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Saints of the Day: Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

July 9th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, Martyrs of China

Feast: July 9

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St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions, Martyrs of China (CNS)

The 120 martyrs of China were canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000. They were killed by various Chinese dynasties over a 400-year period.

The group consists of 87 Chinese converts and 33 foreign missionaries, mainly European; they were bishops, priests, seminarians, lay men and women, and children.

Augustine Zhao Rong is honored by name because he was the first Chinese diocesan priest to be executed. As a soldier, he had guarded a Catholic bishop held prisoner, and was so moved by the bishop’s demeanor that he became a Christian and a priest.

He died in 1815 after being tortured. At their canonization, the pope said the martyrs had “a state of mind marked by deep serenity and joy.”

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Saint of the Day: Blessed Benedict XI

July 7th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Benedict XI

Feast Day: July 7

Niccolo Boccasino was born in Treviso, Italy, studied in Venice and entered the Dominicans as a teen.

"Pope Benedict XI" by Tommaso da Modena (1326-1379) (Wikimdeia Commons, Public Domain)

“Pope Benedict XI” by Tommaso da Modena (1326-1379) (Wikimdeia Commons, Public Domain)

A scholar by temperament, he taught and preached for years, publishing biblical commentaries and sermons, before becoming provincial in Lombardy in 1286 and master general of the order in 1296.

Thereafter, he was embroiled in political conflicts that the church, then a temporal power, had with European nations and Italy’s various kingdoms.

After being elected pope in 1303, he lived humbly and sought to make peace.

He died of dysentery and was beatified in 1773.

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Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A. Readings

1) Zechariah 9:9-10

Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14

2) Romans 8:9, 11-13

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30

 

When in England, I went to visit my nephew Dominic. He lives in a group home with several other mentally challenged young adults. Dominic, with severe Down syndrome, has no speech. On this visit it was clear that Dominic recognized me and even reached out to touch me, something he never had done before. I was deeply moved. Walking back to the subway my memory took me back to the time when he was born. Read more »

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Saint of the Day: Maria Goretti

July 6th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Maria Goretti

Feast Day: July 6

This young martyr was born to poor farmers in Italy.After her father’s death, Maria was in charge of the household while her mother worked in the

St. Maria Goretti

St. Maria Goretti

fields.

When she was alone at age 11, a young man named Alessandro tried to rape Maria. She resisted and he stabbed her several times then fled.

On her deathbed, she forgave Alessandro and hoped God would as well.

Alessandro was sentenced to prison, where he expressed remorse after Maria appeared to him in a dream with a bouquet of lilies.

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Saint of the Day: Anthony Mary Zaccaria

July 5th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Feast Day: July 5

Trained as a medical doctor in northern Italy, Anthony also was drawn to teaching religion to the poor.

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (CNS)

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (CNS)

He decided to switch vocations and was ordained a priest in 1528. In 1530 he and two Milanese noblemen founded an order of reforming priests, the Clerics Regular of St. Paul, more commonly known as Barnabites, after their first headquarters at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan.

Despite church opposition, the order won praise for its care of plague victims, and was formally approved by the pope in 1533.

Anthony was elected the first provost general but resigned to open a second house in Vicenza.

He fell gravely ill while giving a parish mission and died at his mother’s home. He was canonized in 1897.

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Saint of the Day: Pier Giorgio Frassati

July 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Feast Day: July 4

The son of an Italian statesman and newspaper founder, Pier Giorgio was active in the Italian Catholic University Federation and anti-fascist

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

movement.

His ardent socialist politics led to his arrest during the 1921 Congress of Catholic Youth in Rome.

Deeply spiritual also, he joined the Confraternity of the Rosary and St. Vincent de Paul Society and became a Dominican tertiary in 1922.

After his sudden death from polio, he became an inspiration to university students. He was beatified in 1990.

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Saint of the Day: Thomas the Apostle

July 3rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Thomas the Apostle

Feast Day: July 3

Named among the Twelve Apostles in all four Gospels, Thomas figured prominently in several stories in John.

Martyrdom of St Thomas by Peter Paul Rubens (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

Martyrdom of St Thomas by Peter Paul Rubens (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

He said he was ready to die with Jesus, that he didn’t know where Jesus was going and so couldn’t follow, and famously doubted a post-Resurrection appearance until he himself saw the risen Lord.

For this, history has called him “doubting Thomas,” but his name remains among the most popular Christian names.

Four apocryphal writings were attributed to Thomas, and in church tradition he evangelized in Syria, Persia (now Iran) and India.

Indian Catholics believe he was martyred and buried there.

Thomas is the patron saint of India, builders and the blind.

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Saint of the Day: Oliver Plunkett

July 1st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Oliver Plunkett

Feast Day: July 1

The son of Irish gentry, Oliver was educated by his Cistercian cousin, Patrick Plunkett, who took part in the 1641 rebellion.

St. Oliver Plunket, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Waterford, Ireland. (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

St. Oliver Plunkett, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Waterford, Ireland. (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

Ordained in Rome in 1654, Oliver stayed there to teach and review books for the Sacred Congregation of the Index. In 1669, he was named archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland.

Over the next decade, he organized synods, visited dioceses, opened schools and confirmed thousands of Catholics.

With a new wave of English persecution, he was forced into hiding in 1679. Arrested late that year, while visiting his dying cousin, Patrick, in Dublin, he was imprisoned until his execution in London on trumped-up charges of treason.

Extant letters reveal a devoted and courageous prelate who embraced martyrdom.

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Saints of the Day: Protomartyrs of Rome

June 30th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Protomartyrs of Rome

Feast Day: June 30

After a raging fire destroyed two-thirds of Rome in 64, Emperor Nero blamed Rome’s Christians to divert suspicion from himself. Those acknowledging their Christianity were arrested and executed. Some were covered in wax and set afire as torches; some were sewn into animal skins and cast into the arena with wild animals; others were crucified. Sts. Peter and Paul died in the same persecution.

The feast of these earliest martyrs of the Roman church is celebrated a day after the joint feast of Peter and Paul. The Roman historian Tacitus said the

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer Jean-Léon Gérôme https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_The_Christian_Martyrs%27_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113.jpg

“The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer” by Jean-Léon Gérôme Wikimedia Commons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9on_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_The_Christian_Martyrs%27_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113.jpg

protomartyrs were to be pitied “for it was felt that they were being sacrificed to one man’s brutality.”

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Feast of the Day: Conversion of Paul the Apostle

June 29th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Conversion of Paul the Apostle

Feast: June 29

When the Jewish Pharisee Saul set out from Jerusalem to Damascus, his aim was to persecute the fledgling Christian community. The dramatic story

Conversion of St. Paul

Conversion of St. Paul

of St. Paul’s miraculous conversion is told several times in the Acts of the Apostles and New Testament letters.

Paul became the Apostle to the Gentiles and carried Christ’s message around the Roman Empire. He shares a feast with St. Peter on June 29. The January feast was known as the “translation” in the martyrology of St. Jerome; it may originally have commemorated the moving of Paul’s relics.  Now, it appropriately closes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Paul is the patron saint of Greece, Malta and the Cursillo movement.

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