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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‘If You Would Have Seen Him He Is So Ugly’

Saint Gemma Galgani ChurchPop: “During the last two days Jesus has been telling me after Holy Communion: ‘My daughter, the devil will soon wage a great war against you,’” she wrote to a priest. “These words I hear in my heart continuously. Please pray for me.” More here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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Saint Columba and the Loch Ness Monster

(Courtesy of Fisheaters.com) St. Columba (also known as “Columcille”) was born of the O’Donnell Clan in Garten, County Donegal, Ireland, on December 7, 521; he died on 9 June, 597. In between, he founded monasteries in and evangelized Ireland and Scotland. The story of his meeting Nessie — said to have taken place in A.D. 565 — was first recorded by Adamnan in “The Life … More →


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The Fourteen Holy Helpers

During the chastizing period of the Black Death that devastated Europe from 1346-1349 there were many saints that the faithful invoked against the plague and sudden death. Among these were those who a century later would be known as the Fourteen Holy Helpers. (A brief history of the devotion of the Holy Helpers, and the vision that initiated that devotion, is wonderfully related in a … More →


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The 124 Korean Martyrs

AsiaNews: The Korean Church waits for the canonization of Paul Yun Ji-chung and his 123 companions, proclaimed Servants of God by the Vatican in 2003. Bishop of Daejeon: “It would be nice to have Pope Francis here to celebrate together.” Their blood “sustains all people” and their stories are an extraordinary example of fidelity and love for the Gospel. AsiaNews presents a number of biographies, beginning … More →

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Armenian Martyr Archbishop Ignatius Maloyan

Reading through the tenth anniversary issue of the Knights of Columbus’ Colombia magazine I came to a short, boxed article on Blessed Archbishop Ignatius Maloyan. He was one of the Armenian martyrs, victim of the Turkish genocide. Shoukr Allah Maloyan was born in Mardin Turkey in 1869. As a priest he took the name Ignatius. For ten years he served as a parish priest in … More →

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A Polish Martyr Who Gave Her Life for Her Daughter-in-Law

National Catholic Register, Matthew Archbold: Blessed Marianna Biernacka is described in many reports as leading a “simple” life. But it’s my experience that there are really no simple lives. Marianna knew heartbreak. She knew fear. She knew backbreaking work. She knew loss. And she knew God’s love. Marianna was born in 1888. At the age of twenty she married a local man, Louis Biernacki. Together, … More →

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Saint Robert Bellarmine

(You can learn more about this great saint on the Reconquest episode I recorded with Mr. Ryan Grant.) He was born on October 4, 1542, at Montepulciano, Tuscany, and died September 17, 1621 in Rome. Saint Robert’s parents were Vincenzo Bellarmine and Cinzia Cervini, a niece of Pope Marcellus II. His mother was conspicuous for her piety. Robert was the third of their ten children … More →


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St. Darerca, Sister of St. Patrick, Mother of 22, 17 Saints

Why not! God is wonderful in His saints and the patron saint of Ireland was wonderfully blessed. New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Darerca, of Ireland, a sister of St. Patrick. Much obscurity attaches to her history, and it is not easy to disentangle the actual facts of her history from the network of legend which medieval writers interwove with her acts. However, her fame, apart from … More →

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FREE YouTube Reconquest Sampler: ‘Blessed Karl von Habsburg, Statesman and Victim’

All the episodes of Reconquest are free if you listen to them at air time over at veritasradionetwork.com. (See the schedule here.) To listen ON-DEMAND or to DOWNLOAD the WHOLE SHOW (not just the 20-minute free segment that everyone can access), you will need to have a membership. This will also give you access to all the other quality programming on the Veritas Radio Network. Once … More →


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Saint Pulcheria: Two Christological Councils Owe Their Success to Her

No doubt one of the greatest women to grace the Church, Empress Saint Pulcheria was born in the year 399. She was the eldest daughter of Emperor Arcadius and assumed the regency for her younger brother, Theodosius II. Pulcheria and her sisters took vows of virginity, which she kept even after marrying a general, named Marcian, who agreed to respect her commitment to God. With … More →

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My Favorite Story From the Life of Today’s Saint, Lydwine

Today is the feast day of a little known saint and one of my favorites, Saint Lydwine of Schiedam, Holland. She was born in 1380 and died on April 14, 1433. Lydwine was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin from her childhood on. When she was fifteen she was knocked over by a friend while ice skating and she broke a rib. The rib would … More →


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Blessed Maria Restituta: Beheaded by the Nazis

Aleteia: Sister Maria Restituta began Lent of 1942 under arrest. She was taken on Ash Wednesday. Her crime: “hanging crucifixes.” She was sentenced to death. The following year, on Tuesday of Holy Week, she was executed. Read more of her story here. (Scroll down to Bottom of page) Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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April 6: Feast Day of the Saint Responsible for Giving Us the Feast of Corpus Christi

Today is the feast day of Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon. She was born in 1193 at Retines near Liège in Belgium. Orphaned at an early age, she was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mont Cornillon. She made her profession in this order and eventually became superioress. Saint Juliana, from childhood, had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. God inspired in her, by a … More →

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Canonization of Lutheran Convert and Foundress Blessed Elizabeth Hesselblad, June 5

Rorate Caeli: Somewhat hid behind the news of the canonization of Mother Teresa, the Holy See also announced for June 5 the canonization of Blessed Elizabeth Hesselblad. Hesselblad, a Swedish Lutheran immigrant to the United States, has one of the most beautiful conversion stories of that period (the late 19th and early 20th century) that brought into the Church so many converts from Protestantism. More here. … More →

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St. John of God, March 8, Patron of Mentally Ill

He was a convert at the age of forty. Catholic Culture: Matters spiritual were of no particular interest until he heard the preaching of Blessed John of Avila. Then his conversion was so sincere and sudden that he was considered to be out of his mind. He was incarcerated in the Royal Hospital in Granada, and suffered the cruel treatment of the day. Here he … More →

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