Category Archives: Saints

St Luke

“Luke’s Gospel is marked by a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, women, and social outcasts. His account of the nativity, with its stress on the faith of Mary, emphasizes the humbleness of Jesus’ birth and its significance in fulfilling the hopes of the poor. It is in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus preaches, “Blessed are the poor” and where we find the parable of the rich man and the poor beggar Lazarus, offering such a striking image of the relation between mercy and justice in this life and in the life to come.”
Blessed Among Us, by Roger Ellsberg, p. 600.

St. John XXIII, pope

Today is the liturgical memorial of St. John XXIII. This is the first time the universal Church is permitted to observe this feast. He was the beloved Servant of the Servants of God.

Here is the opening prayer for the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

Almighty and eternal God, who in the Pope, Saint John XXIII, gave to the whole world the shining example of a good shepherd, grant that, through his intercession, we may with joy spread abroad the fullness of Christian charity.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

St Jerome, priest and Doctor of the Church

 

St. Jerome was one of those guys who was hard to like and to get to know. I think he was irascible but was serious about his seeking God and had personal holiness. But that was in the fourth century and people had a different way of interpersonal relationships. It is clear from his biographers, Jerome was graced by great talent: priest, biblical scholar, well-travelled, secretary to a Roman Pontiff, ascetic, monastic founder, translator of the Bible and ecclesial writers and an apologist. Of particular note, Jerome was involved the theological controversies of his time: Arianism, the virginity of Mary, and the teachings of Origen.

Jerome studied and was baptized in Rome, then returned to his native Aquileia where he lived the ascetic life. He attended the lectures of Apollinarius and decided to live as a hermit in the Syrian desert around 374. He learned Hebrew, returned to Antioch and was ordained priest.

Jerome spent time in Constantinople before returning to Rome to become the secretary to Pope Damasus. Following the Pope’s death, went to Egypt, Palestine, and Antioch settling in Bethlehem. There he founded a new men’s monastery, and continued his scholar work.

Jerome is a good example of letting the Light shine brightly for the service of the Proclamation of the Gospel. In what ways does St. Jerome inspire you to be of service to Jesus Christ and the Church?

 

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.

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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