Category Archives: Saints

Saint Andrew, the First Called, martyr

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Saint Andrew, pray for us.
Ask Saint Andrew to ask the Lord for the grace to carry the cross in humility, dignity and in the face of great opposition, opposition found within ourselves and from others. May he ask the Lord to bless the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Scotland, Russia, the Archdiocese of Amalfi and for fish mongers, old maids and singers.

Saint Andrew Dung Lac and companions


St Andrew Dung Lac.jpg

O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the
Martyrs Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions faithful to the Cross of your
Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant, through their intercession
that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your
children both in name and in truth.

Saint Andrew and his 117 companions are known as the Martyrs of Vietnam, killed for their faith in Christ between 1745 and 1862, but these people are few in number compared with the vast number of people thought to have been persecuted. Saint Andrew was a secular priest who was killed in 1839. Among the companions there were 8 bishops, 50 priests, 59 lay faithful of Vietnamese, Spanish and French nationalities. Pope John Paul II canonized these saints in 1988.

Pope Saint Clement I

St Clement I.jpgHow blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God. Life in immortality! Brightness in righteousness! Truth in full assurance! Faith in confidence! Temperance in holiness! And all this God has subjected to our understandings: What therefore will those things be which he has prepared for them that wait for him? Only the Creator and Father of spirits, the Most Holy, knows both the greatness and beauty of them. Let us therefore strive with all earnestness, that we may be found in the number of those that wait for him, and that we may receive the reward which he has promised. But how, beloved, shall we do this? We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things that are pleasing and acceptable to him. We must perform those things that are agreeable to his holy will and follow the way of truth, casting off from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, together with all covetousness, strife, evil manners, deceit, whispering, detractions, all hatred of God, pride and boasting, or vain-glory and ambition; For they that do these things are odious to God, and not only they that do them, but also all such as approve of
those that do them. (St Clement I to the Corinthians 17)

Saint Cecelia, Virgin & Martyr

On this feast of an early woman martyr, Saint Cecelia, it is good to reflect on music and its impact on the heart. As she lay dying for three days, Cecelia sang of the Lord’s glory and extolled the singular devotion of one dedicated to the Lord as a virgin. Saint Cecelia is the patron saint of musicians. Benedict XVI writes about beauty and contemplative nature of music:

St Cecilia.jpgThe encounter with the beautiful can become the wound
of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes, so that
later, from this experience, we take the criteria for judgment and can
correctly evaluate the arguments. For me an unforgettable experience was the
Bach concert that Leonard Bernstein conducted in Munich after the sudden death
of Karl Richter. I was sitting next to the Lutheran Bishop Hanselmann. When the
last note of one of the great Thomas-Kantor-Cantatas triumphantly faded away,
we looked at each other spontaneously and right then we said: “Anyone who
has heard this, knows that the faith is true.” The music had such an
extraordinary force of reality that we realized, no longer by deduction, but by
the impact on our hearts, that it could not have originated from nothingness,
but could only have come to be through the power of the Truth that became real in
the composer’s inspiration. (Message to Communion and Liberation, August 2002,
Rimini, Italy; text available May 2, 2005, Zenit.org)

Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska)

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The great foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth is liturgically remembered today. As she lay dying Mother Mary of Jesus spoke the word charity in five languages. One of the many reasons why I like Mother Foundress is her strong sense that “An interior life is essential for the active life.”

On July 4, 1885 the Nazareth Sisters arrived in the New York Harbor and eventually landed in Chicago where they made their first foundation in the USA. For 125 years they have served the Church in a variety of ministries, namely education, pastoral ministry in parishes, hospitals and and orphanages.
Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd’s liturgical prayers are here.

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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