Category Archives: Saints

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, archangels

Archangels.jpgOur Catholic faith teaches us that angels have a general and yet an important part to play in our salvation history, especially personally guiding us. Moreover, the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are given to us by God for very specific purposes and they are the only angels named in sacred Scripture.

And so today, the Church honors the archangels, invokes their intercession and relies on their assistance in the spiritual warfare we daily face.

In Hebrew, “Michael” means “Who is like God?” Saint Michael is mentioned four times in Scripture: Daniel 10 and 12, in Jude and in Revelation. Scripture reveals to us that Saint Michael is known as the “Prince of the Heavenly Host,” hence, the leader of all angels. It is to the Prince of the Heavenly that we owe a debt of gratitude for casting down to Hell Lucifer and the evil spirits; he is invoked for protection against Satan and all evil.

Sacred Tradition teaches that there are four offices connected to Saint Michael:

  • to fight against Satan, his minions and the power of evil
  • to rescue and protect the faithful from evil, especially at the hour of death
  • to lead the people of God to full communion with God Himself
  • to call our souls to judgment before God.

We know the archangel from his announcement of the dawn of salvation to Mary: “I am Gabriel, who stand before God” (Luke 1:19). What is crucial to remember about Gabriel are his two announcements in the New Testament: the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zachary and of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh in Mary. Saint Gabriel, whose name means “God’s strength,” is also mentioned four times in Scripture. 

Again, sacred Tradition tells us that it is Saint Gabriel who appeared to Saint Joseph and to the shepherds. At the beginning of the Passion it was Gabriel who “strengthens” Jesus in the his agony of the garden.

“I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord” (Tobit 12:15)

Saint Raphael, whose name means “God has healed” because of his healing of Tobias’ blindness in the Book of Tobit. This book in the Old Testament is the only book in which Raphael is mentioned. He is the archangel of healing and acts of mercy. Tradition tells us that Saint Raphael is the angel in John 5:1-4 who descended upon the pond and bestowed healing powers upon it so that the first to enter it after it moved would be healed of whatever infirmity he was suffering.

As point of trivia, the Catholic hospital in New Haven, CT is named for Saint Raphael, likely the only one in the USA.

Those familiar with what is called the “old Mass” will remember praying the Prayer to Saint Michael at the conclusion of Mass. In 1899, after a vision of evil, Pope Leo XIII wanted to protect the Church and instructed that his prayer be prayed by all, especially the priest. I can’t recommend the prayer enough to you when making your thanksgiving following Mass or the Divine Office. Plus, I would recommend that you pray the Prayer to Saint Michael prior to going to bed.

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, pray for us.

350 years since the deaths of Sts Vincent de Paul & Louise de Marillac

In the Pope’s Weekly Sunday Angelus Address (September 26, 2010) he spoke of Saint Vincent de Paul. Sunday’s gospel of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus gave Benedict XVI a perfect context by which to teach that us that “God loves the poor and raise them from their abjection; secondly, that our eternal destiny is dependent upon our behavior, it is up to us to follow the path God has shown us in order to achieve live, and this path is love, understood not as emotion but as service to others in the charity of Christ,” and further the Pope said:

“By a happy coincidence, tomorrow (9/26/2010) we will celebrate the liturgical memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, patron of Catholic Charities, which marks the 350th anniversary of his death. In France of 1600, he touched with his hand the sharp contrast between the richest and poorest. In fact, as a priest he was able to attend both the aristocratic circles, campaigns, as well as the slums of Paris. Driven by the love of Christ, Vincent de Paul was able to organize stable forms of service to the marginalized people, giving rise to so-called “Charitees,” the “Charity,” i.e., groups of women who put their time and property available to more marginalized. Among these volunteers, some chose to devote themselves completely to God and the poor, and thus, along with St. Louis de Marillac, St. Vincent founded the “Daughters of Charity,” the first female congregation to live their consecration “in the world,” among all the people, the sick and needy.”

350th of CM.jpg

Strive to live content in the midst of those things that
cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take
care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so
to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently
with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of
what your heart desires
(St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).

Saint Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul framed.jpgIn honoring Saint Vincent de Paul today let’s call to mind the myriad of ways he and his spiritual sons and daughters have served, and continue to serve, the Gospel by serving the poor and uneducated. Have you got your copy of the video “Charity’s Saint: St Vincent de Paul“? I pray in thanksgiving for the Vincentian priests in New Haven who were my spiritual guides as a child.

With glowing light sent from above,     

O Vincent, how you guide our way!     

Your virtues and example pure     

Show us the path to heaven’s day.

 

With self-effacing modesty,     

You made yourself of little state;     

Your gentleness and simple life     

Made you revered by small and great.

 

Amidst the graces of your life     

Your charity sheds brightest fire:     

How many of the poor it fed,     

Filled many hearts with Christ’s desire.

 

Urged on by zeal and charity,     

You preached in town and countryside,     

Proclaiming all God’s mysteries     

To poor and rich, both far and wide.

 

Beneath your wings you gathered those     

Who longed to share both work and strife.     

By word and deed you taught them well;     

You formed and taught them by your life.

 

To God, the holy Three-in-One,     

All praise and glory be addressed,     

Whose life divine is best reward,     

And light eternal for the blessed.

 

J. Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications

 

LM; WINCHESTER NEW, HAMBURG, ST. VINCENT 

Don Bosco’s relic comes to New York City

A relic of Saint John Bosco, patron of youth, is visiting New York City on Friday, October 1. The relic’s pilgrimage is in preparation for the saint’s 200th anniversary of birth. Being in the USA is only one of 130 nations that the relic is visiting.

Don Bosco’s relic will be at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC. Veneration of the relic will be 10 am until 11 pm. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan at 7 pm.
More info can be found here (this is an excellent website!)
RelicTour.jpg
Saint John Bosco
born 1815
died 1888
canonized a saint 1934
the Salesians of Don Bosco, the religious order founded by the saint can be seen here.

Conception of Saint the Baptist

Rejoice, O
barren one, who had not given birth; for the behold you have conceived clearly
the one who is the dawn of eh Sun Who was about illuminate the whole universe,
blighted with sightlessness. Shout in joy, O Zachary, crying in favor, truly,
the one to be born is a Prophet of the High.
(Troparion, 4th tone)


Birth of John the Baptist, TINTORETTO,jpg.jpg

On the
Byzantine liturgical calendar, today is the feast of the Conception of Saint
John the Baptist. The Eastern Church, at least the Churches with a Greek
origin, keeps three conception feasts:  Our Lord (March 25), Our Lady
(December 9) and the Baptist (September 23). The Latin Church only keeps two. 

Calendar study will tell you that
only the Savior has a perfect 9-month gestation period; Our Lady is a day under
(September 8) and the Baptist, a day under (June 24). The liturgical calendar of
the Latin Church places the conception of Mary on December 8, the feast of the
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The theology for today’s feast is rooted in the biblical
narrative of Zachary and Elizabeth, a couple who had no children and therefore
in the eyes of the world plagued by divine disfavor. All of their lives Zachary
and Elizabeth begged God to send them a son.  Providence heard their prayer and in His plan and mercy for
all, ordained that the dawn of salvation would be effected by the birth of John
through the agency of the barren Elizabeth. The Church calls John the Prophet
and Forerunner of Jesus, the Savior of the world.

Other significant divinely merciful
births to barren women who are a significant part of the Divine Plan of Salvation are  Isaac son of Sarah and Samson born to the wife
of Manoah (Samson’s mother is not named in Scripture).

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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