Category Archives: Saints

Martyrs of Korea

Korean MartyrsThe Catholic Church in Korea is atypical because it was established and sustained by the laity. The missionary impulse of Catholicism was not a clergy enterprise but a lay one. This particular church faced persecution from day one. Today, we honor several of the lay martyrs who were beheaded on 31 January 1840 in Dangkogae, Seoul, Korea.

They are:

• Saint Agatha Kwon Chin-i – Married lay woman
• Saint Agatha Yi Kyong-I – Lay woman.
• Saint Augustinus Park Chong-Won – Lay catechist 
• Saint Maria Yi In-Dok – Young lay woman
• Saint Petrus Hong Pyong-Ju – Lay catechist

Blessed Carmen Marie Anne García Moyon

Blessed Carmen Marie Anne García MoyonA rather unknown beatus is the lay woman from the archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, who vocation it was to be a Catechist and Martyr is honored today. Blessed Carmen Marie (1888-1937) was born in Nantes, France; she met the Lord after being raped and martyred in the Spanish Civil War; burned alive on 30 January 1937 in Torrent, Valencia, Spain.

A brief biography available in French can be read here.

John Paul II beatified García Moyon on March 11, 2001.

Blessed Carmen Marie, pray for all teachers of Christian Doctrine and those who live with the trauma of rape.

Conversion of St Paul

St PaulPrayer for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

O glorious St. Paul, who, from being a persecutor of the Christian name, didst become its most zealous Apostle, and who, to carry the knowledge of Jesus, our Divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the earth, didst joyfully suffer prison, scourgings, stonings, shipwreck and all manner of persecutions, who didst finish thy course by shedding the last drop of thy blood: obtain for us the grace to accept, as favors bestowed by the mercy of God, the infirmities, sufferings and misfortunes of this life, that we may not grow slack in our service of God by reason of these vicissitudes of our exile, but that we may rather show ourselves all the more devoted, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

V. Pray for us, St. Paul the Apostle.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, Who has taught the multitudes of the Gentiles by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant unto us, we beseech Thee, that we who keep his memory sacred, may feel the might of his intercession before Thee. Through Christ Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, forever and ever. Amen. (500 days — plenary if recited daily for one month.)

Saint Agnes

OTHER128892_ArticoloSaint Jerome spoke these words in a sermon for today’s feast: “This is a virgin’s birthday; let us follow the example of her chastity. It is a martyr’s birthday; let us offer sacrifices; it is the birthday of holy Agnes: let men be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married women with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. It seems to me that this child, holy beyond her years and courageous beyond human nature, receives the name of Agnes [Greek: pure] not as an earthly designation but as a revelation from God of what she was to be.”

Two very young lambs were blessed by Pope Francis in the Urban VIII Chapel. When the wool is ready, they will be shorn and the wool used to make the pallia for the recently appointed metropolitan archbishops. At this writing, there are no new archbishops in the USA who will receive one of the pallia unless a new archbishop in Anchorage is appointed soon.

You would recognize the pallium as the outer stole worn by the Pope and the archbishops while they offer Holy Mass. Each pallium is white decorated with six black crosses and 3 pins symbolizing their pastoral communion and authority share with the Pope. The white connects the purity of heart each bishop ought to have with the chaste love he has for the Church. The white pallium recognizes her faithfulness. The quote taken from Saint Jerome above gives the real sense of what is going on today with the lambs viz. Agnes viz. the archbishops.

The name Agnes means “lamb” in Latin and “pure” in Greek. The young virgin-martyrd Agnes lived in the early 4th century and was known for her consecrated virginity. Her life was taken from her because she believed in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and not pagan gods. Saint Agnes is buried in the Basilica of Saint Agnes on the via Nomentana.

The Trappist monks raise the lambs to a certain age before they given to the Benedictine nuns at St Cecilia Abbey in Trastevere weave the pallia and given to the Apostolic Household to be placed in an urn at the tomb of Saint Peter until the Pope blesses them on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Saint Hilary of Poitiers

St HilaryI think Hilary is a most fascinating saint given his humanity, the vigor of his intellect and the beauty of his lived faith. He is a convert at the age of 35. His first premise is the love of God and our response to the love. The incarnation of the Eternal Word of God, Jesus –love: God stooped down to us so that can reach up to touch Him.

A skilled administrator and an exceptional priest Hilary paid for his single-mindedness in ecclesial matters and the teaching of the faith. After all, he was an apologist for Love.

A bridge between East and West, Saint Hilary fought Arianism and he introduced Eastern theology to the Western Church. Mother Church through the ministry of Pope Pius IX named Saint Hilary a Doctor of the Church in 1851.

What we believe to essential about a feast day or saint is found in the Mass prayers. Today, the Church prayed to God the Father that “we may rightly understand and truthfully profess the divinity of your Son.” So let’s be constant in this regard.

From a sermon on the Trinity by Saint Hilary:

May I serve you by making you known

I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life I owe you a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word speak of you.

In fact, you have conferred on me this gift of speech, and it can yield no greater return than to be at your service. It is for making you known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God, and preaching this to the world that knows you not and to the heretics who refuse to believe in you.

In this matter the declaration of my intention is only of limited value. For the rest, I need to pray for the gift of your help and your mercy. As we spread our sails of trusting faith and public avowal before you, fill them with the breath of your Spirit, to drive us on as we begin this course of proclaiming your truth. We have been promised, and he who made the promise is trustworthy: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Yes, in our poverty we will pray for our needs. We will study the sayings of your prophets and apostles with unflagging attention, and knock for admittance wherever the gift of understanding is safely kept. But yours it is, Lord, to grant our petitions, to be present when we seek you and to open when we knock.

There is an inertia in our nature that makes us dull; and in our attempt to penetrate your truth we are held within the bounds of ignorance by the weakness of our minds. Yet we do comprehend divine ideas by earnest attention to your teaching and by obedience to the faith which carries us beyond mere human apprehension.

So we trust in you to inspire the beginnings of this ambitious venture, to strengthen its progress, and to call us into a partnership in the spirit with the prophets and the apostles. To that end, may we grasp precisely what they meant to say, taking each word in its real and authentic sense. For we are about to say what they already have declared as part of the mystery of revelation: that you are the eternal God, the Father of the eternal, only-begotten God; that you are one and not born from another; and that the Lord Jesus is also one, born of you from all eternity. We must not proclaim a change in truth regarding the number of gods. We must not deny that he is begotten of you who are the one God; nor must we assert that he is other than the true God, born of you who are truly God the Father.

Impart to us, then, the meaning of the words of Scripture and the light to understand it, with reverence for the doctrine and confidence in its truth. Grant that we may express what we believe. Through the prophets and apostles we know about you, the one God the Father, and the one Lord Jesus Christ. May we have the grace, in the face of heretics who deny you, to honor you as God, who is not alone, and to proclaim this as truth.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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