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Saint of the Day June 1: St. Justin the Martyr

June 1st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Justin Martyr (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Justin Martyr (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Justin the Martyr

Feast Day: June 1

Born to Greek parents in Samaria, Justin received a classical Greek education but became a Christian around 135. He saw Christianity as the fulfillment of Plato’s highest aspirations. After teaching Christian philosophy at Ephesus, he went to Rome, where he engaged in public debates, opened a school of Christian philosophy and wrote major works in apologetics and philosophy. About 165, during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Justin was scourged and beheaded with six other Christians after he refused to sacrifice to idols.

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Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Visitation (CNS)

The Visitation (CNS)

May 31
This feast commemorates the three-month visit of Mary with her elderly cousin Elizabeth during Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus and Elizabeth’s with John the Baptist. The story appears in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. It recounts Elizabeth’s Spirit-filled greeting, acknowledging Mary as “the mother of my Lord,” and Mary’s beautiful response, the Magnificat, which begins, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Introduced by the Franciscans in 1263, the feast became universal in the 16th century. The cousins’ visit has been depicted by many artists over the centuries. An especially tender “Visitation,” painted by Mariotto Albertinelli and considered his masterpiece, is on display at the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

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Saint of the Day May 29: St. Ursula Ledochowska

May 29th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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St. Ursula Ledochowska

Feast Day: May 29

Born into a distinguished Polish family in Austria, Julia Maria entered an Ursuline convent in Poland at age 21, taking the

St. Ursula (CNS)

St. Ursula (CNS)

name Maria Ursula of Jesus. She taught in a girls’ school for 20 years, and in 1907 went to St. Petersburg to supervise a new school. Expelled from Russia at the beginning of World War I, she spent the war in Sweden and returned to Poland in 1920. In 1923, she founded the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, known as Grey Ursulines. As the order expanded, the Vatican asked her to live in Rome, where she died. Grey Ursulines now minister in 12 countries. Ursula was canonized in 2003; her older sister, Blessed Maria Theresa Ledochowska, is also a foundress.

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Saint of the Day May 26: St. Philip Neri

May 26th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Philip Neri

Feast Day: May 26

Philip’s Florentine family intended him for a merchant’s life but he preferred serving God, and in 1533 went to Rome for

St. Philip Neri (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Philip Neri (Wikimedia Commons)

philosophy and theology studies. He lived as a layman for 17 years, founding a lay brotherhood for common worship and caring for the sick and pilgrims. He experienced an ecstasy in the catacombs, and was later ordained. With priest friends he founded the Congregation of the Oratory in 1575. Something of a celebrity to all Romans, rich and poor, Philip was known as “the apostle of Rome.”

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Saint of the Day May 25: Venerable Bede

May 25th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Venerable Bede
Feast Day May 25

St. Bede the Venerable (CNS)

St. Bede the Venerable (CNS)

Born in Northumbria, in northern England, Bede was schooled at the Benedictine monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, where he spent the rest of his life as a monk and priest. “Study, teaching and writing have always been my delight,” he wrote. He penned extensive biblical and theological writings, but his fame came as a historian. His most valuable work was “Ecclesiastical History of the English People.” In 836, a church council at Aachen, Germany, called him the Venerable Bede and Pope Leo XIII declared him a doctor of the church in 1899.

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Sunday Scripture readings, May 28, 2017

May 24th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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The Ascension of the Lord

            Cycle A. Readings:

            1) Acts 1:1-11

            Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9

            2) Ephesians 1:17-23

            Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

            I’ve had the privilege of being present when two of my nephews were commissioned as Marine officers. They had been through months of rigorous academic, physical and leadership training, and it was a proud moment for their parents when the new officers, resplendent in their “dress blues,” received their second lieutenant pins.

            The most moving part of the commissioning ceremony was the officers’ oath, ending with the solemn words, “I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion. … I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so help me God.” Read more »

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Saint of the Day May 23: St. Ivo of Chartres

May 23rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Ivo of Chartres

Feast Day: May 23

St. Ivo of Chartres (CNS)

St. Ivo of Chartres (CNS)

Born in Beauvais, France, Ivo became a canon regular of St. Augustine at Saint-Quentin. He taught Scripture, theology and canon law there before becoming prior in 1078, and was elected bishop of Chartres in 1090. He was a councilor to King Philip I until he denounced the king’s plan to divorce his wife to marry a count’s third wife. Ivo was imprisoned briefly by the king, but the pope secured his release. Ivo was involved in two controversies of his age: He mediated several investiture disputes and zealously protested simony in the papal court. Three treatises helped secure his reputation as one of the most learned canonists of his time.

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Saint of the Day May 22: St. Rita of Cascia

May 22nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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St. Rita of Cascia

Feast Day: May 22
Born near Spoleto, Italy, Rita wanted to be a nun but married in deference to her parents. For nearly 20 years, she endured

St. Francis Convent Springfield IL

St. Rita of Cascia (CNS)

her profligate husband’s mistreatment. Following his violent death, she was admitted after three refusals to an Augustinian convent at Cascia, where she spent the next 40 years. She is remembered for her devoted care of sick nuns and for a deep forehead wound that lasted 15 years, caused she said by a thorn from Christ’s crown of thorns. She has a large popular following, and is invoked in Italy for difficult situations.

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Saint of the Day May 21: St. Cristobal Magallanes Jara

May 21st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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St. Cristobal Magallanes Jara

Feast Day: May 21

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St. Cristobal Magallanes Jara (CNS)

This Mexican saint shares his feast with 21 other priests and three laymen martyred between 1915 and 1937, when Mexican authorities persecuted the Catholic Church. Many of these Cristero martyrs, canonized in 2000, were tortured and executed when apprehended. Father Magallanes, a zealous pastor in his home state of Jalisco, also did mission work among the indigenous Huicholes. Before they were shot, he said to his priest-companion, “Be at peace, my son; it takes but one moment, then it will be heaven.”

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Saint of the Day May 20: St. Bernardine of Siena

May 20th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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St. Bernardine of Siena

Feast Day: May 20

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St. Berndardine of Siena (Wikimedia Commons)

This renowned Italian preacher was canonized only six years after he died. He was born near Siena and studied at the university there. He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1404. From 1417 until his death 27 years later, he crisscrossed northern and central Italy as an itinerant preacher who drew enormous crowds by focusing on honest and penitential living and on reverence for the holy name of Jesus which led to the spread of this devotion. He also preached against gambling and materialism, and turned down three requests to become a bishop.

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