Category Archives: Saints

Saint Luke

Luke painting the BVMToday the church remembers Saint Luke, the apostle and evangelist, “Scriba Mansuetudinis Christi” [writers of Christ’s gentleness] (Dante).

Known as the physician and evangelist of mercy.

History tells us that Saint Luke was a native of Syrian Antioch, and that he was a companion of the Apostle Paul (Phil.1:24, 2 Tim. 4:10-11). The Church historian and Father Eusebius (AD 260-340), described Luke in this manner: “Luke, who was by race an Antiochian and a physician by profession, was long a companion of Paul, and had careful conversation with the other Apostles, and in two books left us examples of the medicine for the souls which he had gained from them” (Eccl. Hist. 3.4.6; LCL 1:197)

One of the many key elements of Saint Luke’s Gospel and his Acts, is the reality of sacrifice that we all are forced to confront in our lives. No life has meaning without sacrifice. Hence, Saint Luke is also pictured with the symbol of the ox, a symbol of sacrifice connecting with the sacrifice of Jesus. Some scholars say the earliest date of Luke’s death is AD 84.

Louis and Zélie Martin, saints

Saints MartinsSaints Louis and Zélie Martin are models of holiness for us today, especially for families. The Martins were married in Alencon, France, in 1858 and gave to history nine children. Zélie Martin died of cancer in 1877, at the age of 45 and Louis died when in 1894, at 70 years.

Pope Francis canonized Louis and Zélie today and beatified in 2008.

Saints Louis and Zélie are the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and another daughter and candidate for sainthood, Léonie  Martin, who became Sister Françoise-Thérèse of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen.

Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, described Louis and Zélie Martin as “an extraordinary witness of conjugal and family spirituality.”

At the wish of Pope Francis the faithful were invited to pray before the mortal remains of the new saints at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Saints Louis and Zélie model for us the vocation of Catholic parents. Despite many difficulties and sufferings they persevered and kept strong faith. In an age when so many families suffer, let us pray for the strengthening of families.

Saint Callistus and Ember Days

Happy feast day of Pope Saint Callistus. The Church liturgically remembers this early pope because of his leadership and spiritual care in the face of trial and heresy. Slave, failed banker, convict and pope. He’s a late second century personage. Studied theology, ordained a deacon and a great counselor. Killed in 222 a riot against Christians. He’s the patron saint of cemetery workers. The pope’s biography is incomplete and often untrustworthy due to the lack of good records from this time. This Pontiff shows how to face our trials (and death): with Christ alone. Don’t give into the temptation of nihilism. Seek what God has shown us: Himself.

The liturgical scholars tell us that Callistus gave us the Ember Days. Before the revision of the Liturgy, the Church observed days of prayer and fasting (outside Fridays, Advent and Lent, and certain other days) with Ember days. There exists for sets of Ember days corresponding more-or-less with the change of seasons. So, Ember Days were known by the faithful from about AD 220 to 1969. Callistus links our Christian life with a good dose of Old Testament theology and typology.

As typical, when you touch something ancient it has the possibility of disintegrating, which is what happened to the Embers. The 1969 revision of the Church calendar reads:

“In order to adapt the rogation and ember days to various regions and the different needs of the people, the conferences of bishops should arrange the time and plan of their celebration. Consequently, the competent authority should lay down norms, in view of local conditions, on extending such celebrations over one or several days and on repeating them during the year. On each day of these celebrations the Mass should be one of the votive Masses for various needs and occasions that is best suited to the intentions of the petitioners.”

The Holy Martin Family

Martin FamilyOn Sunday, October 18th, the Holy Father will canonize the parents of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (the Little Flower on Sunday. Louis Zélia Martin, whose children entered religious life. One of the girls is our beloved Little Flower was a Carmelite (like three of her sisters) and another, Léonie, became a member of the Visitation Order. Léonie’s cause for sainthood was introduced recently.

Saints beget saints.

The Martin family is a good group to go to for intercession.

Feast of the Holy Bishops of Milan

Milan's cathedralImagine being part of a diocese in which 36 of your past bishops are saints (and others being considered for sanctity)!!!

Holiness leads others to holy living.

Today, the Church in Milan commemorates 36 holy bishops.

They are:

• Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
• Blessed Andrea Carlo Ferrari
• Pope Pius XI
• Saint Ambrose of Milan
• Saint Ampelius of Milan
• Saint Anathalon of Milan
• Saint Antoninus of Milan
• Saint Auxanus of Milan
• Saint Benedict Crispus of Milan
• Saint Benignus of Milan
• Saint Calimerius of Milan
• Saint Castritian of Milan
• Saint Charles Borromeo
• Saint Datius of Milan
• Saint Dionysius of Milan
• Saint Eugene of Milan
• Saint Eusebius of Milan
• Saint Eustorgius II of Milan
• Saint Eustorgius of Milan
• Saint Gaius of Milan
• Saint Galdinus of Milan
• Saint Geruntius of Milan
• Saint Glycerius of Milan
• Saint Honoratus of Milan
• Saint John Camillus the Good
• Saint Lazarus of Milan
• Saint Magnus of Milan
• Saint Mansuetus of Milan
• Saint Marolus of Milan
• Saint Martinian of Milan
• Saint Mirocles of Milan
• Saint Natalis of Milan
• Saint Protasius of Milan
• Saint Senator of Milan
• Saint Simplician of Milan
• Saint Venerius of Milan

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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