Tag: Catholic saint

Saint of the Day for Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Saint of the Day for Thursday, August 1st, 2019

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori

Image of St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori

Facts

Feastday: August 1
Death: 1787
Bishop, Doctors of the Church, and the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was born Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori on September 27,1696, at Marianella, near Naples, Italy. Raised in a pious home, Alphonsus went on retreats with his father, Don Joseph, who was a naval officer and a captain of the Royal Galleys. Alphonsus was the oldest of seven children, raised by a devout mother of Spanish descent.

Educated at the University of Naples, Alphonsus received his doctorate at the age of sixteen. By age nineteen he was practicing law, but he saw the transitory nature of the secular world, and after a brief time, retreated from the law courts and his fame. Visiting the local Hospital for Incurables on August 28, 1723, he had a vision and was told to consecrate his lifesolely to God. In response, Alphonsus dedicated himself to the religious life, even while suffering persecution from his family. He finally agreed to become a priest but to live at home as a member of a group of secular missionaries.

He was ordained on December 21, 1726, and he spent six years giving missions throughout Naples. In April 1729, Alphonsus went to live at the “Chiflese College,” founded in Naples by Father Matthew Ripa, the Apostle of China. There he met Bishop Thomas Falcoia, founder of the Congregation of Pious Workers. This lifelong friendship aided Alphonsus, as did his association with a mystic, Sister Mary Celeste. With their aid, Aiphonsus founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer on November 9, 1732.

The foundation faced immediate problems, and after just one year, Alphonsus found himself with only one lay brother, his other companions having left to formtheir own religious group. He started again, recruited new members, and in 1743 became the prior of two new congregations, one for men and one for women.

Benedict XIV gave his approval for the men’s congregation in 1749 and for the women’s in 1750. Alphonsus was preaching missions in the rural areas and writing. He refused to become the bishop of Palermo but in 1762 had to accept the papal command to accept the see of St. Agatha of the Goths near Naples. Here he discovered more than thirty thousand uninstructed men and women and four hundred indifferent priests.

For thirteen years Alphonsus fed the poor, instructed families, reorganized the seminary and religious houses, taught theology, and wrote. His austerities were rigorous, and he suffered daily the pain from rheumatism that was beginning to deform his body. He spent several years having to drink from tubes because his head was so bent forward. An attack of rheumatic fever, from May 1768 to June 1769, left him paralyzed. He was not allowed to resign his see, however, until 1775.

In 1780, Alphonsus was tricked into signing a submission for royal approval of his congregation. This submission altered the original rule, and as a result Alphonsus was denied any authority among the Redemptorists. Deposed and excluded from his own congregation, Alphonsus suffered great anguish. But he overcame his depression, and he experienced visions, performed miracles, and gave prophecies. He died peacefully on August 1,1787, at Nocera di Pagani, near Naples as the Angelus was ringing.

He was beatified in 1816 and canonized in 1839. In 1871, Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX. His writings on moral, theological, and ascetic matters had great impact and have survived through the years, especially his Moral Theology and his Glories of Mary. He was buried at monastery of the Pagani near Naples. Shrines were built there and at St. Agathaof the Goths. He is the patron of confessors, moral theologians, and the lay apostolate. In liturgical art he is depicted as bent over with rheumatism or as a young priest.

Saint of the Day for Friday, July 5th, 2019

Saint of the Day for Friday, July 5th, 2019

St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Image of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Facts

Feastday: July 5
Patron of The Barnabite order
Birth: 1502
Death: 1539
Cofounder of the Barnabites. Born in 1502 in Cremona, Italy, Anthony became a medical doctor. In 1528 he was ordained a priest and cofounded the Barnabites, the religious congregation so called because it was headquartered in St. Barnabas Monastery in Milan.

The Barnabites occupied the monastery in 1538, having been approved in 1533. Anthony popularized the forty-hour prayer ceremony, promoted the use of altar sacraments, and introduced the ringing of church bells on Friday. He is depicted in liturgical art in habit.

St. Athanasius the Athonite

Image of St. Athanasius the Athonite

Facts

Feastday: July 5
Birth: 920
Death: 1000

Abbot and founder. He was born in Trebizond, Turkey, and studied at Constantinople. There he became a monk, going to St. Michael’s Monastery in Kymina, Bithynia to join a laura. To avoid being named abbot of St. Michael’s, Athanasius went to Mount Athos in Greece, where he aided Nicephoras Phocas, a longtime friend, in repelling the Saracens who were invading the region. Successful in this military campaign, Athanasius received financial backing from his friend to found a monastery on Mount Athos in 961.

When Phocas became emperor, Athanasius went to Cyprus to avoid being called to court, but Phocas sent word to him that he should return to his monastery In establishing the laura system, Athanasius made enemies of the monks already on the mount. Only imperial protection kept him safe from assassination at tempts. In time, he served as abbot of fifty-eight communities of monks and hermits on Mount Athos. He and five monks were killed when the arch of a church collapsed.

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

St. Bernardino Realino

Image of St. Bernardino Realino

Facts

Feastday: July 2
Birth: 1530
Death: 1616

St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the University of Bologna, but after three years he switched to law and received his doctorate in 1563. Word of his learning, dedication, and legal brilliance spread rapidly, and in 1554 he was summoned to Naples to assume the position of auditor and lieutenant general.

Shortly afterward, his exemplary young man came to the realization that he had a religious vocation and, aided by our Lady’s appearance to him, joined the Society of Jesus, being ordained in 1567. For three years he labored unstintingly at Naples, devoting himself wholeheartedly to the service of the poor and the youth, and then he was sent to Lecce where he remained for the last forty-two years of his life.

St. Bernardino won widespread recognition as a result of his ceaseless apostolic labors. He was a model confessor, a powerful preacher, a diligent teacher of the Faith to the young, a dedicated shepherd of souls, as well as Rector of the Jesuit college in Lecce and Superior of the Community there. His charity to the poor and the sick knew no bounds and his kindness brought about the end of vendettas and public scandals that cropped up from time to time.

So greatly was this saint loved and appreciated by his people that in 1616, as he lay on his death bed the city’s magistrates formally requested that he should take the city under his protection. Unable to speak, St. Bernardino bowed his head. He died with the names of Jesus and Mary on his lips. His feast dayis July 2nd.

Our Journey To Sainthood

Our Journey To Sainthood

We actually have a large list of canonized saints, and most of them are well known to have done amazing things. And they go ahead to do so: finding things for us, helping to heal our illnesses, and obtaining favors. They are partners who pray with us and for us.

For such intercession support, we might also count on deceased family and friends whose holiness and love helped us on our journey through life while they were alive.

Between them and us there is the not-so-important event called death. Those of us who have experienced the death of someone we love know how hard it is to let go. And if we have been with the person at the moment of death — even though we believe in faith that he or she has gone to a better place — the memory of the experience can stay for years.

In as much as death is an everyday occurrence, the Church this month places life and death before our eyes in a special way — in the feast of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Holy Souls. These days are a sober reminder that “here we have no lasting city” (Hebrews 13:14). And yet, for those who believe, death is not the end; it is a transition, the gate through which we must pass to eternal life.

Once death comes, even following a long period of suffering, its arrival is swift and leaves a feeling of deep emptiness for those who remain. It is definitely uncomfortable to face death, to cogitate about it, to discuss about it. And yet the problems for us all is to confront death in faith as an integral part of our human condition.

My friends, we believe that God has prepared great things for those who struggle to love him. One of my favorite little bits of the Bible, from 1 Corinthians, is this saying:

What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him (2:9).

To put it simply, God wants us to be saints. Saints! In Greek, the term is ἅγιοι (hagioi) and in Latin, sancti — literally, “the holy ones.” Our life’s goal is to be with the saints and be one of them in the unspeakable happiness of heaven.

You might have observed that Pope Francis, when he’s interacting with young people, often taps them on the face with his hand. It reminds us how, in days gone by, in conferring the sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop would give the one being confirmed a gentle slap on the cheek. This 13th-century ritual, which is no longer practiced, was meant to be a reminder that the struggle now begins in earnest.

Our lives (and I know I don’t need to tell you) are often a struggle, even a battle. We wage war with sickness and disappointment, with broken relationships, and certainly with personal sin. This is our exciting human and Christian struggle. This is the path of holiness.

Our goal in this life must be to become all that we were created to be so we can join the women and men, boys and girls, who right now see the glory of God. Like them, we are called to do amazing things in our lives. To be a superhero? Well, simply to respond to all our daily challenges and struggles in the way the Gospel calls us to do can be considered amazing, even heroic. With courage today and always, permit God to assist you to become all that he created you to be. Keep up the struggle. If you’re down, get up!

Be glad and proud to follow Jesus Christ, for your reward will be great … in heaven!