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Saint of the Day: Boniface I

September 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Boniface I

Feast Day: September 4

A priest and son of a priest, this humble Roman who became pope undertook several trips to Constantinople for Pope Innocent I during 401-417.

When Pope Zosimus died in 418, some Roman deacons and priests elected Archdeacon

St. Boniface I (Wikimedia Commons)

Eulalius as pope.

Other Roman clergy and laity simultaneously elected the now elderly Boniface.

When each was told to leave Rome pending the decision of a synod, Boniface obeyed but Eulalius did not, earning himself banishment and the papacy for Boniface.

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Saints of the Day: The Martyrs of September

September 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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The Martyrs of September

Feast Days: Sept. 2 & 3

Detail from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. (Thinkstock)

These 191 martyrs of the French Revolution died in four locations in Paris Sept. 2 and 3, 1792.

Most were members of the clergy.

A 1790 document of the Constituent Assembly declared French clerics to be public servants and required them to swear an oath of allegiance.

Those who took the oath were called “assermentes”; those who would not were “refractaires” or “insermentes.”

Pressure steadily increased for people to take the oath; it finally erupted in the carnage of September 1792, when 1,400 in all were killed by gangs and thugs.

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Saint of the Day: Joseph of Arimathea

August 31st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Joseph of Arimathea

Feast Day: August 31

In all four Gospels, Joseph was the brave Jew who asked Pilate for Jesus’ crucified body and buried

Joseph of Arimathea a detail from “Lamentation over the Dead Christ” by Pietro Perugino. (Wikimedia Commons)

him.

Mark calls him “a distinguished member” of the Sanhedrin, while Luke notes that he “had not consented” to the council’s plan.

In Matthew he is “a rich man,” and John says he is a secret disciple of Jesus “for fear of the Jews.”

He shares his feast with Nicodemus, another Jew who went to Jesus secretly.

From medieval times Joseph was associated with Holy Grail legends.

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Saint of the Day: Jeanne Jugan

August 30th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Jeanne Jugan

Feast Day: August 30

Born in Brittany, in France, Jeanne was four when her fisherman father died.

Blessed Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, is seen in this image provided by her order. (CNS photo/courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor)

Her mother supported six children as a farm laborer.

Jeanne became a kitchen maid at 16, and her mistress took her on visits to the sick and poor.

She joined a third order at 25, working in a hospital for six years, then returned to domestic service.

Soon, however, she began devoting herself entirely to care of the poor, especially widows, living in community with two other women.

Though she established the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1842, she was not recognized as the order’s founder until 1893.

Canonized in 2009, she is considered a patron of the elderly.

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Saint of the Day: Junipero Serra

August 28th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Junipero Serra

Feast Day: August 28

A Spanish missionary who is buried in California, Miguel Jose Serra was born on the Mediterranean

Saint Junipero Serra (CNS)

island of Majorca.

He entered the Franciscans in 1730, taking the name Junipero to honor an original companion of St. Francis of Assisi.

He taught after being ordained, but in 1749 volunteered for mission work among the Indians of Mexico and Texas.

In 1767, the Franciscans under Father Serra took charge of the missions in Baja California, and in 1769 he accompanied a military expedition into Alta (upper) California, where he founded nine of the 21 missions stretching from San Diego to Sonoma.

Beatified in 1988 and canonized in 2015, he is the inspiration for Serra International, which encourages and affirms vocations.

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Saint of the Day: Saint Monica

August 27th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Monica

Feast Day: August 27

This North African laywoman married Patricius; St. Augustine of Hippo was their eldest child.

“Augustine of Hippo and his mother Monica of Hippo” by Ary Scheffer

She tried to bring him up a Christian but also was ambitious for his worldly success.

He scorned Christianity and had a son with his mistress.

In 383 Monica followed Augustine to Italy, where she was a follower of St. Ambrose.

Three years later, Augustine was baptized. But Monica fell ill and died before their return to Africa.

Years before, a bishop had famously counseled her: “It is not possible that the son of so many tears should be lost.”

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Saint of the Day: Tarsicius

August 26th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Tarsicius

Feast Day: August 26

Tarsicius was likely an acolyte, a deacon or even a layman in Rome during the time of Emperor

St. Tarsicius (CNS)

Valerian’s persecution.

He was martyred while taking the Eucharist to Christian prisoners, beaten to death with sticks and stones by a mob of pagans on the Appian Way when he would not surrender the Communion he was carrying.

One tradition claims he was buried in the cemetery of St. Callistus.

Pope St. Damasus I suggested an early cult by describing his martyrdom in a fourth-century poem.

His legend was further embellished in the 19th-century novel “Fabiola.”

Tarsicius is the patron saint of first communicants, altar servers and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

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Saint of the Day: Joseph Calasanz

August 25th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Joseph Calasanz

Feast Day: August 25

This Spaniard studied law at the University of Lerida and was ordained a priest in 1583, despite his

St. Joseph Calasanz (CNS)

father’s hope that he would be a soldier.

He became vicar general of a Spanish diocese, but in 1592 left for Rome, where he joined the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and worked with neglected children.

In 1597 he established the first free school in Rome with three other priests.

This work led him to found the Clerks Regular of the Religious (or Pious) Schools, known as Piarists. He overcame internal and external opposition and served as superior general of the order.

He was canonized in 1767, and in 1948 Pope Pius XII named him the patron saint of Christian schools. He is also a patron of students.

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Saint of the Day: Bartholomew

August 24th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Bartholomew

Feast Day: August 24

Though Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles in the synoptic Gospels, little more is known about him.

“St. Bartholomew” by Pierre Le Gros the Younger, in the nave of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (Wikimedia Commons)

Some scholars identify him as the apostle Nathanael, whom Jesus famously described in John 1:47: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.”

According to popular tradition, Bartholomew evangelized in Lycaonia, India and Armenia, where he reportedly was flayed alive.

This image of his martyrdom was a subject of Renaissance artists. He is a figure of humble faith and commitment.

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Saint of the Day: Rose of Lima

August 23rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Rose of Lima

“Santa Rosa de Lima” by Claudio Coello (Wikimedia Commons)

Feast Day: August 23

Born in Lima, Peru, the infant Isabel de Flores got her more familiar name from an Indian maid who said she was “like a rose.”

As a child Rose was given to fasting and mortification.

After her parents refused to let her enter the convent and she refused to marry, she lived at home in seclusion.

At 20 she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, using a backyard hut for prayer and caring for poor children and elderly sick in a one-room infirmary in her parents’ home.

She died at 31, and was declared the first saint from the Americas in 1671.

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