A Week of Saints

Monday, October 11:  St Martin of Tours, Bishop, martyr (315-397)

A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk, and one of the first who wasn’t a martyr.  He was born a pagan in Eastern Europe.  He was forced into the military at age 15, and Baptized at 18.  He was ordained an exorcist, and established possibly the first monastery in France.  The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop. Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.  Martin plead for the life of a heretic, and then was accused of the same heresy and was martyred

“Allow me, brothers, to look toward heaven rather than at the earth, so that my spirit may set on the right course when the time comes for me to go on my journey to the Lord.”

Patron:  poverty, alcoholism, beggars, wine maker, tailors, soldiers

Tuesday, November 12:  St. Josaphat, Bishop, martyr (1580?-1623)

Born Joseph Kunsevich in Poland to a noble family.  He was ordained a priest and became a gifted speaker.  He was an advocate for uniting the Orthodox Church with Rome.  Joseph made progress gaining support, but was killed by an Orthodox fanatic.  He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be canonized by Rome

“You make ambushes for me everywhere, in the streets, on the bridges, on the highways, and in the marketplace. I am here among you as a shepherd and you ought to know that I should be happy to give my life for you. I am ready to die for the holy union, for the supremacy of St. Peter and of his successor the Supreme Pontiff”

Patron: Ukraine

Wednesday, November13:  St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Religious   (1850-1917)

Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized.She started work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Italy, and made her vows there and took the religious habit.  When the orphanage closed, the Bishop made her Prioress of Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. She traveled with six sisters to New York City, to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.  In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. She also organized schools and adult education classes.

“Did a Magdalene, a Paul, a Constantine, an Augustine become mountains of ice after their conversion? Quite the contrary. We should never have had these prodigies of conversion and marvelous holiness if they had not changed the flames of human passion into volcanoes of immense love of God.”

Patron:  Immigrants, hospital administrators

Thursday, November 14:  St Lawrence O’Toole, Archbishop (1125-1180)

St. Lawrence, when ten years old, given, by his father, as a hostage to the king of Leinster, by whom her was treated inhumanely. The king finally handed him over to the Bishopand Abbot. .Upon the death of the Bishop St Lawrence was chosen Abbot of the monastery.  He was made Archbishop of Dublin.  On a trip to England to see King Henry II.  As the archbishop was going to the altar to officiate, a maniac  struck him a violent blow on the head.He was thought mortally wounded, but the Lawrence asked for some water, blessed it, and and washed his wound with it.  The blood was immediately stopped, and the he celebrated Mass.

Patron:  Archdiocese of Dublin

Friday November 15:  St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Doctor (1206-1280)

Albert the Great was a German Dominican, who influenced the Church’s stance toward Aristotelian philosophy brought to Europe by the spread of Islam. He was the eldest son of a powerful and wealthy German. Despite opposition from his family, he entered the Dominican novitiate. His interests prompted him to write a compendium of all knowledge: natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics and metaphysics. He was a Dominican provincial and even a bishop of Regensburg for a short time. He defended the mendicant orders and preached the Crusade in Germany and Bohemia.

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for “God is Charity”

Patron: scientists and philosophers.

Saturday, November 16:  St. Margaret of Scotland, queen (1050?-1093)

Margaret of Scotland was free to be herself. For her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.  Margaret was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. She spent much of her youth in the court of her great-uncle, the English king, Edward the Confessor. Her family was shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. King Malcolm befriended them Because of Malcolm’s love for Margaret, she was able to soften his temper,  and help him become a virtuous king. she promoted arts, tried to correct religious abuses common among priests and lay people. She and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. Margaret personally supervised their religious instruction and other studies.  Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them.

Patron:  Scotland

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