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Saint of the Day: Francis Borgia

October 10th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Francis Borgia

Feast Day: October 10

St. Francis was a husband, father of eight, a member of the court of Charles V and the Duke of Gandia.

St. Francis Borgia (CNS)

Then he experienced a conversion in 1539.

And after his wife died, he joined the Jesuits in 1550.

St. Ignatius recognized Francis’ administrative talents and advanced him in the leadership of the society.

The Jesuits elected him general in 1565.

Francis consolidated the order, founding novitiates in every province.

He also expanded the society’s ministry throughout Europe and he introduced bases into the Americas.

Francis’ correspondence sparkles with wisdom.

“When you remove your clothes at bedtime,” he once wrote, “crave Jesus’ pain when he was stripped just before his crucifixion, so that he may strip us of our evil habits of mind.”

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Saint of the Day: Louis Bertrand

October 9th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Louis Bertrand

Feast Day: October 9

Louis became a Dominican at 18 and was ordained a priest in 1547.

St. Louis Bertrand (CNS)

He was novice-master in his native Spain on and off for 30 years and gained a reputation for holiness by caring for plague victims in Valencia in 1557.

In 1562, he went as a missionary to the Caribbean, working in Colombia, and the Leeward, Virgin and Windward Islands for six years.

His apostolic zeal, aided by the gift of tongues and other miraculous events, resulted in 15,000 conversions among the Indian populations.

After he returned to Spain, he trained preachers for the missions, saying the only effective preparation was humble and fervent prayer.

He was canonized in 1671 and is the principal patron saint of Colombia.

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Saint of the Day: Pelagia the Penitent 

October 8th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Pelagia the Penitent 

Feast Day: October 8

In the fourth century, St. Pelagia was honored in Antioch as a virgin martyr.

Pelagia the Penitent (CNS)

In the Middle Ages a legend grew up around a penitent, who was given her name.

This St. Pelagia inspired Christians as an enchanting icon of repentance. The story comes from St. John Chrysostom, who once told of an actress, famous for her glamour and notorious for her wickedness.

She had suddenly repented, was baptized and became a hermit.

A bishop said to have encountered Pelagia used her example to call his brother bishops to repent: “What a reproach to us, seeing that we have not taken pains to make ourselves pleasing to God nearly as much as this prostitute … has taken pains to please men.”

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Saint of the Day: Faustina

October 6th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Faustina Kowalska

Feast Day: October 6

The visionary called the apostle of divine mercy deferred a religious calling to help her poor Polish family

Pope John Paul II canonized Polish Sister Faustina Kowalska in 2000. A vision of Christ inspired the sister of Our Lady of Mercy to promote the image known as the Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II will bless a new basilica and pilgrim complex dedicated to her and the Divine Mercy during his mid-August trip to Poland. (CNS photo)

with her earnings as a housekeeper.

She entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925, serving in Krakow, Plock and Vilnius as a cook, gardener and porter until her early death from tuberculosis.

After reporting her visions of Jesus as the divine mercy, she was ordered to have a psychiatric evaluation and the church posthumously condemned her 700-page diary.

Her fellow Pole, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, championed her cause and had the ban removed after a retranslation; later, as Pope John Paul II, he canonized her and designated the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday churchwide.

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Saint of the Day: Bartolo Longo

October 5th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Bartolo Maria Longo

Feast Day: October 5

This apostle of the rosary had flirted with Satanism in a sect in Naples, Italy, but through a friend came back to the Catholic faith as a Third-Order

Blessed Bartolo Longo (Wikimedia Commons)

Dominican.

He practiced the law and made a vow of chastity.

However, he became friends with a countess whose children he tutored, began to administer her properties, and married her in 1885 on the advice of Pope Leo XIII.

In the 1870s, Bartolo had a mystical experience in which Mary asked him to promote devotion to the rosary.

He published religious tracts, founded a women’s religious order, advocated on behalf of prisoners, and built a popular shrine in Pompeii to Our Lady of the Rosary.

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Saint of the Day: Francis of Assisi

October 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Francis of Assisi

Feast Day: October 4

The son of a wealthy Italian merchant, Francis was a playboy who experienced a profound conversion after going to war for Assisi, being imprisoned,

St. Francis in Ecstasy, by Bernardo Strozzi (Wikimedia Commons)

and enduring a debilitating illness.

He renounced his family and riches, and lived a life of radical poverty and service because he believed Christ had asked him to.

He founded the new mendicant Order of Friars Minor, or Franciscans, and helped found the Poor Clares and Franciscan Third Order.

Pope Pius XII said Francis could be called “a second Christ” and in 2013 Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took this medieval saint’s name when he was elected pope.

Francis is the patron of animals, environmentalists, merchants and Catholic Action, and also a patron of Italy.

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Saint of the Day: Mother Theodore Guerin

October 3rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Feast Day: October 3

A Breton by birth, Anne-Therese Guerin was 25 when she entered the Sisters of Providence of Ruille-sur-Loir, France.

Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin is depicted in an image released by the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. (CNS photo/courtesy of Sisters of Providence)

As Sister Theodore, she directed schools in Rennes and Soulaines, where she also studied pharmacy and medicine.

Despite poor health, she led five other nuns across the Atlantic to a new mission on the American Frontier. St. Mary-of-the-Woods Academy, which they began in Indiana, is now the oldest U.S. Catholic college for women.

Mother Theodore survived a harsh climate, a major fire and the hostility of the local bishop, also from France, to found the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods.

Canonized in 2006, she often advised others, “Put yourself gently into the hands of Providence.”

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Saints of the Day: Guardian Angels

October 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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Guardian Angels
Feast Day: October 2

The concept of guardian angels, as developed in Catholic theology and piety, has biblical roots.

The angel Raphael aids Tobit and his family; one angel interprets for the prophet Zechariah, while another guides Cornelius in Acts of the Apostles; and angels are called “ministering spirits sent to serve” in the Letter to the Hebrews.

In Matthew, Jesus teaches: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd.” Pope Clement X set this date as the feast of guardian angels in the 1670s.

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Saint of the Day: Therese of Lisieux

October 1st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Therese of Lisieux

Feast Day: October 1

Left motherless at 4, she followed two older sisters into the Carmelites, entering at 15 as Sister Therese of the

Detail of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in the photograph taken in the courtyard of the monastery of Lisieux Easter Monday, April 15, 1894. (Wikimedia Commons)

Infant Jesus.

Poor health made her dream of missionary work impossible. In 1896 she contracted tuberculosis and died after months of suffering.

Posthumous publication of her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul,” prompted popular devotion.

The “Little Flower” is remembered for her “little way” of seeking perfection in the ordinary with a simple but total trust in God.

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Saints of the Day: The Archangels

September 28th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized Tags:

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The Archangels

Feast Day: September 29

The chief angels of the high order are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Altarpiece of three archangels, Marco d”Oggiono (Wikimedia Commons)

Michael is viewed as a guide to heaven, protector of God’s chosen people, foe of Satan and guardian of the church.

Gabriel, revealer of the Incarnation, announced the births of John the Baptist and Christ.

Tradition honors Raphael, an angel of healing, as head of guardian angels, those who hear prayers and bring them to God.

In artwork these messengers of God are depicted as winged beings, a possible reference to the appearance of Gabriel “in rapid flight” to the prophet Daniel.

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