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Showing posts from February, 2010

St. Polycarp

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Imagine being able to sit at the feet of the apostles and hear their stories of life with Jesus from their own lips. Imagine walking with those who had walked with Jesus, seen him, and touched him. That was what Polycarp was able to do as a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.

But being part of the second generation of Church leaders had challenges that the first generation could not teach about. What did you do when those eyewitnesses were gone? How do you carry on the correct teachings of Jesus? How do you answer new questions that never came up before?

With the apostles gone, heresies sprang up pretending to be true teaching, persecution was strong, and controversies arose over how to celebrate liturgy that Jesus never laid down rules for.

Polycarp, as a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, found there was only one answer -- to be true to the life of Jesus and imitate that life. Saint Ignatius of Antioch told Polycarp "your mind is grounded in God as on an immovable rock."

Wh…

The Chair Of St. Peter

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The story of The Chair of Saint Peter started after the Resurrection of Christ. Jesus asked "Peter do you love me?" Peter replied "Yes my lord I do." Christ asked a second time "Peter do you love me?" again peter responded "Yes my lord I do." Christ ask for the third and final time "Peter son of John do you love me?" Peter said for the third time "My lord you know I love you."Jesus said to Peter you are the rock,and upon this Rock, I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. To you have I entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." When Jesus handed the keys of Heaven to Peter, Peter at that time became the First Pope of the Catholic Church.Us as Catholics have Celebrated the Feast of The Chair Of St. Peter since the fourth century.The Chair of St. Peter is still intact in Sain…

St. Peter Damian

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St. Peter Damian is one of those stern figures who seem specially raised up, like St. John Baptist, to recall men in a lax age from the error of their ways and to bring them back into the narrow path of virtue. He was born at Ravenna and, having lost his parents when very young, he was left in the charge of a brother in whose house he was treated more like a slave than a kinsman. As soon as he was old enough he was sent to tend swine. Another brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took pity on the neglected lad and undertook to have him educated. Having found a father in this brother, Peter appears to have adopted from him the surname of Damian. Damian sent the boy to school, first at Faenza and then at Parma. He proved an apt pupil and became in time a master and a professor of great ability. He had early begun to inure himself to fasting, watching and prayer, and wore a hairshirt under his clothes to arm himself against the alurements of pleasure and the wiles of the devil. Not onl…

St. Eleutherius of Tournai

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This saint is very popular in northern Europe, lived in a very difficult period in the history of France was probably born in 456 and died in 531.
It is the time when the Gaul, and target several barbarian migrations, such as the Burgundes and that of the Visigoths - badly converted to Christianity, rising from idolatry to the Arian heresy - became a land of conquest of the Franks King Clovis. A conversion of these helped the Christian wife, Clotilde, venerated as a saint, the bishop of Reims, Saint Remigio and Saint Eleuterio, elected Bishop of Tournai in 484, when Clovis had made the city the capital of his kingdom, before to undertake the conquest of the Paris region.
Although historically we do not possess any documents securely on the activity of this holy bishop and his missionary work, a biography attributed to St. Medard, contemporary and even a playmate in childhood, has many stories of life in San Eleuterio and their contacts with the pagan king Clovis. THE Medardo same predic…

St. Conrad of Piacenza

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Conrad's date of birth is uncertain. He belonged to one of the noblest families of Piacenza, and having married when he was quite young, led a virtuous and God-fearing life.
On one occasion, when he was engaged in his usual pastime of hunting, he ordered his attendants to fire some brushwood in which game had taken refuge. The prevailing wind caused the flames to spread rapidly, and the surrounding fields and forest were soon in a state of conflagration. A mendicant, who happened to be found near the place where the fire had originated, was accused of being the author. He was imprisoned, tried, and condemned to death. As the poor man was being led to execution, Conrad, stricken with remorse, made open confession of his guilt; and in order to repair the damage of which he had been the cause, was obliged to sell all his possessions. Thus reduced to poverty, Conrad retired to a lonely hermitage some distance from Piacenza, while his wife entered the Order of Poor Clares.
Later he went …

St. Bernadette Soubirous

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On February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, recalls the apparitions of the Virgin to a girl of 14 who could neither read nor write, but he prayed the rosary every day, Bernadette Soubirous. Born in Lourdes in 1844 of very poor parents. Through it the Virgin brought forth a prodigious source of the miracle, to which pilgrims flock from around the world to rekindle their faith and hope. Many also come back from Lourdes cured in his body. The Virgin, during the second occurrence, she said: "I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the other."
In spite of being docile instrument in order to extend the devotion to the Immaculate Conception, Bernadette was not contaminated with human glory. The day the bishop of Lourdes, to 50,000 pilgrims placed the statue of the Virgin on the rock of Massabielle, Bernadette had to remain in his cell, a victim of an asthma attack. And when the physical pain became more unbearable, he sighed: "No, do not seek relief, but only…

Saint Alexis Falconieri

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Founder and mystic, one of the first Servants of Mary or Servites. The son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy, Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence in 1225. Gathered together on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233, the group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary which inspired them to found a new religious community dedicated to prayer. They founded such a group at La Camarzia, near Florence, moving eventually to Monte Senario, on the outskirts of the city. Another vision inspired Alexis and his companions to form the Servites, or the Servants of Mary. All in the group were ordained priests, except for Alexis, who believed he was not worthy of such an honor. He helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio, and he managed the day-to-day temporal affairs of the congregation. The Servites received papal approval from Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Alexis was the only founding member still alive. He died at Monte Senario on Februar…

St. Onesimus

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He was a slave,how died in the year 90, St. Paul names him briefly in one of his letters. We know that was in the service of Philemon, the leader of the city of Colossae.
He had close friendships with Paul because he was one of his converts. He enjoyed a reputation as a friendly person, generous and hospitable.
The sin of stealing his master, he confessed and begged forgiveness. Since then and never let the steps of St. Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.
He returned to the house of Philemon and accepted as a true brother, and that St. Paul appointed him again in the letter to the Colossians.
All the rest of his life is somewhat unknown. However, authors of reputable, as St. Jerome, claim that Onesimus became a preacher of the Word of God, and somewhat later was consecrated bishop, possibly from Berea in Macedonia, and its previous owner was also Bishop of Colossae.
Other sources claim that Onesimus preached in Spain and was martyred here.
What really shocked this saint was a visit he made to…

Ss. Faustinus and Jovita

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Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born and natives of Brescia. All the incidents in their reputed "Acts" are of doubtful authority, and we can only be sure of their names and martyrdom. According to the tradition of Brescia, they preached Christianity fearlessly while their bishop lay in hiding. Their zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, then they were arrested by a heathen lord called Julian. They were tortured and dragged to Milan, Rome and Naples, and then brought back to Brescia. As neither threats nor torments could shake their constancy, the Emperor Hadrian, who happened to be passing through Brescia, commended them to be beheaded. The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons and claims to possess their relics. On April 18 the Roman Martyrology names the martyr St. Calocerus, who figures largely in the legendary history of St. Faustinus and Jovita, whose heroic confession he is said to have witnessed when, as a court official, he accompa…

St. Valentine

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Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to he memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their g…

Ss.Cyril and Methodius

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The two brothers Michael and Constantine, as monks took the name of Cyril and Methodius, respectively, did their missionary work in the ninth century in central Europe, and rightly are called the "apostles of the Slavs". They have the merit of having adapted to the people who came to evangelize and missionaries who used methods, although they had all the pope's approval, opposition arose between the Greeks and Latins.
They have the merit of having created a new alphabet called "Cyrillic" precisely by St. Cyril, offering the Slavic world, with translations of the Bible, the Missal and Ritual liturgical, linguistic and cultural unity. This great gift to the brothers Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs did was rewarded with love and devotion popular. But during his life, not everything was easy for the two holy missionaries, but had to fight hard against those who always oppose the great innovators.
The two brothers were born in Thessaloniki. They were sons of an imper…

St. Catherine de Ricci

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Born in Florence, she was born Alessandra Lucrezia Romola de' Ricci. At age 6, her father put her in the Monticelli
convent near their home where she received an education. After a short time outside the convent, at 14, she went to the Dominican convent of San Vincenzo(St. Vincent) in Prato, Tuscany
. By age 25, she had risen to the post of perpetual prioress. She lived at San Vincenzo until her death in 1590 after a prolonged illness.
As the perpetual prioress of San Vincenzo, she developed into an effective and greatly admired administrator. She was an advisor on various topics to princes, bishops and cardinals. She corresponded with three men who were destined to become popes Pope Marcellus II, Pope Clement VIII, and Pope Leo XI.
An expert on religion, management and administration, her advice was eagerly sought. She gave counsel both in person and through writing letters. It is reported that she was extremely effective and efficient in her work, managing her priorities very well.

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo

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He was one of seven Florentines who had joined the Confdraternity of the Blessed Virgin (the Laudesi) in a particularly lax period in the city's history and who were inspired by a vision on the feast of the Assumption to take up a life of solitude and prayer. After nearly fifteen years of austerity at a hermitage on Monte Senario the took the name in 1240 of Servants of Mary, or Servites. Six were ordained, developed as mendicant friars under the direction of James of Poggibonsi and Bishop Ardingo of Florence and established many houses and foreign missions. Br. Bounfiglio served as its first prikor general from 1240 to 1256 and died on Jan 1. St. John Bounagiunta succeded him, St. Bartholomew Amidei (Br. Hugh) established the order in Paris and St. Ricovero Ugoccione (Br. Sostenesw) in lGermany. SS. Benedict dell'Antella (Br. Manettus) were ordained; St. Alexis Falconieri became a lay brother and was the only one to live to see the order approved by Pope Benedict XI in 1304. …

Our Lady of Lourdes

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In 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes in France within a cave of Massabielle. Through this humble girl, Mary called sinners to conversion enkindled within the Church a great zeal for prayer and charity, especially service to the sick and poor.
here is a full story of OurLady of Lourdes... follow this link.
http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/lourdes.htm

Pray the rosary today

Blessed José Sánchez del Río

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Born in Sahuayo, Michoacan, 28 March 1913, son of Macario and Maria Sanchez del Rio, Jose Luis was murdered on 10 February 1928, during Mexico's religious persecution known as The Cristero War.The Cristeros were a large group Mexican Catholics leveled against the oppression of the regime of Plutarco Elías Calles.
A year before his martyrdom, José Luis had joined the forces' Cristero »General Prudencio Mendoza, nestled in the town of Cotija, Michoacan.
The martyrdom was witnessed by two children, one of seven years and the other nine, who later became founders of religious congregations. One of them is the Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, born in Cotija, who in the interview book "My Life is Christ" reveals the crucial role that his vocation would be to the testimony of Jose Luis, who was a friend .
"He was captured by government forces, who wanted to give the civilian population that supported the Cristeros exemplary punishment," reca…

St.Scholastica

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The only historical source on the life of St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, is Chapters 33 and 34 of the second book of the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great. The news, which added legendary enrich some simple and intense image of the saint. But Gregory was not interested in presenting a story full biography of St. Scholastica, but completing the internal profile of the father of Western monasticism.
It seems that the birth year of the two holy matches: 480. Therefore, Benedict and Scholastica were probably twins, and if it were anagrafica, yes they were spiritually, since their lives were parallel to the death, in 547, 40 days away.
Scholastica was born in Nursia very young and devoted himself to God, then followed his brother to San Benito Subiaco and Monte Cassino. In Piumarola, at the foot of the mountain, he established his monastery, as if humbly wanted to stop at the foot of the mountain, whose summit's brother had set his room. But despite being so close in place an…

Saint Apollonia

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St. Apollonia's feast day is February 9. In Alexandria, Egypt, where Christians were being persecuted, Apollonia was dragged from her home and beaten by crowds of pagans. In the process of her beatings, all of her teeth were knocked out. This took place around the year 249.
The crowd threatened to throw her into a fire if she did not denounce God. As the legend goes, she told the crowd to wait for a brief moment, and then leapt into the flames on her own accord. St. Apollonia courageously became a martyr.
Rather than give a wild crowd what they wanted, Apollonia stuck firmly to her beliefs and shows to die instead of giving in to the power of the crowd.
Because Apollonia lost all of her teeth in the struggle, she is known as the patron saint of dentistry, and anyone suffering from dental problems should pray to St. Apollonia for their fast recovery.
Apollonia is often seen with pincers holding a tooth. She is also sometimes portrayed with a necklace with a golden tooth at the end.
Many…

St. Jerome Emiliani

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We know very little about the early life of St. Jerome Emiliani(or Miani Miano also). Born in Venice in 1486, and like all important families followed a military career. In 1511 Castelnuovo was captured while fighting in the League of Cambrai. During his captivity, he dedicated himself to meditate on the impermanence of worldly power, as happened ten years after St. Ignatius of Loyola. Unexpectedly, was released a month later, and then felt alive vocation dedicated to serving the poor, the sick, young women abandoned and "repentance". A very vast field. After a short "novitiate" as a penitent with Giampietro Carafa, the future Paul IV, Jerome was ordained in 1518.
Ten years later there was a tremendous shortage throughout the region and then a plague epidemic, then Jerome sold everything he had, including home furnishings, and devoted himself to the care of the infected. We had to bury the dead, and it was getting dark. But we also had to think about the living, esp…

Blessed Pope Pius IX

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Bl. Pope Pius IX was born in Senigallia, Italy, on 13 May 1792, the son of Gerolamo of the Counts Mastai Ferretti, and Caterina Solazzi, of the local nobility. He was baptized on the day of his birth with the name Giovanni Maria. Of delicate physical constitution but of very lively intelligence, his childhood was marked by little voluntary mortifications and an intense religious life.
In 1809 he moved to Rome for higher studies. A disease not well diagnosed, which some called epilepsy, forced him to interrupt his studies in 1812. He was accepted into the Pontifical Noble Guard in 1815, but because of his illness he was immediately discharged. It was at this time that St Vincent Pallotti predicted that he would become Pope and that the Virgin of Loreto would free him eventually from the disease.
After serving briefly in the Tata Giovanni Educational Institute, he participated as a catechist in 1816 in a memorable mission in Senigallia and, immediately thereafter, decided to enter the e…

St. Paul Miki and companions

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The first carried the announcement of the Christian faith in Japan was Saint Francis Xavier, who worked there from 1549 to 1551. In a few years became Christians around 300,000. Humanly speaking, it is double the "secret" which made possible the expansion: the respect that the Jesuit missionaries were the modes of Japanese life and beliefs not directly opposed to Christian teaching, and commitment of local elements to insert in word and in administration.
Jesuit catechist was a young man named Paul Miki, born between 1564 and 1566, from a rich family from Kyoto. I wanted to be a priest but his ordination was postponed "sine die", because the only diocese had not yet bishop. Furthermore, in 1587 the Emperor Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who proposed the conquest of Korea changed its benevolent attitude towards Christians and issued a decree expelling foreign missionaries.
The order was fulfilled in part: some missionaries remained in the country incognito, and in 1593 some Spa…

St. Agatha

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Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr.
In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her or have sex with her. One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil."
Legend tells us that Quintian imprisoned her in a brothel in order to get her to change her mind. Quintian brou…

St. Joseph of Leonessa

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This saint was born in 1556 in Leonessa in Umbria, and at the age of eighteen he made his profession as a Capuchin friar in his hometown, and took the name of Joseph Eufranio instead of its name.
He was humble, obedient and heroic degree mortified, and three days a week, took no other sustenance than bread and water. Generally preached a crucifix in hand, and the fire of his words inflamed the hearts of her listeners. In 1587 he was sent to Turkey as a missionary among the Christians of Pera, a suburb of Constantinople. They cheered and served the Christian slaves in the galleys with wonderful devotion, especially during a malignant fever, which became infected, but later recovered his health. Converted many apostates, and was exposed to the stringency of the Turkish law when he preached the faith to Muslims. Joseph was jailed twice, and the second time he was sentenced to a cruel death.
By sharp claws which crossed one of his hands and one foot was hanging from a gallows. However, afte…

Saint Blaise

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Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise's feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them B…

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

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Forty days after the Nativity of Our Lord, was presented in the Temple in obedience to the law She said there was no date for the submission of the child, but as the mother was unclean for forty days, and could not touch anything holy or go to sanctuary (Lev 12:2), during that time could not present the child in the Temple, as stipulated in Exodus 13,12: "Consecrate to God every firstborn". With this event completing the formalities of the Incarnate Word of God.
A little house in Bethlehem
The Sacred Family, left the cave and stood at a house in Bethlehem, which has fulfilled the rite of circumcision, which incorporates the Child to the chosen people. We know from the circumcision of John and the comparative history of these events, this is a time of meeting all the relatives and friends, but Holy Family is not on your land and this time do not involve the angels to announce the ceremony, and occur singly. Loneliness is the price we must pay great personalities, they have to…

St. Brigid of Ireland

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Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. According to legend, her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave at his court. Even as a young girl she evinced an interest for a religious life and took the veil in her youth from St. Macaille at Croghan and probably was professed by St. Mel of Armagh, who is believed to have conferred abbatial authority on her. She settled with seven of her virgins at the foot of Croghan Hill for a time and about the year 468, followed Mel to Meath. About the year 470 she founded a double monastery at Kildare and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew up the Cathedral city of Kildare. She founded a school of art at Kildare and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare, which …