Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

St Rose Philipinne DuchenseSt. Rose Philippine Duchesne –Image Courtesy: Catholic Online

(Franciscan Media) Born in France Grenoble to a family of wealth with political connections, Rose’s father Pierre Francois Duchesne was an Attorney, businessman and prominent civic leader, her mother Rose Perier according to SQPN was a member of a leading family.

From the age of 8 Rose had a desire to evangelize in the United States sparked by hearing a Jesuit Missionary speak of his work there.

Rose received a basic education at home from private tutors and religious instruction from her mother. At the age of 12, Rose was sent to be educated at the Convent of the ‘Visitations Nuns’ in Grenoble, she would join them at the age of 19 despite her parents opposition.

When the French Revolution broke out the Convent was closed and Rose began caring for the poor and sick, opening a school for homeless children and risking her life to help Priests in the underground.

When the political turmoil cooled, Rose rented her former Convent (now in shambles) and attempted to revive its religious life but the spirit was gone from it and there were only 4 Nuns left. Rose and her Sisters, joined the newly formed ‘Society of the Sacred Heart’ whose young Superior Saint Madeline Sophie Barat (Feast Day: 29 May) would be her lifelong friend.

In a short time Sister Rose ‘Philippine’ was a Superior and Supervisor of the Novitiate and school but her ambition from childhood, after hearing tales of Missionary work in Louisiana, was to go to the U.S. and work among the Indians there.

At the age of 49 Sister Rose Philippine believing this was her calling from God traveled together with four other Sisters, spending 11 months at sea enroute to New Orleans, then traveling 7 more weeks on the Mississippi River to St. Louis, which she then met one of the many disappointments in her life. — The Bishop had no place for the Nuns to live and work among the Indians but instead sent them to what she would call ‘the remotest village in the United States,’ St. Charles, Missouri but with characteristic, drive and courage, Sister Rose Philippine, founded the first ‘Free’ school for girls, West of the Mississippi.

Though Sister Rose Philippine was as hardy as any of the pioneer Women in the wagons rolling west to Florissant, MO, there she founded the first Catholic Indian school later adding others in the territory.

“In her first decade (in the U.S.) Mother Duchesne suffered practically every hardship the frontier had to offer, except the threat of Indian massacre–poor lodging, shortages of food, drinking water, fuel and money, forest fires and blazing chimneys, the vagaries of the Missouri climate, cramped living quarters and the privation of all privacy, the crude manners of children reared in rough surroundings and with only the slightest training in the country.” –Louise Callan, RSCJ, Philippine Duchsene

Finally at the age of 72 when unfortunately now in failing health and retired, Sister Rose Philippine got her lifelong wish, a new Mission was founded in Sugar Creek, KS among the Potawatomi Indians and she was taken along there. Though she was unable to learn the language of these Indians, they would soon name her as the “Woman-Who-Always-Prays.” — While others would teach, Sister Rose Philippine would be in prayer.

Legend has it that the Indian tribe’s children would sneak behind her as she knelt and would sprinkle bits of paper on her habit, coming back hours later and would find them undisturbed.

Sister Rose Philippine Duchesne passed away in St. Charles, MO at the age of 83 in 1940 she was Beatified by Pope Pius XII and Canonized in 1988 by Pope Saint John Paul II

More here from American Catholic and here from the Vatican

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Agnes of Assisi — Sister to St. Clare of Assisi

St Agnes of AssisiSt. Agnes of Assisi Pray for Us That We May Also Have
The Gift of Great Faith —My Catholic Faith Ministries

(Franciscan Media) Born in Italy Assisi, Saint Agnes was the sister of Saint Clare of Assisi — Founder of Poor Clare Sisters (Feast Day: 11 August) and her first followers.

When Agnes left home two weeks after her sister Clare departed, her family attempted to bring Agnes back by force. — The attempted to drag her out of the Monastery but all of a sudden, her body became so heavy that several Knights could not budge it. Agnes’ uncle Monaldo attempted to strike/hit her but found himself temporarily paralyzed. The Knights subsequently left both Agnes and Clare in peace.

Agnes matched her sister Clare devotion to prayer and penance which characterized their lives at St. Damiano — In 1221 a group of Benedictine Nuns of Monticelli (near Florence) would ask to become Poor Clare Sisters  – Clare would send her her Sister Agnes to become Abbess of that Monastery, Agnes would subsequently write a rather sad letter, describing how much she missed her Sister Clare and the other Nuns at St. Damiano. After establishing other ‘Poor Clare Monasteries’ in Italy, Agnes was recalled to St. Damiano in 1253 when her Sister Clare was dying. — Agnes followed Clare in death just 3 months later and was Canonized in 1753 by Pope Benedict XIV

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter & St. Paul

Dedication of Ss Peter and PaulDedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter & St. Paul
Image: St.Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Today Christians celebrate the dedication of two of the 4 major Basilicas in Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica was originally built in 323 by the Emperor Constantine over the tomb of Saint Peter the Apostle (Feast Day: 29 June) the Church’s first Pope.

After standing for more than 1,000 years Pope Julius II ordered the building to be torn down due to structural concerns. The reconstruction of the new Church spanned over 200 years before its completion. It was dedicated on this date in 1626 and is considered  the most famous Church in Christendom.

St. Paul’s Basilica is located outside the original walls of Rome. Originally build by Emperor Constantine, it was destroyed by fire in 1823 however donations from around the world made the reconstruction possible.

Before the completion of St. Peter’s BasilicaSt. Paul’s Basilica was the largest Church in Rome–This Basilica was built over the grave of St. Paul (Feast Day: 29 June) — Pope Pius IX consecrated the Basilica in 1854

  • On the 09 November, I wrote here about the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Leteran Basilica in Rome and on the 05 August, I wrote here about the Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Paul’s Basilica continue to draw millions of tourists each and every year.

More here from EWTN and here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Princess Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Patron Saint of Charities

St Elizabeth of HungarySt. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) Born in Hungary Presburg, in her short life Elizabeth manifested such great love for the poor and suffering that she became the Patron Saint of: Charitable Societies, Charity Workers and the Secular Franciscan Order.

Elizabeth was a Princess, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary and according to SQPN she was the Great-Aunt of St. Elizabeth of Portugal (Feast Day: 04 July) Elizabeth chose a life of penance and self-discipline when a life of leisure and luxury could easily have been hers–this choice endeared her in the hearts and minds of the people throughout Europe.

At the age of 14 Elizabeth wed Prince Louis of Thuringia (a German Prince) who she deeply loved, they had 3 children.

Under the spiritual direction of a Franciscan Friar, Princess Elizabeth led a life of prayer, sacrifice, together with service to the poor and sick. Seeking to become ‘One with the Poor’ Princess Elizabeth wore simple clothing–Daily she would take bread to hundreds of the poorest people who would come to her gate.

After just six years of marriage, Prince Louis died during the Crusades which left Elizabeth grief stricken. Princess Elizabeth’s in-laws would look upon her as squandering the royal purse and would mistreat her, finally evicting her out of the palace. — The return of her late husband’s allies from the Crusades would result in Princess Elizabeth’s reinstatement as her son was legal heir to the throne.

In 1228 Princess Elizabeth joined the Secular Franciscan Order spending the remaining few years of her life, caring for the poor in a hospital in which she founded in honor of St. Francis, near the mountain side from where her castle stood.

Princess Elizabeth’s health began to deteriorate while she was yet in her early 20s, she passed away just before her 24th birthday — As a result of her great popularity, Princess Elizabeth was Canonized just 4 years following her death in 1235 by Pope Gregory IX

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Queen Saint Margaret of Scotland, Patron Saint for Learning

St Margaret of Scotland

Saint Margaret of Scotland (1045-1093) Image: Catholic Online

(CNA) Born in Hungary into Royalty, Margaret “was a truly liberated Woman in the sense, that she was free to be herself,” writes Franciscan Media “for her, that meant freedom to love God and serve others.”

Margaret’s father Edward ‘Outremere’ Atheling, heir to the English throne, her mother Princess Agatha of Hungary–While Margaret’s family returned to England when she was 10 yrs old, the Norman Conquest forced them into exile. By this time Margaret’s father had passed away and her mother fled with the children aboard a ship which crashed onto the coast of Scotland where they remained.

In 1070 at the age of 25 Margaret wed the King of Scotland Malcom III Canmore (1031-1093) — As Queen, Margaret’s Christian faith had a strong influence on her husband’s reign. Queen Margaret helped to soften his temper and led him to practice virtue, she dignified the Royal Court, providing an example of purity and reverence that others emulated. Queen Margaret and King Malcom III prayed together and fed the hungry, offering a powerful witness of faith to the people they served.

In addition to being wife and mother, Queen Margaret worked tirelessly to bring justice and relief to the poor of Scotland, she would also go on to build Churches and encouraged the practice of Christian devotion. In Queen Margaret’s private life, she exhibited a great prayerfulness and faith, her influence was seen not only in King Malcom’s life but throughout all of Scotland.

Queen Margaret passed away on this date in 1093 just 4 days after King Malcom III and one of her sons was killed in battle — In 1251 Queen Margaret was Canonized by Pope Innocent IV

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

Today Christians Honor Blessed Mary of the Passion, Founder Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

Blessed Mary of the PassionBlessed Mary of the Passion (1839-1904)
Image: Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

(Sisters of St. Francis) Born in France Nantes into a noble Christian family according to the Vatican Helene Marie Philippine de Chappotin de Neuville, from childhood her deep faith and natural gifts attracted Helene to a religious life, first with the ‘Poor Clares’ and then with the ‘Society of Marie Repartrice’ where Helene received the name Mary of the Passion.

In March 1865 while still a Novice, Mary of the Passion was sent to India to the ‘Apostolic Vicariate of Madurai’ where she would take her vows and stay, ministering for the next 11 years.

In 1877 Mary of the Passion established the ‘Missionaries of Mary’ and in 1882 she was received into the Third Order of St. Francis for her congregation which became the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Mary of the Passion zeal seemed to Know no bounds in responding to the calls of the poor and abandoned, she was particularly interested in the promotion of Women. With intelligence and discretion, she offered collaboration to others as she drew dynamism from contemplation of the great mysteries of the faith, in this way, she opened her institute to the horizons of universal mission, accomplished in St. Francis of Assisi’s evangelical spirit of simplicity, poverty and charity.

On this date in 1904 Mary of the Passion, passed away in Italy San Remo, leaving more than 2000 religious and 86 houses scattered abroad over 4 continents. – In 1999 Pope Saint John Paul II solemnly promulgated the Decree on the heroicity of the Virtues on Mary the Passions; She was Beatified in 2002

More here from American Catholic

An Inspiration Of Time With God For Today

Gospel of ChristJesus spoke saying: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me
will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. –John 8:12
Image Courtesy: St. Paul Street Evangelization

  • “Whoever denies Me before others, I will also deny before My Father in heaven.” –Matthew 10:33

Related: For Today’s Bible Readings and More Visit: -USCCB

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Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Gertrude the Great, Patron Saint of Nuns

St GertrudeSt. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) Born at Thuringia Eisleben (today part of East Central Germany) we don’t know anything of her parents according to SQPN or what may have become of them — Gertrude may have been an orphan as she was raised at the Benedictine Abbey of ‘Saint Mary of Helfta’ from the age of five.

Gertrude is said to have been an extremely intelligent girl and dedicated student, excelling in her studies of Literature and Philosophy, when she became old enough, Gertrude took her vows and became a Benedictine Nun in Germany at Saxony Helfta, becoming one of the great Mystics of the 13th century.

Together with Sister Gertrude’s friend and teacher St. Mechtild (Feast Day: 19 November) they practiced a spirituality called “Nuptial Mysticism’ that is, one comes to see themselves as the Bride of Christ. Gertrude’s spiritual life was a deeply personal union with Jesus and devotion to His Sacred Heart leading her into the very life of the Holy Trinity but this was no individualistic piety.

Sister Gertrude lived the rhythm of the Liturgy where she found Christ. In the Liturgy and the Holy Scripture, she found the themes and images to enrich and express her devotion–there was no clash between her personal prayer life and the Liturgy.

More here from American Catholic and here Monastery of St. Gertrude

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Patron Saint of Immigrants

St Francis Xavier CabriniSt. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Born in Italy Lombardy, Frances from a young age longed to be a missionary in China but God had other plans for her.

Orphaned as a child, Frances joined the ‘Sisters of the Sacred Heart’ taking the name ‘Xavier’ in honor of St. Francis Xavier the great missionary to Asia.

At the advice of Pope Leo XIII who told Frances, “Not to the East but to the West,” Frances refocused her attention on the United States, accepting an invitation from Archbishop Corrigan of New York

Frances would come to the U.S. and spent nearly 30 yrs, traveling back-and-forth across the Atlantic, overcoming her fear of the water according to American Catholic but never her fear of drowning. Frances would during her lifetime establish 67 institutions, these would include: Orphanages, Hospitals, Convents and Schools for the often marginalized Italian immigrants.

During Frances’ lifetime she would became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1909 — Less than decade later, Frances would pass away just three days before Christmas 1917 in Chicago — On this date in 1938 Frances was Beatified by Pope Pius XI and in 1946 was Canonized by Pope Pius XII and according to SQPN St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, became the first United States Citizen ever to be Canonized. 

More here from EWTN

Today Christians Honor St. Josaphat Kuncevyc, Martyr for Christ

St JosaphatSt. Josaphat Kuncevyc (1580-1623)
Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) Born in Lithuania Volodymyr (modern day Ukraine) John Kuncevyc (taking the name ‘Josaphat’ in his religious life) was raised in a Catholic family according to EWTN and early in his life promoted Christian unity in the country divided between Orthodox and Catholicism.

In 1604 Josaphat would enter the Byzantine Monastery of Holy Trinity in Vilna and was elected as Archbishop of Polotsk 1o years later. While clinging firmly to unity with Rome, he firmly opposed the Latin’s who saw unity only in Latin terms and would rather suppress Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity.

Archbishop Josaphat firmly opposed the Latinization of the people in his diocese, making enemies and severe critics among the Latin Clergy of Poland. — By Synod’s, Catechetical instruction, reform of the Clergy and personal example Archbishop Josaphat was successful in winning the greater part of the Orthodox in that area to the union.

The next year however a dissident hierarchy was established and a opposite number spread the allegations that Archbishop Josaphat had ‘gone Latin’ and that all of his people of his diocese would have to do the same.

Despite warning, Archbishop Josaphat went to Belarus Vitesbk, still a hotbed of trouble. Attempts were made to foment trouble for Archbishop Josaphat and drive him from his diocese. — A Priest was sent to shout insults at him from his own courtyard. When Archbishop Josaphat had the Priest removed and shut up in his house, the opposition rang the town bell and a mob assembled.

The vocal Priest was released but members of the riotous mob broke into Archbishop Josaphat’s home, he was hit with a ‘halberd’ (a two handed pole weapon commonly used in those days) then shot and his lifeless body thrown into the river on this date in 1623 — Later, Archbishop’s body was recovered and is now buried at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Archbishop Josaphat’s tragic death was a shock to both sides of the religious conflict according to SQPN and resulted in a ‘cooling off’ of the controversy.

Beatified in 1643 by Pope Urban VIII Archbishop Josaphat was Canonized in 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX

More here from American Catholic