Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saint's Name Generator from "Conversion Diary"



On Jennifer Fulwiler's blog, "Conversion Diary", she has a post about a program she created called "Saint's Name Generator", which will choose a saint at random for your patron saint for 2011.

You can read about it on her post here or to go directly to her Saint's Name Generator click here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

To You From US

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saint Lucy of Syracuse



Saint Lucy of Syracuse (also known as Lucia of Syracuse; Lucia de Syracuse), virgin and martyr, was a rich, young Christian of Greek ancestry born in Syracuse, Sicily, around 283. She was of a noble Greek family, brought up as a Christian by her mother, Eutychia. Her Roman father died when she was young. Her mother had arranged a marriage for her. For three years she managed to keep the marriage on hold. To change the mother's mind about the girl's faith, Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha, and her mother's long hemorrhagic illness was cured. After her mother's miraculous cure Lucy was allowed to make a vow of virginity and to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor, and Lucy became known as a patron of those with illnesses like her mother's.

This charitableness stirred the greed of Paschasius, the unworthy young man to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed, and he denounced her to the Governor of Sicily as a Christian. The governor sentenced her to forced prostitution, but when guards went to fetch her, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. The governor ordered her killed instead. After torture that included having her eyes torn out, she was surrounded by bundles of wood which were set afire, but again God saved her, and the fire went out. She prophesied against her persecutors, and was executed by being stabbed in the throat with a dagger or sword . Her name is listed in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus" in the Canon of the Mass.

Legend says her eyesight was restored before her death. This and the meaning of her name led to her connection with eyes, the blind, eye trouble, and epidemic diseases.

Saint Lucy of Syracuse died in Syracuse, Sicily around 304, her relics are honored in churches throughout Europe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc, Bishop and Martyr


Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc (also known as John Kunsevich; Josaphat of Polotsk; Jozofat Kuncewicz) was born in 1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania as John Kuncevyc. His father was a municipal counselor and his mother was known for her piety. John was raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church. On November 23, 1595, in the Union of Brest, the Ruthenian Orthodox Church united with the Church of Rome. John trained as a merchant's apprentice at Vilna, was offered partnership in the business, and marriage to his partner's daughter. He felt a call to the religious life, and declined both. He became a monk in the Ukrainian Order of Saint Basil (Basilians) in Vilna at the age of 20 in 1604, taking the name brother Josaphat. He was a deacon and then was ordained a Byzantine rite priest in 1609.

Josaphat's superior never accepted unity with Rome, and looked for a way to fight against Roman Catholicism and the Uniats, the name given to those who brought about and accepted the union of the Churches. Learning of his superior's work, and fearing the physical and spiritual damage it could cause, Josaphat brought it to the attention of his archbishop. The archbishop of Kiev removed the superior from his post, replacing him with Josaphat.

Josaphat was a famous preacher who worked to bring unity among the faithful, and bring strayed Christians back to the Church. He was appointed Bishop of Vitebsk in 1617. Most religious fearing interference with the natively developed liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. Josaphat believed unity to be in the best interests of the Church. By his teaching, clerical reform, and personal example he won the greater part of the Orthodox in Lithuania to the union. His actions were never suitable to either side, and Roman authorities sometimes raised objection to Josaphat's Orthodox actions. He was still made Archbishop of Polotsk, Lithuania in 1618.

While attending the Diet of Warsaw in 1620, a dissident group, supported by Cossacks, set up an anti-Uniat bishop for each Uniat one. They spread the accusation that Josaphat had "gone Latin," and that his followers would be forced to do the same. Then they placed a usurper on the archbishop's chair. Despite warnings, John went to Vitebsk to try to correct the misunderstandings, and settle disturbances. The army was loyal to the king, who was loyal to the Union, and so the army tried to protect Josaphat and his clergy.

Saint Josaphat went to Vitebsk, Belarus, where an anti-Uniat priest shouted insults at Josaphat from his own courtyard, and tried to force his way into the residence. When he was removed, a mob assembled and forced his release. The mob then invaded the residence. Josaphat tried to insure the safety of his servants before fleeing himself, but did not get out in time.

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc died when he was struck in the head with an axe, shot and beaten with staves on November 12, 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus. His body was thrown into the Dvina River but later recovered. He is buried at Biala, Poland, and his body found incorrupt five years after his death.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saint Teresa of Avila, First Woman Doctor of the Church

 

Saint Teresa of Avila (also known as Theresa of Avila; The Roving Nun; Teresa of Jesus; Teresa de Avila) was born in 1515 A.D. as Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada at Avila, at Castile, Spain. Teresa was a Spanish noble, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Doña Beatriz. She grew up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at "hermit" in the garden. 

She was crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home. She was cured of her affliction after prayer to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at the age of 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.

Not long after taking her vows, Teresa became seriously ill, and the inadequate medical help she received aggravated her condition. She never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions holy and true.

Teresa considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. She founded several houses, often receiving fierce resistance from local authorities. Teresa was a mystical writer, and most of her works are preserved until today. Pope Paul VI proclaimed Teresa a Doctor of the Church on September 27, 1970. She has the distinction of being the first woman saint to be declared a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Teresa of Avila died of natural causes on October 4, 1582 at Alba de Tormes in the arms of her secretary and close friend Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew. Her body is incorrupt, and her relics preserved at Alba. Her heart shows signs of Transverberation (piercing of the heart), and is displayed, too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Priest Who Knew St. Maximilian Kolbe | Register Exclusives | NCRegister.com

The Priest Who Knew St. Maximilian Kolbe | Register Exclusives | NCRegister.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saint Camillus of Lellis

 
 
Saint Camillus of Lellis (also known as Camillus de Lellis; Camillo de Lellis) was born in 1550 A.D. at Bocchiavico, Abruzzi, the kingdom of Naples, Italy. He was the son of a military officer who had served both Naples and France. His mother died when he was very young. Camillus spent his youth as a soldier, fighting for the Venetians against the Turks, and then for Naples. He was reported as a large individual, perhaps as tall as 6'6", and powerfully built, but suffered all his life from abscesses on his feet. A gambling addict, he lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins. They converted him.

Camillus entered the Capuchin novitiate three times, but a nagging leg injury that he received while fighting the Turks, forced him to give up each time. He went to Rome for medical treatment where he met Saint Philip Neri who became his priest and confessor. He moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator. Lacking an education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old.

Camillus tried to found a lay order of hospital caregivers but failed. He decided to become a priest and was ordained in 1582. In 1584, Camillus founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians) who care for the sick in both hospitals and homes. It was approved by Pope Sixtus V in 1586 and erected into an order by Pope Gregory XIV in 1591. The order expanded with houses in several countries, and today it maintains a website, http://www.camillians.org/. Camillus honored the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth. Camillus was reported to have the gifts of miraculous healing and prophecy.

Saint Camillus of Lellis died of natural causes on July 14, 1614 at Genoa, Italy. His relics are in the Church of Saint Mary Magdalen at Rome.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr



Saint Boniface (also known as Winfrid; Wynfrith; Apostle of Germany) was born at Crediton, Devonshire, England in 675 A.D. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery at Exeter, England, and he joined the Benedictine Order at Nutshalling, and was ordained in 705.

In 716 he attempted a missionary journey to Friesland but had to abandon the effort due to political disturbances. He was offered the abbacy at Nutshalling, but declined and was sent to Germany east of the Rhine as missionary by Pope Gregory II in 719. There he was assisted by Saint Albinus, Saint Abel, and Saint Agatha. He destroyed pagan idols and temples and built churches on the temple sites. He was called to Rome by Gregory II who consecrated him regional bishop in 722. 

Upon returning Boniface encountered a group worshipping at the sacred oak of the Norse thunder god, Thor, at Geismar. Boniface walked up to the tree, removed his shirt, took up an axe, and he hacked down the six foot wide wooden god. Boniface stood on the trunk, and asked, "How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he."

In 732 Pope Gregory III made Boniface Archbishop with no definite province. He founded or restored the dioceses of Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. In 741 he was commissioned by Pope Zacharias to reform the whole Frankish church, after which success he was made Archbishop of Mainz in 748.

In 754 Saint Boniface resigned his see to accomplish his dream of missionary work in Friesland. He built a number of churches there, but, he was attacked by pagans, and he along with 52 of his converts were martyred at Friesland, Holland. 

Saint Boniface is buried in the cathedral at Fulda.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Saint John Gabriel Perboyre, Priest and Martyr



Saint John Gabriel Perboyre, also known as Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, was born on January 6, 1802 at Le Puech, near Mongesty, Cahors diocese, southern France. He was the eldest son of Pierre Perboyre and his wife Marie. John’s parents were farmers, and had eight children, five of whom entered the religious life. Three sons became priests in the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), and two daughters entered the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

In 1816, John accompanied a younger brother, Louis, to a high school started by their uncle, Father Jacques Perboyre, C.M. (Congregation of the Mission; Fathers of the Company of Mary; Vincentians; Lazarists), to prepare young men for the seminary. John began to feel a call to the priesthood himself while there, and on June 16, 1817 he made the decision to prepare for the priesthood. Being an obedient son, he had written his parents to tell them of his decision, but told them he would return home to the farm if they objected. They did not, and on December 27, 1818, John entered the Vincentian community.

 On December 28, 1820, John took his vows and then went to Paris in January of 1821 to start his study of theology. In October 1823, he was sent to Montdidier, between Paris and Amiens. The Congregation had a boys' boarding school there, and John Gabriel was given charge of a class, with eight boys. In April 1824, he went back to Paris to be ordained sub-deacon, and returned to Montdidier to teach philosophy. In May 1825, he went back to Paris to be ordained deacon. On September 23, 1826, John was ordained a priest in the Rue de Bac by Bishop Louis Dubourg, the former Bishop of New Orleans, on the anniversary of St. Vincent de Paul’s priestly ordination date. In September of 1826 after his ordination, he was appointed professor at the major seminary of Saint Flour, and in September 1827, he was appointed superior at the minor seminary of Saint Flour.

John and his brother Louis exchanged many letters apparently, of which 13 survive today. In one of those, Louis told John that he wanted to go to China after ordination. Louis undertook the voyage to China, but never arrived there, dying at sea on May 2, 1831.  John began to seek permission to replace his brother on the mission to China but his Superior General and Council insisted that his health was not good enough. At John’s persistence, they finally asked the doctor, and he gave permission. In February 1835, he wrote to his uncle:

I’ve great news for you. God has just granted me a very precious favor which I certainly don't deserve. When he was pleased to give me a vocation to the priesthood the main reason which made me answer his call was the hope of being able to preach to pagans the good news of salvation. Since then I've never really lost sight of this target, and above all the idea of the Chinese mission always made my heart beat faster.

In March of 1835, John set sail from Le Havre with two confreres, Joseph Gabet and Joseph Perry, arriving at the Portuguese colony of Macao at the end of August. While at Macao, he became ill and while there he studied Chinese.

Just before Christmas, he began the journey to the interior of China, a distance of 600 miles by sea, and another equally great distance by land. He arrived at Ho-nan Province in mid-August of 1836. He wrote several letters upon his arrival there, among them one to his father, the first in over two years:

If we have to suffer martyrdom it would be a great grace given to us by God; it's something to be desired, not feared.

In December of 1836, John preached his first sermon in the Chinese language and then went on his first mission. After he had been in China for over a year he wrote that experienced confreres should be involved in the administration decisions from Macao and Paris, as those who had not experienced the life there, could not understand the problems faced by the missionary.

From September of 1838 until Pentecost of 1839, John gave 17 missions. He was then to go on a round of visits to the mission stations but was replaced by another confrere due to his having leg problems. This meant that John was in Kou-tchen when a band of soldiers arrived in September of 1839. He having breakfast with Giuseppe Rizzolati OFM and Jean-Henri Baldus CM. Rizzolati and Baldus ran off in one direction, John Gabriel in the opposite. John hid in a bamboo “forest“, where he was found the next day after being betrayed by a catechumen.

There are two conflicting stories on John’s being betrayed by the catechumen. One account says that the catechumen met the soldiers, who explained that they were looking for the priest. In that account  the catechumen was said to have asked what they would pay for information and they said "thirty taels". However, Baldus in letters he wrote in 1841 after the first account was published, disputes this. Baldus (who was there) said the man who had written the first account was no where near there, contained many errors, and "romantic and, at a minimum, very exaggerated". In a second letter written later by Baldus, he says:

Secondly, the handing over, or betrayal, was brought about not by money but by fear, for Father Perboyre's supposed guide had been beaten up, according to the messengers from Hou-pé.

Initially, during the early time of his imprisonment, John was treated fairly well by orders of the mandarin (former high ranking Chinese official). This changed however under a different mandarin, and John was beaten, hung by his thumbs, made to kneel on iron chains, on pieces of broken crockery, and flogged with bamboo rods. One account says that he was tortured so severely, that his flesh hung in strips.

André Yang C.M., successfully passed himself off as a merchant who was studying the prison system and was able to visit John, bringing him food and hearing his confession. Many of the prison guards assured Yang that John Gabriel would be well treated. However, John suffered his tortures for over a year.

Saint John Gabriel Perboyre was charged with the crimes that he had entered China illegally to preach Christianity "and to deceive and seduce the people". He was found guilty and on September 11, 1840, he was martyred by being strangled on a cross-shaped gibbet, the strangulation being carried out in three stages, and then a kick in the lower abdomen (or side, sources vary) that put an end to his sufferings.

Saint John Gabriel Perboyre was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on November 10, 1889, and he was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 2, 1996. He is the first saint associated with China. His relics now rest in the chapel of the Vincentian Motherhouse in Paris, France.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saint Phillip Neri, Priest



Saint Philip Neri (also known as Philip Romolo Neri; Apostle of Rome; Amabile Santo) was born in 1515 A.D. at Florence, Italy. Though related to nobility, Philip came from a poor family. His father, Francisco Neri, worked as a notary. Philip's brother died in childhood, but his two sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta survived. Philip was a pious youth, and the Dominicans taught him humanities.

In 1533, Philip moved to San Germano to help some family with their business, and while there would escape to a local Dominican chapel in the mountains. He received word in a vision that he had an apostolate in Rome. So, he cut himself off from his family and went there. Philip was befriended by Galeotto Caccia who took him in, and paid him to tutor his two sons. Philip wrote poetry in Latin and Italian, and as well, he studied philosophy and theology. When he tired of learning, he sold all his books and gave the money to the poor.

Philip began to visit and care for the sick and impoverished pilgrims. He founded a society of like-minded folk to do the same. He was a friend of Saint Ignatius Loyola. A layman, he lived in the city as a hermit. During Easter season of 1544, while praying in the catacomb of San Sebastiano, he received a vision of a globe of fire that entered his chest, and he experienced an ecstasy that physically enlarged his heart.

With Persiano Rose, he founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity. He began to preach, with many converts. In 1550, he considered retiring to the life of a solitary hermit, but received further visions that told him his mission was in Rome. Later he considered missionary work in India, but further visions convinced him to stay in Rome.

Philip entered the priesthood in 1551, where he heard confessions by the hour. He could tell penitents their sins before they confessed, and had the gift of conferring visions. He began working with youth, finding safe places for them to play, and becoming involved in their lives. Pope Gregory XIII tried to make him a cardinal, but Philip declined. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, approval being granted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1575. It spread rapidly through Italy and Philip was elected superior general. His life was remarkable for his singular devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In later years, he was beset by several illnesses, each of which was in turn cured through prayer.

Saint Philip Neri died of natural causes on May 27, 1595 at Rome, Italy. His body is at a shrine in Chiesa Nuova.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Confessions of Saint Patrick -Welcome to The Crossroads Initiative

Confessions of Saint Patrick -Welcome to The Crossroads Initiative

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saint Patrick of Ireland

 
 
Saint Patrick of Ireland (also known as Apostle of Ireland; Maewyn Succat; Patricius; Patrizio) was born at Scotland in 387- 390 A.D. (sources vary) as Maewyn Succat. He was born to a family of high rank, and at the age of sixteen was captured by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Dalriada.

During his captivity he was converted, and acquired a knowledge of the Celtic language. After six years of captivity, he had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain. He escaped, returned to Britain, then went to Gaul, and studied at Tours, Urins, and Auxerre.

He was guided by Saint Germain at Auxerre and went as his mission companion to Britain. Pope Saint Celestine I, at the recommendation of Saint Germain, entrusted Saint Patrick with the mission of converting Britain and Ireland. Patrick was consecrated in the city of Turin at the hands of Saint Maximus and shortly afterwards set out for the Irish mission. His chariot driver was Saint Odran, and Saint Jarlath was one of his spiritual students.

He and his companions landed at Wicklow Head sometime around 433, where they were attacked by the Druids. They went on to Dalriada, and erected a church at Sabhall. On Easter Sunday in 433, Patrick pleaded for the faith before King Leoghaire, and converted his brother, Conall, and Dubhtach, the chief bard.
It was on this occasion that Saint Patrick is said to have plucked a shamrock from the grass, to explain by its triple leaf and single stem the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. After this, Patrick was allowed to preach the faith throughout Ireland.

In 33 years he effectively converted Ireland. It is recorded that he consecrated no less than 350 bishops, and continued until his death to visit and watch over the churches he had founded in all the provinces of Ireland. When not engaged in the work of the sacred ministry, his time was spent in prayer and penitential austerities.

During his apostolate in Ireland he was subjected to frequent trials by the Druids and other opponents of the Faith, and no less than twelve times he and his companions were condemned to death. From all these trials he was liberated by Providence, and did not die until the conversion of Ireland was complete.

Saint Patrick died of natural causes around 461-464 A.D. at Saul, County Down, Ireland.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New Publication of Saint Irenaeus' Writing : "Against Heresies"



There is a new publication in a single volume, of the complete English text of Saint Irenaeus' "Against Heresies". This is the writing Saint Irenaeus used to expose the fallacies of Gnosticism, and to eliminate it as a threat to the true faith.

According to the publishers: "the text is freshly re-typeset, but retains the complete translation from the Ante-Nicene Fathers series"...

This would be a great addition to any library of the Early Church Fathers. It is available in hardcover at : http://www.lulu.com/content/8416937

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A New Offer from Faith of the Fathers Blogs

My Daily Saint Quotations Eook

 My Daily Saints Quotations

The author of this blog has put together a little ebook of about 30 pages. This "book" contains a different saint quotation for each day of the year. On those days where it is the feast or memorial of the saint being quoted, the saints name appears in bold type.

I spent a good deal of time on this little project, and I am offering it to our blog readers for $1.99. Unlike this blog however, there are no illustrations of the various saints.

I know with the economy as it is right now, everyone is having to struggle, including yours truly. This is just a way of my attempting to earn a little extra for myself, and give you, our readers something in return.


So if you would like to help this blogger out,  you can order it by clicking :

My Daily Saint Quotations Eook

Your ebook will be sent to you by email as an attachment in PDF format (sorry only english is available) within 24-48 hours of the processing of your payment. You will need Adobe Reader or another PDF reader to view it. You may download Adobe Reader by clicking here:
  .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Saint Agnes of Rome




  

Virgin And Martyr

Saint Agnes of Rome (also known as Ines; Ines del Campo; Ynez) was a consecrated virgin martyr born in Rome. We have more ancient authority for the story of Saint Agnes than exists in many cases. Saint Jerome wrote of her as being venerated in his day, and her legend is one of the oldeststories of a saint. She had vowed never to marry when very young. At the age of 12 or 13, a young nobleman wanted to marry her, but, she refused since she had consecrated herself to Christ and said that to do so would be an insult to her heavenly Spouse. The young nobleman's father was the Prefect Sempronius, and upon learning Agnes had rejected his son and that she was a Christian, he ordered Agnes to sacrifice to the pagan gods and lose her virginity by rape. She was taken to a Roman temple of Minerva (Athena), and when led to the altar, she made the Sign of the Cross. She was threatened, then tortured when she refused to turn against God. She was tortured by fire, then either decapitated or stabbed in the throat (sources vary) in 254 or 304 (again, sources vary).


Saint Agnes' virginity and heroism are renowned, and her name occurs in the prayer "Nobis quoque peccatoribus," in the Canon of the Mass. The catacombs of Saint Agnes on the Via Nomentana grew up around her crypt there, on a small piece of property owned by her family. The Christians constantly went to pray at her grave. She was the foster-sister of Saint Emerentiana, who was stoned to death by a crowd for praying at her sister's grave, when she admitted the relationship and that she too was a Christian.


As her parents and friends were paying their devotions at her tomb, she appeared to them in a glorified form, and beside her was a lamb whiter than snow. Agnes assured her friends of her perfect happiness, and again vanished, and from that time on, they no longer mourned her.


On Saint Agnes' feast day two lambs are blessed at her church in Rome, and then their wool is woven into the palliums (bands of white wool) which the pope confers on archbishops as symbol of their jurisdiction.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Time Is Of The Essence




We are seeing and hearing more and more of the desperate plight of the people in Haiti after the devastating earthquake.

The people of Haiti desperately need our aid and support. You may begin by going to the site for Catholic Relief Services, and making a donation now. If you are not comfortable making a donation online, you may donate to Catholic Relief Services by phone, by calling 1-800-736-3467 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (U.S. and Canada), or you may send a check by mail to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090


You may also go to The Hunger Site, and click on the banner entitled “Earthquake in Haiti - PLEASE HELP NOW”.

This is so important, that this same post is going to be placed on all of the Faith of the Fathers blogs.

Let’s all do what we can. No matter how little it seems, all donations help.