Category Archives: Saints

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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Lord Jesus, Who was born for us in a stable, lived for us a life of pain and sorrow, and died for us upon a cross; say for us in the hour of death, Father, forgive, and to Your Mother, Behold your child. Say to us, This day you shall be with Me in paradise. Dear Savior, leave us not, forsake us not. We thirst for You, Fountain of Living Water. Our days pass quickly along, soon all will be consummated for us. To Your hands we commend our spirits, now and forever. Amen. (a prayer by Saint Elizabeth Seton)

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), a native of New
York was socialite, a wife, a mother, a convert to Catholicism and a foundress
of a religious community of women. Seton is the first native-born American
citizen to be canonized. She founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows
With Small Children, New York City’s first private charitable organization, and
founded the U.S. Sisters of Charity. Seton was responsible for the parochial
school system in the USA. 

A video was made of Seton and you can watch the trailer here.

Even more on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton may be found here,
including the liturgical prayer for her.

Saint Basil the Great & Saint Gregory Nazianzian

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Saint Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea was one of the
most distinguished Doctors of the Church. He lived c. 329 to January 1, 379.
Theologians place Saint Basil after Saint Athanasius as a defender of the
Church against the heresies of the fourth century (the most destructive of the
faith was the Arian heresy).

Gregory of Nazianzus
(c. 325-389) was also from Cappadocia and a friend of Basil, followed
the monastic way of life for some years. Eventually the Church called Nazianzus to be a priest and later bishop of Constantinople (in 381). Saint
Gregory was given the title “The Theologian” because of his learning
and oratory.

Many icons of Saints Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil include
Nazianzus’ brother Saint Gregory of Nyssa. The group is known as “The
Three Cappadocians.” Some make the claim that Basil outshines Nazianzus and
Nyssa in practical genius and actual achievement. BTW, the icon presented here does not include Nyssan but Saint John Chrysostom.

The liturgical prayer for today’s memorial may be found here.

Saint Basil the Great writes on life’s journey:

We read in the Book of
Psalms: ‘Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor
follows in the way of sinners.’ Life has been called a ‘way’ because everything
that has been created is on the way to its end. When people are on a sea
voyage, they can sleep while they are being transported without any effort of
their own to their port of call. The ship brings them closer to their goal
without their even knowing it. So we can be transported nearer to the end of
our life without our noticing it, as time flows by unceasingly. Time passes
while you are asleep. While you are awake time passes although you may not notice.

of us have a race to run towards our appointed end. So we are all ‘on the way’.
This is how you should think of the ‘way’. You are a traveller in this life.
Everything goes past you and is left behind. You notice a flower on the way, or
some grass, or a stream, or something worth looking at. You enjoy it for a
moment, then pass on. Maybe you come on stones or rocks or crags or cliffs or
fences, or perhaps you meet wild beasts or reptiles or thorn bushes or some
other obstacles. You suffer briefly then escape. That is what life is like.

do not last but pain is not permanent either.

The ‘way’ does not belong to you
nor is the present under your control. But as step succeeds step, enjoy each
moment as it comes and then continue on your ‘way’.

on Psalm 1, 4
(PG 29, 220)

Pope Saint Sylvester I

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The liturgical prayer for Saint Sylvester may be found here.
The Church’s Liturgy commemorates the death of Pope Saint Sylvester, a pope we rarely think about other than on the day of his memorial. Many of the hagiographical materials available seem to be more apocryphal narratives surrounding the saintly pope than factual occurrences: for example, the Sylvester’s slaying a dragon (note the image above) and raising the dragon’s victims

to life; or the curing of Constantine of leprosy; and the Donation of Constantine. It is recorded that Pope Sylvester baptized Constantine. The historical evidence for this pontificate for this era is sorely lacking for such an important time in Church history. What is known of Sylvester is given to us through the Vita beati Sylvestri.

The lack of historical record, however, does not mean the events of history did not happen, it just means we don’t have reliable sources. However, given that the narratives are recorded in ecclesiastical memory and the liturgical patrimony of the Church, means that their was a historical man who followed Christ, ordained priest and elected Pope, and worked for the good of the Christian faith given in Tradition. Post-modern people often place too much emphasis on the manuscript tradition (what is absolutely verifiable) and too little weight on hagiographical materials, including homilies and pious legends, to give  us a sense of Church history.

The son of Rufinus and Justa, Sylvester was ordained a priest by Pope Marcellinus and elected bishop of Rome in AD 314, after the death of Pope Saint Miltiades.

During his twenty-one year pontificate, in addition to the various churches honoring the martyrs, he oversaw with Constantine and Helena as patrons, the construction of three of the greatest

Roman churches: Saint John Lateran, Holy Cross of Jerusalem, and the first Saint Peter’s. Sylvester’s pontificate also saw the development of the Roman Liturgy, the foundation of a school of singers for the Liturgy and the publication of the first Martyrology. Further, Sylvester was instrumental in stemming the spread of Arianism throughout the Western church, as well as the promulgation of orthodox christology (homousion of the Son) in the wake of Nicea I (325).

Saint Thomas Becket

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Our prayer today is one asking the Lord for the grace being a courageous witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The liturgical prayer (used at Mass) is found here.

Read Butler’s life of Becket and/or the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the martyred archbishop.

I’m multi-media here at Communio blog, so I found a montage of scenes from the movie “Becket” (1964) with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole creatively put together. The acting is superb, dress is stunning and the drama insightful.
You like to read the piece on transferral of Becket’s relics here.

Saint Stephen

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Stephen saw the heavens opened; he saw and entered; blessed is the man for whom the heavens were opened.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, grant us to imitate what we revere, so that we may learn to love also our enemies; for we celebrate the birth to immortality of him who interceded even for his persecutors with Thy So our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Stephen is known as a deacon and the Protomartyr (the first among all martyrs who witness to Christ). Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles give us an understanding of Stephen. Saint Stephen is the patron of deacons, permanent and transitional, bricklayers and of Hungary.

A news item from the Pope on Saint Stephen and those those suffer for their faith.

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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