Category Archives: Saints

St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas

 

St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas (4 October 1843-25 March 1927), was a Dominican tertiary.  She first joined the Sisters of Joseph but following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary she received in Bethlehem, she co-founded the Rosary Sisters (Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem of the Latins; Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem). The visions were kept a secret for 53 years, and her journals read only post mortem. People recognized the virtues of humility and meekness in Mother Mariam, similar to those of the Mother of God.

Ghattas promoted the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception (later known as, “Daughters of Mary”) and also the Confraternity of the Christian Mothers.

Mother Mariam spent her life working for the poor and the education of Palestinian Christians, and her Sisters continue that work today.

St Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas was beatified on 22 November 2009, in the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth; she was the second Palestinian nun to be beatified. She was canonized by Pope Francis on 17 May 2017.

St Joseph

St. Joseph was chosen among all men, to be the protector and guardian of the Virgin Mother of God; the defender and foster-father of the Infant-God, and the only co-operator upon earth, the one confidant of the secret of God in the work of the redemption of mankind.
~St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St Polycarp

Today we liturgically honor St Polycarp. We have a letter from St Ignatius of Antioch to Polycarp written around AD 110, when he was a young bishop in Smyrna. Ignatius himself going to Rome in chains to face martyrdom. Ignatius wrote:

Stand firm, like an anvil being struck with a hammer. It is the mark of a great athlete to be bruised, yet still conquer. But especially we must, for God’s sake, patiently bear all things, so that he may also bear with us. Be more diligent than you are. Understand the times. Wait expectantly for the one who is above time: the Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible; the Intangible, the Unsuffering, who for our sake suffered, who for our sake endured in every way. (Letter of Ignatius to Polycarp, 3)

Polycarp stood firm; he was a great athlete; he was patient; he was diligent. Are we? Do we have these traits in in following Christ, and dealing with adversity? Today, let us ask for the same grace Polycarp did so as to fight evil?

St Paul Miki and companions

The Martyrs of Nagasaki, St. Paul Miki (1562–1597) and his twenty-five companions are liturgically honored today. As you note from the image he was crucified for the faith in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1597.

Historians tell us that Miki was  Japanese layman of great nobility and wealth, who converted to Christ by the great missionary, St. Francis Xavier. The Church, initially, was not in opposition to the Emperor and his princes but as time went on Christians were felt to be a threat to Japanese culture. Paul Miki and his companions were tortured and made to walk 600 miles to Nagasaki before they died. Given the option for personal freedom if they denied Christ and the Church, Paul remained steadfast to the Faith. I wonder how many of us would do the same today?

St Marianne Cope

The Church in America liturgically remembers St. Marianne Cope (1838–1918), also known as St. Marianne of Molokai, today.

A German immigrant to the USA, Marianne worked in a New York factory before entering the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse. Her superiors missioned Sister Marianne to a ministry in health care and education where she excelled. Called to serve the poor, and by Divine Providence, Hawaii opened the door for Mother Marianne and six sisters to go on mission in 1883. There she gave 35 years to caring for those afflicted with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in Molokai, Hawaii, establishing a hospital and a school for girls on the island of Maui. She is remembered for introducing cleanliness, dignity, and fun into the colony. Despite her direct contact with leprosy patients over many years, she was not afflicted by the disease, which some consider miraculous. A gift for Sister Marianne was collaborating with St. Damien of Molokai. Benedict XVI canonized Marianne Cope in 2012.

Are we open to the promptings of Divine Providence?

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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