered up her body, in order for no one to see her body. When they arrived at the brothel, there were already men ready to rape her, but as they were getting close to her they all went blind. After she this she was taken and tied to the stake. The soldiers prepared everything and lit the firewood under her feet, but the hay and the wood would not light. Then one of the soldiers charged towards her and stabbed her in the throat, as Agnes' blood poured on the floor of the stadium, it is said to have been soaked up on cloths by early Christians. St. Agnes was later put in a Catacomb in Rome where later on her major shrine was erected. St. Agnes is always depicted with a lamb that symbolizes purity and is also closely related to meaning of Agnes in latin.

Prayer to St. Agnes of Rome
O glorious St. Agnes, you served God in humility and confidence on earth and are now in the enjoyment of His beatific Vision in heaven because you persevered till death and gained the crown of eternal life. Remember now the dangers that surround me in the vale of tears, and intercede for me in my needs and troubles.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

St. Sebastian

According to his legend, Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army at Rome in about 283, and encouraged Marcellian and Marcus, under sentence of death, to remain firm in their faith. Sebastian made numerous converts: among them were the master of the rolls, Nicostratus, who was in charge of prisoners and his wife, Zoe, a deaf mute whom he cured; the jailer Claudius; Chromatius, Prefect of Rome, whom he cured of gout; and Chromatius' son, Tiburtius. Chromatius set the prisoners free, freed his slaves, and resigned as prefect.
Sebastian was named captain in the praetorian guards by Emperor Diocletian, as did Emperor Maximian when Diocletian went to the East. Neither knew that Sebastian was a Christian. When it was discovered during Maximian's persecution of the Christians that Sebastian was indeed a Christian, he was ordered executed. He was shot with arrows and left for dead, but when the widow of St. Castulus (St. Irene of Rome) went to recover his body, she found he was still alive and nursed him back to health. Soon after, Sebastian intercepted the Emperor, denounced him for his cruelty to Christians, and was beaten to death on the Emperor's orders.
Saint Sebastian was venerated at Milan as early as the time of St. Ambrose and was buried on the Appian Way.

Dear Commander at the Roman Emperor's court, you chose to be a soldier of Christ and dared to spread faith in the King of Kings---for which you were condemned to die. Your body, however, proved athletically strong and the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. May athletes be always as strong in their faith as their Patron Saint so clearly has been.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

St. Canute IV of Denmark

Canute IV the Saint reigned in Denmark from 1080 until his assassination in 1086. It was the natural son of Sven II King of England. He succeeded his brother Harald III Hen.
From Young highlighted the best qualities in him to fight and has appreciated gifts of conqueror. Fight against pirates who destroy the shores of the kingdom and gets clean seas out victorious in the bloody wars against the pagan Wends. It grows more and more esteem among the people. But the death of his father usurped the throne by his brother Harald because the nobility prefer a weak and foolish king, who dies within two years. That's when Canute becomes king, running the year 1080.
It strives to restore morality as it has found a kingdom that still suffers the pitfalls of paganism. Purge the people of defects and disorders. Wars against Estonia and Denmark added to the territories of Courland and Samogitia. It seems that not by ambition but by pity, indeed, immediately sends missionaries to evangelize the inhabitants of these lands.
As often happens in a king, married Adela, daughter of Robert, Count of Flanders, who had Charles the Good.
It has things in the kingdom with human laws, wise and prudent. Does for the poor, built hospitals, their treasure is for the poor. Promotes the mission of the Church with the construction of temples and monasteries sponsoring.
Precisely the question of tithes to the noble repels him. Try to uproot the people the habit of giving only the sins of the clergy the cause of the calamities that periodically afflict the people, diseases, disasters and all kinds of natural disturbances.
For their part, adopting attitudes penitential. It has a great pity that it takes to bring after invading England, the relics of St. Albans. Among all the religious attitudes highlights his love and veneration for the Eucharist. Honestly can put at the feet of Christ crucified his sword, crown and regalia and does!
It is betrayed by his brother Olaus. One day when attending Mass in Odense on the island of Funen and the church of St. Albans, accompanied by some loyalists, rebels led by Blacon surrounding the church. After confession and communion, his martyrdom was being shot with arrows, forgiving his enemies. It was a January 10, 1087. He was canonized and proclaimed the first saint of Denmark by the year 1,100. Pope Clement X recognizes their worship for the whole Church.
In our time may seem strange figure of a saint rude, quarrelsome, invading foreign lands and ruthlessly demanding. It seems to convince more goodness to the poor, their compassion for the weak, his piety and penance. But he did what he could to be loyal to himself, good to his people and faithful to the Church. That was what he called the century of iron, the dark barbaric and turbulent time.

Eternal and almighty God
may the martyrdom of Canute
helpus love you so much we
can die defending the name
of Jesus.


Monday, January 18, 2010

St. Volusian of Tours

St. Volusian was born into a very wealthy family and was actually related to St. Perpetuus his predecessor as Bishops at Tours, presumably with Ruricius of Limoges. Only a little has been said about the time of his election as Bishop of Tours. Named bishop of the city in 488, he was forced to leave the see in 496 by the Arian Visigoths, and went to Spain. He died perhaps in Toulouse, or in Spain, possibly as a martyr. Very little is known about St. Volusian and I wasn't able to find a picture but here's one of the Cathedral in Tours

Lord may we venerate and apply the life of St. Volusian your humble servant of Tours, into our daily lives.
That we may be humble of heart and Strong in our proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

St. Anthony of Egypt

Anthony was born in the village of Comas, near Heraclea in Upper Egypt
Two Greek philosophers ventured out into the Egyptian desert to the mountain where Anthony lived. When they got there, Anthony asked them why they had come to talk to such a foolish man? He had reason to say that -- they saw before them a man who wore a skin, who refused to bathe, who lived on bread and water. They were Greek, the world's most admired civilization, and Anthony was Egyptian, a member of a conquered nation. They were philosophers, educated in languages and rhetoric. Anthony had not even attended school as a boy and he needed an interpreter to speak to them. In their eyes, he would have seemed very foolish.
But the Greek philosophers had heard the stories of Anthony. They had heard how disciples came from all over to learn from him, how his intercession had brought about miraculous healings, how his words comforted the suffering. They assured him that they had come to him because he was a wise man.
Anthony guessed what they wanted. They lived by words and arguments. They wanted to hear his words and his arguments on the truth of Christianity and the value of ascetism. But he refused to play their game. He told them that if they truly thought him wise, "If you think me wise, become what I am, for we ought to imitate the good. Had I gone to you, I should have imitated you, but, since you have come to me, become what I am, for I am a Christian."
Anthony's whole life was not one of observing, but of becoming. When his parents died when he was eighteen or twenty he inherited their three hundred acres of land and the responsibility for a young sister. One day in church, he heard read Matthew 19:21: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." Not content to sit still and meditate and reflect on Jesus' words he walked out the door of the church right away and gave away all his property except what he and his sister needed to live on. On hearing Matthew 6:34, "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today," he gave away everything else, entrusted his sister to a convent, and went outside the village to live a life of praying, fasting, and manual labor. It wasn't enough to listen to words, he had to become what Jesus said.
Every time he heard of a holy person he would travel to see that person. But he wasn't looking for words of wisdom, he was looking to become. So if he admired a person's constancy in prayer or courtesy or patience, he would imitate it. Then he would return home.
Anthony went on to tell the Greek philosophers that their arguments would never be as strong as faith. He pointed out that all rhetoric, all arguments, no matter how complex, how well-founded, were created by human beings. But faith was created by God. If they wanted to follow the greatest ideal, they should follow their faith.
Anthony knew how difficult this was. Throughout his life he argued and literally wrestled with the devil. His first temptations to leave his ascetic life were arguments we would find hard to resist -- anxiety about his sister, longings for his relatives, thoughts of how he could have used his property for good purposes, desire for power and money. When Anthony was able to resist him, the devil then tried flattery, telling Anthony how powerful Anthony was to beat him. Anthony relied on Jesus' name to rid himself of the devil. It wasn't the last time, though. One time, his bout with the devil left him so beaten, his friends thought he was dead and carried him to church. Anthony had a hard time accepting this. After one particular difficult struggle, he saw a light appearing in the tomb he lived in. Knowing it was God, Anthony called out, "Where were you when I needed you?" God answered, "I was here. I was watching your struggle. Because you didn't give in, I will stay with you and protect you forever."
With that kind of assurance and approval from God, many people would have settled in, content with where they were. But Anthony's reaction was to get up and look for the next challenge -- moving out into the desert.
Anthony always told those who came to visit him that the key to the ascetic life was perseverance, not to think proudly, "We've lived an ascetic life for a long time" but treat each day as if it were the beginning. To many, perseverance is simply not giving up, hanging in there. But to Anthony perseverance meant waking up each day with the same zeal as the first day. It wasn't enough that he had given up all his property one day. What was he going to do the next day?
Once he had survived close to town, he moved into the tombs a little farther away. After that he moved out into the desert. No one had braved the desert before. He lived sealed in a room for twenty years, while his friends provided bread. People came to talk to him, to be healed by him, but he refused to come out. Finally they broke the door down. Anthony emerged, not angry, but calm. Some who spoke to him were healed physically, many were comforted by his words, and others stayed to learn from him. Those who stayed formed what we think of as the first monastic community, though it is not what we would think of religious life today. All the monks lived separately, coming together only for worship and to hear Anthony speak.
But after awhile, too many people were coming to seek Anthony out. He became afraid that he would get too proud or that people would worship him instead of God. So he took off in the middle of the night, thinking to go to a different part of Egypt where he was unknown. Then he heard a voice telling him that the only way to be alone was to go into the desert. He found some Saracens who took him deep into the desert to a mountain oasis. They fed him until his friends found him again.
Anthony died when he was one hundred and five years old. A life of solitude, fasting, and manual labor in the service of God had left him a healthy, vigorous man until very late in life. And he never stopped challenging himself to go one step beyond in his faith.
Saint Athanasius, who knew Anthony and wrote his biography, said, "Anthony was not known for his writings nor for his worldly wisdom, nor for any art, but simply for his reverence toward God." We may wonder nowadays at what we can learn from someone who lived in the desert, wore skins, ate bread, and slept on the ground. We may wonder how we can become him. We can become Anthony by living his life of radical faith and complete commitment to God.

Saint Anthony, you spoke of the
importance of persevering in our
faith and our practice.
Help us to wake up each day with new
zeal for the Christian life and a d
esire to take the next challenge instead of just
sitting still.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

St. Fursey

Irish monastic founder, the brother of Sts. Foillan and Ulan, praised by St. Bede. Fursey was born on the island of Inisguia en Lough Carri, Ire­land, as a noble. He founded Rathmat Abbey, now probably Killursa. In 630 Fursey and his friends went to East Anglia, England, where he founded a monastery near Ugremouth on land donated by King Sigebert. In his later years, Fursey went to France to build a monastery at Lagny, near Paris, France. He was buried in Picardy. St. Bede and others wrote about Fursey’s intense ecstasies.

Prayer of St. Fursey
“The arms of God be around my shoulders,
The touch of the Holy Spirit upon my head,
The sign of Christ’s cross upon my forehead,
The sound of the Holy Spirit in my ears,
The fragrance of the Holy Spirit in my nostrils,
The vision of heaven in my eyes,
The conversation of heaven’s company on my lips,
The work of God’s church with my hands,
The service of God and my neighbour in my feet,
A home for God in my heart,
And to God, the father of all, my entire being.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

St. Macarius of Egypt

Macario was born in upper Egypt, around 300, and spent his youth as a shepherd. Driven by an intense grace, retired from an early age, confined to a narrow cell where he divided his time between prayer, penitential practices and the manufacture of mats. A woman falsely accused him that he had attempted to do violence. As a result, Macario was dragged through the streets, beaten and treated as hypocritical disguised as a monk. All suffered with patience, and even sent the woman the product of his work, saying: "Macario, now you have to work harder, because you have to hold to another." But God made known his innocence: the woman who had slandered him could not give birth until they revealed the name of the father of the child. This brings the fury of the people turned to admiration for the humility and patience of a saint. To escape the esteem of men, Macario took refuge in the vast desert Scete melancholy, when I was about thirty years. Here he lived sixty years and was the spiritual father of countless servants of God who were entrusted to his direction and ruled their lives with the rules he drew them. They all lived in separate shrines. Only a disciple of Macarius lived with him and was responsible for greeting visitors. An Egyptian bishop Macarius ordered that he receive the ordination so he could celebrate the divine mysteries to his hermit. Later, when multiplied hermits, were built four churches, attended by as many priests.
The austerities of Macano were amazing. Ate only once a week. On one occasion, his disciple Evagrius saw him tortured by thirst, begged her to take some water, but merely Macario rest briefly in the shade, saying: "In these twenty years, I have never eaten, drunk, or slept enough to suit my nature. " His body was weak and trembling, his face pale. To counter their inclinations, it refused to drink some wine, when others asked for it, but then abstained from every drink for two or three days. In view of this, his disciples decided to prevent the visitors offered him wine. Macario a few words in his advice, and recommended the silence, withdrawal and continued prayer, especially the latter-to all sorts of people. He used to say: "In prayer there is no need to say many things or use words chosen. Simply repeating sincerely, Lord, give thanks that You know I need. Or, God help me." His gentleness and patience were extraordinary, and managed the conversion of a pagan priest and many others. Macario ordered a young man who asked his advice to go to a graveyard to insult the dead and praise. When he returned the young man, Macarius asked what the deceased had responded. "The dead did not answer my calling, nor my praise" she told the young man. "Well, - he advised Macario -, do the same and do not be impressed either by the insult, nor praise. Just dying for the world and for yourself, you will begin to serve Christ." Another told her: "He is ready to receive God's hand of poverty, as cheerfully as the abundance and master your passions and conquer the devil." As a monk complained that the loneliness suffered great temptation to break the fast while in the monastery stand him joyfully, Macario said: "Fasting is nice when others see, but it is very hard when it is hidden to the gaze of men. " A hermit who suffered from strong temptations to impurity, went to see Macario. The saint, after reviewing the case, reached the conviction that the temptations were due to the indolence of the hermit thus advised not to eat ever before sunset, to surrender to contemplation at work and to work incessantly. The other followed this advice and was freed from his temptations. God revealed to Macarius was not as perfect as two married women who lived in the city. The saint went to visit them to find the means used to sanctify themselves and found that they never said no rough idle words, living in humility, patience and love, fitting the mood of their husbands and all their actions sanctified by prayer, consecrated to the glory of God all his bodily and spiritual forces.
A heretic in the hieracitas sect, who denied the resurrection of the dead, was disturbed in several Christian faith. Sozomeno, Palladius and Rufinus that St. Macarius tell a dead man raised to confirm these Christians in their faith. According to Cassian, the saint simply do talk to the dead and ordered him to await the resurrection in the tomb. Lucius, Arian bishop who had usurped the See of Alexandria, sent troops into the desert to disperse the pious monks, some of which are sealed with their blood the testimony of their faith. The main ascetics. Isidoro, Pambo, the two Macarious and some others were banished to a small island in the Nile Delta, surrounded by swamps. The example and preaching of God's men turned the inhabitants of the island, who were pagans. Lucio subsequently authorized the monks to return to their cells. Feeling that his end was approaching, Macario he visited Nitria monks and urged them, in words so heartfelt, that they knelt at his feet crying. "Yes, brothers, - he said Macario -, let our eyes shed streams of tears in this life, not to go to the place where tears fuel the fire of torture". Macario was called by God to ninety years, having spent sixty in the desert of Scete. According to the testimony of Casiano, Macario was the first anchorite of this vast desert. Some argue that he was a disciple of St. Anthony, who lived about fifteen days' journey from the site where he was Macario.

Father may the life and death
of your hermit Macarius of Egypt
help us mission to those who
need to tought by the word
of Christ so they to can spread
his word around the world.
We ask this through Christ our


Thursday, January 14, 2010

St. Felix of Nola

Felix was the son of Hermias, a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. He was born on his father's estate at Nola near Naples, Italy. On the death of his father, Felix distributed his inheritance to the poor, was ordained by Bishop St. Maximus of Nola, and became his assistant. When Maximus fled to the desert at the beginning of Decius' persecution of the Christians in 250, Felix was seized in his stead and imprisoned. He was reputedly released from prison by an angel, who directed him to the ailing Maximus, whom he brought back to Nola. Even after Decius' death in 251, Felix was a hunted man but kept well hidden until the persecution ended. When Maximus died, the people unanimously selected Felix as their Bishop, but he declined the honor in favor of Quintus, a senior priest. Felix spent the rest of his life on a small piece of land sharing what he had with the poor, and died there on January 14. His tomb soon became famous for the miracles reported there, and when St. Paulinus became bishop of Nola almost a century later, he wrote about his predecessor, the source of our information about him, adding legendary material that had grown up about Felix in the intervening century. His feast day is January 14th.

Eternal and ever living God may we carry the memory of your beloved son Felix in our hearts and use his testimony of humility in our everyday life. May we gain a bountyful blessing and a humble heart as we go through life. We ask this through your faithful servant St. Felix of Nola and with Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

St. Hilary of Poitiers

Born in the early fourth century Poitiers. It was called the "Athanasius of the West", who was a contemporary. Both had to fight against the same opponent, Arianism. Participated in the theological polemics with speeches and especially writing. Hilary was exiled to Phrygia by the Emperor Constantine, who had aligned with the decisions of the Arian synod of Béziers in the year 356.
Contact with the Orient was providential for the bishop of Poitiers. During the five years spent in Phrygia learned and discovered Greek origins, as also the great theological production of the Eastern Fathers, obtaining an important documentation for the book that earned him the title of Doctor of the Church: On the Trinity, whose title De Fide adversus original Arians. It was the most important and profound treatise which had appeared previously on the main tenet of the Christian faith. Despite being banished, not inactive. With the booklet Maxertiam Against Constantius himself violently attacked, accusing him of meddling in Caesaropapism and theological disputes and internal affairs of church discipline. Back in Poitiers, the brave bishop continued his pastoral work, effectively helped by the young St.Martin of Tours, the future saint bishop of Tours.
Hilary was born into paganism. His eagerness to seek the truth led him to study various philosophical currents of the time, getting a special influx of Neoplatonic thought. The search for the answer on the end of man led him to reading the Bible, where he finally found what he wanted, then he converted to Christianity.
It was a noble landowner, and when he became was married and had a daughter, Opens, whom he loved dearly. Shortly after the baptism, the people hailed him as bishop of his hometown.
It took six years of intense study and preaching, before leaving for exile, as we have pointed out, refined its cultural and theological training. Along with the booming voice of a debater and defender of theological orthodoxy, there is also another voice, that of father and pastor. Human struggle, and most human in the victory. He defended the bishops who recognized his mistake, and even supported the right to retain his seat.
Poitiers died in AD 367.

Father may the life of your
bishop Hilary help us
proclaim your holy word
to the ignorant. So they too
can love you.
We ask this through Christ
our Lord.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

St. Martin of Leon

Martin was a Canon Regular of the Augustinian Order. After the death of his mother, his father, Juan, decided to join the catholic Canonry at St. Marcellinus in León. Martin was educated and raised at the Canonry, and after the death of his father he decieded to go on a major pilgramage to many Italian cities and Constantinople.
After he returned to Spain he decieded to take the habit of the Augustinian order, at St. Marcellinus, but after seeing this monastery had been secularized by the bishops he entered the collegiate church of St. Isidore in the same city. Martin distinguished himself by his zealous observance, his charity, and his deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. The religious of St. Isidore's dedicated a chapel to Martin very early and celebrated his feast each year. St. Martin wrote many commentaries to the Epistles and on the Book of Revelations. St. Martin has left full class discussions which are stored and were published by Espinosa in Seville.

Lord you let your beloved son Martin find refuge in you after he became an orphan, let us also run to you at every point in our lives. Give us your undying love in every moment of our lives. Bless us in the name of Jesus Christ through whom all good things come from.

Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Leucius of Brindisi

St. Leucius of Brindisi was in the Early Second Century. Not much is know of Leucius' early life, though it is believed that he was born in Eastern Europe, to Eudecius and Euphrodisia and was given the name of Eupressius at birth. What is known, is that the young Eupressius was educated and spent the formative years of his existence in Alexandria, Egypt. Following the death of his mother he entered monastic life. A heavenly vision, during the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, would change his name from Eupressius to Leucius. Having already been ordained bishop, Leucius wanted to undertake a missionary apostolate in Brindisi, to liberate the pagans of the misconceptions of Christianity. Leucius left Alexandria to, what was at the time one of the largest ports of the Mediterranean, Brindisi in what is now the southern part of Italy. Leucius first came to notoriety when many pagans in Puglia, heard him preaching the Gospel during a drought. He claimed that if they had faith the rains would come. After the rains fell, the pagans who had heard Leucius where immediately converted. Soon after, he became the first Bishop of Brindisi, and proceeded to build the churches of St. Mary's and St. John the Baptist. The later part of his life is unknown but according to tradition he suffered martyrdom in 180. Soon after his remains were returned to Brindisi, there they remained until the Lombard invasion of 768, when they were moved to Trani, then to the duchy capital of Benevento.

Father may the life and
martyrdom of St. Leucius of Brindisi
helpus be better Catholics
so we to can defend your hloy
Church and name.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saint Pietro I Orseolo

Benedictine hermit. Also called Peter Orseolo, he was a member of one of the most noble houses of Venice and, at the age of twenty, became an admiral in the Venetian Navy. After a series of successful campaigns against the Dalmatian pirates, he was elected Doge of Venice in 967, supposedly securing his elevation by poisoning his predecessor Peter Candiani IV, as was charged by St. Peter Damian. For two years Peter ruled with consummate skill, assisting Venice to weather a series of political crises. Then, without any warning and without informing his family, he disappeared from Venice and secretly entered the Benedictine abbey of Cuxa, in the Spanish Pyrenees. There he devoted himself to a life of severe austerity and asceticism, working as a humble sacrist until St. Romuald suggested that he become a hermit. He lived alone until his death.

Lord you blessed us with the memory of St. Pietro I Orseolo,
may we ask for his interssession at the moment we are before you and the Holy Council.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

St. Marciana of Mauretania

Saint Marciana, originating "Rusuccur (now Tigzirt) in Mauritania, left all the advantages valiantly attempting to go to the world locked in a cell in Caesarea and keep her virginity intact, under the gaze of God.
However, she believed it was their duty to declare war on idolatry that then reigned in Africa. One day, in crossing the public square, could not bear to see displayed a statue of Diana and broke his head.
The arrested, beaten with rods, and then condemned her to die in the amphitheater, torn by the teeth of wild beasts. As expected this last punishment, handed it to the gladiators for violating her chastity, but God did not allow this outrage.
At the date of execution, Marciana was exposed first to a lion who did not do any harm, then a bull pounced on her and thrust his horns into the chest, which fell face down on the floor, almost without sense. Finally, a leopard and tore this torment expired.
The manuscripts of the Acts do not agree on the date of martyrdom, January 9. Baronius, in his notes to the Roman Martyrology, estimates that on July 12 marks a translation of relics and Jan. 9, the anniversary of martyrdom. On July 12 the Martyrology mentions a Martian holy virgin and martyr, in Toledo. Baronius thinks that this is Martian Mauritania holy, venerated in Toledo. In the Mozarabic breviary is a beautiful hymn in his honor.

God may the crown of martyrdom of your
child St. Marciana help us defend
your holy name so we to can love
you like St. Marciana did so
we to can die loving you
like Christ loved us.


Friday, January 8, 2010

St. Severinus

During the V century the Western Roman Empire was gradually invaded by the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Franks, etc.. In the devastation only the authorities and Christian structures were a strong point for survival. This is the historical context in which it presents the figure and work of San Severino, who was born of a noble Roman family around the year 410. After a stay in the East, to 454 was established near the Danube, where he built monasteries to house and threatened the residents at the same time points of irradiation were the Gospel among the barbarian tribes.
Therefore inclined to the contemplative life as a hermit and missionary activity, and helped with the charism of prophecy, San Severino also made estimates of the temporal human level. It realized that the youth movement was unstoppable barbarians and the decadent Roman society regain its strength thanks to these new forces.
But it was necessary that those minds were enlightened by the truths of the Gospel, and guidance was to come into direct contact with them. With a bold gesture that earned him the admiration of the rude warriors, reached Comag already in hand of their enemies, their particular charity for the needy will finally conquered the simple heart of the "barbarians", starting with the heads . Gibuldo, king of the Alamanni, he had "great reverence and affection," says his biographer Eugipo, and listened with respect, docile as a child; Flaciteo, king of the Rough, "in business consulting him as a dangerous heavenly oracle.
There was no shortage signs of heaven which confirmed his words. One day the daughter of Flaciteo, against the advice of Severino, had convinced him not to give them freedom to prisoners; Severino and strongly admonished night Flaciteo's nephew was captured by another barbarian tribe and was freed only by Severino intervention.
Respected and loved by the common people as kings and warriors, lived very poorly, fails to draw any material advantage to himself, wearing the same coat in winter and summer, slept a few hours lying on the ground and with sackcloth, and Lent is said to eat only once a week.
He died on 8 January in the year 482. His venerated relics lie in Frattamaggiore (Naples) along the martyr Sosso. St. Severinus was the childhood guardian and spiritual father of St. Anthony the Hermit. St. Severinus was a Benedictine.

On the left of this text is the coat of arms of St. Severinus

Father we ask you to bless
us so we to can preach the
holy gospel like your servant
St. Severinus.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

St. Raymond of Pennafort

St. Raymond of Pennafort, Patron Saint of Canonists Born in Spain. St. Raymond was a relative of the King of Aragon. From childhood he had a tender love and devotion to the Blessed Mother. He finished his studies at an early age, and became a famous teacher. He then gave up all his honors and entered the Order of the Dominicans. St. Raymond was very humble and very close to God. He did much penance and was so good and kind that he won many sinners to God. With King James of Aragon and St. Peter Nolasco he founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. The brave religious of this Order devoted themselves to saving poor Christians captured by the Moors.
Also Raymond decided to make converting the Jews and the Muslims towards Christianity.
Once he went with King James to the Island of Majorca to preach about Jesus. King James was a man of great qualities, but he let himself be ruled by passions. There on the Island, too, he was giving bad example. The Saint commanded him to send the woman away. The King said he would, but he did not keep his promise. So St. Raymond decided to leave the Island. The King declared he would punish any ship captain who brought the Saint back to Barcelona. Putting all his trust in God, Saint Raymond spread his cloak upon the water, tied up one corner of it to a stick for a sail, made the Sign of the Cross, stepped onto the cloak, and sailed along for six hours until he reached Barcelona. This miracle moved the King. He was sorry for what he had done, and he became a true follower of St. Raymond. St. Raymond was one hundred years old at the time of his death.

Lord you gave us the memory of St. Raymond of Pennafort,
may we ask for his intercession so that we too may enter into the eternal kingdom.
May his blessings come upon us so that we may live as long as he did proclaiming your divine word.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

With the shepherds spent a few days ago an unusual event that turned out well. Tended their herds to meet its tough job so strange when they saw a clear vision of angels as they were told at first incomprehensible things and soon established. Yes, there, in a CASUCO, was the Child of which he spoke with his mother and a boy. They did what they could in their crudeness and lack commanded by the circumstances. As I was assured it was the "light that illuminated the people who lived in the shadow of death" of what they gave to help and to look good with that family that seemed to be poorer than them. It was hard for them to accept the miracle that was so clear. The angels said, because ... were right.
The Three Wise Men came about. They were the last to arrive to see if that Child and entertain a little more ... because you can not find it! Roads traveled widely around the world. They came from far away. It took fear, cold and heat. Until they were lost but, wondering and inquiring, they took the fruit of his research. That was a relief because they had the scare of losing time and having to return to the beginning to failure in their real fronts. But I knew that that star was able to take them where God was. He also commanded the circumstances and worshiped and how not to! offered gifts to the Child-Creator.
Both are roads, faith and reason. One is simple, just speaking God. The other is expensive, constant and sincere search with dangers of misunderstanding. The Truth is in place. Simplicity is a prerequisite. The shepherds and the wise men apprehend discovered. Both of the serve and both are of God.

God may the Epiphany of
Your Son Jesus help us
give him more by going to
your temple the Holy Catholic Church.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

St. John Neumann

This American saint was born in Bohemia in 1811. He was looking forward to being ordained in 1835 when the bishop decided there would be no more ordinations. It is difficult for us to imagine now, but Bohemia was overstocked with priests. John wrote to bishops all over Europe but the story was the same everywhere no one wanted any more bishops. John was sure he was called to be a priest but all the doors to follow that vocation seemed to close in his face.
But John didn't give up. He had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers so he wrote to the bishops in America. Finally, the bishop in New York agreed to ordain him. In order to follow God's call to the priesthood John would have to leave his home forever and travel across the ocean to a new and rugged land.
In New York, John was one of 36 priests for 200,000 Catholics. John's parish in western New York stretched from Lake Ontario to Pennsylvania. His church had no steeple or floor but that didn't matter because John spent most of his time traveling from village to village, climbing mountains to visit the sick, staying in garrets and taverns to teach, and celebrating the Mass at kitchen tables.
Because of the work and the isolation of his parish, John longed for community and so joined the Redemptorists, a congregation of priests and brothers dedicated to helping the poor and most abandoned.
John was appointed bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. As bishop, he was the first to organize a diocesan Catholic school system. A founder of Catholic education in this country, he increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from two to 100.
John never lost his love and concern for the people -- something that may have bothered the elite of Philadelphia. On one visit to a rural parish, the parish priest picked him up in a manure wagon. Seated on a plank stretched over the wagon's contents, John joked, "Have you ever seen such an entourage for a bishop!"
The ability to learn languages that had brought him to America led him to learn Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch so he could hear confessions in at least six languages. When Irish immigration started, he learned Gaelic so well that one Irish woman remarked, "Isn't it grand that we have an Irish bishop!"
Once on a visit to Germany, he came back to the house he was staying in soaked by rain. When his host suggested he change his shoes, John remarked, "The only way I could change my shoes is by putting the left one on the right foot and the right one on the left foot. This is the only pair I own."
John died on January 5, 1860 at the age of 48.

Saint John Neumann, you helped organize Catholic education in the United States. Please watch over all Catholic schools and help them be a model of Christianity in their actions as well as their words.

Monday, January 4, 2010

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Elizabeth Ann born in New York on August 28, 1774. It grows within the Episcopal Church.
William Seton married her at the age of twenty years and comes to have five children. On December 27, 1803 she was widowed.
Years later, on March 14, 1805 embraces Catholicism, which causes it multiple tests, both internal and external, coming from relatives and friends. All overcomes with faith, love and courage.
Applied regularly to the spiritual life. Educate your children to request and, eager to indulge in the charitable and educational activity.
In 1809 the diocese of Baltimore founded the Institute of Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, renewing the saga of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. This Institute aims at the training of girls. It is the first female religious congregation in North America.
After her death the sisters joined the Society of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, as was her desire from the beginning.
She also founded the first Catholic parochial school in America.
Mercifully dies in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on 4 January 1821. Her beatification takes place on 17 March 1963, under Pope John XXIII. On 14 September 1975 she was canonized by Pope Paul VI.
Two major issues marked his spiritual life: faithfulness to the Church and the eternity of glory.
She is the first saint of the United States of America.

Father we ask you to help
us find our faith in you so we to can love
you like Elizabeth Ann Seton did
may she be our example to love you more
every day of our life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. The child stood in the midst of a crowd gathered around the man of God, who singled her out and foretold her future sanctity. At her desire the holy Bishop led her to a church, accompanied by all the faithful, and consecrated her to God as a virgin.

When Attila was reported to be marching on Paris, the inhabitants of the city prepared to evacuate, but St. Genevieve persuaded them to avert the scourge by fasting and prayer, assuring them of the protection of Heaven. The event verified the prediction, for the barbarian suddenly changed the course of his march.

The life of St. Genevieve was one of great austerity, constant prayer, and works of charity. She died in the year 512. Her feast day is January 3rd.

She dressed in a long flowing gown with a mantle covering her shoulders, similar to the type of garments the Blessed Mother wore. One of the symbols of this saint is a loaf of bread because she was so generous to those in need.

Give us, Lord, the spirit of intelligence and love of which you filled your daughter, Genevieve, so that attentive to your service and seeking to do your will, we can please you by our faith and our deeds. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Sprit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saint Gregory Nazianzen and Saint Basil the Great

Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Gregory was born in 329-330 near Nazianzus, in Cappadocia (Asia Minor). During his youth attended school in Caesarea of Cappadocia, and later the Christian school of Caesarea in Palestine, where he learned rhetoric, and that of Alexandria. Finally went to Athens and became a philosophy, a teacher Christians and pagans. There he began his friendship with St. Basil the Great, which was to last a lifetime.
When Basil went to Cappadocia to devote himself to God, Gregory remained in Athens. However, almost secretly, one day left town and returned to Nazianzus. He received baptism and became a monastic life with Basil. On Christmas Day 361 he was ordained priest and in 372 was consecrated bishop by St. Basil Sasima, then Metropolitan of Cappadocia, while never taking his seat, having been put in charge of the Church in his hometown .
On the death of the Arian emperor Valens, the Catholics of Constantinople was asked to take charge of the ecclesiastical reorganization of the capital. In May of 381 was held the First Council of Constantinople, in which, while condemning the Arian-Gregory was appointed Archbishop of the city. But disgusted with some dissension, resigned the seat and returned to Nazianzus, until the appointment of new Bishop of this city in 384. So mission accomplished, Gregory retired to the farm where he was born, to devote himself to contemplation and writing books until her death occurred in 390.

Saint Basil the Great

St. Basil was born into a deeply Christian family. His maternal grandfather had suffered martyrdom. His father, together with a real pity, sent ten children a solid doctrinal formation, and that home were four saints: Basil himself and his brothers Gregory of Nyssa and Peter of Sebaste, bishops like him, and his sister Macrina.
Basil spent several years studying rhetoric and philosophy at Constantinople and Athens. Later, when he was about twenty years, returned to his hometown of Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he undertook the teaching profession. Soon after, he left teaching and went into the desert to engage in contemplation, and became one of the pioneers of monastic life. In 364 was ordained, and six years later succeeded as Bishop of Caesarea Eusebius, Metropolitan of Cappadocia, and Exarch of the diocese of Pontus. He died in 379.
Devoted all her energies to defending the Catholic doctrine on the Word consubstantiality, solemnly defined in the Council of Nicaea (AD 325). For this reason many contradictions experienced by the Arian heretics, and had to deal with abuses of imperial authority, which sought to impose with violence the doctrine of Arius. With St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Gregory of Nyssa contributed decisively to define the meaning of the terms by which the Church describes the Trinitarian dogma, thus preparing the I Council of Constantinople (AD 381), which definitively enunciated the doctrine of faith on the Trinity. Basil could not attend this council for he died in 379. Saint Basil is Patron Saint of Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists

They are both Bishops and Doctors of the Church.

God almighty may the
lives of Saint Basil and Saint Gregory
help us live a holy life.
We ask this through Christ
Our Lord.


Friday, January 1, 2010

The Solemnity of Blessed Mary the Mother of God

It is the best possible start for the saints. Open year round with the solemnity of the divine maternity of Mary is the best principle and is also the best climax. She is ahead of all saints, is the largest, full of Grace for the goodness, wisdom, love and power of God, it is the culmination of all possible fidelity to God, fully human love. No wonder the superlative adjective "holy" Christian and the whole town is there is no greater power in the language of expression. Mother of God and our ... and always served his sentence.
The Gospels speak of it fifteen times, depending on the calculation is made within the same passage, pointing out once or more.
A summary of his life among us is brief and humble lives in Nazareth, back in Galilee, where she conceived of the Holy Spirit and Jesus was married to Joseph.
Visit her cousin Elizabeth, mother of the Precursor future, when you're pregnant so unexpected and miraculous six months, she lives with, helping, and exchanging dialogues grateful mystics season leading up to the birth of John.
By the edict of Caesar, he moved to Bethlehem, the birthplace of the elderly, to be taxed and included in the census with her husband. Providence made at that time the Savior was born, giving birth to the outskirts of town in solitude, poverty, and ignorance of men. His son is the Word incarnate, the Second Person of God who became flesh and human soul.
Then came the Presentation and Purification in the Temple.
Also the flight to Egypt to seek refuge, because Herod wanted to kill the child after the visit of the Magi.
Back to normal with the death of Herod, the return occurs, the family settled in Nazareth where there is nothing special, except for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in which Jesus is lost, when I was twelve years, until Joseph and Mary was found among the doctors, after three days of desperate search.
Already in the stage of "public life" of Jesus, Mary is following the movements of your child frequently: at Cana, takes his first miracle ever can not be approximated by the crowd or mob.
On Calvary, at the hour impressive cruentísimo redemption through suffering, is present at the cross where you have been supplied and universal savior who dies is his son and his God.
Finally, he is with his new children _que attended the Ascensión_ in the "upstairs" where did this the Holy Spirit sent the promised Paraclete, the feast of Pentecost.
With the detached logical and endorsed by the gospel tradition, then lived with John, the youngest disciple, until he died or not died in Ephesus or Jerusalem, and went to Heaven, so perfect, final and complete by wanting just who wanted to glorify God.
He gave his son what any mother gives: the body, which in his case was by miraculous conception and virgin. The human soul, spiritual and immortal, the God creates and gives each design so that man is different and bred the animal. The divinity, of course, not born for eternity.
The man born in Bethlehem is peculiar. While it is God's man. Added theology classified as unrepeatable being, claiming two natures in one personality. The infinite God, invisible, immense, powerful in its nature is now small, visible, so limited that needs attention. The invisible God made visible in Jesus, God's eternal Jesus comes with temporality, the inaccessibility of God is already coming in humanity, the infinity of God is limited in its smallness, the wisdom of God is unlimited slurred human baby Jesus cry and omnipotence is now necessary.

Almighty and Eternal God
may we start this year as
pure as Mary so we can live
a pure and holy life like hers.