Category Archives: Saints

Saint Lawrence

Martrdom of St Lawrence Fra Angelico.jpgAs blessed Lawrence lay on the gridiron, to which the
torturers held him fast with forks over the burning coals of fire, he cried out
to the wicked magistrate: “The roasting is done! turn now the carcass and
devour, for the rest of the substance of the church, which you desired, has
been garnered up into heaven by the hands of the poor!
(an antiphon)

In today’s Office of Readings of the Roman Divine Office the Church gives to us for meditation a piece written on the martyr Saint Lawrence by the great Saint Augustine of Hippo:

The Roman Church commends to us
today the anniversary of the triumph of Saint Lawrence. For on this day he
trod the furious pagan world underfoot and flung aside its allurements, and so
gained victory over Satan’s attack on his faith. As you have often heard, Lawrence
was a deacon of the Church at Rome. There he ministered the sacred blood of
Christ; there for the sake of Christ’s Name he poured out his own blood
. St.
John the Apostle was evidently teaching us about the mystery of the Lord’s
Supper when he wrote, “Just as Christ laid down His life for us, so we
ought to lay down our lives for the brethren
.” Lawrence understood this,
and, understanding, he acted on it. Just as he had partaken of a gift of self
at the table of the Lord, so he prepared to offer such a gift. In his life,
Lawrence loved Christ; in his death, he followed n Christ’s footsteps.

14 Holy Helpers

XIV Holy Helpers.jpgAlmighty and merciful God, who didst adorn Thy Saints
George, Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius,
Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine with special privileges above
all others, so that all who in their necessities implore their help, according
to the grace of Thy promise, may attain the salutary effect of their pleading,
grant to us, we beseech Thee, forgiveness of our sins, and with their merits
interceding, deliver us from all adversities, and kindly hear our prayers.

All but Saint Giles are martyrs, these “auxiliary” saints are widely known in some parts of the world for their reliable intercession before God on our behalf. Frequently, these holy helpers are asked to intercede on our behalf when illness or other natural disaster occurs. In Germany in the 14th century these saints were asked to intercede before God for help during the black plague. On God’s part, he made a promise to the holy men and women that whomever asks for their prayers He would answer, as is evidenced in the liturgical prayer noted above.

Saint Peter Chrysologus

San Pietro Crisologo.jpg


O God, who made the Bishop Saint Peter Chrysologus an outstanding preacher of your Incarnate Word, grant, through his intercession, that we may constantly ponder in our hearts the mysteries of your salvation and faithfully express them in what we do. Through our Lord.

Saint Peter Chrysologus (born c. 400 and died c. 450; known also as “the man of golden speech”), Archbishop of Ravenna, was named a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII because of his eloquent, evocative and persuasive speech which led many to Christ. Many of his sermons are extant and used for spiritual reading in the Roman Office. Chrysologus was a student of Cornelius who ordained him to the Order of Deacon. He was an early advocate of the frequent reception of Holy communion; worked diligently for unity among Christians and lovingly cared for the poor.

Saint Martha

Christ with Martha and Mary.jpgIn midst of burning desert heat
Three strangers came along the way
Where Abraham and Sarah stayed;
He saw them, and begged them to stay.

In hospitality, he sought
To care for each and ev’ry need;
In answer came the promise sweet:
“Your wife will bear a son, indeed.”

In much the same way, Jesus came
To Martha and to Mary’s place;
While Mary sat and heard the Lord,
All awed by such amazing grace,

Her sister called, rebuking her
And scolded Christ for lack of care.
But Jesus said, “What Mary chose
Alone is needful, and most fair.”

In giving hospitality,
We serve our God in neighbor’s guise;
The trouble others seem to be
Will oft be Christ, to our surprise;

And yet the one thing needful is
The mystery of Christ in all,
Our hope of glory.  Here we sit
And hear our Master’s loving call.

Saint James the Greater (Santiago)

Santiago de Compostella con el Rey.jpgAlmighty Father, by the martyrdom of Saint James You blessed the work of the early Church. May his profession of faith give us courage and his prayers bring us strength.

This year is being dedicated to Saint James the Greater (known as the Jacobean Holy Year or Año Santo Jacobeo). The holy year dedicated to Saint James is observed when his feast falls on a Sunday, as it does today. The ceremonial opening of the Holy Year begins as it does in Rome with the opening of the Holy Door; if you read Spanish you’ll find the January ceremonial described here.

Read King Juan Carlos’ 2010 message –the Offering– during his visit to the Shrine of Saint James (Santiago de Compostella).

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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