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Saint of the Day: Helena

August 18th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Helena

Feast Day: August 18

Helena was the mother of Constantine, the Roman emperor who in 313 ended the persecution of Christians throughout the empire.

“Helena of Constantinople” by Cima d Conegliano (Wikimedia Commons)

She was born in Asia Minor, married a Roman general named Constantius Chlorus, and gave birth to Constantine in 274 in what is now Serbia.

She became a Christian in 312, and thereafter was known for her devotion, prayerfulness and generosity to the poor.

In about 326, she went to the Holy Land, where she spent her last years humbly doing the housework in her convent but also building churches on holy sites.

She reportedly found the “true cross” of Calvary.

Saint of the Day: Joan of the Cross

August 17th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Joan of the Cross

Feast Day: August 17

Jeanne Delanoue ran a religious articles shop near a shrine in Anjou, France. She kept the store open on Sundays, but felt guilty about her greedy

St. Joan of the Cross (Wikimedia Commons)

approach to business.

In 1693 an eccentric woman spoke a prophetic word to Jeanne, which launched her on a season of repentance.

After a significant conversion, she began to care for poor families, bringing them food and clothing.

Then Jeanne soon welcomed the destitute into buildings and caves that came to be known as Providence House. Several women who joined her formed the Congregation of St. Anne in 1704. And Jeanne took the name Joan of the Cross.

Before her death in August 1736, she had founded 12 communities, hospices and schools for the poor.

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Saint of the Day: Stephen of Hungary

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Feast Day: August 16

Baptized as a boy with his father, the Magyar duke of Hungary, he married Gisela, sister of Emperor St. Henry II, and succeeded his father in 997.

“Stefan I Hongarije” author unknown (Wikimedia Commons)

After bringing order and consolidating his position, Stephen was crowned first king of Hungary in 1000.

He worked energetically, if somewhat roughly, to convert his pagan people to Christianity.

Ill health and shameless quarrels among his relatives over his successor made his last year difficult.

Stephen holds an honored place in Hungarian history.

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Saint of the Day: Stanislaus Kostka

August 15th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Stanislaus Kostka

Feast Day: August 15

Born in the family castle in Poland, Stanislaus was educated privately, then at a Jesuit college in Vienna, Austria.

St. Stanislaus Kostka (CNS)

After having visions during a serious illness, he decided to enter the Jesuits.

His father, a Polish senator, opposed this; he wanted Stanislaus to become a diplomat.

Rejected by the Vienna Jesuits, Stanislaus walked to the Upper Germany province, where Peter Canisius took him in, then sent him to Rome.

In 1567, the father general accepted Stanislaus into the Society of Jesus; for the nine months before his death in Rome, he lived a life of mortifications, ecstasies and holiness.

A patron saint of Poland, he was canonized in 1726 with another Jesuit novice, Aloysius Gonzaga.

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Saint of the Day: John Berchmans

August 13th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. John Berchmans

Feast Day: August 13

The patron saint of altar servers, John wanted to be a priest from boyhood, when he might serve at

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

five Masses a day in his native Flanders, now in Belgium.

This son of a shoemaker began priestly studies with the Jesuits at 17.

Drawn to simple devotions like praying before a crucifix and saying the rosary, he rose to the top of his class and was sent to the Jesuit college in Rome.

He finished philosophy studies early, and won a debate with another college. But the day after his victory he fell ill and died at just 22, already known for his holiness in everyday living.

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Saint of the Day: Innocent XI

August 12th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Innocent XI

Feast Day: August 12

Benedetto Odescalchi was born to a wealthy merchant in Como, Italy.

Blessed Innocent (CNS)

Blessed Innocent (CNS)

After serving as a cardinal and bishop of Novara, he was elected pope in 1676.

He inherited an ongoing conflict with French King Louis XIV over royal interference in church affairs; he also criticized the English king for trying to restore Catholicism by force and contemporary mystics who espoused Quietism.

Accusations that he was a Jansenist likely were prompted by his unceasing battles against nepotism and sinecures and by severe economic measures he instituted to balance the budget and fund the campaign against the Turks.

Innocent lived simply and was generous to the poor; he was beatified in 1956.

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Saint of the Day: Clare of Assisi

August 11th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Clare of Assisi

Feast Day: August 11

Though 10 years younger than her townsman, Francis of Assisi, Clare was drawn to his radical

St. Clare of Assisi by Simone Martini (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Clare of Assisi by Simone Martini (Wikimedia Commons)

message of serving God in abject poverty.

Despite objections from her aristocratic family, who wanted her to marry, she gave up the world with Francis’ help and founded the Second Order of St. Francis, known worldwide as the Poor Clares.

For 40 years, she guided the San Damiano community, whose nuns included her sister and widowed mother.

She served the other nuns who went out to beg, was often sick because of their hard life, and was proclaimed a saint just two years after she died.

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Saint of the Day: Lawrence O’Toole

August 10th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Lawrence O’Toole

Feast Day: August 10

The son of an Irish chieftain, Lorcan Ua Tuathail was held hostage for two years by a rival family.

St. Lawrence O'Toole (CNS)

St. Lawrence O’Toole (CNS)

He later became a monk, then abbot, at Glendalough, where his rule was strict.

In 1161, Lawrence became archbishop of Dublin; his chief work there was clergy reform.

In 1170, English King Henry II sent Anglo-Norman nobles to Ireland to dispatch Irish leaders; thereafter, Lawrence was embroiled in politics, the beginning of “the troubles” with England.

He attended the Third Lateran Council in Rome in 1179 and was appointed papal legate in Ireland.

He died in Normandy, while trying to mediate Norman-Irish property disputes with Henry, and was canonized in 1225.

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Saint of the Day: Edith Stein

August 9th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Feast Day: August 9

The youngest of 11 children of a devout Jewish mother in Wroclaw, Poland, Edith was an atheist by her teens.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (Wikimedia Commons)

After studying philosophy in Germany, she was deeply affected by reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.

Baptized a Catholic in 1922, she joined the Discalced Carmelites in Cologne in 1933, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Fleeing the Nazis, she moved to a convent in Echt, Netherlands, but was arrested with non-Aryan Christians after the Dutch bishops protested Nazi deportations.

She was martyred at Auschwitz.

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Saint of the Day: Dominic

August 8th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Dominic

Feast Day: August 8

As a theology student, this Spaniard sold his books to help others during a famine, and later held positions at the Osma Cathedral, where

St. Dominic (CNS)

St. Dominic (CNS)

community life followed the Rule of St. Augustine.

Dominic and his bishop went to southern France on a papal mission to fight the Albigensian heresy.

He remained in Toulouse, as head of a preaching mission that evolved into the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans.

Dominic always preferred persuasion to establish orthodoxy and was said by a friar to have “a lively sympathy with any suffering.”

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