Category Archives: Saints

Saint John Bosco

St John BoscoToday we have the liturgical memorial of Saint John Bosco. Prayers of gratitude for his witness and that of the Salesians.

“Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.”

“There must be no hostility in our minds, no contempt in our eyes, no insult on our lips. We must use mercy for the present and have hope for the future, as is fitting for true fathers who are eager for real correction and improvement.”

“It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them.”

St. John Bosco, pray for us!

St Paul’s Conversion

Conversion of St PaulO glorious St. Paul, who from a persecutor of Christianity, didst become a most ardent apostle of zeal; and who, to make known the Savior Jesus Christ unto the ends of the world, didst suffer with joy imprisonment, scourging, stoning, ship-wrecks and persecutions of every kind, and in the end didst shed thy blood to the last drop, obtain for us the grace to receive, as favors of the Divine Mercy, infirmities, tribulations, and misfortunes of the present life, so that the vicissitudes of this our exile will not render us cold in the service of God, but will render us always more faithful and more fervent.  Amen.

The 25th of January this year is a Sunday so the feast is not commemorated in the NO Liturgy but a clued-in preacher will be able to link the Scripture readings with Paul’s move from persecutor to Apostle of Jesus Christ. The missionary impulse of the Church needs to follow the paradigm we find in Paul: meet the Lord first, know and love the Lord, and then share call to holiness to all nations.

Saint Francis de Sales

St Francis de Sales“Ask for nothing, refuse nothing,” Saint Francis de Sales, 1567-1622.

Saint Francis de Sales, tireless teacher, bishop and Doctor of the Church, pray for us!

Why not read some of his classic texts:

– “Introduction to the Devout Life” –> http://ow.ly/HS4vq
– “Treatise on the Love of God” –> http://ow.ly/HS4zQ
– “The Catholic Controversy” –> http://ow.ly/HS4Cb

A blessed feast day  to all Visitation Sisters and all members of the extended Salesian family!

Saint Marianne Cope

Marrianne CopeToday’s the feast of one of our great American saints, Saint Marianne Cope, a Franciscan sister who spent 35 years ministering to people living with Hansen’s Disease (called leprosy) on the island of Molokai in Hawaii. Cope is part of a small group of American saints.

Saint Marianne (1838-1918) was a close collaborator of the famous Saint Damian DeVeuster of Molokai.

Cope’s venerable body was recently returned to the Diocese of Hawaii.

Bishop Larry Silva said this in a homily:

When Mother Marianne made her famous statement that she was hungry for the work, it was not because she needed more to do.  It was because she knew that her own deep hunger pangs for the true bread of life would be better satisfied if she met the Eucharistic Lord in those she fed, in those she clothed, in those she nursed, and in those least of the least whom she set free from a prison of self-pity, no matter how justified it might be. Who will make the rest of the world as hungry as was our beloved St. Marianne?

More about her inspiring life can be found on her order’s website, the Sisters of St. Francis:  https://sosf.org/st-marianne-cope/

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a poem:

To the Reverend Sister Marianne,  Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa. 

To see the infinite pity of this place,
The mangled limb, the devastated face,
The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
A fool were tempted to deny his God.
He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,
Lo, beauty springing from the breasts of pain!
He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
And even a fool is silent and adores.

Saint Sebastian

St SebastianAt this morning’s Mass the Church commemorated the memory of two early martyrs of the Faith, Saints Fabian and Sebastian. When we recited the entrance antiphon mention was made of not fearing the words of the godless and when the priest prayed the opening prayer I noted that through the intercession of these two martyrs we hope to progress in the communion of the faith and service in courage. I also was struck in the Letter to the Hebrews that the author exhorts us to hope in the promises of Jesus who is both our anchor and our priest. Indeed, God remembers his covenant. That’s the hope I rely upon.

Here is a piece on Sebastian:

Saint Sebastian was an officer in the Roman army, esteemed even by the pagans as a good soldier, and honored by the Church ever since as a champion of Jesus Christ. Born at Narbonne, Sebastian came to Rome about the year 284 and entered the lists against the powers of evil. He found the twin brothers Marcus and Marcellinus in prison for the faith, and when they were close to yielding to the entreaties of their relatives, encouraged them to despise flesh and blood, and to die for Christ. God confirmed his words by miracles: light shone around him while he spoke; he cured the sick by his prayers; and in this divine strength he led multitudes to the faith, among them the Prefect of Rome, with his son Tiburtius.

He saw his disciples die before him, and one of them came back from heaven to tell him that his own end was near. It was in a contest of fervor and charity that Saint Sebastian found the occasion of martyrdom. The Governor-Prefect of Rome was converted to the faith and afterwards retired to his estates in Campania, taking with him a great number of his fellow-converts to this place of safety. It was a question whether Polycarp the priest or Saint Sebastian should accompany the neophytes. Each was eager to stay and face the danger at Rome; finally the Pope decided that the Roman church could not spare the services of Sebastian, who therefore remained amid the perils in the city.

He continued to labor at his post of danger until he was betrayed by a false disciple. He was led before Diocletian and, at the emperor’s command, pierced with arrows and left for dead. God raised him up again, cured, and of his own accord he went before the emperor and conjured him to halt the persecution of the Church. Again sentenced, he was beaten to death by clubs, and crowned his labors by the merit of a double martyrdom.

Reflection. Your ordinary occupations will give you opportunities of laboring for the faith. Ask help from Saint Sebastian, both wise and prudent.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

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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