Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saint Catherine of Siena


Doctor of the Church
Feast Day: April 29

Early Years

Catherine Benincasa was born in Sienna in 1347, she is the youngest in the 25 siblings.

At the age of six, while on the way home with her brother, she suddenly stopped still, gazing up into the sky. Her brother who had walked on ahead came back for her and grabbed her by the hand and at once Catherine woke up from her trance. The vision she was having was of Christ seated in glory with the Apostles Peter, Paul, and John. After that experience, little Catherine made a vow to herself that she will give her whole life to God.

At sixteen, she was allowed to become a Dominican tertiary which was customarily granted only to matrons or widows. She wore the habit but was permitted to live with her family.

Catherine continued to have visions, mystical experience and ecstatic flights. Soon she was known all over town, many thought her a saint but others see her as a fanatic.

During the dreadful outbreak of the plague, Catherine worked incessantly to relieve the plague-stricken people. She nursed them, prepared them for death and even buried them with her own hands. She also spent time with the prisoners and converted them.

Great Schism

It is impossible to explain here in detail the turbulent period in which Catherine lived and the work she has done during this complex political and religious turmoil. Suffice it to say that the traditional See of the Holy Father from the time of Saint Peter is Rome. However, the newly elected Pope Clement V chose to have his coronation at Lyons. He established his residence at Avignon and for seventy-four-year the popes had been residing there. The Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy were engaged in a sporadic struggle for power - Ghibelline was the name given to the imperial party in Italy and Guelph to the supporters of the Papacy. This is a period which historians called the Babylonian Captivity. Both popes excommunicated each other, launched troops against one another and Italy was bursting with internal strife. The Italians railed against the long absence of the popes from Rome as well as the meddling of France in papal administration.

Catherine labored to restore unity in the Church. Catherine was said to be an uneducated girl yet letter after letter was unleashed to popes, princes and leaders of Europe. She wrote to the Popes at Avignon, beseeching them to return to Rome. To Pope Urban (the second pope she had counseled and commanded), Catherine wrote to warn him to control his harsh and arrogant temper. She made stern calls aimed at Pope Gregory XI for church reforms and she kept on writing the Popes to labor for peace. St. Catherine also corresponded to the King of France urging him to form a crusade and end the dissensions in Christendom. She would boldly go to Avignon to see the Pope and say that he had been appointed by God to plead that the Pope return to Rome. St. Catherine of Siena was known for her ability to settle dispute and had build a reputation as a worker of miracles.

Stigmata

In 1375, Catherine accepted an invitation to visit Pisa. While making her Communion and gazing at the crucifix, five rays of blood descended and pierced her hands, feet and heart. The wounds remained as stigmata (wounds corresponding with those made in the hands and feet of the Our Lord, Jesus when he was crucified on the cross).


Finally, yielding to the pleadings of Catherine of Siena, Pope Gregory XI left Avignon in 1377 and returned to Rome thus ending the so-called Babylonian Captivity.

After having written 380 astonishing letters, Catherine died when she was only 33. Her body was found incorrupt in 1430.


Reflection:


*After reading her biography and all the things she had accomplished, I was surprised to see that she was only 33 when she died. This reminds me of the song my niece sings in her nursery class “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Indeed her accomplishment was supernatural. On her own she could not have done it.

*St. Catherine defended the cause of God. Her political and social involvement is a practical application of her intense prayer life and religious convictions.

*One is never a Christian only for oneself. God made us for others.



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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saint John Fisher


Feast Day: June 22

John Fisher was born in 1459 at Beverly, Yorkshire, England. He studied theology in Cambridge and in 1491, he occupied the vicarage of Northallerton, Yorkshire. Three years after, he became proctor of his university and soon after was appointed Master of Michaelhouse. It was also during this time that he became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby and mother of King Henry VII.

By Bull dated 14 October, 1504, Fisher became Bishop of Rochester and in the same year was elected Chancellor of Cambridge University. He also acted as tutor to Prince Henry who later became King Henry VIII.

Fisher was known to be a good preacher and had denounced various abuses in the Church.

When Henry VIII called all the Bishops of England and asked them to declare his marriage with Catherine of Aragon invalid. Fisher did not give his consent for he fear offending God more than the King, adding that just like St. John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage. Henry VIII was so enraged that he issued a document entitled “The Supremacy Act” declaring that he was henceforth be considered the supreme head of the Church in England. Those who refused to sign the act were immediately imprisoned.

In May, 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned the chancellorship and in August, the Archbishop of Canterbury, died and was succeeded by Cranmer. By January, Henry secretly married Anne Boleyn; Cranmer's consecration took place two months after. All this time, St. John Fisher preached publicly against the divorce and a week after Cranmer’s consecration, Fisher was arrested and was sent to the Tower of London.

The purpose of this arrest was to prevent Bishop Fisher from opposing the sentence of divorce which Cranmer pronounced in May, as well as the coronation of Anne Boleyn a month after. In March, 1534, a special bill of attainder against the Bishop of Rochester and others was passed forfeiting all their goods and personal estate. In the same session, the Act of Succession was passed, declaring that all who should be called upon to do so were compelled to take an oath of succession, acknowledging Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne.

Several efforts were made to induce to change his mind, but without effect.

Bishop John Fisher along with his friend Sir Thomas More gave up their lives in testimony to the indissolubility of marriage and to the unity of the Church.


The Bishop’s friend Thomas More, said to have written this about John, "I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning, and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him."


John Fisher had always been a man of principles and he met death with a calm dignified courage. He blessed his executioner before speaking briefly to the crowd and said his prayer of thanksgiving to God

Of all the English bishops, only Bishop John Fisher of Rochester publicly opposed Henry VIII's Oath of Allegiance, which unlawfully declared him the head of the Church of England. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.


Reflection:


John Fisher showed how it is to be a good leader. God had entrusted him with this task and he defended it to the point of death.

As St. Paul says, “and keep your faith and a clear conscience. Some men have not listened to their conscience and have made a ruin of their faith.” 1 Timothy 1:19


Please feel free to share your reflections and your idea on what is a saint. Thank you and God bless!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Saint Vincent de Paul


Feast Day: Sept 27
Patron of Charitable Institutions

Early Years

Born at Pouy, a village in southwestern, France, in April 24, 1581 to a peasant family. Vincent was faithful to his studies as well as to his duties, spending a good part of his early years working in the fields and tending the sheep. His father arranged for him to attend a Franciscan school and soon after went to study theology in Toulouse University.

Vincent was ordained in 1600 during which France was suffering from the effects of religious wars. Large parts of the country had converted to Protestantism, some had abandoned their faith and most seminaries closed doors.

Charity in Action


Pierre de Bérulle, a well-known priest and leader of a movement of church renewal became Vincent’s confessor and spiritual director. At the request of M. de Berulle, Vincent took charge of the poor rural parish of Clichy near Paris, but several months later, he was called back to Paris to serve as a tutor for the children of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi, an illustrious French family. He also became the chaplain and gave missions to the peasants working in the family’s vast estate. In January 1617, while giving a sermon on confession, the peasants responded so overwhelmingly that additional priests had to be called in to help hear confessions.

It was during Vincent’s period of spiritual darkness that he was convinced he was meant to serve the poor. He left the Gondi and with the approval of M. de Berulle, was made curé of Chatillon-les-Dombes. As he was preparing for Mass, a parishioner told him of a poor family in need of help. Deeply moved, he urged parishioners to organize themselves for the service of the poor. Out of this he founded the Confraternities of charity, which later gave rise to Ladies of Charity. In his missions, he also converted several people back to the faith.

Five months later, he was recalled by the Gondi and devoted himself to evangelizing and organizing more conferences for the poor. Several priests, inspired by his example, joined him and nearly everywhere a conference of charity was founded for the benefit of the poor.

In the next seven years, St. Vincent turned his attention towards the condemned convicts in the galleys, who were chained on their legs and fed only with black bread and water. Assisted by a priest, they went down into the galleys to bring food, medicine and spoke kind words to them. He was made chaplain-in-chief of the galleys and converted many of them as well as led back to God many fallen-away Catholics.

Apostle to All

In 1625, Vincent was given a substantial financial gift from the Gondi family and by this, founded a religious institute of priests known as the Congregation of the Mission.

It was also around this time that Vincent met Louise de Marillac, a wealthy widow who came to him for spiritual direction. Eight years later, they co-founded the Daughters of Charity, the first non-cloistered women’s religious order. Friends of Vincent from high places gave funds to build hospitals and homes for the poor, and the women from the Daughters of Charity worked in the hospitals, in schools and among the sick at home. He also secured for the poor the services of the Ladies of Charity, such as the Duchesse d'Aiguillon and about as many as 200 ladies of the highest rank. It was due to them that he was able to collect a sizeable amount to fund his various projects in uplifting the lives of the poor and the abandoned.


St. Vincent de Paul established a seminary for ecclesiastics studying theology and founded Saint-Lazare for young clerics, laymen as well as priests. There was also a lesser seminary called the Seminary of St. Charles.


The king granted the lands for the erection of the hospital and with the assistance of some nameless donors Vincent founded the Hospice of the Name of Jesus, which took care of forty old people of both sexes.

St. Vincent's zeal and charity was not restricted to Paris, but reached to all other provinces in dire need of help. All the things he had done had made him famous even to the nobilities. These honors, however, did not change Vincent's modesty and simplicity. He went to the Court only through necessity and he made no use of his influence except for the welfare of the poor and in the interest of the Church.

Up to the time of St. Vincent's death, he had accepted the direction of eleven seminaries, organized 550 missions to the poor in rural areas, not to mention the international missions to Tunis, Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Madagascar.

What kept Vincent going despite his busy schedule was prayer, and it was in his prayers that he developed faith and trust in God and received the strength to overcome his weakness.


During the French Revolution, some 130 years after Vincent’s death, a group of rioting mobs smashed the statues of saints to replace it with statues of secular heroes and heroines. But upon seeing the statue of Vincent de Paul who had helped so many and done so much good for the people, the revolutionaries just didn’t have the heart to destroy his image.


Reflection:


*St. Vincent de Paul’s life is focused on God and everywhere he looked (whether in the learned and the uncouth, nobility or peasants, rich and poor) he saw the face of God. To him there is no difference between the rich and poor for they are all children of the true living God. “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3); and on the other end, “Whatsoever you did to the least of these, you did to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)


*St. Vincent de Paul invites us to work with him in the mission of healing through justice and compassion, so that we too can do great things out of love. We are made for people and not for things, and by following him we might also be fully men and women, not for things or possessions, but for others.

* St. Vincent must be a man so simple, selfless, and pure-hearted for him to resist the temptation that comes along with wealth, power and fame. He mingled with the rich and the poor and touched their lives to bring out the best in them – the image of Jesus Christ in them.


What is your idea of "a saint"?

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Saint Augustine


Feast Day: August 28


After the death of his mother St. Monica, Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manichæism. He sailed for Africa and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste in 388.

Upon arriving, he sold his father’s estate as well as all his possessions and gave the proceeds to the poor. Then, with his friend, Alypius, he carried out his idea of living a life in poverty, devoting themselves to reading the Scriptures and intensive prayer. It was also during this time that Augustine wrote his first philosophical treatises. This sabbatical, however, lasted only 3 years for one day as he entered the basilica, the churchgoer upon recognizing him as the famous rhetorician, suddenly gathered around him, cheered him, and begged Bishop Valerius to raise him to the priesthood. Augustine did not think of entering the priesthood but eventually was obliged to yield to their appeal, and was ordained in 391.

The two friends were ordained priests at Hippo. Alypius became the bishop of Tagaste; serving in that capacity for thirty years. Before long, Bishop Valerius made Augustine coadjutor and then bishop of Hippo in 396. Augustine remained in that post for almost 40 years until his death.

Right in the first paragraph, on his famous Confessions, there is a sentence "You have made us for yourself, Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

Augustine saw that the human heart is created with a great abyss that only God can fill. The earthly satisfactions that we can throw to fill this abyss are but a handful of stones that is not even enough to cover the bottom.

Reflection:

*The one practical thing we can do really is to do the will of God. It can be the most difficult thing we can do but in the end you will realize that the best thing you’ve really done in your life is following God.

*In St. Augustine, we read a great deal about human weakness and how much we need every day to be converted. At the same time, you see God’s grace, His ineffable love, compassion, mercy and infinite goodness. He longs to embrace us... and if we only let Him he can take hold of our lives and change it.



Please feel free to share your reflections/insights/inputs in the comment box below. You can also include your idea on what is a saint. Thank you and God bless.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Saint Scholastica


Feast Day: February 10

Of this Saint, little is known, and almost everything there is to say about Saint Scholastica comes from the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great.

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, was born in Nursia (Nurcia), Italy, at around 480 AD. It is said that she was as devoted to Jesus as her brother and at such an early age she consecrated herself to a religious life. When Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a Convent of Nuns in nearby Plombariola, about five miles from the Benedictines. The convent is said to have been under the direction of her brother, thus she is regarded as the first Benedictine nun.

Scholastica visited her brother once a year, but as Benedict would not allow her to enter his monastery, he would go with some of his monks to meet her at a house at some distance. There conversations were occasions spent in praising God, in conferring together on spiritual matters, and encouraging one another to a life of perfection.

St. Gregory relates a charming story of the last of these visits:

Scholastica spent the day with him in the usual practice of singing Psalms, and pious discourse followed by a frugal meal.

After it was over, Scholastica, perhaps foreknowing that it would be their last opportunity to see each other alive, asked him to delay his return till the next day and spend the evening in conversation.

St. Benedict, unwilling to break his own rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery. Scholastica finding him resolved on going home, thereupon, laid her head upon the table, and prayed that God would intervene for her. Her prayer has barely ended, when the clouds broke into a storm of rain, thunder, and lightning. With such a torrential downpour, Benedict and his companions were unable to leave.

"May Almighty God forgive you, sister for what you have done," said Benedict
"I asked a favor of you," Scholastica simply replied, "and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!"

St. Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request.

The next morning they parted. Three days after their last meeting, St. Scholastica died in her solitude.

At that time, Benedict was alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino. Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Benedict saw a vision of Scholastica's soul departing her body and ascending to heaven in the form of a dove. She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after.

Reflection:

* To God nothing is too great or too trivial. He is always ready to hear the petitions and grant the desires of his people.

* When we are dependent on God, we are convinced that everything we are and have comes from Him. When we acknowledge our helplessness that’s when we turn to God with all our needs, hopes and dreams. St. Scholastica’s dependence on God is so great that only her confidence in God’s love and providence equals that.

What is your idea of a saint?

Please feel free to share your reflections or insights in the comment box below. Thank you and God bless!

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saint Benedict


Founder of Western Monasticism
Feast Day: July 11

Life Entrusted to God

Benedict was born in Nursia about the year 480. He was very young when he was sent to Rome to receive the first part of his education. While there, he was shocked at the decadence he observed from the Roman youth and in order to be freed from the snares of it, Benedict left the city. Up among the hills he found a place known as Sublacum. It was here that he met Romanus, a monk from a neighboring monastery who gave him the monastic habit, and led him to a deep narrow cave, almost inaccessible to men. In this cavern, now called the Holy Grotto, Bennet or Benedict lived as a hermit. Unknown to all but his friend Romanus, who each day saved for him a part of his own ration of bread and on a basket, let it down a rope with a bell tied around it to give him notice. Benedict was about fourteen or fifteen years old at that time. He passed the next three years in this manner, ardent to know the ways of the Lord. Until one Easter Sunday, a certain pious priest in that country heard a voice which said: "You are preparing for yourself a banquet, while my servant at Sublacum is distressed with hunger." The priest immediately set out in search of the hermit.

Founder of a New Order

Word of his holiness had spread abroad and inspired several to forsake the world. In one instance, some nearby monks, after the death of their abbot, ask for his leadership. He was unwilling to take upon him that charge and declined in the spirit of sincere humility, assuring the monks that their ways and his would not agree. They insisted, but his warning proved true and he returned to his solitude.

The next set of followers was more sincere and at last he found himself in a position to initiate the great work for which God had been preparing for him - that is to establish a single religious order in the West. This was the idea that had slowly been taking root during his years of solitude. “To bring together those who wished to share the monastic life, both men of the world who yearned to escape material concerns and the monks who had been living in solitude or in widely scattered communities, to make of them one flock, binding them by fraternal bonds, under one observance, in the permanent worship of God.”

Benedict set up twelve monasteries where monks lived in separate communities of twelve and became the founder of the order of Benedictine monks.

Progressing along God’s Pathways

Benedict extended his kindness to the people of the countryside, curing the sick and giving alms and food to the poor.
It was told, that when Campania suffered from a famine, he gave away all the provisions stored in the abbey, leaving with them only five loaves. The monks where dismayed, but he assured them, "You have not enough today, but tomorrow you will have too much." Indeed, the next morning a large donation of flour was left at the monastery gate.

About the year 528, he retired to Monte Cassino, a place destroyed by the Goths. The inhabitants there, left without a priest, was falling back into paganism and people would offer sacrifices on Apollo’s temple. After a preliminary 40 day fast, Benedict set to work by preaching to the people and winning them back to the faith. With the help of these converts, Benedict broke the statue of Apollo, overthrew the altar, and cut down the sacred grove. He built two chapels on the mountain; one dedicated to St. Martin, the other to St. John the Baptist. It was here that he founded the monastery that became the roots of the Church's monastic system. It was here too that he composed his 'Regula Monachorum’.


His sister, Saint Scholastica, settled nearby to live a religious life.

Reflection:

*St. Benedict's desert experience stripped him of his human ways and transformed them into divine ways.

The desert experience or “total abandonment” that St. Benedict did to be alone with God tore down the obstacles that stood in the way to perfect charity towards God and towards others. By entrusting himself to the Father, Benedict became open to the indwelling of the Spirit. And formed by the Holy Spirit's values, Benedict came to see reality with God's eyes and his attitude toward the world is transformed.

Our inordinate passions, bad habits, egotistical love, self-destructing desires, pleasures etc occupy our hearts and yet still leave us wanting. We need to give up all these - our little pleasures, selfishness and dependencies… and be emptied in order to be filled.

The desert tests us if our joy comes from God or from the trivial delights of the world.

We need not go to the physical desert to experience this. Our openness to God and acceptance of His will in our lives, our daily carrying of the Cross (sufferings, trials, daily irritations, tribulations, struggles, our experience of loneliness, depression…), our attempts to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, and our efforts to become a better person and to love others as we should is our “desert” experience.

The spiritual desert experience is a search for love that has always been there. As we empty ourselves we are letting that love - the overwhelming love of God - to transform us.

*****

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

* Put God first in your life and He will sure to lead you where you should go.

Please feel free to share your reflections/insights/inputs in the comment box below. Thank you and God bless.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Saint Monica

Feast day: August 27

Early Struggles

No one is born a saint and just like anyone else, Monica had her tendencies she needed to overcome before she developed into the person God wants her to be.
As a young girl, she was sent by her parents to draw wine for the use of the family, and it was said that Monica would take sneaking sips of wine from the casks. This she did at first, out of curiosity and fun but before long she was drinking great draughts of it whenever she gets a chance. God watched over Monica to correct her by making use of a servant-maid who had been spying on the little girl and criticizing her as a wine-bibber. This affected Monica so much that she gave up the habit.

Called to a Quiet Witness

When she was about 20 years old, Monica got married by arrangement to Patricius, a municipal counselor in Tagaste. Her mother-in-law, who was equally difficult, lived with them but St. Monica had an excellent talent as a peacemaker. And though her husband had a passionate temper and as a pagan was critical of Christians and their practices, Monica bore his outbursts with utmost patience. Through prayers coupled with the daily example of her gentleness and kindness, she finally saw the fruits of her labor when her husband and mother-in-law were converted to the Catholic faith in 370 AD, a year before Patricius’ death and the year Augustine turned seventeen.
St. Monica is always delighted to serve the poor, supplying their wants with cheerfulness and generosity. She assisted daily at the holy oblation of the altar, and never failed to go to church twice a day. She had three children; Navigius, an exemplary son; Augustine, and Perpetua, a daughter, who entered religious life.

Storming Heaven’s Gates

Augustine, who at seventeen was studying at Carthage, was seduced by the Manicheans and drawn into heresy. Monica disapproved of Augustine’s loose living and grieved bitterly for his support of the heresy of Manichaeism that she refused at first to let him live under the same roof with her.

She relented only after having seen a vision:

[One day as she was weeping over his behavior, a figure appeared and asked her the cause of her grief. She answered, and a voice issued from the mysterious figure, telling her to dry her tears; then she heard the words, "Your son is with you." Monica related this story to Augustine, and he replied that they might easily be together if she gave up her faith, for that was the main obstacle keeping them apart. Quickly she retorted, "He did not say I was with you: he said that you were with me." Augustine was impressed by the quick answer and never forgot it.] From www.ewtn.com

Awaiting God’s Timing

Although his conversion was not to take place for nine long years, Monica was so much comforted by it, that she again permitted him to eat and live with her. During all this time, Monica continued with her prayers, fasted and wept on his behalf.

Augustine was twenty-nine years old when he decided to go to Rome with the intention to teach rhetoric. Monica opposed the move, fearing that his conversion would be indefinitely postponed. Sensing that his mother would follow him, Augustine outwitted her by a ruse as to the time of sailing. Along with his wife and son, they embarked while she was spending the night in a church, praying. This, however, did not discourage Monica and continued on to Rome.

In Rome, Augustine had come under the influence of the great Bishop Ambrose and when his mother finally found him in Milan, he had given up Manichaeism.

Augustine ran a house of study and Monica helped him take care of his students.

In the Easter of 387, Augustine was baptized by Bishop Ambrose along with his son Adeodatus, who shortly thereafter passed away. Monica died of malaria later that same year, on the way back to Africa in the Italian town of Ostia. After praying for her son, Augustine, for 17 years, Monica knew her work on earth had been accomplished.

Reflection:

Through the examples of Monica, I can’t help but think how our heavenly mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, patiently and lovingly prays for our conversion.

How she longs for all her children to be united with Christ and how God relentlessly pursues us and waits eagerly for our return.

What is your idea of a saint?

Please feel free to share your reflections/insights/inputs in the comment box. Thank you and God bless!
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Saint Ignatius of Antioch


Feast Day: October 17 formerly February 1

Early Career

St. Ignatius of Antioch also known as Theophorus ("God-Bearer”), had been fully instructed in the doctrines of Christianity by the disciple St. John the Apostle. Ignatius was chosen to be Bishop of Antioch and for more than 40 years, he continued in his charge at Antioch, proving himself in every way an exemplary pastor.


Vigilant and Faithful Servant


In 107 AD, Emperor Trajan, puffed up with his late victory over the Scythians and Dacians and feeling he owed his victories to the pagan gods, authorized the death penalty for those Christians who refused to acknowledge these divinities publicly.

Bishop Ignatius was ordered taken to Rome to be devoured by wild beasts in the Colosseum. On the way, a journey which took months and brought him through Asia Minor and Greece, he wrote letters of inspiration and instruction to Christians - exhorting them to keep in harmony with their bishops and other clergy as well as to continue their zeal against heresy. The bishop was dedicated to defending the true teaching handed down by the Apostles in order for the early Christian communities not to be led astray by false teachings. Ignatius encourages them to assemble often in prayer, to be meek and humble and to suffer injuries without protest. Bishop Ignatius was also the first who used the term “catholic” to describe the whole Church.

For a great part of the journey, Ignatius had 2 companions - a deacon, Philo, and a friend, Agathopus - supposedly the authors of an account of his martyrdom.

Total Self-Giving to God

Wherever the ship put in, the faithful gathered to receive benediction and rejoiced in his presence. During this time, Christianity had a number of influential converts that could have intervened or mitigated the punishment but Ignatius prevented the Christians from taking steps to obtain his release.

Below is a letter to the Romans by St Ignatius of Antioch

“I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals. I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sake is my one desire”.

Upon arriving in Rome, Ignatius was hurried off to the Colosseum and died a martyr’s death.

Reflection:

*At the time when he was supposed to be thinking of himself and of his impending death, he was selfless - totally given to God and to men. Just like Jesus, Ignatius is a good shepherd, tending his flock and becoming even more productive in his last days, sending out letters of encouragement and instructions to the early Christian communities.

* His martyrdom was the culmination of a life that is lived conformed to Jesus Christ.


Please feel free to share your reflections or insights on the comment box below. You can also share your idea on what is a saint. Thank you and God bless!

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saint Polycarp


Feastday: February 23


Early Career


St. Polycarp was born at Smyrna, (what is now the city of Izmir, west coast of Turkey) towards the latter end of Nero's reign, 69AD. At an early age, he was taught by the apostle John, and was made deacon then catechist. Later, he was consecrated Bishop of Smyrna by St. John and other apostolic persons.

Courage under Persecution

Not long after the death of St. John, in 107 AD the persecutions against Christians were renewed, under the reign of Trajan. Among those sentenced to death was Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch. As he was transported to Rome to be executed, he was permitted to visit Smyrna. Polycarp exhorted Ignatius to hold fast. Ignatius reciprocated his wishes, exhortations as well as prayers and commended the Church along with the people of Antioch to his watch.

About this time, there came a controversy between the Eastern and Western Churches about the observation of Easter. To patch up the resulting divisions, St. Polycarp visited Rome in the year 154. During his stay, he spent much of his time convincing gainsayers and testifying the truth of the Christian doctrines handed by the Apostles. The piety and zeal of the early Christians was frequently disturbed with heretical doctrines and schism which corrupted the Christian faith. The pagans called the Christians “atheists” but Polycarp made clear to them that the real atheists are those who don’t believe in the one true God.

A Share in the Passion

As the persecution of Christians has been going on, search parties have been looking for the Bishop. Although he was warned of this danger and could have escaped, he decided to stay, saying the will of the Lord be done. Hearing his persecutor’s downstairs, he went down to greet them with a cheerful and gentle countenance. Everyone was astonished at his courage and peaceful disposition and wondered why anyone should wish to apprehend this poor old man. Perfectly calm, he ordered a table to be set for them to eat and drink, requesting that he be given one hour for solemn prayer. He was so filled with the grace of God that he prayed nearly two hours, commending to God everyone who had crossed his path – rich & poor, small or great – and the state of the whole Catholic Church throughout the world. Everyone who heard him was greatly amazed and grieved that so divine and venerable an old man should be put to death.

He was taken to Herod and his father Nicetus (Niketas), both civil officers. They tried to persuade him to renounce his faith in Christ to no avail then began to make threats and threw him from the carriage with such violence, as to scrape his shin. But undaunted, he hastened on to the place of trial. Before the proconsul and surrounded with guards, Polycarp proclaimed, “Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never did me any wrong,” said Polycarp. “How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”

All these time, Polycarp radiated with joy and courage that the proconsul had to send his herald into the middle of the arena to announce, “Polycarp has declared that he is a Christian.” At the herald’s announcement, the angry crowd roared, insisting that he be burned.

The fire took the shape of a vaulted room, circling around Polycarp as if to protect him while the scent of incense filled the air. Seeing that his body was not consumed by the fire, Polycarp was stabbed by a dagger. A huge amount of blood oozes out to extinguish the fire and his spirit in a form of a dove came out.

St. Polycarp's prayer

"Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."


Reflection:


*Whenever God gives us something to do, He is there with us always to see us through. Since God’s wisdom is beyond us, there are a lot of things we do not understand. We just need to trust that what He is doing is what is best for us regardless of the circumstances in our lives.


*St Polycarp followed the Lord Jesus into his Passion, knowing that he would rise with him in his Resurrection.

What is your idea of a saint?

Please feel free to share your reflections or insights on the comment box below.  Thank you and God Bless!

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Patron Saints (U to Z)

St. Ursula    
Feast Day:  October 21
Patron of Catholic Education; Orphans, archers, students
           
St. Valentine of Rome    
Feast Day:  February 14
Patron of Love
           
St. Veronica    
Feast Day:  July 12
Patron of Photographers
         

St. Victor of Marseilles    
Feast Day:  July 21
Patron of Lightning and Millers;        
  Patron of Torture Victims   

St. Victor the Moor or Victor of Milan
Feast Day: May 8
Patron of Varese, Italy

St. Vincent de Paul    
Feast Day:  September 27
Patron of Charities and Caregivers: Patron of Charitable Societies
             
St. Vincent Ferrer    
Feast Day:  April 5
Patron of Construction Workers

St. Vincent of Saragossa
Feast Day: January 22
Patron of Vintners       

St. Vitus    
Feast Day:  June 15
Patron of Actors and Comedians
            
St. Walburga
Feast Day: February 25   
Patron of Coughs, Dog bites; Sailors and Storms
           
St. Walter of Pontnoise (Saint Walter Gautier}   
Feast Day:  April 8
Patron of Prisoners of war (POW's); prisoners
             
St. Wenceslaus    
Feast Day:  September 28
Patron of Brewers
             
St. William of Rochester    
Feast Day:  May 23
Patron of Adopted Children

St. Winifred
Feast Day: November 3
 Patron of Virgins

             
St. Wolfgang    
Feast Day:  October 31
Patron of Paralysis and Strokes

Saint Yves (Saint Ivo of Kermartin)
Feast Day: May 19
Patron of Lawyers and Abandoned Children   
           
St. Zita    
Feast Day:  April 27
Patron of Servers, Homemakers and Single Laywomen

Patron Saints (P to T)

St. Patrick
Feast Day:  March 17
Patron of Ireland, Snakes & Engineers
      
St. Paul the Apostle
Feast Day: January 25
Patron of Publishers and Reporters; Missions
      
St. Paula
Feast Day:  January 26
Patron of Widows    
  
St. Peregrine Laziosi
Feast Day:  May 1
Patron of Cancer and Running Sores
      
St. Perpetua
Feast Day:  March 7
Patron of Martyrs and Cattle
      
St. Peter the Apostle
Feast Day:  June 29
Patron of Butchers and Fishermen
      
    
St. Petronille Pétronille, Aurelia Petronilla; Pernelle; Peroline;  Pérette; Perrenotte; Perrette; Perrine; Peyronne;  Perronelle; Petronella;Peyronnelle; Pierrette;Périne
Feast Day: May 31
Patron of Fevers; Travelers and Mountaineers
      
St. Philip the Apostle
Feast Day: May 3
Patron of Hatters and Pastry Chefs

St. Philip Neri
Feast Day:  May 26
Patron of the United States Army and Rome
      
St. Philomena
Feast Day: August 11
Patron of Children, sterility, loss causes
      
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Feast Day:  July 4
Patron of World Youth Day
      
St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Feast Day: September 23
Patron of adolescents, civil defense volunteers

St. Polycarp of Smyrna
Feast Day:  February 23
Patron of Dysentery and Against Earache
      

St. Rafka
Feast Day:  March 23
Patron of Bodily Ills and Loss of Parent
      
St. Raphael the Archangel
Feast Day:  September 29
Patron of the Blind, Love and Safe Journey
      
St. Raymond Nonnatus
Feast Day:  August 31
Patron of Infants and Childbirth
      
St. Rebecca
Feast Day:  September 4
Patron of Sickness
      
St. Regina
Feast Day:  September 7
Patron Against Poverty
    
St. Regis
Feast Day:  June 16
Patron of Social Workers and Lace Makers
        
    
St. Rene Goupil
Feast Day:  October 19
Patron of Anesthesiologists
      
St. Richard
Feast Day: April 3
Patron of Large Families
      
St. Rita of Cascia
Feast Day:  May 22
Patron of Loneliness and Impossible Dreams
      
St. Robert Bellarmine
Feast Day:  September 17
Patron of Catechists
  
St. Rocco(Roch)
Feast Day: August 16
Patron against Epidemics; Bachelors, surgeons
      
      
St. Rosalia
Feast Day:  September 4
Patron of Palermo, Sicily
      
St. Rose of Lima
Feast Day:  August 23
Patron of Vanity and South America

St. Sarah
Feast Day:  August 19
Patron of Infertility

St. Scholastica
Feast Day:  February 10
Patron of Nuns and Storms
    
St. Sebastian
Feast Day:  January 20
Patron of Athletes and Soldiers

  
St. Simon the Apostle
Feast Day: October 28
Patron of Couriers and tanners
    
  
St. Stanislaus
Feast Day:  November 13
Patron of Broken Bones

St. Stephen the Martyr
Feast Day:  December 26
Patron of Deacons and Stonemasons
  
St. Susanna
Feast Day: August 11
Patron of those named Susanna

St. Tarcisius
Feast Day:  August 15
Patron of Altar Servers

St. Teresa of Avila
Feast Day: October 15
Patron of Foreign Missions: loss of parents, people in religious order
    
St. Therese of Lisieux
Feast Day:  October 1
Patron of Aviators and Florists
    
St. Thomas the Apostle
Feast Day:  July 3
Patron of Architects and Blind People
    
St. Thomas Aquinas
Feast Day:  January 28
Patron of Catholic Schools and Students
    
St. Thomas A Becket
Feast Day: December 29
Patron of Clergy
    
St. Thomas More
Feast Day:  June 22
Patron of Lawyers and Statesmen
    
St. Thomas of Villanova
Feast Day:  September 18
Patron of the Poor and Orphans
    
St. Timothy
Feast Day:  January 26
Patron of Stomach Disorders
    
St. Teresa of Avila
Feast Day:  October 15
Patron of Headaches and Loss of Parents

Patron Saints (K to O)

St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Feast Day: July 14
Patron of the Environment; People in Exile

St. Katharine Drexel
Feast Day: March 3
Patron against Racism

St. Kenneth/ Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe/Saint Canice in Ireland/Saint Kenneth in Scotland/Saint Kenny/Saint Canicus
Feast Day: October 11
Patron of the Shipwrecked

St. Kevin / Saint Kevin of Glendalough/ Saint Cóemgen
Feast Day: June 3
Patron of Blackbirds and Ireland

St. Kilian
Feast Day: July 8
Patron of Whitewashers and Rheumatism

St. Lawrence
Feast Day: August 10
Patron of Chefs and Comedians

St. Lazarus
Feast Day: June 21
Patron of Leprosy

St. Leo the Great
Feast Day: November 10
Patron of Speakers

St. Lidwina of Schiedam/Saint Lydwine
Feast Day: April 14
Patron of Sickness

St. Lillian
Feast Day: July 27
Patron of those named Lillian

St. Louis /King Louis IX of France
Feast Day: August 25
Patron of Builders and Parenthood

St. Louise de Marillac
Feast Day: March 15
Patron of Orphans and Social Workers

St. Lucia of Syracuse / Saint Lucy
Feast Day: December 13
Patron of Eye Diseases and Writers

St. Luigi Orione
Feast Day: March 12
Patron of the Poor, Homeless and Abandoned

St. Luke the Apostle
Feast Day: October 18
Patron of Physicians and Painters

St. Madeline Sophie Barat
Feast Day: May 25
Patron of the Society of the Sacred Heart

St. Madonna del Ghisallo
Feast Day: October 13
Patron of Cyclists

St. Malachy O'More
Feast Day: November 3
Patron of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland

St. Marcellin Champagnat
Feast Day: June 6
Patron of Education

St. Margaret of Cortona
Feast Day: February 22
Patron of Midwives and the Homeless

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Feast Day: October 17
Patron of Polio and Loss of Parents; Patron of those devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St. Maria Faustina
Feast Day: October 5
Patron of the Apostle of Divine Mercy

St. Maria Goretti
Feast Day: July 6
Patron of Teenage Girls and Loss of Parents

St. Mark the Evangelist
Feast Day: April 25
Patron of Notaries and Lawyers

St. Martha
Feast Day: July 29
Patron of Maids and Innkeepers

St. Martin de Porres
Feast Day: November 3
Patron of Bi-racial People and Television

St. Martin of Tours
Feast Day: November 11
Patron of Reformed Alcoholics

St. Mary Magdalene
Feast Day: July 22
Patron of Converts; Apothecaries;Pharmacists

St. Matilda
Feast Day: March 14
Patron of the Falsely Accused

St. Matthew the Apostle
Feast Day: September 21 (West); November 16 (East)
Patron of Accountants and Bankers

St. Matthias the Apostle
Feast Day: May 14
Patron againsts Alcoholism; Tailors and Carpenters

St. Maurus
Feast Day: October 5
Patron of Cripples, Cobblers ; invoked against Rheumatism, Epilepsy and Colds

St. Maximilian Kolbe
Feast Day: August 14
Patron of Charity and Drug Abuse; Pro-life movement

St. Meinrad of Einsiedeln
Feast Day: January 21
Patron of Switzerland and Hospitality

St. Michael the Archangel
Feast Day: September 29
Patron of Police Officers and Emergency Medical Technicians

St. Monica
Feast Day: August 27
Patron of Abuse Victims, Difficult Marriages, Disappointing Children; Victims of Verbal Abuse

St. Nicholas
Feast Day: December 6
Patron of Children, Bakers, and Brides

St. Nimatullah/ Saint Nimattullah Kassab Al-Hardini
Feast Day: December 14
Patron of Beirut, Lebanon

St. Odilia /Saint Odile or Ottilia
Feast Day: July 18
Patron of Eye Disease and Eye Problems

Patron Saints (F to J)

St . Felicity
Feast Day: November 23
Patron of Sterility; Death of Children and Widows

St. Fiacre
Feast Day: September 1
Patron of Gardeners, Taxi Cab Drivers and Florist

St. Fina
Feast Day: March 12 or (1st Sunday of August)
Patron of Handicapped People

St. Finnian of Clonard
Feast Day: December 12
Patron of Teaching and Sharing

St. Florian
Feast Day: May 4
Patron of Firefighters

St. Frances Cabrini / Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Feast Day: December 22
Patron of Hospital Administrators and Immigrants

St. Frances of Rome / Saint Francesca Romana
Feast Day: March 9
Patron of Motorists, Benedictine Oblates

St. Francis of Assisi
Feast Day: October 4
Patron of Animals and Catholic Action

St. Francis de Sales
Feast Day: January 24
Patron of Authors, Teachers and Deafness

St. Francis Xavier
Feast Day: December 3
Patron of Foreign Missions

St. Gabriel Possenti /Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast Day: February 27
Patron of College Students, Youth, Clerics, Seminarians

St. Gemma Galgani
Feast Day: April 11
Patron of Pharmacists, Tuberculosis patients

St. Genesius of Rome
Feast Day: August 25
Patron of Actors, Comedians, Dancers and Musicians

St. Genevieve
Feast Day: January 3
Patron of Disasters and Women Army Corps
Patroness of Paris

St. George of Lydda
Feast Day: April 23
Patron of Boy Scouts and Soldiers

St. Gerard Majella
Feast Day: October 16
Patron of Expectant Mothers; Unborn Children, Falsely Accused People

St. Germaine Cousin/ Saint Germana Cousin
Feast Day: June 15
Patron of the Disabled and Abuse Victims

St. Gertrude of Nivelles
Feast Day: March 17
Patron of Travellers and Cats; Mental Illness

St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Feast Day: April 28
Patron of mothers, physicians, preborn children

St. Giles
Feast Day: September 1
Patron of Cancer Patients, Handicapped, Beggars, Blacksmiths and Outcasts

St. Gregory the Great
Feast Day: September 3
Patron of Musicians and Singers

St. Hannibal di'Francia/ Annibale Maria di Francia
Feast Day: June 1
Patron of Orphanages and Seminarians

St. Helen /Saint Helena
Feast Day: August 18
Patron of Difficult Marriages and Divorce

St. Henry II
Feast Day: July 13
Patron of the Handicapped and the Childless

St. Hubert of Liege
Feast Day: November 3
Patron of Archers, Hunters, and Dogs

St. Honorius of Amiens/ Saint Honoratus of Amiens
Feast Day: May 16
Patron of Bakers, Pastry Chefs, Flour merchants and Florists


St. Ignatius of Loyola
Feast Day: July 31
Patron of Soldiers

St. Isaac Jogues
Feast Day: October 19
Patron of the Americas

St. Isabella of Portugal
Feast Day: July 4
Patron of Peace and Charities

St. Isidore of Seville
Feast Day: April 4
Patron of Computers and the Internet(not official but widely considered); Students


St. Isidore the Farmer
Feast Day: May 15
Patron of Agricultural Workers
Patron of National Rural Conference in the United States

St. John Chrysostom
Feast Day: September 13
Patron of Epilepsy, Orators, and Preachers

St. James the Greater (Apostle) brother of Saint John the Evangelist
Feast Day: July 25
Patron of Veterinarians and Against Arthritis

St. James the Lesser (Apostle) brother of Saint Jude Thaddeus
Feast Day: May 3
Patron of Pharmacists

St. Januarius
Feast Day: September 19
Patron of Blood Banks and Volcanic Eruptions

St. Jason
Feast Day: July 12
Patron of those named Jason

St. Jerome
Feast Day: September 30
Patron of Archeologists, Archivists, Bible Scholars, Librarians, Students and Translators

St. Joachim

Patron of Fathers & Grandfathers
Patron of Puerto Rico

St. Joan of Arc
Feast Day: May 30
Patron of Soldiers , People ridiculed for their piety, Prisoners
Patron of France

St. John Neumann
Feast Day: January 5
Patron of Catholic Education

St. John the Apostle
Feast Day: December 27
Patron of Engravers, Editors, and Printers

St. John the Baptist
Feast Day: June 24
Patron of Auto Routes and Road Workers

St. John Baptist de La Salle
Feast Day: April 7
Patron of Educators and Teachers
“Father of Modern Education”

St. John Berchmans
Feast Day: November 26
Patron of Altar Servers

St. John Bosco
Feast Day: January 31
Patron of Students and Apprentices

St. John of Capistrano/ Giovanni da Capistrano
Feast Day: March 28
Patron of Judges and Military Chaplains

St. John of the Cross
Feast Day: December 14
Patron of Contemplatives, Mystical Theology

St. John of God
Feast Day: March 8
Patron of Alcoholics and the Sick

St. John Vianney/ Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney
Feast Day: August 4
Patron of Confessors and Priests

St. Josemaria Escriva
Feast Day: June 26
Patron of Diabetes

St. Joseph the Worker
Feast Day: March 19
Patron of Carpenters and Fathers

St. Joseph of Arimathea
Feast Day: May 17 (West); July 31 (East)
Patron of Funeral Directors

St. Joseph of Cupertino
Feast Day: September 18
Patron of Astronauts, Pilots, and the Airforce

St. Josephine Bakhita
Feast Day: February 8
Patron of Sudan

St. Joshua
Feast Day: September 1
Patron of those named Joshua

St. Juan de la Cruz/ Saint John of the Cross
Feast Day: December 14
Patron of Contemplatives
Doctor of the Church

St. Juan Diego
Feast Day: December 19
Patron of the Americas and Natives

St. Juliana of Cumae/ Juliana of Nicomedia
Feast Day: February 16
Patron of Sickness and Sickness

St. Jude Thaddeus
Feast Day: October 28
Patron of Desperate Situations and Hopeless Causes

St. Julia Billiart
Feast Day: April 18
Patron Against Poverty

St. Justin
Feast Day: June 1
Patron of Philosophers and Lectures

Patron Saints (A to E)

St. Adrian of Nicomedia
Feast Day: September 8
Patron of Epidemics, Prison Guards and Soldiers

St. Aedan of Ferns
Feast Day: January 31
Patron of Ferns and Ireland

St. Agatha
Feast Day: February 5
Patron of Nurses and Breast Cancer

St. Agnes of Rome
Feast Day: January 21
Patron of Betrothed Couples and the Girl Scouts

St. Albert the Great
Feast Day: November 14
Patron of Scientists and Medical Technicians

St. Alexander
Feast Day: October 11
Patron of Corsica

St. Alice
Feast Day: June 15
Patron of the Blind and Paralyzed

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Feast Day: June 21
Patron of AIDS and Teenagers

St. Alphonsus
Feast Day: August 1
Patron of Confessors and Theologians

St. Ambrose
Feast Day: December 7
Patron of Beekeepers and Candlemakers

St. Amelia
Feast Day: July 10
Patron of Arm Pain and Bruises

St. Anastasia
Feast Day: December 25
Patron of Martyrs and Widows

St. Andrew Kim Taegon
Feast Day: September 20
Patron of Korean Clergy

St. Andrew the Apostle
Feast Day: November 30
Patron of Fisherman and Scotland

St. Angela Merici
Feast Day: January 27; changed to May 31 then to June 1 (General Roman Calendar, 1955-1969)
Patron of the sick, handicapped people, loss of parents

St. Ann/St. Anne
Feast Day: June 26
Patron of Housekeepers and Mothers

St. Anthony of Padua
Feast Day: June 13
Patron of Lost Articles and the Poor

St. Anthony of Egypt (Saint Anthony, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, and Father of All Monks)
January 17
Patron of Brazil, Burgio, Sicily; epileptics; gravediggers; hermits; skin diseases

St. Apollonia
Feast Day: February 9
Patron of Dental Diseases

St. Augustine of Hippo
Feast Day: August 28
Patron of Brewers and Theologians

St. Austin
Feast Day: May 27 (May 26 in England & Wales)
Patron of England

St. Barbara
Feast Day: December 4
Patron of Architects and Sudden Death

St. Barnabas
Feast Day: June 11
Patron against Hailstorms, of Cyprus, Antioch, invoked as peacemaker

St. Bartholomew the Apostle
Feast Day: August 24
Patron of Cobblers and Nervous Diseases
St. Basil the Great
Feast Day: January 2
Patron of Hospital Administrators

St. Bede the Venerable
27 May
Patron of Lectors, Historians

St. Benedict
Feast Day: July 11
Patron of Monks and Poison Sufferers

St. Benjamin
Feast Day: March 31
Patron of those named Benjamin

St. Bernadette
Feast Day: April 16
Patron of Illness and Poverty

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Feast Day: August 20
Patron of Beekeepers and Candle makers

St. Bernard of Montjoux
Feast Day: May 28
Patron of Skiers and Mountain Climbers

St. Blaise
Feast Day: February 3
Patron of Throat Ailments

St. Bonaventure
Feast Day: July 15
Patron of Bowel Disorders

St. Boniface
Feast Day: June 5
Patron of Tailors and Brewers

St. Brendan the Navigator
Feast Day: May 16
Patron of Sailors and Mariners

St. Bridget of Sweden
Feast Day: July 23
Patron of Widows and Sweden

St. Brigid of Ireland
Feast Day: February 1
Patron of Infants and Ireland

St. Bruno
Feast Day: October 6
Patron Against Demonic Possession

St. Camillus of Lellis
Feast Day: July 18
Patron of Hospitals and Against Gambling

St. Casimir of Poland
Feast Day: March 4
Patron of Bachelors and Poland

St. Catherine of Siena
Feast Day: April 29
Patron of Fire Prevention, people ridiculed for their piety, nurses, sexual temptation, miscarriages

St. Catherine of Alexandria
Feast Day: November 25
Patron of Theologians, Librarians, and Lawyers

St. Catherine of Bologna
Feast Day: March 9
Patron of Artists and Liberal Arts

St. Cecilia
Feast Day: November 22
Patron of Musicians and Singers

St. Charles Borromeo
Feast Day: November 4
Patron of Catechists and Seminarians

St. Christopher
Feast Day: July 25
Patron of Travelers and Motorists

St. Clare of Assisi
Feast Day: August 11
Patron of eye disease, goldsmiths, gilders, good weather, needle workers, embroiderers, Santa Clara Pueblo, telephones, television Patron of Eyes and Television

St. Clement
Feast Day: November 23
Patron of Sailors and Sick Children



St. Colette
Feast Day: March 6
Patron of Loss of Parents

St. Columbanus
Feast Day: November 23
Patron of Motorcyclists and Against Floods

St. Cornelius
Feast Day: September 16
Patron of Earache, Animals, and Epilepsy

Sts. Cosmas and Damian
Feast Day: September 10
Patron of Surgeons and Barbers

St. Daniel
Feast Day: January 3
Patron of Prisoners

St. David of Wales
Patron of Doves and Wales

St. Dennis
Feast Day: October 9
Patron against Frenzy and Headaches; possessed people; hydrophobia; rabies

St. Dominic de Guzman
Feast Day: August 8
Patron of Astronomers and the Falsely Accused

St. Dominic Savio
Feast Day: March 9
Patron of Juvenile Delinquents

St. Dorothy
Feast Day: February 6
Patron of Florists and Brides

St. Dunstan
Feast Day: May 19
Patron of blacksmiths; goldsmiths; locksmiths; silversmiths; musicians


St. Dymphna
Feast Day: May 15
Patron of mental Illness, sleepwalking, epilepsy, possessed people and runaways

St. Edith Stein/Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Feast Day: August 9
Patron of Martyrs and Loss of Parents

St. Edmund Campion
Feast Day: December 1
Patron of Wales

St. Edward the Confessor
Feast Day: October 13
Patron of Difficult Marriages

St. Edwin
Feast Day: October 12
Patron of Homeless People

St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Feast Day: November 17
Patron of Bakers and the Homeless

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Feast Day: January 4
Patron of Loss of Parents or Children

St. Elizabeth of the Visitation
Feast Day: November 5
Patron of Pregnant Women

St. Elmo/St. Erasmus
Feast Day: June 2
Patron of Sailors, childbirth and stomach diseases

St. Eugene de Mazenod
Feast Day: May 21
Patron of Dysfunctional Families

List of Saints

A
Saint Aaron
Saint Abba Dorotheus
Saint Adrian
Saint Aedan of Ferns
Saint Aelred
Saint Afra
Saint Agapetus
Saint Agatha
Saint Agnes
saint Agostina Peitrantoni
Saint Alban
Saint Albert the Great
Saint Albinus
Saint Alexander
Saint Alexandra
Saint Alexis
Saint Alexius
Saint Alice
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Saint Ambrose
Saint Amelia
Saint Anastasia
Saint Andrew the Apostle
Saint Andrew Avellino
Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
Saint Angela Merici
Saint Angela of Foligno
Saint Anicetus
Saint Anne
Saint Anselm
Saint Antoninus
Saint Anthony Mary Claret
Saint Anthony of Egypt
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony Zaccaria
Saint Anthony the Great
Saint Apollinaris
Saint Apollonia
Saint Apollonius
Saint Athanasius
Saint Augustine of Canterbury
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Saint Avitus
B
Saint Bademus
Saint Bakhita
Saint Barbara
Saint Barbatus
Saint Barnabas
Saint Barsanuphius
Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Saint Basil the Great
Saint Bathildes
Saint Bede the Venerable
Saint Benedict
Saint Benedict of Anian
Saint Benedict Joseph Labré
Saint Benezet
Saint Benjamin
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Saint Bernard of Montjoux
Saint Bernadette
Saint Bernardine of Siena/ Saint Bernadino of Siena
Saint Bertha
Saint Bertille
Saint Bibiana
Saint Blaise
Saint Bonaventure
Saint Boniface
Saint Brendan the Navigator
Saint Bridget of Sweden/Saint Birgitta of Sweden
Saint Bridgid
Saint Bruno
C
Saint Cajetan
Saint Callistus
Saint Camillus Of Lellis
Saint Canutus
Saint Casimir
Saint Catherine Labouré
Saint Catharine of Sweden
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Bologna
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Saint Catherine of Ricci
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Cecilia
Saint Celestine
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Charles of Sezze
Saint Christian Demosthenes
Saint Christina
Saint Christopher
Saint Chromatius of Aquileia
Saint Clare of Assisi
Saint Claude of Montefalco
Saint Clement of Rome/ Pope Clement
Saint Clotilda
Saint Cloud
Saint Colette
Saint Columbanus
Saint Cornelius
Saints Cosmas and Damian
Saint Crescentia Hoess
Saint Cunegundes
Saint Cyprian
Saint Cyriacus
Saint Cyril
Saint Cyril of Alexandria
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
D
Saint Damasus
Saint David
Saint Delphinus
Saint Denis
Saint Didacus
Saint Dionysius
Saint Dominic
Saint Dominic Savio
Saint Dorothy
Saint Dunstan
Saint Dymphna
E
Saint Edburga of Winchester
Saint Edith Stein /Saint Theresa Benedicta
Saint Edmund of Canterbury
Saint Edward the Confessor
Saint Edwin
Saint Eleutherius
Saint Eligius
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Saint Elizabeth of the Visitation
Saint Elphege
Saint Encratis
Saint Ephraem
Saint Epiphanius
Saint Etheldreda
Saint Eucherius
Saint Eugenius
Saint Eulalia
Saint Elmo
Saint Emily de Vialar
Saint Eugene I/Pope Eugene I
Saint Eugene de Mazeno
Saint Eulogius
Saint Euphemia
Saint Euphrasia
Saint Eusebius
Saint Eusebius
Saint Eustace
Saint Evaristus
F
Saint Felicitas
Saint Felix of Cantalice
Saint Felix of Valois

Saint Fiaker/ Fiacre
Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Saint Fina
Saint Finbarr
Saint Finnian of Clonard
Saint Firmin
Saint Flavian
Saint Florian
Saint Frances Cabrini
Saint Frances of Rome
Saint Francis Borgia
Saint Francis Caracciolo
Saint Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis de Paula
Saint Francis de Sales
Saint Francis Xavier
Saint Frumentius
Saint Fulgentius
G
Saint Gabriel Possenti
Saint Gal
Saint Gall
Saint Gatian
Saint Gemma Galgani
Saint Genesius of Rome
Saint Genevieve
Saint George
Saint Gerard Majella
Saint Germaine de Pibrac
Saint Germanus
Saint Gertrude the Great
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Giles
Saint Grace
Saint Goar
Saint Gontran
Saint Gorgonia
Saint Gregory
Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Saint Gregory of Sinai
Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus
Saint Gregory the Great
Saint Gregory VII
Saint Guy of Anderlecht
H
Saint Hannibal di'Francia
Saint Hedwig of Silesia
Saint Hegesippus
Saint Helena
Saint Heliodorus
Saint Henry II
Saint Herman of Reichenau
Saint Hermenegild
Saint Hilarion
Saint Hilary of Poitiers
Saint Hildegarde von Bingen
Saint Hippolytus
Saint Honoratus
Saint Honorius of Amiens
Saint Hospitius
Saint Hubert of Liege
Saint Hugh
Saint Hugh of Cluny
Saint Hyacinth
I
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Irenaeus
Saint Isaac Jogues
Saint Isaak of Syria
Saint Isabella of Portugal
Saint Ischyrion
Saint Isidore of Seville
J
Saint James the Greater
Saint James the Lesser
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal/Jeanne de Chantal
Saint Jane of Valois
Saint Januarius
Saint Jason
Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome Emiliani
Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Joaquina
Saint John the Apostle
Saint John Berchmans
Saint John Bosco
Saint John Cantius
Saint John Chrysostom
Saint John Climacus
Saint John Francis Regis
Saint John Fisher
Saint John Gualbert
Saint John Licci
Saint John Macias
Saint John Nepomucen
Saint John Neumann
Saint John Ogilvie
Saint John of Capistrano
Saint John of Egypt
Saint John of God
Saint John of Matha
Saint John of Saint Fagondez
Saint John of the Cross
Saint John the Almoner
Saint John the Baptist
Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Saint John the Silent
Saint John Vianney
Saint Jose Marie Escriva
Saint Joseph the Worker
Saint Joseph Cafasso
Saint Joseph Calasanctius
Saint Joseph Calasanza
Saint Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe
Saint Joseph of Cupertino
Saint Joseph Freinademetz
Saint Josephine Bakhita
Saint Joshua
Saint Juan Diego
Saint Jude Thaddeus
Saint Julia Billiart
Saint Julian Hospitaller
Saint Juliana of Cumae
Saint Juliana Falconieri
Saint Julius
Saint Justin de Jacobis
Saint Justina
K
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
Saint Katharine Drexel
St. Kenneth
St. Kevin
St. Kiernan
St. Kilian
L
Saint Ladislas
Saint Lambert
Saint Laurence
Saint Laurence Justinian
Saint Laurence O'Toole of Dublin
Saint Lazarus
Saint Leander
Saint Leo the Great
Saint Leocadia
Saint Leonard
Saint Leonides
Saint Liberatus
Saint Longinus
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz
Saint Louis
Saint Louis IX
Saint Louis Bertrand
Saint Louise de Marillac
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
Saint Lucian
Saint Lucia of Syracuse/Saint Lucy
Saint Ludger
Saint Lugartha Lee Yu-Hye
Saint Luigi Orione
Saint Luke the Apostle
M
Saint Macarius of Alexandria
Saint Madeleine Sophi Barat
Saint Madonna del Ghisallo
Saint Magloire
Saint Malachi O'More
Saint Mammertus
Saint Marcella
Saint Marcellin Champagnat
Saint Marcellinus
Saint Marcellus
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Saint Margaret of Antioch
Saint Margaet of Cortona
Saint Margaret of Scotland
Saint Margaret of Youville
Saint Maria Faustina
Saint Maria Goretti
Saint Marie Magdalen Postel
Saint Mark the Evangelist
Saint Martha
Saint Martin de Porres
Saint Martin of Tours
Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
Saint Mary Magdalen
Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi
Saint Mary Mazzarello
Saint Mary of Edessa
Saint Mary of Egypt
Saint Matilda
Saint Matthew
Saint Matthias the Apostle
Saint Maud
Saint Maurice
Saint Maurus
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Maximus the Confessor
Saint Mechtild of Magdeburg
Saint Medard
Saint Mello
Saint Mesmin
Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Monica
Saint Moses the Ethiopian
N
Saint Narcissus
Saint Nemesion
Saint Nicasius
Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas of Flue
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino
Saint Nilus of Sinai
Saint Nimatullah
Saint Nino de Atocha
Saint Nonna
Saint Norbert
O
Saint Odilia
Saint Odo of Cluny
Saint Olivia
Saint Oliver Plunkett
Saint Olympias
Saint Omer
Saint Onesimus
Saint Oswald
P
Saint Pachomius
Saint Palladius of the Scots
Saint Pamphilus
Saint Pancrasius
Saint Pantaenus
Saint Pantaleon
Saint Paphnutius
Saint Paschal Baylon
Saint Paternus
Saint Patrick of Ireland
Saint Paul the Apostle
Saint Paul of the Cross
Saint Paula
Saint Paulinus of Nola
Saint Perpetua
Saint Peter the Apostle
Saint Peter Baptist
Saint Peter Canisius
Saint Peter Celestine
Saint Peter Claver
Saint Peter Chrysologus
Saint Peter Damian
Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Saint Peter Nolasco
Saint Peter of Alcantara
Saint Peter of Alexandria
Saint Peter of Luxemburg
Saint Petronilla
Saint Philip the Apostle
Saint Philip Benizi
Saint Philip Neri
Saint Philogonius
Saint Philomena
Saint Phocas
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
Saint Pius X
Saint Placid
Saint Polycarp of Smyrna
Saint Porphyry
Saint Prosper of Aquitaine
Q
Saint Quintin
R
Saint Rachel
Saint Radegundes
Saint Rafka
Saint Raphaela Mary Porras
Saint Raymund Nonnatus
Saint Raymund of Pennafort
Saint Rebecca
Saint Regis
Saint Remigius of Reims
Saint Rene Goupil
Saint Richard of Chichester
Saint Rita of Cascia
Saint Robert Bellarmine
Saint Robert of Newminster
Saint Roch
Saint Romanus of Rouen
Saint Romuald
Saint Rosalia
Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Viterbo
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
S
Saint Sabas
Saint Sabinus
Saint Saturninus
Saint Scholastica
Saint Sebastian
Saint Seraphim of Sarov
Saint Serenus
Saint Servulus
Saint Severianus
Saint Severinus of Agaunum
Saint Sharbel
Saint Silverius
Saint Simeon
Saint Simeon Stylites
Saint Simon the Apostle
Saint Simon Stock
Saint Simplicius
Saint Soledad
Saint Soter
Saint Stanislaus
Saint Stanislas Kostka
Saint Stephen
Saint Swithin
Saint Sylvester
Saint Symphorian
T
Saint Tarachus
Saint Tarasius
Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Thecla
Saint Theodore Tyro
Saint Theodoret
Saint Theodosius
Saint Theophane Venard
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus/Thérèse of Lisieux
Saint Theresia Benedicta /Edith Stein
Saint Thomas
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas á Becket
Saint Thomas More
Saint Thomas of Canterbury
Saint Thomas of Villanova
Saint Timothy
Saint Titus
U
Saint Ursula
V
Saint Valentine of Rome
Saint Valery
Saint Venantius
Saint Veronica of Milan
Saint Victor
Saint Victor of Marseilles
Saint Vincent
Saint Vincent Ferrer
Saint Vincent de Paul
Saint Vincent Palloti
Saint Vicenta Maria Lopez Vicuña
Saint Vitalis
W
Saint Walter of Pontnoise
Saint Wenceslaus
Saint Wilfrid
Saint William of Monte-Vergine
Saint William of Rochester
Saint Willibrord
Saint Wolfgang
Saint Wulfran
Y
Saint Yvo
Saint Yves
Z
Saint Zachary
Saint Zephyrinus
Saint Zita
Saint Zoe of Rome




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Canonization

By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors. "the saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult moments in the Church's history. Indeed, "holiness is the hidden source and infallible measure of her apostolic activity and missionary zeal."

From: Catechism of the Catholic Church p.823

Canonization Process

VATICAN CITY, SEP 12, 1997 (VIS) - Today the Holy See Press Office made public the following note on canonical procedure for causes of beatification and canonization:

"1. Canon norms regarding the procedure to be followed for causes of saints are contained in the Apostolic Constitution 'Divinus Perfectionis Magister,' promulgated by John Paul II on January 25, 1983.

"2. To begin a cause it is necessary for at least 5 years to have passed since the death of the candidate. This is to allow greater balance and objectivity in evaluating the case and to let the emotions of the moment dissipate.

"3. The bishop of the diocese in which the person whose beatification is being requested died is responsible for beginning the investigation. The promoter group ('Actor Causae'): diocese, parish, religious congregation, association, asks the bishop through the postulator for the opening of the investigation. The bishop, once the 'nulla osta' of the Holy See is obtained, forms a diocesan tribunal for this purpose. Witnesses are called before the tribunal to recount concrete facts on the exercise of Christian virtues considered heroic, that is, the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, and others specific to his state in life. In addition, all documents regarding the candidate must be gathered. At this point he is entitled to the title of Servant of God.

"4. Once the diocesan investigation is finished, the acts and documentation are passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The public copy used for further work is put together here. The postulator, resident in Rome, follows the preparation of the 'Positio', or summary of the documentation that proves the heroic exercise of virtue, under the direction of a relator of the Congregation. The 'Positio' undergoes an examination (theological) by nine theologians who give their vote. If the majority of the theologians are in favour, the cause is passed on for examination by cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation. They hold meetings twice a month. If their judgment is favourable, the prefect of the congregation presents the results of the entire course of the cause to the Holy Father, who gives his approval and authorizes the congregation to draft the relative decree. The public reading and promulgation of the decree follows.

"5. For the beatification of a confessor a miracle attributed to the Servant of God, verified after his death, is necessary. The required miracle must be proven through the appropriate canonical investigation, following a procedure analogous to that for heroic virtues. This one too is concluded with the relative decree. Once the two decrees are promulgated (regarding the heroic virtues and the miracle) the Holy Father decides on beatification, which is the concession of public worship, limited to a particular sphere. With beatification the candidate receives the title of Blessed.

"6. For canonization another miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after his beatification. The methods for ascertainment of the affirmed miracle are the same as those followed for beatification. Canonization is understood as the concession of public worship in the Universal Church. Pontifical infallibility is involved. With canonization, the Blessed acquires the title of Saint."

From: http://www.catholic-pages.com/saints/process.asp


The canonization process

“Canonization” is the process by which someone becomes a saint. The “canonization process” is a long, arduous investigation into the life and virtues of someone who is thought to have lived a saintly life. It begins in the diocese where the person died and eventually winds its way to the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Many people are involved in the canonization process – people who knew the candidate, theologians, doctors, bishops and cardinals, and finally the Pope himself. During the first phase of the process, a person being considered for canonization is referred to as a “Servant of God.”

The first step on the path to sainthood is the determination – through a study of his/her life and writings and the testimony of witnesses – that the Servant of God practiced heroic virtue. At this point he or she is referred to as “Venerable.” To advance to beatification, a miracle is needed (unless the person was a martyr; Martyrs do not require miracles!).

What is it about miracles? Pope Benedict himself gives us the answer: “As well as reassuring us that the Servant of God lives in Heaven in communion with God, miracles constitute the divine confirmation of the judgment expressed by the ecclesial authority on his/her virtuous life.”

From: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/letters/2006/documents

A possible miracle is studied by a panel of theologians, doctors and clergy. If it is accepted, the Servant of God may be beatified. He or she is then given the title “Blessed.”

A second proven miracle is required for canonization, the final step in the process. Once this is approved, the Pope signs the decree of canonization and assigns a date for the ceremony. Although beatifications often take place in the Blessed’s native country, canonizations are held in Rome in the presence of the Pope. Once canonized, the Blessed acquires the title of Saint and may be venerated by the Universal Church. (for a detailed article on the canonization process see

From: http://www.catholic-pages.com/saints/process.asp

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