Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle & Martyr for Christ

St Andrew The Apostle — Image Courtesy: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Today Christians celebrate the Feast of Saint Andrew — Once a fisherman from Bethsaida, his brother was St Peter (Feast Day: 29 June) St. Andrew is said to have spread the the Good News of Jesus Christ in Russia and Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) after Pentecost during the first century.

St. Andrew was crucified by the Romans in Greece on an ‘X-Shaped Cross’ which is now his distinctive symbol as well as the symbol of Scotland of which he is her Patron Saint. — St. Andrew demonstrated his love for his brother as well as his apostolic zeal, convinced that Jesus was the Messiah he sought out St. Peter:

‘Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, he first found his brother Simon and said to him,”We have found the Messiah,” -then he brought him to Jesus.’ –John 1:40-42

Rest here from Cristy -2014

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

Today Christians Honor St. Saturninus, Martyr For Christ

St SaturninusSaint Saturninus  -Image Courtesy: uCatholic

(EWTN) St. Saturninus was says French historian Fr. Tillemont (1637-1698) “One of the most illustrious Martyrs France has given to the Church.”

History today only possess only his Acts which are very old since they were utilized by St Gregory of Tours (538-594) We know that Saturninus was the first Bishop of Toulouse, whether he went during the consult of Decius and Gratus (250) whether there were already Christians in the town, or his preaching resulted in numerous conversions, Saturninus soon had a little Church. — To reach it, Saturninus had to pass before the Capitol where there was a temple and according to the Acts, the Pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passing the silence of their oracles.

One day the Pagan priests seized Saturninus and on his unshakable refusal to make a sacrifice to the idols, they condemned him to death by being tied by the feet to a bull which drug him about the town until the rope broke.

After Saturninus death, two Christian Women reverently gathered up his remains, burying them in a deep ditch so that they would not be defiled by the evil Pagans. — Saturninus successors St. Hilary (Feast Day: 13 January) and St. Eusbius (Feast Day: 02 August) gave him a more honorable burial. A Church was erected where the Bull which caused his death had stopped and still exists to this day and is called, Notre-Dame du Taur (Church of the Bull) — The body of St. Saturnunus was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or St. Saturnin) one of the most ancient and beautiful in Southern France.

St. Saturninus Feast Day was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology on this date. — The account of his Acts were embellished with several details and legends linked to his name with the beginning of the Churches: Eauze, Auch, Pamplona and Amiens but these are without historic foundation.

More here from Catholic Encyclopedia/New Advent 2012

Alternative Saint of the Day:  Saint Clement -Franciscan Media

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal

St Catherine LaboureSt. Catherine Laboure (1806-1876)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Born in France Burgundy and given the birth name Zoe, she was of a large family and the 9th of 11 children, her mother passed when Zoe was just 8 yrs old according to SQPN and her older sister joined the ‘Sisters of Charity’ which necessitated Zoe to assume the daily household duties, it was said of her, that she was a very quiet and practical child, subsequently Zoe worked as a waitress in Paris at her Uncle’s cafe.

As a young Woman of 24,  Zoe became a member of the nursing order founded by St. Vincent de Paul (Feast Day: 27 September) according to Laboure Society — Zoe was very devout, of a somewhat romantic nature, given to visions and insights, she chose the Daughters of Charity after receiving a vision in which St. Vincent told her that God wanted her to work with the sick and upon joining the Order, took the name Catherine.

On the night of the 18 July, 1830 Catherine awoke from sleep after hearing the voice of a child calling her to the Chapel and subsequently heard the Virgin Mary say to her, “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted but do not fear, you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and the world.”

On the 27 November, 1830 the Blessed Mother returned to Catherine during evening meditations, displaying herself in an oval frame, standing upon a globe, wearing many rings of different colors, most of which shone rays of light over the globe, around the margin of the fame appeared the words: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of 12 stars, a large letter ‘M’  surmounted by a Cross and the styled Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary underneath. — Catherine asked why some of the rings did not shed light? Blessed Mother Mary replied:

“Those are the graces for which people forgot to ask.”

Catherine then heard Mary ask her to take these images to her Priest (Confessor) telling him that they should be put on medallions and said, “All who wear them will receive great graces.”

Doing as she was instructed, after two years of investigation and observation of Catherine’s normal daily behavior her Priest (Confessor) took the information to his Archbishop without revealing Catherine’s identity. The request was approved and medallions began to be produced.

The medallions proved to be exceedingly popular. The principles laid down by the Church of the ‘Immaculate Conception’ had not yet been officially promulgated but the medal with its “Conceived Without Sin” slogan was probably influential in popular approval of the idea.

Pope Saint John Paul II used a slight variation of the reverse of the image as his coat of arms, a plain Cross with an ‘M’ in the lower right quadrant of the shield.

Catherine lived her remaining years as an ordinary Nursing Sister, she was very pleasant and well liked by everyone. Catherine never told anyone but her Priest (Confessor) about her visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so even at her death on New Years Eve 1876 no one knew that it was Catherine who brought the Miraculous Miracle to the world.

Beatified in 1933 by Pope Pius XI, Catherine was Canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII

More here by Laboure Society — here and here from EWTN

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Benedictine Bishop Saint Virgilius of Salzburg

St Virgilius

St. Virgilius of Salzburg
Image Courtesy: Catholic News World

(EWTN) Born during the 8th century in Ireland, Virgilius was a Scientist before his time and in his Monastery of Aghaboe, he was known as the ‘Geometer’ because of his knowledge of Geography.

In 743 Virgilius left Ireland for a pilgrimage to Israel but got no further than the Court of Pepin — In 745 Pepin defeated Odilo Duke of Bavaria and sent Virgilius to be Abbot of the Monastery of St. Peter and in charge of the Diocese of Salzburg.

In accordance with the Irish custom of the time, the Bishop was subject to the Abbot who was the head of the diocese. As this was contrary to the continental custom, Virgilius consented to be consecrated Bishop; His most notable accomplishments was the conversion of the Alpine Slavs and sending Missionaries to Hungary.

During his first days at Salzburg, Bishop Virgilius was involved in controversies with Saint Boniface (Feast Day: 05 June) one over the form of Baptism, which the Pope decided in Bishop Virgilius’ favor. — Bishop Virgilius also expressed a number of opinions on Astronomy, Geography and Anthropology which to Saint Boniface smacked in the face of novelty if not heresy which he reported to Rome and the Pope demanded an investigation of Bishop Virgilius.

Nothing ever became of the allegations as Bishop Virgilius was able to defend his scholarly opinions.

During his tenure as as Bishop, Virgilius would construct a grand Cathedral at Salzburg, he would Baptize the Duke’s of Carinthia and would send Missionaries into lands where no Missionaries had before been.

While returning from a evangelistic mission to a distant part of his diocese, Bishop Virgilius fell ill and died on this date in 784 — When the Cathedral of Salzburg was destroyed by fire in 1181 the grave of Bishop Virgilius was discovered and this led to his Canonization in 1233 by Pope Gregory IX

Bishop Saint Virgilius Feast day is honored in the Diocese of Sallzburg and throughout Ireland.

More here from EWTN and here from CatholicSaints.Info 2009

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. John Berchmans, Patron Saint of Young People

St John BerchmansSt. John Berchmans (1599-1621) Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(EWTN) Born in Belgium, Province of Brabant, John was the eldest of five siblings, growing up in an atmosphere of political turmoil caused by a religious war between the Catholics and Protestant sections of the Netherlands. — John would study at the Jesuit College at Malines according to SQPN and worked as a Servant in the household of Canon John Froymont, in order to continue his studies. John’s hopes and ambitions were to one day help and teach bilingual migrants, so he would go on to study all of the chief languages of Europe.

John was an ambitious, energetic student and became a leader among all the other students — St. Aloysius Gonzaga (Feast Day: 21 June) became John’s spiritual model and he was influenced in his life as well by the example of Jesuit English Martyrs.

It was John’s realistic appreciation for the value of ordinary things, a characteristic of the Flemish (Dutch language; One of the two official languages spoken in Belgium) traditions which constituted John’s holiness. John was affable, kind and endowed with an outgoing personality that endeared him to everyone.

In 1618 John was sent to Rome to continue his studies in philosophy, he was known as an exceptional student. John would request to become an Army Chaplain following his Ordination however by the Summer of 1619 the intense heat of Rome began affecting his health and he began to progressively become weak.

John’s physicians could not determine what was wrong with him and for the next two years, John would require continual medical treatment and care. By the Summer of 1621 it was becoming clear that John’s final days were just before him and he died peacefully soon thereafter. Many miracles were attributed to his intercessory prayers at the time of his funeral in August 1621

John was Beatified in 1865 by Pope Pius IX and Canonized in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII

More here from EWTN

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Patron Saint of Parish Missions

St Leonard Port MauriceSt. Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Born in Italy at Port Maurizo, he was given the name Paul Jerome Casanova by his seafaring father Capt Domenico Casanova and mother Anna Maria Benza — When young Paul was 13 yrs of age, he was placed in the care of his uncle Agostino to study for a career as a Physician however when he decided that he wanted to pursue something besides Medicine his uncle disowned him.

Subsequently entered the Jesuit College in Rome and joined the ‘Riformella’ (branch of the Franciscans) according to SQPN  and took the name Brother Leonard, in 1703 he was Ordained.

For a period of time thereafter, Fr. Leonard began to teach, expecting to become a Missionary to China however a bleeding ulcer kept him from traveling afar, it took him several years to recover and to regain his strength.

In 1709 following his recovery, Fr. Leonard was sent to Florence where he would minister in the city and nearby region becoming known as a great preacher, Fr. Leonard was soon invited to visit and minister in other areas. where he worked to increase devotion to the: Blessed Sacrament; Sacred Heart; Immaculate Conception and the Stations of the Cross. — One of his chief accomplishments which he became widely known for was to set up the ‘Stations of the Cross’ in over 500 different places including the Roman Colosseum.

Fr. Leonard in 1744 was sent by Pope Benedict XIV as a Missionary to Corsica in order to restore discipline to the Holy Orders, local politics however would greatly limit his success in his ministry. Sometime thereafter, Fr. Leonard would return to Rome exhausted, where he would spend the rest of his life. — Fr. Leonard, passed away this month in 1751 at the Monastery of Saint Bonaventura.

In 1796 Fr. Leonard was Beatified by Pope Pius VI and in 1867 he was Canonized by Pope Pius XI and named Patron of Parish Missions.

More here from Catholic Online and here by Fr. Dominic Devas

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Martyr For Christ

St Catherine of AlexandriaSt. Catherine of Alexandria (287-305)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) Born in Egypt Alexandria,Catherine converted to Christianity according to EWTN after receiving a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child.

At the age of 18 Catherine debated 50 Pagan Philosophers. Amazed at her wisdom and her debating skills, they all became Christians, as did about 200 Soldiers and members of the Emperor’s family–all of them would be martyred.

Catherine was sentenced to be put to death on a spiked wheel. When she was fastened to the wheel, her bonds were miraculously loosened and the wheel itself broke, its spikes flying off killing some of the spectators, she was then beheaded. — Centuries later, Angels are said to have carried the body of St. Catherine to a Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

Devotion to St. Catherine spread as the result of the ‘Crusades’ shes been invoked as the Patroness of: Nurses, Lawyers, Librarians, Philosophers, Schoolchildren and Teachers. — St. Catherine is one of 14 ‘Holy Helpers’ venerated especially in Germany and Hungary.

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions, Martyrs For Christ

St Andrew Dung-LacSt. Andrew Dung-Lac –Image Courtesy: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) Born 1795 in Vietnam, Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred for Christ in Vietnam between 1820-1862

Fr. Andrew Dung-Lac worked in missions with Priests of the ‘Society of Foreign Missions of Paris’ according to SQPN — Imprisoned and repeatedly tortured during the persecutions of Minh-Meng, he died together with St. Peter Thi in 1839

EWTN Video: St. Dung-Lac Priest, Martyr and Martyred Companions

All 117 were part of the group Beatified on four different occasions between 1900-1951 and Canonized in 1988 by Pope Saint John Paul II

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

Very Happy Thanksgiving!

happy-thanksgivingMay You & Your Family Enjoy a Very Happy Thanksgiving — God Bless!

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Pope Saint Clement I, Martyr for Christ

Pope St Clement IPope Saint Clement I -Image Courtesy: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Born in Italy Rome, the details before Pope Saint Clement I before his conversion and even afterward are largely unknown. Some aspects of his writings have led scholars to believe the 4th Pope either came from a Jewish background or he had converted to Judaism earlier in life before his conversion to Christianity.

Tradition suggests that Clement I was the son of a Roman named Faustinus and that he joined the Church in Rome during its early years, through the ministry of St. Peter or St. Paul (Feast Day: 29 June) Clement  I, went on to share in the missionary journeys of the Apostles of Christ and may even had assisted the first Pope in running the Church on a local level.

Following the death’s of St. Peter’s first two successors, the Canonized Pope’s St. Linus (Feast Day: 23 Sept) and St. Cletus (Feast Day: 26 April) Clement I, took up St. Peter’s position of primacy in the Church around the year 90 — One of his most important tasks during his 10 yrs as Pope was to resolve serious problems in the ‘Church of Corinth’ which St. Paul had struggled to discipline.

Clement I own letter to the Corinthians (though not part of the Biblical Canon) offers an important look at the role of authority and charity in the early Church. 

“Charity unites us to God. There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity, all the elect of God have been made perfect.” –Pope Saint Clement I –Catholic Saints.Info

It’s introduction suggests that Pope Clement I composed it while his own local church faced persecution from the Roman Emperor Domitian.

In the letter, Pope Clement I describes how the Corinthians had once been “distinguished by humility” being “in no respect puffed up with pride and more willing to give then to receive,” however in time, “the worthless rose up against the honored, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years.” 

“Let us give up vain and fruitless cares and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling,” Pope Clement I wrote in his call to repentance. “Let us attend to what is good, pleasing and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us.”

Order and discipline Pope Clement I noted, are at least as important in the Church as they are in the rest of creation, where the powers of nature follow God’s decrees. — Pope Clement I, also warned the Corinthians to follow “those who cultivate peace with godliness,” rather than “those who hypocritically profess to desire it.”

The Church Pope Saint Clement I headed, was one that honored tradition and right order as fundamentals of its life.

“It behooves us all to do all things in order which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times,” Pope Clement I told the Corinthians. God he said, “has enjoined offerings and service to be performed…not thoughtlessly or irregularly but at the appointed times and hours.”

“Where and by whom (God) desires these things to be done, He Himself as fixed by His own Supreme will, in order that all things being piously done according to His good pleasure may be acceptable to Him.”

Pope Saint Clement I (the 4th Pope) own writings, reveal much about the early Church but little about his own life. According to one later account, he died (martyred in the year 101) while in exile during the reign of Emperor Trajan (98-117) who purportedly banished Pope Clement I, to Crimea (modern day Ukraine) and had him killed in retaliation for evangelizing the local population. 

More here from EWTN