Category Archives: Saints

Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew from Canterbury Codex AureusToday’s liturgical memorial highlights an important aspect of putting oneself under God’s authority and how everything is not as expected. Most people believe that they should be assigned roles in the community of faith (or any other community for that matter) based on experience and training. Sound sensible? Well, not according Jesus. What we see in Jesus certain ministerial arrangements of the Twelve Apostles and their talents we not as expected. Saint Matthew’s experience of managing money (he was a former tax collector) was not used. Jesus appointed Judas, not Saint Matthew, to be in charge of the money. How often this happens in the ministry of the Church! Bishops and religious superiors often ask their subjects to things that they may not have been trained for, or even have the desire to do. Clearly this is a helpful lesson to all tempted to be troubled over how they aren’t used as they should be (humanly speaking)!

What does the feast of Saint Matthew mean for the Church? This feast of Matthew indicates that if we say we place our lives into the hands of God, then we need to expect the unexpected and trust that Someone greater than ourselves may have a deeper insight into our humanity than we have for ourselves. Christ is the Divine Being who knows us better than we know ourselves! Think of Psalm 139. How freeing it can be if we allow the Lord to take the lead and truly guide our hearts and minds and hands for His greater glory and not our own! I think it is a beautiful experience to allow God’s grace to open a new vista of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord who comes to offer new life (a new ministry?) through another person so that the default answer to a question of Christian life is positive rather than the typical negative. Saint Matthew’s experience in the very early community of faith is very instructive for us who believe that we are our own measures. Can you imagine abundance? Can you imagine doing something new and exciting that you’ve never thought of before now?

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam

Frederic OzanamBlessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853) was aFrench scholar and with some friends and students founded the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. For him, “Charity is the Samaritan who pours oil on the wounds of the traveler who has been attacked. It is justice’s role to prevent the attack.”

He was “A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frédéric served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Society, his work continues to the present day.”

In 1997 at the Cathedral of Paris, Ozanam was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Saint Moses the Prophet

St MosesToday, at least in the Orthodox world, Moses the Prophet and God-Seer, is liturgically remembered for giving us God’s Law, leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, and taking off his sandals before the burning bush. Catholics liturgically commemorate the Prophet Moses but he is not currently on the Roman liturgical calendar. This Moses is not confused with another Saint Moses who was a hermit and bishop and called by some the “Apostle to the Saracens.”

“That light teaches us what we must do to stand within the rays of the true light: sandaled feet cannot ascend that height where the light of truth is seen, but the dead and earthly covering of skins, which was placed around our nature at the beginning when we were found naked because of disobedience to the divine will, must be removed from the feet of our soul. When we do this, the knowledge of the truth will result and manifest itself.”
— St. Gregory of Nyssa, “The Life of Moses”

Saint Gregory the Great

St Gregory sends monksWe honor the great pope known as Gregory.

“Among the pontiffs who showed that requisite concern [for the liturgy], particularly outstanding is the name of St. Gregory the Great, who made every effort to ensure that the new peoples of Europe received both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture that had been accumulated by the Romans in preceding centuries. He commanded that the form of the sacred liturgy as celebrated in Rome (concerning both the Sacrifice of Mass and the Divine Office) be conserved. He took great concern to ensure the dissemination of monks and nuns who, following the Rule of St. Benedict, together with the announcement of the Gospel illustrated with their lives the wise provision of their Rule that ‘nothing should be placed before the work of God.’ In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman use, enriched not only the faith and piety but also the culture of many peoples. It is known, in fact, that the Latin liturgy of the Church in its various forms, in each century of the Christian era, has been a spur to the spiritual life of many saints, has reinforced many peoples in the virtue of religion and fecundated their piety.”

— Pope Benedict XVI
Summorum Pontificum, 7/7/07

Passion of John the Baptist

Passion of John the BaptistToday, the Churches of East and West, liturgically celebrate the Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.

The biblical narrative is related in Mark 6: 17-29.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us!

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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