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Saint of the Day: James the Greater

July 25th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. James the Greater

Feast Day: July 25

Jesus called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to leave their livelihood as fishermen and follow him.

Perhaps because of their zeal or temperament, Jesus called them “sons of thunder.”

St. James the Greater (CNS)

St. James the Greater (CNS)

James was the first of the 12 to be martyred; he was beheaded in Jerusalem by order of Herod Agrippa about 44.

He is the patron saint of pilgrims, laborers, rheumatism, several Latin American countries and Spain, where Santiago de Compostela has been a famous pilgrimage center since the Middle Ages. Some legends say James preached in Spain before his death; others say his relics were transferred there. “The greater” distinguishes him from the other apostle James, “the lesser,” who likely was smaller or younger.

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Saint of the Day: Sharbel Makhluf

July 24th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Sharbel Makhluf

Feast Day: July 24

Born in a Lebanese mountain village, Youssef was drawn to the life of his uncles, monks of the Maronite rite, but his peasant mother

St. Sharbel (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Sharbel (Wikimedia Commons)

wanted her youngest child to work in the fields.

At age 23, he left home for the monastery, taking the name Sharbel, after an early martyr. He was ordained a priest in 1859 and spend the next 16 years in the monastery at Annaya, working, fasting and praying.

From 1875 he lived as a hermit, praying ceaselessly, regarded as a saint by those who knew him. He is the first Maronite saint included in the Latin-rite calendar.

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Saint of the Day: Bridget of Sweden

July 23rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Bridget of Sweden

Feast Day: July 23

Bridget, or Birgitta, married a Swedish nobleman and they had eight children, including St. Katherine of Vadstena.

St. Bridget of Sweden (CNS)

St. Bridget of Sweden (CNS)

About 1335 Bridget was appointed chief lady-in-waiting at the Swedish court.

After she was widowed in 1344, she founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior, known as Brigittines.

Bridget spent much time in Rome, living austerely and caring for the poor and sick. She died there after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Bridget claimed to have visions and inspirations throughout her life, prompting both influence and controversy. She was canonized in 1391.

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Saint of the Day: Mary Magdalene

July 22nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Mary Magdalene

Feast Day: July 22

Mary, from Magdala in Galilee, was a disciple of Jesus who used her resources, or wealth, to help support him and his followers.

"Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena" by Alexander Ivanov

“Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena” by Alexander Ivanov

The Gospel of Luke also says Mary was the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons and that she was present at his crucifixion and burial.

In all four Gospels, Mary was the first witness to the Resurrection and carried that news to the others; because of this, St. Augustine called her “apostola apostolorum” the apostle to the apostles.

Traditions that identified Mary as a prostitute or penitent sinner are now discounted.

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Saint of the Day: Margaret of Antioch

July 20th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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Saint of the Day: St. Margaret of Antioch

Feast Day: July 20

This virgin and martyr, the patron saint for a difficult childbirth, is associated with a series of stories about Pelagia of Antioch, who may have been

St. Margaret of Antioch (CNS)

St. Margaret of Antioch (CNS)

martyred when Emperor Diocletian ordered the last persecution of Christians in 303.

St. John Chrysostom in the sixth century and later St. Ambrose knew of a Margaret or Pelagia in Antioch (Marina in the Eastern church) who jumped off a building to save her chastity.

Margaret had a strong following as one of the 14 helper saints in the Middle Ages, and was one of the “voices” that St. Joan of Arc heard, urging her to save France.

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Saint of the Day: Camillus de Lellis

July 18th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Camillus de Lellis

Feast Day: July 18

Though this tall, young Italian was restricted by an ulcerated leg, he worked as a hospital servant and Venetian soldier. After gambling away all his

"Ecstasy of Saint Camillus de Lellis" by Cristóbal Lozano (Wikimedia Commons)

“Ecstasy of Saint Camillus de Lellis” by Cristóbal Lozano (Wikimedia Commons)

property, he became a laborer at the Manfredonia Capuchin monastery and in 1575 tried to join the Capuchins. But his leg wound returned, and he was in and out of the hospital, eventually deciding to devote his life to caring for the sick. Camillus was ordained in 1584 and founded the Order of the Servants of the Sick, more generally known as the Camillians. He is a patron of the sick, of hospitals and of nurses.

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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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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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