A Week of Saints, September 2-8, 2019

Monday, September 2:  Blessed John Francis Burté  Priests, martyr (d. 1772)

These priests were victims of the French Revolution. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy required all priests to take an oath which was a denial of the faith. These men refused and were executed.

John Francis Burté became a Franciscan, and after ordination taught theology. Later he was arrested and held in the convent of the Carmelites.

With 182 others, including several bishops and many religious and  priests.  They were massacred in Paris in 1772.

Tuesday, September 3:  St. Gregory the Great, Pope (540?-604)

At the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.

He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners,  and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of “Gregorian” chant is uncertain.

In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called “the Great,” hehas been given a place with Augustine, Ambrose and Jerome as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.

“We make Idols of our concepts, but Wisdom is born of wonder”

Patron:  Musicians, singers, students, and teachers

Wednesday, September 4:  St. Rose of Viterbo, Secular Franciscan (1233-1251)

Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. She had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. She lived a life of penance and was generous to the poor.  She became a Secular Franciscan at age ten, and began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.

“Prayer reveals to souls the vanity of earthly goods and pleasures. It fills them with light, strength and consolation; and gives them a foretaste of the calm bliss of our heavenly home“

Patron:  people in exile; people rejected by religious orders;     

Thursday, September 5,:  St. Teresa of Calcutta Religious Sister, (1910-1997)

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, was short in stature but known throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor.she founded the Missionaries of Charity, as a diocesan religious community. At age 18 she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. She was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. It was there she chose the name Teresa .

While riding a train, Sister Teresa heard what she explained as “a call within a call. She was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them, and give up her life with the Sisters to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Other helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, the use of buildings. In 1952 the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the Order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging and street people.

For the next four decades Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor.  She traveled the world inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Patron: World Youth Day, Missionaries of Charity 

Friday, September 6:  Blessed Claudio Granzotto (1900-1947)

At the age of nine his father died, and six years later he was drafted into the Italian army.  His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to study and earn a diploma in art.   When Claudio entered the Friars Minor, his parish priest wrote, 

“The Order is receiving not only an artist but a saint.” Prayer, charity to the poor and artistic work characterized his life, which was cut short by a brain tumor, and died on the feast of the Assumption.

Patron:  sculptors, artists

Saturday, September 7:  Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)

Frédéric was a French scholar. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. 

“Let us go in simplicity where merciful Providence leads us, content to see the stone on which we should step without wanting to discover all at once and completely the windings of the road.”

 Patron:  politicians, lawyers, philanthropists, laborers

Sunday, September 8:  Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church has celebrated Mary’s birth since at least the sixth century. Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s birth. Tradition tells us that Anna and Joachim were infertile but prayed for a child, with a promise of a child that will be a part of Salvation.

And Then He Rested

I like to take photographs. When composing a picture, I look through the view finder, and try to find the impression I want of my subject. When I finally see what appeals to me, and I’m happy with it, I release the shutter, and find gratification in the click of my camera, knowing that I’ve accomplished my goal. I imagine a chef feels the same way, when adding that final ingredient that creates the perfect bite, or an artist, with the last brush stroke of a masterpiece, a composer, engineer, surgeon, writer, designer etc. We have all experienced the feeling of completion and satisfaction with the result. That moment we know we’re done, because we’ve poured ourselves into something, and we think, this is it. This scratches the itch, and any more, would be meaningless.

It’s good to remember, when I see something breathtaking in nature, that as beautiful as that is, God rested after he created us, humanity. In His own Image He created them, male and female. WE are that last brush stroke of the Creator.

A Week of Saints August 26th- September 1, 2019

Monday, August 26:  St. Joseph Calasanz, Priest (1556-1648)

He was respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise. He put aside his career, because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.  He provided a free school for deprived children. He opened the first free public school in Rome

“Those who instruct many in virtue, will shine like the stars for all eternity”

Patron: Catholic Schools

.Tuesday, August 27:  St. Monica, wife, mother(322-387)

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan, who although was generous, he was also violent tempered. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St Augustine was not living a Christian life and Monica prayed many years for his conversion.  One priest told her, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” St Augustine finally converted, and was baptized by St Ambrose.

“One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.”

Patron: of Wives and Abuse Victims

Wednesday, August 28:  St. Augustine, Priest,  Bishop(354-430)

 St Augustine lived a self satisfying life that didn’t include a faith in God.  His mother St Monica prayed devotedly for him for 17 years. He pursued many spiritualities and philosophies.  Through the intercession of St Monica and the instruction of St Ambrose he converted

He wrote many books teaching us how to live for Jesus and not fall into temptation and sin.

“A man may lose the good things of this life against his will; but if he loses the eternal blessings, he does so with his own consent.”  

Patron:  brewers, printers, theologians, sore eyes

Thursday, August 29:  The Passion of St. John the Baptist


St. John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod, at the bidding of his stepdaughter. His wife didn’t like John, because he pointed out her adultery, so she conspired with her daughter to have him be headed. 

Friday, August 30:  St. Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879)

Jean had a passion for serving the poor and elderly. She became a nurse, and then joined a third order group founded by St John Eudes. She is the founders of The Little Sisters Of The poor

“Remain little, hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

Saturday, August 31:  Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (time of Christ)

Joseph was a respected, wealthy leader, who had become a disciple of Jesus. He requested the body of Jesus and wrapped him in his shroud and placed him in a tomb. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.

Patron: funeral directors, pallbearers

Nicodemuswas a Pharisee.  Nicodemus secret.y went to Jesus at nigh, to better understand his teachings. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus’ burial.

Sunday, September 1:  St. Giles, (d. 710?)

He was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. He built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to the Holy Land.   In England, many churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. He was  among the “14 Holy Helpers”, a p group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Such devotion made his popularity spread. 

Patron: poor, disabled, epileptic

Getting Close

My son was sitting next to me in church.  He slid over, so that he was snug up next to me.  I put my arm around him, pulled him in, and kissed his head.  He wanted affection, and asked for it in his own socially accepted way.  He wanted to be close.  He may not have even been mindful of his tactic, but rather moved on instinct. My response was automatic, reading my son’s need, and responding to him with love.

I was on retreat recently, and I think that is like nudging up next to God.  Like my son, I didn’t need to know what it was that I was searching for, but God will respond.  He  sees exactly what it is that I’m asking, even if I don’t know myself.  Then He embraces me and kisses my head.  

A Week of Saints: August 19-25, 2019

Monday, August, 19:  St. John Eudes, Priest (1601-1680)

St. John Eudes was a French missionary.  At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity, and at age 24, he was ordained a priest at age 24.  He cared for plague victims risking his own life. He preached missions and was known as the greatest preacher of his age, throughout France. He founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, a refuge for prostitutes, and the Society of Jesus and Mary, to educate priests.  He wrote “Le Coeur Admirable de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu”.

“Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there.”

Patron:  missionaries

Tuesday, August 20:  St. Bernard, Priest, Doctor (1091-1153)

 St. Bernard was born of noble parentage, under the care of his pious parents.  After the death of his mother, he joined the Cistercian Order, of which he persuaded his brothers and several of his friends to follow his example. The reputation of St Bernard spread far and wide; even the Popes were governed by his advice. He was credited with many miracles

“The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself … Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare … You too must learn to await this fullness before pouring out your gifts, do not try to be more generous than God.” 

Patron:  bookkeepers, candlemakers

Wednesday, August 21 :  St. Pius X, Pope (1835-1914)

Two of the most outstanding accomplishments of this saintly Pope were the inauguration of the liturgical renewal and the restoration of frequent communion from childhood. He also waged taught against the heresy and evils of Modernism.   From St. Pius X we learn again that “the folly of the Cross”, simplicity of life, and humility of heart are still the highest wisdom and conditions of a perfect Christian life, for they are the very source of all apostolic fruitfulness.

“To heal the breach between the rich and the poor, it is necessary to distinguish between justice and charity.”

Patron: first communicants

Thursday, August 22:  The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic teaching on this subject is expressed in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Prius XII.  It states that Mary is called Queen of Heaven, because her son, Jesus Christ, is the king of Israel and heavenly king of the universe.  the Davidic tradition of Israel recognized the mother of the king as the Queen Mother of Israel.

The title, Queen of Heaven, has long been a Catholic tradition, from Middle Ages, long before it was given a formal definition status by the Church

Pius XII established this feast in 1954. But Mary’s queenship has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. Her queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship. 

Friday, August 23:  St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

Rose was born in Peru to Spanish parents. Her parents tried to get Rose, a beauty, married, but she refused.  When they refused to let her enter the convent she became a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. She set up a room in her house to care for those in need, orphans, homeless, elderly.

The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena (April 29) as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral, and prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.

“The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases.”

Patron:  embroiderers, sewing lace, gardeners, florist people ridiculed or misunderstood for their piety, for the resolution of family quarrels, vanity

Patron: Americas,

Saturday, August 24:  St. Bartholomew, Apostle (time of Christ)

Bartholomew was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. He has been identified with Nathaniel, who appears in the Gospel of John as being introduced to Jesus by Phillip.

Patron: butchers, leather workers, neurological diseases, shoemakers, plasterers 

Sunday, August 25:  St. Louis of France, king (1226-1270)

At his coronation as king of France, Louis IX bound himself by oath to behave as God’s anointed.as other kings had.  Louis was different, he actually interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith. After the violence of two previous reigns, he brought peace and justice.

He replaced trial by battle with a form of examination of witnesses and encouraged the use of written records in court.  He was respectful of the papacy, founded hospitals for the sick and cared for lepers. He fed the hungry and helped the poor

“I advise you that you accustom yourself to frequent confession, and that you choose always, as your confessors, men who are upright and sufficiently learned, and who can teach you what you should do and what you should avoid.”

 “Fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved.”

 Patron: Barbers, Grooms, Secular Franciscan Order

A Week of Saints

Monday, August 12th: St Jane Frances de Chantal, religious sister (1572-1641)

Jane was married to Christophe, a French baron of an estate in bad shape and financial trouble. She managed the household, such that those in her employ loved her, and conditions improved. Her husband was killed in a hunting accident, leaving Jane alone. She was very generous to the poor. 

Her spiritual director was St Francis de Sales, and they were also best friends.  With his help they started the order of the Visitation. Women who were widow, or those with health condition that couldn’t withstand the austerity of other orders were welcome here 

“Throw ourselves into God as a little drop of water into the sea, and lose ourselves indeed in the Ocean of the divine goodness.”

Patron: widows, forgotten people; in-law problems; loss of parents; parents separated from children 

Tuesday, August 13th: St Hippolytus, Martyr (170-235)

Hippolytus of Rome was a controversial person in the church.  He censured Pope Dt, Callistus I. He then, was first to be elected an antipope in the church. He was reconciled to the church, before his martyrdom. He had many writings. 

“Fly to the Catholic Church!  Adhere to the only faiths that continues to exist from the beginning, that faith that was preached by Paul, and is upheld by the chair of Peter.”

Patron:  horses; prison guards; prison officers; prison workers

Wednesday, August 14th: St. Maximillian Kolbe, Martyr (1894-1941)

Maximillian was frail as a result of a bout of tuberculosis. He became a Franciscan and priest in Poland. He founded the Immaculata Movement, a devotion to the Blessed Mother. 

Maximilian was born in 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He contracted tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life. Before his ordination as a priest, Maximilian founded the Immaculata Movement He took his devotion to India and Japan.  After the Nazi invasion, he was imprisoned, and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Fr Kolbe took the place of a married man, who was chosen to die.

“I pray you to tell the Brothers not to be afraid at all to love the Immaculate too much since . . . they will never love her like Jesus loved her.” 

Patron: drug addicts, prisoners, families, and the pro-life movement

Thursday, August 15th: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Pope Pius XII proclaimed ““We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” What the pope declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.  There are homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. 

Friday, August 16th: St Uguzo, Martyr (unknown)

St Uguzo is sometimes listed as Lucius. He was a shepherd in the Italian Alps, and was noted for giving to the poor and the Church. He was murdered by a former master. While there is no date connected with the saint, he was especially venerated at Milan from about 1280.

Saturday, August 17th: St Myron, Bishop (c 150-250)

St Myron is known as “the wonder worker”. He was a family man, and known for his generosity to the poor.   He even helped the thieves that broke into his home to a bag of wheat, converting the lives of the thieves.   The Cretan people urged him to accept ordination to the priesthood. He was then made a bishop of Raucia.  He is credited with stopping the flow of a flooding river.  He lived to be 100.

Sunday, August 18th: St Flores and St Lauras, maryrrs (2nd century)

They were martyrs with Maximus and Proculus. Venerated particularly by the Greeks, Florus and Laurus were twin brothers, who were stone masons.  They Christianized a pagan temple and were drowned in a well as a result.