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.”
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 →
Vatican Insider: The abouna.org site has the pleasure to post the excelling painting of artist Robert Giacaman, which represents the two new saints Blessed Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas and Blessed Mariam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, being the major painting in modern time that unveils for the first time the canonization of the two Palestinian nuns on May 17. Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Catholic Online: This prayer of St. Patrick called “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate” was composed as he prepared for his most important battle against the paganism of the Druids. It should be prayed in our own day as we struggle against the new paganism and the “dictatorship of relativism” which our Pope has spoken of so often. This is a literal translation: I bind to myself today … More →
CatholicPhilly.com: Pope Francis is expected to canonize Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, during the world Synod of Bishops on the family in October. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, leading a conference Feb. 27 on the role of saints in the life of the church, announced that “thanks be to God, in October two … More →
Delightful article here on a great American saint Richard Becker, Catholic Exchange: St. Katharine and her two sisters were raised in a devout Catholic family that happened to be wealthy, and her parents refused to allow the wealth to disrupt the devotion. The girls assisted their parents in regularly welcoming the poor into their own home, and they were taught early on that such acts of … More →
This morning, I telephoned an old Armenian Catholic friend to ask him about Saint Gregory of Narek, recently proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis. Joe speaks fluent modern Armenian and reads the old classical Armenian literature. He was, for a time after Wold War II, a novice for the Mekhitarist Congregation of Armenian Catholic monks in Vienna, Austria. He is my go-to man for things Armenian … More →
Catholic Culture: St. Gregory of Narek, an Armenian Catholic monk who lived in what is now Turkey and died in 1005, has been named by Pope Francis a Doctor of the Church. Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.