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.”
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 →
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 →
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 →
(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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Today is the feast day of two martyrs who were twins, Saints Medard and Gildard. They were not only born on the same day but they were consecrated bishops on the same day and they died on the same day. That was in northern France in 558. Other twin saints who graced the Church in the sixth century were Saints Benedict and Scholastica who died in … More →
I have never read the life of any saint that so affected me as that of Saint Catherine of Siena. The best biography was that of Sigrid Undset on which I based my own short life of Saint Catherine, “I Have Seen the Secrets of God”. We have her Dialogues, dictated to secretaries, but a great book would be a collection of all the things she said … More →
Catholic World Report: California missionary Father Junipero Serra’s canonization is “long overdue,” says a university professor concerned that the priest’s history has been politicized and misrepresented. “When he died, many native peoples came to the mission for his burial. They openly wept. Others of his colleagues and even colonists, believed that he would be made a saint, because of the way he had lived his … More →
A Ukrainian martyr, Blessed Nykyta Budka, who served as the first Greek Catholic bishop in Canada, is hardly known outside the Ukrainian Catholic Church, yet he was one of the most formidable bishops to grace not only the Church in Canada but the Church in Austria-Hungary and Ukraine. Born in 1877 in Dobromirka (then part of Austria-Hungary, now Ukraine), he was ordained in 1905 in … More →
He made converts. Hopefully he did not proselytize or impose any fear upon the pagans as to their state of idolatry. Catholic Online: Tradition states that Rupert was a scion of the Frankish royal Merovingian family. He was also the uncle of Saint Erentrude. Rupert was bishop of Worms until around 697, when unbelievers in the vicinity of Worms exiled him from the city. He … More →