Category Archives: Lives of the Saints

Lives of the Saints

The reason that the Church honors the saints is not just to give them glory, but to hold them up as exemplars for imitation. Many of the saints became saints themselves by reading the lives of saints. Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s by reading the Life of Christ and the Lives of the Saints. If these men can make such heroic sacrifices for God, then why can’t I, he wondered. Wonder turned into determination.

Some saints wrote biographies of other saints. Saint Athanasius wrote the Life of Saint Anthony of the Desert, a work that indirectly influenced Saint Augustine. Saint Gregory of Nyssa wrote the Life of Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus. Saint Bonaventure wrote the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Bede wrote the Life of Saint Aidan. Some saints wrote autobiographies: Saints Augustine, Thérèse of Liseux, Antonio Maria Claret, and Margaret Mary Alacoque are among them.

In a letter to her aunt, Isidore Guerin, Saint Thérèse wrote: “I love to read the lives of the saints very much. The account of their heroic deeds inflames my courage and spurs me on to imitate them.”

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St. Martin of Tours Raised a Catechumen to Life in Order to Baptize Him

Feastday of St. Martin of Tours, uncle of Saint Patrick Catholic Online: As disciples came to Martin for direction, he founded a monastery for them called Ligug‚. It was there he performed the first of many miracles. When a catechumen died before baptism, Martin laid himself over the body and after several hours the man came back to life. Sulpicius also had talked to this man … More →

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Martyred Syrian Bishop to Be Beatified

Catholic Herald: Bishop Melki, who was martyred during the Assyrian Genocide, will soon be ‘blessed’. The bishop was killed in Gazarta during the sayfo – “putting to the sword” – of Syrians in 1915, after he refused to convert to Islam. Earlier in August, Pope Francis approved Melki’s beatification after he determined that Melki was killed in hatred of the faith. The bishop will be beatified … More →

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November 3: One Big Day for Many Saints

Today, in this month dedicated to All Saints, our calendar gives us five saints to venerate. Paging through the Saint Benedict Center book, Saints to Remember, by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River, Massachusetts, I see no day of the year where that many saints are included in this great little book. The interesting thing is that each of these … More →

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Pope Canonizes Parents of St. Therese

CNA: On Sunday Pope Francis canonized four new saints, whose greatest legacy he said was their tireless imitation of Jesus in humble service to others, which is something each of us are asked to emulate. “The men and women canonized today unfailingly served their brothers and sisters with outstanding humility and charity, in imitation of the divine Master,” the Pope said Oct. 18. “The radiant witness … More →

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Twelve Morsels From Saint Teresa of Avila

Morsels From Saint Teresa of Avila When she felt that she was going to go into an ecstasy and levitate she summoned the nuns to hold her down and sit on her so this would not happen publicly. “For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know … More →

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Pope Francis Canonizes Father Junipero Serra

Sister Maria Philomena wrote a biography of Father Serra, The Father of California. You can read it here. In his homily for the canonization, Pope Francis stressed the zeal of the saint to spread the joy of the gospel unto death: “He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we … More →

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Saint Peter Claver: Slave of the Slaves

Yesterday was the feast day of one of my favorite saints, the Jesuit missioner Peter Claver. His heroic acts of charity with the Negroes of Colombia, South America, surely have no equal in the annals of hagiography. I have excerpted a section of his biography from our website; the piece graphically demonstrates the zeal of a man on fire for the salvation of his people. Unlike Saint … More →

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Martyr Bl. John Forest and a Prophecy Very Literally Fulfilled

Great short life of a valiant friar by Rick Becker King Henry VIII’s presumptuous rebellion against the pope brought out the worst – and the best – in the Catholic Church in England. Some Catholics turned traitor to the Church of their birth, while in others, the flame of faith shone more brightly. John Forest, who lived his whole life on fire for God, stood … More →

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Saint Helena’s Belated Mission as a Late-Comer to Christ

(This Article is dedicated to the memory of Anthony Fraser on the anniversary of his death by Dr. Robert Hickson. Requiescat in pace.) Two years after Evelyn Waugh had published his long-incubating, and especially moving, historical novel on Saint Helena, entitled Helena (1950), he published a short non-fictional book of some personal and historical importance, entitled The Holy Places. In this short presentation of earlier … More →

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Syriac Bishop, a Martyr, to be Beatified August 29

CNA: On Saturday Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing the martyrdom of Flavien-Michel Malké, a Syriac Catholic bishop who was killed in 1915 amid the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against its Christian minorities. More here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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Saint Patrick and the Making of the Irish Nation

Saint James was the apostle of Spain, Saint Augustine the apostle of England, Saint Boniface the apostle of Germany, Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius the apostles of the Russian and the Slavic nations, but there is no nation in the world that is so intimately identified with its apostle as Saint Patrick is for Ireland. His is a stature of mythical proportions. There are all … More →

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Portiuncula Plenary Indulgence August 1 and 2

From Saint Bonaventure’s Major Life of Saint Francis: ” The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned . Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so … More →

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A Great Saint Today, But Not for the Affianced

Today, July 17, is the feast day of Saint Alexis the Beggar. He is honored in the East on March 17. When I was studying in Rome many years ago I visited a church dedicated to Saint Alexis on the Aventine hill. At the time I knew nothing about him. There was a staircase in the church under which, the story goes, Alexis lived in … More →

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More Unusual Happenings in the Lives of Saints

Nine months ago I related several humorous and fascinating anecdotes from the lives of the saints, here are some more: One of my favorites is not really spectacular, it is just amusing. When Saint Peter was freed from Herod’s prison by his angel he was left outside on the street, somewhat in a daze as scripture insinuates, and making his way to the house of … More →

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Feast Day of Blessed Junipero Serra

While anti-Catholic California legislators ponder ousting Father Serra from the Capitol’s Statuary Hall (that is almost certain to happen), today we celebrate the feast day of this country’s greatest missionary. Catholic Online: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November 24, 1713, and took the name of Junipero when in 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and … More →

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