Category Archives: Saints

St. Josephine Bakhita

Blessed Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita.

May she always intercede for us, especially those caught in the web of human trafficking!

The matter of human trafficking is finally getting to attention by those outside of law enforcement officials. The Church has know about this crime and sin but has not made too many in-roads to change the system. Together, the state and Church ought to work for those involved with human trafficking.

St Francis deSales

That today we honor the memory of St Francis deSales one cannot forget the complement he had with St Jane Frances deChantal.

DeSales was the renowned bishop of Geneva where he lived his vocation with great love for the people entrusted to his care.

The Introduction to the Devout Life is an important text to consider reading, and to re-read over your lifetime. In the beginning of The Introduction to the Devout Life, he calls out to all Christians: “Live Jesus! Live Jesus! Yes, Lord Jesus, live and reign in our hearts for ever and ever. Amen.”

This idea to “Live Jesus!” is the very heart of the doctrine of the saintly bishop. He says so himself. “I have desired above all things to engrave and inscribe this holy and sacred word upon your heart: Live Jesus!”

In what ways will we life Jesus?

In the image we see St. Francis De Sales giving St. Jane de Chantal the Rule of the Order of the Visitation.

St Anthony of Egypt

Today we liturgically commemorate St. Anthony of Egypt (251-356), a holy abbot of the 3rd century, called “the father of monks”. He is the considered the founder of Christian monasticism.

What motivated Anthony to live the Gospel so radically? He heard a reading from the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus tells a rich young man, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to the poor.” Antony heard the truth of Jesus’ teaching and saw himself as that rich young man; he immediately did exactly as Jesus instructed.

Anthony challenges the way we lead our lives viz. the challenges of the soul: “Wherever you find yourself, do not go forth from that place too quickly. Try to be patient and learn to stay in one place.”

He retired to the desert at about the age of eighteen in order to live in perfect solitude.

Anthony saw the Christian’s task as both simple and formidable: become a “lover of God” by resisting the Devil and yielding only to Christ. Are we lovers of God?

St Vitalis of Gaza

Amazing what comes across the desk. Today, on International Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we liturgically recall St Vitalis of Gaza, who frequented brothels. I am aware of the work of countless people work for those trafficked, including our Florence.

St Vitalis biography, in part, reads,

“In the 600s, prostitution was a terribly exploitative profession. Often young peasant girls with no prospects would be sold into slavery or captured by pimps. They would then be taken to the poor areas of towns and live in terrible conditions while being forced to sell themselves for sex.

“St Vitalis could not tolerate this misery and so he set out to collect the name and address of every prostitute in the city. He then would work as a poor day laborer, which itself wasn’t much better than slavery, and would collect his wages at the end of the day and take it to a different brothel. He pretended to be a paying customer, which allowed him to enter without notice. Once he was alone with the woman he would give her his money, which she would use to escape, and tell her about her dignity and value as a woman, saying it was wrong for her to be abused and objectified by men. He would then leave and repeat this process every day.

“St Vitalis rescued countless women during his life, and ended up sacrificing his life in the process. He was killed one day entering a brothel, because he was recognized as a monk. Ironically, it was not a pimp who killed him for recognizing him as a rescuer. Rather, it was a Christian who killed him, believing him to be visiting the brothel to break his vow of chastity.

St Vitalis often said, “Do not judge your neighbor as a sinner.”

St Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today, we honor the first native born saint of the United States of America, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, with a liturgical memorial. She arrived arrived in Baltimore on June 16, 1808 taking up residence on Paca Street. Saint Elizabeth Ann would also profess her first vows as a woman religious in the presence of Bishop John Carroll. Seton would go on to be one of the greatest saints of America and religious educators.

“Let your chief study be to acquaint yourself with God because there is nothing greater than God, and because it is the only knowledge which can fill the Heart with a Peace and joy, which nothing can disturb.” (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

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]
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