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Saint of the Day: Engelbert

November 7th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Engelbert

Feast Day: November 7

As a child, Engelbert received several endowed church offices through family influence, then was named archbishop of Cologne (Germany) in 1217.

St. Engelbert (CNS)

Though involved mostly with secular matters, he also was known for generosity to the poor and fairness in disputes.

His sainthood came through martyrdom.

When Engelbert demanded that his cousin Frederick make restitution to nuns in Essen for stealing their property and abusing his administrative trust, Frederick and other nobles assassinated him.

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Saint of the Day: Demetrian

November 5th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Demetrian

Feast Day: November 5

After Demetrian’s young wife died after three months of marriage, he entered a monastery on Cyprus dedicated to St. Anthony.

St George Greek Orthodox, Rock Island IL

There he was ordained a priest and ultimately served as abbot for four decades.

When Demetrian was chosen bishop of Khytri, he fled to a cave. But a friend persuaded him to accept the appointment.

In Demetrian’s twenty-fifth year as bishop, Saracens invaded Cyprus and took many Christians captive. He interceded with the invaders for their freedom.

Moved by the example of his courage and selflessness, the Saracens released the prisoners.

St. Demetrian is the patron of prisoners. He is sometimes invoked with this prayer: “Loving Father, through the intercession of St. Demetrian, rescue me from the anxieties that hold me captive.”

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Saint of the Day: Charles Borromeo

November 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Charles Borromeo

Feast Day: November 4

Though Charles suffered all his life from a speech impediment, his intelligence and zeal made him an outstanding figure of the Catholic Reformation.

St. Charles Borromeo (CNS)

In 1560, he was named a cardinal and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan by his uncle, Pope Pius IV, but was kept in Rome to assist with the reconvened Council of Trent.

He helped draft the council’s catechism and liturgical books, and in 1563 was ordained a priest and bishop.

Finally, in 1566, he was allowed to go to Milan, where he worked tirelessly to reform priestly training and lay catechesis.

He also exhausted his own funds to provide relief during periods of famine and plague. He is the patron of seminarians and catechists.

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Saint of the Day: Martin de Porres

November 3rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Martin de Porres

Feast Day: November 3

This illegitimate son of a freed Panamanian slave and a Spanish knight became a hero to the people of Lima, Peru, his birthplace, for his compassionate care of the sick and poor.

St. Martin de Porres (CNS)

Apprenticed at age 12 to a barber-surgeon, Martin also learned herbal medicine from his mother.

After working for several years at a Dominican monastery as a Third Order member, he made his profession as a lay brother in 1603.

He founded an orphanage and foundling hospital, ministered to African slaves, practiced great penances and experienced mystical gifts.

Martin was carried to his grave by prelates and noblemen and all Peruvians acclaimed him their beloved saint.

He is the patron of hairdressers and interracial justice.

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Saint of the Day: Hubert

November 3rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Hubert

Feast Day: November 3

Hubert was a married courtier who became a priest after his wife died.

St. Hubert (CNS)

According to legend, he was called to serve God while hunting; he reportedly saw a crucifix between a stag’s horns and heard a voice say, “Unless you turn to the Lord, Hubert, you shall fall into hell.”

He was ordained by St. Lambert, bishop of Maastricht in the Netherlands, and succeeded the murdered Lambert.

After moving the see to Liege in Belgium, he served for 20 years, ending idol worship, converting many and tirelessly preaching Christ.

He died peacefully while traveling to dedicate a church; this patron saint of hunters and dogs is also invoked against rabies.

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Saints of the Day: All Souls

November 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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All the Faithful Departed

Feast: Nov. 2

Prayers for the dead were an ancient tradition, even in some pagan cultures.

In Jewish Scriptures, Judas Maccabeus “made atonement for the dead” (2 Mc 12:46), and early Christians inscribed prayers for their dead in Rome’s catacombs.

Local Catholic churches started remembering all the faithful departed in the early Middle Ages, with a Spanish feast from the time of St. Isidore of Seville, who died in 636.

The fixed November date is generally attributed to St. Odilio of Cluny, who decreed in 998 that all monasteries under the Cluny rule should sing the Office of the Dead the day after the feast of All Saints.

This custom gradually spread throughout Europe and was adopted by Rome in the 13th century.

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Saint of the Day: All Saints

November 1st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Feast of All Saints

November 1

The Apostles’ Creed lists “the communion of saints” among Catholic beliefs, and since at least the ninth century the church has honored everyone in heaven, including angels, formally recognized martyrs and saints, and all those who had died in God’s friendship, with a November feast.

Fresco depicting All Saints, Giustao da Padova (Wikimedia Commons)

As early as 411, the Eastern church celebrated a feast of all martyrs in May.

The custom gradually spread to other regions and included nonmartyrs.

In England the feast formerly was known as All Hallows, that is, made holy, which gave rise to Halloween.

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Saint of the Day: Alphonsus Rodriguez

October 30th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Feast Day: October 30

Alphonsus had to leave school when his father, a wealthy wool merchant in Segovia, Spain, died.

St. Alphonsus (CNS)

He was put in charge of the family business at age 23, but it declined.

He married and had children, but within a few short years lost his mother, wife, daughter and son.

He was introduced to the practice of daily meditation by his sisters. And, when he tried to join the Jesuits, he initially was rejected as too old and uneducated.

But, in 1571, he was accepted as a lay brother, and served as doorkeeper at the Jesuit college in Majorca for 45 years.

Alphonsus mentored St. Peter Claver and others, and is the subject of a sonnet written by another Jesuit, the priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.

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Saint of the Day: Contardo Ferrini

October 27th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Contardo Ferrini

Feast Day: October 26

Blessed Contardo (CNS)

From his father, a teacher in Milan, Italy, Contardo inherited a love of learning.

He studied law at Pavia’s Borromeo College and won a scholarship to the University of Berlin.

A daily communicant from age 14, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and in 1881 made a private vow of celibacy.

He mastered ancient and modern languages, and became the world’s leading expert on Roman law, teaching it in Pavia.

His spiritual life in the Third Order of St. Francis focused on eucharistic devotion, prayer and meditation. He died of typhoid fever.

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Saint of the Day: Bonaventure of Potenza

October 26th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Bonaventure of Potenza

Feast Day: October 26

Carlo Antonio Lavagna, born in Potenza in the Kingdom of Naples, took the name Bonaventure when he joined the Conventual Friars Minor.

Blessed Bonaventure (CNS)

Some of his actions, done in exact obedience to the friars’ rule, were seen as miracles.

Of his assignments, the most fruitful was eight years in Amalfi, where he focused on pastoral care and educating youths.

Humility kept him from positions of authority within his community, except for master of novices.

Especially devoted to the Immaculate Conception, he died at Ravello with Mary’s name on his lips.

He was beatified in 1775, and is among saints from the Neapolitan region whose blood has liquefied after death.

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