A Week of Saints: July 29- August 4, 2019

Monday, July 29th: St Martha, Disciple of Christ (time of Christ)

Patron: cooks, servants

“Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus.” This unique statement in John’s gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Martha is busy with the cultural tasks of hospitality, while Mary is listening to Jesus.  He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him that is what Mary has done. 

The next time, Martha is grieving the death of her brother, when she hears that Jesus is in the area. She gets up immediately, leaves the guests and mourning, then goes to meet him.  Martha learned to seek Jesus first. 

.Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.

Tuesday, July 30th: St Peter Chrysologus, Bishop, Doctor (380-450)

St. Peter was called “Chrysologus” (golden-worded) because of his oratorical eloquence. He practiced many works of mercy.  He fought against Paganism and heretics. He was made a Doctor of the Church, largely as a result of his simple, practical, and clear sermons.

“The poor stretch out the hand, but God receives what is offered”

Wednesday, July 31st: St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (1491-1556)

Patron: educators, soldiers

St. Ignatius was a soldier, but was injured. While he recovered, he read the lives of the saints, and decided to dedicate himself to becoming a soldier of the Catholic Faith. Soon after he experienced visions, but a year later suffered a trial of fears and scruples, driving him almost to despair. Out of this experience he wrote his famous “Spiritual Exercises”. He founded the Jesuit order. 

“Love ought to show itself in deeds more than words”

Patron: educators, education, religious retreats

Thursday, August 1st : St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori, Bishop, Doctor (-1787)

Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father.  Alphonsus received his doctorate at the age of sixteen, and was practicing law, by nineteen. He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. . For thirteen years Alphonsus fed the poor, instructed families, reorganized the seminary and religious houses, taught theology, and wrote. He suffered daily the pain from rheumatism that was beginning to deform his body.  Rheumatic fever left him paralyzed. Alphonsus suffered great anguish, but he overcame his depression, and he experienced visions, performed miracles, and gave prophecies.

“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.”

Patron:  confessors, moralists

Friday, August 2nd: St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest (1811-1868)

He worked as cutler until eighteen when he went to the seminary at Grenoble and was ordained. He served as a parish priest for several years then joined the Marists and became their provincial at Lyons. He established the Sevants of the Blessed Sacrament whose nuns devoted themselves to perpetual adoration.

“Happy is the soul that knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in all things! ”

Saturday, August 3rd: St Lydia Purpuraria (1st century)

Lydia Purpuraria (1st century) was born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar), a town in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name which means purple seller). She became Paul’s first convert at Philippi. She was baptized with her household, and Paul stayed at her home there

Sunday, August 4th: St. John Vianney, Priest(1786-1859)

St. John Vianney, Priest, known as the “Cure of Ars.” His reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification.  Although used to severe austerities, besieged by the satan and flocked by many penitents he was simplistic. 

He heard confessions of people from all over the world for sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of charity and love. 

“The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and, above all, when we are tempted.”

Patron:  Priests

Inspiring Thoughts

“Rarely do we reflect upon what gifts our souls may possess, who dwells within them, or how extremely precious they are. Therefore we do little to preserve their beauty; all our care is concentrated on our bodies, which are but the coarse setting of the diamond, or the outer walls of the castle.”

St Teresa Of Avila

Holding on…

Today’s reading is about Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Jesus.  She is one of my Saint Heroes/ friends.  Mary was one of the very few at the crucifixion, and had the courage to go to the tomb the next day.  She was boldly proclaiming that she loved Jesus.  I mean there were Roman guards placed there at the demands of the High Priests, and here comes Mary. She didn’t know where Jesus was.  She stood outside the tomb, her weeping was inconsolable by the words of angels.  The “Gardener”, Mary assumes, asks her “Why are you  weeping? “Whom do you seek?”  Mary only wants the dead body of her Lord, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”  Then one of my favorite events in the Word of God:  Jesus said to her “Mary”.  I love to think about that.  Hearing my Creator say my name.  He had spoken several words to her, but when her Creator said her name, she instantly knew Him.  What did she hear in her name that was different from all the other words Jesus spoke to her?  He said, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.”  Here she was in the physical presence of Jesus, once again, yet He continues to point to Heaven.  As if to say, no, not now, there is more. Mary Magdalene makes me want to hear my name now, but also with great anticipation, in the more. 
Scripture references:  Jn 20: 1-18

A Week of Saints, July 22-29, 2019

Monday, July 22nd: St Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, (time of Christ)

St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords’ Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus’ empty tomb.  She was the first to see the resurrected Christ. She was given the rank of “feast” like the Apostles, and is identified as  the Apostle to the Apostles, by Pope Francis (June of 2016).

Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.

Jn 20:18

Patron: penitents, perfumers

Monday, July 23rd: St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) 

St Bridget was born into a rich and pious family. She had visions of Jesus,The Man of Sorrows, as a child. This dream was very vivid. Birgitta asked Him who had done that to Him. His answer: ‘All those who despise my love”.  She married Ulf Gudmarsson, a prince, and was a devoted wife, and mother to eight children. St Catherine of Sweden is her daughter.

“The world would have peace if only men of politics would follow the Gospels”

Patron: Europe, Sweden, widows

Tuesday, July 24th: St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest, monk, hermit (1828-1898)

Joseph Zaroun Makluf father died when He was three. He lived in Lebanon, and was raised by his uncle.  He took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. Following the example of his namesake, he lived as a hermit from 1875, until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him, to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament.

“The Church of the Christ is a rock upon which are being shattered the waves of evil.

Wednesday, July 25th: St. James, Apostle, Martyr (time of Christ)

James and his brother John were referred to by Jesus as Sons of Thunder.  These brothers along with Peter were the only Apostles at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, garden of Gethsemane and Transfiguration. James was one of the early martyrs. He is thought to have possibly taken the Gospel message to Spain. 

So also Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Jm  2:17

Patron: laborers, farmers equestrians, veterinarians, woodcarvers, pharmacists 

Thursday, July 26th: St. Joachim & Anne, parents of Blessed Mother (time of Christ)

Anne and Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is nothing really documented about these two Saints.

Patron Anne: children, pregnancy, homemakers ,the childless , poverty, teacher

Patron Joachim: fathers, grandparents

Friday, July 27th: Bl. Titus Brandsma, Martyr (1881-1942)

He was born in the Netherlands, and became a Carmelite as a young man, and a priest in 1905.  He displayed a dazzling intellect and taught in universities. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands,Titus was singled out as an enemy because he fought against the spread of Nazism in Europe. Arrested, Titus was sent to various concentration camps where he demonstrated charity and concern. 

Patron:  Catholic journalists, tobacconists

Saturday, July 28th: St Samson, monk, Bishop (late 5th century)

He was a Welsh bishop and evangelizer. On a trip to Ireland, Samson became a hermit with Amon whom he cured of a mortal illness. In Cornwall, he was consecrated a bishop and appointed an abbot. He spent the rest of his life as a missionary, even though he had long searched for solitude. He was one of the foremost (if not relatively unknown) evangelizers of his century.

Sunday, July 29th: St Martha, Disciple of Christ (time of Christ)

“Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus.” This unique statement in John’s gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Martha is busy with the cultural tasks of hospitality, while Mary is listening to Jesus.  He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him that is what Mary has done. 

The next time, Martha is grieving the death of her brother, when she hears that Jesus is in the area. She gets up immediately, leaves the guests and mourning, then goes to meet him.  Martha learned to seek Jesus first. 

Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.

I’m Late, I’m Late…

Sitting in Adoration, I was ready to unload all of my prayer requests and inquiries regarding God’s Will.  I asked Him, what He wanted of me.  I really got the idea that what my Creator wanted of me right then was to shut up.  So I cleared my head, and sat.  I wasn’t looking for God’s voice and I wasn’t using mine.  It was a beautiful experience.  I was present to Him.I think our lives are so full of time constraints.  Our world revolves around time, and we have come to believe that to give someone our time is the ultimate gift.  Time for us is finite, and we only have so much of it, and from a certain standpoint it is a huge sacrafice for some.  Our Creator, however is not constrained by time.  In fact He is eternal.   The amazing thing is that He loves us so deeply that He wants an eternity with us.  God doesn’t need my time.  He wants my presence of mind, body and soul.  He knows my needs, and doesn’t need my grocery list of petitions all the time.  He wants to engage with my soul.  Intimacy with the Omnipresent God, because He wants me.  How cool is that?

A Week of Saints, July 15-22, 2019

Monday, July 15 St. Bonavernture, Bishop, Doctor (1221-1274)

When he was a boy, he was very sick.  St Francis of Assisi prayed for him, and called him Bona Ventura, good fortune, because of what he saw in the boy.  Bonaventure studied with St Thomas Aquinas, was full of compassion, gentleness and holiness.  Because of his gift of philosophy and theology, he is a doctor of the church.

”As pride is the beginning of all sin, so humility is the foundation of all virtue.  Learn to be really humble.”As pride is the beginning of all sin, so humility is the foundation of all virtue.  Learn to be really humble.

Monday July 16th: Our Lady of Mt Carmel

Mt Carmel is the area that Jesus grew up in.  Our lady of Mount Carmel appeared to St Simon Stock.  She gave him the brown scapular, which is to be a symbol of Our Lady’s own garment.  Those who wear the brown scapular are under the protection of the Blessed Mother.

Wednesday, July 17th: St Justa and Rufina, Martyrs (268-287)

Justa and Rufina are thought to be sisters, and potters.  They refused to sell their earthenware, for the use of heathen rituals.  Their inventory was destroyed, and they were brought before the Governor.  They were tortured and martyred.

Patron: Potters

Thursday, July 18th: Camillus de Lellis, Priest (1550-1614)

Camillus was devoted to taking care of the sick.  He was ordained a priest by St Phillip Neri.  He founded the order of Ministers of the Sick, who served prisoners and those afflicted by the plague.

”I don’t put a penny’s worth on this life, if only our Lord will give me a tiny corner in paradise.”

Patron: nurses, doctors, the sick

Friday, July 19th: St Arsenius, Monk (354-449)

He was the tutor of the children of emperors.  He then became a hermit and is one of the desert fathers.

”I can not live with God and with men.  Ten thousands and ten thousands of the heavenly host have but one will, which men have many.”

Saturday, July 20th: St Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr (c 200)

Apollinaris was thought to be sent by St Peter to Ravenna to spread the Gospel.  He was not well received, and cruelly tortured.  He eventually died from his wounds.

Sunday, July 21st: St Lawrence Brindisi, Priest and Doctor (1559-1619)

St Lawrence was fluent in eight languages.  He is credited with leading an army against the Turks.  He led with no weapons, but only a Crucifix.  He also helped negotiate peace between Germany and Spain.

”God is love, and all His operations proceed from love.”

Sunday, July 22nd

St Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, (time of Christ)

St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords’ Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus’ empty tomb.  She was the first to see the resurrected Christ. She was given the rank of “feast” like the Apostles, and is identified as  the Apostle to the Apostles, by Pope Francis (June of 2016).

Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her.

Jn 20:18

Patron: penitents, perfumers