Category Archives: Saints

Sword of St Michael

Not long ago I came across the pilgrimage of St. Michael the Archangel. Some call it the “Sword of St. Michael the Archangel” because you can draw a line from one end of Europe to Greece touching upon shrines named for the “One Who is Like God.”

Here is an article naming 6 Shrines dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, but it lacks the 7th, the monastery of St. Michael on Symi. This article adds the Cornwall shrine where others do not. Nevertheless, Bentley Hatchett II writes, “What is the Sword of Saint Michael” that deserves our consideration.

Shrines dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel:

  1. Skellig Michael (Ireland)
  2. Saint Michael’s Mount (Cornwall, UK)
  3. Mont-Saint-Michel (Normandy, France)
  4. Sacra di San Michele (Turin, Italy)
  5. Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo (Mount Gargano, Italy)
  6. Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel (Haifa, Israel)
  7. ADD: Monastery of Taxiarchis (Island of Symi, Greece).

What is factual, countless saints have spent time at all of these shrines.

The pilgrimage ought to be revived! Any takers?

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

“Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” [1]
 
Today is the feast day of Sts Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels. They are mentioned by name in Sacred Scripture in the books of Tobit, Daniel, Luke, 1 Thessalonians, Jude, and Revelation.
 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “…the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.” John Paul II, in a General Audience, reminds us that the name of each Archangel reflects a facet of the nature of God. St. Michael’s name means ‘Who is like God?,’ St. Gabriel’s ‘power of God,’ and St. Raphael’s ‘God heals.’ To angels, God has entrusted a special mission with human beings at the center. [2][3][4]
 
(Sarah Ciott and Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD)
 
[1] Revised Standard Version, s.v., “The Psalms.” Ed. Psalm 91:9-12
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 328-336.
[3] Benedict XVI, Homily, September 29, 2007.
[4] John Paul II, Angels Participate in the History of Salvation, August 6, 1986.

St Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul gave the mission he was given by God: “to preach the Gospel to the poor.”

When sending forth his first missionaries, St. Vincent de Paul said “our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but to all over the world, and to do what?  To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did.  He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with his love.”

The spiritual sons and daughters of Vincent … “set America “on fire” with Christ ‘s love; and the flame is still burning, burning for for the poor and abandoned; burning for those in formation for priestly ministry; burning for those in countless churches longing to hear God’s Word; burning in their confessionals, for those aching for God’s mercy; burning for those in schools and universities seeking knowledge and wisdom; burning in hospitals and prisons; burning for and with the Daughters of Charity and the wider Vincentian family; burning at home and in mission lands; burning for justice and peace and inclusion and wholeness and Christ’s love.”

Bishop David O’Connell, CM
excerpts of a homily, 24 September 2016

St Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul, Spanish icon

Today is the liturgical memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul and the 400th anniversary of the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians). My prayer today is focussed on the Vincentian gift I received as a school boy at St. Stanislaus Church, New Haven, CT.  Thanks be to God for Vincent and his Family!

In his letter to the Vincentian Family today, the Holy Father wrote:

He was always progressing, open to seeking God and himself. Grace worked to supplement this constant quest: as a shepherd, he encountered Jesus the Good Shepherd in a striking way in the person of the poor. This occurred in a very special way when he allowed himself to be touched by the eyes of a man thirsting for mercy and by the situation of family lacking everything. At that moment, he was deeply moved by Jesus looking at him, inviting him to no longer live for himself, but to serve Jesus wholeheartedly in persons who are poor, whom Vincent de Paul would later call “our lords and masters” (Correspondence, Conferences, Documents XI, 349). His life then became steadfast service, up to his last breath. A verse from Scripture showed him the meaning of his mission: “The Lord has sent me to bring the Good News to the poor” (cf. Lk 4:18).

In the glorious wounds of Jesus, may you find the strength of charity, the happiness of the grain that gives life by dying, the fecundity of the rock from which water gushes forth, the joy of coming out of yourself in order to go out into the world, free from nostalgia for the past, confident in God and creative regarding the challenges of today and tomorrow because, as Saint Vincent said, “love is inventive to infinity”.

Blessed Herman the Crippled

Today is the feast day of Blessed Herman the Cripple (also known as Hermannus Contractus, or Herman of Reichenau, 1013-1054), monk, 11th century scholar, composer, musical theorist, mathematician, and astronomer.

Blessed Herman composed the Marian prayers Alma Redemptoris Mater, and the Salve Regina (also known as the “Hail Holy Queen”) which we pray each time we pray the Holy Rosary. Despite significant physical limitations and suffering, the bright and contemplative mind of Blessed Herman advanced not only our understanding of the physical world, but furthered our devotion to Our Blessed Mother. His contributions to both science and faith remind us that regardless of appearance or apparent physical abilities, we each possess immense God-given gifts and talents! He was called “The Wonder of His Age.”

A hundred years after Blessed Herman died, Saint Bernard added the O Clemens, O Pia, O Dulcis Virgo Maria to the Salve Regina, genuflecting three times as he processed to the altar in the cathedral of Speyers in 1146 on a mission from Pope Eugene III as his legate to Emperor Conrad III in Germany.

(DG sourced)

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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