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

Darkness My Old Friend

I recently watched a movie about St Ignatius of Loyola, where he suffered from the memory of his sinful past.  He accused himself relentlessly over and over, while he heard lies of despair instead of Hope in his head.  He later identified the voice of despair as satan.

My confessor directed me to find were the lies were that satan was speaking to me in my life.  I found sins that I would revisit and feel bad about, or times where I could only see injustice, and not the Light.  Although placed there as temptations to despair, I could admit my cooperation with this way of thinking, and confess it.  

I know that my Father is Love, and satan wants to separate me from the Love of my God.  I think it fair to say that if there is something that makes me feel unloved by God, then the fault is mine.  So I was motivated to revisit these difficult memories and find God in them.  If its a forgiven sin, who am I to hold onto it.  If its an injustice done to me, then I need to look for how God was present to me through that experience.  I need to replace the negative feelings associated with these things, with the Truth. I have to stop listening to the mantra of evil.  I can’t linger in the darkness of satan’s suggestion.  I need to find these little seeds of demise, and quickly bring Light to the darkness.  I need to exercise vigilance.

The movie can be found on “Formed”, and is titled “Ignatius of Loyola”.

Week of Saints November 4-10, 2019

Monday, November 4:  St. Charles Borromeo, Cardinal (1538-1584)

Charles was born in Italy and a son of  Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici, sister of Pope. he was made Bishop of Milan. He was intent to improve the morals and manners of the clergy and laity, established seminaries for the education of the clergy, founded a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the religious instruction of children. He founded a society of secular priests, Oblates of St. Ambrose (now Oblates of St. Charles). Although he achieved a position of great power, he used it with humility.

Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.

Patron:  agains ulcers, appole orchards catechists, catechumens, colic; intestinal disorders;

Tuesday, November 5: Zachariah and Elizabeth Early Christian (time of Christ)

Elizabeth is a cousin to the Virgin Mary.  Zachariah, desiring a child, went to pray in the temple and was told by the angel Gabriel, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John… he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.” (Luke 1:13-15).

Zachariah was skeptical because both himself and his wife were elderly. For his skepticism, Zachariah was rendered mute until the prophecy had been fulfilled.

Elizabeth became pregnant shortly thereafter and she rejoiced.

Gabriel then visited the Virgin Mary at Nazareth, telling her that she would conceive of the Holy Spirit and become the mother of Jesus.  Elizabeth was visited by Mary, at which time Mary spoke the hymn of praise now known at the Magnificat, and after John’s birth, Zachary’s speech was restored

Wednesday, November 6:  St. Joseph Khang (d-1861)

Martyr of Vietnam. The servant of St. Jerome Hermosilla, Joseph tried to deliver St. Jerome from prison. He was caught in the attempt, lashed, and beheaded.

Thursday, November 7:  St. Didacus, Religious Brother(1400-1463)

He lived for some time as a hermit. After Didacus became a Franciscan brother, he developed a reputation for great insight into God’s ways. He volunteered for the missions in the Canary Islands.  In 1450 he was sent to Rome to attend the canonization of St. Bernardine of Siena. Didacus stayed in Rome for three months to nurse the friars, who had become ill. After he returned to Spain, he pursued a life of contemplation full-time.

“O faithful wood, O precious nails! You have borne an exceedingly sweet burden, for you have been judged worthy to bear the Lord and King of heaven”

Patron

Friday, November 8: Four Crowned Martyrs Death: 305

Two separate groups who suffered for the faith, called Sancti Quatuor Coronati, “the Four Holy Crowned Ones. Castorius, Claudius, Nicostratus, and Symphorian were tortured and slain in Pannonia, having been carvers from Sirmium. They refused to carve a pagan statue and were martyred by Emperor Diocletian. A martyr named Simplicius died with them. The second group of Four Holy Crowned Ones died at Albano, Italy. They were Carpophorus, Secundius, Severian, and Victorinus. A basilica was erected in honor of these martyrs in Rome. 

Saturday, November 9:  Dedication of St. John Lateran

St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until 14th century.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.

Sunday, November 10:  St. Leo the Great, Pope (d. 461)

St Leo was elected Pope in 440, he worked guiding his fellow bishops as “equals in the episcopacy and infirmities.”

Leo is known as one of the best administrative popes of the ancient Church. He worked to control heresies, and to secure true Christian beliefs. He led the defense of Rome against barbarian attack, taking the role of peacemaker.

He is known for his spiritually profound sermons.

“Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom”

A Week of Saints

Monday, October 28:  St’s Simon and Jude, Apostles, Martyrs (time of Christ)

St. Jude, was named by Luke and in Acts, but Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is listed among all the Apostles. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. He is brother of James the Less and son of Clopas and Mary, who was the cousin of the Blessed Mother. He preached the Gospel in 

Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. according to ancient writers.

Patron:  Desperate causes, desperate situations, lost causes

St. Simon, sometimes called the Zealot, was son of Cleophas, St. Joseph’s brother, and his mother was possibly Our Lady’s sister. He was successor to St James as  Bishop of Jerusalem,  The Christians fled the city with Simon to Pella on the other side of the Jordan, eventually returning to Jerusalem.  The church here flourished greatly, and that many Jews were converted by the miracles by the saints. He was thought to be 120 yrs old and was put to death by crucifixion.

Tuesday, October. 29:  St. Narcissus of Jerusalem, Bishop (d. 215)

St. Narcissus managed to live well beyond 100. Some even speculate he lived to 160. Details of his life are uncertain, but there are reports of his many miracles. He is most remembered for turning water into oil for use in the church lamps on Holy Saturday.  He was bishop of Jerusalem in the late second century. When he retired as Bishop he went into isolation. Upon returning to Jerusalem he resumed his role as Bishop.

Wednesday, October 30:  St. Alphonsus Rodriguez , Lay Brother(1533-1617)

Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer.

Born in Spain, at 23 he inherited the family textile business. He lost his wife and daughter, sold his business that wasn’t doing well, and moved with his son to live with his sister..prayer and meditation. He joined the Jesuits, and served as doorkeeper.  His prayerfulness and holiness was noticed in his humble position

“You must strive with all possible care to please God in such a manner as neither to do nor behold anything, without first consulting Him, and in everything to seek Him alone and His glory.”

Thursday, October 31:  St. Wolfgang of Regensburg, Priest (924-994)

Wolfgang was born in Germany, taught in a cathedral school and supported efforts to reform the clergy.  He became a Benedictine monk, was ordained a priest and was made head of the monastery school.  He later went to Hungary as a  missionary. He was appointed Bishop of Regensburg, where he was an effective preacher, initiated clergy reform and had special concern for the poor.

Patron:  apoplexy, Carpenters, paralysis, stomach disease, strokes

Friday, November 1:  All Saints

The feast where the Catholic Church honors its Saints. 

Saturday, November 2:  All Souls

On this day the Church remembers and prays for the dead.

Sunday, November 3:  St Martin de Porres, Priest (1579-1639)

It was said that even as a child St Martin de Porres gave his heart and his goods to the poor..

He was the illegitimate son of a freed woman of Panama, and inherited the features and dark complexion of his mother. Martin was reared in poverty, and locked into a low level of society.  He applied to the Dominicans to be a “lay helper” His example of prayer and penance, charity and humility led the community to request him to make full religious profession. He treated the sick. all people, regardless of their color, race or status. When his priory was in debt, he said, “I am only a poor mulatto. Sell me. I am the property of the order. Sell me.”Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and a remarkable rapport with animals. Many of his fellow religious took him as their spiritual director.

“Everything, even sweeping, scraping vegetables, weeding a garden and waiting on the sick could be a prayer, if it were offered to God.

Patron: people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers

Mother Thomas

 It was with such joy in her heart that she greeted me. She had just come from Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and her excitement as she told me, was like a child on Christmas morning. On the front of her habit is depicted the Eucharist in a Monstrance, the God of her devotion that is, and has been, central to her life for 60 years.  Her talents, love, and humility are so understated in her brown habit and black veil, as is her stature, now bent at her waist.  

When she was young, she studied art in Chicago, Mexico and Rome.  It was an Easter Vigil at the Vatican, that she received her vocation.  She received Communion, and she knew that her life would be devoted to Adoration.  She said, “thats all I have to say, on that.”  She had been establishing a promising career in art.  Painting was her passion, and she was ready to give it up. to adore Christ in the Eucharist.  When she entered the Poor Clares, she didn’t paint for 10 years. 

Today she had a drawing of “The Incarnation” that she had been working on.  It was filled with so many nuances of faith in the details.  Her passion was still there  and expressed beautifully in this drawing.  Then she took me into the next room, and laying on the floor was a painting named, “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the Communion of Saints.”  It took up the entire floor of this one time chapel.  She had painted it on her hands and knees.

It is inspiring to me that in one moment, this beautiful daughter of God laid down her paint brushes for His will in her life. She  wasn’t confused by this tremendous talent given to her, when God called her to something else.  She trusted that He knew what He was about.  She pursued art to Rome, but found her life in Adoration.  After she was influenced by her life in prayer, God called her back to her paintbrushes, and now her gifts are used to glorify God!  She takes each idea to prayer, then creates with her heart.  I shared my love of St Veronica, with her.  She listened with such engaged intensity, and I could see Mother Thomas taking Veronica into her heart, as I spoke.  Her method of prayer and heart, became evident in that moment.

I hope that I can do as Mother Thomas.  To be so open to the Spirit of God that I can abandon what seems to be God’s gifts to me, for His will.

“At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Mt 4:20

A Week of Saints: September 30-October 6, 2019

Monday, September 30:  St. Jerome, Priest (331-420)

Jerome is frequently remembered for his temper and sarcastic pen, but his love for God was extraordinary.  He translated the Old Testament  from Hebrew  (the vulgate), and wrote his famous commentary. St Augustine said, “What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known.”

He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic.

“Begin now to be what you will be hereafter.”

Patron: of Librarians

Tuesday, October 1:  St therese of Lisieux, nun (1873 – 1897)

Theresa of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun called the “Little Flower,” who lived a cloistered life in France. She saw in quiet suffering redemptive suffering.

All her life St. Thérèse suffered from illness, and died of tuberculosis. She suffered without complaint. She had her “little way”.  St. Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives.  To do everything with great, even something as simple as picking up a pin. 

“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”

Patron:  Missionaries; HIV/AIDS, florists, gardeners, loss of parents, tuberculosis

Wednesday, October 2:  Guardian Angels

Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” My 18:10

Many saints have given witness to Guardian Angels, St’s Benedict, Bernard Francis de Sales, Pio, and many more.

“Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.”

St Francis de Sales

Thursday, October 3:  Bl Columba Marmion, monk (1858-1923)

Blessed Columba Marmion was an Irish monk, and was one of the most influential Catholic writers of the 20th century. He believed that a mans love for God was reflected in his love of neighbor. He “possessed an extraordinary facility for adapting himself to other people,” and above all “in comforting others and putting them at their ease.

“The ways of God are entirely different from our ways. To us it seems necessary to employ powerful means in order to produce great effects. This is not God’s method; quite the contrary. He likes to choose the weakest instruments that He may confound the strong”

Friday, October 4:  St Francis of Assisi, priest (1182-1226)

Francis of Assisi followed what Jesus did by how he lived. 

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Much prayer led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ. Embracing a leper on the road manifested his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: he would have been content to be the “nothing” man. He gave up everything, and thought a religious fanatic, begging from door to door.  People began to realize his way was love of God. He started the Franciscan Order. During his last years he was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death, he received the stigmata.

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

Patron: animals, environment 

Saturday, October 5:  St Faustina, religious sister (1905-1938)

Saint Faustina was born in Poland.  When she was almost twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whose members devote themselves to the care and education of troubled young women. She was given the name Sister Maria Faustina, to which she added, “of the Most Blessed Sacrament”. She was asked by our Lord to be a model of how to be merciful to others, and teach God’s plan of mercy for the world. She wrote and suffered in secret, with only her spiritual director and some of her superiors aware that anything special was taking place in her life..

Patron: mercy

“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God.  I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament.” 

Sunday, October 6:  St Bruno, Priest (c 1030)

Bruno was born in Cologne to a prominent family. He was a professor, but later became a hermit. He and six companions were assigned a hermitage.They built an oratory and individual cells, roughly followed the rule of St. Benedict, and thus began the Carthusian Order. They embraced a life of poverty, manual work, prayer, and transcribing manuscripts..

“For the devil may tempt the good, but he cannot find rest in them; for he is shaken violently, and upset, and driven out, now by their prayers, now by their tears of repentance, and now by their almsgiving and similar good works.”

Patron:  monastic communities, possessed people

A Week of Saints (September 23-29, 2019)

Monday, September 23: St. Padre Pio, Priest (1887-1968)

Francesco joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio, when he was fifteen. He was drafted during World War I, but had tuberculosis, and then discharged. In 1918, he was praying after Mass, and had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet and side.

Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him. His confessional ministry would take 10 hours a day; many said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.  St John Paul II honored him for his prayer and charity.

“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.”

Patron: stress relief, adolescents

Tuesday, September 24:  Blessed John Henry Newman Priest (1801–1890)

John Henry Newman, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches. Catholic theology tended to ignore history, but instead was inclined to draw deductions from first principles. Newman taught that  lived experience of believers was recognized as a key part of theological reflection.  Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters that survive. After Newman died, a Newman Club for Catholic students began at the Universities.

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons“

Wednesday, September 25:  St Cleophas (time of Christ)

One of two disciples who met Christ on the road to Emmaus. He was also identified as the father of Mary, one of whom stood with the Mother of God at the foot of the Cross. He has been identified as the father of St. James the Less and as brother of St. Joseph.

Thursday, September 26:  Ss. Cosmos & Damian, Martyrs (c287)

Sts. Cosmas and Damian were brothers, from Arabia, known for their knowledge of medicine.  Because of their faith, they never took money for their craft. Their reputation made them marked objects of persecution. They were apprehended, and beheaded.

Patron of Druggist

Friday, September 25:  St Vincent de Paul, Priest (1580-1660)

St. Vincent, known as The Apostle Of Charity, was born to a poor family in FranceFrance, about 1580. On  a sea voyage he was captured by African pirates and made a slave for two years, until he escaped. He returned to France, and began to preach missions.  His charity was extended, from children to old age. In spite of popularity, he remained deeply rooted in humility. 

“If the world takes something from us on the one hand, God will give us something on the other.”

patron:  charitable societies.

Saturday, September 28:  St. Wenceslaus, Martyr (907-935)

St. Wenceslaus was born near Prague, and was the son of a Duke. St. Ludmila, his grandmother taught him Christianity.  

After the death of his father and grandmother, at the hands of the Magyars, he was declared the new ruler.  He encouraged Christianity. His brother, invited Wenceslaus to a religious festival, trapped and killed him on the way to Mass.

Patron:  Bohemia, Prague

Sunday, September 29:  Ss. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Saint Michael is the “Prince of the Heavenly Host,” the leader of all the angels. His name is Hebrew for “Who is like God?”  He cast down Lucifer and the evil spirits into Hell, and is invoked for protection against Satan. The four offices of Saint Michael are: to fight against Satan, to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy,  to be the champion of God’s people, to call away from earth and bring men’s souls to judgment.

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michaeland his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail.

Patron:  Guardian of the Catholic Church, Jewish People, police officers, military, grocers, mariners, paratroopers, firefighters, paramedics, sickness

Saint Gabriel, whose name means “God’s strength,” announced the birth of John the Baptist  and the at Incarnation of the Word to Mary.

He appeared to St. Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was he who “strengthened” Jesus during his agony in the garden of Gethsemane.

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,* and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Patron: grocers, soldiers, doctors, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness

Patron:  of messengers, telecommunication workers, postal workers

Saint Raphael, whose name means “God has healed” because of his healing of Tobias’ blindness in the Book of Tobit.  Tobit is the only book in which he is mentioned. His office is generally accepted by tradition to be that of healing and acts of mercy.

Raphael is also identified with the angel in John 5:1-4 who descended upon the pond and bestowed healing powers upon it so that the first to enter it after it moved would be healed of whatever infirmity he was suffering.

“I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord”

Patron:  travelers, the blind, and bodily ills

A Week of Saints (September 16-22, 2019)

Monday, September 15th:  Sts. Cornelius, Priest, Pope and Cyprian, Priest, Bishop, Martyr (d. 253)

Because there was no pope for 14 months the Church was governed by a college of Priests.  Cornelius was elected pope “by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men.”

Cornelius’s two-year term as pope had to deal with the readmission of Christians during the time of persecution.  Novatian, a Priest was not in favor of this, and had appointed an antipope. This antipope not only denied the church to forgive these Christians, but also murder, adultery, and fornication.  Cornelius held a synod and ordered the “relapsed” to be restored to the Church with the usual “medicines of repentance.”

Cyprian (d. 258) . Cyprian was very educated and a famous orator.  He was generous to the poor and mad a vow of chastity before becoming a Priest.  A friend of Pope Cornelius, he followed him as pope and not the antipopes, although he was not completely on board with St Cornelius.  Cyprian was martyred standing firm in his faith.

Cornelius: “There is one God and one Christ and but one episcopal chair, originally founded on Peter, by the Lord’s authority. There cannot, therefore, be set up another altar or another priesthood. Whatever any man in his rage or rashness shall appoint, in defiance of the divine institution, must be a spurious, profane and sacrilegious ordinance”

Cyprian: “You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother…. God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body…. If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace”

Tuesday, September 17:  St Robert Bellarmine, Priest (1542-1621)

He worked on church doctrine against the Protestant Reformers.  His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable.  He used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, “The walls won’t catch cold.”  Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, 

“Love is a marvelous and heavenly thing. It never tires and never thinks that it has done enough“

Patron: canon lawyers, catechists

Wednesday, September 18:  St. Joseph of Cupertino, Priest (1603-1663)

Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.  Already as a child, he liked prayer. After a short time with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. He cared for the friary mule, then Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer.  He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.

Patron:  Air Travelers, Astronauts, Pilots

Thursday, September 19:  St. Januarius, Bishop, Martyr (c 305)

St. Januarius was born in Italy and was bishop of Benevento. He went to visit two deacons and two laymen in prison. He also was imprison. They were thrown to the wild beasts, but when the animals did not attack them, they were beheaded. What is believed to be Januarius’ blood is kept in Naples, as a relic. It liquifies and bubbles when exposed in the cathedral. Scientists have not been able to explain this miracle to date..

Patron:  blood banks, volcanic eruptions

Friday, September 20:  Ss. Andrew Kim Tae- gon and Paul Chong Ha-Sang and Companions, Martyrs (1821-1846)

This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay apostle and married man, aged 45..

Saturday, September 21:  St. Matthew Apostle, Martyr (time of Christ)

Matthew was a Jew who collected Roman taxes. Tax collectors were generally hated as dishonest traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with “sinners”. So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that “many” tax collectors and “those known as sinners” came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. Matthew is one of the twelve Apostles.

Sunday, September 22:  St Maurice, Martyr (3rd Century)

Maurice and his fellow legionnaires refused to sacrifice to the gods as ordered by the Emperor. The entire Legion of over six thousand men were put to death. To the end they were encouraged in their constancy by Maurice and two fellow officers, 

Patron: Vatican’s Swiss Guard, armies, weavers, cloth makers

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