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Saint of the Day: Bernard of Clairvaux

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Feast Day: August 20

Known as Bernard of Clairvaux, this French abbot and doctor of the church is considered the second founder of the Cistercians.

He entered the relatively new monastery at Citeaux in 1113 with four of his own brothers and 27 friends, and later founded the monastery at Clairvaux, which gave birth to 68 other communities.

Despite poor health and his devotion to personal mortification, Bernard was an early Western European rock star: He was consulted by popes and kings, battled heresies, and supported the Second Crusade.

The sick and maimed lined the roads he traveled, hoping for a miracle.

Dante chose Bernard as his final guide in “Paradiso,” at the end of “The Divine Comedy.”

He is the patron of Gibraltar.

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Saint of the Day: John Eudes

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St, John Eudes

Feast Day: August 19

For 20 years, this Oratorian priest preached the basics of the faith to unschooled Catholics across northern France, distinguishing himself especially by serving the sick during epidemics of the plague.

But in 1643 he left the French Oratory and with companions founded a new congregation of priests whose charism was the training of priests.

St. John Eudes (CNS)

The Congregation of Jesus and Mary, also called Eudists, was reconstituted after the French Revolution and today specializes in secondary education.

John, devout from childhood, helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart and was the first to call for an official feast day. He also organized an order of nuns to care for former prostitutes.

He was canonized in 1925.

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Saint of the Day: Helena

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Helena

Feast Day: August 18

Helena was the mother of Constantine, the Roman emperor who in 313 ended the persecution of Christians throughout the empire.

“Helena of Constantinople” by Cima d Conegliano (Wikimedia Commons)

She was born in Asia Minor, married a Roman general named Constantius Chlorus, and gave birth to Constantine in 274 in what is now Serbia.

She became a Christian in 312, and thereafter was known for her devotion, prayerfulness and generosity to the poor.

In about 326, she went to the Holy Land, where she spent her last years humbly doing the housework in her convent but also building churches on holy sites.

She reportedly found the “true cross” of Calvary.

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Saint of the Day: Joan of the Cross

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Joan of the Cross

Feast Day: August 17

Jeanne Delanoue ran a religious articles shop near a shrine in Anjou, France. She kept the store open on Sundays, but felt guilty about her greedy

St. Joan of the Cross (Wikimedia Commons)

approach to business.

In 1693 an eccentric woman spoke a prophetic word to Jeanne, which launched her on a season of repentance.

After a significant conversion, she began to care for poor families, bringing them food and clothing.

Then Jeanne soon welcomed the destitute into buildings and caves that came to be known as Providence House.

Several women who joined her formed the Congregation of St. Anne in 1704. And Jeanne took the name Joan of the Cross.

Before her death in August 1736, she had founded 12 communities, hospices and schools for the poor.

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Saint of the Week: Victoria Rasoamanarivo

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo

Feast Day: August 21

Victoria was born into a leading tribal family in Madagascar at a time when Christian missionaries had been expelled.

Blessed Victoria (CNS)

After this persecution, she was among the first pupils at a mission school run by nuns.

In 1863, she was baptized, but it was hard to be Catholic in her circle.

Though she wanted to become a nun, she was married to the chief minister’s son, who drank heavily and was unfaithful.

When a new persecution began, she encouraged her fellow Catholics, and helped the local church survive.

She was beatified in 1989.

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Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 20, 2017

August 16th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle A Readings

            1) Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

            Psalm 67: 2-3, 5-8

            2) Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

            Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

           

Meeting the God you cannot understand

God is mysterious, no question about that. Today’s readings provide ample evidence.

“My salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed,” God says (Is 56:1). Looking around at a nation and world filled with the opposite of his justice, we may wonder what that “about to” means. When, Lord, when is your justice going to come? Read more »

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Saint of the Day: St. Stephen of Hungary

August 15th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Stephen of Hungary

Feast Day: August 16

Baptized as a boy with his father, the Magyar duke of Hungary, he married Gisela, sister of Emperor St. Henry II, and succeeded his father in 997.

“Stefan I Hongarije” author unknown (Wikimedia Commons)

After bringing order and consolidating his position, Stephen was crowned first king of Hungary in 1000.

He worked energetically, if somewhat roughly, to convert his pagan people to Christianity.

Ill health and shameless quarrels among his relatives over his successor made his last year difficult.

Stephen holds an honored place in Hungarian history.

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Saint of the Day: Stanislaus Kostka

August 14th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Stanislaus Kostka

Feast Day: August 15

Born in the family castle in Poland, Stanislaus was educated privately, then at a Jesuit college in Vienna, Austria.

St. Stanislaus Kostka (CNS)

After having visions during a serious illness, he decided to enter the Jesuits.

His father, a Polish senator, opposed this; he wanted Stanislaus to become a diplomat.

Rejected by the Vienna Jesuits, Stanislaus walked to the Upper Germany province, where Peter Canisius took him in, then sent him to Rome.

In 1567, the father general accepted Stanislaus into the Society of Jesus; for the nine months before his death in Rome, he lived a life of mortifications, ecstasies and holiness.

A patron saint of Poland, he was canonized in 1726 with another Jesuit novice, Aloysius Gonzaga.

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Saint of the Day: John Berchmans

August 10th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized 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 five

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

St. John Berchmans (CNS)

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 10th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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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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