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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100 Years Ago Today Pope Saint Pius X Passed Away

Great tribute follows from Rorate Caeli website: Thank you, Saint Pius X! Please, intercede for us in Heaven above, that we may accomplish the words of the Apostle to the Gentiles you made your lifelong aspiration: “to restore all things in Christ“! For the past 8 years, we have strived to cover each major centennial of Pope Saint Pius’ amazing holy work for the Restoration of … More →

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The Church in Korea, Founded by Sages, Not Missionaries

Of course, the missionaries came soon after the true Faith took root. And, for the Faith to grow, the blood of martyrs provided the nourishment. Sometime in the mid-eighteenth century, Korean ambassadors working in China came across Catholic books in Beijing that the Jesuits had distributed there going back to the mission days of Matteo Ricci (1597-1610). The ambassadors were of the noble class, well-educated, … More →

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Oregon Student Speaks About a Martyr Saint, His Great-Great-Great-Grandfather

Catholic News Service: Phu Nguyen, a University of Portland sophomore, is descended from a saint. Phu’s great-great-great-grandfather died for abiding by his faith. The Vatican considers the torture endured by the renowned Vietnamese martyrs among the worst in the history of Christianity. St. Matthew Nguyen Van Phuong was born in Vietnam in 1801. After his parents died, he was raised by the local priest in … More →

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Saint Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart

The most popular of all the saints named Margaret, with the exception of that of the Scots and their own Queen Saint Margaret, is Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, the “Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart.” She was born at Lhautecour, France, on July 22, 1647. Her parents, Claude and Philiberte Alacoque  were poor and devout. That may sound typical in the lives of so many … More →

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Eight More Saint Margarets: Here are the Two Earliest, More Coming

After posting a column about Saint Margaret Clitherow, whose feast day is tomorrow, I wondered how many saints there were with the name “Margaret”? I could name several, including Margaret of Scotland, Margaret Mary Alacoque (my mother’s patron saint), and Margaret Bourgeoys, but there were others, not quite so well-known, even virtually unknown. So, with the help of a list of female saints provided by … More →

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Saint Margaret Clitherow: Martyred on Good Friday

The “Pearl of York,” Saint Margaret Clitherow, martyr, feast day, March 26. Margaret Clitherow (née, MIddleton) was born at York of Protestant parents in 1555. The popular  Christian name is derived from the Greek word for “pearl.” Margaret married John Clitherow when she was only fifteen. Three years later, she converted to the Catholic Faith. Her husband, although a member of the government “Established Church,” … More →

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Two Pioneers of Church in Canada to be Canonized April 2

Catholic Culture: Pope Francis recently told a group of Spanish bishops that he would canonize three saints by equivalent canonization on April 2, according to a report on a Spanish diocesan website. The three are Blessed José de Anchieta (1534-97), a Spanish Jesuit missionary to Brazil; Blessed Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), who introduced the Ursuline order in Canada; and who introduced the Discalced Carmelite reform … More →

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China’s Holy Little Girl, Martyr for the Eucharist

Zenit: For 500 years, Christians have been martyred in China. Since the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in China, Christians have been put to death for proclaiming Jesus Christ. Emperors, nationalists, and communists have persecuted Christianity, often by the sword. Martyrs may one day convert China. But there is one Chinese martyr whose life and death may have already converted millions. During the Boxer Rebellion of … More →

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Christ in My Chariot

I have been looking for the long version of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate or Lorica Prayer that had the petition for Christ to be with him in his chariot. I found it. Saint Odran was the charioteer of Saint Patrick. Hearing that one the pagan chieftains had sworn to kill Patrick for destroying the statue of his idol Crom Cruach, Odran asked the apostle to take … More →

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‘Those Rosary Beads Had Left a Wound in My Soul’

Saint John Ogilvie, whose feast day was March 10, was canonized in 1976 by Pope Paul VI. He was the first Scot canonized in several hundred years. In the middle ages and down to the sixth century there were scores of saints and martyrs from Scotland. Saint Margaret (1045-1093), the Queen (and mother of Saint David), is certainly the most famous of its saints. And … More →

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Saints Who Were Married to Saints

Today is the feast day of Saint Cunegunda, Empress and wife of Holy Roman Emperor, Saint Henry II. Saint Cunegunda had taken a vow of virginity and Henry respected that vow, living celibately himself as well. Although Henry at times interfered with the canonical rights of German bishops, he defended the papacy and always deferred to the pope in his efforts to restore unity and … More →

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Valentine: To a Saint Demoted Let’s Be Devoted

Karen Anderson, Crisis Magazine: This Friday, February 14, the universal Church will not celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, even though everybody else will. This even though he has been venerated by Catholics for about 1,700 years as the patron saint of love and marriage. St. Valentine used to be honored by a Mass on his feast day. But my free calendar from the local Catholic parish simply lists February … More →

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Pope Francis Stirs Up Canonization Cause for 124 Korean Martyrs

UCANews: The Pope has approved the advancement of the causes for canonization of over one hundred lay Catholics persecuted for their faith, as well as a bishop, a religious sister, and two priests. In a decree on Feb. 7, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate the causes of these Catholics in the various stages of the canonization process. … More →

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Saint Agatha’s Breasts

Father Leonard Feeney once remarked that certain Puritan sectaries refuse to pray the Hail Mary because the Catholic prayer has a bad word in it: womb. On the other hand, many of the Church’s most vociferous critics consider her to be obsessively strict — even fanatically so — on sexual matters. Puritanical (or Jansenistic) extremists on the one side, and libertines on the other, have … More →


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Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy Beatified

Catholic Culture: Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy (1812-36), whose husband ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in Naples on January 25. The daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, Maria Cristina married King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies in 1832. The queen died following the birth of their only child. Read more … More →

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