August 19

* St. John Eudes If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. Emily Bicchieri
* St. Andrew theTribune
* Bl. Anthony
* St. Badulfus
* Bl. Bartholomew Monfiore
* St. Bertulf
* Bl. Thomas Koyanangi
* Sts. Timothy, Thecla, & Agapius
* St. Sebald
* St. Calminius
* St. Credan
* St. Donatus
* St. Elaphius
* St. Guenninus
* St. James Denshi, Blessed
* Bl. John Foyamon
* Bl. John Nangata
* St. John Yano
* St. Julius
* Bl. Lawrence Rokuyemon
* Bl. Leo Suchiemon
* Bl. Louis Flores
* St. Louis of Toulouse
* St. Magnus
* St. Marianus
* St. Marinus
* St. Rufinus
* St. Namadia
* Bl. Michael Diaz
* St. Mochta
* Bl. Paul Sanchiki
* Bl. Peter Zuniga

Spiritual Bouquet: I sanctify Myself for them, that they also may be sanctified in truth. St. John 17:19
Saint John Eudes

Founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity

Saint John Eudes, forerunner of devotion both to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, was born in 1601, some time after France had been torn apart by the revolt of the Huguenots. The rebels were calmed but relegated to western France by King Henry IV, after he himself returned to the Catholic faith. It was in that region that this young Saint spent his childhood, at Argentan in Normandy, and was educated with the Jesuits of Caen. The father of this firstborn of a family of solid and profound virtue, had himself desired the sacerdotal life, and he did not long oppose John’s desire to consecrate himself to God as a priest. At eighteen years of age Saint John had already composed a treatise on voluntary abnegation, which his confessor obliged him to publish. He was ordained in Paris as a member of the recently founded French Oratory of Saint Philip Neri; his teachers there were Fathers de Berulle and de Condren, two unsurpassed spiritual directors. The governing theme of his meditation, his preaching and his writings was the importance of the redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, through the intermediary of His Immaculate Mother. Controversy was not lacking in those days, when the Mother of God had been relegated to a very secondary if not insignificant role by the reformers, and Saint John did not fear controversy. He chose to study both theology and what we would call debate, as essential preparations for his calling. In those days seminaries were scarce; aspiring future priests themselves sought out the instruction they needed.

At Caen a pestilence broke out and soon decimated the populace, often deprived of spiritual assistance. John Eudes offered to care for them in person, and while the scourge lasted slept outdoors in a field, in an old barrel, to protect his brothers in religion from contagion. In 1639 he was named Superior of the Oratory of Caen by Father de Condren, although the Superior General feared that office could interfere with his missions, from which they hoped for great renovation in western France. Nonetheless, from 1638 until 1642, Saint John, with his brethren in religion, was engaged in preaching missions in the dioceses of Bayeux and Lisieux, where the bishops encouraged him and soon were praising him highly. The fruits of these missions were rich and long-lived. Father Eudes was a follower of Saint Vincent de Paul in his ardent desire to evangelize the poor folk, so long neglected, and it was to the people that the preaching of the Oratorian missionaries was addressed. Their missions lasted for several weeks. “Otherwise,” said Saint John, “we put a bandage on the wound, but do not heal it.” Processions, hymns, little religious plays, special conferences for specific groups, organization of leagues against duels and blasphemy, and visits to the sick occupied the missionaries’ very full days.

Saint John Eudes left the Oratory, a Society of priests which he loved sincerely, like other founders who have been in a similar position, because he was called by God to break new ground in establishing a group of priests without religious vows, destined to occupy posts in the new seminaries of France. The Council of Trent had commanded these establishments everywhere, ordaining that priests be formed to head parishes and to establish in each of them a school. Already in 1658 Saint John himself had founded four seminaries in Normandy — at Caen, Coutances, Lisieux and Rouen. Before the Revolution in France, the Eudists had accepted the responsibility for sixteen seminaries or minor seminaries. This required a foundation in depth in theology and all pastoral duties. Some of his former brethren turned against him when he left them, and he met obstacles also when founding in Caen a Congregation of women to raise up poor girls led astray by ignorance or need. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity founded by Saint John, parent body of the Good Shepherd nuns, have done an immense good in many countries. The Congregation of Jesus and Mary has sent missionary priests to several countries, all over the world. Saint John Eudes, who died in 1680, was beatified in 1909 by Saint Pius X, and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.

August 18

* St. Helena
* St. Agapitus
* St. Agapitus
* Bl. Thomas Guengoro
* St. Daig Maccairaill
* St. Firminus of Metz
* St. Florus & Laurus
* St. Hugh the Little
* St. James Guengoro, Blessed
* St Jane Frances De Chantal If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. John & Crispus
* St. Leo & Juliana
* Bl. Raynald of Ravenna
* Bl. Mary Guengoro

Spiritual Bouquet: Holy Father, keep in Thy Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one even as We are. St. John 17:11
Saint Helen


It was the pious boast of the city of Colchester, England, for many ages, that Saint Helen was born within its walls; and though this honor has been disputed, since others say she was born in York, it is certain that she was a British princess. She married a Roman General, Constantius Chlorus, and became the mother of Constantine the Great. She embraced Christianity late in life; but her incomparable faith and piety greatly influenced her son Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and served to kindle a holy zeal in the hearts of the Roman people. Forgetful of her high dignity, she delighted to assist at the Divine Office amid the poor; and by her almsdeeds showed herself a mother to the indigent and distressed.

In her eightieth year she made a famous pilgrimage to Jerusalem, with the ardent desire of discovering the cross on which our Blessed Redeemer had suffered. After many labors, three crosses were found on Mount Calvary, together with the names and the inscription recorded by the Evangelists. The miraculous discovery and verification of the true Cross is still celebrated by the Church on the 3rd of May. The pious empress, transported with joy, built a beautiful Basilica on Mount Calvary to receive the precious relic, sending portions of it also to Rome and Constantinople, where they were solemnly exposed to the adoration of the faithful. She built two other famous churches in Palestine to honor the sacred sites of Our Lord’s life, one at the site of His Ascension, and the other, known as the Basilica of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, which she and her son richly adorned.

Saint Helen’s influence on her son Constantine is recognized by all historians. He always honored her in every way. In the year 312, when Constantine found himself attacked by Maxentius with vastly superior forces, and the very existence of his western empire was threatened, he remembered the crucified Christian God whom his mother Helen worshiped. Kneeling down, he prayed God to reveal Himself as the supreme God, by giving him an otherwise impossible victory. Suddenly at noonday, a cross of fire was seen by his army in the calm and cloudless sky, and beneath it the words, In hoc signo vinces — In this sign thou shalt conquer. By divine command, Constantine made a standard like the cross he had seen, to be borne at the head of his troops. This is the famous banner known as the Roman Labarum. Under this Christian ensign they marched against the enemy and obtained a complete victory.

When past the age of 80, Saint Helen returned from Jerusalem to Rome, dying there in 328.

Reflection: Saint Helen thought it the glory of her life to find the Cross of Christ, and to raise a temple in His honor. Yet many Christians in these days are ashamed to make this life-giving sign publicly, and to confess themselves followers of the Crucified!

August 17

* St. Clare of Montefalco
* Bl. Bartholomew
* St. Amor of Amorbach
* St. Anastasius IX
* St. Theodulus
* Bl. Thomas Vinyemon
* Bl. Caspar and Mary Vaz
* St. Donatus
* St. Drithelm
* St. Frances Bizzocca
* Bl. Francis Kuloi
* Bl. Francis Kurobiove
* St. Hiero
* St. Hyacinth
* St. James the Deacon
* St. John of Monte Marano
* St. Joan of the Cross If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Liberatus
* Bl. Louis Someyon
* St. Luke Kiemon
* St. Mamas
* Bl. Martin Gomez
* Bl. Michael Kiraiemon
* St. Myron
* St. Paul and Juliana

Spiritual Bouquet: Not for the world do I pray, but for those whom Thou, Father, hast given Me, because they are Thine. St. John 17:9
Saint Hyacinth

Missionary Preacher and Thaumaturge

Saint Hyacinth, named the glorious Apostle of the North, was born of noble parents in Poland, about the year 1185. In 1218, as a Canon of Cracow he accompanied the bishop of that region to Rome. There he met Saint Dominic and soon afterward was one of the first to receive the habit of the Friar Preachers, in a group clothed by the patriarch himself. He became a living copy of his dear master. The church was his only chamber, and the ground his only bed. So wonderful was his progress in virtue that within a year Dominic sent him with a small group to preach and plant the Order in Poland, where he founded two houses.

His apostolic journeys extended over numerous and vast regions. Austria, Bohemia, Livonia, the shores of the Black Sea, Tartary, Northern China in the east, Sweden, Norway and Denmark to the west, were evangelized by him, and he is said to have visited Scotland. Everywhere he traveled unarmed, without a horse, with no money, no interpreters, no furs in the severe winters, and often without a guide, abandoning to Divine Providence his mission in its entirety. Everywhere multitudes were converted, churches and convents were built; one hundred and twenty thousand pagans and infidels were baptized by his hands. He worked many miracles; at Cracow he raised a dead youth to life. He had inherited from Saint Dominic a perfect filial confidence in the Mother of God; to Her he ascribed his success, and to Her aid he looked for his own salvation. It was at the request of this indefatigable missionary that Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his famous philosophical Summa contra Gentiles, proving the reasonableness of the Faith on behalf of those unfamiliar with doctrine.

While Saint Hyacinth was at Kiev the Tartars sacked the town, but it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of the danger. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands, and was leaving the church. Then occurred the most famous of his countless prodigies. As he passed by a statue of Mary a voice said: “Hyacinth, My son, why do you leave Me behind? Take Me with you...” The statue was of heavy alabaster, but when Hyacinth took it in his arms it was light as a reed. With the Blessed Sacrament and the statue he walked to the Dnieper river, and crossed dry-shod over the surface of the waters to the far bank.

On the eve of the Assumption, 1257, he was advised of his coming death. In spite of an unrelenting fever, he celebrated Mass on the feast day and communicated as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of altar, and died on the great Feast of Our Lady.

Reflection: Saint Hyacinth teaches us to spare no effort in the service of God, but to rely for success not on our industry but on the assistance and prayer of His Immaculate Mother.

August 16

* St. Roch
* St. Stephen the Great If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Armagillus
* St. Arsacius
* St. Beatrix da Silva
* St. Uguzo
* St. Titus
* St. Serena
* St. Diomedes
* St. Eleutherius
* St. Fructuosus
* Bl. John of Saint Martha
* Bl. Mary Magdalen Kiota

Spiritual Bouquet: In the world you will have affliction; but take courage, I have overcome the world. St. John 16:33
Saint Roch

Confessor, Patron of Invalids

Saint Roch was the son of a governor of Montpellier. His pious parents, already advanced in age, obtained his birth by their persevering prayers, promising to give to God the child He would grant them. This miraculous infant was born with a red cross on his breast, sign of a very particular predestination.

From the age of five he began to chastise his little body by privations. As he grew in age and in grace, he was noted for his gracious hospitality for the poor and travelers. He was not yet twenty years old when he experienced the grief of losing both his father and his mother. He immediately sold all his property and made himself poor to follow Christ. He entered the Third Order of Saint Francis and dressed as a pilgrim, traveled on foot to Rome, asking alms.

A pestilence was then devastating Italy; he devoted himself to caring for the sick. Passing alongside their beds, he would take their hand, and with them make the sign of the Cross, and all rose up cured. In Rome, miracles multiplied where he passed. He lived there for three years without making known his name and his origins, even to the Holy Father. Then, returning to his native region, he was suddenly seized by the plague and withdrew into a cabin on the borders of a forest, where a dog brought him a small loaf of bread every day. Cured by the graces of heaven, he entered Montpellier like a stranger; and his uncle, the governor, not recognizing him, cast him into prison as a spy. After five years there he died, stretched out on the ground, after receiving the Last Sacraments. He was recognized by the red cross on his breast, and his funeral was a triumph. His cult became very popular and has remained so for the entire Church. We always see him pictured with his famous little dog.

August 15


* St. Tarsicius
* St. Alipius
* St. Altfrid
* St. Arduinus
* St. Arnulf
* St. Limbania
* St. Neopolus

Spiritual Bouquet: Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. St. John 16:24
The Assumption of Mary

of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about the Assumption of Our Lady please click here
(† ca. 57 A.D.)

On this great feast day the Church commemorates the happy departure from mortal life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Her translation into the kingdom of Her Son, where He crowned Her with immortal glory and enthroned Her above all the other Saints and heavenly spirits.

After the triumphant Conqueror of hell and death ascended into heaven, His blessed Mother had remained at Jerusalem, persevering in prayer with the disciples, until She received with them the Holy Ghost. She desired to assist the Church in its beginnings, and Her prayer was granted. It is generally believed that She lived for a good many years, until the age of 72 or 73. This supposition is based on the fact that Saint Dennis the Areopagite, who was converted by Saint Paul in the year 54, visited Her not long afterward, according to his own narration. That account is judged authentic by reliable authorities, among them Saint Thomas Aquinas. Finally She paid voluntarily the debt of fallen human nature to God, although like Adam at his creation, She was entirely innocent and exempt from the penalty of the painful separation of soul and body incurred by death. She might have been transported alive to Heaven, but chose instead to die, as Her Son also had chosen to die. If the death of the Saints is called a sweet sleep, how much more does the Dormition of the Queen of Saints, exempt from all sin, merit that name?

It is a traditional belief of the Holy Church that the body of the Blessed Virgin was raised up by God on the third day, and introduced at once into glory by a singular privilege. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the consummation of the other great mysteries by which Her life was supremely admirable; it is Her true birthday and the crowning of all Her incomparable virtues which we admire singly in Her other festivals.

Reflection: While we contemplate in profound sentiments of veneration, astonishment, and praise, the glory to which Mary is raised by Her triumph on this day, we ought, for our own advantage, to consider by what means She arrived at this sublime degree of honor and happiness, that we may walk in Her footsteps as God intends. For Mary is imitable in Her daily life. The same path which conducted Her to glory will lead us there; we shall be sharers of Her reward if we imitate Her virtues. Let us ask ourselves in all situations what She might have done, and act accordingly.
St. Tarsicius
Feastday: August 15
Patron of first communicants

Tarsicius was an acolite or perhaps a deacon at Rome. He was accosted and beaten to death on the Appian Way by a mob while carrying the Eucharist to some Christians in prison. The incident is included in Cardinal Wiseman's novel "Fabiola", and Pope Damasus wrote a poem about it. Tarsicius is the patron of first communicants and his feast day is August 15

August 14

* St. Maximilian
* St. Maximilian Kolbe If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Fachanan
* St. Anastasius
* St. Anthony Primaldi
* St. Athanasia
* St. Ursicius
* St. Werenfrid
* St. Demetrius

Spiritual Bouquet: Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it to you. St. John 16:23
Saint Maximilien Kolbe


The Knight of the Immaculate Virgin was born in Poland in 1894, and was a mischievous little boy. One day his mother, no longer knowing what to do with him, said to him: “My child, what will become of you?” He was suddenly afraid and went to pray before a statue of His heavenly Mother — for this was an exceptionally pious family, all of whose living members became religious, including, eventually, the parents. He was transformed that day into a new person, having asked Her to help him correct his faults.

When his parents separated to enter religion, he, too, entered a Franciscan novitiate, and was ordained in 1918 on April 28th, feast of the Marian apostle, Saint Louis Mary de Montfort. Already the great all-embracing idea of his life had come to him, a year earlier — a militia in honor of the Virgin destined to crush the head of the ancient serpent, master of pride and revolt. There should be an army at Her disposition, he was certain, and then She Herself could do all through its well-disciplined ranks. He found willing collaborators — a small group at first — ready to consecrate themselves to Her forever, for the fulfillment of Her desires.

They founded a magazine, invoking the special assistance of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux also, and the prodigious growth of this enterprise left those who could not understand its heavenly Sources mystified and sometimes very much contradicted. Soon the walls were cracking, so to speak, by the arrival of printing presses and, above all, religious vocations. The group of volunteers for the project had to leave, and Our Lady procured for them a terrain, without charge. As a result, “The City of the Immaculate” was organized, where some 50 low buildings were set up and mobilized for the various facets not only of publishing, but of the Franciscan life of prayer.

Father Kolbe, despite a health which was never other than precarious — for he was undermined by tuberculosis for long years, and virtually abandoned at one time as incurable — traveled both to Japan and to India to extend the militia to other lands where the Mother of God was sorely needed. Always She revealed Her protective Presence, accompanied by abundant blessings. The Founder of these holy residences said, “The more souls there will be, totally given to the guidance of the Immaculate, the more Saints there will be, and very great Saints. Sanctity is not a luxury, but a simple duty, since Our Lord said, ‘Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.’” He gave them as a formula, “w=W” — signifying the human will perfectly united and equivalent, through Her, to the Will of God. He said to them, “Our sanctification is Her affair and Her specialty, since we belong unconditionally to Her.”

The martyrdom of Father Kolbe in the “hunger bunker” of Auschwitz is well known. The City of the Immaculate was closed after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, and he was placed successively in two concentration camps, where the most cruel treatment could not alter his calm. He brought light to the despairing and renewed the faith of all with whom he came into contact. He was the last to die of the ten men condemned to the “bunker” to pay for the escape of an inmate of their dormitory. A guard found him alone still alive, on August 14, 1941 after fourteen days, seated in a corner in total deprivation, still praying. He stretched out his fleshless arm to the jailers who had come to finish him off with a hypodermic syringe. His expression in death was described as ecstatic; he was gazing upward, as if to welcome the One he saw coming for his soul.

Reflection: Saint Maximilian said: “On earth, we can only work with one hand, since with the other we have to hold fast to the hand railing, in order not to fall. But in heaven it will be different! No danger of slipping or falling, and we will work far more, using both hands!”

August 13

* St. Radegunde
* St. Benilde
* St. Benilde Romancon
* St. Wigbert
* St. William Freeman
* St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
* St. Cassian of Imola
* St. Cassian of Todi
* St. Centolla & Helen
* St. Francis of Pesaro
* St. Herulph
* St. Hippolytus
* St. Junian
* St. Ludoiph
* St. Radegund
* St. Nerses Glaietsi
* St. Maximus the Confessor
* The Dormition of Mary
* Sts Pontian & Hippolitus If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

Spiritual Bouquet: You shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. St. John 16:20
The Dormition of Mary

(First Century)

Father Bourdaloue, a famous preacher of the 17th century French court, said in a sermon on the Assumption:

“Never was there a death more precious in the sight of God than that of the Virgin, because there was never a life more filled with merits than Hers. The death of the Blessed Virgin was precious not only by the merits which preceded it, but also by the graces and favors which accompanied it. But what made it precious in God’s sight is above all the dispositions of mind and heart with which She received it... What then was Her disposition of mind? She envisaged death in the light of the purest faith, as the fulfillment of her wishes, as the means of being promptly reunited with Her Son and Her God, whose absence had for so long been a source of sorrow for Her. Her disposition of heart? Seeing death in this light, She desired it with all the ardor of the most fervent charity. Far more fervently than Saint Paul She longed to be disengaged from the bonds of the flesh, to live with Jesus Christ...”

The bishop of Meaux, Bossuet, preaches in the same vein: “If the great Apostle wants to break the bonds of the flesh to go to meet his Master at the Father’s right hand, what must the emotion of a maternal heart be? ... And what regret had the Virgin not experienced, seeing Herself separated for so long from a Son whom She loved as She alone could love? ... She prayed, ‘Ah, my Lord! permit my love to act! It will soon detach my soul from my mortal body, and transport me to You, in whom alone I live.’ If you believe me, holy souls, you will not labor long to seek any other cause for Her death. This love, so ardent, so strong, so inflamed, could not utter a single sigh incapable of breaking all the bonds of that body; it did not send forth a single desire to heaven which did not take with it the soul of Mary. Ah! I said earlier that the death of Mary was miraculous; now I speak a little differently, and say that it is not so much Her death that is a miracle; Her death is rather the cessation of a miracle. The continuous miracle was that Mary could live, separated from Her Beloved.”

We see from these texts why the departure of the soul of Our Lady is not termed a “death” like that of other mortals, but rather a “dormition” — a “falling asleep in the Lord”, as the early Christians called it. (Cf. Acts 7:60) All writers on the subject are unanimous — it was Her supreme love for God, nothing else, which was its cause. Tradition affirms that She knew in advance that Her departure was at hand, and prepared with incredible fervor for the holy moment, when She would hear the voice of Her Son say: “Come to Your eternal repose, O blessed Mother: arise and come, You who are My Heart’s friend, the most beautiful of women. The winter is over, the springtime begins; come, My all-beautiful one, My beloved; there is no stain in You; I prefer Your perfumes to all others.”

August 12

* St. Euplius
* St. Anicetus
* St. Anthony Peter Dich
* St. Ust
* St. Cassian of Benevento
* St. Hilaria
* St. James Nam
* St. Just
* St. Macarius & Julian
* St. Merewenna
* St. Michael My
* St. Murtagh

Spiritual Bouquet: If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. St. John 15:20
Saint Clare of Assisi

Foundress and Abbess

On Palm Sunday, March 19, 1212, a maiden eighteen years of age left her rich and noble family to retire for her reception as a religious to the little church of the Portiuncula. This maiden was Saint Clare. Already she had learned from Saint Francis to scorn the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone. There she was met by Saint Francis and his brethren, and at the altar of Our Lady, Saint Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in the habit of penance, a piece of sackcloth, with a cord as a cincture. Thus was she espoused to Christ. Saint Francis placed her for the moment in a Benedictine convent.

It was in a tiny house outside Assisi that she founded her Order. Two weeks after Clare’s consecration, her sister Agnes left home secretly to go to join her, at the age of fourteen years. Agnes succeeded in her intention, despite their father’s strong opposition and a convoy of twelve men who attempted to take her back home by force. While Clare prayed in the convent, Agnes became so heavy they were unable to move her. Later their mother and other noble ladies joined them. They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty.

Saint Clare is celebrated for a miracle which occurred when the Saracen army of Frederick II was ravaging the valley of Spoleto. A legion of infidels advanced to assault the convent outside Assisi. The Saint, who was ill in the infirmary, rose and went, supported by her religious, to the door of the convent; there she had the Blessed Sacrament placed in a monstrance above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy. She knelt before it and prayed, “Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess Your Name!” A voice from the Host replied, “My protection will never fail you.” A sudden panic seized the infidel army, which took flight; and the Saint’s convent was spared.

Although Saint Clare herself never left her monastery of Saint Damian, her Order spread in many places not only in Europe but elsewhere, and some four thousand convents, divided into several branches, shelter her disciples. Many Saints have come from these, especially from the groups which have maintained the original absolute poverty of her Constitutions. The Sisters of the original Order live by charity, and their convents possess nothing. Saint Clare died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the Angels conducted her to glory.

August 11

* St. Clare If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here. A write up on St Clair will appear tomorrow
* St. Susanna
* St. Blane
* St. Lelia
* St. Alexander of Comana
* St. Attracta
* St. Taurinus
* St. Tiburtius
* St.Philomena
* St. Chromatius
* St. Digna
* St. Francis of St. Mary
* St. Gagericus
* Bl. Lawrence Nerucci
* St. Rufinus

Spiritual Bouquet: If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. St. John 15:18
Saint Philomena

Virgin and Martyr
(† Third century)

The tomb of this virgin and martyr, unknown until the first years of the 19th century, was providentially discovered in 1802 in the catacombs. God by many miracles made the discovery of Saint Philomena’s body famous, and the cult of the young Saint spread everywhere with an extraordinary rapidity. She received such exceptional homage that she deserves to be placed in the first ranks of the virgin martyrs whom the Church venerates. The Holy Curé of Ars called her his dear little Saint and performed wonders, invoking her.

Certain revelations having the character of authenticity say that Saint Philomena was the daughter of a Greek prince, who accompanied her parents to Rome on a journey, and that her glorious martyrdom occurred there under Diocletian in the third century. The two arrows engraved on her tombstone in opposite directions referred to the efforts of the persecutor to slay her with a volley of arrows, after Angels preserved her from death by drowning; the arrows turned against the archers. Finally she was beheaded, like so many other miraculously protected heroes and heroines of Christ. This opinion, which certain circumstances attending the translation of her relics in 1812 to the city of Mugnano appeared to verify, has prevailed. In that city devotion to her has been extraordinary and remains so to this day; miracles have multiplied both there and elsewhere for those who invoke her.

Other very serious studies maintain that she was a child of the Roman people, immolated in the first century for Jesus Christ, at the age of twelve or thirteen years. An examination of her bones permitted her age to be estimated, and the vial of dried blood in her tomb clearly indicated her martyrdom. The instruments of torture painted on the terra cotta plaque which closed her tomb — an arrow, an anchor, a torch — show us what sort of tortures she bore, all of which are known to us through other martyrdoms of the same early centuries. The inscription: “Peace be with you, Philomena,” reveals her name.

What is beyond doubt is that this Saint responds unfailingly to the faith of those who invoke her. Invoked everywhere with wonderful success, she was entitled “the wonder-worker of the 19th century”. She has shown herself to be the protectress, in particular, of small children. A mother whose young son died despite her prayers, placed a picture of the Saint on his corpse, begging that he be returned to her. And the child rose as though from sleep, stood up beside his bed and had no more symptoms of any sickness whatsoever. A little girl who had put out her eye playing with a pair of scissors, which injury was declared irreparable by physicians, had her eye restored when she washed her face in oil taken from the Saint’s lamp; and this eye seemed to everyone more vivid and bright than the other.

Prayer to Saint Philomena

Hail, O innocent Philomena, who, for love of Jesus, preserved the lily of your virginity in all its brightness. Hail, O illustrious Philomena, who shed your blood so courageously for Jesus Christ.

I bless the Lord for all the graces He granted you during your lifetime, and most especially at the hour of your death. I praise Him and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned you, and I beseech you to obtain for me from God the graces I request through your intercession.

Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to you! Amen.

August 10 

* St. Lawrence martyr If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Agilberta
* St. Aredius
* St. Asteria
* St. Thiento & Companions
* St. Deusdedit

Spiritual Bouquet: These things I command you, that you may love one another. St. John 15:17
Saint Lawrence

Deacon and Martyr

Saint Lawrence was Chief of the seven deacons of Rome. In the year 258 Pope Sixtus was led out to die, and Saint Lawrence followed beside him, weeping because unable to share his fate. “Where are you going, my father, without your son? Where are you going, holy pontiff, without your deacon? Never did you offer a sacrifice without my serving you at the altar. In what way have I displeased you?” The holy Pope comforted him with the words, “I am not abandoning you, my son; a more difficult trial and a more glorious victory are reserved for you; in three days you will follow me.”

This prophecy was fulfilled. After the Pope’s martyrdom the prefect of the city, knowing the rich offerings which the Christians put into the hands of the clergy, demanded the treasures of the Roman Church from Lawrence, their guardian. The Saint promised to show him, at the end of three days, riches exceeding all the wealth of the empire. He was granted the time of delay. The Archdeacon of Rome went about assembling the poor, the infirm, and the religious who lived by the alms of the faithful, and he brought them to the prefect on the appointed day. “Behold the treasures I promised you; I add pearls and precious stones — these virgins and widows consecrated to God; the Church has no other riches.” The prefect replied: “How dare you play games with me, miserable one? Is this how you show your contempt for the imperial power?”

Christ, whom Lawrence had served in His poor, gave him strength in the conflict which ensued. After being placed on the rack, he was stretched on a grill over a slow fire. He joked about his pains. “I am roasted enough on this side,” he said, “perhaps you should turn me over.” Soon, his gaze towards heaven, he gave up his soul to God. He was buried in the catacomb near the Tiburtine Way, called the Verano Field, a little over a mile from the city walls. The faithful watched there for three days to mourn their holy Archdeacon who had been so good to them. God, by the glory of this holy martyr, demonstrates the value He sets upon love for the poor. Innumerable prayers were offered at his tomb. Saint Lawrence continued from his throne in heaven his charity to those in need, granting them, as Saint Augustine says, “the smaller graces which they sought, and leading them to the desire of better gifts.”

Reflection: Our Lord appears before us in the persons of the poor. Charity to them is a great sign of predestination. It is almost impossible, the holy Fathers assure us, for any one who is charitable to the poor, above all for Christ’s sake, to perish.

August 9 Please join me in thanking God for my parents, today being the 50th Anniversary of their marriage. Thank you all and most of all Thank You GOD.

* Bl. Edith Stein If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Nathy
* St. Amedeus
* St. Amor
* St. Autor
* St. Bandaridus
* St. Samuel of Edessa
* St. Secundian
* St. Serenus
* St. Domitian of Chalons
* St. Firmus & Rusticus
* St. Julian
* St. Romanus Ostiarius
* St. Rusticus
* St. Numidicus
* St. Maurilius
* St. Phelim

Bl. Edith Stein
Feastday: August 9


Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)Virgin and Martyr Edith Stein, born in 1891 in Breslau, Poland, was the youngest child of a large Jewish family. She was an outstanding student and was well versed in philosophy with a particular interest in phenomenology. Eventually she became interested in the Catholic Faith, and in 1922, she was baptized at the Cathedral Church in Cologne, Germany. Eleven years later Edith entered the Cologne Carmel. Because of the ramifications of politics in Germany, Edith, whose name in religion was Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was sent to the Carmel at Echt, Holland. When the Nazis conquered Holland, Teresa was arrested, and, with her sister Rose, was sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Teresa died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942 at the age of fifty-one. In 1987, she was beatified in the Cologne cathedral by Pope John Paul II. Out of the unspeakable human suffering caused by the Nazis in western Europe in the 1930's and 1940's, there blossomed the beautiful life of dedication, consecration, prayer, fasting, and penance of Saint Teresa. Even though her life was snuffed out by the satanic evil of genocide, her memory stands as a light undimmed in the midst of evil, darkness, and suffering. She was canonized on October 11, 1998.

August 8

* St. Dominic If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Altman
* St. Ternatius
* St. Eleutherius & Leonides
* St. Ellidius
* St. Emilian
* St. Gedeon
* Bl. Mary MacKillop - Australia's First Official Saint For more detailed information please click here
* Bl. John Felton
* St. Leobald
* St. Marinus
* Bl. Mary MacKillop
* St. Mummolus
* St. Myron

St. Dominic
Feastday: August 8
Patron of Astronomers

b. 1170 d. 1221
St. Dominic
St. Dominic

St. Dominic (1170-1221). Son of Felix Guzman and Bl. Joan of Aza, he was born at Calaruega, Spain, studied at the Univ. at Palencia, was probably ordained there while pursuing his studies and was appointed canon at Osma in 1199. There he became prior superior of the chapter, which was noted for its strict adherence to the rule of St. Benedict. In 1203 he accompanied Bishop Diego de Avezedo of Osma to Languedoc where Dominic preached against the Albigensians (heresy) and helped reform the Cistercians. Dominic founded an institute for women at Prouille in Albigensian territory in 1206 and attached several preaching friars to it. When papal legate Peter of Castelnan was murdered by the Albigensians in 1208, Pope Innocent III launched a crusade against them headed by Count Simon IV of Montfort which was to continue for the next seven years. Dominic followed the army and preached to the heretics but with no great success. In 1214 Simon gave him a castle at Casseneuil and Dominic with six followers founded an order devoted to the conversion of the Albigensians; the order was canonically approved by the bishop of Toulouse the following year. He failed to gain approval for his order of preachers at the fourth General Council of the Lateran in 1215 but received Pope Honorius III's approval in the following year, and the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) was founded.

Dominic spent the last years of this life organizing the order, traveling all over Italy, Spain and France preaching and attracting new members and establishing new houses. The new order was phenomenally successful in conversion work as it applied Dominic's concept of harmonizing the intellectual life with popular needs. He convoked the first general council of the order at Bologna in 1220 and died there the following year on August 6, after being forced by illness to return from a preaching tour in Hungary. He was canonized in 1234 and is the patron saint of astronomers. Feast day is Aug. 8.

August 7

* St. Cajetan If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Claudia
* St. Agathangelo Noury
* St. Albert of Trapani
* St. Victricius
* St. Carpophorus
* St. Donat
* St. Donatian
* St. Donatus & Hilarinus
* St. Donatus of Besancon
* St. Faustus
* St. Hyperechios

Spiritual Bouquet: I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father, I have made known to you. St. John 15:15
Saint Cajetan of Thiena


Saint Cajetan was born in 1480 at Vicenza near Venice in Italy, of the pious and noble family by the name of Thiena. His great-uncle, who bore the same name as himself and was a Canon of Padua, was considered to be the prince of the theologians of his century; and several prelates and cardinals, as well as governors of Milan and Naples, were of the same line. His parents dedicated Cajetan to our Blessed Lady. From childhood he was remarked for his obedience, his temperance, and his charity towards the poor.

A distinguished student, a veritable model for all his peers, he desired a higher perfection and left his native town, where he was in honor, to seek obscurity in Rome. There, however, Pope Julius II, perceiving his merit, named him an apostolic protonotary, a high office. He joined a certain Congregation or Confraternity known as that of Divine Love and, working with its members, introduced frequent Communion in their midst, and elsewhere through their influence. The Pope saw to his ordination, and he then offered many fervent Masses. About that time, on Christmas Eve at the Church of Saint Mary Major, when he entered the church he saw the Holy Mother; She came to him and placed Her divine Infant in his arms. It was also Saint Cajetan who later would introduce the Forty Hours’ Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as an antidote to the heresy of Calvin.

He returned to Vicenza when his mother died, and began to seek out the sick poor and transport them to the Hospital of the Incurables or of Mercy, with which he had united the Congregation of Divine Love, established in that city also. He served the sick in the hospital himself. He placed himself under the direction of a holy Dominican priest, Father John Baptist de Crema, who not long afterwards told him he should go to Venice. His obedience was perfect in this sacrifice, which cost not only himself but those in his hospital many tears. At Venice too, he was needed in a hospital; and the Venetians in those days of luxury and licence, soon reformed what was not correct in their conduct to follow his holy examples.

To renew the lives of the clergy, in 1524, with Paul Caraffa, then Bishop of Theata or Chieti in the kingdom of Naples, who later would become Pope Paul IV, and with two other fervent Christians, Saint Cajetan founded the first group of Regular Clerics, since known as Theatines. All had deeply regretted the state of the Church at that time, and with ardor they devoted themselves to preaching, to the administration of the sacraments and the careful execution of the Church’s rites and ceremonies.

When the Germans, under Constable Bourbon, sacked Rome, Saint Cajetan was barbarously scourged to extort from him imaginary riches; his only wealth was his good works, which he had long since securely stored in heaven. When the Saint was on his deathbed, resigned to the Will of God, happy to suffer to satisfy his love, and eager for death to attain to life, he again beheld the Mother of God, radiant with splendor and surrounded by ministering seraphim. Turning Her countenance full of majesty and sweetness upon him, She said, “Cajetan, My Son calls you. Let us go in peace.” Worn out with toil and sickness, he went to his reward in 1547.

Reflection: Imitate Saint Cajetan’s devotion to our Blessed Lady, by invoking Her aid before every work.

August 6 Transfiguration of the Lord

* St. Agapitus
* St. Hormisdas Pope
* St. James the Syrian
* Martyrs of Cardena

Spiritual Bouquet: You are My friends if you do the things I command you. St. John 15:14 The Transfiguration of Our Lord

The TRANSFIGURATION of OUR LORD If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

Our divine Redeemer, being in Galilee the summer before His sacred Passion, took with Him Saint Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, Saint James and Saint John, and led them to the heights of a solitary mountain. Tradition assures us that this was Mount Tabor, which is exceedingly high and beautiful, and in those days was covered with green trees and shrubs. It rises alone in the midst of a vast plain of Galilee.

It is here that the God-Man appeared in His glory. While Jesus prayed, He permitted the glory which was always due to His sacred humanity — and of which for our sake, not to alarm us, He deprived it — to diffuse its brilliance over His whole body. His face was transfigured and shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. Moses and Elias were seen in His company by the three apostles on this occasion, and were heard discoursing with Him of the death which He was to suffer in Jerusalem. The three were wondrously delighted with this glorious vision, and Saint Peter cried out to Christ, “Lord, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tents, one for Thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

While Saint Peter was speaking, suddenly there came a bright cloud from heaven, emblem of the presence of God’s majesty, and from out of this cloud was heard a voice which said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him.” By these words, God made known that in Christ they must recognize the One He had foretold to Moses, saying: “I will raise up from among them a Prophet like you; I will put My words in His mouth, and He will tell them all I command Him. If anyone does not want to hear the words that this Prophet will speak in My Name, it is to Me that he will have to answer for it.” (Deut. 18:18-19) When the Jews asked John the Baptist if he was the Prophet, this was the Expected One they referred to. The apostles understood perfectly now what these words meant; the prophecy was known to all who listened to the Scriptures read each week in their synagogues. Hearing this voice, they were nonetheless seized with a sudden fear, and fell upon the ground; but Jesus, going to them, touched them, and bade them rise. They immediately did so, and saw no one but Jesus standing there in His ordinary state. This vision happened during the night. As they went down the mountain early the next morning, Jesus forbade them to tell anyone what they had seen, before He had risen from the dead.

Reflection: >From the contemplation of this glorious mystery we ought to conceive a true idea of future happiness. If this idea enters our souls, we will think nothing of the difficulties or labors we meet with here, but will regard with great indifference all the goods and evils of this life, provided we obtain our portion in the kingdom of God’s glory.

August 5

* St. Abel
* St. Addal
* St. Afra
* St. Venantius
* St. Theodoric
* St. Cantidius
* St. Cassian of Autun
* St. Emygdius
* Our Lady of the Snow If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Gormcal
* St. Nouna
* St. Memmius
* St. Paris

Spiritual Bouquet: Greater love than this no one has, that one lays down his life for his friends. St. John 15:13
Saint Mary of the Snows


There are in Rome three patriarchal churches in which, on different feast days, the Pope officiates. These are the Basilicas of Saint Peter on the Vatican Hill, Saint John Lateran, and Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill. The last-named, the Liberian Basilica, was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated to the Virgin Mary by Sixtus III in the year 435, under the title of Saint Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, because the Mother of God Herself chose, and indicated by a miracle, its site to be that of Her first church in Rome.

In the fourth century a patrician by the name of John and his pious spouse had no children; already advanced in age and without heirs, they resolved to consecrate their wealth to the Most Blessed Virgin. They prayed in order to know how the Queen of Heaven would like them to use their fortune. On August 5, 366, She appeared to each of them in a dream and told them that Her Divine Son’s and Her own will was that their wealth be employed in the construction of a church on Mount Esquiline, at a place which in the morning they would find covered with snow. They consulted together when the dawn broke, and went to the Pope at once to tell him what God had made known to them. He himself had had a similar dream and could not doubt that this was a celestial prodigy. He assembled the clergy and people, and all went in procession towards the indicated place, to verify the reality of the marvel. When they arrived on the hilltop, they saw an area covered with snow, extending over a space sufficient to build a vast church. It was built at the expense of the noble couple with great magnificence, and given the name of Saint Mary of the Snows.

The same Basilica is sometimes entitled Saint Mary ad Praesepe, of the Manger, from the holy crib or manger of Bethlehem, in which the Infant Jesus was laid at His birth. It was transported to Rome and kept in a sumptuous subterranean chapel of the church. Today this Basilica bears the name of Saint Mary Major, because it is, both by its beauty and its antiquity, the first of the numerous Roman churches dedicated to Mary.

August 4 

* St. John Vianney If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Agabius
* St. Aristarchus
* Bl. William Horne
* St. Tertullinus
* St. Eleutherius
* St. Epimachus
* St. John Baptist Vianney
* St. Lua
* St. Raynerius of Spalatro
* St. Peregrinus, Maceratus, and Viventius

St. John Vianney
Feastday: August 4

St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron Saint of Parish Priests)

Feast day - August 4

Universally known as the "Cure of Ars)

A man with vision overcomes obstacles and performs deeds that seem impossible.

He was born at Dardilly, France, on May 8, 1786, a shepherd’s son. At the age of twenty, he began to study for the priest-hood but was drafted into the army. Deserting, he returned home in 1810 and went to Lyons seminary in 1813.

John Vianney was a man with vision: He wanted to become a priest. But he had to overcome his meager formal schooling, which inadequately prepared him for seminary studies.

His failure to comprehend Latin lectures forced him to discontinue. But his vision of being a priest urged him to seek private tutoring. After a lengthy battle with the books, John was ordained.

Abbe Bailey, of Ecully, personally intervened on his behalf, and John was assigned to Ecully. In 1818 he became the Cure, as pastor of Ars. His mission there was conducted in the confessional, and toward the end of his life he spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day administering the Sacrament of Penance, or Reconciliation, to the thousands who flocked to Ars.

Situations calling for “impossible” deeds followed him everywhere. As pastor of the parish at Ars, John encountered people who were indifferent and quite comfortable with their style of living. His vision led him through severe fasts and short nights of sleep. His life was one of extreme mortification. (Some devils can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.)

With Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lardet, he established La Providence, a home for girls. Only a man of vision could have such trust that God would provide for the spiritual and material needs of all those who came to make La Providence their home.

John was gifted with discernment of spirits and read souls with ease, reclaiming thousands of lapsed Catholics. He also built a shrine to St. Philomena, a site that became a popular pilgrim destination.

His work as a confessor is John Vianney’s most remarkable accomplishment. In the winter months he was to spend 11 to 12 hours daily reconciling people with God. In the summer months this time was increased to 16 hours. Unless a man was dedicated to his vision of a priestly vocation, he could not have endured this giving of self day after day.

For thirty years, he suffered diabolical attacks, and his fellow priests charged that he was too ignorant to be a Cure.

Refusing all honors offered to him, John died at Ars. He was canonized in 1925 and made patron of parish priests.

Many people look forward to retirement and taking it easy, doing the things they always wanted to do but never had the time. But John Vianney had no thoughts of retirement. As his fame spread, more hours were consumed in serving God’s people. Even the few hours he would allow himself for sleep were disturbed frequently by the devil.

Who, but a man with vision, could keep going with ever-increasing strength?


Indifference toward religion, coupled with a love for material comfort, seem to be common signs of our times. A person from another planet observing us would not likely judge us to be pilgrim people, on our way to somewhere else. John Vianney, on the other hand, was a man on a journey with his goal before him at all times.


Recommending liturgical prayer, John Vianney would say, “Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.”

August 4 

* St. John Vianney If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Agabius
* St. Aristarchus
* Bl. William Horne
* St. Tertullinus
* St. Eleutherius
* St. Epimachus
* St. John Baptist Vianney
* St. Lua
* St. Raynerius of Spalatro
* St. Peregrinus, Maceratus, and Viventius

St. John Vianney
Feastday: August 4

St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron Saint of Parish Priests)

Feast day - August 4

Universally known as the "Cure of Ars)

A man with vision overcomes obstacles and performs deeds that seem impossible.

He was born at Dardilly, France, on May 8, 1786, a shepherd’s son. At the age of twenty, he began to study for the priest-hood but was drafted into the army. Deserting, he returned home in 1810 and went to Lyons seminary in 1813.

John Vianney was a man with vision: He wanted to become a priest. But he had to overcome his meager formal schooling, which inadequately prepared him for seminary studies.

His failure to comprehend Latin lectures forced him to discontinue. But his vision of being a priest urged him to seek private tutoring. After a lengthy battle with the books, John was ordained.

Abbe Bailey, of Ecully, personally intervened on his behalf, and John was assigned to Ecully. In 1818 he became the Cure, as pastor of Ars. His mission there was conducted in the confessional, and toward the end of his life he spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day administering the Sacrament of Penance, or Reconciliation, to the thousands who flocked to Ars.

Situations calling for “impossible” deeds followed him everywhere. As pastor of the parish at Ars, John encountered people who were indifferent and quite comfortable with their style of living. His vision led him through severe fasts and short nights of sleep. His life was one of extreme mortification. (Some devils can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.)

With Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lardet, he established La Providence, a home for girls. Only a man of vision could have such trust that God would provide for the spiritual and material needs of all those who came to make La Providence their home.

John was gifted with discernment of spirits and read souls with ease, reclaiming thousands of lapsed Catholics. He also built a shrine to St. Philomena, a site that became a popular pilgrim destination.

His work as a confessor is John Vianney’s most remarkable accomplishment. In the winter months he was to spend 11 to 12 hours daily reconciling people with God. In the summer months this time was increased to 16 hours. Unless a man was dedicated to his vision of a priestly vocation, he could not have endured this giving of self day after day.

For thirty years, he suffered diabolical attacks, and his fellow priests charged that he was too ignorant to be a Cure.

Refusing all honors offered to him, John died at Ars. He was canonized in 1925 and made patron of parish priests.

Many people look forward to retirement and taking it easy, doing the things they always wanted to do but never had the time. But John Vianney had no thoughts of retirement. As his fame spread, more hours were consumed in serving God’s people. Even the few hours he would allow himself for sleep were disturbed frequently by the devil.

Who, but a man with vision, could keep going with ever-increasing strength?


Indifference toward religion, coupled with a love for material comfort, seem to be common signs of our times. A person from another planet observing us would not likely judge us to be pilgrim people, on our way to somewhere else. John Vianney, on the other hand, was a man on a journey with his goal before him at all times.


Recommending liturgical prayer, John Vianney would say, “Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there: If you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.”

August 3

* St. Lydia Purpuraria
* St. Abibas
* St. Aspren
* Bl. Waltheof
* St. Trea
* St. Senach
* St. Dalmatius
* St. Gamaliel
* St. Faustus
* St. Peter of Anagni
* St. Peter Julian Eymard If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

Spiritual Bouquet: If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. St. John 15:10
Saint Peter-Julian Eymard


Saint Peter Julian Eymard was born in the Alpine mountains of eastern France in the year 1811, son of a poor olive-presser. His mother inspired in him horror of sin and love for the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin. He solemnly promised Our Lord, on the day of his First Communion, that he would become a priest. This plan was not approved by his father, as Peter was his only son and destined to inherit his little industry. The young boy studied Latin on his own, in spare moments, encouraged by an Oblate missionary priest.

After the death of his father he entered the Oblate novitiate at Marseille and received the habit in 1829. It was not long, however, before he was sent home for poor health. Reduced to agony and having received the Last Sacraments, he was cured after praying to have the grace to say only one Mass before he died. Monsignor de Mazenod, bishop of Marseille and founder of the Oblates, helped him to enter the diocesan seminary, and there he was ordained in 1834. He was named to a country parish, backward at his arrival but fervent like himself at his departure five years later. His health had improved, and he felt a very strong call to enter the Marist Society of Lyons, recently founded.

The Founder and Superior General, Venerable Father Colin, soon perceived his great merits and named him successively to three important posts in the administration of the new Society of missionaries. It was as spiritual Director of the college of Belley that he became an experienced master in the direction of souls, both religious and lay. The families of the students, in addition to the professors and students themselves, found their piety flourishing miraculously, and almost unawares, under his gentle influence.

But God wanted yet more of this heroic priest, and Saint Peter Julian again recognized a divine call to go farther on the path of sacrifice. Certain that he must found a Congregation dedicated uniquely to promoting the glory and reign of Jesus in His Sacrament of Love, he met strong resistance in his Superior, who desired to keep him among the Marists. He loved that Community as he was loved by them, but eventually the Will of God became evident to all concerned. He was free to depart and to found with one associate, a priest who was a former military man, his new Society in Paris. He had already made his decisive retreat there under the authority of the archbishop, Msgr. Sibour, who had encouraged him, as had also Pope Pius IX on hearing of his intention.

The little Congregation, which grew slowly but surely, was obliged twice to abandon its first two headquarters, but not before they had done a remarkable work in Paris to prepare adults for First Communion. How many there were in those days of tottering faith, who had never made that Communion, the Lord knew well. This proposed labor had been the decisive factor for the Archbishop, when the retreatant, determined to obey him, confronted him with the question: “Is it or not the Will of God for me to leave the Marist Fathers?” It was in an old and miserable quarter of Paris that this labor for the poor began and continued, after 1857, for a short eleven years before its Founder’s early death in 1868. During these years of constant opposition, demolitions, shock and unrelenting trials, Saint Peter Julian was exhausted by the difficulties of founding not one, but two Communities — a second one for Sister-Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as an Association of Priest-adorers. He was destined to be the fertilizer at the base of the tree, as he had said; his prophetic word was fulfilled. After his death all his works expanded prodigiously; and less than one hundred years later, its heroic Founder was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962.

Reflection: Saint Peter Julian said one day to his priests: “I have shown you the purpose and organization of our little Society: As for the means of success, that is not our affair, it is God’s!” God who gives success also grants failure to His chosen souls. As Saint Peter understood, crosses are His gifts of predilection. No one may enter heaven who has not been humiliated and formed to the likeness of the Eternal Son of God.

August 2 

* St. Eusebius of Vercelli If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Alfreda
* St. Betharius
* St. Boetharius
* St. Theodota
* St. Thomas of Dover
* St. Rutilius
* St. Maximus of Padua
* St. Peter of Osma
* St. Plegmund

August 2
St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Someone has said that if there had been no Arian heresy it would be very difficult to write the lives of many early saints. Eusebius is another of the defenders of the Church during one of its most trying periods.

Born on the isle of Sardinia, he became a member of the Roman clergy and is the first recorded bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont. He is also the first to link the monastic life with that of the clergy, establishing a community of his diocesan clergy on the principle that the best way to sanctify his people was to have them see a clergy formed in solid virtue and living in community.

He was sent by Pope Liberius to persuade the emperor to call a council to settle Catholic-Arian troubles. When it was called at Milan, Eusebius went reluctantly, sensing that the Arian block would have its way, although the Catholics were more numerous. He refused to go along with the condemnation of Athanasius; instead, he laid the Nicene Creed on the table and insisted that all sign it before taking up any other matter. The emperor put pressure on him, but Eusebius insisted on Athanasius’ innocence and reminded the emperor that secular force should not be used to influence Church decisions. At first the emperor threatened to kill him, but later sent him into exile in Palestine. There the Arians dragged him through the streets and shut him up in a little room, releasing him only after his four-day hunger strike. They resumed their harassment shortly after.

His exile continued in Asia Minor and Egypt, until the new emperor permitted him to be welcomed back to his see in Vercelli. He attended the Council of Alexandria with Athanasius and approved the leniency shown to bishops who had wavered. He also worked with St. Hilary of Poitiers against the Arians.

He died peacefully in his own diocese at an advanced age.


Catholics in the U.S. have sometimes felt penalized by an unwarranted interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and state, especially in the matter of Catholic schools. Be that as it may, the Church is happily free today from the tremendous pressure put on it after it became an “established” Church under Constantine. We are happily rid of such things as a pope asking an emperor to call a Church council, Pope John I being sent by the emperor to negotiate in the East, the pressure of kings on papal elections. The Church cannot be a prophet if it’s in anybody’s pocket.


"To render the care of souls more efficacious, community life for priests is strongly recommended, especially for those attached to the same parish. While this way of living encourages apostolic action, it also affords an example of charity and unity to the faithful" (Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office, 30).

August 1

* St. Hope
* St. Sofia
* St. Alphonsus If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Charity
* St. Peter of Alcantara
* St. Peter in Chains
* St. Almedha
* St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
* St. Arcadius
* St. Bernard Due
* St. Verus
* Bl. Thomas Welourne
* St. Secundel
* St. Dominic Van Honh Dieu
* St. Elined
* St. Friard
* St. Jonatus
* St. Justin
* St. Leontius
* St. Leus
* St. Rioch
* St. Mary the Consoler
* St. Peregrinus

Spiritual Bouquet: As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. St. John 15:9
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Saint Alphonsus was born of noble parents near Naples, in 1696. His spiritual formation was entrusted to the Oratorian Fathers of that city, and from his boyhood Alphonsus was known as a very devout little Brother of the Minor Oratory. At the early age of sixteen he became a doctor in civil law; and entering this career with ardor, he met great success and renown. A mistake, however, by which he lost an important case, showed him the vanity of human fame and glory. He decided to abandon the legal profession at the age of twenty-seven, to labor for the glory of God alone. Alphonsus’ father long opposed his decision, but as a man of virtue consented at last.

Saint Alphonsus was ordained a priest in 1726, and he soon became as renowned a preacher as he had been a lawyer. His father stopped in a church to pray one day, and amazed, heard his son preaching; he suddenly saw clearly how God had marvelously elevated his son, and was filled with joy, saying: “My son has made God known to me!” As for Alphonsus, he loved and devoted himself to the most neglected souls in the region of Naples. He was a very perfect confessor, and wrote a manual which has been used ever since for the instruction of those who administer the sacrament of Penance. A musician of the first rank, Saint Alphonsus gave up his instruments to devote himself more perfectly to his apostolic labors; he nonetheless composed joyous religious hymns for the poor folk he heard singing in the streets, that they might glorify God and not waste their voices and efforts in vain and worldly songs.

To extend and continue his work, he later founded the missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, for the evangelization of the poor. At the age of sixty-six he became Bishop of Saint Agatha, a suffragan diocese of Naples, and undertook the reform of his diocese with the zeal of a Saint. He made a vow never to waste a moment of time, and, though his life was spent in prayer and work, he also composed a vast number of books. These volumes were filled with such great science, unction, and wisdom that in 1871 he was declared by Pius IX a Doctor of the Church. Saint Alphonsus wrote his first book at the age of forty-nine, and in his eighty-third year had published about sixty volumes; at that time his director forbade him to continue writing. The best known of his books is his volume entitled “The Glories of Mary”, by which he exalts the graces and narrates the wondrous deeds of mercy of the Mother of God for those who invoke Her.

Very many of these books were written in the half hours snatched from his labors as a missionary, as a religious Superior, and finally as a Bishop, often in the midst of unrelenting bodily and mental sufferings. With his left hand he would hold a piece of marble against his aching head, while his right hand wrote. Yet he counted no time lost which was spent in charity. He did not refuse to maintain a long correspondence with a simple soldier who asked for his advice, or to play the harpsichord in his declining years, while he taught his novices to sing spiritual canticles. He lived in times of religious laxity, and met with many persecutions and disappointments. During his last seven years he was prevented by constant sickness from offering the adorable Sacrifice, but he received Holy Communion daily, and his love for Jesus Christ and his trust in Mary’s prayers sustained him to the end. He died in 1787, in his ninety-first year.

Reflection: Let us do with all our heart and attention the duty of each day, leaving to God the result as well as the care of the future.

July 31

* St. Helen of Skovde
* St. Justin de Jacobis
* St. Calimerlus
* St. Democritus
* St. Ignatius of Loyola If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Calimerius
* St. Emmanuel Phung
* St. Firmus of Tagaste
* St. Helen of Skovde
* St. Neot
* Marytrs of Syria
* St. Peter Quy

Spiritual Bouquet: He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing. St. John 15:5
Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Founder of the Society of Jesus

Saint Ignatius was born at Loyola in Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier until his thirtieth year. At that time a cannon ball broke the right leg of the young officer, who in a few days had reached the brink of death and received the Last Sacraments. It was the eve of the feast day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; he fell asleep afterwards and believed he saw Saint Peter in a dream, restoring him to health by touching his wound. When he woke, his high fever was gone and he was out of danger, although lame. To pass the time of his convalescence after three operations, he asked for books; the Life of Christ and lives of the Saints were brought to him. He read them distractedly at first, then with profound emotion. He underwent a violent combat, but finally grace won out.

He began to treat his body with the utmost rigor and rose every night to weep over his sins. One night, he consecrated himself to the Saviour through the intercession of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners, swearing inviolable fidelity to the Son and His Mother. Not long afterwards, to fortify him in his good resolutions, Mary appeared to him surrounded by light, holding in Her arms the Child Jesus. His heart purified by this vision, Ignatius made a general confession and a pilgrimage to Montserrat, to venerate a miraculous image of the Mother of God and implore Her protection, then bought a rude long habit for the pilgrimage he was planning to make to Jerusalem. He set out on foot, wearing only one sandal for his lame leg.

He spent some time at Manreza caring for the sick and undertaking a life of austerity equaled only by the most celebrated anchorites. Living by alms, fasting on bread and water, wearing a hair shirt, he remained kneeling every day for six or seven hours in prayer. The devil made vain efforts to discourage him. He fell ill, however, and was carried to the hospital from the cavern where he was staying. It was only out of obedience to his director at Montserrat that he ceased his extreme penance, and found again, through his obedience, the peace of soul he had lost. At Manreza he composed his famous Spiritual Exercises for retreatants, which ever since have brought to grace and fervor great numbers of souls.

After a journey to Rome and other points of pilgrimage in Italy, he embarked for the Holy Land. He wished to remain there to work for the conversion of souls, but was commanded by the enlightened Provincial of the Franciscans, under obedience, to return to Europe. He was then thirty-three years old.

Ignatius had already won certain Spanish compatriots to join him in the service of God; it was for them that he had composed the Exercises. With them he undertook studies for several years, and at the end of that time had four companions. He taught catechism while at Alcala, and virtually reformed the entire youth of that city.

In 1528, when he was already 37 years old, he went to Paris to study in the greatest poverty, eating his meals at a hospital with the poor. He was persecuted when he converted a number of young persons. It was in Paris, with six young companions, that at Montmartre the Society of Jesus was founded. They made a vow to go to Jerusalem in absolute poverty, or if this proved impossible, which it did, to go to Rome to the Vicar of Christ, and place themselves at his disposition for the service of the Church and the salvation of souls. Our Lord promised Saint Ignatius that the precious heritage of His Passion would never be lacking to his Society. By this term, heritage, the Saviour referred to the contradictions and persecutions the just must always face. Founded to combat error, the Company of Jesus has always had to bear the fury of those who favor it.

When Saint Ignatius was cast into prison at Salamanca on suspicion of heresy, he said to a friend who expressed his sympathy, “It is a sign that you have little love of Christ in your heart, or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. All Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains as I would gladly wear for love of Jesus Christ.” Saint Ignatius went to receive his crown on July 31, 1556.

Reflection: Ask Saint Ignatius to obtain for you the grace to desire ardently the greater glory of God, even though it may cost you much suffering and humiliation.

July 30

* St. Peter Chrysologus If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Abdon
* St. Ursus
* St. Ursus
* St. Tatwine
* Bl. Thomas Abel
* St. Leopold Mandic If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. Edward Powell
* St. Hatebrand
* St. Julitta
* Bl. Richard Featherstone
* St. Rheticus
* St. Rufinus
* St. Olaf of Sweden
* St. Maxima

July 30
St. Peter Chrysologus

A man who vigorously pursues a goal may produce results far beyond his expectations and his intentions. Thus it was with Peter of the Golden Words, as he was called, who as a young man became bishop of Ravenna, the capital of the empire in the West.

At the time there were abuses and vestiges of paganism evident in his diocese, and these he was determined to battle and overcome. His principal weapon was the short sermon, and many of them have come down to us. They do not contain great originality of thought. They are, however, full of moral applications, sound in doctrine and historically significant in that they reveal Christian life in fifth-century Ravenna. So authentic were the contents of his sermons that, some 13 centuries later, he was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII. He who had earnestly sought to teach and motivate his own flock was recognized as a teacher of the universal Church.

In addition to his zeal in the exercise of his office, Peter Chrysologus was distinguished by a fierce loyalty to the Church, not only in its teaching, but in its authority as well. He looked upon learning not as a mere opportunity but as an obligation for all, both as a development of God-given faculties and as a solid support for the worship of God.

Some time before his death, St. Peter returned to Imola, his birthplace, where he died around A.D. 450.


Quite likely, it was St. Peter Chrysologus’s attitude toward learning that gave substance to his exhortations. Next to virtue, learning, in his view, was the greatest improver of the human mind and the support of true religion. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor is anti-intellectualism. Knowledge is neither more nor less a source of pride than physical, administrative or financial prowess. To be fully human is to expand our knowledge—whether sacred or secular—according to our talent and opportunity.

July 29

* St. Martha If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Olaf
* St. Lupus
* St. William of Saint-Brieuc
* St. Seraphina
* St. Serapia
* St. Callinicus
* Bl. John Baptist Lo
* Bl. Joseph Tshang
* St. Kilian
* St. Lazarus
* Bl. Louis Bertran
* St. Lucilla & Companions
* Bl. Mancius of the Holy Cross
* St. Martha Wang
* St. Olaf of Norway
* Bl. Paul Tcheng
* Bl. Peter of the Holy Mother of God
St. Martha
Feastday: July 29
Patron of cooks

St. Martha
St. Martha

"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha's work in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. Jesus' response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of his affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him. He reminds her that there is only one thing that is truly important -- listening to him. And that is what Mary has done. In Martha we see ourselves -- worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her just the same.

The next visit shows how well Martha learned this lesson. She is grieving the death of her brother with a house full of mourners when she hears that Jesus has just come to the area. She gets up immediately and leaves the guests, leaves her mourning, and goes to meet him.

Her conversation with Jesus shows her faith and courage. In this dialogue she states clearly without doubt that she believes in Jesus' power, in the resurrection, and most of all that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus tells her that he is the resurrection and the life and then goes on to raise her brother from the dead. Our final picture of Martha in Scripture is the one that sums up who she was. Jesus has returned to Bethany some time later to share a meal with his good friends. In this home were three extraordinary people. We hear how brother Lazarus caused a stir when was brought back to life. We hear how Mary causes a commotion at dinner by annointing Jesus with expensive perfume. But all we hear about Martha is the simple statement: "Martha served." She isn't in the spotlight, she doesn't do showy things, she doesn't receive spectacular miracles. She simply serves Jesus.

We know nothing more about Martha and what happened to her later. According to a totally untrustworthy legend Martha accompanied Mary to evangelize France after Pentecost.

But wouldn't it be wonderful if the most important thing that could be said about us is "They served"?

Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.
In Her Footsteps

Dorothy Day said: "If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But it was not Christ's way for himself. Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ -- it is a privilege." In what ways do you serve Christ others grudgingly or sparingly? How can you serve them the way Martha served Christ, putting her whole self into it?

Saint Martha, pray for us that we might serve Jesus better. Help us to overcome our distractions and worries to listen to his words and be present to him this day. Amen

July 28

* St. Innocent I
* Bl. Anthony della Chiesa
* St. Arduinus
* St. Botuid
* St. Samson
* St. Camelian
* St. Innocent I
* St. Lucidius
* St. Lyutis
* St. Nazarius and Celsus
* St. Peregrinus

Spiritual Bouquet: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you. St. John 14:27
Saints Nazarius and Celsus

(First century)

Saint Nazarius, born in Rome, was the son of a pagan military man who held an important post in the Roman army. His mother, honored by the Church as Saint Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, instructed by Saint Peter or his disciples in the most perfect maxims of Christianity. Nazarius at the age of nine embraced the Faith with so much ardor that he copied in his own young life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers. He was baptized by Saint Linus, who would later become Pope. His pagan father was touched by his son’s virtue and seconded his project to go elsewhere to preach the Gospel. Out of zeal for the salvation of others, Nazarius therefore left Rome, his native city, and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness fitting for a disciple of the Apostles.

Ten years later he is known to have been in Milan. He was driven from the city by the prefect after being whipped, and he left Italy to go to eastern Gaul or France. There a young boy by the name of Celsus was brought to him; his mother asked him to teach and baptize her son, and to take him for his disciple. The child was docile, and Nazarius did so; and they were never separated. When conversions multiplied, the local governor was alarmed and the apostle was again arrested, beaten and tortured. The wife of this governor was a Christian, however, and succeeded in obtaining liberty for the two young innocents. They were freed on condition they would not preach at this place any longer.

The two fervent Christians went to the Alpine villages where only a few solitary settlers braved the rigors of the climate and the altitude. They were not rebuffed and went as far as Embrun. There they built a chapel to the true God, and then continued on to Geneva, and to Treves where Saint Nazarius was arrested and imprisoned. Celsus followed him in tears, longing to share his captivity. When after a few days the prefect ordered them brought before him, they were treated cruelly but appeared before the magistrate, their faces shining with glory. The prodigies which followed caused fear in the pagans, and they were released and told to leave the region.

They returned to Milan, but were soon arrested there also. When they would not sacrifice to the gods of the empire, after several tortures in which God again preserved them, they were sentenced to be beheaded. They embraced one another in transports of joy and praise to God for this grace. It was during the reign of Nero, in about the year 56, that these generous Martyrs added their blood to the treasure of the Christians.

Their bodies were buried separately in a garden outside the city, where they were discovered and taken up by Saint Ambrose in 395. In the tomb of Saint Nazarius, whose decapitated body and head were perfectly conserved, a vial of the Saint’s blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that same day. Saint Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the Apostles which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. Saint Ambrose sent some of these relics to Saint Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect as a most valuable gift, as he himself testifies, and placed them in honor at Nola.

Reflection: The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false and transitory, an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true, solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.

July 27

* Sts. Natalie & Aurelius
* St. Pantaleon
* Bl. Rudolf Aquaviva
* St. Malchus
* St. Maximaian
* St. Martinian
* St. Dionysius
* St. John Serapion
* St. Constantine
* St. Anthusa
* St. Bartholomea Capitanjo
* St. Theobald of Marly
* Bl. Titus Brandsma
* St. Ecclesius
* St. Felix
* St. Hermolaus
* Bl. Rudolf Acquaviva
* St. Maurus

Spiritual Bouquet: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. St. John 14:23
Saint Pantaleon

Physician and Martyr

Saint Pantaleon was born in Nicomedia of a pagan father and a Christian mother, who died while her son was still a child. He was among the court physicians of the Emperor Galerius Maximianus. Deceived by hearing the false maxims of the world applauded, he was without religion when God decided to rescue his soul from its unhappy darkness. A zealous and prudent Christian named Hermolaus took special notice of him and awakened his conscience, telling him that although the famous physicians of ancient times had possessed the science which cures bodies, Jesus Christ was a far more excellent Physician, able to cure not only bodies, but souls, by His divine doctrine. Hermolaus succeeded in bringing him into the fold of the Church.

The young Christian strove to procure for his father the same grace he himself had received, and his words had already begun to separate his father from his idols, when one day a blind man, led by friends, came to the door and begged Pantaleon to cure him. His father was present and heard the promise his son made to this man to do so, if he would give to the poor the money he was offering him. The father was amazed and feared that the promise could not be fulfilled. But the young Saint prayed and touched the eyes of the blind man, invoking the name of Jesus Christ, and his eyes were opened. Pantaleon’s father and the blind man were both baptized as a result of this miracle. When Eustorgus, his father, died, Saint Pantaleon liberated all his slaves and, having sold most of his possessions, gave to the liberated ones and others the assistance their poverty required. He cured other illnesses and soon became renowned in Nicomedia.

Saint Pantaleon, being a very sincere penitent, ardently wished to expiate his former idolatry by the martyrdom he could foresee. When a bloody persecution broke out at Nicomedia in 303, the blind man he had cured was beheaded upon refusing to admit that it was the gods who had cured him. Saint Pantaleon, to prepare himself for the imminent combat, distributed all he had left among the poor. Not long after this act of charity he was arrested and subjected to various tortures, during which he was preserved from death. Three other Christians, of whom one was Hermolaus, were apprehended. After suffering many torments, the four confessors were all sentenced to be beheaded.

The relics of Saint Pantaleon were translated to Constantinople, and there received great honor. His blood, conserved in a small vial, is said to liquefy on his feast day and become oxygenated. Charlemagne brought a part of his relics into France, where they are presently divided again, a portion being in the abbey of Saint Denys near Paris, and the head at Lyons. Saint Pantaleon, whose name means the “all-compassionate one,” is the patron of physicians.

July 26

* Sts. Joachim and Anne If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. William Ward
* St. Valens
* St. Hyacinth
* Bl. John Ingram
* St. Pastor

Spiritual Bouquet: He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me... And I will love him and manifest Myself to him. St. John 14:21
St Anne

Mother of the Blessed Virgin
(†ca. 3 B.C.)

Saint Anne, chosen by God to be the mother of Mary, His own Blessed Mother on earth, was the spouse of Saint Joachim. Ancestor of the Eternal King and High Priest, Joachim was of the royal house of David, while Anne was of Levitical descent. Their lives were wholly occupied with prayer and good works. One thing only was wanting to their union — they were childless, and this was held as a bitter misfortune among the Jews. At length, when Anne was well advanced in age, Mary was born, the fruit rather of grace than of nature, and the child more of God than of man.

With the birth of Mary the holy matron began a new life; she watched Her every movement with reverent tenderness, and, aware of the little one’s destiny, felt herself hourly sanctified by the presence of her Immaculate Child. But she had vowed her daughter to God; to God the child Mary had already consecrated Herself, and to Him Anne gave Her back. Mary was three years old when Anne and Joachim led Her to the Temple steps, saw Her pass by Herself into the inner sanctuary, and then saw Her no more. Thus was Anne left childless in her old age, and deprived of her purest earthly joy. The holiest parents on earth could not, in the plan of God, raise this Child as was needed: Mary had to suffer from Her earliest years. Saint Anne and Saint Joachim humbly adored the Divine Will, and continued to watch and pray, until God called them to unending rest.

France and Canada possess the principal sanctuaries of Saint Anne: in France, at Apt in Provence, and at Auray in Britanny; in Canada at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in the Province of Quebec. At Apt the discovery in 792 of Saint Anne’s relics, brought by Lazarus and his two sisters to France, was wholly miraculous, authenticated by the presence of Charlemagne during the discovery, and the signature of Pope Adrian I on the written account of the facts.

Reflection: Saint Anne is glorious among the Saints, not only as the mother of Mary, but because she gave Mary to God. Learn from her to reverence a religious vocation as the highest privilege, and to sacrifice every natural bond, however holy, at the call of God.

July 25

* St. James the Greater If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Sts. Thea & Valentina
* St. Valentina & Thea
* St. Theodemir
* St. Cucuphas
* St. Ebrulf
* St. Florentius & Felix
* St. Glodesind
* St. Magnericus
* St. Nissen
* St. Paul of Gaza
St. James the Greater
Feastday: July 25
Patron of Laborers

St. James the Greater<br>Apostle
St. James the Greater

For James there was no indication that this was the day that his life would change. The dawn for him was not the bright beginning of a new day, but the end of long fruitless night of fishing. As James sat mending his nets in the boat with his brother John and his father Zebedee, he must have watched in wonder as his partner Simon brought in nets loaded with fish he had caught at the command of Jesus. Was he shocked when he saw Simon and his brother Andrew walk away from this incredible catch at a word from this same Jesus?

As he watched Jesus walk toward him followed by Simon and Andrew, did he feel curiosity, fear, hope, envy? Jesus didn't pass him by but, stopping by their boat, called James and his brother John to do just what Simon and Andrew had done. Without argument or discussion, James and John left their boat and even their father behind, and followed Jesus.

The first thing James saw after he followed Jesus was his teaching with authority in the synagogue and the cure of Simon's mother-in-law.

We all know that Jesus was the focus of James' life from then on, but it is also evident that James held a special place in Jesus' life.

He was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles, given the mission to proclaim the good news, and authority to heal and cast out demons. To be named one of the twelve James must have had faith and commitment.

But even among the apostles he held a special place. When Jesus raised Jairus' daughter when all thought her dead, he only allowed James, John, and Peter to come with him. Even more important when he went up to the mountain to pray, he wanted James, John, and Peter to go with him. And it was there on the mountain they were privileged to witness what no one else had seen -- Jesus transfigured in his glory, speaking to Moses and Elijah, as the voice of God spoke from a cloud.

And with Simon Peter, James and John were the only ones of the apostles that Jesus gave a special name: Sons of Thunder. What was it that won James a place among the favorite three? Faith, burning, impetuous and outspoken, the straightforwardness of the true Israelite, were visible in him; but these qualities needed purifying before the “Son of Thunder” could proclaim the Gospel of peace.

To be singled out in these ways, James must have been a close and respected friend of Jesus.

It's no wonder then that James, along with John, felt that he had the right to go to Jesus and ask him to give them whatever they asked. As a mark of his love, Jesus didn't rebuke them but asked them what they wanted. They showed their lack of understanding of his mission when the asked that he let one of them sit on his right and the other on his left when he came into his glory. He replied that they didn't know what they were asking. They didn't see the cross in his future, but an earthly throne. Could they drink of the cup he would drink of? They replied that they could. He assured them they would indeed drink of that cup.

(Matthew has their mother asking for this favor for her sons. Despite the bad reputation their mother got for this, it should be remembered that she too had followed Jesus in his travels, providing for him, and was one of the women who stayed with Jesus as he was crucified when the apostles, including her son James, had fled.)

The other apostles were furious at this request. But Jesus used this opportunity to teach all of them that in order to be great one must be a servant.

James and John did show further lack of understanding of their friend and Lord when he was turned away by Samaritans. They wanted to use their newfound authority as apostles not to heal but to bring fire down on the town. (Perhaps Jesus gave them their Sons of Thunder nickname because of their passion, their own fire, or their temper.) Jesus did reprimand them for their unforgiving, vengeful view of their power.

But despite all these misunderstandings, it was still James, Peter, and John that Jesus chose to join him in prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane for his final prayer before his arrest. It must have hurt Jesus that the three of them fell asleep on this agonizing evening.

James did drink of the cup Jesus drank of, all too shortly after the Resurrection. Acts 12:1 tells us that James was one of the first martyrs of the Church. King Herod Agrippa I killed him with a sword in an early persecution of the Church. There is a story that the man who arrested James became a convert after hearing James speak at his trial and was executed with him.

James is called James the Greater because another younger apostle was named James. He should not be accused with this James, or the James who is a relative of Jesus, or the James who was an elder of the Church in Jerusalem and heard Peter's defense of baptizing Gentiles. James, son of Thunder, was dead by then.

Legends have sprung up that James evangelized Spain before he died but these stories have no basis in historical fact.

James is the patron saint of hatmakers, rheumatoid sufferers, and laborers.
In His Footsteps

What name would Jesus give you if he would describe who you are and your gifts?

Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen

July 24

* St. Declan
* St. Ursicinus
* St. Victor, Stercntius, and Antigones
* St. Vincent
* St. Wulfhade & Ruffinus
* St. Dictinus
* St. Godo
* St. John Boste
* Bl. Joseph Fernandez
* St. Kinga
* St. Charbel Makhlouf If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Lewina
* Bl. Maria Pilar Martinez Garcia & Companions
* St. Niceta and Aquilina
* St. Menefrida
* St. Meneus & Capito

July 24
St. Charbel Makhlouf

Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely.

Joseph Zaroun Maklouf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later.

Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly.

He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him in 1977.


Pope John Paul II has often said that the Church has two lungs (East and West) and it must learn to breathe using both of them. Remembering saints like Sharbel helps the Church to appreciate both the diversity and unity present in the Catholic Church. Like all the saints, Sharbel points us to God and invites us to cooperate generously with God's grace, no matter what our situation in life may be. As our prayer life becomes deeper and more honest, we become more ready to make that generous response.


When Sharbel was canonized in 1977, Bishop Francis Zayek, head the U.S. Diocese of St. Maron, wrote a pamphlet entitled “A New Star of the East.” Bishop Zayek wrote: “St. Sharbel is called the second St. Anthony of the Desert, the Perfume of Lebanon, the first Confessor of the East to be raised to the Altars according to the actual procedure of the Catholic Church, the honor of our Aramaic Antiochian Church, and the model of spiritual values and renewal. Sharbel is like a Cedar of Lebanon standing in eternal prayer, on top of a mountain.”

The bishop noted that Sharbel's canonization plus other beatification cases prove “that the Aramaic Maronite Antiochian Church is indeed a living branch of the Catholic Church and is intimately connected with the trunk, who is Christ, our Savior, the beginning and the end of all things.”

July 23

* St. Anne
* St. Bridget of Sweden
* St. Apollinaris If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Valerian
* Sts. Trophimus & Theophilus
* St. John Cassian
* St. Liborius
* St. Rasyphus and Ravennus
* St. Romlua
* Martyrs of Bulgaria
* St. Phocas the Gardener

Spiritual Bouquet: If you love Me, keep My commandments. St. John 14:15
Saint Apollinaris

First Bishop of Ravenna and Martyr

When Saint Peter, setting out for Rome, left Antioch after seven years as its spiritual Head, he took with him several of the faithful of that city, among them Apollinaris, a disciple of Jesus Christ. He consecrated him bishop a few years later and sent him to Ravenna as its first bishop.

His first miracle was on behalf of the blind son of a soldier who gave him hospitality when he first arrived in the city of Ravenna. When the apostle told him of the God he had come to preach and invited him to abandon the cult of idols, the soldier replied: “Stranger, if the God you preach is as powerful as you say, beg Him to give sight to my son, and I will believe in Him.” The Saint had the child brought and made the sign of the cross on his eyes as he prayed. The miracle was instantaneous, to the great amazement of all, and news of it spread rapidly. A day or so later, a military tribune sent for him to cure his wife from a long illness, which again he did. The house of the tribune became a center of apostolic action, and several persons sent their children to the Saint to instruct them there. Little by little a flourishing Christian assembly was formed, and priests and deacons were ordained. The Saint lived in community with the two priests and two deacons.

The idolatrous priests aroused the people against him, as we see the enemies of Saint Paul do in the Acts of the Apostles. He was left half-dead on the seashore, after being severely beaten, but was cared for by the Christians and recovered rapidly. A young girl whom he cured after having her father promise to allow her full liberty to follow Christ, consecrated her virginity to God. It was after this that, in the time of Vespasian, he was arrested and interrogated and again flogged, stretched on the rack and plunged into boiling oil. Alive still, he was exiled to Illyria, east of the Adriatic Sea.

He remained three years in that country, having survived a shipwreck with only a few persons whom he converted. Then he evangelized the various districts, with the aid of his converts. When an idol ceased to speak during his sojourn in one of these regions, the pagans again beat him and threw him and his companions on a ship which took them back to Italy. Soon imprisoned, he escaped but was seized again and for the last time subjected to a flogging. He died on July 23rd of the year 79. His body lay first at Classis, four miles from Ravenna, and a church was built over his tomb; later the relics were returned to Ravenna. Pope Honorius had a church built to honor the name of Apollinaris in Rome, about the year 630. >From the beginning the Church has held his memory in high veneration.

He is patron of Ravenna, Burthscheid, Aachen, Remagen, and Düsseldorf, and he is invoked against gout, epilepsy, and diseases of the sexual organs.

July 22

* St. Mary Magdelene If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Sts. Philip Evans & John Lloyd
* St. Wandrille
* St. Theophilus
* St. Dabius
* St. Joseph of Palestine
* St. Meneleus
* St. Movean
* St. Pancharius
* St. Plato
St. Mary Magdelene
"The Penitent"
Feastday: July 22

St. Mary Magdelene<br>"The Penitent"
St. Mary Magdelene
"The Penitent"

She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords' Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus' empty tomb. Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume. She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

More about this saint: St. Mary Magdalen (Feast day - July 22) Mary Magdalen was well known as a sinner when she first saw Our Lord. She was very beautiful and very proud, but after she met Jesus, she felt great sorrow for her evil life. When Jesus went to supper at the home of a rich man named Simon, Mary came to weep at His feet. Then with her long beautiful hair, she wiped His feet dry and anointed them with expensive perfume. Some people were surprised that Jesus let such a sinner touch Him, but Our Lord could see into Mary's heart, and He said: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved very much." Then to Mary He said kindly, "Your faith has made you safe; go in peace." From then on, with the other holy women, Mary humbly served Jesus and His Apostles. When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "She has loved much." After Jesus' body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning. Not finding the Sacred Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken. But then the person spoke in a voice she knew so well: "Mary!" It was Jesus, risen from the dead! He had chosen to show Himself first to Mary Magdalen, the repentent sinner.

July 21

* St. Victor
* St. Lawrence of Brindisi If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Arbogast
* St. Wastrada
* St. Zoticus
* St. John & Benignus
* St. John of Edessa
* St. Julia of Troyes
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Feastday: July 21

Caesare de Rossi was born at Brandisi, kingdom of Naples, on July 22nd. He was educated by the conventual Franciscans there and by his uncle at St. Mark's in Venice. When sixteen, he joined the Capuchins at Verona, taking the name Lawrence. He pursued his higher studies in theology, philosophy, the bible, Greek, Hebrew, and several other languages at the University of Padua. He was ordained and began to preach with great effect in Northern Italy. He became definitor general of his Order in Rome in 1596, a position he was to hold five times, was assigned to conversion work with Jews, and was sent to Germany, with Blessed Benedict of Urbino, to combat Lutheranism. They founded friaries at Prague, Vienna, and Gorizia, which were to develop into the provinces of Bohemia, Austria, and Styria. At the request of Emperor Rudolf II, Lawrence helped raise an army among the German rulers to fight against the Turks, who were threatening to conquer all of Hungary, became its chaplain, and was among the leaders in the Battle of Szekesfehevar in 1601; many attributed the ensuing victory to him. In 1602, he was elected Vicar General of the Capuchins but refused re-election in 1605. He was sent to Spain by the emperor to persuade Philip III to join the Catholic League, and while there, founded a Capuchin house in Madrid. He was then sent as papal nuncio to the court of Maximillian of Bavaria, served as peacemaker in several royal disputes, and in 1618, retired from worldly affairs to the friary at Caserta. He was recalled at the request of the rulers of Naples to go to Spain to intercede with King Philip for them against the Duke of Osuna, Spanish envoy to naples and convinced the King to recall the Duke to avert an uprising. The trip in the sweltering heat of summer exhausted him, and he died a few days after his meeting with the King at Lisbon on July 22nd. Lawrence wrote a commentary on Genesis and several treatises against Luther, but Lawrence's main writings are in the nine volumes of his sermons. He was canonized in 1881 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21st.

July 20

* St. Margaret of Antioch
* St. Wilgefortis
* St. Elias
* St. Aurelius
* St. Apollinaris If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Barhadbesciabas
* St. Jerome Emilian
* St. Wulmar
* St. Sabinus
* St. Severa
* St. Severa
* St. Flavian & Elias
* St. John of Pulsano
* St. Joseph of Barsabas
* St. Margaret
* St. Paul of St. Zoilus

Spiritual Bouquet: I am coming again, and I will take you to Myself; that where I am, there you also may be. St. John 14:3
Saint Jerome Emilian

Founder of the Somascans

Saint Jerome Emiliani, born in 1481, was a member of one of the Christian patrician families of Venice, and in early life a soldier. Showing in his youth much inclination to virtue, he studied the humanities with success until the age of fifteen, when the clash of arms interrupted his peaceful pursuits and his practice of virtue. And then, only his ambition for honors placed limits to his disorders; it was necessary to live honorably in order to receive promotions. He was appointed governor of a fortress in the mountains of Treviso, and while defending his post with outstanding bravery, was made prisoner by the enemy. In the misery of his dungeon he invoked amid tears the great Mother of God, recognizing that his chastisement was just. He promised, nonetheless, if She would set him free, to lead a new and better life, more worthy of his Christian heritage, and to make known Her benefits in every possible way. Our Lady appeared to him at once, gave him the keys he needed, and commanded him to fulfill faithfully what he had promised. She led him out through the ranks of his enemies to the gate of the city. He went to Her church at Treviso and dedicated himself to the service of the One who had delivered him, proclaiming Her mercies to all listeners. He consigned to writing, and had notarized, an account of his deliverance.

On reaching his home in Venice he undertook a life of active charity, causing admiration in all who had known him as a worldling. His special love was for the deserted orphan children whom he found wandering in the streets during a famine and an epidemic in 1528. Already he had converted his house into a hospital, selling even its furnishings to clothe and feed the poor folk who came in great numbers to him, when they heard he had procured wheat from other regions. He acquired a house for the children, and after recovering miraculously from the illness which he had contracted during the epidemic, he himself taught them the Christian truths. Soon the accounts of his pious orphanage brought visitors, and financial aid sufficient to sustain the enterprise. He was then entrusted with the Venitian Hospital for the Incurables. When he needed some particular grace, he had four orphans under eight years of age pray with him, and the grace never failed to arrive. In Venice he was aided in his Hospital by his friends, Saint Cajetan of Thienna and Saint Peter Caraffa of Naples.

He founded a hospital in Verona and an orphanage in Padua. At Bergamo, which had been struck by a pestilence and famine, he went out with the reapers he could assemble, and cut wheat in the hottest season of the Italian summer. At their head, he sang Christian hymns in his rich voice, engaging the others to follow his example. There he founded two orphanages and succeeded in closing a number of houses of ill repute; he gave their inhabitants whom he converted a rule of life and procured a residence for them. The bishop was aiding him constantly; and he sent him out to other villages and hamlets to teach the children Christian doctrine. Multiple conversions resulted in all directions. Two holy priests joined him in Bergamo, soon followed by other noble gentlemen. This was the origin of the Congregation of Regular Clerics, called the Somascans because of their residence at Somasca, situated between Milan and Bergamo. The Congregation was approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III, and the Order spread in Italy. Saint Jerome died in 1537 at the age of 56, from the illness he contracted while caring for the sick during an epidemic in the region of Bergamo.

Reflection: Let us learn from Saint Jerome to exert ourselves in behalf of the many hundreds of children whose souls are perishing around us, for want of someone to show them the way to heaven.

An old traditional belief holds that when the 19th of the month falls on a Wednesday many graces are obtained, if it is God's will, through the intercession of St. Joseph. I myself have experienced this and attest to it.
July 19

* St. Justa and Rufina
* St. Macrina the Younger
* St. Ambrose Aut-pert
* St. Arsenius the Great
* St. Aurea
* St. Epagaphras
* St. Felix of Verona
* St. John Plessington
St. Arsenius the Great
Feastday: July 19


Confessor and hermit on the Nile. Arsenius, who was born in Rome in 354, was the tutor of the children of Emperors Theodosius I the Great, Arcadius, and Honorius. At that time, Arsenius was a Roman deacon recommended for the office by Pope St. Damasus. lie served at Theodosius' court in Constantinople for about ten years and then became a monk in Alexandria, Egypt. Inheriting a fortune from a relative, Arsenius studied with St. John the Dwarf and became a hermit in the desert of Egypt. In 434, he left Skete and went to the rock of Troe, near Memphis, Egypt, and to the island of Canopus near Alexandria. He died at Troe. Arsenius is sometimes called "the Roman" or "the Deacon."

July 18

* St. Arnulf
* St. Camillus de Lellis
* St. Frederick
* St. Bruno of Segni
* St. Theneva
* St. Dominic Nicholas Dat
* St. Edburga of Bicester
* St. Emilian
* St. Goneri
* St. Gundenis
* St. Julian
* St. Marina
* St. Rufillus
* St. Maternus
* St. Minnborinus
* St. Pambo
* St. Philaster

Spiritual Bouquet: By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. St. John 13:35
Saint Camillus

Founder of the Servants of the Sick

Saint Camillus was born in the kingdom of Naples in the year 1549. His early years gave no indication of his future sanctity. At the age of nineteen he entered into military service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks. After four years of hard campaigning he found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits, and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier in bad health, and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to beg in the streets. Finally he found work as a laborer for a Capuchin convent which was being built. A few words from a Capuchin Friar brought about his conversion; the following day he cast himself on his knees, seeing himself clearly by a divine illumination. He prayed, “Forgive, Lord, this wretched sinner! and give him time to do penance!” And he resolved to become a religious.

He served the Capuchin Fathers, working in the garden, sweeping the convent, washing the dishes, until he could be received as an aspirant. Thrice he begin his novitiate with them, but each time an obstinate ulcer on his leg forced him to leave. God had other designs for him. He went to Rome for medical treatment, and there took Saint Philip Neri as his confessor. He entered, as a servant, the hospital of San Giacomo. The carelessness of the paid personnel and nurses towards the suffering patients inspired him with the thought of founding a Congregation of voluntary servants of the sick, to minister to their wants without thought of remuneration. He recalled the Cross of Our Lord, thinking, “If they wore it on their breast, the sight of it would sustain them, encourage them, reward them.” He spoke of this intention to the most pious ones among his companions, who joined him with enthusiasm. They set up an oratory in a little room where they retired to read and pray. They met great obstacles; their oratory was closed when they were suspected of wanting to control the hospital. But eventually Saint Camillus was ordained priest in 1584 and founded his Congregation with only two co-workers, at the chapel of Our Lady of Miracles. They continued to serve in the large Holy Spirit Hospital, and in 1586 his community, the Servants of the Sick, was confirmed by the Pope.

Its usefulness was soon felt, not only in hospitals, but in private houses. Summoned at every hour of the day and night, the devotion of Camillus never grew cold. With an inexhaustible tenderness he attended to the needs of his patients. He wept with them, consoled them, and prayed with them. During a famine in 1590, the poor were reduced to eating dead animals and often raw herbs; about sixty thousand died during that winter, which was exceptionally cold. Saint Camillus procured bread and clothing and went out to distribute them in Rome to all who needed them. Never did he refuse what was asked, giving away his cloak more than once, and the last sack of flour in the storeroom. But God always provided for the Brothers when they had nothing more to give.

Saint Camillus knew miraculously the state of the souls of his patients; and Saint Philip saw Angels whispering to two Servants of the Sick who were consoling a dying person. One day a sick man said to the Saint, “Father, may I beg you to make up my bed? it is very hard.” Camillus replied, “God forgive you, brother! You beg me? Don’t you know yet that you should command me, for I am your servant and slave!” The Saint founded houses of what had become his Order in several cities — Milan, Bologna, Genoa, Florence, Ferrare and others, and sent out his religious when a pestilence afflicted Hungary and surrounding regions. Several of his religious died on that occasion.

In his hospital he was heard to say, “Would to God that in the hour of my death one sigh or one blessing of these poor sick creatures might fall upon me!” His prayer was answered. He was granted the same consolations in his last hour, which he had so often procured for others. It was in the year 1614, and on the feast of Saint Bonaventure, to whom he had a great devotion, that he died as he had foretold, having the full use of his faculties, as the priest was reciting the words of the ritual, “May Jesus Christ appear to thee with a mild and joyful countenance!”

Reflection: Saint Camillus venerated the sick as living images of Christ, and by ministering to them in this spirit did penance for the sins of his youth. He led a life precious in merit, and from a violent and quarrelsome soldier became a gentle and tender Saint.

July 17

* St. Marcellina
* St. Alexis
* Bl. Ceslaus
* St. Andrew Zorard
* St. Ansueris
* Bl. Antoinette Roussel
* St. Theodosius
* St. Theodota
* St. Turninus
* Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne
* St. Clement of Okhrida
* St. Cynllo
* St. Ennodius
* Bl. Frances Brideau
* St. Frances de Croissy
* St. Fredegand
* St. Generosus
* St. Hyacinth
* Bl. Juliette Verolot
* St. Madeleine Brideau
* St. Madeleine Lidoine
* St. Marie Claude Brard
* St. Marie Croissy
* St. Marie Dufour
* St. Marie Hanisset
* St. Marie Meunier
* St. Marie Trezelle
* Bl. Rose Chretien
* St. Nerses Lambronazi
* St. Nicholas, Alexandra, and Companions
* Marytrs of Scillitan

Spiritual Bouquet: A new commandment I give you: that you love one another as I have loved you. St. John 13:34
Saint Alexius


Saint Alexius, born in Rome in the fourth century, was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for both their virtue and their great wealth. They were particularly noted for their almsgiving; three tables were prepared every day for all who came for assistance — pilgrims, the poor and the sick. Their son, fruit of their prayers, was married with splendid feasting to a noble young lady of the imperial family, but on his wedding night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly left Rome, longing for a solitude where he could serve God alone. He went to Edessa in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thereafter to live by alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. His family, in the deepest grief, could not fathom the mystery of his disappearance, and would have been consoled if God had taken him instead through death.

It came to pass that the servants of Saint Alexius, whom his father had sent in search of him, arrived in Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, “I thank You, Lord, who have called me and granted that I should receive for Your Name’s name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work You have begun.”

After seventeen years spent at the portico of the church, when his sanctity was miraculously confirmed by the Blessed Virgin, speaking through Her image to an officer of the church, Saint Alexius once more sought obscurity by flight. On his way to Tarsus contrary winds drove his ship to Rome. There no one recognized, in this pale and tattered mendicant, the heir of Rome’s noblest house, not even his sorrowing parents, who had vainly sent throughout the world in search of him. From his own father’s charity Saint Alexius begged a miserable shelter in his palace, under a staircase, with the leavings of his table as food. There he spent another seventeen years, bearing patiently the mockery and ill usage of his own servants, and witnessing daily the still inconsolable grief of his spouse and parents.

At last, when death had ended this cruel martyrdom, they learned too late, in the year 404, who it was that they had unknowingly sheltered. A voice was heard by all in attendance at the Pope’s Mass, saying: “Seek the man of God, he will pray for Rome, and the Lord will be favorable to it; he will die Friday.” All the city undertook in vain to find this unknown Saint. But God had commanded Alexius himself to write down his life story and sign it, in this way He Himself confirmed His servant’s sanctity, when he was found lifeless in his retreat, holding that document in his hand. The Pope read aloud what was written on the parchment of the Saint, and everywhere in Rome there was a single cry of admiration, impossible to describe. The house of Alexius’ father Euphemian was later transformed into a church dedicated to Saint Alexius.

Reflection: We must always be ready to sacrifice our dearest and best natural affections in obedience to the call of our heavenly Father. “Call none your father upon earth, for one is your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9) Our Lord has taught us this not by words only, but by His own example and that of His Saints.

Spiritual Bouquet: A new commandment I give you: that you love one another as I have loved you. St. John 13:34
Saint Alexius


Saint Alexius, born in Rome in the fourth century, was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for both their virtue and their great wealth. They were particularly noted for their almsgiving; three tables were prepared every day for all who came for assistance — pilgrims, the poor and the sick. Their son, fruit of their prayers, was married with splendid feasting to a noble young lady of the imperial family, but on his wedding night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly left Rome, longing for a solitude where he could serve God alone. He went to Edessa in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thereafter to live by alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. His family, in the deepest grief, could not fathom the mystery of his disappearance, and would have been consoled if God had taken him instead through death.

It came to pass that the servants of Saint Alexius, whom his father had sent in search of him, arrived in Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, “I thank You, Lord, who have called me and granted that I should receive for Your Name’s name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work You have begun.”

After seventeen years spent at the portico of the church, when his sanctity was miraculously confirmed by the Blessed Virgin, speaking through Her image to an officer of the church, Saint Alexius once more sought obscurity by flight. On his way to Tarsus contrary winds drove his ship to Rome. There no one recognized, in this pale and tattered mendicant, the heir of Rome’s noblest house, not even his sorrowing parents, who had vainly sent throughout the world in search of him. From his own father’s charity Saint Alexius begged a miserable shelter in his palace, under a staircase, with the leavings of his table as food. There he spent another seventeen years, bearing patiently the mockery and ill usage of his own servants, and witnessing daily the still inconsolable grief of his spouse and parents.

At last, when death had ended this cruel martyrdom, they learned too late, in the year 404, who it was that they had unknowingly sheltered. A voice was heard by all in attendance at the Pope’s Mass, saying: “Seek the man of God, he will pray for Rome, and the Lord will be favorable to it; he will die Friday.” All the city undertook in vain to find this unknown Saint. But God had commanded Alexius himself to write down his life story and sign it, in this way He Himself confirmed His servant’s sanctity, when he was found lifeless in his retreat, holding that document in his hand. The Pope read aloud what was written on the parchment of the Saint, and everywhere in Rome there was a single cry of admiration, impossible to describe. The house of Alexius’ father Euphemian was later transformed into a church dedicated to Saint Alexius.

Reflection: We must always be ready to sacrifice our dearest and best natural affections in obedience to the call of our heavenly Father. “Call none your father upon earth, for one is your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9) Our Lord has taught us this not by words only, but by His own example and that of His Saints.

July 16

* St. Carmen
* St. Mary Magdalen Postel
* St. Athenogenes
* St. Vitalian
* St. Vitalian
* St. Valentine
* Feast of Our Lady with the title of Mt. Carmel If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Tenenan
* St. Domnio
* St. Fulrad
* St. Faustus
* St. Helier
* St. Marie Magdalen Postel
* St. Marie St. Henry
* St. Reineldis

Spiritual Bouquet: I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you also should do. St. John 13:15
Our Lady of Mount Carmel


According to the most ancient Carmelite chronicles, the Order has its origins with the disciples of the prophets Elias and Eliseus. They lived in caves on Mount Carmel. They honored the Queen of Heaven as the Virgin who is to give birth to the Saviour. When the reality replaced the symbol, the pious ascetics of Carmel were converted to the Christian Faith. In the 12th century, many pilgrims from Europe who had followed the Crusaders came to join the solitaries. A rule was established and the Order began to spread to Europe. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726 it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

Amid the many persecutions raised against the Order of Mount Carmel, newly arrived in Europe, Saint Simon Stock, General of the Order, turned with filial confidence to the Blessed Mother of God. As he knelt in prayer on July 16, 1251, in the White Friars’ convent at Cambridge, She appeared before him and presented him with the well-known brown scapular, a loose sleeveless garment destined for the Order of Carmel, reaching from the shoulders to the knees. It was given as an assurance, for all who died wearing it, of Her heavenly protection from eternal death. An extraordinary promise indeed, but one requiring a life of prayer and sacrifice. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. Obviously, no magic way of salvation is intended. Rather, the scapular is a reminder of the gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.

Devotion to the blessed habit spread quickly throughout the Christian world. Pope after Pope enriched it with indulgences, and innumerable miracles put their seal upon its efficacy. The first of them was worked at Winchester on a man dying in despair, who when the scapular was laid upon him by Saint Simon Stock at once asked for the Sacraments.

In the year 1636, a certain gentleman, member of a cavalry regiment, was mortally wounded at the battle of Tehin, a bullet having lodged near his heart. He was then in a state of grievous sin, but he had time to make his confession. Afterwards a surgeon probed his wound, and the bullet was found to have driven his scapular into his heart. When it had been withdrawn he soon expired, making profound acts of gratitude to the Blessed Virgin who had prolonged his life miraculously, thereby preserving him from the irremediable death of his soul.

St. Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” St. John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel and helping him escape from prison. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion she dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.

At Lourdes in 1858, the Virgin chose to make Her last apparition on July 16th, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the day the Church commemorates Her apparition to Saint Simon Stock. And at Fatima on October 13, 1917, it is as Our Lady of Mount Carmel that Mary appeared when She said farewell to the three children. Throughout the ages, the Queen of Carmel has always kept a faithful watch over the destinies of Her cherished children on earth.

July 14

* Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. Humbert
* St. Ulrich
* St. William Breteuil
* St. Cyrus of Carthage
* St. Heraclas
* St. Justus
* St. Libert
* Bl. Richard Langhorne
* St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountian
* St. Optatian
* St. Phocas

July 14
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

The blood of martyrs is the seed of saints. Nine years after the Jesuits Isaac Jogues and John de Brébeuf were tortured to death by Huron and Iroquois Indians, a baby girl was born near the place of their martyrdom, Auriesville, New York. She was to be the first person born in North America to be beatified.

Her mother was a Christian Algonquin, taken captive by the Iroquois and given as wife to the chief of the Mohawk clan, the boldest and fiercest of the Five Nations. When she was four, Kateri lost her parents and little brother in a smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind. She was adopted by an uncle, who succeeded her father as chief. He hated the coming of the Blackrobes (missionaries), but could do nothing to them because a peace treaty with the French required their presence in villages with Christian captives. She was moved by the words of three Blackrobes who lodged with her uncle, but fear of him kept her from seeking instruction. She refused to marry a Mohawk brave and at 19 finally got the courage to take the step of converting. She was baptized with the name Kateri (Catherine) on Easter Sunday.

Now she would be treated as a slave. Because she would not work on Sunday, she received no food that day. Her life in grace grew rapidly. She told a missionary that she often meditated on the great dignity of being baptized. She was powerfully moved by God’s love for human beings and saw the dignity of each of her people.

She was always in danger, for her conversion and holy life created great opposition. On the advice of a priest, she stole away one night and began a 200-mile walking journey to a Christian Indian village at Sault St. Louis, near Montreal.

For three years she grew in holiness under the direction of a priest and an older Iroquois woman, giving herself totally to God in long hours of prayer, in charity and in strenuous penance. At 23 she took a vow of virginity, an unprecedented act for an Indian woman, whose future depended on being married. She found a place in the woods where she could pray an hour a day—and was accused of meeting a man there!

Her dedication to virginity was instinctive: She did not know about religious life for women until she visited Montreal. Inspired by this, she and two friends wanted to start a community, but the local priest dissuaded her. She humbly accepted an “ordinary” life. She practiced extremely severe fasting as penance for the conversion of her nation. She died the afternoon before Holy Thursday. Witnesses said that her emaciated face changed color and became like that of a healthy child. The lines of suffering, even the pockmarks, disappeared and the touch of a smile came upon her lips. She was beatified in 1980.


We like to think that our proposed holiness is thwarted by our situation. If only we could have more solitude, less opposition, better health. Kateri repeats the example of the saints: Holiness thrives on the cross, anywhere. Yet she did have what Christians—all people—need: the support of a community. She had a good mother, helpful priests, Christian friends. These were present in what we call primitive conditions, and blossomed in the age-old Christian triad of prayer, fasting and alms: union with God in Jesus and the Spirit, self-discipline and often suffering, and charity for her brothers and sisters.


Kateri said: “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.”


July 13

* St. Henry If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Silas
* St. Francis Solano
* St. Teresa de los Andes
* Bl. Thomas Tunstal
* St. Turiaf
* St. Serapion
* St. Dogfan
* St. Henry II
* St. Myrope

St. Teresa de los Andes
Feastday: July 13


Discalced Carmelite mystic and the first Chilean to be beatified or canonized. She was baptized Juanita Fernandez Solar, born in Santiago, Chile. on July 13.1900. Devoted to Christ from a very young age, she entered the Dised Iced Carmelite monastery at Los Andes. on May 7, 919. There she was given the religious name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12, of the following year, having made her religious profession as a Carmelite. A model for young people, Teresa was beatified in 1987 in Santiago, Chile, and was canonized by Pope John Paul II on March 21.1993.

July 12

* St. Jason
* St. John Gaulbert, Abbot
* St. Agnes De
* Bl. Andrew Oexner of Riun
* St. Ansbald
* St. Viventiolus
* St. Veronica
* Bl. David Gonson
* St.Epiphania
* St. John Jones If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. John the Iberian
* Bl. John Naisen
* Bl. John Tanaka
* St. Leo of Lucca
* Bl. Louis Naisen
* St. Marciana
* St. Nabor and Felix
* Bl. Matthias Araki
* St. Menulphus
* Bl. Monica Naisen
* St. Paternian
* Bl. Peter Araki Kobjoje
* St. Paulinus of Antioch
* St. Peter Khanh

Spiritual Bouquet: Watch, then, praying at all times. St. Luke 21:36
Saint John Gualbert


Saint John Gualbert was born in Florence in the year 999. He was raised with care in piety and the study of the humanities, but no sooner had he entered adult life than he acquired a taste for pleasures. God, desiring to save and sanctify him, found a means to open his eyes. He was following the profession of arms at that troubled period, when on Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his brother’s murderer in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him, according to the customary vengeance of those times; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord’s holy Passion, to spare his life. Saint John said to his enemy, “I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ’s name. I grant you not only your life, but my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin!” They embraced and parted; grace had triumphed.

A humble and changed man, he went to a nearby abbatial church, and while he prayed with fervor for forgiveness, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him, as if to confirm His pardon and manifest His gratitude for the generous pardon John himself had granted. Abandoning the world then, Saint John devoted himself to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. His virtue and austerity were so great that when his abbot died, he was unanimously chosen to replace him; but he could not be prevailed upon to accept that honor. He retired to Vallombrosa, which became the cradle of a new Order which followed the Rule of Saint Benedict in all its austerity. It was from this shady valley, a few miles from Florence, that the Order spread over Italy.

Once during a time of famine, he went to the nearly empty storeroom, and at his prayer the provisions multiplied to the point that he could distribute grain to all his houses and to all the poor who presented themselves. On an occasion when he found one of the monasteries too rich, he prayed a stream flowing past it to take on the violence of a torrent and overturn the building. This was done without delay. Another time, the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of Saint Salvi, plundered it and set fire to it and, after treating the monks with ignominy, beat them and injured them. Saint John rejoiced. “Now,” he said, “you are true monks. Oh, how I envy your lot!”

Saint John Gualbert fought vigorously against simony, and in many ways promoted the interests of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died while Angels were singing near his bed, on July 12, 1073.

Reflection: The heroic act which merited for Saint John Gualbert his conversion was the forgiveness of his enemy. Let us imitate him in this virtue, resolving never to revenge ourselves in thought, in word, or in deed.

July 11

* St. Oliver Plunkett
* St. Olga
* St. Benedict of Nursia If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Abundius
* St. Amabilis
* St. James (not to be confused with the apostle James)
* St. Turketil
* St. Sabinus
* Sts. Sabinus & Cyprian
* St. Cindeus
* St. Drostan
* St. Hidulphus
* St. John of Bergamo
* St. Leontius the Younger
* St. Marcian

Bishop of Nisibis and
Doctor of the Syrian Church

This eminent Saint and glorious Doctor of the Syrian Church was a native of Nisibis, a city near the border of the Roman Empire and Persia. In his youth, entering the world, he trembled at the sight of its vices and the slippery downhill path of its pleasures. He thought it wise to adopt retirement, that he might gain strength and afterwards be better able to stand his ground in the field. He therefore chose the highest and most inaccessible mountain for his dwelling place, with a cave for shelter in winter, while for the rest of the year he lived in the forest, continually exposed to the open air. Notwithstanding his desire to live unknown to men, he was discovered. He was highly favored with the gifts of prophecy and miracles, and many were not afraid to climb the rugged rocks that they might recommend themselves to his prayers, and receive the comfort of his spiritual advice.

After a number of years he left his solitude to enter Persia, where he knew that there was a virtually infinite multitude of idolaters. There his prayers wrought miracles which changed the attitude of a considerable number. When he returned to Nisibis, he found the bishop’s palace vacant after the death of the prelate. The clergy and people unanimously chose Saint James to replace him, overcoming his humility by their persistent persuasion.

One day, as the bishop was traveling, he was accosted by a gang of beggars intending to extort money from him under the pretext of having to bury one of their companions. The latter had stretched out on the ground as though dead. The holy man gave them what they asked, and “offering up supplications to God as for a soul departed, he prayed that His Divine Majesty would pardon that man the sins he had committed while he lived, and admit him into the company of the Saints.” As soon as the Saint had passed on, the beggars called out to their companion to get up and receive his share of the booty. How amazed they were to find him genuinely dead! Seized with sudden fear and grief, they cried out in the utmost consternation and immediately ran after the man of God, casting themselves at his feet and confessing their fraud. They begged his forgiveness and besought him by his prayers to restore their unhappy companion to life, and this the Saint did.

The most famous miracle of our Saint was that by which he protected his native city from the barbarians. Sapor II, the haughty King of Persia, was besieging Nisibis with the whole strength of his empire while Saint James was its bishop. The prelate would not pray for the destruction of anyone, but implored divine Mercy that the city might be delivered from the calamities of so terrible a siege. Then, going to the top of a high tower and turning his gaze towards the enemy, he looked down upon the prodigious multitude of men and beasts, covering the whole country. He prayed, “Lord, Thou art able by the weakest means to humble the pride of Thy enemies; defeat these multitudes by an army of gnats.” God heard the humble prayer of His servant. He had hardly finished speaking these words, when whole clouds of gnats and flies came pouring down upon the Persians, entering into the elephants’ trunks and the horses’ ears and nostrils. The animals chafed and foamed and threw their riders, and the entire army was cast into confusion and disorder. A famine and pestilence followed and carried off a great number of the invaders. The King of Persia, after remaining more than three months before the walls, set fire to all his engines of war and abandoned the siege; he retreated, having lost twenty thousand of his men.

When Sapor was again repulsed from outside the walls of Nisibis in 359, he turned his arms against the neighboring city of Amidus, seized that stronghold, and put the garrison and most of the inhabitants to death by the sword. The citizens of Nisibis attributed their preservation from this second attack to the intercession of their glorious patron, Saint James, although he had already gone to his reward. He died in the year 350.

July 10

* St. Alexander
* St. Amalberga
* St. Amalberga
* St. Amelberga
* St. Anthony Pechersky
* St. Felicity & her Seven Sons
* St. Theodosius Pechersky
* Bl. Emmanuel Ruiz
* St. Lantfrid
* St. Leontius
* St. Rufinus and Secundus
* Martyrs of Damascus
* St. Pascharius
* St. Peter of Perugia
* St. Peter Tu
* St. Veronica Giuliani If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

Spiritual Bouquet: By your patience you will possess your souls. St. Luke 21:19
Saint Felicity and her seven sons


Saint Felicity was a noble Roman matron, distinguished above all for her virtue. This mother of seven children raised her sons in the fear of the Lord, and after the death of her husband, served God in continence, concerning herself only with good works. Her good examples and those of her children brought a number of pagans to renounce their superstitions, and also encouraged the Christians to show themselves worthy of their vocation. The pagan priests, furious at seeing their gods abandoned, denounced her. She appeared with her pious sons before the prefect of Rome, who exhorted her to sacrifice to idols, but in reply heard a generous confession of faith.

“Wretched woman,” he said to her, “how can you be so barbarous as to expose your children to torments and death? Have pity on these tender creatures, who are in the flower of their age and can aspire to the highest positions in the Empire!” Felicity replied, “My children will live eternally with Jesus Christ, if they are faithful; they will have only eternal torments to await, if they sacrifice to idols. Your apparent pity is but a cruel impiety.” Then, turning to her children, she said: “Look towards heaven, where Jesus Christ is waiting for you with His Saints! Be faithful in His love, and fight courageously for your souls.”

The Judge, taking the children one by one, tried to overcome their constancy. He began with Januarius, but received for his answer: “What you advise me to do is contrary to reason; Jesus, the Saviour, will preserve me, I hope, from such impiety.” Felix, the second, was then brought in. When they urged him to sacrifice, he answered: “There is only one God, and it is to Him that we must offer the sacrifice of our hearts. Use all artifices, every refinement of cruelty, you will not make us betray our faith!” The other brothers, when questioned, answered with the same firmness. Martial, the youngest, who spoke last, said: “All those who do not confess that Jesus Christ is the true God, will be cast into a fire which will never be extinguished.”

When the interrogation was finished, the Saints underwent the penalty of the lash and then were taken to prison. Soon they completed their sacrifice in various ways: Januarius was beaten until he died by leather straps capped with lead; Felix and Philip were killed with bludgeons; Sylvanus was thrown headfirst from a cliff; Alexander, Vitalis and Martial were beheaded. Felicity, the mother of these new Maccabees, was the last to suffer martyrdom.

July 9

* St. Godfrey
* Bl. Adrian Fortescue
* St. Adrian Van Hilvarenbeek
* St. Agilulfus
* St. Alberic Crescitelli
* St. Anatolia
* St. Andrew Wouters
* St. St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Brictus
* St. Veronica Giuliani
* St. Zeno
* St. Willehad of Denmark
* St. Cornelius
* St. Francis Rod
* St. Golvinus
* St. James Lacop
* St. John of Cologne
* St. John of Osterwick
* St. Justus of Poland
* St. Leonard Wegel
* Martyrs of Gorkum
* St. Nicasius Jonson
* St. Nicholas Pieck
* St. Nicholas Poppel
* St. Patermuthius
* St. Peter of Asche

July 9
St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
(17th-20th centuries)

Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China's relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly.

The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (87) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests.

The 33 foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese solider who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815.

Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000.


The People's Republic of China and the Roman Catholic Church each have over a billion members, but there are only 10 million Catholics in China. The reasons for that are better explained by historical conflicts than by a wholesale rejection of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Chinese-born martyrs honored by today's feast were regarded by their persecutors as dangerous because they were considered allies of enemy, Catholics countries. The martyrs born outside China often tried to distance themselves from European political struggles relating to China, but their persecutors saw them as Westerners and therefore, by definition, anti-Chinese.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is intended to benefit all peoples; today's martyrs knew that. May 21st-century Christians live in such a way that Chinese women and men will be attracted to hear that Good News and embrace it.


A year after these martyrs were canonized, Pope John Paul II addressed a group of Chinese and Western scholars, gathered in Rome for a symposium honoring the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Beijing of Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit scholar and Chinese intellectual.

After noting the positive contributions that Christianity had made to China, especially in health care and education, Pope John Paul II continued: “History, however, reminds us of the unfortunate fact that the work of members of the church in China was not always without error, the bitter fruit of their personal limitations and of the limits of their action. Moreover, their action was often conditioned by difficult situations connected with complex historical events and conflicting political interests. Nor were theological disputes lacking, which caused bad feelings and created serious difficulties in preaching the Gospel….

“I feel deep sadness for these errors and limits of the past, and I regret that in many people these failings may have given the impression of a lack of respect and esteem for the Chinese people on the part of the Catholic Church, making them feel that the church was motivated by feelings of hostility toward China. For all of this I ask the forgiveness and understanding of those who may have felt hurt in some way by such actions on the part of Christians.”

July 8

* St. Adrian III
* St. Kilian
* St. Priscilla
* Sts. Abrahamites
* St. Albert of Genoa
* St. Apollonius
* St. Arnold
* St. Auspicius
* St. Gregory Grassi & Companions If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Withburga
* St. Grimbald
* St. Landrada
* Bl. Mancius Araki
* St. Raymond of Toulouse
* St. Morwenna
* Bl. Peter the Hermit
St. Arnold
Feastday: July 8


A confessor in the court of Charlemagne. Arnold was a Greek by birth, entering the service of Charlemagne. He was noted for his charity to the poor. A village, Amold-Villiers, was named after him, near Jülich.

St. Priscilla
Feastday: July 8

Aquila was a Jewish tentmaker. He and his wife Prisca or Priscilla were forced to leave Rome when Emperor Claudius forbade Jews to live there. They went to Corinth, where St. Paul lived with them during his stay there and may have converted them to Christianity. They accompanied Paul to Ephesus and remained there; Paul stayed with them on his third missionary journey. They then returned to Rome, where there house was also used as a church and then went back to Ephesus. They suffered martyrdom in Asia Minor, according to the Roman Martyrology but a tradition has them martyred in Rome. Their feast day is July 8th.

July 7

* St. Pantaenus
* St. Ampelius
* St. Angelelmus
* St. Apollonius
* St. Astius
* St. Bonitus
* St. Felix of Nantes
* Bl. Lawrence Humphrey
* St. Maolruain
* Bl. Ralph Milner
* St. Odo of Urgell
* St. Medran & Odran
* St. Palladius

Bl. Ralph Milner
Feastday: July 7

English martyr. He was born at Stocksteads, Hampshire, and was a convert. He was arrested the day he received his first Communion. A husbands man by trade, Ralph was allowed a leave from prison and aided priests and Catholics. He was executed at Winchester on July by being hanged, drawn, and quartered for giving assistance to Blessed Roger Dickenson. He was beatified in 1929.

Doctor of the Church and Apostle to the Indies
(†ca. 214)

This learned Doctor and apostolic man flourished in the second century. Born in Sicily, he was a Hebrew Christian who had studied Holy Scripture and also Greek philosophy. His esteem for virtue had led him into an acquaintance with the Christians, and being charmed with the innocence and sanctity of their conversation, he opened his eyes to the truth. It was under the disciples of the Apostles that he studied Holy Scripture in the orient, before his thirst for sacred learning brought him to Alexandria in Egypt, where the disciples of Saint Mark had instituted a celebrated school of Christian doctrine.

Pantænus did not seek to display his talents in that center of literature and commerce; but his great progress in sacred learning was discovered, and he was drawn out of the obscurity in which his humility had sought to bury itself. He was placed at the head of the Christian school some time before the year 179. His learning and excellent manner of teaching raised the school’s reputation above all schools of the philosophers, whom he strove to win to Christianity. The lessons which he read and commented, gathered from the prophets and Apostles, conveyed light and knowledge into the minds of all his hearers.

The Indian traders who came to Alexandria entreated Saint Pantænus to pay their country a visit and vanquish false philosophy by the true faith. He was advised by the bishop of Alexandria to consent, and therefore left the school and went to preach the Gospel to the eastern nations. In India he found some seeds of the faith already sown, and there he was shown the Gospel of Saint Matthew in Hebrew, which according to Eusebius’ account in his History of the Church, was taken there by Saint Bartholomew. He brought it back with him to Alexandria, where he returned after he had zealously employed several years in instructing the Indians in the faith. Saint Pantænus continued to teach privately until about the year 214, when he closed a noble and excellent life by a holy and happy death.

Reflection: “Take care that none lead you astray by a false philosophy,” says Saint Paul, for philosophy without religion is a vain thing.

July 6

* St. Modwenna
* St. Merryn
* Bl. Thomas Alfield
* St. Tranquillinus
* St. Dominica
* St. Goar
* St. Rixius Varus
* St. Romulus and Companions
* St. Noyala
* St. Monennaa
* St. Maria Goretti If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

July 6
St. Maria Goretti

One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti.

She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class.

On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help, gasping that she would be killed rather than submit. “No, God does not wish it. It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger.

She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum. She died about 24 hours after the attack.

Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother.

Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.


Maria may have had trouble with catechism, but she had no trouble with faith. God's will was holiness, decency, respect for one's body, absolute obedience, total trust. In a complex world, her faith was simple: It is a privilege to be loved by God, and to love him—at any cost. As the virtue of chastity dies the death of a thousand qualifications, she is a breath of sweet fresh air.


"Even if she had not been a martyr, she would still have been a saint, so holy was her everyday life" (Cardinal Salotti).

Blessed Pierre Giorgio Frassati's feast is celebrated on the 4th of July. He was a great modern day holy man whose cause for sainthood is well advanced.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was a practical joker - known as "Terror" by his friends, whom he united in an association called "The Shady Characters". Pier Giorgio was a friend to the poor, in whom he saw Christ. He combined an outdoor sports life with political activism and work for social justice, lived his short life "to the full". Mountain climbing was one of favourite sports. He also loved to ski and often went to the theatre, as he loved music and the arts. Pier Giorgio could drive & he enjoyed smoking.

Pier Giorgio Frassati was born to a very wealthy and influential family in Turin, Italy April 6, 1901. His mother, Adelaide was a painter and his father, an agnostic, was the founder and director of the liberal newspaper, La Stampa, (still published today) and was influential in Italian politics, serving a term as senator, and later was Italy's ambassador to Germany. As neither of Pier Giorgio's parents were practising Catholics it is still somewhat of a mystery where he received his great love for his faith.

He developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to share with his friends. In 1918 he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy. He decided to go to university to become a mining engineer so he could "serve Christ better among the miners," as he told a friend.

The Frassati name was well known and he became an outspoken opponent in the fight against Fascism and Mussolini. However he also belonged to the Dominican Lay Order and after school he would visit the poor and sick. With the exception of his younger sister Luciana, his family knew little of his work helping the needy. 

Beneath the smiling exterior of the restless university student was concealed the amazing life of a mystic. Love for Jesus motivated his actions. When asked why he bothered with the poor he answered: "Jesus comes to me everyday by means of Holy Communion. I repay Him in my small way by visiting the poor." Beneath the robust lively exterior of the university student was concealed the amazing life of a mystic. Love for Jesus motivated his actions. He assisted at Mass and Communion daily, as he felt a strong mysterious urge to be near the Blessed Sacrament. Pier Giorgio prayed assiduously and frequently. He preferred the rosary, saying it while walking along a street or mountain path, together with friends or alone. He had great devotion to Our Lady and would spend all night in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. One night during adoration Pier Giorgio remained on his knees on the marble floor lost in prayer; big drops of wax kept dropping on his clothes, on his hair and even on his forehead, however he was so lost was he in prayer that he didn't notice it.

On June the 29th Pier Giorgio, weakened by poliomyelitis that he had likely caught visiting poor people in the slums of Turin, had no more than six days to live. His sickness was not understood. His parents wholly taken up by the agony, death and burial of his grandmother had not even suspected the paralysis. Far from it, two days before the end, his mother kept on scolding him for not helping her. Not even in those desperate final days could he ever forget his closest friends, the poor. While lying on his deathbed he wanted the usual material assistance to be brought to them. He asked his sister to take a small packet from his jacket and with a semi-paralysed hand he wrote the following note to Grimaldi: "here are the injections for Converso. The pawn ticket is Sappa's. I had forgotten it; renew it on my behalf".

Pier Giorgio died on July 4, 1925, at the age of 24. His family expected Turin's elite and political figures to come to offer their condolences and attend the funeral; they naturally expected to find many of his friends there as well. However, they were surprised to find the streets of the city lined with thousands of mourners as the cortege passed by. Those who mourned his death most were the poor and needy whom he had served so unselfishly for seven years. It was these poor people who petitioned the Archbishop of Turin to begin the cause for canonisation. Pope John Paul II beatified him on May 20, 1990. His feast day is July 4.

His body was found to be miraculously incorrupt over fifty years after his death. His sister was present for this amazing discovery at the opening of his tomb. His body now lies in the cathedral at Turin.


“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend,

without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living but existing” Bl Pierre Giorgio Frassati

Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati

Special thanks to Paul Elarde

July 5

* St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Athanasius
* St. Athanasius the Athonite
* St. Zoe
* St. Triphina
* St. Domitius
* St. Edana
* St. Fragan & Gwen
* St. Marinus
* St. Numerian
* St. Philomena

Spiritual Bouquet: You are in error because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. St. Matthew 22:29
Saint Anthony-Maria Zaccaria


Saint Anthony Maria Zaccaria was born at Cremona, Italy, in 1502, of noble parents. His father died when very young, and his eighteen-year-old mother was left to bring up her only son in the love of God and tenderness for the poor. As a child he gave his coat to a poor beggar who was shivering with cold. He studied philosophy and medicine at the Universities of Pavia and Padua and became a licensed physician in 1524, but was striving more earnestly to care for souls than to heal their material envelope. Sometimes when he was traveling as a doctor and found abandoned children, he assembled them to teach them their Christian duties. He desired a more perfect life and wider possibilities for the apostolate of a Christian. He therefore studied theology, and was twenty-six years old when ordained in 1528.

Those present at the first Mass of Saint Anthony Maria saw him surrounded with an extraordinary light and a crown of Angels. He himself seemed to be an Angel on earth. By his preaching and example, Cremona was renewed, and then the young apostle went to Milan. To remedy disorders of every kind resulting from the war, he founded there the Order of Regular Clerics of Saint Paul, since called Barnabites because they were entrusted with the church of Saint Barnabas. He had a great devotion to Saint Paul and desired that his religious imitate the glorious Apostle. He also established a community of Sisters, called the Angelicals, and a confraternity for fathers of families. He animated all of his followers with his great love for God.

He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.

Despite opposition of various kinds, in 1532 the Constitutions of his two communities were approved by Pope Clement VII. Their founder defended his religious with persevering gentleness in all the difficulties they encountered, and recommended to them to spend their free moments in conversation with Jesus crucified. God favored him with exceptional gifts; he read in hearts and saw the future. He died when only 36 years old, in 1539, and was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1897.

July 4

* St. Elizabeth of Portugal If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Ulric
* Bl. Anthony Fantosat
* St. Aurelian
* St. Bertha
* Bl. William Andleby
* St. Theodore of Cyrene
* Bl. Thomas Bosgrave
* Bl. Thomas Warcop
* Bl. Edward Fulthrop
* St. Henry Abbot, Blessed
* Bl. John Carey
* Bl. John Cornelius
* St. Jucundian
* St. Laurianus
* St. Namphanion
* St. Odo the Good
* Bl. Patrick Salmon
* St. Peter of Luxembourg
St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Feastday: July 4
Patron of the Third Order of St. Francis

Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. She was very beautiful and very lovable. She was also very devout, and went to Mass every day. Elizabeth was a holy wife, but although her husband was fond of her at first, he soon began to cause her great suffering. Though a good ruler, he did not imitate his wife's love of prayer and other virtues. In fact, his sins of impurity gave great scandle to the people.

Later, to make matters worse, the King believed a lie told about Elizabeth and one of her pages by another page, who was jealous of his companion. In great anger the King ordered the one he believed guilty, to be sent to a lime-burner. The lime-burner was commanded to throw into his furnace the first page who came. The good page set out obediently, not knowing death was waiting for him. On his way he stopped for Mass, since he had the habit of going daily. The first Mass had begun, so he stayed for a second one. In the meantime, the King sent the wicked page to the lime-burner to find out if the other had been killed. And so it was this page who was thrown into the furnace! When the King learned what had happened, he realized that God had saved the good page, punished the liar, and proven Queen Elizabeth to be innocent.

This amazing event helped greatly to make the King live better. He apologized to his wife in front of everyone and began to have a great respect for her. In his last sickness, she never left his side, except for Mass, until he died a holy death. St. Elizabeth lived for eleven more years, doing even greater charity and penance. She was a wonderful model of kindness toward the poor and a successful peacemaker between members of her own family and between nations.

Because St. Elizabeth was faithful to daily Mass, she found strength to carry her many great crosses. And because her page was faithful to daily Mass, he escaped death. We should try our best to make it a habit to go to Mass daily.

July 3

* St. Thomas If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Anatolius
* St. Anatolius
* St. Bladus
* St. Byblig
* St. Tryphon & Companions
* St. Cillene
* St. Dathus
* St. Gunthiern
* St. Guthagon
* St. Hyacinth
* St. Joseph Peter Uyen
* St. Maelmuire O' Gorman
* St. Mark
* Bl. Raymond Lull
* St. Philip Minh
St. Thomas
Feastday: July 3
Patron of architects

St. Thomas
St. Thomas

St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities. At the Last Supper, when Christ told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas' unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday merited for him the title of "doubting Thomas." Eight days later, on Christ's second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his scepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded - seeing in Christ's hands the point of the nails and putting his fingers in the place of the nails and his hand into His side. At this, St. Thomas became convinced of the truth of the Resurrection and exclaimed: "My Lord and My God," thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus. St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus - at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred.
Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (see John 20:24-28) and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Thomas should be equally well known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b). Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves "Christians of St. Thomas." He capped his left by shedding his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine. His feast day is July 3rd and he is the patron of architects.

Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the “sons of thunder,” Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting and loving one.


“...[P]rompted by the Holy Spirit, the Church must walk the same road which Christ walked: a road of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice to the death.... For thus did all the apostles walk in hope. On behalf of Christ's Body, which is the Church, they supplied what was wanting in the sufferings of Christ by their own trials and sufferings (see Colossians 1:24)” (Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, 5).

July 2

* St. Bernardino Realino
* St. Acestes
* St. Ariston and Companions
* St. Lidanus
* St. Otto of Bamberg
* St. Oudaceus
* St. Monegundis
* St. Oliver Plunket If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

St. Acestes
Feastday: July 2

first century

A soldier assigned to escort St. Paul, the great Apostle, to his death. Acestes and two other soldiers were converted by Paul during their brief encounter. The three Romans, horrified by Paul's execution, declared their faith before the onlookers and were promptly beheaded.

July 2
St. Oliver Plunkett

The name of today's saint is especially familiar to the Irish and the English—and with good reason. The English martyred Oliver Plunkett for defending the faith in his native Ireland during a period of severe persecution.

Born in County Meath in 1629, he studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to do his pastoral work in secrecy and disguise and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile; schools were closed; Church services had to be held in secret and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As archbishop, he was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners.

Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679, but his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for 15 minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in July 1681.

Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975.

July 1

* Bl. Junipero Serra If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Gall
* St. Arnulf
* St. Veep
* St. Theodoric
* St. Servan
* St. Carilefus
* St. Castus & Secundinus
* Bl. Nazju Falzon
* St. Cewydd
* St. Domitian
* St. Eparchius
* St. Felix of Como
* St. Gall
* St. Julius and Anron
* St. Juthware
* St. Martin of Vienne

Blessed Nazju Falzon:

Blessed Nazju Falzon (1813–1865)
The Blessed Nazju Falzon was a man endowed with many talents which he put to good use obtaining degrees both in law and theology. He was very fluent in English. He was also a source of enlightenment and encouragement to a number of children hailing from poor backgrounds as well as a number of British servicemen stationed in Malta.

Family background.

Nazju Falzon was born in Valletta on the 1st July 1813. He came from a very distinguished family that was a very religious one as well. His father, Francis Joseph was a Judge and his mother, Mary Teresa was the daughter of Judge Calcedonio Debono. He was baptised at the Church of Porto Salvo in Valletta.

There were four boys in the family, and all graduated in law. Two of them went on to become priests: Father Kalcidon who eventually became the Treasurer of the Cathedral Chapter and Father Francis who was very much sought after for spiritual counselling. Another brother, Anthony, was a lawyer and married with a family.


At 15 years of age, Nazju received the Minor Orders and in spite of graduating with a degree in theology, he did not feel worthy to be ordained priest, hence he did not want to go further than the Minor Orders.

His first pastoral activity involved the teaching of catechism to the children at the Institute of the Good Shepherd, first as the Church of Sta. Barbara and later at that of our Lady of Victory. He used to help the children not only in their studies but also financially.

His biggest contribution

Nazju Falzon will be best remembered in the religious circles of Malta for his unstinting work among the British servicemen especially where the teaching of Catechism was concerned. This ended up being the most important and unique apostolate that he ever undertook and was to remain his distinguishing mark. In the beginning, his own home in Strait Street was the meeting place where he used to gather the soldiers and sailors. However, as the numbers grew, he moved to the Jesuits’ Church in Valletta. For these people he founded as well the Congregation of the Rosary that came to be known simply as ‘The Congregation.’ He also wrote a book titled “The Comfort of the Christian Soul”. To make it easier for the servicemen to understand their Faith, he saw to it to bring ‘religious’ books from abroad in their vernacular.

All of this earned Nazju Falzon the blind trust of the servicemen. Knowing about his law degree, they would approach him for advice on legal matters as well and quite often he would serve as the go-between with the families back in their homeland. Before going to the battlefield, the servicemen would entrust to his safekeeping their most personal belongings, including gold adornments, jewellery and other things of sentimental value. They knew that should they end up missing, he would forward them to their loved ones.

Hundreds of baptisms.

In this period, Malta was often host to as many as 20,000 British servicemen at a time and Nazju Falzon was the one engaged in teaching them Catechism. Many Protestants, buddies of those under instruction, used to accompany their friends to the sessions of ‘The Congregation’. He organised them into different sections according to the different levels. There were more than 650 such servicemen that must have been baptised as a result of this ministry.

The Blessed Nazju Falzon used to follow the progress of those baptised right up to their marriage especially those who went on to date and get engaged to Maltese girls. We must remember that this was the pre-ecumenical era when Canon Law allowed only exceptionally marriages between Catholics and ‘other’ Christians. On top of all this, in Malta’s traditionally Catholic families, such ‘mixed’ marriages were looked upon with disapproval. Nazju Falzon used to encourage the converts to receive the Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and would administer the Sacrament of the Sick as and when needed.

Some of the co-workers of Nazju Falzon went on to become priests and Military or Naval Chaplains. Fr. Cullens, who himself became a priest due to the encouragement of Fr. Falzon eventually took over the apostolate with the servicemen after the latter had passed away.

His death

The Blessed Nazju Falzon died on his very birthday, 1st July 1865 at the age of 52. He was buried in the family vault in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in the Church of the Franciscan Minors, Mary of Jesus, Valletta.

His reputation for holiness and hence devotion spread fast not only in Malta but also in those locations wherever Maltese used to emigrate. Three years after his death, the Bishop of Malta, Gajetan Pace Forno OSA had his body exhumed and placed at the entrance of the same Church.

Beatification Process

As soon as the process for beatification began, the Bishops of England, who had heard of the wonderful work done by this Maltese priest from the servicemen back in their own dioceses, were among the first to write ‘postulatory letters’ requesting the commencement of the beatification process.

On the 23rd October 1987, the Blessed Nazju Falzon was declared to have practised the theological and cardinal virtues to a heroic degree.

Miraculous Healing.

Among the Church’s requirements for the declaration that a person lived a holy life, there must be proof of some special, specific ‘miraculous’ intervention. This happened to a gentleman born in 1937 and still alive today. He was the recipient of a miraculous healing at the intercession of the Blessed Nazju Falzon. On 3rd June 1981 this gentleman was operated for a tumour and his situation became rather precarious. The doctors were of the opinion that he would neither recover still less survive. Prayers were made for the intercession of the Blessed Nazju Falzon. The man says that after the operation he remained fearful but did not feel any pain. On the 15th June he left the hospital without ever undergoing the chemotherapy treatment. The doctors declare that the tumour disappeared completely. Once the Ecclesiastical Tribunal gathered all the relevant data and testimonials from the witnesses, these were sent them to Rome according to the norms set up by the Holy See. The decision of the Congregation for the Cause of Sainthood was taken on 19th February 2001 and it was declared that according to the report of the five medical experts engaged by them, the cure was completely miraculous.

Nazju Falzon was beatified on May 9th, 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Source: Archdiocese of Malta Special Thanks to Rita Chircop

Spiritual Bouquet: And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. St. John 12:32
Precious Blood of Jesus


The month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of the Redeemer. Supreme homage is given to the Sacred Blood. As we adore the Sacred Heart, because it is the Heart of Jesus, who is God, so we adore the Most Precious Blood.

The Blood of Jesus is the fountain of salvation. Each drop that flowed from the wounds of the Saviour is a pledge of man’s eternal salvation. All races of the earth have been ransomed, and all individuals, who will allow the saving power of the Sacred Blood to be applied to their soul, are heirs of heaven. St. John Chrysostom calls the Precious Blood “the saviour of souls”; St. Thomas Aquinas, “the key to heaven’s treasures”; St. Ambrose, “pure gold of ineffable worth”; St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, “a magnet of souls and pledge of eternal life”. The sins of mankind, in their number, in their offense to the Supreme Being, in the effects on transgressors, are immense; yet, the Precious Blood of Jesus is not frightened by numbers, it has in Itself the power to appease an angered God and to heal wounded creatures.

The Precious Blood is a cleansing bath. Unlike all other blood, which stains, the Blood of Jesus washes clean and white. According to the words of St. John, in the Apocalypse, the Angels wonder, and the question is asked: “These that are clothed in white robes, who are they?” The Lord answers: “These are they that have washed their robes, and have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” For no other reason did the Precious Blood flow but to regain for the souls of men the beautiful dress of innocence, and , once regained, to preserve it throughout life and into eternity.

The Blood of the Saviour is a well of consolation for troubled hearts. Can anyone, confidingly, look at the Sacred Blood trickling down from the Cross without taking courage to carry on, in spite of the difficulties which are the common lot of all? One glance at the Cross must be able to drive away fear. And, another, must be able to instill trust in Him who did not rest until the last drop, mingled with water, flowed out of an opened Heart. He, who was willing to do so much for men, must be willing to overlook and forget the frailties which they deeply regret; He must be willing to come to their assistance when harassed, to defend them when tempted, to comfort them when afflicted. The Blood of Jesus must be for Christians what the north-star is to sailors.

Would that men on earth honored the Precious Blood in the manner in which they who are in heaven give honor and praise and thanksgiving! They proclaim that It purchased the glory which they enjoy. Without It, they would have remained slaves of Satan and outcasts from the eternal mansions of God. Let us profess that we owe to the Sacred Blood of Jesus all that we have in this life, and that to It we shall owe all that we shall enjoy in a better and eternal life!

June 30

* Bl. Raymond Lull
* St. Martial
* St. Airick
* St. Basilides
* St. Bertrand
* St. Vincent Yen
* St. Theobald
* St. Clotsindis
* First Martyrs of the See of Rome
* St. Lucina
* St. Marcian
* St. Ostianus
* Marytrs of Rome
* First Marytrs of Rome If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. Philip Powell

June 30
First Martyrs of the Church of Rome
(d. 68) 

There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in a.d. 57-58.

There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds.

In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a “great multitude” of Christians was put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.

Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.


Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.


From Pope Clement I, successor of St. Peter: “It was through envy and jealousy that the greatest and most upright pillars of the Church were persecuted and struggled unto death.... First of all, Peter, who because of unreasonable jealousy suffered not merely once or twice but many times, and, having thus given his witness, went to the place of glory that he deserved. It was through jealousy and conflict that Paul showed the way to the prize for perseverance. He was put in chains seven times, sent into exile, and stoned; a herald both in the east and the west, he achieved a noble fame by his faith....”

“Around these men with their holy lives there are gathered a great throng of the elect, who, though victims of jealousy, gave us the finest example of endurance in the midst of many indignities and tortures. Through jealousy women were tormented, like Dirce or the daughters of Danaus, suffering terrible and unholy acts of violence. But they courageously finished the course of faith and despite their bodily weakness won a noble prize.”

June 29

* St. Paul If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Sts. Salome & Judith
* St. Cassius
* St. Cocha
* St. Mary
* St. Peter, First Pope If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
St. Paul
Feastday: June 29

St. Paul
St. Paul

St. Paul, the indefatigable Apostle of the Gentiles, was converted from Judaism on the road to Damascus. He remained some days in Damascus after his Baptism, and then went to Arabia, possibly for a year or two to prepare himself for his future missionary activity. Having returned to Damascus, he stayed there for a time, preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. For this he incurred the hatred of the Jews and had to flee from the city. He then went to Jerusalem to see Peter and pay his homage to the head of the Church.

Later he went back to his native Tarsus, where he began to evangelize his own province until called by Barnabus to Antioch. After one year, on the occasion of a famine, both Barnabus and Paul were sent with alms to the poor Christian community at Jerusalem. Having fulfilled their mission they returned to Antioch.

Soon after this, Paul and Barnabus made the first missionary journey, visiting the island of Cypress, then Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, all in Asia Minor, and establishing churches at Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe.

After the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem Paul, accompanied by Silas and later also by Timothy and Luke, made his second missionary journey, first revisiting the churches previously established by him in Asia Minor, and then passing through Galatia. At Troas a vision of a Macedonian was had by Paul, which impressed him as a call from God to evangelize in Macedonia. He accordingly sailed for Europe, and preached the Gospel in Philippi. Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens, and Corinth. Then he returned to Antioch by way of Ephesus and Jerusalem.

On his third missionary journey, Paul visited nearly the same regions as on the second trip, but made Ephesus where he remained nearly three years, the center of his missionary activity. He laid plans also for another missionary journey, intending to leave Jerusalem for Rome and Spain. Persecutions by the Jews hindered him from accomplishing his purpose. After two years of imprisonment at Caesarea he finally reached Rome, but not before he was providentially shipwrecked on the island of Malta which he converted and from where hundreds of missionaries later spread world-wide proclaiming the Gospel. Upon arrival in Rome he was kept another two years in chains.

The Acts of the Apostles gives us no further information on the life of the Apostle. We gather, however, from the Pastoral Epistles and from tradition that at the end of the two years St. Paul was released from his Roman imprisonment, and then traveled to Spain, later to the East again, and then back to Rome, where he was imprisoned a second time and in the year 67, was beheaded.

St. Paul untiring interest in and paternal affection for the churches established by him have given us fourteen canonical Epistles. It is, however, quite certain that he wrote other letters which are no longer extant. In his Epistles, St. Paul shows himself to be a profound religious thinker and he has had an enduring formative influence in the development of Christianity. The centuries only make more apparent his greatness of mind and spirit. His feast day is June 29th.
St. Peter
Feastday: June 29

St. Peter
Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, and founder, with St. Paul, of the see of Rome.

Peter was a native of Bethsaida, near Lake Tiberias, the son of John, and worked, like his brother St. Andrew, as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth. Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus, and Christ called Peter to become adisciple. In Luke is recounted the story that Peter caught so large an amount of fish that he fell down before the feet of Jesus and was told by the Lord, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Jesus also gave Simon a new name: Cephas, or the rock. Becoming a disciple of Jesus, Peter acknowledged him as "... the Messiah, the son of the living God”. Christ responded by saying: "... you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.... He added: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”. Peter was always listed as the first of the Apostles in all of the New Testament accounts and was a member of the inner circle of Jesus, with James and John. He is recorded more than any other disciple, and was at Jesus’ side at the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the Agony of the Garden of Gethsemane. He helped organize the Last Supper and played a major role in the events of the Passion. When the Master was arrested, he cut off the right ear of a slave of the high priest Malchus and then denied Christ three times as the Lord predicted. Peter then “went out and began to weep bitterly”. After the Resurrection, Peter went to the tomb with the “other disciple” after being told of the event by the women. The first appearance of the Risen Christ was before Peter, ahead of the other disciples, and when the Lord came before the disciples at Tiberias, he gave to Peter the famous command to “Feed my lambs.... Tend my sheep.... Feed my sheep”. In the time immediately after the Ascension, Peter stood as the unquestionable head of the Apostles, his position made evident in the Acts. He appointed the replacement of Judas Iscariot; he spoke first to the crowds that had assembled after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; he was the first Apostle to perform miracles in the name of the Lord; and he rendered judgment upon the deceitful Ananias and Sapphira. Peter was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles. He baptized the Roman pagan Cornelius, and at the Council of Jerusalem he gave his support to preaching to Gentiles, thereby permitting the new Church to become universal. Imprisoned by King Herod Agrippa, he was aided in an escape by an angel. He then resumed his apostolate in Jerusalem and his missionary efforts included travels to such cities of the pagan world as Antioch, Corinth, and eventually Rome. He made reference to the Eternal City in his first Epistle by noting that he writes from Babylon . It is certain that Peter died in Rome and that his martyrdom came during the reign of Emperor Nero, probably in 64. Some traditions however claim that St Peter and St Paul received their martyrdom on the same day. Testimony of his martyrdom is extensive, including Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, St. Clement I of Rome, St. Ignatius, and St. Irenaeus. According to rich tradition, Peter was crucified on the Vatican Hill upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord. He was then buried on Vatican Hill, and excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica have unearthed his probable tomb, and his relics are now enshrined under the high altar of St. Peter’s. From the earliest days of the Church, Peter was recognized as the Prince of the Apostles and the first Supreme Pontiff; his see, Rome, has thus enjoyed the position of primacy over the entire Catholic Church. While Peter’s chief feast day is June 29, he is also honored on February 22 and November 18. In liturgical art, he is depicted as an elderly man holding a key and a book. His symbols include an inverted cross, a boat, and the cock.

June 28

* St. Irenaeus 
* St. Almus
* St. Argymirus
* St. Austell
* St. Benignus
* St. Vincenza Gerosa
* St. Theodichildis
* St. Crummine
* St. Egilo
* St. Heimrad
* St. John Southworth
* St. Paul I, Pope
* St. Plutarch

Spiritual Bouquet: He who loves his life shall lose it; and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting. St. John 12:25
Saint Irenaeus

Doctor of the Church, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Irenaeus was born in the year 120; he was of the Greek tongue, and probably a native of Asia Minor. His parents, who were Christians, placed him while still young under the care of the great Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. It was in this holy school that he learned the sacred science which later made him a great ornament of the Church and the terror of her enemies. Saint Polycarp cultivated his rising genius and formed his mind to piety by his precepts and example, and the zealous young scholar was careful to reap all advantages offered him by the solicitude of such a master. Such was his veneration for his tutor’s sanctity that he observed all the acts and virtues he saw in that holy man, the better to copy his example and learn his spirit. He listened to his instructions with an insatiable ardor, and so deeply did he engrave them in his heart that the impressions remained vivid even in his old age. In order to confound the heresies of his age, this Doctor of the Church acquainted himself with the conceits of the pagan philosophers, and thereby became qualified to trace every error to its sources and set it in its full light. By his writings he was already known to Tertullian, Theodoret and Saint Epiphanus, who speak of him as a luminous torch of truth in the darkness of those times.

After Irenaeus had spent a number of years in combat against the eastern gnostics and philosophers of error, Saint Polycarp determined to send him to Gaul, where many of the heretics of Asia Minor had already migrated to pursue the Catholic religion, which was beginning to find roots there. With a company of about forty Christians, the valiant soldier of Christ ascended the Rhone to Lyons to rejoin and aid Saint Pothinus, its bishop. Saint Pothinus was already advanced in age, and his church’s neophytes could not always distinguish truth from the gnostic aberrations. Saint Pothinus received the apostles with joy and soon ordained Saint Irenaeus.

A hundred times he exposed himself to martyrdom by his zeal, acting as the right arm of the aging bishop, but God was reserving that crown for him twenty-five years later. When Saint Pothinus had glorified God by his splendid martyr’s death in the year 177, Ireneus was chosen to be the second bishop of Lyons. The persecutors imagined that Christianity had been stifled in Lyons, and they ceased their pursuits for a time.

This great Doctor of the Church wrote many important works, of which the most famous is his Adversus Haereses, Against the Heresies, in explanation of the Faith. By his preaching, Saint Irenaeus in a short time converted almost the whole country to the Faith; the Christians of Lyons became models by their candor, their estrangement from all ambition, their poverty, chastity and temperance, and in this way confounded many adversaries of their religion. Saint Irenaeus continued to imitate what he had seen done by his beloved master, Saint Polycarp, himself the disciple and imitator of Saint John the Apostle. One can readily imagine the excellence of the administration and the breadth of charity reigning in the Church of Lyons.

Finally he suffered martyrdom there, with many others, in the year 202, under the Emperor Septimus Severus, after eighty years spent in the service of the Lord. The imperial decrees renewing the persecutions arrived at Lyons at the time of the celebration of Severus’ tenth year of reign; the pagans found amid the celebrations an opportunity to take vengeance on the Christians, who refused to participate in the debaucheries which accompanied these feastings. Assassins armed with daggers, stones and knives filled the city with blood, and thousands of Christians won, with their bishop, the crown they had always admired as the greatest glory God could grant His servants.

June 27

* St. Emma
* St. Cyril of Alexandria If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Laszlo
* St. Anectus
* St. Arialdus
* St. Zoilus
* Bl. Thomas Toan
* St. Samson
* St. Crescens
* St. Deodatus
* St. Ferdinand of Aragon
* St. John of Chinon
* St. Joseph Hien
* Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Feastday: June 27

St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (June 27) Cyril was born at Alexandria, Egypt. He was nephew of the patriarch of that city, Theophilus. Cyril received a classical and theological education at Alexandria and was ordained by his uncle. He accompanied Theophilus to Constantinople in 403 and was present at the Synod of the Oak that deposed John Chrysostom, whom he believed guilty of the charges against him. He succeeded his uncle Theophilus as patriarch of Alexandria on Theophilus' death in 412, but only after a riot between Cyril's supporters and the followers of his rival Timotheus. Cyril at once began a series of attacks against the Novatians, whose churches he closed; the Jews, whom he drove from the city; and governor Orestes, with whom he disagreed about some of his actions. In 430 Cyril became embroiled with Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, who was preaching that Mary was not the Mother of God since Christ was Divine and not human, and consequently she should not have the word theotokos (God-bearer) applied to her. He persuaded Pope Celestine I to convoke a synod at Rome, which condemned Nestorius, and then did the same at his own synod in Alexandria. Celestine directed Cyril to depose Nestorius, and in 431, Cyril presided over the third General Council at Ephesus, attended by some two hundred bishops, which condemned all the tenets of Nestorius and his followers before the arrival of Archbishop John of Antioch and forty-two followers who believed Nestorius was innocent. When they found what had been done, they held a council of their own and deposed Cyril. Emperor Theodosius II arrested both Cyril and Nestorius but released Cyril on the arrival of Papal Legates who confirmed the council's actions against Nestorius and declared Cyril innocent of all charges. Two years later, Archbishop John, representing the moderate Antiochene bishops, and Cyril reached an agreement and joined in the condemnation, and Nestorius was forced into exile. During the rest of his life, Cyril wrote treatises that clarified the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation and that helped prevent Nestorianism and Pelagianism from taking long-term deep root in the Christian community. He was the most brilliant theologian of the Alexandrian tradition. His writings are characterized by accurate thinking, precise exposition, and great reasoning skills. Among his writings are commentaries on John, Luke, and the Pentateuch, treatises on dogmatic theology, and Apologia against Julian the Apostate, and letters and sermons. He was declared a doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1882. His feast day is June 27th.
Spiritual Bouquet: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. St. John 12:24-25
Our Lady of Perpetual Help


The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help measures around 50 centimeters (25 inches) high. It is in the Byzantine style, painted on wood with a gold leaf background. The Virgin is there with Her divine Child; each of them has a golden halo. Two Angels, one on the right and the other on the left, present the instruments of the Passion to the Child Jesus who is frightened, whereas the Blessed Virgin looks at the pathetic scene with calm, resigned sorrow.

The image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had long been venerated on the Isle of Crete. The inhabitants of that island, fleeing a Turkish invasion, took it with them to Rome. By the invocation of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the ship transporting Her holy image was saved from a terrible storm.

On March 27, 1499, the portrait of the Virgin of Perpetual Help was carried in triumph through the streets of Rome. Preceded by the clergy and followed by the people, it was placed over the main altar of St. Matthew’s church, near St. Mary Major. Thanks to the care of the Augustinian friars, the holy image became the object of a very popular devotion which God rewarded for several centuries with many miracles.

During the disturbances of the French Revolution (1789-1793), the French troops occupying Rome destroyed St. Matthew’s church. One of the friars serving in that sanctuary had the time to secretly remove the miraculous Madonna. He hid it so well that for sixty years, no one knew what had become of the famous painting.

God permitted a concourse of providential circumstances which led to rediscovery of the venerated image. In 1865, in order to return the holy picture to the same spot it had been prayed to before, Pius IX gave orders to have it taken to the Esquiline Hill, in St. Alphonsus Liguori’s church, built on the site of old St. Matthew’s. On April 26, 1866, the Redemptorists solemnly enthroned Our Lady of Perpetual Help in their chapel.

>From that time on, thanks to the zeal of the sons of Saint Alphonsus and the countless miracles obtained in their pious sanctuary, devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help has had an extraordinary development. To acknowledge and perpetuate the remembrances of these precious favors, the Vatican Chapter crowned the holy image in great pomp on June 23, 1867.

In 1876, Pope Pius IX erected an Archconfraternity in St. Alphonsus’ church under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Today the Blessed Virgin is invoked by this name throughout the Western Church.

June 26

* St. Anthelm
* St. Vigilius
* Bl. Teresa Fantou
* St. Salvius
* St. Corbican
* St. David
* St. Hermogius
* St. John & Paul
* St. John of the Goths
* St. Marie Magdalen Fontaine
* St. Maxentius
* St. Pelagius
* St. Perseveranda

Spiritual Bouquet: To everyone who has shall be given; but from him who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away. St. Luke 19:26
Saint John and Saint Paul


These two Saints were brothers and were officers of the Roman army in the days of Constantine the Great. They served in the house of Constance, daughter of Constantine, who was consecrated to God; their virtues and services to her father rendered them very dear to her. They would soon glorify God by a great moral victory; after despising the honors of the world, they triumphed by their martyrdom over its threats and torments.

With the aid of the liberality of the Christian princess, they were practicing many works of charity and mercy, until the deaths of both Constantine and Constance. Then, at the accession of Julian the Apostate to the imperial throne, they resigned their position in the palace. Julian had returned to the cult of idols and was attempting to re-establish it in the empire. The Christian brothers saw many wicked men prosper in their impiety, but were not dazzled by their example. They considered that worldly prosperity accompanied by impunity in sin is the most dreadful of all judgments, indicating reprobation. And history reveals how false and short-lived was the glittering prosperity of Julian.

While still in power the apostate attempted to win back these influential officers into active service. When he was refused, he gave them ten days to reconsider. The officer Terentianus, who at the end of that time brought to their house a little idol of Jupiter for their adoration, found them in prayer. In the middle of that night they were decapitated secretly in their own garden, since the emperor feared their execution might cause a sedition in Rome. He instigated a rumor that they had been exiled, but the demons took hold of possessed persons in Rome, and published the fact of their martyrdom everywhere.

The son of the officer who had slain them also became possessed, and it was only after their father, Terentianus, had prayed at the tomb of the martyrs that the child was liberated. This so impressed him that he became a Christian, with all his family, and wrote the history we have reported.

The martyrs, by their renouncement of favors and their heroic resistance, purchased an immense weight of never-fading glory, and were a spectacle worthy of God. Their house became a magnificent Christian basilica already at the end of the fourth century.

Reflection. The Saints always consider that they have done nothing for Christ as long as they have not resisted unto blood and completed their sacrifice, even to pouring forth its last drop if God asks it. We must always bear in mind that we owe to God all that we are, and that after all our efforts, we remain unprofitable servants, doing only what we are bound to do.

June 25

* St. Prosper
* St. William of Vercelli
* St. Adalbert
* St. Selyf
* St. Dominic Henares
* St. Gallicanus
* St. Gohardus
* St. Maximus of Turin
* St. Moloc
* St. Molonachus

Doctor of the Church
(†5th century)

Saint Prosper was born in the Roman province of Aquitaine in the year 403. He is known chiefly through his writings, which reveal that in his youth he had applied himself to all branches both of sacred and secular learning. Because of the purity and sanctity of his manners, the writers of his time testify that he was a holy and venerable man. By his labors in France against the semi-Pelagian heretics, he was a strong collaborator of Saint Augustine in Africa. He was in correspondence with the African doctor, who wrote two of his works to refute and give light to the semi-Pelagians: On the predestination of the Saints and On the gift of perseverance. The enemies of Saint Augustine turned against Saint Prosper also, publishing “fifteen errors” which they attributed to the latter, then sixteen propositions supposedly clarifying Augustine’s true sentiments, and spread them widely. The Saint with gentleness answered all these writings without acrid reprisals.

Saint Prosper, insofar as is known, was not an ecclesiastic; but being of great virtue and possessing extraordinary talents and learning, he dealt with delicate questions with remarkable insight. Saint Leo the Great, when chosen Pope in 440, invited him to Rome, made him his secretary, and employed him in the most important affairs of the Church. It was primarily Saint Prosper who finally crushed the Pelagian heresy definitively, when it was raising its head in the see of Peter. Its complete overthrow is said to be due to his zeal, learning, and unwearied endeavors. The date of his death remains uncertain, but he was still living in 455, the date at which his Chronicle concludes.

June 24

* St. John the Baptist 
* St. Kundegunda
* St. Amphibalus
* St. Bartholomew of Fame
* St. Theodulphus
* St. Germoc
* St. Faustus and Companions
* St. John of Tuy
* Bl. Joseph Yuen
* St. Rumold
* St. Orentius
St. John the Baptist
Feastday: June 24

St. John the Baptist
St. John the Baptist

John the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of Mary who visited her. He was probably born at Ain-Karim southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel Gabriel had told Zachary that his wife would bear a child even though she was an old woman. He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea until about A.D. 27. When he was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism "for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand". He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, John recognized Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, "It is I who need baptism from You". When Christ left to preach in Galilee, John continued preaching in the Jordan valley. Fearful of his great power with the people, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Perea and Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned at Machaerus Fortress on the Dead Sea when John denounced his adultrous and incestuous marriage with Herodias, wife of his half brother Philip. John was beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias, who asked for his head at the instigation of her mother. John inspired many of his followers to follow Christ when he designated Him "the Lamb of God," among them Andrew and John, who came to know Christ through John's preaching. John is presented in the New Testament as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the precursor of the Messiah. His feast day is June 24th and the feast for his beheading is August 29th.


* Saint Ethelreda (Audrey)
* St. Agrippina
* St. Joseph Cafasso
* St. Walhere
* St. Thomas Garnet
* St. Hiduiphus
* St. James of Toul
* St. John
* St. Libert
* St. Moelray
* St. Peter of Juilly



1 I will give to My faithful all the graces necessary in their state of life. 

Ø These graces are the antibiotics for our soul.

Ø Through them we can avoid sin and become Holy.

2 I will bring peace to their homes.

Ø This is not the peace the superpowers and nations talk about.

Ø This peace can only come from a heart filled with love for God and our neighbour.

Ø A forgiving heart.

3 I will comfort them in all their sufferings.

Ø Following Jesus doesn’t mean we’ll be exempt from burdens or problems.

Ø He never said it would be easy, but He did say it would be worth it.

4 I will be their safe refuge against all snares of their enemies in life, and above all in death.

Ø What an assurance!

Ø You and I, on our own don’t stand a chance against the devil.

Ø But with Jesus we are safe because the WAR has already been won. Satan has lost. He is a LOSER. Amen?

5 I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

Ø We must try our utmost to do His will, to please Him, to honour Him.

Ø Then watch out for the blessings.

Ø And through us others will be blessed.

6 Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.

Ø No sinner with a contrite heart will be turned away.

Ø Guaranteed!! God’s mercy is Unlimited.

7 Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

Ø Jesus has secured our place in Heaven.

Ø He did His part. But it’s up to us not to neglect our soul.

Ø When someone gives us a gift it depends on us whether we accept it or not.

Ø Maybe you want to follow Jesus.

Ø Maybe you want to love Him more.

Ø Where do you start??? Right here my friend.

Ø Start from His Sacred Heart.

8 Fervent souls shall speedily mount to high perfection.

Ø Maybe I already love Jesus.

Ø Good. Now hunger and thirst for holiness.

Ø For purity of Heart.


9 I will bless every place where a picture of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.

Ø What a grace! Jesus is our King.

Ø May your Sacred Heart live and reign in our homes, in our midst, in our hearts, Amen?

Ø Possess us Lord Jesus and give us a meek and humble heart like yours.

10 I will give to Priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

Ø Pray that the Eternal High Priest, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, will make His priests living images of Him.

11 Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

Ø Where would you rather have your name written……..???

Ø In the Guinness book of records???………

Ø In the honourable list of distinguished persons inferred by the State once a year???………

Ø Or in the Heart of Him who created the entire Universe?!!!! This is His promise to those who spread this devotion.

12 I promise You in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Ø And finally, as if what’s been promised so far is not enough, we have the ultimate promise.

Ø Receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Fridays for nine consecutive months and you are practically guaranteed Eternity with Jesus.

Ø My brothers and sisters this will not happen by magic.

Ø Try and carry out this promise and you will see how much satan will do his best to make you fail.

Ø But when he comes to dissuade you be firm.

Ø Do not go into reasoning or conversations with him.

Ø Just be determined and pray for God’s grace.

Ø Because satan knows that if you do this devotion he lost you.

Ø He knows that there will be a point in your life where you will turn to God and ask Him for forgiveness.

Ø And Jesus will not be your judge but your Refuge.

Ø Jesus promised it.

Ø And He always keeps His promise.

Ø Even if we fail Him, He will not fail us.

St. Joseph Cafasso
Feastday: June 23

Joseph Cafasso was born at Castelnuovo d'Asti in the Piedmont, Italy, of peasant parents. He studied at the seminary at Turin, and was ordained in 1833. He continued his theological studies at the seminary and university at Turin and then at the Institute of St. Franics, and despite a deformed spine, became a brilliant lecturer in moral theology there. He was a popular teacher, actively opposed Jansenism, and fought state intrusion into Church affairs. He succeeded Luigi Guala as rector of the Institute in 1848 and made a deep impression on his young priest students with his holiness and insistence on discipline and high standards. He was a sought-after confessor and spiritual adviser, and ministered to prisoners, working to improve their terrible conditions. He met Don Bosco in 1827 and the two became close friends. It was through Joseph's encouragement that Bosco decided his vocation was working with boys. Joseph was his adviser, worked closely with him in his foundations, and convinced others to fund and found religious institutes and charitable organizations. Joseph died on June 23 at Turin and was canonized in 1947. His feast day is June 23rd.

June 22

* St. Thomas More If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Aaron
* St. Alban
* St. Nicetas
* St. John Fisher
* St. Consortia
* St. Eberbard
* St. Flavius Clemens
* Martyrs of Ararat
* St. Paulinus of Nola
St. John Fisher
Feastday: June 22

St. John Fisher was born in Beverly, Yorkshire, in 1459, and educated at Cambridge, from which he received his Master of Arts degree in 1491. He occupied the vicarage of Northallerton, 1491-1494; then he became proctor of Cambridge University. In 1497, he was appointed confessor to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, and became closely associated in her endowments to Cambridge; he created scholarships, introduced Greek and Hebrew into the curriculum, and brought in the world-famous Erasmus as professor of Divinity and Greek. In 1504, he became Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of Cambridge, in which capacity he also tutored Prince Henry who was to become Henry VIII. St. John was dedicated to the welfare of his diocese and his university. >From 1527, this humble servant of God actively opposed the King's divorce proceedings against Catherine, his wife in the sight of God, and steadfastly resisted the encroachment of Henry on the Church. Unlike the other Bishops of the realm, St. John refused to take the oath of succession which acknowledged the issue of Henry and Anne as the legitimate heir to the throne, and he was imprisoned in the tower in April 1534. The next year he was made a Cardinal by Paul III and Henry retaliated by having him beheaded within a month. A half hour before his execution, this dedicated scholar and churchman opened his New Testament for the last time and his eyes fell on the following words from St. John's Gospel: "Eternal life is this: to know You, the only true God, and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ. I have given You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do. Do You now, Father, give me glory at Your side". Closing the book, he observed: "There is enough learning in that to last me the rest of my life." His feast day is June 22

June 21

* St. Aloysius Gonzaga 
* St. Lazarus
* St. Urciscenus
* St. Terence
* St. Corbmac
* St. Demetria
* St. Agofredus
* St. AIban of Mainz
* St. John Rigby
* St. Leutfridus
* St. Maine
* St. Ralph
* St. Raymond of Barbastro
* St. Rufinus and Martia
* St. Martin of Tongres

June 21
St. Aloysius Gonzaga

The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life. Florence was the “mother of piety” for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a “society of fraud, dagger, poison and lust.” As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps. His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.

At age seven he experienced a profound spiritual quickening. His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms and other devotions. At age nine he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated; by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week and practicing great austerities. When he was 13 years old he traveled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain and acted as a page in the court of Philip II. The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.

A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus, and in Spain his decision became final. Now began a four-year contest with his father. Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade him to remain in his “normal” vocation. Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.

Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance. He was obliged to eat more, to take recreation with the other students. He was forbidden to pray except at stated times. He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had St. Robert Bellarmine as his spiritual adviser.

In 1591, a plague struck Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own. The general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service. Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease himself. A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later. He was 23.


As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers, and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit. Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything? It will when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did. The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us, in prayer.


"When we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on anything except the object of its prayer

June 20

* St. Albert of Magdeburg
* St. Adalbert of Magdeburg
* Bl. Anthony Turner
* St. Bagne
* Bl. Balthasar de Torres
* St. Benignus
* St. Vincent Kaun
* Bl. William Harcourt
* Bl. Thomas Whitbread
* St. Florentina
* St. Francis Pacheco
* St. Govan
* St. Helena
* Bl. John Baptist Zola
* Bl. John Fenwick & John Gavan
* Bl. John Kinsako
* St. Novatus
* Bl. Michael Tozo
* St. Paul and Cyriacus
* Bl. Paul Shinsuki
* Bl. Peter Rinshei
* St. Silverius
* St. Paulinus of Nola 
Spiritual Bouquet: The last shall be first, and the first last. St. Matthew 20:16
Saint Silverius

Pope and Martyr

Silverius was son of Pope Hormisdas, who had been married before he entered the ministry. Upon the death of Saint Agapetas, and after a vacancy of forty-seven days, Silverius, then subdeacon, was elected Pope and consecrated on the 8th of June, 536, despite maneuvers on the part of heretics opposed to the Council of Chalcedon.

The heretical empress Theodora, resolved to win Silverius over to her interests, wrote to him, ordering that he should either acknowledge as lawful bishop the Eutychian heretic Anthimus, who had been deposed as patriarch of Constantinople, or come in person to Constantinople and reexamine his cause. Without the least hesitation or delay, Silverius returned her a short answer, by which he gave her to understand that he neither could nor would obey her unjust demands, which would be to countermand his predecessor’s decision and betray the cause of the Catholic faith.

The empress, finding that she could expect nothing from him, resolved to have him deposed. Vigilius, archdeacon of the Roman Church, a man of diplomacy, was then at Constantinople. To this ambitious ecclesiastic the empress exposed her wishes, and promised to make him pope and to bestow on him seven hundred pieces of gold, if he would engage himself to condemn the Council of Chalcedon and receive into Communion the three deposed Eutychian patriarchs. Vigilius assented to these conditions, and the empress sent him to Rome, charged with a letter to the Roman general Belisarius, commanding him to drive out Silverius and contrive the election of Vigilius to the pontificate.

Vigilius urged the general to execute this project. In order to implement it, the Pope was accused of corresponding with the enemy, and a forged letter was produced, supposedly written by him to the king of the Goths, inviting him to the city and promising to open the gates to him. These dealings succeeded; Vigilius was made Pope, and Silverius was banished to Patara in Lycia.

The bishop of Patara received the illustrious exile with all possible marks of honor and respect, and thinking himself bound to undertake his defense, journeyed to Constantinople and spoke boldly to the emperor Justinian. He terrified him with threats of divine judgments for the expulsion of a bishop of so great a see, telling him, “There are many kings in the world, but there is only one Pope over the Church of the whole world.” Justinian appeared startled at the atrocity of the proceedings and gave orders that Silverius be sent back to Rome. The enemies of the Pope contrived to prevent this, however, and he was intercepted on his road toward Rome and transported to the deserted island of Palmeria, where he died of hunger a year later, on the 20th of June, 538 and was buried.

It was perhaps in response to the martyred pope’s prayers that after his death the usurper of the pontifical throne, Vigilius, though he had wished to step down, was forced to remain in function and then transformed, like Saul of Tarsus, into another man. He exercised the pastoral duties with as much courage, piety, zeal and faith, as he formerly had used violence, avarice and cruelty during his predecessor’s lifetime. The traitor Belisarius was accused of conspiracy against the emperor, stripped of all he had, and his eyes put out; he was obliged to beg for alms in Constantinople. But he too repented and built a church with an inscription over the door which was a public reparation for his fault.

June 19

* St. Romuald If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Gervase
* St. Didier
* St. Ursicinus
* St. Zosimus
* Bl. William Exmew
* Bl. Thomas Woodhouse
* Bl. Sebastian Newdigate
* St. Deodatus
* St. Deodatus
* St. Hildegrin
St. Romuald
Feastday: June 19
St. Romuald
St. Romuald

St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an infinite desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, obliged by his father, Sergius, to be present at a duel fought by him, he beheld him slay his adversary. The crime made such an impression upon him that he determined to expiate it for forty days, as though it were entirely his own. For this purpose he retired to a Benedictine monastery of St. Apollinare, near Ravenna, where he became Abbot. After founding several monasteries, he laid the foundations of the austere Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany. Like all the saints, he fought a lifelong battle against the assaults of devils and men. In the beginning of his spiritual life he was strongly assailed by numerous temptations, which he conquered by vigilance and prayer. More than one attempt was made on his life, but Divine Providence enabled him to escape from the danger. Like many servants of God, he also became the victim of calumny, which he bore in patience and silence. In his old age, he increased his austerities instead of diminishing them. After a long life of merit, he died in the monastery of Castro, which he founded in Marquisate of Ancona. His death occurred on June 19, about the year 1027. His feast day is June 19th. 


* St. Gregory Barbarigo
* St. Marina
* St. Alena
* St. Amandus
* St. Aquilina
* St. Calogerus
* St. Guy
* St. Elizabeth of Schonau
* St. Fortunatus
* St. Leontius
* St. Mark & Marcellian
* St. Osmanna
* Venerable Matt Talbot
Venerable Matt Talbot

Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism.

Matt was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.

One day he decided to take "the pledge" for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt’s first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.

Most of his life Matt worked as a builder’s laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.

After 1923 his health failed and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable.


In looking at the life of Matt Talbot, we may easily focus on the later years when he had stopped drinking for some time and was leading a penitential life. Only alcoholic men and women who have stopped drinking can fully appreciate how difficult the earliest years of sobriety were for Matt.

He had to take one day at a time. So do the rest of us.


On an otherwise blank page in one of Matt’s books, the following is written: "God console thee and make thee a saint. To arrive at the perfection of humility four things are necessary: to despise the world, to despise no one, to despise self, to despise being despised by others."

June 17

* St. Emily de Vialar
* St. Herve
* St. Teresa of Portugal
* St. Harvey
* St. Adulf
* St. Antidius
* St. Avitus
* St. Briavel
* Bl. Emmanuel d'Abreu
* St. Gundulphus
* St. Himerius
* St. Hypatius
* St. Manuel
* St. Rainbold
* St. Raynerius
* St. Nectan
* St. Nicander and Marcian
* St. Moling
* St. Montanus

St. Emily de Vialar
Feastday: June 17

St. Emily de Vialar, Virgin, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph "of the Apparition"

Anne Marguerite Adelaide Emily de Vialar was the eldest child and only daughter of Baron James Augustine de Vialar and his wife Antoinette, daughter of that Baron de Portal who was physician-in-ordinary to Louis XVIII and Charles X of France. She was born at Gaillac in Languedoc in 1797. At the age of fifteen she was removed from school in Paris to be companion to her father, now a widower, at Gaillac; but unhappily, differences arose between them because of Emily's refusal to consider a suitable marriage.

For fifteen years, Emily was the good angel of Gaillac, devoting herself to the care of children neglected by their parents and to the help of the poor generally. In 1832, her maternal grandfather died, leaving her a share of his estate which was a quite considerable fortune. She bought a large house at Gaillac and took possession of it with three companions. Others joined them and three months later, the archbishop authorized the Abbe to clothe twelve postulants with the religious habit. They called themselves the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Their work was to be the care of the needy, especially the sick, and the education of children. In 1835, she made her profession with seventeen other sisters, and received formal approval for the rule of the Congregation.

The foundress, in the course of twenty-two years, saw her Congregation grow from one to some forty houses, many of which she had founded in person. The physical energy and achievements of St. Emily de Vialar are the more remarkable in that from her youth she was troubled by hernia, contracted characteristically in doing a deed of charity. From 1850 this became more and more serious, and it hastened her end, which came on August 24, 1856. The burden of her last testament to her daughters was "Love one another". Her canonization took place in 1951; her feast is June 17th.
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June 16

* St. Benno
* Blessed Guy Vignotelli
* St. John Francis Regis 
* St. Aurelian
* St. Aureus
* St. Berthaldus
* Bl. William Greenwood
* St. Tychon
* St. Cettin
* St. Colman McRhoi
* St. Curig
* St. Felix & Maurus
* St. Ferreolus & Ferrutio
* St. Luthgard
* St. Quiriacus and Julitta

Spiritual Bouquet: If you will be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor... and come, follow Me. St. Matthew 19:21
Saint John Francis Regis

Jesuit missionary

Saint John Francis Regis was born at Fontcouverte in Languedoc, in January, 1597, of a noble Catholic family. From his tenderest years he showed evidence of uncommon sanctity by his innocence of life, modesty, and love of prayer; when he was five years old he fainted when he heard his mother speak of the terrible misfortune of being eternally damned. After being educated by the Jesuits, when he was nineteen years old he decided, with the approbation of his confessor, to enter the Society of Jesus at Toulouse. There he was viewed as a model of every virtue, and was called the Angel of the College. He was sent in 1628 to study theology in Toulouse, and ordained a priest in 1630. His first ministry in Toulouse was for the victims of the plague. His superiors feared to expose his youth to the contagion, but he pleaded successfully to be allowed to do so, and God spared His servant for future labors. He was sent to visit his family for a time, and began in Fontcouverte to occupy himself first of all with the poor. The numerous conversions effected there made his Superiors decide to assign their young Saint to the mission lands of France.

He began his apostolic work in Montpellier, and spent himself in preaching to the unlettered people of Languedoc and Auvergne; in these regions where heresy had made serious inroads, he made many converts among the Huguenots. He established an association of women to procure aid for prisoners, and founded numerous confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament. The winters he spent in the missions of the mountainous districts, where the people were seen to travel long miles on foot through the snows and across ice, to hear the servant of God and make their confessions. Many of them accompanied him on his journeys from one place to another, leaving all things to hear him. Some fragments of his torn cloak, which a charitable lady repaired for him one day, cured her two sick children. The reputation of the sanctity of the missionary spread everywhere in the mountains.

During the summer he preached in Le Puy, which soon changed its aspect by his catechisms. Up to five thousand listeners crowded in to hear him at the church of the Benedictines of Saint-Pierre-le-Moustiers. He visited hospitals and prisons, preached and instructed, and assisted all who in any way stood in need of his services.

In November of 1637 the Saint set out for his second mission at Marthes in the mountains. His road lay across valleys filled with snow and over frozen and precipitous peaks. In climbing one of the highest, a bush to which he was clinging gave way, and he broke his leg in the fall; nonetheless, with the help of his companion and a staff, he managed to continue his journey for the remaining six miles. Then, instead of seeing a surgeon, he insisted on being taken straight to the confessional. After several hours, the parish priest found him still seated, and when his leg was finally examined the fracture was found to be miraculously healed.

Saint John Francis was so inflamed with the love of God that he seemed to breathe, think, and speak of Him alone. He offered up the Holy Sacrifice with such attention and fervor that those who attended it could not but experience with him something of the fire consuming him. After twelve years of unceasing labor, having taken a wrong turn on a strange road, and having remained for the night in a cabin open to the wind, he contracted a severe pleurisy and rendered his pure and innocent soul to his Creator at the age of forty-four. He was mourned, invoked for assistance and then venerated as a miracle-working Saint; his place of sepulcher at Louvesc in the mountains is still the site of fervent pilgrimages. He was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737.

The Curé of Ars obtained a famous miracle with a medal of our Saint. The orphanage of Ars had no more grain for bread, and the harvest had been so scanty the people could not be asked for any more aid. The Curé of Ars put a medal of Saint John Francis behind the door of the empty storeroom, and the next day they could scarcely open that door, so full had the room become overnight.

Reflection. When Saint John Francis was struck in the face by a sinner he was reproving, he replied, “If you only knew me, you would give me much more than that.” His gentleness converted the man. How much might we do if we would forget our own wants to remember those of others, and put our trust in God!

June 15

* St. Germaine Cousin
* St. Vitus
* St. Aleydis
* St. Crescentia
* St. Alice
* St. Abraham
* St. Adelaide
* St. Benildis
* St. Vouga
* Bls. Thomas Green, Thomas Scryven, and Thomas Reding
* St. Trillo
* St. Domitian & Hadelin
* St. Dulas
* Servant of God Orlando Catanii 
* St. Edburga of Winchester
* St. Hesychius
* St. Landeilnus
* St. Lybe
* St. Orsisius
* St. Melan

Spiritual Bouquet: Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it. St. Mark 10:15
Saint Germaine Cousin


Saint Germaine Cousin was born in 1579 in Pibrac, a small village not far from Toulouse, France. From her earliest years she was a frail, sickly child, and throughout her life was afflicted with scrofula, a tubercular condition affecting particularly the glands of the neck. In addition, her right arm and hand were deformed and partially paralyzed. In spite of her many afflictions, the emaciated child possessed a charming, sweet disposition. Germaine endured not only bodily sufferings, but harsh, cruel treatment from her stepmother, who had a deep aversion for the little girl. The child was almost starved to death and obliged to sleep in the barn on a pile of leaves and twigs under the stairway. At break of day, summer and winter, she would drive the sheep into the fields to graze, then watch them until evening. She had to spin during this time, and if the allotted wool was not spun, she was severely punished.

The village children, not sharing the hostility of the adults toward this forlorn child, loved to listen to her speak about the goodness and love of God while she guarded her flock. The only instruction Germaine ever received was the catechism taught after Sunday Mass in the village church, which she attended with joy. During the long hours of solitude she spent in the fields and in the stable at night, she remained in sweet communion with God, and never complained of her hard life.

Every morning she was at Mass, and afterwards went to kneel before Our Lady’s shrine. To reach the church she had to cross what was ordinarily a small stream; but after a heavy rain it would become a raging torrent. Several times at those moments, the villagers were amazed to see the rushing waters separate when Germaine approached, and then to watch her cross on dry land. When she left her sheep to go to church, she would place her staff upright in the ground, and the sheep never went far from it. One day the stepmother was seen pursuing Germaine as she drove the sheep down the road. She was accusing the girl of having stolen some bread and concealing it in her apron. When Germaine unfolded her apron, fragrant flowers, foreign to that region, fell to the ground.

Germaine died one night in the year 1601, at the age of twenty-one, and was buried as was the custom in those days, in the village church. Forty-three years later, when a relative was to be buried near her and the stones were removed, the grave-digger found to his amazement, the body of a beautiful young girl in a state of perfect preservation. His pick had struck her nose, and the wound was bleeding. Some of the older residents identified the girl as Germaine Cousin. Miracle after miracle occurred, and in 1867 the neglected little waif of Pibrac was inscribed in the list of Saints by Pope Pius IX. Annually thousands of pilgrims visit the church of Pibrac, where the relics of Saint Germaine are enshrined.

June 14

* St. Anastasius XVII 
* St. Valerius & Rufinus
* St. Cearan
* St. Dogmael
* St. Elgar
* St. Joseph the Hymnographer
* St. Lotharius
* St. Marcian of Syracuse
* St. Quintian
* St. Mark of Lucera
* St. Nennus
* St. Methodius I
* St. Basil The Great

Spiritual Bouquet: Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of God. St. Mark 10:14
Saint Basil

Bishop, Doctor of the Church

Saint Basil was born in Asia Minor. Two of his brothers became bishops, and with his mother and his sister, are honored as Saints. He studied with great success in Athens, where he formed a tender and perpetual friendship with Saint Gregory Nazianzen. He then taught oratory. The study of philosophy had already raised him above all worldly ambition, and dreading the honors of the world, he gave up all things to become the father of monastic life in the East. His older sister, Saint Macrina, encouraged him when he abandoned the greater part of his inheritance.

He retired into Pontus, where his sister was Superior of a convent, into which his mother also had entered; there he founded a monastery on the opposite side of the river from the convent, and governed it for four years, from 358 to 362. He founded several other religious houses in the same region, both for men and for women. It was for them that he composed his ascetic works, including his famous Rule, still followed by the monks of the Orient.

He then resigned, leaving his office to his brother, Saint Peter of Sebastus, to retire in prayer. Saint Gregory came to join his friend for a time, in response to his invitation. Ever afterwards, Basil would recall with regret the peace and happiness they had enjoyed, singing Psalms, studying Scripture, keeping vigil in prayer, and disciplining their flesh by manual work. It was only in 363 that this holy hermit was ordained a priest by Eusebius of Caesarea in Cappadocia.

The Arian heretics, supported by the court, were then persecuting the Church, and Basil was summoned from his retirement by his bishop to give aid against them. His energy and zeal soon mitigated the disorders of the Church, and his solid and eloquent words silenced the heretics. On the death of Eusebius, he was chosen Bishop of Caesarea. His commanding character, his firmness and energy, his learning and eloquence, seconded by his humility and the great austerity of his life, made him a model for bishops. He founded in Caesarea a vast hospital, which Saint Gregory called “a new city” and which remained in existence for long decades. He went there often to console the suffering, and help them to make good use of their pains.

When Saint Basil was summoned by the emperor Valentius to admit the Arians to Communion, the prefect in charge, finding that soft words had no effect, said to him, “Are you mad, that you resist the will before which the whole world bows? Do you not dread the wrath of the emperor, nor exile, nor death?” “No,” said Basil calmly; “he who has nothing to lose need not dread loss of goods; you cannot exile me, for the whole earth is my home; as for death, it would be the greatest kindness you could bestow upon me; torments cannot harm me; one blow would end both my frail life and my sufferings.” The prefect answered, “Never has anyone dared to address me thus.” “Perhaps,” suggested Basil, “you never before measured your strength with a Christian bishop.” The emperor desisted from his commands.

Saint Basil’s entire life was one of suffering, both physical and moral; he lived amidst jealousies, misunderstandings and seeming disappointments. But he sowed the seed which bore good fruit in the future generations. He was God’s instrument to resist the Arian and other heretics in the East, and to restore the spirit of discipline and fervor in the Church. He died peacefully in 379 at the age of fifty-one, and is venerated as a Doctor of the Church.

Reflection. “Fear God,” says the Imitation of Christ, “and thou shalt not need to fear any man.”

June 13

* St. Aquilina
* St. Augustine of Huy
* St. Triphyllius
* St. Damhnade
* St. Fortunatus & Lucian
* St. Gyavire
* St. Felicitas
* St. Felicula
* St. Rambert
* St. Peregrinus
* St. Anthony of Padova 
Spiritual Bouquet: The kingdom of God is within you. St. Luke 17:21
Saint Anthony

Doctor of the Church and Miracle-Worker

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195, Fernando de Bouillon was of a noble family related to the famous Godefroy de Bouillon, founder and first sovereign of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, who at the close of the Crusade of 1099 had refused to wear a crown, there where Christ had worn one of thorns.

Favored by nature and grace, Fernand resolved at the age of fifteen to leave the world and consecrate himself to God in the Order of Canons Regular of Saint Augustine. No flattery, threat or caress of his relatives could persuade him to leave that holy refuge. He asked to be transferred to another convent to avoid the family’s solicitations, and was sent to Coimbra. Still young, his sanctity became evident through miracles; he cured a poor religious whom the devil was obsessing, by covering him with his cloak.

When this young monk decided, after witnessing the return of the martyred remains of five Franciscans who had gone to Africa, to join that Order so favored with the graces of martyrdom, the Augustinians were desolate but could not prevent his departure, for Saint Francis himself appeared to him in a vision in July 1220, and commanded him to leave. He was then sent by the Franciscans to Africa, but two years later was obliged to return to Italy because of sickness; thus he was deprived of the martyr’s crown he would have been happy to receive.

In 1222 Anthony, as he was now called, went with other Brothers and some Dominican friars to be ordained at Forli. There Fra Antonio rose under obedience to preach for the first time to the religious, and took for his theme the text of Saint Paul: Christ chose for our sake to become obedient unto death. As the discourse proceeded, “the Hammer of Heretics,” “the Ark of the Testament,” “the eldest son of Saint Francis,” stood revealed in all his sanctity, learning, and eloquence before his rapt and astonished brethren. He had been serving in the humblest offices of his community; now he was summoned to emerge from this obscurity. And then for nine years France, Italy, and Sicily heard his voice and saw his miracles, whose numbers can scarcely be counted. A crowd to which he was preaching outdoors one day, when the church was too small to hold all who came to hear him, amidst thunder and lightning felt not one drop of water fall upon them, while all around them the rain poured down. And men’s hearts turned to God.

We may wonder why we always see Saint Anthony with the Child Jesus in his arms. The account of this heavenly visitation was told only after his death, at the official process concerning his virtues and miracles. It was narrated by the man who witnessed the marvel in question; the Saint himself had never spoken of it. Saint Anthony was in the region of Limoges in France, and was offered hospitality, rest and silence by this businessman of the region, in his country manor. He was given a room apart, to permit him to pray in peace; but during the night his host looked toward his lighted window and saw in the brilliance a little Infant of marvelous beauty in the arms of the Saint, with His own around the Friar’s neck. The witness trembled at the sight, and in the morning Saint Anthony, to whom it had been revealed that his host had seen the visitation, called him and enjoined him not to tell it as long as he was alive. The town near Limoges where this occurred remains unknown; the original account of the inquiry does not name it, but says that the man in question narrated it, with tears, after Saint Anthony’s death.

After a number of years of teaching of theology, unceasing preaching and writing, Saint Anthony, whose health was never strong, was spending a short time of retreat in a hermitage near Padua. He was overcome one day with a sudden weakness, which prevented him from walking. It progressed so rapidly that it was evident his last days had arrived. He died at the age of thirty-six, after ten years with the Canons Regular and eleven with the Friars Minor, on June 13, 1231. The voices of children were heard crying in the streets of Padua, “Our father, Saint Anthony, is dead.” The following year, the church bells of Lisbon rang without ringers, while in Rome one of its sons was inscribed among the Saints of God.

Reflection. Let us love to pray and labor unseen, and cherish in the secret of our hearts the graces of God and the growth of our immortal souls. Like Saint Anthony, let us attend to this first of all and leave the rest to God.

June 12

* St. John of Sahagun
* Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland 
* St. Amphion
* St. Ternan
* St. Chirstian
* St. Cominus
* St. Cunera
* St. Cuniald & Geslar
* St. Ampliatus
* St. Gerebald
* St. Marinus, Vimius, & Zimius
* St. Odulf
* St. Olympius
* St. Christian
* St. Peter of Mount Athos

Spiritual Bouquet: That which is exalted in the sight of men is an abomination before God. St. Luke 16:15
Saint John of Sahagun

Confessor, Augustinian

Saint John, one of the greatest preachers Spain has ever known, was born at St. Fagondez, and from his early youth gave signs of his future sanctity. He was the fruit of the ardent prayers of his parents after sixteen years of sterility; God blessed them afterwards with several children. He was entrusted to the Benedictines of the monastery of St. Fagondez for his education. He distributed to the poor virtually all the wealth accruing to him from several benefices, while he himself lived in great poverty; but soon he renounced all of these and obtained from his bishop permission to study theology in Salamanca. As a young priest he was already regarded as a Saint, so ardent was his devotion at Holy Mass. He entered the Order of Saint Augustine soon after he had bestowed on a poor man half of his clothing, and the following night experienced so great an increase in the love of God, that he referred to this as his conversion.

He was a model religious, and soon was entrusted with important offices in his Order — master of novices, definitor for the province, and prior of the convent of the city of Salamanca. He commanded well because he knew so well how to obey. When he observed in himself a slight defect in his obedience, he repaired it with extraordinary penances. Often while offering the adorable Sacrifice with tender piety, he enjoyed the sight of Jesus in glory, and held sweet colloquies with Him. The ineffable bliss of these moments caused him to spend much more time than the other priests in celebrating Holy Mass; and everyone was complaining. It was only when his Superior forbid him to delay in this way that he was obliged to acknowledge the favors he enjoyed.

The power of his personal holiness was seen in his preaching, which produced a complete reformation of morals in Salamanca. He had a special gift for reconciling differences, and was able to put an end to the quarrels and feuds among noblemen, at that period very common and fatal. The boldness shown by Saint John in reproving vice endangered his life. A powerful nobleman, having been corrected by the Saint for oppressing his vassals, sent two assassins to slay him; but the remarkable holiness of the Saint’s aspect, result of the peace constantly reigning in his soul, struck such awe into their minds that they could not execute their purpose, and humbly begged his forgiveness. The nobleman himself, falling sick, was brought to repentance, and recovered his health by the prayers of the Saint whom he had endeavored to murder.

Saint John was also very zealous in denouncing the vices of impurity, and it was in defense of holy purity that he met his death. A lady of noble birth but evil life, whose companion in sin he had converted, contrived to administer a fatal poison to the Saint. After several months of terrible suffering, borne with unvarying patience, Saint John went to his reward on June 11, 1479. This painful death and the cause for which he suffered it, have caused several of his historians and panegyrists to say that he won a martyr’s crown. A great many striking miracles followed at his tomb and elsewhere, even by the simple invocation of his name. He was canonized in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII.

Reflection. All men desire peace, but only those enjoy it who, like Saint John, are completely dead to themselves, and bear all things with love for Christ.

June 11

* St. Barnabas If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Blitharius
* St. Tochmura
* St. Herebald
* St. Parisius
* St. Paula Frasinetti
* St. Peter Rodriguez and Companions

June 11
St. Barnabas

Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being a full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with St. Paul (he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles) and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians.

When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.

Later, Paul and Barnabas, now clearly seen as charismatic leaders, were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the Gentiles. Enormous success crowned their efforts. After a miracle at Lystra, the people wanted to offer sacrifice to them as gods—Barnabas being Zeus, and Paul, Hermes—but the two said, “We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God” (see Acts 14:8-18).

But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, his cousin, author of the Gospel, but Paul insisted that, since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later, they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.

When Paul stood up to Peter for not eating with Gentiles for fear of his Jewish friends, we learn that “even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy” (see Galatians 2:1-13).


Barnabas is spoken of simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man "filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord." Even when he and Paul were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia, they were "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."

June 10

* Bl. Olive
* St. Lancericus
* St. Getulius
* Bl. Amata
* St. Amelberga
* St. Aresius and Companions
* St. Astericus
* St. Bardo
* St. Basilides and Companions
* St. Bogumilus
* St. Margaret Queen of Scotland
* St. Timothy
* Bl. Caspar Sadamazu
* St. Censurius
* St. Crispulus & Restitutus
* St. Gezelin
* St. Maurinus
* St. Maximus

Spiritual Bouquet: He who is unfaithful in the little things is unfaithful also in much. St. Luke 16:10
Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland

Queen of Scotland

Saint Margaret’s name signifies pearl, “a fitting name,” says Theodoric, her confessor and her first biographer, “for one such as she.” Her soul was like a precious pearl; a life spent amidst the luxury of a royal court never dimmed its luster or estranged it from Him who had bought it with His blood. She was the granddaughter of an English king; in 1070 she became the bride of Malcolm of Scotland, thereafter reigning as Queen until her death in 1093.

How did she become a Saint in a position where sanctity is so difficult? First, she burned with zeal for the house of God. She built churches and monasteries; she occupied herself by making vestments; she could not rest until she saw the laws of God and His Church observed throughout her realm. Next, amid a thousand cares, she found time to converse with God, ordering her piety with such sweetness and discretion that she won her husband to sanctity like her own. He would rise at night to pray with her; he loved to kiss the holy books she used, and sometimes would take them away with him, bringing them back later to his wife covered with jewels. Lastly, despite Saint Margaret’s great virtue, she wept constantly over her sins and begged her confessor to correct her faults.

Saint Margaret did not neglect her duties in the world even if she was not of the world. God blessed this marriage with eight children, six princes and two princesses who did not fail to respond to their mother’s teaching and examples. Never was there a better mother; she spared no pains in their education, and their sanctity was the fruit of her prudence and her zeal. And never was there a better queen. She was the most trusted counselor of her husband, who always found her counsels of great utility, and she labored with him for the spiritual and material improvement of the land. Malcolm, after having pacified his domains for several years, saw to the building of the cathedral of Durham and founded a monastery at Dumfermlin.

Living in the midst of all the world’s pleasures, Saint Margaret sighed for the true homeland and viewed death as a release. On her deathbed she learned that her husband and their eldest son had been slain in battle. She thanked God for sending this last affliction as a penance for her sins. After receiving Holy Viaticum, she repeated the prayer from the Missal, “O Lord Jesus Christ, who by Thy death didst give life to the world, deliver me.” And at the words “deliver me,” says her biographer, her soul took flight to Christ, in 1093, in her forty-seventh year.

Reflection. All perfection consists in keeping a guard upon the heart. Wherever we are, we can make a solitude in our hearts, detach ourselves from the world, and converse familiarly with God, as Saint Margaret did.

June 9

* St. Ephrem If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Bl. Diana
* St. Columba
* Bl. Anne Mary Taigi
* St. Baithin
* St. Vincent of Agen
* St. Cummian
* St. Julian
* St. Richard of Andria
* St. Maximian of Syracuse
* St. Pelagia of Antioch

Spiritual Bouquet: He who is faithful in the little things is faithful also in much. St. Luke 16:10
Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi

Wife and mother, Trinitarian Tertiary

Anna Maria Gianetti was born in Siena, Italy. She joined her father in Rome when a reversal of fortune obliged him to go and settle there. The little girl went to school only two years, and she scarcely learned how to read. Her parents poured all their bitterness upon their daughter, but the angelic little child redoubled in meekness towards them.

Anna Maria soon began working to help her parents. She grew up a pious, hard-working, coquettish lass who enjoyed dressing herself up. Domenico Taigi, an honest but rough man, quick to anger, who was working as a day laborer in the Chigi Palace, offered to marry her, and Anna Maria accepted his proposal.

In the early days of their household she kept her worldly habits, loving to go to the puppet theater and wear jewelry. After three years of a life divided between love of God and love of the world, Anna Maria went to confession to Father Angelo of the Order of Servites. She was totally converted, and with her husband’s consent she was received into the Third Order of the Trinitarians. Domenico asked for only one thing: keep the house peaceful and in good order!

But now Anna Maria’s parents came to join the young household. From the moment of their arrival, yelling scenes became a daily occurrence. Anna Maria did her best to quiet them down, but her quarrelsome mother was always looking for a fight with her son-in-law, who flared up very easily. Attenuating the blows as best she could, Anna Maria hastened to serve her quick-tempered husband, who was perfectly capable of dashing the contents of the dinner table onto the floor when a dish did not please him. After her mother’s death, her father lived at his daughter’s expense and heaped dispute upon dispute. When he contracted leprosy, Blessed Anna Maria cared for him tenderly and helped him die a Christian death.

Their home would have become a veritable hell for their seven children, but the Blessed remained so supernaturally sweet that Domenico later declared that the house was a real paradise, and that cleanliness and order reigned everywhere in his poor dwelling. Anna Maria would get up very early to go to church, and she received Communion daily. When a family member was sick, however, to avoid giving an occasion for complaint, she deprived herself of Mass and Communion. To make up for this involuntary privation, she spent her free moments in recollection on such days.

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi always kept her children busy. After supper, the family recited the Rosary and read a brief Life of the Saint of the day, and then the children went to bed after receiving a blessing. On Sunday they visited the sick in the hospital. Her maternal tenderness did not keep her from firmly applying punishments when they were deserved, such as the rod and fasting. Her children profited well from such a balanced formation, and soon they were an honor to their virtuous mother and an example to their companions.

Her delicacy towards the humble was exquisite. She fed her servant girl better than herself; when one of them awkwardly broke some dishes, she said sweetly, “Well, I suppose the people who make the china have to make a living too.”

When she was received as a member of the Third Order of the Holy Trinity, the Blessed offered herself as a victim of atonement for the sins of the world. In return for this generous offering, God granted her the permanent vision of a luminous globe or sun, in which she could read the needs of souls, the condition of sinners, and the dangers of the Church.

This extraordinary phenomenon lasted forty-seven years. Surprised by ravishments and ecstasies amid her domestic occupations, Anna Maria strove vainly to avoid them. Thanks to her, many sick people warned of their approaching end met with a holy death. The fate of the dead was revealed to her, and her compassion towards them inspired her to multiply her penances to win an earlier release for these poor souls, who came to thank her for their deliverance.

Although Blessed Anna Maria Taigi fervently wanted to remain unknown to everyone, a whole host of visitors — the poor, princes, priests, bishops, even the pope — flocked to her to ask for advice from her inspired wisdom. Simple and humble, she would reply very simply, trying to avoid praise, always refusing little gifts.

This woman who spread light and serenity all around her was deprived of spiritual consolation for five years and had a the very strong sentiment that she had been relegated to hell. The anxiety and darkness in her soul had been on the increase for seven months, and Anna Maria Taigi underwent a veritable agony, but she continued directing her house as though nothing was amiss.

Despite the fact that her fingers had become very painful, she did a great deal of sewing to earn the family’s daily bread. The wife of the Governor of Savoy, who had obtained many graces through the prayers of the handmaid of God, wanted to give her a large sum of money, but the Blessed categorically refused.

On Monday in Holy Week, Anna Maria learned in ecstasy that she was going to die on Good Friday. After blessing her loved ones and thanking them, she gave up her soul with a cry of joy and deliverance. It seems that God wanted to show in the person of this admirable Blessed the possibility of joining eminent virtue and exceptional supernatural gifts to fidelity in the most humble and material duties of the common life. Pope Benedict XV beatified Anna Maria Taigi on May 30, 1920.

June 8

* St. William of York If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Medard
* St. Bron
* St. Sallustian
* St. Severinus
* St. Calliope
* St. Clodulf
* St. Edgar the Peaceful
* St. Gildard
* St. Heraclius of Sens
* St. Levan
* St. Robert of Frassinoro
* St. Maximinus of Aix
* St. Melania the Elder
* St. Muirchu
* Bl. Pacificus of Cerano

Spiritual Bouquet: The children of this world are more prudent among themselves than the children of the light. St. Luke 16:8
Saint Medard

Bishop of Noyon and Tournai

Saint Medard, one of the most illustrious prelates of the Church of France in the late fifth and the sixth century, was born in Picardy of a pious and noble family in about the year 457, in the time of Childeric and Saint Remigius. His brother, Saint Gildard, would later become Archbishop of Rouen; Saint Owen and other authors say they were twins.

From his childhood Saint Medard manifested the most tender compassion for the poor. On one occasion he gave a fine new cloak to a destitute blind man, and when asked why he had done so, he answered that the misery of a fellow member in Christ so affected him that he could not refuse to give him part of his own clothes. He gave one of his father’s horses to a poor man who had just lost his only horse by an accident; but when his father counted his animals that evening, he found the number unaltered. This miracle caused the parents to allow their son to bestow alms as he wished. As a young man he prophesied to a companion and friend, the future Saint Eleutherius, that he would later be raised to the government of the see of Tournai.

Saint Medard and his brother Gildard were ordained by the bishop of Vermand while still relatively young; after being tonsured together they pursued the same ecclesiastical studies under the bishops of Tournai and Vermand. The annals tell us that, to assist Saint Remigius, the two brothers were present in the cathedral of Rheims, for the baptism of Clovis and his large army of Franks in 496. Saint Gildard was named to the archbishopric of Rouen towards the end of the century, where according to its archives, he provided in all things for the needs of his people until he died in 545.

Saint Medard after acceding to the priesthood became a bright ornament of that sacred Order. He preached the word of God in the churches of Picardy, with an unction which touched the hearts of the most hardened; and the powerful influence of his example and his unfailing charity, by which he enforced the precepts which he delivered from the pulpit, was resisted by few. Some incidents were recorded concerning this holy priest. Several thieves had taken from his terrain various items, such as a harvest of grapes or a fund of honey, even a bull. The stealer of honey was pursued by the bees until he came to confess his larceny at the priest’s feet and ask pardon; the bull thief had to bring the animal back because the bell around its neck never stopped ringing. And finally, the bishop bestowed upon the repentant ones the goods they had taken without permission.

In the year 530, the thirteenth bishop of Vermand died, and Saint Medard was unanimously chosen to fill the vacancy. He was consecrated by Saint Remigius, bishop of Rheims. The new bishop found it necessary to transfer the seat of his episcopacy, because the region of Vermand had been recently devastated during the invasions of the Huns and Vandals. Profanation was threatening; thus he moved his center to Noyon. Pope Hormisdas named him also to the episcopal throne of Tournai, uniting the two dioceses without depriving either city of its episcopal title.

At Tournai, where the barbarians were numerous, he was treated with opprobrium and often threatened with death; he nonetheless overcame the rudeness of the infidels and libertines and brought about so many conversions that the diocese was entirely altered in appearance. Our Saint’s new dignity did not make him abate anything of his austerities, and, though at that time he was advanced in age, he thought himself obliged to redouble his penitential labors. Despite the vast extent of his diocese, it seemed insufficient for his zeal, which could not be confined. Wherever he saw the opportunity of advancing the honor of God and abolishing the remains of idolatry, he overcame all obstacles, and by his zealous labors and miracles the rays of the Gospel dispelled the mists of idolatry everywhere.

After Saint Medard had completed his great work in Flanders, he returned to Noyon, where shortly afterwards he fell ill. Before he died, King Clotaire, son of Clovis, whom he had brought to penance, prevailed upon him to accept being buried in a magnificent basilica, which he intended to build to serve as his sepulcher. In 545 the entire kingdom lamented his death, as his brother Saint Gildard was mourned in the same year in the region of Rouen. In the two bishops the faithful had lost their common fathers and protectors.

Reflection. The Church takes delight in styling her founder “Jesus most amiable", and He indeed says of Himself, “I am meek and humble of heart.” His true followers can all be characterized in the same way.

June 7

* St. Gottschalk
* St. Robert of Newminster
* St. Anthony Mary Gianelli
* St. Vulphy
* St. Willibald
* St. Deochar
* St. Gotteschalk
* St. Landulf of Yariglia
* St. Lycarion
* St. Meriadoc
* Servant of God Joseph Perez If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Paul of Constantinople
* St. Peter
* St. Claude

Spiritual Bouquet: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. St. John 10:27
Saint Claude


The province of Eastern Burgundy has received great luster from this glorious Saint. He was born at Salins in the early seventh century, and was recognized from his youth as having a lively mind, a solid judgment and great docility. He read with devotion the sacred books, the lives of the Martyrs and holy Confessors, and the sermons of the Doctors of the Church, all of which were then far more frequently found in the hands of the faithful. He spent many hours praying in the church and attended Mass daily; he was careful to avoid any places which could be a danger for his faith, and took pleasure in frequenting pious persons who could give solid nourishment to his soul.

At the age of 20 he became a member of the cathedral chapter of Besançon, where he remained for twelve years, following the examples of the archbishop, Saint Donatian. Afterwards he retired to the monastery of Condat or Saint Oyend, where he became Abbot at the age of 37, in 644; and under his government many Saints were formed.

He had become both the model and the oracle of the clergy of Besançon when, upon the death of Archbishop Gervase in the year 685, he was named as his successor. Fearing the obligations of that charge, he fled to a retreat, but was discovered and compelled to accept the burden. During seven years he acquitted himself of the pastoral functions with the zeal and vigilance of an apostle. It was said that his sermons had so great a force that they tore vice out of the hearts of the most hardened.

When he was eighty-six years of age, he retired once more to the monastery of Saint Oyend, of which he had always retained the title of Abbot, and where he then remained in authority as its head for several more years. Such was the sanctity of his life and his zeal in conducting his monks in the paths of evangelical perfection, that he was compared to the great abbots of Egypt, Saint Anthony and Saint Pachomius, and his monastery, to those of ancient Egypt. Manual labor, silence, prayer, reading of pious books, especially the Holy Bible; fasting, watching, humility, obedience, poverty, mortification, and the close union of their hearts with God made up the whole occupation of these fervent servants of God. These virtues were the rich patrimony which Saint Claude left to his disciples.

Saint Claude died in 699 at the age of ninety-two, and his body was found intact in the 12th century. Since then pilgrimages and miracles have abounded at his tomb, placed in the monastery where he died, which afterwards bore his name. His feast has been celebrated since the end of the 15th century.

Today please pray (fast) especially for reparation to the insults addressed to God and Our Lady, as this day is special to satanists and evil worshippers.
June 6

* Saint Norbert If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Agobard
* St. Ceratius
* St. Claud
* St. Eustorgius II
* St. Jarlath
* St. Philip the Deacon
* St. Alexander
* St. Amantius
* St. Bertrand
* St. Vincent of Bevagna
* Bl. Walter Pierson
* St. Cocca
* St. Gudwal
* BL. John Davy
* St. John of Verona
* Bl. Robert Salt
* St. Nilammon
* Marytrs of Tarsus

Spiritual Bouquet: Every one of you who does not renounce all that he possesses, cannot be My disciple. St. Luke 14:33
Saint Norbert

Founder and Bishop

Born near Cologne in 1080, Saint Norbert, of noble rank and rare talents, passed a frivolous youth, abandoning himself to the pleasures and vanities of the world. Though he was a canon of the church, he refused to receive ecclesiastical Orders so as to continue to live in his caprices. He went to the court of the Archbishop of Cologne, then to that of the Emperor Henry IV, the famous adversary of Pope Saint Gregory VII, known also as Hildebrand. His conduct then became a scandal to his sacred calling, since at the court of the Emperor, like many clerics of those times, he was leading a life of dissipation and luxury.

One day, when he was thirty-three years of age, he was thrown from his horse in the midst of a terrible storm, and on recovering his senses a half hour later, he resolved upon a new life. After a severe and searching preparation, he went to the Archbishop of Cologne and humbly asked to receive Holy Orders. He was ordained a priest and began to preach against all the abuses and vices of his time. He encountered enemies and was silenced at first by a local council; however, he obtained the Pope’s sanction and preached penance to listening crowds in France and the Netherlands. His example spoke still more eloquently than his words; he walked barefoot in the snows and wore a tunic which was a hair shirt, fasting all year long. He was compared to John the Baptist by his austerity and by the fervor of his preaching.

A chaplain of the bishop of Cambrai, impressed by the extraordinary changes in the former nobleman of the Emperor’s court, asked to join him; this good priest, by the name of Hugh, later would succeed him in the government of the new religious Order which he was soon to found. In every place where Saint Norbert preached, those in attendance saw sinners converted, enemies reconciled and usurers return extorted wealth.

The bishop of Cambrai desired that he found a monastery and a new Order in his diocese, and the holy monk recognized at once, in a wild vale later called Premontre, the place he should choose. There he was favored, during a night of prayer, with a vision of many white-robed monks in procession with crucifixes and candles; the Blessed Virgin also appeared to him and showed him the habit he should give his religious. It was in 1120 that he gave to some trained disciples the rule of Saint Augustine, with the white habit he had been shown, denoting the angelic purity proper to the priesthood. The Canons Regular, or Premonstratensians, as they were called, were to unite the active work of the country clergy with the obligations of the monastic life. The foundations multiplied, and the fervor of these religious priests renewed the spirit of the priesthood, quickened the faith of the people, and overcame heresy.

In the time of Saint Norbert a pernicious heretic named Tankelin appeared at Antwerp, denying the reality of the priesthood, and above all blaspheming the Holy Eucharist. The Saint was sent for, to quench the error and its source, since three thousand persons had followed this man, who was allowing every vice to pass for legitimate. By Saint Norbert’s burning words he exposed the impostor, corrected the erring, and rekindled faith in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of the apostates had proved their contempt for the Blessed Sacrament by burying it in walls and damp places; Norbert bade the converted ones search for the Sacred Hosts. They found them entire and uninjured, and the Saint bore them back in triumph to the tabernacle. Hence he is generally portrayed with the monstrance in his hand.

In 1126, Norbert was appointed Bishop of Magdeburg; and there, at the risk of his life, he zealously carried on his work of reform until he died, worn out with toil, at the age of fifty-three.

Reflection. Reparation for profanations and outrages to the Blessed Sacrament was the aim of Saint Norbert’s great work of reform in himself, in the clergy, and in the faithful. How much do our present habits of worship repair for our own past irreverences and for the outrages offered by others to the Blessed Eucharist?

June 5

* St. Boniface of Mainz If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Adalar
* St. Waccar
* St. Tudno
* St. Sanctinus
* St. Eoban
* St. Felix of Fritzlar
* St. Florentius
* Bl. Franciscan Martyrs of China
* St. Luke Loan
* St. Marcian
June 5
St. Boniface

Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions he found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordination was questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops’ elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for Confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, he had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent. He introduced Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.


Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

June 4

* St. Petroc
* St. Alexander
* St. Aretius
* St. Breaca
* St. Buriana
* St. Walter
* St. Saturnina
* St. Clateus
* St. Cornelius
* St. Croidan
* St. Elsiar
* St. Francis Caracciolo
* St. Rutilius and Companions
* St. Quirinus
* St. Quirinus
* St. Nennoc
* St. Optatus of Milevis
* St. Metrophanes

Spiritual Bouquet: When you are invited, go and take the last place. St. Luke 14:10
Saint Francis Caracciolo


Saint Francis was born in the kingdom of Naples in 1563, of the princely family of Caracciolo. In childhood he shunned all amusements, recited the Rosary regularly, and loved to visit the Blessed Sacrament and to distribute his food to the poor. To avoid idleness, however, he engaged in hunting, which pastime was not pleasing to God; and Our Lord, to detach him from the world, sent him a terrible trial. When he was 22 years old, he developed leprosy and soon was on the brink of death. Seeing his body in this deplorable condition taught him contempt for the vanity of the world and of youth’s physical strength, and he promised God to serve Him alone if he were cured. The illness disappeared almost at once. He therefore left his parents, sold his portion of the inheritance for the benefit of the poor, and went to study for the priesthood at Naples. He dedicated himself in particular to visiting prisoners and galley-slaves and preparing criminals for death; he spent his leisure hours visiting the Blessed Sacrament in unfrequented churches.

God called him, when only twenty-five, to found the Order of Regular Minor Clerics, with two other priests who had similar aspirations. The Rule they drew up prescribed that each day one of the members fast on bread and water, another take the discipline, a third wear a hair shirt, and each succeed another for perpetual adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Thus they hoped to appease the anger of God unceasingly, and draw down His blessings by their penance. They took the usual vows, adding a fourth — not to accept dignities unless required to do so by their sovereign.

These very humble priests resolved to arrive in total poverty in Rome to seek approbation for their Order, and they mingled with the poor who were asking for alms at the door of the Capuchin Fathers. When recognized by relatives, they asked no favor except that of being taken to the presence of the Holy Father, Sixtus V. The Pope approved the new Congregation and gave them a church in Naples, which became the first center of the Order.

To establish the new Order, Francis, with John Augustine Adorno, his co-founder, undertook journeys throughout Italy and Spain, on foot and without money, content with the shelter and crusts given out of charity. A saintly pilgrim exiled from England predicted to Francis that he would be the new Order’s first General; and a Dominican in Spain, before he had heard them talk of their intentions, received the two of them and gave them food, saying: “You are the founders of a new Order which will soon spread, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and will be especially flourishing in this kingdom.” Asked when that would occur, he replied, “Not for three years.” In Spain still, Adorno again heard the same prophecy from Saint Louis Bertrand, who insisted on kissing his feet.

The prediction was realized. When Saint Francis returned to Valencia, he found that the twelve religious who had remained there had multiplied in number to the point that the house could no longer contain them. In 1591 he was elected the first General of his Order, while still a prey to the sorrow recently caused by the premature death of Adorno at the age of forty. He redoubled his austerities, and devoted seven hours daily to meditation on the Passion, besides passing most of the night praying before the Blessed Sacrament. He was commonly called the Preacher of Divine Love, and in Spain the Order did indeed flourish.

It was always before the Blessed Sacrament that his ardent devotion was most clearly visible. In the presence of his divine Lord his face emitted brilliant rays of light, and he often bathed the ground with his tears as he prayed, according to his custom, prostrate before the tabernacle, constantly repeating with the royal psalmist, “The zeal of Thy house has consumed me!” It was at Ancona in Italy, where he had gone to prepare another foundation, that his holy soul, on the eve of Corpus Christi 1608, went to join his Saviour in Heaven. He was forty-four years old when he fell ill with a severe fever. He died exclaiming, “Let us go, let us go to heaven!” When his body was opened after death, his heart was found seemingly burnt, with these words imprinted around it: “Zelus domus tuae comedit me” — “The zeal of Thy house has consumed me.”

Reflection. It is for men, and not for Angels, that our Blessed Lord resides upon the altar. Yet Angels throng our churches to worship Him, while men desert Him. Learn from Saint Francis to avoid such ingratitude, and to spend time as he did, in adoration before the Most Holy Sacrament.

St. Walter
Feastday: June 4


Benedictine hermit, abbot, and the founder and first abbot of the monastery of Serviliano in the Marches of Ancona, Italy. This monastery was involved in the renaissance of the spirit that was pioneered by religious orders in that era. 


June 3

* St. Charles Lwanga and Companions If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Kevin
* St. Achilleus Kewanuka
* St. Adolphus Ludigo-Mkasa
* St. Albert of Como
* St. Ambrose Kibuka
* St. Anatole Kiriggwajjo
* St. Andrew Kagwa
* St. Athanasius Badzekuketta
* St. Bruno Seronkuma
* St. Caecilius
* St. Conus
* St. Cronan
* St. Davinus
* St. Dionysius Sebuggwao
* St. Glushallaich
* St. Gonzaga Gonza
* St. Hilary
* St. James Buzabalio
* St. John Maria Muzeyi
* St. John Mary Mzec
* St. Joseph Mukasa
* Bl. Kizito
* St. Liphardus
* St. Lucillian
* St. Luke Banabakiutu
* St. Noe Mawaggali
* Marytrs of Uganda
* St. Matthias Murumba
* St. Mbaga Tuzinde
* St. Morand
* St. Mugagga
* St. Mukasa Kiriwawanyu
* St. Paula
* St. Pergentinus and Laurentinus
* St. Pontian Ngondwe
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
Martyrs of Uganda
Feastday: June 3

For those of us who think that the faith and zeal of the early Christians died out as the Church grew more safe and powerful through the centuries, the martyrs of Uganda are a reminder that persecution of Christians continues in modern times, even to the present day.

The Society of Missionaries of Africa (known as the White Fathers) had only been in Uganda for 6 years and yet they had built up a community of converts whose faith would outshine their own. The earliest converts were soon instructing and leading new converts that the White Fathers couldn't reach. Many of these converts lived and taught at King Mwanga's court.

King Mwanga was a violent ruler and pedophile who forced himself on the young boys and men who served him as pages and attendants. The Christians at Mwanga's court who tried to protect the pages from King Mwanga.

The leader of the small community of 200 Christians, was the chief steward of Mwanga's court, a twenty-five-year-old Catholic named Joseph Mkasa (or Mukasa).

When Mwanga killed a Protestant missionary and his companions, Joseph Mkasa confronted Mwanga and condemned his action. Mwanga had always liked Joseph but when Joseph dared to demand that Mwanga change his lifestyle, Mwanga forgot their long friendship. After striking Joseph with a spear, Mwanga ordered him killed. When the executioners tried to tie Joseph's hands, he told them, "A Christian who gives his life for God is not afraid to die." He forgave Mwanga with all his heart but made one final plea for his repentance before he was beheaded and then burned on November 15, 1885.

Charles Lwanga took over the instruction and leadership of the Christian community at court -- and the charge of keeping the young boys and men out of Mwanga's hands. Perhaps Joseph's plea for repentance had had some affect on Mwanga because the persecution died down for six months.

Anger and suspicion must have been simmering in Mwanga, however. In May 1886 he called one of his pages named Mwafu and asked what the page had been doing that kept him away from Mwanga. When the page replied that he had been receiving religious instruction from Denis Sebuggwawo, Mwanga's temper boiled over. He had Denis brought to him and killed him himself by thrusting a spear through his throat.

He then ordered that the royal compound be sealed and guarded so that no one could escape and summoned the country's executioners. Knowing what was coming, Charles Lwanga baptized four catechumens that night, including a thirteen-year-old named Kizito. The next morning Mwanga brought his whole court before him and separated the Christians from the rest by saying, "Those who do not pray stand by me, those who do pray stand over there." He demanded of the fifteen boys and young men (all under 25) if they were Christians and intended to remain Christians. When they answered "Yes" with strength and courage Mwanga condemned them to death.

He commanded that the group be taken on a 37 mile trek to the place of execution at Namugongo. The chief executioner begged one of the boys, his own son, Mabaga, to escape and hide but Mbaga refused. The cruelly-bound prisoners passed the home of the White Fathers on their way to execution. Father Lourdel remembered thirteen-year-old Kizito laughing and chattering. Lourdel almost fainted at the courage and joy these condemned converts, his friends, showed on their way to martyrdom. Three of these faithful were killed on road.

A Christian soldier named James Buzabaliawo was brought before the king. When Mwanga ordered him to be killed with the rest, James said, "Goodbye, then. I am going to Heaven, and I will pray to God for you." When a griefstricken Father Lourdel raised his hand in absolution as James passed, James lifted his own tied hands and pointed up to show that he knew he was going to heaven and would meet Father Lourdel there. With a smile he said to Lourdel, "Why are you so sad? This nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to."

Also condemned were Andrew Kagwa, a Kigowa chief, who had converted his wife and several others, and Matthias Murumba (or Kalemba) an assistant judge. The chief counsellor was so furious with Andrew that he proclaimed he wouldn't eat until he knew Andrew was dead. When the executioners hesitated Andrew egged them on by saying, "Don't keep your counsellor hungry -- kill me." When the same counsellor described what he was going to do with Matthias, he added, "No doubt his god will rescue him." "Yes," Matthias replied, "God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body." Matthias was cut up on the road and left to die -- it took him at least three days.

The original caravan reached Namugongo and the survivors were kept imprisoned for seven days. On June 3, they were brought out, wrapped in reed mats, and placed on the pyre. Mbaga was killed first by order of his father, the chief executioner, who had tried one last time to change his son's mind. The rest were burned to death. Thirteen Catholics and eleven Protestants died. They died calling on the name of Jesus and proclaiming, "You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls."

When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their natively language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them. The twenty-two Catholic martyrs of the Uganda persecution were canonized.

Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world. Amen

June 2

* Sts. Marcellinus and Peter
* St. Erasmus
* St. Eugene
* St. Blandina
* St. Adalgis
* St. Alexander
* St. Marcellinus & Peter If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Bodfan
* St. John de Ortega
* Martyrs of Lyons
* St. Nicholas Peregrinus
* St. Mary of the Incarnation

Spiritual Bouquet: Unless you do penance, you will all perish. St. Luke 13:3
Saint Mary of the Incarnation

Widow, Ursuline nun

Marie Guyart Martin, fourth child in a family of seven children, was born in Tours, France. When very young, she had a dream that moved her profoundly. “I was about seven years old,” she wrote. “In my sleep one night, it seemed to me that I was in a schoolyard... Suddenly the skies opened, and Our Lord emerged, advancing toward me! When Jesus neared me, I stretched out my arms to embrace Him. Jesus embraced me affectionately and asked me: ‘Do you want to belong to Me?’ I answered, ‘Yes.’ ” She was unceasingly to repeat that “yes,” the key to her entire life, amid joys and afflictions.

When Mary was eighteen, her parents believed she was ready to get married. She obeyed and married Claude Martin, a master silk worker. In 1619 she gave birth to a son, who was one day to become Dom Claude Martin. Six months later, the Lord marked her with the seal of His predilection: she was visited by the cross of widowhood, with all its trials. Mary of the Incarnation felt strongly attracted to the religious life, be she realized that God’s hour had not yet struck.

Several very difficult years ensued. Having found employment in her sister’s house, she became the slave of the servants of the household. In this harsh situation, our Saint practiced the virtues of humility, charity, patience and total self-forgetfulness to the point of heroism. She remained constantly in the holy presence of God, even amid the most absorbing occupations.

At the age of twenty-one, though still in the lay state, she made the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1625, God gratified her with a vision of the Holy Trinity.

When Madame Martin was thirty-one, the call of God to leave everything echoed imperiously in her soul. On January 25, 1631, she bid farewell to her elderly father, and overcoming the pangs of her maternal heart, she entrusted her eleven-year-old son to her sister’s care. This absolute detachment, which makes her a model for parents, was one of the most heroic and sublime acts in the life of Saint Mary of the Incarnation. The courageous mother told her child, “God wills it, my son. If we love Him, we should will it, too. It is up to Him to command, and up to us to obey.” With a broken heart, she was finally able to enter the Ursuline Novitiate in Tours.

Eight years later, when she had reached the age of forty, Mary of the Incarnation embarked at Dieppe with some companions on a ship headed for Canada. She is among the very first nuns to have come to America. At the time, such a missionary adventure was regarded as an innovation. There was no room for anything less than heroism for these pioneers of the Church of New France, who united the cloistered life to the missionary life. Mary of the Incarnation wrote, “Here we encounter a kind of necessity to become saints. We must either die or fully consent to it.”

She studied the extremely difficult Indian languages and wrote an Algonquin-French dictionary, as well as an Iroquois dictionary and catechism. Her work of predilection consisted in teaching little Indian girls, whom she called “the delight of my heart” and “the most beautiful jewels in my crown.”

Sickness, humiliation and persecution arising from respectable persons, endless interior sufferings and crosses of all sorts abound in the life of our Saint. They bear a striking testimony to the spirit of holiness that reigned in her soul, which was totally surrendered to the love of God. The highest summits of contemplation to which the Holy Spirit drew her did not prevent Mary of the Incarnation from being an extraordinary woman of action, gifted with incomparable common sense.

She gave up her beautiful soul to God at the age of 72. As a result of the successive vocations to which God called her, this admirable soul remains a model for spouses, parents, lay apostles and religious alike. Mary of the Incarnation has very rightly been named “the Teresa of New France.” She is ranked among the greatest glories of Canada and regarded as the true Mother of the country.

June 1

* Saint Justin If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Inigo
* St. Candida
* Bl. Alexius
* Bl. Alphonsus de Mena
* Bl. Andrew Sushinda
* Bl. Andrew Tokuan
* Bl. Anthony of Tuy
* St. Atto
* St. Wistan
* St. Valens
* St. Telga
* Bl. Theobald
* St. Thespesius
* St. Secundus
* St. Caprasius
* St. Conrad of Trier
* St. Crescentian
* Bl. Dominic Nifaki
* Bl. Dominic of Fiunga
* Bl. Dominic of the Holy Rosary
* Bl. Dominic Shibioge
* Bl. Dominic Tomaki
* St. Eneco
* Bl. Ferdinand Ayala
* St. Firmus
* St. Fortunatus
* St. Felinus and Gratian
* Bl. John Storey
* St. Justin Martyr
* St. Juventius
* St. Leo Tanaka
* St. Reverianus
* St. Ronan
* St. Pamphilus


Saint Justin was born in about the year 103 of pagan parents at Neapolis or Sichem in Samaria, site of Jacob’s well. He was well educated and applied himself in particular to the study of philosophy, always with one object — that he might come to know God. He sought this knowledge among the contending schools of philosophy, but in vain; and finally God appeased the thirst He Himself had created.

One day, while Justin was walking by the seashore, meditating on the thought of God, a majestic old gentleman met him and questioned him concerning his doubts. When he had made Justin confess that the ancient philosophers taught nothing certain about God, the elderly man told him of the writings of the inspired prophets of Israel, and of Jesus Christ whom they announced. Saint Justin himself relates how he counseled him to seek light and understanding through prayer, “for none can understand these things", he told him, “if God and His Christ do not give him understanding of them.”

The Scriptures and the constancy of the Christian martyrs led Justin from the inadequacy of human reason to the light of faith. His conversion occurred between 132 and 137. In his zeal for the Faith he traveled to Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor and Italy, gaining many to Christ. It is believed he was ordained a priest, or at least a deacon. Saint Justin wrote: “I have resolved that in all I say, my only purpose will be to speak the truth; I will say it without fear or any other consideration, even if I should at the same hour be cut up in pieces.” In Rome he did indeed seal his testimony with his blood with four of his disciples, under Marcus Aurelius.

The account of their interrogation has been preserved, for then as now, court stenographers wrote down the words of judges, witnesses and the accused, and the early Christians paid money for the right to copy the records. “Do you think,” the prefect said to Justin, “that by dying you will enter heaven, and be rewarded by God?” “I do not think,” he replied, “I know.” The five Christians were condemned to be flogged and then beheaded. Certain writings of Saint Justin are still extant and still pertinent: Among them are his Discourse to the Greeks, and his famous Apology addressed to the Roman senate and people, and the emperor Antoninus, concerning the unjust laws against Christians. His Dialogue with Tryphon, a young Jew, in which he cites the Messianic prophecies, is the longest and most popular of his writings.

Reflection. Then, as now, there were many religious opinions, but only one certainty — the certainty of the Catholic faith. This certainty which only the Catholic faith can give, should be the measure of our confidence and our zeal. Let us learn to value the gift of faith which many received only after a long search, having lived in the misery of a world which did not know the true God.

May 31

* St. Vitalis
* St. Winnow, Mancus, & Mybrad
* St. Thomas Du
* St. Cantius, Cantianus, Cantianilla, & Protus
* St. Crescentian
* St. Hermias
* St. Mechtildis
* St. Paschasius
* The Visitation If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
May 31

This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) and precede the Birthday of John the Baptist (June 24).

Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.

It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words.

Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.


One of the invocations in Mary’s litany is “Ark of the Covenant.” Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary brings God’s presence into the lives of other people. As David danced before the Ark, John the Baptist leaps for joy. As the Ark helped to unite the 12 tribes of Israel by being placed in David’s capital, so Mary has the power to unite all Christians in her Son. At times, devotion to Mary may have occasioned some divisiveness, but we can hope that authentic devotion will lead all to Christ and therefore to one another.


“Moved by charity, therefore, Mary goes to the house of her kinswoman.... While every word of Elizabeth’s is filled with meaning, her final words would seem to have a fundamental importance: ‘And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her from the Lord’ (Luke 1:45). These words can be linked with the title ‘full of grace’ of the angel’s greeting. Both of these texts reveal an essential Mariological content, namely the truth about Mary, who has become really present in the mystery of Christ precisely because she ‘has believed.’ The fullness of grace announced by the angel means the gift of God himself. Mary’s faith, proclaimed by Elizabeth at the visitation, indicates how the Virgin of Nazareth responded to this gift” (Pope John Paul II, The Mother of the Redeemer, 12).

May 30

* St. Ferdinand III of Castile
* St. Joan of Arc
* St. Hubert
* St. Anastasius XV
* St. Venantius
* St. Walstan
* Bl. William Filby
* Bl. Thomas Cottam
* Bl. Lawrence Richardson
* St. Luke Kirby
* St. Madelgisilus
* Bl. Richard Newport
* Bl. Maurus Scott
St. Joan of Arc
Feastday: May 30
Patron of soldiers and France

b.1412 d.1431
St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

At first the messages were personal and general. Then at last came the crowning order. In May, 1428, her voices "of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret" told Joan to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and gobbling up evermore French territory.

After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seige of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.

In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.

Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30.
Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

Two years later, Pope Pius XI declared Saint Joan patroness of France with the Most Blessed Virgin, placing her second only to the Mother of God. In that year Monsignor Baudrillart, French historian, wrote that Saint Joan of Arc may be proposed as an example to all young children by her perfect piety; as a model of fidelity to the call of heaven, to all young persons. For artisans, scholars, writers, teachers, she gives excellent example by her respect for truth and her remarkable prudence. Those dedicated to the works of mercy should find inspiration in her charity, visible when she consoled and wept for her wounded and dying enemies. All agricultural workers can invoke her with confidence, for when Joan, with the archbishop of Rheims, rode through the rich fields in the month of August and saw the reapers at work, she expressed a wish, despite the honors she then enjoyed, to die in the midst of the country-folk of France whom she loved. Her illness in prison, her martyrdom in the flames, recommend her intercession to the sick, as also to all who pray for loved ones in purgatory.

“Finally,” Monsignor Baudrillart concluded, “we pray our new Patroness to intercede unceasingly with God and the Most Blessed Virgin that France, its thoughts turned towards the true liberty of God’s children and its own ancient dignity, may truly be today as before, the firstborn daughter of the Church.” For centuries that title — conferred because of the early conversion of King Clovis and three thousand of his noble soldiers, baptized on Christmas day of 496 — was the glory of Christian France. It was later magnificently renewed and embellished by the heroic virgin, Joan of Arc.

May 29

* St. Votus, Felix, & John
* St. William Arnaud
* St. Theodosia
* St. Conon
* St. Eleutherius
* St. John de Atares
* Bl. Richard Thirkeld
* St. Restitutus
* Bl. Marytrs of Toulouse
* St. Maximinus of Trier
* St. St. Madeleine Sophie Barat If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

May 29, 2006
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

The legacy of Madeleine Sophie Barat can be found in the more than 100 schools operated by her Society of the Sacred Heart, institutions known for the quality of the education made available to the young.

Madeleine herself received an extensive education, thanks to her brother, Louis, 11 years older and her godfather at Baptism. Himself a seminarian, he decided that his younger sister would likewise learn Latin, Greek, history, physics and mathematics—always without interruption and with a minimum of companionship. By age 15, she had received a thorough exposure to the Bible, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and theology. Despite the oppressive regime Louis imposed, young Madeleine thrived and developed a genuine love of learning.

Meanwhile, this was the time of the French Revolution and of the suppression of Christian schools. The education of the young, particularly young girls, was in a troubled state. At the same time, Madeleine, who had concluded that she was called to the religious life, was persuaded to begin her life as a nun and as a teacher. She founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, which would focus on schools for the poor as well as boarding schools for young women of means; today, co-ed Sacred Heart schools can be found as well as schools exclusively for boys.

In 1826, her Society of the Sacred Heart received formal papal approval. By then Madeleine had served as superior at a number of convents. In 1865, she was stricken with paralysis; she died that year on the feast of the Ascension.

Madeleine Sophie Barat was canonized in 1925.


Madeleine lived in turbulent times. She was only 10 when the Reign of Terror began. In the wake of the French Revolution, rich and poor both suffered before some semblance of normality returned to France. Born to some degree of privilege, she received a good education. It grieved her that the same opportunity was being denied to other young girls, and she devoted herself to educating them, whether poor or well- to-do. We who live in an affluent country can follow her example by helping to ensure to others the blessings we have enjoyed.

May 28

* St. Augustine of Canterbury If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Bernard of Montjoux
* St. Mariana
* St. William of Gellone
* Bl. Thomas Ford
* St. Senator
* St. Caraunus
* St. Emilius
* St. Heliconis
* Bl. John Shert
* St. Justus of Urgel
* Bl. Margaret Pole
* Bl. Robert Johnson
* St. Paul Hanh
* St. Podius

Spiritual Bouquet: Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding; so that when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. St. Luke 12:36
St. Augustine of Canterbury

Apostle of England

Saint Augustine was prior of the monastery of Saint Andrew on Mount Coelius in Rome, when he was appointed by Saint Gregory the Great as Superior of the forty missionaries he was sending to England. The Christian faith of England, more than that of any other nation of Europe, was the fruit of the labors and spiritual conquests of the ministry of monks. Its deepest Christian roots are more ancient than Saint Augustine and his companions, and date from the era of the Apostles. England, in the first century, furnished its contingent of martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian. England sent its bishops to the first Councils held after the religion of Christ became that of the Empire in 313. But in the time of Saint Augustine, the Anglo-Saxon conquest had cut down almost all the branches of the tree.

When Saint Augustine arrived, ruined churches, scarcely a Christian to be found to narrate a tradition, attested to the sacrilegious and incendiary hand of paganism, despite the labors of Saint Palladius and Saint Germain d’Auxerre in the fifth century. The last Christian Britons had taken refuge in the mountains of Wales. And England, the land of the Angles, had become a land of infamous slave-traders for the continent, including Rome; its merchants did not spare their own people when profit was at stake. In this way did Saint Gregory the Great come to purchase the English boys he saw marketed at the Roman Forum, and raise them in his house, which he had transformed into a monastery. Thus the definitive conversion of England began, in his compassionate heart, when in the sixth year of his pontificate he chose the prior of his own monastery for the mission to England.

Saint Augustine and his companions during their journey heard many reports of the barbarism and ferocity of the pagan English. They were alarmed and wished to turn back. But Saint Gregory sent word to them saying, “Go on, in God’s name! The greater your hardships, the greater your crown. May the grace of Almighty God protect you, and permit me to see the fruit of your labor in the heavenly country! If I cannot share your toil, I shall yet share the harvest, for God knows that it is not good-will which is wanting.” The band of missionaries went on in obedience, after halting briefly to deliver letters of Saint Gregory at the Abbey of Lerins, and to the bishops of Aix, Tours, Marseille, Vienna, Autun, and Arles, as well as to obtain translators for the mission of the monks.

Landing at Ebbsfleet, they sent ahead of them their translator-emissaries, to say to the king of those lands that they had come from Rome, to announce to him not merely good news, but the Good News of all ages, with its promises of heavenly joy and an eternal reign in the company of the living and true God. They met with the Saxon King Ethelbert who had been reigning for thirty-six years, and with his barons under a great oak tree at Minster in the present county of Kent, and announced to him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was predisposed to listen to the missionaries; his Christian wife, Bertha, was a great-granddaughter of Saint Clothilda and Clovis. He wished to deliberate for a few days nonetheless, and when they returned in procession, chanting and preceded by the Cross, he promised only to give them liberty to practice their faith unmolested. He gave them a residence in Canterbury and provided for their needs. Their good example brought many to them for instruction and then Baptism, and at Pentecost 597, the Anglo-Saxon king, too, entered into the unity of the Church of Christ. His example was followed by the greater number of his nobles and people.

By degrees the Faith spread far and wide, and Augustine, as papal legate, set out on a visitation of Britain. He failed in his attempt to enlist the Christian Britons of the west in the work of his apostolate, but his success was otherwise triumphant from south to north. He died after eight years of evangelical labors, but his monks continued them and perpetuated them. The Anglo-Saxon Church which Saint Augustine founded is still famous for its learning, zeal, and devotion to the Holy See, while its calendar commemorates no fewer than 300 Saints, half of whom were of royal birth.

Reflection. The work of an apostle is the work of the right hand of God. He often chooses weak instruments for His mightiest purposes. The most sure augury of lasting success in missionary labor is obedience to superiors and mistrust of self.

May 27

* St. Bruno
* St. Frederick
* St. Ranulphus
* St. Restituta of Sora
* St. Melange
* St. Bede the Venerable If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here 

Spiritual Bouquet: Only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken away from her. St. Luke 10:42
St. Bede the Venerable

Father of the Church

Saint Bede, the illustrious ornament of the Anglo-Saxon Church and its first English historian, was consecrated to God in 680 at the age of seven, and entrusted to the care of Saint Benedict Biscop at Weremouth. He became a monk in the sister-house of Jarrow, which he would never leave, and there he trained no fewer than six hundred scholars, whom his piety, learning, and sweet disposition had gathered around him.

He was ordained a priest in 702. To the toils of teaching and the exact observance of his Rule he added long hours of private prayer, with the study of every branch of science and literature then known. He was familiar with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In a treatise which he compiled for his scholars, still extant, he assembled all that the world had then conserved of history, chronology, physics, music, philosophy, poetry, arithmetic, and medicine. In his Ecclesiastical History he has left us beautiful lives of Anglo-Saxon Saints and holy Fathers, while his commentaries on the Sacred Scriptures are still in use by the Church.

It was to the study of the Divine Word that he devoted the whole energy of his soul, and at times his compunction was so overpowering that his voice would break with weeping, while the tears of his scholars mingled with his own. Once he was accused of heresy by certain jealous ones, but this scholar who had always made a great effort not to depart from tradition, wrote a letter which vindicated him and stopped the bad reports. He had little aid from others, and during his later years suffered from constant illness; yet he worked and prayed up to his last hour. It has been said of him that it is easier to admire him in thought than to do him justice in expression.

The Saint was employed in translating the Gospel of Saint John from the Greek, even to the hour of his death, which took place on the eve of the Ascension in the year 735. “He spent that day joyfully,” writes one of his scholars. In the middle of the afternoon he said: “It is time that I return to the One who gave me being, creating me out of nothing... The moment of my liberty is approaching; I desire to be freed from the bonds of the body and to join Jesus Christ. Yes, my soul longs to see Jesus Christ its king, in the splendor of His glory.” In the evening a scribe attending him said, “Dear master, there is yet one chapter unwritten; would you be disturbed if we asked you additional questions?” He answered, “No; take your pen, and write quickly,” which the disciple did. He prayed then until his last breath.

Reflection. The Imitation of Christ says: “The more a man is at peace within himself and interiorly simple, the more and deeper things does he understand without labor; for he receives the light of understanding from on high.”

May 25

* St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Zenobius
* St. Madeline Sophie Barat
* Venerable Bede
* St. Urban
* St. Aldhelm
* St. Zenobius
* St. Dionysius of Milan
* St. Dunchadh
* St. Egilhard
* St. Genistus
* St. Julius of Dorostorum
* St. Leo of Troyes
* St. Maximus & Victorinus
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
Feastday: May 25
It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God gave this saint, rather than on her life. In fact, it would be difficult to do differently, so overwhelming were those gifts from God. The temptation for many modern readers (including the author) would be to see little to identify with in these graces and walk away without seeing more. The other temptation would be to become so fascinated with these stories that one would neglect to dig deeper and learn the real lessons of her life.

But Mary Magdalene de Pazzi is not a saint because she received ecstasies and graces from God. Many have received visions, ecstasies, and miracles without becoming holy. She is a saint because of her response to those gifts -- a lifelong struggle to show love and gratitude to the God who gave her those graces.

In fact Mary Magdalene saw her ecstasies as evidence of a great fault in her, not a reward for holiness. She told one fellow sister that God did not give this sister the same graces "because you don't need them in order to serve him." In her eyes, God gave these gifts to those who were too weak to become holy otherwise. That Mary Magdalene received these gifts proved, in her mind, how unworthy she was.

Born in Florence on April 2, 1566, Mary Magdalene (baptized Catherine) was taught mental prayer when she was nine years old at the request of her mother. Her introduction at this age to this form of prayer which involves half an hour of meditation did not seem to be unusual. And yet today we often believe children incapable of all but the simplest rote prayers.

At twelve years old she experienced her first ecstasy while looking at a sunset which left her trembling and speechless.

With this foundation in prayer and in mystical experience, it isn't surprising that she wanted to enter a contemplative monastery of the Carmelite Order. She chose the monastery of St. Mary's of the Angels because the nuns took daily Communion, unusual at the time.

In 1583 she had her second mystical experience when the other nuns saw her weeping before the crucifix as she said, "O Love, you are neither known nor loved."

Mary Magdalene's life is a contradiction of our instinctive thought that joy only comes from avoiding suffering. A month after being refused early religious profession, she was refused she fell deathly ill. Fearing for her life the convent had her professed from a stretcher at the altar. After that she experienced forty days of ecstasies that coexisted with her suffering. Joy from the graces God gave were mixed with agony as her illness grew worse. In one of her experiences Jesus took her heart and hid it in his own, telling her he "would not return it until it is wholly pure and filled with pure love." She didn't recover from her illness until told to ask for the intercession of Blessed Mary Bagnesi over three months later.

What her experiences and prayer had given her was a familiar, personal relationship with Jesus. Her conversations with Jesus often take on a teasing, bantering tone that shocks those who have a formal, fearful image of God. For example, at the end of her forty days of graces, Jesus offered her a crown of flowers or a crown of thorns. No matter how often she chose the crown of thorns, Jesus kept teasingly pushing the crown of flowers to her. When he accused her, "I called and you didn't care," she answered back, "You didn't call loudly enough" and told him to shout his love.

She learned to regret the insistence on the crown of thorns. We might think it is easy to be holy if God is talking to you every day but few of us could remain on the path with the five year trial that followed her first ecstasies. Before this trial, Jesus told her, "I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace. Though I will seem to leave you I will be closer to you." This was easy for her to accept in the midst of ecstasy but, as she said later, she hadn't experienced it yet. At the age of nineteen she started five years of dryness and desolation in which she was repelled by prayer and tempted by everything. She referred to her heart as a pitch-dark room with only a feeble light shining that only made the darkness deeper. She was so depressed she was found twice close to suicide. All she could do to fight back was to hold onto prayer, penance, and serving others even when it appeared to do no good.

Her lifelong devotion to Pentecost can be easily understood because her trial ended in ecstasy in 1590. At this time she could have asked for any gifts but she wanted two in particular: to look on any neighbor as good and holy without judgment and to always have God's presence before her.

Far from enjoying the attention her mystical experiences brought her, she was embarrassed by it. For all her days, she wanted a hidden life and tried everything she could to achieve it. When God commanded her to go barefoot as part of her penance and she could not walk with shoes, she simply cut the soles out of her shoes so no one would see her as different from the other nuns. If she felt an ecstasy coming on, she would hurry to finish her work and go back to her room. She learned to see the notoriety as part of God's will. When teaching a novice to accept God's will, she told her, "I wanted a hidden life but, see, God wanted something quite different for me."

Some still might think it was easy for her to be holy with all the help from God. Yet when she was asked once why she was weeping before the cross, she answered that she had to force herself to do something right that she didn't want to do. It's true that when a sister criticized her for acting so different, she thanked her, "May God reward you! You have never spoken truer words!" but she told others it hurt her quite a bit to be nice to someone who insulted her.

Mary Magdalene was no pale, shrinking flower. Her wisdom and love led to her appointment to many important positions at the convent including mistress of novices. She did not hesitate to be blunt in guiding the women under her care when their spiritual life was at stake. When one of the novices asked permission to pretend to be impatient so the other novices would not respect her so much, Mary Magdalene's answer shook this novice out of this false humility: "What you want to pretend to be, you already are in the eyes of the novices. They don't respect you nearly as much as you like to think."

Mary Magdalene's life offers a great challenge to all those who think that the best penance comes from fasting and physical discomfort. Though she fasted and wore old clothes, she chose the most difficult penance of all by pretending to like the things she didn't like. Not only is this a penance most of us would shrink from but, by her acting like she enjoyed it, no one knew she was doing this great penance!

In 1604, headaches and paralyzation confined her to bed. Her nerves were so sensitive that she could not be touched without agonizing pain. Ever humble, she took the fact that her prayers were not granted as a sure sign that God's will was being done. For three years she suffered, before dying on May 25, 1607 at the age of forty-one.
In her footsteps:

To find out more about the Carmelites visit the following sites:

Carmelite Resources The Carmelites (of the ancient observance) The (Discalced) Carmelite Home Page

Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray that we will make a commitment to seek the presence of God in prayer the way you did. Guide us to see the graces God gives us as gifts not rewards and to respond with gratitude and humility, not pride and selfishness. Amen 

May 24

* St. Joanna
* St. Jessica
* St. Afra
* St. Vincent of Porto
* St. Zoellus
* St. David I
* St. Donatian & Rogatian
* St. Gerard de Lunel
* St. John del Prado
* St. Manaen
* St. Robustian
* St. Nicetas of Pereaslav
* St. Meletius
* St. Patrick
* Our Lady Help of Christians

Spiritual Bouquet: When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth? St. Luke 18:8
Our Lady, Help of Christians


Pope Pius VII, after he returned to Rome in 1815 from several years of captivity imposed by the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, instituted this feast day in honor of the assistance which the Blessed Virgin had accorded the Church. The occasion of the Pope’s exile and captivity was the emperor’s resistance to the authority of the Vicar of Christ, superior before God to his own.

A decree of the emperor in 1809 had ordered that the papal States be joined to the French empire; violence followed in Rome, when the French tricolor flag was set up and the papal arms broken. The Pope’s very courageous bull of excommunication of the emperor was made public in the following month. Then, one morning, a group of armed men entered the Quirinal Palace by breaking down the doors with axes, and its leader announced that the pope must either renounce his sovereignty over Rome or be taken by the troop to a French General, who would communicate to him his next destination.

The sacrilegious seizure of his person was executed, and he spent five years in exile in various places, finally at Fontainebleau, France. After 1815 the clemency of the great Pope towards the Emperor and his family is a matter of history; the latter were afforded a secure refuge in Rome itself, when Napoleon was exiled. And for the Emperor himself, relegated to the island of Saint Helena, the Pope pleaded for clemency with the Prince-Regent of England. When Napoleon died, it was with the assistance of chaplains sent to him by Pius VII.

Our Lady, Help of Christians, was made better known by Saint John Bosco, who consecrated his Order of Salesian priests to Her. And in Turin, beginning in 1865, he began to raise in Her honor a vast and magnificent church. Without ever having a penny in advance, always the needed sums of money arrived in time. About three-fourths of the gifts offered were presented in thanksgiving for favors obtained through Her intercession.

We will relate just one of those. A certain Senator of the Kingdom of Italy was ill; Don Bosco went to visit him and found him very discouraged and speaking of his imminent death. “What would you do,” said Don Bosco, “if Our Lady Auxiliatrix obtained your cure from God?” “My cure! Well, I would give two thousand francs a month for Her church, for six months.” “Be of good courage,” said the Saint on rising; “I will see that prayers are said for you.” Three days later, Baron Gotta, perfectly cured, went to Don Bosco to make his first payment, giving more than he had promised; and he did not cease to outdo himself in generosity.

May 23

* St. John Baptist Rossi
* St. Julia
* St. Didier
* St. William of Rochester
* St. Ivo
* St. Crispin of Viterbo
* St. Desiderius
* St. Epiphanius and Basileus
* St. Goban
* St. Leontius
* St. Felix of Cantalice(celebrated in USA today) If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Quintian
* Martyrs of Cappadocia
* Martyrs of Mesopotamia
* St. Michael of Synnada

Spiritual Bouquet: Always pray and do not lose heart. St. Luke 18:1
St. Joan Antide Thouret


Born in the diocese of Besançon in November of 1765, Saint Joan Antide lost her pious mother when she was 16 years old, and for several years took charge of the household and her family of younger brothers and sisters. After many hesitations, her father permitted her to enter the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1787.

She worked in various hospitals caring for the sick, until the Revolution in France brought about the dispersion of the Congregations. She was ordered to abandon her religious habit in 1792, but refused and fled; she was struck so violently that she remained for eight months between life and death. In 1793 she returned from Paris to her native village of Sancey on foot, begging her bread; there she opened a school and cared for the sick.

Times were growing ever more difficult, and Sister Thouret again had to depart, this time journeying to Switzerland, where she assisted a French priest who had gone into exile with a few members of his little community. Again she cared for the sick; but the entire group was forced to move once again and go to Germany.

After two years she went to the village of Landeron in Switzerland. There she met the Vicar General of Besançon, and he asked her to found a school and a hospital in that city. In 1799 the foreseen school was opened at Besançon, and with a few novices the Foundress began work in France again.

She wrote a rule for her Daughters of Saint Vincent de Paul, as she called them to distinguish them from the larger group, the Sisters of Charity, of whom they were independent. The Congregation’s members multiplied, as did their works; in 1802 they were given the direction of a house of detention at Bellevaux, sheltering more than 500 prisoners. They opened schools in eastern France and Switzerland. The foundress was invited to go to Naples to take on the direction of a hospital and initiate other works; she accepted this invitation in 1810.

She remained in Naples until 1818, obtaining from Pope Pius VII the approval of her Institute in 1819. Problems arising in Besançon caused her many sufferings, when the new bishop there desired to maintain the Community under diocesan authority. Saint Joan Antide died in Naples in 1826, having left for her Sisters many examples of heroic virtue. She was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI, who invited the French nation to exult with joy on seeing its crown enriched by a new flower of holiness.

May 22

* St. Rita If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Quiteria
* St. Aigulf
* St. Atto
* St. Ausonius
* St. Basiliscus
* St. Bobo
* St. Boethian
* St. Castus & Emilius
* St. Conall
* St. Fulk
* St. Helen
* St. John Baptist Machado
* Bl. John of Cetina
* Bl. John Forest
* St. Marcian of Ravenna
* St. Rita of Cascia
* St. Romanus of Subiaco
* Bl. Matthias of Arima
* St. Michael Ho-Dinh-Hy
* Bl. Peter of the Assumption
* St. Peter Pareuzi

Spiritual Bouquet: My yoke is sweet and My burden light. St. Matthew 11:30
St. Rita of Cascia


Saint Rita was born in Italy in the late 14th century, near the little city of Cascia, of parents who though advancing in age had no children; she was the fruit of their pious prayers. At the age of twelve she resolved to consecrate herself to God by the vow of chastity, but her parents required her to marry. She obeyed; and God, who perhaps wished her to serve as an example for those having to bear with violent spouses, permitted that she be joined to a man of ferocious character, who terrified the region where he lived.

During eighteen years she succeeded so well in pacifying him that he eventually even became submissive to the laws of God. Nonetheless, his enemies killed him; and then the pious widow had to overcome her twin sons’ desire for vengeance. Again she succeeded. When the two young men died not long afterwards, she was without any further bonds to keep her in the world, and she made application to a convent of Augustinian nuns at Cascia. Never had a widow been admitted there, but Saint John the Baptist, with Saint Augustine and Saint Nicholas, who had died during the 13th century in the nearby town of Tolentino, appeared to her to answer her fervent prayers. They transported her miraculously into the convent by night, despite all the locked doors. The Sisters, finding her there in the morning, could not refuse her request any longer.

Saint Rita practiced severe mortifications, eating but once a day and taking only bread and water for food. She was a model of perfect obedience; she meditated every night, from midnight until dawn, on the Passion of Our Lord, and begged to share His sufferings. On one of these nights she felt in her forehead the pain of sharp thorns, which made there an incurable wound. The festering wound isolated her from the other Sisters, and she lived thereafter almost as a hermit in the convent. The wound was cured once for a short time, when the entire group of Sisters were to go to Rome on the occasion of a universal jubilee; on their return her wound opened again.

It was discovered that Saint Rita had the gift of miracles when a young girl was cured during her mother’s visit to the convent, to beg the Saint’s prayers for that intention. Soon many visitors were coming even from distant regions to ask her charity. She expired peacefully in May of 1456. The wound of her forehead, until then very ugly, became brilliant at the moment of her death. The shrine of Saint Rita is still a favorite pilgrimage site in Italy. She is the patroness of impossible cases.

May 21

* St. Eugene de Mazenod
* St. Ansuinus
* St. Barrfoin
* St. Valens
* St. Theobald of Vienne
* Sts. Timothy, Polius, & Eutychius
* St. Secundinus
* St. Secundus & Companions
* St. Serapion the Sindonite
* St. Constantine the Great
* St. Gollen
* St. Nicostratus, Antiochus, and Companions
* St. Polyeuctus, Victorius and Donatus
* St. Cristobal Magallanus and Companions If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
St. Constantine the Great
Feastday: May 21
Junior Emperor and emperor called the “Thirteenth Apostle” in the East. The son of Constantius I Chlorus, junior emperor and St. Helena, Constantine was raised on the court of co-Emperor Diocletian. When his father died in 306, Constantine was declared junior emperor of York, England, by the local legions and earned a place as a ruler of the Empire by defeating of his main rivals at the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. According to legend, he adopted the insignia of Christ, the chi-rho, and placed it upon his labarum - the military standards that held the banners his armies carried into battle to vanquish their pagan enemies. His purple banners were inscribed with the Latin for “In this sign conquer.” Constantine then shared rule of the Empire with Licinius Licinianus, exerting his considerable influence upon his colleague to secure the declaration of Christianity to be a free religion. When, however, Licinius and Constantine launched a persecution of the Christians, Constantine marched to the East and routed his opponent at the battle of Adrianople. Constantine was the most dominating figure of his lifetime, towering over his contemporaries, including Pope Sylvester I. He presided over the Council of Nicaea, gave extensive grants of land and property to the Church, founded the Christian city of Constantinople to serve as his new capital, and undertook a long-sighted program of Christianization for the whole of the Roman Empire. While he was baptized a Christian only on his deathbed, Constantine nevertheless was a genuinely important figure in Christian history and was revered as a saint, especially in the Eastern Church.

St. Eugene de Mazenod
Feastday: May 21
Patron saint of dysfunctional families
Eugene de Mazenod was born on August 1, 1782, at Aix-en-Provence in France. Early in life he experienced the upheaval of the French Revolution. None the less, he entered the seminary, and following ordination he returned to labor in Aix-en-Provence. That area had suffered greatly during the Revolution and was not really a safe place for a priest. Eugene directed his ministry toward the poorest of the poor. Others joined his labors, and became the nucleus of a religious community, the Missionaries of Provence. Later Eugene was named Bishop of Marseille. There he built churches, founded parishes, cared for his priests, and developed catechetics for the young. Later he founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and in 1841 the Oblates sailed for missions in five continents. Pius XI said, "the Oblates are the specialists of difficult missions." After a life dedicated to spreading the Good News, Eugene died on May 21, 1861. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1975. His feast day is May 21.

May 20

* St. Bernardine of Siena If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Theodore of Pavia
* St. Basilissa
* St. Anastasius XIII
* St. Aquila
* St. Austregisilus
* St. Basilla
* St. Baudelius
* St. Thalelaeus
* St. Hilary
* St. Plautilla

St. Bernardine of Siena
Feastday: May 20
In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital alone. And many of the people who died were those who were needed to tend the ill. It was a desperate situation -- more and more people were falling ill and fewer and fewer people were there to help them.

The twenty-year-old man who stood there had not come because he was ill but because he wanted to help. And he brought not new patients but young men like himself willing to tend the dying. For four months Bernardine and his companions worked day and night not only to comfort the patients but to organize and clean the hospital. Only at the end of the plague did Bernardine himself fall ill -- of exhaustion.

But that was Bernardine's way -- whatever he did, he put his whole self into it. Immediately after he recovered he was back caring for the sick -- but this time, he was responsible not for a whole hospital but one person -- an invalid aunt. Yet for fourteen months she got his full attention. Throughout his life, he put as much energy into caring for one person as for hundreds, as much commitment into converting one citizen as to preaching to a whole city.

After his aunt died, Bernardine started to think about where his life should be going. The son of a noble family, he had been orphaned at seven and raised by an aunt. We are told as a young person that he hated indecent talk so much that he would blush when he heard it. Even his schoolmates hesitated to make him so uncomfortable but apparently one adult citizen thought it would be a great joke to needle Bernardine. In a public marketplace he stopped Bernardine and started to talk to him in a shameful way. But if he had thought to get away with his cruel trick, he was surprised when Bernardine slapped him in the face. The man slunk away, shamed in front of the very crowd he'd been trying to impress.

Bernardine, who had come to Siena to study, threw himself into prayer and fasting to discover what God wanted him to do. One might have expected him to continue his work with the sick but in 1403 he joined the Franciscans and in 1404 he was ordained a priest.

The Franciscans were known as missionary preachers, but Bernardine did very little preaching with because of a voice that was weak and hoarse. For twelve years he remained in the background, his energies going to prayer or to his own spiritual conversion and preparation.

At the end of that time, he went to Milan on a mission. When he got up to preach his voice was strong and commanding and his words so convincing that the crowd would not let him leave unless he promised to come back.

Thus began the missionary life of the one whom Pope Pius II called a second Paul. As usual, Bernardine through his whole self, body and soul, into his new career. He crisscrossed Italy on foot, preaching for hours at a time, several times a day. We are told he preached on punishment for sin as well as reward for virtue but focusing in the end on the mercy of Jesus and the love of Mary. His special devotion was to the Holy Name of Jesus.

Some who were jealous denounced him to the pope by saying he preached superstition. Silenced for a short while, Bernardine was soon cleared and back to preaching.

Bernardine refused several cities that wanted him as bishop but he was unable to avoid being named vicar general of his order. All his energy during that period went to renewing the original spirit of the order.

Soon, however, Bernardine heard the call to go back to preaching which consumed his last days. As a matter of fact, even when it was clear he was dying, he preached fifty consecutive days. He died in 1444 when he was almost 64 years old.

Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus' mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus' name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen

May 19

* St. Celestine
* St. Dunstan
* Bl. Alcuin
* St. Theophilus of Corte If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* St. Calocerus & Parthenius
* St. Cyriaca & Companions
* St. Hadulph
* Bl. Peter de Duenas
* Bl. Peter Wright
* St. Philoterus

St. Celestine
Feastday: May 19
When the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother brought up her twelve children well, even though they were very poor. "Oh, if I could only have the joy of seeing one of you become a saint!" she use to say. Once when she asked as usual, "which one of you is going to become a saint?" little Peter (who was to become Pope Celestine) answered with all his heart, "Me, mama! I'll become a saint!" And he did.

When he was twenty, Peter became a hermit and spent his days praying and reading the Holy Bible. If he was not praying or reading, he would copy books or do some hard work so that the devil would not find him doing nothing, and tempt him. Because other hermits kept coming to him and begging him to guide them, he started a new Order.

Peter was an old monk, eighty-four years of age when he was made Pope. It came about in a very unusual way. For two years, there had been no Pope, because the Cardinals could not decide whom to choose. St. Peter sent them a message to decide quickly, for God was not pleased at the long delay. Then and there, they chose the holy old hermit himself! Poor Peter wept when he heard the news, but he sorrowfully accepted and took the name Celestine V.

He was Pope only about five months. Because he was so humble and simple, everyone took advantage of him. He could not say "no" to anyone, and soon matters were in great confusion. At last, the Saint decided that he had better give up his position as Pope. He did so and then threw himself at the feet of the Cardinals for not having been capable of governing the Church. What an impression his humility made on all of them!

St. Celestine hoped to live in one of his monasteries in peace. But the new Pope thought it would be safer to keep him where wicked people could not take advantage of him. The saint was put in a cell and died there. Yet he was cheerful and close to God. "You wanted a cell, Peter," he would repeat to himself, "and a cell you have." His feast day is May 19th.

May 18

* St. Pope John I If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here
* Eric
* St. Felix of Cantalice
* St. Venantius
* St. Theodotus
* St. Dioscorus
* St. Elgiva
* St. Felix of Spoleto
* St. Feredarius
* St. Merililaun

Spiritual Bouquet: I praise Thee, Father... that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and prudent, and didst reveal them to little ones. St. Matthew 11:25
St. Felix of Cantalice


It was in a small village at the foot of Mount Appenine named Cantalice, that Saint Felix was born in 1513 of pious but poor parents, whose names were Saint and Sainte. It was not long before the little boy, when he approached the other children, was hailed by them: “Here comes Felix, the Saint!” He showed a predilection for solitary prayer from his earliest youth, and as a little shepherd used to retire to a quiet place to kneel there and meditate on the Passion of Jesus.

When he was a little older, he resolved to take the habit of the Capuchin Friars. The rigor of their rule could not deter him, but his obligations could; he was employed as a laborer. When his life was spared in an accident, during which two runaway bulls and a trailing plow should have killed him, the man for whom he was working saw the hand of God in his preservation and permitted him to leave, to enter religion. He was at that time nearly thirty years old, but the Superiors, observing his fervor, placed no obstacles.

In 1545 he pronounced his vows and was sent to Rome, where for forty years he begged for the community. His characteristic words to his companion were: “Let us go, my Brother, with rosary in hand, our eyes to the ground and our spirit in heaven.” He was of an exquisite politeness, extreme gentleness and great simplicity. The sick persons he visited at night became attached to him, and for his part, he sought them out everywhere in Rome, insofar as obedience permitted.

One day on the street he met two duelists with sword in hand. He begged them to repeat after him, “Deo gratias!” which finally they did, and after taking him as arbiter of their quarrel, they separated as good friends. Saint Felix met Saint Philip Neri in Rome, and they became friends who wished one another all possible torments for the love of Jesus Christ. They sometimes remained together without speaking for considerable periods, seemingly transported with joy.

Saint Felix had a great devotion to the most Blessed Virgin, reciting Her rosary with such tenderness that he could not continue at times. He loved the Holy Name of Jesus, and invited the children he would meet to say it with him. He slept only for about two hours, going afterwards to the church and remaining there in prayer until the office of Prime; then he would serve the first Mass and receive Communion every day.

When he was sick and was given the last Sacraments, he saw the Blessed Virgin and a beautiful troop of Angels coming to fortify him in this last journey. He cried out in joy, and gave up his soul peacefully to his Creator in 1587. He was canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712. His body is in the Capuchin Church of Rome; a plenary indulgence is granted to those who, fulfilling the ordinary conditions, visit a church of his Order on his feast day.

Reflection. Saint Felix did not have what the world esteems; his education was not brilliant. But he knew five red letters — the wounds of the divine crucified One, and one white one — the Virgin Mary, from whom he one day miraculously received the divine Child in his arms.

May 17

* St. Adrio
* St. Thethmar
* St. Cathan
* St. Heradius
* St. Madern
* St. Maiduif
* St. Restituta
* St. Paschal Baylon If you want to hear a 90 second brief talk about this Saint please click here

Spiritual Bouquet: Rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven. St. Luke 10:20
St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan Lay Brother

From his childhood Saint Paschal seems to have been marked out for the service of God. Amid his daily labors as a shepherd, he found time to instruct and evangelize the rude herdsmen who kept their flocks on the hills of Aragon. At the age of twenty-four he entered the reformed Franciscan Order near the town of Monfort, Spain, where he remained, out of humility, a simple lay brother, occupying himself by preference with the roughest and most servile tasks.

He was distinguished by his ardent devotion and love for the Blessed Sacrament. He would spend hours on his knees before the tabernacle, often being raised from the ground in the fervor of his prayer. And there, from the authentic and eternal Truth, he drew such stores of wisdom that, unlettered as he was, he was considered by all a master in theology and spiritual science.

Shortly after his profession he was sent to Paris on business connected with his Order. The journey was full of perils, owing to the hostility of the Huguenots, who were numerous at the time in the south of France; and on four separate occasions Paschal was in imminent danger of death at their hands. Twice he was taken for a spy; but it was not God’s will that His servant should obtain the crown of martyrdom which he so earnestly desired, though he regarded himself as unworthy of it. He returned in safety to his convent, where he would later die in the odor of sanctity in 1592.

Multitudes witnessed the miracles which took place during the three days his body was exposed for veneration. He was canonized in 1690, and in 1897 declared patron of all Eucharistic congresses and confraternities.

Reflection. One day, as young Paschal was watching his sheep on the mountainside, he heard the consecration bell ring out from a church in the valley below, where the villagers were assembled for Mass. The Saint fell on his knees, when suddenly there stood before him an Angel of God, bearing in his hands the Sacred Host, offering it for his adoration. How pleasing to Jesus Christ are those who honor Him in this great mystery of His love; to them especially this promise is fulfilled: “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

May 16

* St. Adam
* St. Brendan
* St. Ubald Baldassini
* St. Andrew Bobola
* St. John Nepomucene
* St. Simon Stock
* St. Abdas
* St. Annobert
* St. Carantac
* St. Carantoc
* St. Domnolus
* St. Felix & Gennadius
* St. Fidouls
* St. Forannan
* St. Germerius
* St. Hilary
* St. Honoratus of Amiens
* St. Peregrinus
* St. Peregrinus

St. Brendan
Feastday: May 16
St. Brendan died in 583. Born possibly in Tralee, Ireland, and educated by St. Ita and ordained by Bishop Erc, he became a monk and founded a large monastery at Clonfert. Many fantastic details have been added to this brief knowledge usually based on the fictional "Navagation" in which he is described as searching for the Isles of the Blessed, touching the Canaries, and even discovering america. It is possible that he actually made visits to Scotland and Wales. Feast day May 16.
St. Simon Stock

Spiritual Bouquet: The Father loves Me, because I lay down My life... No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. St. John 10:17-18
St. Simon Stock

Superior General of the Carmelite Order

Saint Simon Stock was born of one of the most illustrious Christian families of England, at the castle of Harford in 1164. Certain prodigies marked him, while an infant in the cradle, as a soul chosen by the Mother of God for Her own. Not yet one year old, he was heard to say the Angelic Salutation distinctly, before he had reached the age to learn it. As soon as he could read he began to recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, and he would never cease to do so daily. He read Holy Scripture on his knees at the age of six. He became the object of the jealous persecution of one of his brothers, and at the age of twelve determined to leave and go to live in a forest.

He found a very large hollow tree which became his oratory; and there Simon Stock lived like an angel of the desert. There he triumphed over the demon, as he would later tell his religious, only by the assistance of the Most Holy Virgin. When, deprived in his retreat of the Sacraments, he suffered sharp remorse and fear of his danger amid demoniac visions of criminal pleasures, Mary showed him the wiles of his enemy’s intentions in these harassments.

After twenty years he returned to his parents and resumed his studies, in particular those of theology. He was ordained a priest to obey the orders of Heaven, then went back to his retreat, which he left definitively in the year 1212. The incentive for his departure was a revelation the Blessed Virgin made to him that the Carmelite Fathers of Palestine would come to found monasteries in England. When two Carmelite monks arrived in the company of two English lords returning from a crusade, he hastened to join them, but troubles prevented the foundation of their projected monastery. The three hermits therefore lived in cells near Oxford. The University of Oxford, by recourse to obedience, prevailed upon Simon’s Superiors to allow him to teach theology there, but he did not remain for long.

During a time of difficulty for England which resulted from the Britannic king’s conflicts with the Pope, he composed the famous hymn, Alma Redemptoris Mater, in honor of the Mother of God, to ask for the king’s conversion; his prayers were heard and suddenly the prince accepted all conditions of peace which a papal legate proposed. Saint Simon was soon made Vicar General of his Order for all of Europe. But opposition to the spread of the ancient Order of the Virgin was raised up by the enemy of souls, until Pope Honorius III put an end to it by bulls approving, confirming and protecting the Order from its enemies. He did so, he said, to conform to a command of the Mother of God Herself.

When a General Chapter of the Order was assembled on Mount Carmel itself, Saint Simon attended it. The question of the flight of the monks from the persecutions of the infidels was debated; Saint Simon won out over another opinion by saying that it was a great evil to expose one’s faith to the dangers of persecution without a specific order from heaven, according to the Gospel: “When you are persecuted in one city, flee to another.” The Order had already lost many of its houses, burnt and desecrated. So the monks dispersed to join an army of Crusaders, not without suffering the loss of the lives of several among them at the hands of the infidels. The Christian army, however, found its waters were poisoned by the hand of its enemies, and retired with Saint Simon and his religious to the Mountain of Carmel once again; there the ancient fountain of Elias gave water in abundance, in answer to their prayers. For six years Saint Simon remained on Carmel before returning to Aylesford in England.

The Order afterwards multiplied its foundations, making several in France, under its pious king Saint Louis IX. So prodigiously did it multiply under Saint Simon, that a few years after his death, towards the end of the 13th century, it numbered, according to William of Tyre, several thousand monasteries or solitudes, which the same author estimated were peopled with some 125,000 religious. Saint Simon visited many of them in his extreme old age; he died at Bordeaux during his journeys in 1265.

May 15

* St. Dymphna
* St. Isadore, the Farmer
* St. Isidore
* St. Bertha
* St. Hallvard
* St. Achillas
* St. Andrew
* St. Britwin
* St. Waldalenus
* St. Torquatus
* St. Caesarn
* St. Cassius
* St. Dionysia
* St. Caesarea
* St. Gerebrand
* St. Hilary
* St. Isadore, the Farmer
* St. Nicholas the Mystic
* St. Peter

St. Dymphna
Feastday: May 15
Patron of those suffering for nervous and mental affictions

Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon, her father, is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some woman of noble birth, resembling his wife, who would be willing to marry him. When none could be found, his evil advisers told him to marry his own daughter. Dymphna fled from her castle together with St. Gerebran, her confessor and two other friends. Damon found them in Belgium. He gave orders that the priest's head be cut off. Then Damon tried to persuade his daughter to return to Ireland with him. When she refused, he drew his sword and struck off her head. She was then only fifteen years of age. Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her purity about the year 620. She is the patron of those suffering from nervous and mental afflictions. Many miracles have taken place at her shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium.

Prayer: Hear us, O God, Our Saviour, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen. 

May 14

* Saint Matthias
* St. Michael Garicoits
* St. Boniface
* St. Victor and Corona
* St. Vincent of Lerins
* St. Carthach the Younger
* St. Engelmer
* St. Engelmund
* St. Just
* St. Maria Dominic Mazzarello
St. Maria Dominic Mazzarello
Feastday: May 14
Co-foundress of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix or Our Lady Help of Christians and a disciple of St. John Bosco. She was born near Genoa, Italy, and joined the Pious Union of Mary Immaculate while young. Her institute formed slowly, aided by St. John Bosco, despite her bout with typhoid. She was the first superior general in 1872 when St. John Bosco received approval from Pope Pius IX. The Salesian Sisters, as they are called, spread rapidly. By 1900, there were nearly eight hundred foundations. She died on April 27 at Nizza Monferrato and was canonized in 1951 by Pope Pius XII.
Saint Matthias
Feastday: May 14

How does one qualify to be an apostle?

The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. With all the questions, doubts, and dangers facing them, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why was this important? Twelve was a very important number to the Chosen People: twelve was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed.

But Jesus had chosen the original twelve. How could they know whom he would choose?

One hundred and twenty people were gathered for prayer and reflection in the upper room, when Peter stood up to propose the way to make the choice.

Peter had one criterion, that, like Andrew, James, John, and himself, the new apostle be someone who had been a disciple from the very beginning, from his baptism by John until the Ascension. The reason for this was simple, the new apostle would must become a witness to Jesus' resurrection. He must have followed Jesus before anyone knew him, stayed with him when he made enemies, and believed in him when he spoke of the cross and of eating his body -- teachings that had made others melt away.

Two men fit this description -- Matthias and Joseph called Barsabbas. They knew that both these men had been with them and with Jesus through his whole ministry. But which one had the heart to become a witness to his resurrection. The apostles knew that only the Lord could know what was in the heart of each. They cast lots in order to discover God's will and Matthias was chosen. He was the twelfth apostle and the group was whole again as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

That's the first we hear of Matthias in Scripture, and the last. Legends like the Acts of Andrew and Matthias testify to Matthias' enthusiastic embrace of all that being an apostle meant including evangelization, persecution, and death in the service of the Lord.

How does one qualify to be an apostle?

Clement of Alexandria says that Matthias, like all the other apostles, was not chosen by Jesus for what he already was, but for what Jesus foresaw he would become. He was elected not because he was worthy but because he would become worthy. Jesus chooses all of us in the same way. What does Jesus want you to become?
In His Footsteps:

Have you ever felt like an afterthought, a latecomer? Or have you ever resented someone new who was added to your group? Try to see your community as not complete without the newcomer, whether you or someone else. Welcome any newcomers to your parish, work, or family community this week as someone chosen by God.

Saint Matthias, pray that we may become worthy witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus in the way we live the eternal life we have right now.

May 13

* St. Abban
* St. Agnes of Poitiers
* St. Valerian
* St. Servatus
* St. Glyceria
* St. John the Silent
* St. Juliana of Norwich
* St. Mael
* St. Natalis
* St. Onesimus
* St. Merewenna
* St. Mucius
* Our Lady of Fatima

Spiritual Bouquet: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. St. John 10:11
Our Lady of Fatima


Much has been written concerning the six famous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a little town in Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917. Later it would be said, and rightly so, that everything She predicted there to the three little shepherds has been fulfilled point by point. The story is too long to tell in detail in a few words, and indeed it is not over yet.

Our Lady of Fatima was sent to warn the 20th century that humanity had not followed the path that had been indicated to it by her Son; humanity had not developed as God intended, and the time of the last and worst enemy was fast approaching. She said that if Her requests for prayer and penance were not heard, Communism would spread its errors all over the earth. She appealed to the Apostles of the Latter Times to come forth, those who lived in humility, poverty and contempt for the world, repeating what She had already said at La Salette, France, in greater detail in 1846.

During the final apparition on October 13th, She appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, accompanied by Saint Joseph and the divine Child. Through Lucy of Fatima, Mary had promised a miracle to convince doubters of the reality of Her presence and the Will of God She had conveyed by Her words, and She fulfilled that promise. On October 13, 1917, the great Miracle of the Sun occurred, witnessed by all who were present at Fatima, an international crowd of 70,000 spectators. The sun whirled about and seemed to be plunging down as it sent off multicolored rays; many cried out that it was the end of the world.

A large shrine was built at Fatima, and in the 1940’s more than a thousand miracles had already been duly confirmed there. To some, the famous “Secret of Fatima,” part of which was disclosed by the Vatican to certain heads of State in 1963, and again in full in the year 2000, still remains largely a secret for most of the people who have been waiting for it since 1960, the year that the Virgin said it was to be made public.

May 12    Spiritual Bouquet: I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly. St. John 10:10
Saint Imelda


Saint Imelda was born at Bologna in Italy, in the early 14th century. Still a child, she arranged a little oratory in her house, where she often would pray. She resolved to enter a monastery and make the vows of religion, and to give herself entirely to her Saviour. Her parents permitted her entry into a Dominican convent at Valdipietra, near Bologna. She practiced mortifications above her age, and manifested a very tender love for the Queen of Angels and the Holy Eucharist, though she could not yet receive Holy Communion. But God was soon to manifest that it is not age which wins His favor, but virtue.

On the day of the Ascension in 1333, when Imelda was twelve years old, she alone remained unable to advance to receive Holy Communion. She raised her eyes to heaven and prayed to her Lord: “Come, for I am languishing with love and dying with desire for Your adorable presence!” When He did not come, she continued to pray and weep. Suddenly, a miraculous Host came forth from the tabernacle, crossed the grill separating the choir, and stopped in the air before her. The nuns, amazed, hardly dared raise their eyes, but soon they realized there was no illusion: the miracle continued, a sudden brightness and a sweet fragrance filled the church, while an invisible hand continued to hold the mystical Bread in the air before the young girl. She herself seemed an Angel in adoration. Her confessor was told to come, and saw all that the Sisters were seeing. He placed the Sacred Host on a paten, and then gave it to the child. She seemed to lose consciousness. But soon the Sisters grew anxious; they called her by name, told her to rise, touched her, but Saint Imelda was no longer of this world; she had expired in an ecstasy of pure love.

May 11

* Bl. Albert of Bergamo
* St. Anastasius VI
* St. Anastasius VII
* St. Anthimus
* St. Walbert
* St. Walter
* St. Tudy
* St. Francis Jerome
* St. Gangulphus
* Bl. John of Rochester
* St. Majolus
* St. Mamertius
* St. Odilo of Cluny
* Bl. Matthew Gam
* St. Maximus
* Bl. Peter the Venerable
May 11
St. Ignatius of Laconi
Ignatius is another sainted begging brother.

He was the second of seven children of peasant parents in Sardinia. His path to the Franciscans was unusual. During a serious illness, Ignatius vowed to become a Capuchin if he recovered. He regained his health but ignored the promise. A riding accident prompted him to renew the pledge, which he acted on the second time; he was 20 then. Ignatius’s reputation for self-denial and charity led to his appointment as the official beggar for the friars in Cagliari. He fulfilled that task for 40 years; he was blind the last two years.

While on his rounds, Ignatius would instruct the children, visit the sick and urge sinners to repent. The people of Cagliari were inspired by his kindness and his faithfulness to his work. He was canonized in 1951.


Why did the people of Cagliari support the friars? These followers of Francis worked hard but rarely at jobs that paid enough to live on. Under these conditions St. Francis allowed them to beg. The life of Ignatius reminds us that everything God considers worthwhile does not have a high-paying salary attached to it.


"And I used to work with my hands, and I [still] desire to work; and I firmly wish that all my brothers give themselves to honest work. Let those who do not know how [to work] learn, not from desire of receiving wages for their work but as an example and in order to avoid idleness. And when we are not paid for our work, let us have recourse to the table of the Lord, seeking alms from door to door" (St. Francis, Testament).

May 10         Today we have two very important Saints. Please check out both of them or save this email for later. :-)

* St. Solange
* St. Alphius
* St. Aurelian
* St. William of Pontoise
* St. Calepodius
* St. Cataldus
* St. Comgall
* St. Dioscorides
* St. Epimachus
* St. Gordian and Epimachus
* St. John of Avila
* St. Quaratus and Quintus
* St. Peter Van
* St. Isodore of Madrid
* Bl Damien of Molokai
May 10
Blessed Damien of Molokai


When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.

Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, six years later Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.

In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.

Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Kope, to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.

Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.

When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.


Some people thought Damien was a hero for going to Molokai and others thought he was crazy. When a Protestant clergyman wrote that Damien was guilty of immoral behavior, Robert Louis Stevenson vigorously defended him in an "Open Letter to Dr. Hyde."


During the beatification homily, Pope John Paul II said: "Holiness is not perfection according to human criteria; it is not reserved for a small number of exceptional persons. It is for everyone; it is the Lord who brings us to holiness, when we are willing to collaborate in the salvation of the world for the glory of God, despite our sin and our sometimes rebellious temperament."

May 10

Spiritual Bouquet: He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, because I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. St. John 8:29
Saint Isidore of Madrid


Saint Isidore the Farmer, a perennially popular Saint in Spain, was born near Madrid of very poor but very Christian parents, who early inspired in him love for God and horror of sin. His education was accomplished entirely by the Holy Spirit who taught him, without books, the science of salvation.

He married a wife rich in virtue, Maria Torribia, and God blessed them with a son whom they brought up in the sentiments of their own piety. The child fell into a well, which is still shown in Madrid, and drowned; but when his parents prayed he might be returned to them, the water rose to ground level and brought up the child full of life and health. They promised then to separate, apparently out of gratitude to God, and to live in perpetual continence.

Saint Isidore’s wife became a hermit like himself; Maria, too, performed miracles and merited after her death the name of Santa Maria de la Cabeza, meaning Head, because her head, conserved in a reliquary and carried in procession, has often brought down rain from heaven for the afflicted countryside. Her remains are honored by all of Spain by pilgrimages and processions at Torrelaguna, where they were transferred in 1615.

Saint Isidore himself was a day-laborer on a farm near Madrid, but every day found him at Mass in one of the churches of the city before he set out for his daily task. His employer desired to verify whether he was wasting time during his work, and one day saw two mysterious personages helping the holy worker to guide his plow; Isidore himself told him they were Angels. Afterwards the wealthy owner became still more convinced that piety was useful in all occupations. For not only did his worker bring back to life one of his horses, which he very much needed; when his daughter, too, died, she was resurrected by the Saint. A fountain of water which the Saint caused to surge up by striking the ground still exists.

Saint Isidore, though poor, shared all he had with the poor; and one day, when no provisions were left, his cupboard was found well furnished when still another beggar arrived.

Saint Isidore died some time after his wife; and forty years later his remains, which had been in extremely wet ground, were found incorrupt. They were taken into the Church of Saint Andrew and re-interred there; miracles have been countless, and celestial music has often been heard at his tomb. He has protected the city of Seville, making himself visible occasionally; and the kings of Spain themselves urged his canonization, which was carried out in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.

May 9

* St. Pachomius
* St. Beatus
* St. Beatus of Vendome
* St. Brynoth
* St. Vincent
* Bl. Thomas Pickering
* St. Sanctan
* St. Gerontius
* St. Gorfor
* St. Hermas
* St. John of Chalons
* Blessed Fr. George Preca
Blessed Dun Gorg Preca (1880-1962) - Founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine
Dun Gorg Preca George Preca was born in Valletta on 12 February 1880. He was the seventh of nine children born to a deeply Christian Maltese family. He grew as a sickly child. He studied at the Lyceum and at the Seminary.

A few weeks before George Preca was to be ordained priest, he fell seriously ill and his doctor lost all hope of recovery. However, Fr. George did recover, and was ordained on 22 December 1906. He would later attribute his recovery to the intercession of St Joseph

Even before his priestly ordination, Fr Preca felt that God was calling him to teach His people who were in dire need of Catholic instruction. About 1906, Fr Preca had already started writing a rule in Latin which he intended to send to Pope St Pius X asking for the setting up of a society of Permanent Deacons who would be able to help the Bishops in the people’s Christian formation.

Shortly afterwards he modified this project by starting to form a group of young men who would then be able to instruct others. He gave special formation to one particular young Dockyard worker, the Servant of God Eugenio Borg. Fr Preca explained to him at length the sacred passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of St John. Eugenio Borg was to be the first Superior General of Fr Preca’s Society.

The beginning of the Society was at Hamrun during the early months of 1907 in a small room deprived of everything but rich in brotherly love and in instruction. The Society of Christian Doctrine (SDC) started with the motto of M.U.S.E.U.M., an acrostic for the sentence in Latin Magister, Utinam Sequatur Evangelium Universus Mundus - Lord, would that all the world follow the Gospel.

Not everybody understood this vision of Fr Preca. Some even turned his intentions upside down. Bringing the Bible and theology down to the grasp of workers and lay people was truly a novelty at the beginning of the 20th century. Much more startling was Fr Preca’s vision of forming lay men and women and then sending them to proclaim God’s word to everybody in public. On April 12, 1932, after 25 years from the beginning of the Society the Bishop of Malta Dom Maurus Caruana OSB approved Fr Preca’s Society and its Rule.

When government schools were few and attendance was not compulsory, the SDC Centres for Catholic instruction started opening from one parish to another.

People’s religious instruction was widely needed, for their Christian living centered mostly on the sacraments and popular devotions without not much depth in the teachings of the Church. Children and youths came daily to the Centres of Fr Preca whose catechists, apart from instructing, took them for outings and games together.

>From the very beginning Fr Preca wanted to instruct both young and adults; but first and foremost he planned the formation of his dedicated and celibate catechists. After instructing children, youths and adults, Fr Preca’s catechists are to follow a daily one-hour formation together in every SDC Centre.

Fr Preca also taught through his writings. In spite of the language rivalry going on in Malta involving Italian and English, Fr Preca taught and wrote in Maltese, the language of the common people, so that everyone could understand. Fr Preca has about 150 publications in books or pamphlets to his credit.

His prayers are also numerous, and they reveal Fr Preca as a mystic constantly seeking God in everything. Fr Preca was also a confessor much sought for his consoling words. It seems that God even used Fr Preca’s ministry for some instances of healing.

Today Fr Preca’s charism is still alive and vocations in his Society are also numerous. In the 1950s Fr Preca himself sent six Members to evangelise in Australia. At present the SDC has Centres in the Sudan, Kenya, Peru, London and Albania.

Fr George Preca died at St Venera (Malta) on 26 July 1962. His mortal remains are preserved close to the Society’s Motherhouse at Blata l-Bajda. The Cause for his Beatification was initiated in 1975, and he was declared Venerable in June 2000.

Dun Gorg Preca was beatified on May 9th, 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Source: Archdiocese of Malta SPECIAL THANKS to RITA CHIRCOP

May 8

* St. Victor Maurus
* St. Desideratus
* St. Abran
* St. Wiro
* St. Acacius
* St. Victor the Moor
* St. Wiro
* St. Dionysius
* St. Helladius of Auxerre
* St. Maria Magdalen of Canossa
* St. Odrian
* St. Peter of Tarantaise
* Apparition of St Michael the Archangel

Spiritual Bouquet: He who believes in Me, from within him there shall flow rivers of living water. St. John 7:38
The Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel

Monte Gargano, Italy

It is evident from Holy Scripture that God is pleased to make frequent use of the ministry of the heavenly spirits in the dispensations of His providence in this world. The Angels are all pure spirits; by a property of their nature they are immortal, as is every spirit. They have the power of moving or conveying themselves at will from place to place, and such is their activity that it is not easy for us to conceive of it. Among the holy Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are particularly distinguished in the Scriptures. Saint Michael, whose name means Who is like unto God?, is the prince of the faithful Angels who opposed Lucifer and his followers in their revolt against God. Since the devil is the sworn enemy of God’s holy Church, Saint Michael is given to it by God as its special protector against the demon’s assaults and stratagems.

Various apparitions of this powerful Angel have proved the protection of Saint Michael over the Church. We may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. May 8th, however, is destined to recall another no less marvelous apparition, occurring near Monte Gargano in the Kingdom of Naples.

In the year 492 a man named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.

Accompanied by his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.

It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1) Compare this text with Chapter 10 of the Apocalypse of Saint John.

Reflection. Saint Michael is not only the protector of the Church, but of every faithful soul. By humility he defeated the devil; we who are enlisted in the same warfare must adopt his weapons — humility and ardent love of God. Regarding this Archangel as our leader under God, let us courageously resist the devil in all his assaults with our protector’s famous exclamation: “Who is like unto God?”

May 7

* Bl. Rose
* St. John of Beverly
* St. Villanus
* St. Serenidus & Serenus
* St. Domitian
* St. Flavius
* St. Juvenal of Benevento
* St. Liudhard
* St. Quadratus
* Bl. Michael Ulumbijski
* St. Peter of Pavia
* St. Placid
* St. Stanislaus

Spiritual Bouquet: If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. St. John 7:37
St. Stanislaus of Cracow

Bishop of Cracow, Martyr

Saint Stanislaus was born in answer to prayer, when his parents were advanced in age. Out of gratitude they educated him for the Church. When his parents died, he sold their vast properties and gave the price to the poor. He was ordained, and being a holy priest, soon afterwards became a Canon of the Cracow cathedral.

It was necessary to have recourse to the Pope to have him accept the see of Cracow when it became vacant. But the bishop of Cracow’s virtues increased with his dignity and obligations; Saint Stanislaus donned a hair shirt, which he wore until he died. He had a list drawn up of every poor person of the city, and gave orders to his servants never to refuse anything to anyone.

Boleslaus II was at that time King of Poland; he was a prince of good disposition, but spoilt by a long series of victories and successes. After many acts of lust and cruelty, he outraged the whole kingdom by carrying off the wife of one of his nobles. Against this public scandal the chaste and gentle bishop alone raised his voice. Having commended the matter to God, he went to the palace and openly rebuked the king for his crime against God and his subjects, and threatened to excommunicate him if he persisted in his sin. Boleslaus, with the intention of irrevocably ruining the bishop’s good reputation, suborned the nephews of a man named Paul who had recently died, to swear that their uncle had never been paid for land which the bishop had bought for the Church. Saint Stanislaus stood fearlessly before the king’s tribunal, though all his frightened witnesses forsook him, and guaranteed to bring the dead man to witness in his favor within three days.

On the third day, after many prayers and tears, he raised the dead man to life and led him in his grave-clothes before the king, where Paul testified that the bishop had reimbursed him fully for the terrain he had sold. He was then taken back to the grave, where he lay down and again relapsed into his former state, before a large number of witnesses.

Boleslaus for a while made a show of a better life. Soon, however, he returned to the most scandalous excesses, and the bishop, finding all remonstrance useless, pronounced the sentence of excommunication. In defiance of the censure, on May 8, 1079, the king went to a chapel where Saint Stanislaus was saying Mass and commanded three groups of soldiers in succession to slay him at the altar. Each in turn came out, saying he had been alarmed by a light from heaven. At this the king himself rushed in and slew with his own hand the Saint at the altar during the Holy Sacrifice.

The Pope placed the kingdom of Poland under interdict, excommunicated the king and declared his royalty null and void. Boleslaus repented, took refuge in another country for a time, then set out dressed as a pilgrim for Rome. On the way he knocked on a monastery door to ask for an alms, then decided to enter there anonymously, and was received. He spent seven years there as a Benedictine lay brother, rendering every humble service to the monks, patiently bearing rude treatment. Only on his deathbed did he identify himself, taking out his royal ring which he had concealed until then. He had spent hours praying before a statue of Our Lady in the chapel, by which we may conclude that the Mother of God had obtained for him the grace of conversion and a happy death. His body remains in the church of the same monastery of Ossiach.

Saint Stanislaus was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1253.

Reflection. The safest correction of vice is the Christian’s blameless life. Yet there are times when silence would make us answerable for the sins of others. At such times let us, in the name of God, rebuke the offender without fear.

May 6

* Bl. Edward Jones
* Bl. Anthony Middleton
* St. Benedicta
* St. Theodotus
* St. Eadbert
* St. Heliodorus
* St. Heliodorus
* St. Lucius of Cyrene
* St. Petronax
* St. Domenico Savio

Spiritual Bouquet: He who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is truthful, and there is no injustice in him. St. John 7:18
Saint Dominic Savio


Saint Dominic Savio was born in Riva di Chieri, Italy, on April 2, 1842. He looked so frail and weak on the morning of his birth that his father rushed him that same evening to the parish church for Baptism. But Dominic survived and began serving Mass when he was five years old, one of his greatest joys. He was often seen at five o’clock in the morning in front of the church on his knees in rain or snow, waiting for the doors to be opened. On the occasion of his First Holy Communion he made the resolution to die rather than sin, as he had frequently expressed his determination and ambition to become a Saint.

The village pastor at Mondonio, recognizing in Dominic a soul of predilection, arranged to have him enter Don Bosco’s Oratory at Turin. Don Bosco soon noted Dominic’s consuming quest for sanctity, and pointed out to the boy that the path to holiness is not necessarily among hair shirts and tortures of the flesh, but in the cheerful bearing and offering of each day’s small crosses. Steering the lad away from artificial practices, his loved master showed him that for a soul avid of penance, there is a superabundance to be had for the taking, through acceptance of the monotony and tribulations inseparable from the perfect fulfillment of the duties of one’s state of life.

After a few months of life in the environment of the Oratory and under the saintly care of Saint John Bosco, Dominic’s soul was fired with the zeal of his master, whose rule of life, “Give me souls, Lord; You take the rest,” the boy adopted for his own. Following the example of Don Bosco, who in season and out of season sought those souls wherever they were to be found, Dominic also went after them in his own little world. In the Oratory he founded and directed the Immaculate Conception Sodality, a group of boys who by prayer, word and example carried on an apostolate among their classmates and proved to be of valuable assistance to Don Bosco in his work.

On one occasion Dominic broke up a vicious “duel with stones.” Standing between the boy-duelists with dramatic suddenness, he flashed a crucifix and said: “This is Friday. Today Christ died for love of us. Can you look at Him and still hate each other?”

When Dominic’s health began to fail he was forced to leave the Oratory. Don Bosco and the boys were very sorry to see him leave; he had been a good friend to all. Don Bosco said of him: “His cheerful character and lively disposition made him extremely popular even among those boys who were no great lovers of their faith.” His death at his home on March 9, 1857, was sweet and peaceful. Pope Pius XII canonized him in June, 1954.

Reflection. “Death rather than sin!” That cry from the soul of Dominic is now, thanks to Don Bosco, resounding across the rude battlefields of teen-age purity, seeking echoes in young and generous hearts.


May 5

* St. Angelo
* St. Aventinus
* St. Brito
* St. Theodore of Bologna
* St. Sacerdos
* St. Crescentiana
* St. Echa
* Bl. Edmund Ignatius Rice
* St. Hilary
* St. Hydroc
* Bl. John Haile
* St. Jovinian
* St. Jutta
* St. Nectarius
* St. Nicetius
* St. Maurontus
* St. Maximus of Jerusalem
* St. Pius V Pope

Spiritual Bouquet: When you have done everything that was commanded you, say, "We are unprofitable servants." St. Luke 17:10
St. Pius V


Michael Ghislieri, a Dominican friar from his fifteenth year, a teacher of religion at twenty, as a simple religious, as inquisitor, bishop, and cardinal, was famous both for the spotless purity of his own life and for his intrepid defense of the Church’s faith and discipline. Surrounded in his time by great men and great Saints, in apostolic virtue he was surpassed by none.

As Pope, his first concern was to reform the Roman court and the capital city by the strict example of his own household and the punishment of offenders. He next endeavored to obtain from the Catholic powers recognition of the decrees of the Council of Trent, two of which he strictly enforced: the obligatory residence of bishops in their sees, and the establishment of diocesan seminaries. He revised the Missal and Breviary, and reformed ecclesiastical music.

He was not less active in protecting the Church outside Italy. We see him at the same time supporting the Catholic King of France against the Huguenot rebels, and encouraging Mary, Queen of Scots in the bitterness of her captivity. It is he who excommunicated her rival, the usurper Elizabeth, when the best blood of England flowed upon the scaffold and the measure of her crimes was full. The intrepidity of this Vicar of Christ found enemies. The holy Pope was accustomed to kiss the feet of the crucifix on leaving or entering his room. One day the feet moved away from his lips. Sorrow filled his heart, and he made acts of contrition, fearing that he must have committed some secret offense, yet he still could not kiss the feet. It was afterwards discovered that they had been poisoned by an enemy.

It was in the Lepanto victory that the Saint’s power was most plainly manifest. There, in October of 1571, by the holy league which he had formed but still more by the prayers of the aging Pontiff to the great Mother of God, the defeat of the advancing Ottoman forces was obtained and Christendom was saved from the Turk. Six months later Saint Pius V died, having reigned only six years.

Reflection. “Thy cross, O Lord, is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces; by it the faithful find strength in weakness, glory in humiliation, life in death.” (Saint Leo)


May 4

* St. Florian
* St. Judas Cyriacus
* St. Venerius
* St. Augustine Webster
* St. Sacerdos
* Bl. Carthusian Martyrs
* St. Conleth
* St. Cyriacus
* St. John Houghton
* St. John Payne
* St. Richard Reynolds
* St. Robert Lawrence
* Bl. Martyrs of the Carthusian Order
* Martyrs of England
* Forty Martyrs of England & Wales
* St. Nepotian
* St. Paulinus of Sinigaglia
* St. Pelagia of Tarsus
* Bl. Michael Giedroyc

May 4
Blessed Michael Giedroyc
(d. 1485)

A life of physical pain and mental torment didn’t prevent Michael Giedroyc from achieving holiness.

Born near Vilnius, Lithuania, Michael suffered from physical and permanent handicaps from birth. He was a dwarf who had the use of only one foot. Because of his delicate physical condition, his formal education was frequently interrupted. But over time, Michael showed special skills at metalwork. Working with bronze and silver, he created sacred vessels, including chalices.

He traveled to Cracow Poland, where he joined the Augustinians. He received permission to live the life of a hermit in a cell adjoining the monastery. There Michael spent his days in prayer, fasted and abstained from all meat and lived to an old age. Though he knew the meaning of suffering throughout his years, his rich spiritual life brought him consolation. Michael’s long life ended in 1485 in Cracow.

Five hundred years later, Pope John Paul II visited the city and spoke to the faculty of the Pontifical Academy of Theology. The 15th century in Cracow, the pope said, was “the century of saints.” Among those he cited was Blessed Michael Giedroyc.


May 3

* St. Philip
* St. James the Lesser
* St. Adalsindis
* St. Alexander
* St. Ansfrid
* Sts. Timothy & Martha
* St. Scannal
* St. Diodorus
* St. Gluvias
* St. James the Less
* St. Juvenal of Narni
* St. Philip of Zell
May 3

Sts. Philip and James

James, Son of Alphaeus: We know nothing of this man but his name, and of course the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, “brother” of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater.

Philip: Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45).

Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. St. John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (John 6:7).

John’s story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity’s total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God’s gift.

On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus’ voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, “I am the way...If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Enough! Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9a).

Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some Gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus’ reply in John’s Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his “hour” has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and Gentile alike.


As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving. All power is God’s power, even the power of human freedom to accept his gifts. “You will be clothed with power from on high,” Jesus told Philip and the others. Their first commission had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, announce the kingdom. They learned, gradually, that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle inside their persons—the divine power to love like God.


May 2

* St. Zoe
* St. Athanasius
* St. Ultan
* St. Vindemialis, Eugene, & Longinus
* St. Waldebert
* St. Wiborada
* St. Valentine
* St. Saturninus
* St. Felix of Seville
* St. Joseph Luu
* St. Neachtian
St. Athanasius
Feastday: May 2


St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at Alexandria, about the year 296, of Christian parents. Educated under the eye of Alexander, later Bishop of his native city, he made great progress in learning and virtue. In 313, Alexander succeeded Achillas in the Patriarchal See, and two years later St. Athanasius went to the desert to spend some time in retreat with St. Anthony.

In 319, he became a deacon, and even in this capacity he was called upon to take an active part against the rising heresy of Arius, an ambitious priest of the Alexandrian Church who denied the Divinity of Christ. This was to be the life struggle of St. Athanasius.

In 325, he assisted his Bishop at the Council of Nicaea, where his influence began to be felt. Five months later Alexander died. On his death bed he recommended St. Athanasius as his successor. In consequence of this, Athanasius was unanimously elected Patriarch in 326.

His refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions for St. Athanasius. He spent seventeen of the forty-six years of his episcopate in exile. After a life of virtue and suffering, this intrepid champion of the Catholic Faith, the greatest man of his time, died in peace on May 2, 373. St. Athanasius was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church.


May 1

* St. Marculf
* St. Andeolus
* St. Aceolus
* St. Acius
* St. Aldebrandus
* St. Amator
* St. Arigius
* St. Asaph
* St. Benedict of Szkalka
* St. Bertha
* St. Brieuc
* St. Theodard
* St. Ceallach
* St. Cominus
* St. Grata
* St. John-Louis Bonnard
* St. Orentius
* St. Orentius and Patientia
* St. Panacea
* St. Joseph the Worker

Spiritual Bouquet: If seven times in the day your brother sins against you, and seven times in the day turns back to you, saying, "I repent," forgive him. St. Luke 17:4
Saint Joseph the Worker


On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII granted a public audience to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, whose members had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their society. They were solemnly renewing, in common, their promise of loyalty to the social doctrine of the Church, and it was on that day that the Pope instituted the liturgical feast of May 1st, in honor of Saint Joseph the Worker. He assured his audience and the working people of the world: “You have beside you a shepherd, a defender and a father” in Saint Joseph, the carpenter whom God in His providence chose to be the virginal father of Jesus and the head of the Holy Family. He is silent but has excellent hearing, and his intercession is very powerful over the Heart of the Saviour.

We can conclude from the role for which Saint Joseph was chosen and named by Heaven that he was a man of tried virtue and consummate holiness. No other mortal man would ever hold a higher office. Saint Joseph surpassed all the Saints of the Old Law in sanctity; in him the virtue of his ancestors reached its culmination and perfection. Like Abraham, he was a man of faith and obedience; like Isaac, one of prayer and vision; like Jacob, he was patient and self-sacrificing; like Joseph of Egypt, his chastity was inviolable. And like David, of whom he is the direct descendant, he is a royal intercessor according to the heart of God. Ite ad Joseph — Go to Joseph; to Joseph of Egypt, the pharaoh told the needy to go for assistance to receive the grain that would save their lives. To the new Joseph, the just man to whom the Son of God Himself was subject as to a father, all Christians can go with confidence, and he will see to their spiritual and temporal needs with paternal goodness.



April 30

Spiritual Bouquet: It is necessary that scandals come, but woe to the man through whom scandal does come! St. Matthew 18:7
Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo


Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was born in 1786 at Bra in Piedmont, Italy. As a secular priest in Turin, he showed a special concern for the sick poor, receiving them into a small house. This “Little House of Divine Providence”, the Piccola Casa, as he called it, was the beginning of an entire city of more than 7,000 poor persons, orphans, sick and lame, retarded, penitents, served by several religious Orders. These were distinguished by their names and their religious habits, each group being dedicated to a specific work they were assigned to do. And of this Piccola Casa, as it is still called, one can say what Saint Gregory Nazienzen said in his funeral eulogy of his friend Saint Basil’s large hospital: “Go a little way outside the city and se, in this new city storehouses of piety, the common treasure of the owners, where a surplus of wealth has been laid up, where sickness is borne with patience, misfortune is considered happiness, and compassion is efficaciously practiced.”

For this ever more pressing work, the Saint founded fourteen religious communities which today are still very widespread, especially in Italy. Among them were some which were purely contemplative; the life of prayer its members led was destined to draw down upon the others the blessing of heaven, thus completing by a spiritual work of mercy the corporal works exercised there. These religious prayed in particular for those who have the greatest need of assistance, the dying and the deceased. The Saint trusted totally in the infinite kindness of God, and as one of his friends said, he had more confidence in God than did the entire city of Turin. When he was asked about the source of his revenues, he answered, “Providence sends me everything.”

Confidence in God did not, however, cause him to cross his arms and observe. He slept only a few hours, often on a chair or bench, and then returned to his daily labor, work and prayer. But Saint Joseph Benedict was exhausting his strength. In 1842, the doctors decided that he should go to visit his brother in Chieri. When he entered the carriage, one of the Sisters cried out in tears: “Father, you are sick; what will become of us?” “Be at peace,” he answered. “When I am in heaven, where one can do everything, I will help you more than now I do. I will hold to the cloak of the Mother of God and keep my eyes fixed on you. Do not forget what I, a poor old man, say to you today!” A few days later, on April 30, 1842, death came. The final word of this great Saint was that of the Psalm: “I rejoiced when it was said unto me, Let us go unto the House of the Lord!” Saint Joseph Benedict was canonized by Pope Pius XI, March 19, 1934.

April 29

* St. Catherine of Siena
* St. Peter of Verona
* St. Ava
* St. Agapius
* St. Wilfrid the Younger
* St. Torpes
* St. Tychicus
* St. Senan
* St. Daniel
* St. Dichu
* St. Endellion
* St. Fiachan
* St. Hugh the Great
* St. Robert of Molesmes
* Bl. Robert Bruges
* Martyrs of Corfu
* St. Paulinus of Brescia
St. Catherine of Siena
Doctor of the Church
Feastday: April 29
Patron Fire prevention

1347 - 1380
St. Catherine of Siena<br>Doctor of the Church
St. Catherine of Siena
Doctor of the Church

The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education.
<>The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.

An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.

Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope
She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.


Though she lived her life in a faith experience and spirituality far different from that of our own time, Catherine of Siena stands as a companion with us on the Christian journey in her undivided effort to invite the Lord to take flesh in her own life. Events which might make us wince or chuckle or even yawn fill her biographies: a mystical experience at six, childhood betrothal to Christ, stories of harsh asceticism, her frequent ecstatic visions. Still, Catherine lived in an age which did not know the rapid change of twenty-first-century mobile America. The value of her life for us today lies in her recognition of holiness as a goal to be sought over the course of a lifetime.

April 28

* St. Theodora
* St. Peter Chanel
* St. Louis Mary Grignion
* St. Vitalis
* St. Luchesio
* St. Valerie
* St. Aphrodisius
* St. Artemius
* St. Valeria
* St. Theodora & Didymus
* St. Cronan of Roscrea
* St. John Baptist Thanh
* St. Louis de Montfort
* St. Mark of Galilee
* St. Pamphilus
* St. Patrick of Prusa
* St. Peter Hieu
* St. Pollio
* St. Paul of The Cross


The eighty-one years of this Saint’s life were modeled on the Passion of Jesus Christ. In his childhood, when praying in church, a heavy bench fell on his foot, but the boy paid no attention to the bleeding wound, and spoke of it as “a rose sent from God.” As a young man, he wished to be a religious, but his confessor, who had determined to humiliate him, commanded him to go to a dance. As he stepped out onto the floor out of obedience, the strings of the musicians’ instruments broke, and the event ended.

About this time, the vision of a scourge with “love” written on its lashes made him understand that “God wanted to scourge my soul, but out of love.” His thirst for penance would indeed be satisfied. In the hope of dying for the Faith, he enlisted in a crusade against the Turks; but a voice from the Tabernacle told him to return home, because another war, a spiritual one, was awaiting him there.

At the command of his bishop, he began while a layman to preach the Passion, and a series of crosses tested the reality of his vocation. He made a retreat of forty days in a damp outbuilding near the church of Castellazzo, and there he wrote in five days the Rule for a Congregation which he knew he had to found. A penitential trip across the Apennines in winter, without coat, hat or sandals, and with virtually no food, made under obedience to consult a bishop, was only the first of his long journeys. The bishop could not give approbation to his intentions. Having been jeered at on the road, he said, “These scoffings were of great benefit to my soul.”

In the hermitage where he dwelt on his return to Castellazzo, several companions came to join him, but all of them save his faithful younger brother, John Baptist, deserted him. He taught catechism to the children, and when he preached before adults he held them spellbound for two hours. The Passion’s full sanctifying power was bearing fruit through him. Nonetheless, when he went to Rome the Sovereign Pontiff refused him an audience; it was only after a delay of seventeen years that papal approbation was obtained and the first house of the Passionists opened on Monte Argentaro, which was the site Our Lady had pointed out.

Saint Paul of the Cross established for his Order, on the breast of their black habit, a badge he had seen in a vision, having on it the Holy Name of Jesus and a cross surmounting a heart with three nails, in memory of the sufferings of Jesus. But he invented another more secret and durable sign for himself. Moved by the same holy impulse as Blessed Henry Suso, Saint Jane Frances de Chantal and other Saints, he branded on his chest the Holy Name; it was still found there after his death. His heart beat with a supernatural palpitation which was especially vehement on Fridays, and the heat at times was so intense as to scorch his shirt in the region of his heart.

Saint Paul of the Cross suffered for forty-five years from spiritual desolation, an expiatory suffering which he bore with perfect patience. Despite fifty years of incessant bodily pain and all his trials, he read the love of Jesus in all things, though demons were tormenting him constantly. At one time his sciatica prevented him from sleeping for forty days; he prayed for the grace of an hour’s sleep, but to this Passionist’s prayer, heaven saw fit to remain deaf. Such was the life of one of the greatest disciples of Christ’s Passion. He died while the Passion was being read to him, and so passed like his Lord from the cross to eternal glory.

April 27

* Bl. Peter Armengol
* St. Peter Canisius
* St. Adelelmus
* St. Asicus
* St. Winewald
* St. Zita
* St. Tertullian
* St. Theophilus
* St. Castor & Stephen
* St. Enoder
* St. Floribert
* St. John of Constantinople
* St. Lawrence Huong
* St. Liberalis

Spiritual Bouquet: Whoever humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. St. Matthew 18:4
Saint Peter Canisius

Doctor of the Church

Born in 1521 of a distinguished family of Holland, Saint Peter Canisius studied in Cologne and received his license as doctor of civil law; he then went to Louvain (Belgium) to learn canon law. These studies followed close upon the days when Luther had burnt the papal bulls at Wittenberg, Germany. Soon Saint Peter, become a Jesuit, was teaching at the University of Cologne; he was there when the unfortunate archbishop of that city fell into the new heresy. The Catholics who desired to depose him needed a deputy to the emperor to present their request, and Saint Peter was chosen.

His mission, seconded by the Holy Spirit, succeeded; and the deputy was remarked by a Cardinal, who desired to send him to the Council of Trent as his representative and theologian. Saint Peter’s superior, Saint Ignatius of Loyola himself, approved this choice, and the young Jesuit took his place among the Fathers of the Council. He was commissioned to draft a memoir on the exact nature of the errors being propagated in the lands of the reform, in consort with the Pope’s theologian, another Jesuit named Jacques Laynez. Their work was admired; the Council was dissolved soon afterwards, however, and Saint Peter was recalled to Rome by Saint Ignatius, to consult with him concerning the formation of the religious and the future of their Order.

Afterwards Saint Peter and two other Jesuits founded a college at Ingolstadt, going there with only two books in their baggage, the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius and the famous Ratio Studiorum, or Plan of Studies of their Order. Saint Peter was named Rector of the University by that institution.

He was in demand everywhere; King Ferdinand of Rome obtained his presence for Vienna. A pestilence broke out there, and he was most often found at the bedside of the dying, caring for the bodies and regenerating the souls of the unfortunate citizens. He opened a boarding school for boys, and Vienna soon found itself reborn in the faith: the famous Catechism of Saint Peter Canisius had much to do with the renovation. During his lifetime it appeared in more than 200 editions, in at least twelve languages. It remains a monument of the triumph of the Church over error in the time of Luther.

Its author had tried to keep his name a secret but did not succeed, and then several nations disputed the honor of his presence. But Saint Peter was Provincial of Germany, named by Saint Ignatius, and he concerned himself above all with the colleges at Prague, Ingolstadt and Munich. Until his death in 1597 the Apostle of Germany continued the valiant and perpetual combat of the Church against error. For a long time forgotten, Saint Peter was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI in 1927.

April 26

* St. Aldo
* St. Cletus
* St. Basileus
* St. Trudpert
* St. Franca Visalta
* St. Lucidius
* St. Riquier
* St. Paschasius Radbertus
* St. Peter of Braga
* Our Lady Of Good Counsel

Spiritual Bouquet: Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. St. Matthew 18:3
Our Lady of Good Counsel


The apparition of Our Lady of Good Counsel is so celebrated, Her picture so well known and so honored in the Church, that it is very fitting to allot a place to this devotion. The little city of Gennazano, situated on the mountains of the former Sabina province, about ten leagues from Rome, for a thousand years already had honored the Blessed Virgin as Our Lady of Good Counsel. In the 15th century, the church of that city was dilapidated and about to collapse. A pious woman of advanced age named Petruccia desired to provide for its reconstruction, but the gift of her entire fortune, which she made for this purpose, proved insufficient. Petruccia foretold that the Blessed Virgin would Herself finish the work.

Then on April 25, 1467, at the hour of Vespers, a celestial harmony was heard in the air, and the crowd saw a brilliant cloud coming down through the air, which came to rest over the altar in the Chapel of Saint Blaise in the Gennazano Church, where the restoration had begun. At the same time, all the church bells began to ring joyously. The cloud disappeared, and the marveling crowd saw a picture of Mary holding the Child Jesus, painted on a prepared surface, suspended in the air over the altar near the wall, without any natural support. It was duly verified that this picture had been miraculously transported from a church of Scutari, a city of Albania. Providence, wishing to preserve it from profanation by the Turks who were controlling that land, sent it as a reward for the faith of Petruccia and her fellow citizens of Gennazano.

A history of the marvels of all kinds which have been wrought since that time near this miraculous picture, suspended in the air, would require volumes. Often the picture has been seen to change its expression, the eyes of the Blessed Virgin taking on an appearance of joy or sorrow. How many illnesses and infirmities have been cured! How many spiritual graces have been obtained! Gennazano in Italy is still a venerated pilgrimage site, much frequented by the people of that land, and many pious pilgrims from other nations, when time permits it for them, arrange to visit this blessed sanctuary. The Sovereign Pontiffs have granted many indulgences to devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel, and the title Mother of Good Counsel was included in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin by Pope Leo XIII.

April 25

* St. Mark
* St. Anianus
* Bl. William Marsden
* St. Macaille
* St. Macedonius
* Bl. Robert Anderton
* St. Robert of Syracuse
* St. Mella
* St. Phaebadius
* St. Philo and Agathopodes

April 25, 2006

St. Mark

Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. (When Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark's mother.)

Paul and Barnabas (Mark's cousin) took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul's refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas's insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Later, Paul asks Mark to visit him in prison so we may assume the trouble did not last long.

The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' rejection by humanity while being God's triumphant envoy. Probably written for Gentile converts in Rome—after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark's Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a "scandal": a crucified Messiah.

Evidently a friend of Mark (Peter called him "my son"), Peter is only one of the Gospel sources, others being the Church in Jerusalem (Jewish roots) and the Church at Antioch (largely Gentile).

Saint Mark was converted to the Faith by the Prince of the Apostles, whom he later accompanied to Rome, acting there as his secretary or interpreter. When Saint Peter wrote his First Epistle to the churches of Asia, he affectionately joined to his own salutation that of his faithful companion, whom he calls “my son Mark.” The Roman people entreated Saint Mark to put in writing for them the substance of Saint Peter’s frequent discourses on Our Lord’s life. This the Evangelist did under the eye and with the express sanction of the Apostle, and every page of his brief but graphic Gospel so bore the impress of Saint Peter’s character, that the Fathers used to name it “Peter’s Gospel.”

Saint Mark was then sent to Egypt to found the Church of Alexandria. There his disciples became the wonder of the world for their piety and asceticism; Saint Jerome speaks of Saint Mark as the father of the anchorites who at a later time thronged the Egyptian deserts. There, too, he set up the first Christian school, the fruitful mother of many illustrious doctors and bishops.

Like one other Gospel writer, Luke, Mark was not one of the 12 apostles. We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally. Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane: "Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (Mark 14:51-52).

Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains.

A winged lion is Mark's symbol. The lion derives from Mark's description of John the Baptist as a "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures (Ezekiel, chapter one) to the evangelists.


Mark fulfilled in his life what every Christian is called to do: proclaim to all people the Good News that is the source of salvation. In particular, Mark's way was by writing. Others may proclaim the Good News by music, drama, poetry or by teaching children around a family table.


There is very little in Mark that is not in the other Gospels—only four passages. One is: “...This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).

April 24

* St. Egbert
* St. Alexander
* St. William Firmatus
* St. Sabas
* St. Deodatus
* St. Diarmaid
* St. Dyfnan
* St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
* St. Mellitus of Canterbury

Spiritual Bouquet: If you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Remove from here," and it will remove. And nothing will be impossible to you. St. Matthew 17:19
Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier


On May 2, 1940, Pope Pius XII raised to the ultimate honors of the altar a most remarkable woman, Mother Mary Euphrasia Pelletier. As the solemn Te Deum swelled in gladness through the Vatican Basilica, its joyous strains were echoed and reechoed in quiet chapels found in virtually all the large cities of the world. Almost a hundred thousand women and girls and over ten thousand white-robed Sisters, in three hundred and fifty homes of charity, rejoiced with their Mother, the new Saint. For Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier is the Foundress and first General Superior of the large Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd of Angers, and one of the great sociologists of the ages.

Rose Virginia Pelletier was born of pious parents on July 31, 1796 on the island of Noirmoutiers, during the terrible period of the French Revolution. So it was that her life began as a daughter of the suffering faith of her beloved France. Because of the suppression and expulsion of religious Orders, the education of the little girl had to be undertaken by her busy mother. At her knees Rose Virginia learned of God and His service.

In 1814 she entered the Order of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge at Tours. After ten months as a postulant in this historic community at Tours, Rose Virginia received the habit and entered upon her life as a novice in September, 1815. For two years she remained in the novitiate, being formed to the religious life, studying and absorbing the history and work of her Order. Listening to the life of a Saint one day, she heard that he quickly attained sanctity by his perfect obedience. “Obedience, then,” reflected the young novice, “must be the best means to become holy. If only I might take the vow of obedience at once!” Sister Mary Euphrasia consulted her superiors, and was permitted to take a private vow of obedience. In 1817 she was professed, making then her first public vows.

In a few years her exceptional qualifications became so apparent to all that after having been Mistress of penitents, she was elected Superior of the house. A project which had been in her mind for a long time was then made a reality. She had found in many of the penitents a real attraction for the religious life, with no desire to return to the world after their conversion. Where could they go? It was very difficult, virtually impossible, to find a congregation suitable for them or willing to accept them. So Mother Euphrasia inaugurated a community called the Magdalene Sisters. She adapted the rule of Saint Teresa, drew up a set of Constitutions, and erected the first community of Magdalenes in the house at Tours. One of the greatest consolations Mother Euphrasia enjoyed in life was the sanctity attained by so many of these religious, bound by vows to a life of prayer and penance.

During the thirty years she was Superior General, Mother Euphrasia sent out her Sisters from their mother house at Angers to found one hundred and ten houses in every land beneath the sun — Sisters inflamed with her own zeal, trained at her hands. She died at Angers in her seventy-second year, having welcomed death with the faith and serenity which marked her entire life.

Reflection. It has been well said that of all great hearts, the greatest is the heart of a Saint.



SUNDAY 23/4/06     Launch of the New Website Way Of Living

A Short History of The Divine Mercy

On February 22, 1931, Sister Faustina records in her Diary “I saw Jesus dressed in a white garment. He held one hand raised in blessing and the other hand was touching his garment at the breast. From under the garment came two rays of light, one red the other pale”.

Jesus said “ paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the signature, Jesus, I trust in You, I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the whole world”. Later Sr. Faustina’s Spiritual Director told her to ask Jesus what the rays signified and Jesus explained to her -

“The rays represent the Blood and Water which gushed forth from the depths of my Mercy when My agonising Heart was pierced on the cross. The pale rays symbolise the water, which cleanses and purifies the soul: the red rays represent the blood, which gives new life to the soul. These rays will shield the soul before the justice of My Father. Fortunate are those who live in this shelter, for the justice of God will not reach them there”.

St. Faustina writes in her diary: “The Lord permitted me to see the immensity and greatness of His Mercy. If souls could only realise how much God loves them! Earthly human understanding, is only a pale shadow of the reality,” Jesus pleaded for help in seeking the return, through His mercy, of all who have lost their faith and offended God.

Write, the greater the sinner, the greater the mercy. Summon all those to confidence in the incomprehensible depth of My Mercy for I desire to save all. The well of Mercy was opened wide with a lance on the Cross, for all souls. I do not exclude anyone.”

Again and again, Our Lord visited Sister Faustina and repeated His appeal to sinners calling them to His open arms. “Know, my daughter, that My Heart is Mercy itself. >From this sea of mercy graces pour out upon the whole world. No souls that come to Me depart without being comforted. All misery vanishes in My Mercy: and every grace, redemptive and sanctifying, stems from this source”.

On another occasion, Jesus complained of our lack of trust in Him “Distrust tears at My Heart. The lack of confidence in chosen souls hurts me most. Despite my inexhaustible love, they do not trust me.

Tell ailing mankind to draw close to My Merciful Heart and I will fill them with peace. Mankind will not find solace until it turns with confidence to My Mercy and love.” Today is also the feast of St George


                                            Last Updated Tuesday, 22 August 2006