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Saint of the Week: John the Baptist

June 21st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Nativity of John the Baptist

Feast: June 24

St. John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

In the Gospels, John, a kinsman of Jesus through their mothers, preached repentance and baptized to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. This feast marks his exceptional birth to the aged priest Zechariah and the equally aged and barren Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel announces his birth in a vision to Zechariah, who hesitates in believing and is struck mute until eight days after John’s birth. Then, Zechariah, in a beautiful canticle that ends the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, proclaims that John “will be called prophet of the Most High.” John’s eventual beheading is commemorated with an Aug. 29 feast. A patron saint of Canada and Jordan, John is also the patron of Florence and the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

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Saint of the Week: St. Emily de Vialar

June 15th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Emily de Vialar

Feast Day: June 17

Emily was the only daughter of a French baron. At 15 she left school in Paris to become her widowed father’s companion in

St. Emily (Emilie) de Viala  (CNS?image provide by  Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition/permission granted for editorial use)

St. Emily (Emilie) de Viala
(CNS?image provide by Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition/permission granted for editorial use)

Gaillac. Despite his wishes, Emily would not marry, and for 15 years tended neglected children and the poor. In 1832, when her maternal grandfather left her a fortune, she bought a large house in Gaillac, which became the first home of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. In 1835, the order won approval and Emily and 17 other sisters professed vows. Their charisms were care of the needy and education. Emily oversaw the formation of 40 houses, before dying from complications of a hernia she’d gotten in her youth while doing a good deed.

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Saint of the Week: St. Paula Frassinetti

June 8th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Paula Frassinetti

Feast Day: June 11

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St. Paula Frassinetti (CNS)

Paula was born in the politically turbulent early 19th century in Genoa, Italy. With her priest- brother, she taught the poor children of the parish of Quinto. When other women joined them, Paula founded the Congregation of St. Dorothy. Despite many obstacles and few resources, the new teaching institute eventually prospered as Paula’s deep prayer life and wisdom became widely known. The congregation spread to other Italian cities, Portugal and Brazil. Pope John Paul II declared Paula a saint in 1984.

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Saint of the Week: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

May 24th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Feast Day: May 25

Born to a cooper and winemaker in Burgundy, France, Madeleine was educated by her older brother, Louis, who was

St. Madeline Sophie (CNS)

St. Madeline Sophie (CNS)

studying for the priesthood. He strove to repress her emotions and instruct her as if she were a seminarian. Her extensive formation, unusual for the time, paid off, as Madeleine was prepared for the rebirth of French Catholicism after its persecution during the French Revolution. In 1800, she and three companions began the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Madeleine was appointed superior at 23, and over the next 63 years she oversaw the establishment of more than 100 houses and schools in 12 countries. Her order was approved by Rome in 1826, and she was canonized in 1925.

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Saint of the Week: St. Rita of Cascia

May 18th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. Rita of Cascia

Feast Day: May 22

Born near Spoleto, Italy, Rita wanted to be a nun but married in

St. Francis Convent Springfield IL

St. Rita of Cascia (CNS)

deference to her parents. For nearly 20 years, she endured her profligate husband’s mistreatment. Following his violent death, she was admitted after three refusals to an Augustinian convent at Cascia, where she spent the next 40 years. She is remembered for her devoted care of sick nuns and for a deep forehead wound that lasted 15 years, caused she said by a thorn from Christ’s crown of thorns. She has a large popular following, and is invoked in Italy for difficult situations.

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Saint of the Week: Our Lady of Fatima

May 11th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Our Lady of Fatima
Feast Day: May 13

Mary appeared to three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, six times between May 13 and October 13, 1917, and asked for prayers for

Our Lady of Fatima (CNS)

Our Lady of Fatima (CNS)

world peace and an end to World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia. She entrusted the children with three secrets, regarding devotion to her Immaculate Heart, a vision of hell, and a “bishop in white” shot by soldiers firing bullets and arrows.

Many connect the third secret to the attempted assassination of Blessed Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, and the pope thanked Mary for guiding the bullet and saving him. At the Vatican last October 13, Pope Francis stood before the statue of Our Lady from the Fatima shrine and formally entrusted the world to Mary.

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Saint of the Week: St. John of Avila

May 2nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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St. John of Avila

Feast Day: May 10

John of Avila 1500 - 1569 feast - May 10 Born near Toledo, Spain, John was sent by his wealthy parents to study law in Salamanca. But, renouncing such a career, he instead lived as a hermit for three years, and was ordained in 1525, after his parents had died. Though he hoped to be a missionary in Mexico, his archbishop sent him to Andalusia, where he preached successfully for nine years. He was imprisoned briefly by the Inquisition for rigoristic preaching, then continued evangelizing for the rest of his life. Many of his letters survive. A holy priest and mystic, he was a friend of St. Ignatius Loyola and an adviser of St. Teresa of Avila and several other Spanish saints. He is a patron saint of Spain.

John of Avila
1500 – 1569

Born near Toledo, Spain, John was sent by his wealthy parents to study law in Salamanca. But, renouncing such a career, he instead lived as a hermit for three years, and was ordained in 1525, after his parents had died. Though he hoped to be a missionary in Mexico, his archbishop sent him to Andalusia, where he preached successfully for nine years. He was imprisoned briefly by the Inquisition for rigoristic preaching, then continued evangelizing for the rest of his life. Many of his letters survive. A holy priest and mystic, he was a friend of St. Ignatius Loyola and an adviser of St. Teresa of Avila and several other Spanish saints. He is a patron saint of Spain.

 

 

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Saint of the Week: St. Zita

April 20th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Zita

Feast Day: April 27

 

At age 12 Zita began working as a domestic in the household of a wealthy weaver in Lucca, Italy, and remained there her entire life. Initially,

St. Zita (CNS)

St. Zita (CNS)

the devout and punctilious Zita antagonized her fellow servants, and drew the ire of her employers for lavish gifts of food to the poor. But she gradually won over everyone by her goodness, and was put in charge of the house. Later in life, she spent much time visiting the sick and imprisoned. At her death, she already was acclaimed a saint in Lucca and her cult spread to England through Lucchese merchants in London.

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Saint of the Week: Bernadette Soubirous

April 11th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Feast Day: April 16

St. Bernadette Soubirous is pictured in this undated photo provided by the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France. (CNS photo/Durand, courtesy of Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes)

St. Bernadette Soubirous is pictured in this undated photo provided by the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France. (CNS photo/Durand, courtesy of Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes)

As a child in a poor French family in the Hautes-Pyrenees town of Lourdes, Bernadette suffered both asthma and cholera. Uneducated, she had not made her first Communion by 1858, the year she experienced 18 visions of a beautiful lady calling herself the Immaculate Conception and calling for penance and pilgrimage.

Bernadette was unchanged by this extraordinary experience, and in 1866 became a member of the Sisters of Charity, taking the name Maria-Bernarda. Chronically ill after 1875 with worsening asthma and tuberculosis of the bones, she died at age 35. When she was canonized in 1933, it was not for being the Lourdes visionary, but for her simple life of prayer, devotion and obedience.

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Saint of the Week: Magdalen Canossa

April 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Saint Magdalen Canossa

Feast Day: April 10

 

This foundress, born to a noble family in Verona, Italy, lost her father at age 5 and was abandoned by her mother when she remarried.

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Saint Magdalen Canossa

Choosing religious life over an advantageous marriage, Magdalen first joined the Carmelites, but left when she saw that their strict rules of enclosure would prohibit her charitable works.

She began a new community, the Canossian Daughters of Charity, in 1799 by bringing two poor girls into her own home. The institute spread throughout Italy, and Magdalen helped found an order of priests and a third order for laypeople.

Canossians minister today in Italy, Latin America and the Philippines. Magdalen, who was canonized in 1988, famously said, “Those who love are never tired, since love knows no burden.”

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