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Saint of the Day: John Berchmans

August 13th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. John Berchmans

Feast Day: August 13

The patron saint of altar servers, John wanted to be a priest from boyhood, when he might serve at

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

five Masses a day in his native Flanders, now in Belgium.

This son of a shoemaker began priestly studies with the Jesuits at 17.

Drawn to simple devotions like praying before a crucifix and saying the rosary, he rose to the top of his class and was sent to the Jesuit college in Rome.

He finished philosophy studies early, and won a debate with another college. But the day after his victory he fell ill and died at just 22, already known for his holiness in everyday living.

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Saint of the Day: Innocent XI

August 12th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Blessed Innocent XI

Feast Day: August 12

Benedetto Odescalchi was born to a wealthy merchant in Como, Italy.

Blessed Innocent (CNS)

Blessed Innocent (CNS)

After serving as a cardinal and bishop of Novara, he was elected pope in 1676.

He inherited an ongoing conflict with French King Louis XIV over royal interference in church affairs; he also criticized the English king for trying to restore Catholicism by force and contemporary mystics who espoused Quietism.

Accusations that he was a Jansenist likely were prompted by his unceasing battles against nepotism and sinecures and by severe economic measures he instituted to balance the budget and fund the campaign against the Turks.

Innocent lived simply and was generous to the poor; he was beatified in 1956.

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Saint of the Day: Clare of Assisi

August 11th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Clare of Assisi

Feast Day: August 11

Though 10 years younger than her townsman, Francis of Assisi, Clare was drawn to his radical

St. Clare of Assisi by Simone Martini (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Clare of Assisi by Simone Martini (Wikimedia Commons)

message of serving God in abject poverty.

Despite objections from her aristocratic family, who wanted her to marry, she gave up the world with Francis’ help and founded the Second Order of St. Francis, known worldwide as the Poor Clares.

For 40 years, she guided the San Damiano community, whose nuns included her sister and widowed mother.

She served the other nuns who went out to beg, was often sick because of their hard life, and was proclaimed a saint just two years after she died.

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Saint of the Day: Lawrence O’Toole

August 10th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Lawrence O’Toole

Feast Day: August 10

The son of an Irish chieftain, Lorcan Ua Tuathail was held hostage for two years by a rival family.

St. Lawrence O'Toole (CNS)

St. Lawrence O’Toole (CNS)

He later became a monk, then abbot, at Glendalough, where his rule was strict.

In 1161, Lawrence became archbishop of Dublin; his chief work there was clergy reform.

In 1170, English King Henry II sent Anglo-Norman nobles to Ireland to dispatch Irish leaders; thereafter, Lawrence was embroiled in politics, the beginning of “the troubles” with England.

He attended the Third Lateran Council in Rome in 1179 and was appointed papal legate in Ireland.

He died in Normandy, while trying to mediate Norman-Irish property disputes with Henry, and was canonized in 1225.

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Saint of the Day: Edith Stein

August 9th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Feast Day: August 9

The youngest of 11 children of a devout Jewish mother in Wroclaw, Poland, Edith was an atheist by her teens.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (Wikimedia Commons)

After studying philosophy in Germany, she was deeply affected by reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.

Baptized a Catholic in 1922, she joined the Discalced Carmelites in Cologne in 1933, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Fleeing the Nazis, she moved to a convent in Echt, Netherlands, but was arrested with non-Aryan Christians after the Dutch bishops protested Nazi deportations.

She was martyred at Auschwitz.

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Saint of the Day: Dominic

August 8th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint Dominic

Feast Day: August 8

As a theology student, this Spaniard sold his books to help others during a famine, and later held positions at the Osma Cathedral, where

St. Dominic (CNS)

St. Dominic (CNS)

community life followed the Rule of St. Augustine.

Dominic and his bishop went to southern France on a papal mission to fight the Albigensian heresy.

He remained in Toulouse, as head of a preaching mission that evolved into the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans.

Dominic always preferred persuasion to establish orthodoxy and was said by a friar to have “a lively sympathy with any suffering.”

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Saint of the Day: Cajetan

August 7th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Cajetan

Feast Day: August 7

Born in Vicenza, Italy, Cajetan earned a doctorate in civil and canon law at the University of Padua.

St. Cajetan (CNS)

St. Cajetan (CNS)

He took an ecclesiastical office in Rome under Pope Julius II and was ordained in 1516, joining a local oratory.

In Rome and other northern Italian cities, he focused on helping the sick.

With three other Italians, one a bishop who later became pope, he founded in 1523 the first order of clerks regular, the Theatines, which took its name from the bishop’s see.

The priests of this reform congregation aided the Catholic Reformation, taking vows and living communally but also doing pastoral work.

They served the sick, preached and studied the Bible.

Cajetan died in Naples; he is patron of the Theatines and domestic animals.

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Saint of the Day: John Vianney

August 4th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. John Vianney

Feast Day: August 4

Born near Lyon, France, this farmer’s son studied for the priesthood for many years, and eventually was ordained more for his devoutness and

St. John Vianney (CNS)

St. John Vianney (CNS)

good will than for other qualities. But he became a model parish priest in Arsen-Dombes, where he served for 40 years. He was devoted to his parishioners, and became famous for rigorous preaching and insights in the confessional. The Cure of Ars, as he was known, spent up to 18 hours a day hearing the confessions of pilgrims who sought him out. He is the patron of parish priests.

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Saint of the Day: Peter Julian Eymard

August 2nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Peter Julian Eymard (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Peter Julian Eymard (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Peter Julian Eymard

Feast Day: August 2

The patron saint of eucharistic devotion, Peter Julian began adult life, like his father, as a cutler. But he became a priest of the French Alpine Diocese of Grenoble in 1834.

In 1839, he left diocesan service to become a Marist priest and eventually became provincial of his congregation at Lyons.

But, after making a pilgrimage in 1851, he understood that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to whom he was utterly devoted, had no specific religious institute.

Subsequently, he founded the Congregation of the Priests of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, an order of sisters, both devoted to perpetual adoration.

He was canonized in 1962.

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Saint of the Day: Alphonsus Liguori

August 1st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Ligouri (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. Alphonsus Liguori (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

Feast Day: August 1

Born to nobility, Alphonsus studied civil and canon law at the University of Naples. He practiced law until 1723, when he began theology studies.

After ordination in 1726, he focused on preaching and hearing confessions, and in 1732 founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, or Redemptorists.

As bishop of Sant’ Agata dei Goti 1762-1775, he initiated reforms, restored churches and fostered good liturgy.

He resigned his see due to illness, then devoted himself to his order’s growth and spiritual writings. He is a doctor of the church.

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