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Saint of the Day: Hedwig of Poland

July 17th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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Saint Hedwig of Poland

Feast Day: July 17

Monument of St. Hedwig Katowice Panewniki, Poland. (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

Monument of St. Hedwig Katowice Panewniki, Poland. (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

Hedwig, or Jadwiga, was the daughter of King Louis of Poland and Hungary and whis wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. After her father’s untimely death, Hedwig was made Queen of Poland at age 10. Her betrothed was Grand Duke Jagiello of Lithuania. He converted to Christianity and the royal marriage was key in the conversion of Lithuania. Hedwig dealt with many revolts and tried to find peaceful solutions to conflicts. She encouraged perpetual adoration and helped to unite Latin and Orthodox Christians.

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Saint of the Day: Julie Mary-Magdalen Postel

July 16th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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St. Julie Mary-Magdalen Postel

Feast July 16

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St. Julie Mary-Magdalen Postel (CNS)

In 1774 this Frenchwoman opened a school for girls in her hometown, Barfleur. During the Revolution, Barfleur was a center of underground religious activities, and Julie was given charge of the reserved Eucharist and allowed to bring Communion to the sick. She continued her teaching and good works. At age 51 she founded the Sisters of the Christian Schools of Mercy. Despite many obstacles, as Sister Mary-Magdalen she shepherded the congregation until her death, finding a headquarters and achieving formal recognition.

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Saint of the Day: Bonaventure

July 15th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Bonaventure

Feast Day: July 15

St. Bonaventure, by Tommaso de Leu, 1609-1612 (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Bonaventure, by Tommaso de Leu, 1609-1612 (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

Franciscan doctor of the church, Bonaventure is best known for writing on spirituality and theology.

He stressed the importance of emotion in the search for God without denying human reason in examining divine revelation.

He became minister general of the Franciscans and demonstrated that simplicity, poverty and imitation of Christ could be balanced with intellectual pursuits.

In 1273 he was made cardinal. It is said he refused the traditional red hat and asked papal legates to leave it hanging from a tree.

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Saint of the Day: Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Feast Day: July 14

At her canonization in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI prayed, “St. Kateri, protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust to you the

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha holds a cross in the oldest known portrait of her painted about 16 years after her death in 1680. It was painted by Jesuit Father Claude Chauchetiere, who personally knew Blessed Kateri. (CNS photo/courtesy of the Cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha)

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha holds a cross in the oldest known portrait of her painted about 16 years after her death in 1680. It was painted by Jesuit Father Claude Chauchetiere, who personally knew St. Kateri. (CNS photo/courtesy of the Cause of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha)

renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America!”

The daughter of a Mohawk chief and Algonquin woman, Kateri was orphaned in a smallpox epidemic that left her partly blind and disfigured.

She was baptized by a French missionary visiting her village in New York state.

But, her faith and refusal to marry caused trouble, and she fled to an Indian community near Montreal, where she was revered by French and Indians alike for her mystical gifts and kindness.

The “Lily of the Mohawk” is the patron of Native Americans, refugees and the disabled.

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Backgrounder: Q-and-A on the Vatican’s instruction on bread, wine for Communion

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The Vatican recently published a circular letter, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist,” sent to diocesan bishops at the request of Pope Francis. Dated June 15, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8. Read more »

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Saint of the Day: Veronica

July 12th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Veronica

Feast Day: July 12

Veronica does not appear in the Roman Martyrology, the church’s official list of feasts.

St. Veronica (CNS)

St. Veronica (CNS)

According to legend, she was the woman who took pity on Jesus as he carried his cross, wiped his face with a cloth and was left with an image of the suffering Christ. Many such images, known as “veronicas” and “vernicles,” existed in the Middle Ages.

Veronica was sometimes associated with other New Testament women, but there is no evidence that she was real.

Her name may come from a combination of Latin (“vera” for true) and Greek (“eikon” for image) words.

Her story was included in the Stations of the Cross in the 19th century.

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Saint of the Day: Benedict the Moor

July 11th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Benedict the Moor

Feast Day: July 11

Born near Messina, on the Italian island of Sicily, Benedict was the son of African slaves who, as their eldest son, was given his freedom.

St. Benedict the Moor (CNS)

St. Benedict the Moor (CNS)

Growing up, he was nicknamed “il moro sante” (“the holy Moor”) for his piety and good works. He became a hermit and then the community’s superior; but, after the pope ordered them to disband in 1562, Benedict became a Franciscan lay brother.

He served as cook, but drew many visitors and supplicants with his reputation for holiness and miracles.

Despite his illiteracy, Benedict was chosen as superior and also as novice master, before being allowed to return to his kitchen refuge.

He is a patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, and of blacks in the United States.

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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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