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Showing posts from July, 2010

St. Ignatius of Loyola

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St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guipúzcoa, Spain, the youngest of 13 children, and was called Iñigo López de Recalde. When he was old enough, he became a page, and then a soldier of Spain to fight against the French. Eventually he found himself at the age of 30 in May of 1521 as an officer defending the fortress of the town of Pamplona against the French, who claimed the territory as their own against Spain. The Spaniards were terribly outnumbered and the commander of the Spanish forces wanted to surrender, but Ignatius convinced him to fight on for the honor of Spain, if not for victory. During the battle a cannon ball struck Ignatius, wounding one leg and breaking the other. Because they admired his courage, the French soldiers carried him back to recuperate at his home, the castle of Loyola, rather than to prison.
His leg was set but did not heal, so it was necessary to break it again and reset it, all without anesthesia. Ignatius grew worse and was finally told by the…

St. Peter Chrysologus

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St. Peter , who was one of the most famous orators of the Catholic Church , was born in Imola , Italy and was formed by the Bishop of that city Cornelius, by which always retained a great veneration. Bishop Cornelio St. Peter convinced that in the domain of their own passions and lusts reject lies the true greatness, and that this is a sure way to get the blessings of God. St. Peter enjoyed the friendship of the Emperor Valentinian and his mother, Placida, and on the recommendation of the two, he was appointed archbishop of Ravenna. We also enjoyed the friendship of Pope Saint Leo the Great. When it became archbishop of Ravenna, had in this city a large number of pagans. And it worked so enthusiastically to convert them , that when he died and the pagans were very few non-believers in this place. A lot of people liked his sermons, and so gave him the nickname of Chrysologus , which means , that speaks very well. His manner of speech was concise , simple and practical. People were a…

St. Martha of Bethany

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"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha's work in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. Jesus' response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of his affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being p…

St. Pantaleon

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Nikomedia born doctor (now Turkey). He was beheaded by profess their Catholic faith in the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian, on 27 July 305.

What is known of St. Pantaleon comes from an ancient manuscript of the sixth century that is in the British Museum. Pantaleon was the son of a pagan named Eubulus and Christian mother. Pantaleon was a doctor. His teacher was Euphrosino , the doctor most notable of the empire. He was a doctor of the emperor Galerius Maximian in Nicomedia.

He knew the faith but was carried away by the pagan world in which he lived and succumbed to the temptations that weaken the will and end with the virtues and fell into apostasy. A good Christian named Hermolaos opened his eyes , exhorting him to know " healing from the Highest " , led him to the bosom of the Church. Since then turned their science to the service of Christ, to serve their patients on behalf of the Lord.

In the year 303, began the persecution of Diocletian in Nikomedia . Pantaleon …

Ss. Natalia, Aurelius and Companions

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Aurelius was the son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother. He was also secretly a follower of Christianity, as was his wife Natalia, who was also the child of a Muslim father. One of Aurelius's cousins, Felix, accepted Islam for a short time, but later converted back to Christianity and married a Christian woman, Liliosa.

Under Sharia Law, all four of them were required to profess Islam. In time all four began to openly profess their Christianity, with the two women going about in public with their faces unveiled. They were all swiftly arrested as apostates from Islam.

They were given four days to recant, but they refused, and were beheaded. They were martyred with a local monk, George, who had openly spoken out against the prophet Mohammed. He had been offered a pardon as a foreigner, but chose instead to denounce Islam again and die with the others.

Sts. Joachim and Anne

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By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings). For those who wonder what we can learn from people we know nothing about and how we can honor them, we must focus on why they are honored by the church. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taugh…

St. James the Greater

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The story and history of Saint James the Greater, who was one of the disciples of Jesus. James was prominent amongst the twelve apostles. He was James, the son of Zebedee, who was considered the greater apostle of those called James. James thought to be a cousin of Jesus, by the sister of the Virgin Mary, and the brother of Saint Jude Thaddeus. James worked as a fisherman with his brother John, his father Zebedee and his partner Simon. John and James were followers of John the Baptist and then Jesus. John the Baptist referred to Jesus with the words "Behold the Lamb of God!". He left his life as a fisherman when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men. He followed Jesus as one of his disciples until Jesus was crucified. James the Greater was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles and was given the mission to spread the gospel of Jesus. He made a pilgrimage to Spain to spread the word. St James returned to Judea, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I (10 BC …

St. Charbel

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Youssef (Joseph) was born on May 8, 1828 in a small town in Lebanon called Biqa - Kafra. It was the fifth son of Anthony and Bridget Choudiac Makhlouf , simple peasants with faith . Two of his maternal uncles were monks in the monastery of Quzhaya which was about an hour away from Biqa - Kafra. Joseph frequently visited and stayed with them helping with the divine , sharing in their prayers and songs and listening to their wise counsel. I was twenty when he left home and family to enter the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk Lebanese Maronite Order . Upon receiving the habit of a novice it changed its name to Charbel , a name of a martyr of the Church of Antioch who died in the year 107 under the rule of Trajan. When his mother and his uncle learned of his decision, immediately went to fetch the monastery trying to convince him to return. Finally , Bridget, also convinced his son 's vocation , he said: If you were not to be good religious I would say : Go home ! But now I know the L…

St. Brigit of Sweden

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St. Bridget was the mother of eight children. After her husband died she entered a life of penance with lots of fasting and prayer vigils. Her mystical visions became frequent. The Lord revealed to her that she was to become His bride and perform the task of informing the world of His warnings and messages. She received so many revelations that there was no reason to doubt this one. Despite the fact that private revelations never replace or modify doctrines of the faith, hers were credible and taken seriously by many religious.

Her first revelation was when she was a young girl of seven. She saw a beautiful lady who offered her a crown and placed it on her head and Bridget felt its touch before the vision disappeared. When she was ten she had a vision of crucified Christ with blood flowing through His wounds. Her mother died* when she was eleven or twelve and she was raised by a pious

St. Mary Magdalen

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Today we celebrate St. Mary Magdalen , we must refer to three biblical characters, which some identify a single person: Mary Magdalene , Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha, and the anonymous sinner who anoints Jesus' feet .Three characters for a story, Mary Magdalene , and , with your full name, appears in several scenes from the Gospels . Ranks first among the women who accompanied Jesus ( Mt 27, 56 , Mk 15, 47 , Luke 8, 2 ) is present during the Passion (Mark 15: 40) and at the foot of the cross with the Mother of Jesus ( Jn 19 , 25); see how buried the Lord (Mark 15, 47 ); comes before Peter and John to the tomb on Easter morning (John 20 , 1-2 ) is the first to whom appears risen Jesus ( Mt 28 , 1-10 , Mk 16, 9 , Jn 20, 14 ), although not recognized and is mistaken for the gardener ( Jn 20, 15), is sent as an apostle of the apostles ( Jn 20 , 18). Both Mark and Luke report that Jesus had driven out "seven demons. " (Luke 8, 2 , Mark 16, 9 ) Mary of Bethany is the …

St. Lawrence of Brindisi

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Julio was born in Brindisi, Kingdom of Naples, to a family of Venetian merchants. He was educated at Saint Mark's College in Venice, and joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lorenzo. He received further instruction from the University of Padua. An accomplished linguist, Lawrence spoke most European and Semitic languages fluently.

He was appointed definitor-general for Rome for the Capuchins in 1596; Pope Clement VIII assigned him the task of converting the Jews in the city. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith.

In 1601, he served as the imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, and successfully recruited Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur to help fight against the Ottoman Turks. He then led the army during the capture of Székesfehérvár from the Ottoman Empire, armed only with a crucifix.

In 1602 he was elected…

St. Elijah

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Elijah אֵלִיָּהו Eliyahu "God is the Lord " or " My God is Yahweh"One of the many compounds containing the names Tetragrammaton which represents the divine name. It was a prophet who lived in the ninth century BC Speak of him in Chapters 17 to 21 1 Kings and chapters 1 and 2 2 Kings. By 1 Kings 17:1 and 1:8 2Kings Tishbé was a native of the region Gilead, East of Jordan River. The prophetic ministry of Elijah begins in the reign Ahab, son OmriWho ruled Israel between 874 BC and 853 BC The authors of the Books of Kings, cited as a source for their stories another book now unknown, Annals of the Kings of Israel (1 Kings 22:39.) Possibly such source or another directly referring to the prophet, the story is drawn on the confrontation between Elijah and King Ahab who did evil in the eyes of the Lord more than all who preceded him and he married Jezebel Itobaal daughter , king of Sidon and went after BaalServed him and bowed down before him. Elijah suddenly appears in t…

Saint Macrina the Younger

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Saint Macrina the Younger was born at Caesarea, Cappadocia. Her parents were Basil the Elder and Emmelia, and her grandmother was Saint Macrina the Elder. Among her nine siblings were two of the three Cappadocian Fathers, her younger brothers Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, as well as Peter of Sebaste. Her father arranged for her to marry but her fiance died before the wedding. She devoted herself to her religion, becoming a nun.

She became well known as a holy woman and instructed many young women religiously. For this she is honored as one of the most prominent nuns of the Eastern Church. She had a profound influence upon her brothers with her adherence to an ascetic ideal. Her brother Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sancity throughout her life. In 379, Macrina died at her family's estate in Pontus, which with the help of her younger brother Peter she had turned into a monastery and convent. Gregory of Nyssa composed a …

St. Camillus de Lellis

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Born in Abruzzo ( Italy) in 1550. He followed a military career like his father . He appeared a sore on his foot, he did leave the profession of arms and go to the Hospital of Santiago in Rome to get healed. At the hospital in Rome was dedicated to helping and caring for other patients, while seeking their own healing . But at that time became the vice of gambling . He was expelled from Naples hospital and lost all their life savings in the game , leaving in poverty. Long ago, in a shipwreck , had made to God 's promise to become a Franciscan monk , but had not met. While in absolute poverty is offered as a worker and a messenger in a convent of the Capuchin Fathers , where he heard a talk spiritual father made them superior to the workers, and felt strongly the call of God to his conversion. He began to mourn and asked forgiveness for their sins, with firm resolve to change their ways completely. He was 25. Asked to be admitted as a Franciscan convent but he reopened the wound in…

St. Alexius of Rome

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Saint Alexius, born in Rome in the fourth century, was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for both their virtue and their great wealth. They were particularly noted for their almsgiving; three tables were prepared every day for all who came for assistance — pilgrims, the poor and the sick. Their son, fruit of their prayers, was married with splendid feasting to a noble young lady of the imperial family, but on his wedding night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly left Rome, longing for a solitude where he could serve God alone. He went to Edessa in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thereafter to live by alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. His family, in the deepest grief, could not fathom the mystery of his disappearance, and would have been consoled if God had taken him instead through death.

It came to pass that the servants of Saint Alexius, whom his father had sent in search of him, arrived in Edessa, an…

Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Caramel

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Memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Caramel, where Elijah Mount got the people of Israel return to worship the living God and in which , later , some, seeking solitude , retired to a hermit life , giving origin over time to a religious order of contemplative life, which has as patron and protector of the Mother of God.
From the old hermits who settled on Mount Caramel , Carmelites have been known for his deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin. They interpreted the cloud vision of Elijah (1 Kings 18 , 44) as a symbol of Mary Immaculate. Already in the thirteenth century , five centuries before the proclamation of the dogma , the Carmelite Missal contained a Mass for the Immaculate Conception.
In the words of Benedict XVI , 15, VII , 06:
"Caramel , high promontory that rises on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea , at the height of Galilee , is in her skirts numerous natural grottoes, favorites of hermits. The most famous of these men of God was the great prophet Elijah, who …

St. Kilian

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Saint Kilian, also spelled Killian (or alternatively Irish: Cillian), was an Irish missionary bishop and the apostle of Franconia (nowadays the northern part of Bavaria), where he began his labours towards the end of the 7th century.

There are several biographies of him. The oldest texts which refer to him are an 8th century necrology at Würzburg and the notice by Hrabanus Maurus in his martyrology. According to Maurus, Kilian was a native of Ireland, when with eleven companions he went to eastern Franconia and Thuringia. After having preached the Gospel in Würzburg, he succeeded in converting to Christianity the local lord, Duke Gozbert, and much of the population.

Kilian eventually told the Duke that he was in violation of sacred scripture by being married to his brother's widow, Geilana. When Geilana (whom Kilian had failed to convert to Christianity) heard of Kilian's words against her marriage, she was so angry that she had her soldiers sent to the main square of Würzburg, …

St. Æthelburh of Faremoutiers

Æthelburg was one of the daughters of King Anna of East Anglia although she was probably illegitimate. Her sisters were Saint Withburga, Saint Saethrid, who was abbess of Faremoutiers Abbey in Brie, Saint Seaxburh and Æthelthryth who were abbesses of Ely.

Æthelburg and Saethrid were sent to the nunnery of Faremoutiers for their education. While there Æthelburg became a nun and eventually succeeded Saethrid as abbess. As abbess, Æthelburg began work on a church in honour of the twelve apostles which was left unfinished at her death in 664. At her request she was buried in the church. After seven years a decision was made to move her bones to the near-by church of Saint Stephen and her body was found to be uncorrupted.

St. Maria Goretti

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Maria was a beautiful Italian young lady that was twelve years old, who lived on a farm. One day Alessandro Serenelli, a teenager of nineteen years of age, who helped at the farm. He stayed in Maria's house and wanted her to to lose her pureness. He tried to rape her. "No! No!" Maria screamed, "Don't touch me Alessandro! It's a sin. God does not want it! You'll go to hell." When Maria started to fight back, he took a knife and stabbed her in the heart fourteen times. Maria fell to the ground with a yell of pain, "Oh my God, I will die! Mama! Mama!" Alessandro ran away from the seen. Maria was taken to the hospital where she stayed for two day. When a priest asked if she forgave her assassin she replied "Yes I forgive him by the love of Jesus and I want him to be with me in heaven. God forgive him." Maria died kissing a crucifix and hold a medal of Our Lady. She died July 6. 1902. She was beatified April 27, 1947 by Pope Pius XII …

St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria

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Anthony was born in the city of Cremona in the Duchy of Milan. He lost his father at the age of two, and was brought up as an only child by his mother. At an early age, he took a private vow of chastity. He studied philosophy at the University of Pavia, and, from 1520, medicine at the University of Padua. After completing studies in 1524, he practised as a doctor in Cremona for three years.

In 1527, he started studying for the priesthood. Because of his already extensive studies and his Christian upbringing, he was ordained in 1528. Having explored his calling for two years, mainly working in hospitals and institutions for the poor, he became the spiritual advisor to Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla (then the tiny County of Guastalla) in 1530, and followed her to Milan. While there, he laid the foundations of three religious orders: one for men (the Clerics Regular of St Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites); a female branch of uncloistered nuns, the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul…

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

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Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. She was very beautiful and very lovable. She was also very devout, and went to Mass every day. Elizabeth was a holy wife, but although her husband was fond of her at first, he soon began to cause her great suffering. Though a good ruler, he did not imitate his wife's love of prayer and other virtues. In fact, his sins of impurity gave great scandle to the people.

Later, to make matters worse, the King believed a lie told about Elizabeth and one of her pages by another page, who was jealous of his companion. In great anger the King ordered the one he believed guilty, to be sent to a lime-burner. The lime-burner was commanded to throw into his furnace the first page who came. The good page set out obediently, not knowing death was waiting for him. On his way he stopped for Mass, since he had the habit of going daily. The first Mass had begun, so he stayed for a second one. In t…

Saint Heliodorus of Altino

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Saint Heliodorus was the first bishop of Altinum (Altino) in the century. He was born at Dalmatia. Like Chromatius, he was a disciple of Valerianus, the bishop of Aquileia.

He accompanied Saint Jerome on his voyage to the Holy Land, and is mentioned in Jerome's letters. After the death of his mother, Heliodorus went to Italy and was made bishop of Altino. He attempted to counter Arianism in his see, and assisted at the Council of Aquileia (381). Saint Nepotian, a nephew of Saint Heliodorus, was ordained by the bishop after leaving his position as an officer in the imperial bodyguard.

A legend, composed around the 10th century and incorporating elements from other saints’ hagiographies, states that Liberalis of Treviso was educated in the Christian faith by Heliodorus. The legend goes on to state that, faced with growing opposition from both Arianism and paganism in the see, Heliodorus retired as bishop and lived as a hermit on a desert island in the lagoons near Altino, entrusting t…

St. Bernardino Realino

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St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the University of Bologna, but after three years he switched to law and received his doctorate in 1563. Word of his learning, dedication, and legal brilliance spread rapidly, and in 1554 he was summoned to Naples to assume the position of auditor and lieutenant general. Shortly afterward, his exemplary young man came to the realization that he had a religious vocation and, aided by our Lady's appearance to him, joined the Society of Jesus, being ordained in 1567. For three years he labored unstintingly at Naples, devoting himself wholeheartedly to the service of the poor and the youth, and then he was sent to Lecce where he remained for the last forty-two years of his life. St. Bernardino won widespread recognition as a result of his ceaseless apostolic labors. He was a model confessor, a …

Feast of the Most Precious Blood

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July 1 is the Solemnity of the "Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ." This feast, celebrated in Spain in the 16th century, was later introduced to Italy by Saint Gaspar del Bufalo and extended to the whole Church by Pope Pius IX in 1849.

For many dioceses there were two days to which the Office of the Precious Blood was assigned, the office being in both cases the same. The reason was this: the office was at first granted to the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood only. Later, as one of the offices of the Fridays of Lent, it was assigned to the Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent. In many dioceses these offices were adopted also by the Fourth Provincial Council of Baltimore (1840).

When Pope Pius IX went into exile at Gaeta in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1849), he had as his companion Father Giovanni Merlini, third superior general of the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood. After they had arrived at Gaeta, Don Merlini suggested that His Holiness make a vow to e…