Category Archives: Saints

Pope Saint Sylvester I

Pope Sylvester and the dragon.jpg

The liturgical prayer for Saint Sylvester may be found here.

The Church’s Liturgy commemorates the death of Pope
Saint Sylvester, a pope we rarely think about other than on the day of his
memorial. Many of the hagiographical materials available seem to be more
apocryphal narratives surrounding the saintly pope than factual occurrences: for example, the Sylvester’s slaying a dragon (note the image above) and raising the dragon’s victims
to life; or the curing of Constantine of leprosy; and the Donation of
Constantine. It is recorded that Pope Sylvester baptized Constantine. The historical evidence for
this pontificate for this era is sorely lacking for such an important time in Church history. What is known of Sylvester is given to us through the Vita beati Sylvestri.
The lack of historical record, however, does not mean the events of history did
not happen, it just means we don’t have reliable sources. However, given that the narratives are recorded in ecclesiastical memory and the liturgical patrimony of the Church, means that their was a historical
man who followed Christ, ordained priest and elected Pope, and worked for the good of the Christian
faith given in Tradition. Post-modern people often place too much emphasis on the manuscript tradition (what is absolutely verifiable) and too little weight on hagiographical materials, including homilies and pious legends, to give  us a sense of Church history.

The son of Rufinus and Justa, Sylvester was ordained
a priest by Pope Marcellinus and elected bishop of Rome in AD 314, after the
death of Pope Saint Miltiades.

During his twenty-one year pontificate, in
addition to the various churches honoring the martyrs, he oversaw with
Constantine and Helena as patrons, the construction of three of the greatest
Roman churches: Saint John Lateran, Holy Cross of Jerusalem, and the first
Saint Peter’s. Sylvester’s pontificate also saw the development of the Roman
Liturgy, the foundation of a school of singers for the Liturgy and the
publication of the first Martyrology. Further, Sylvester was instrumental in
stemming the spread of Arianism throughout the Western church, as well as the
promulgation of orthodox christology (homousion of the Son) in the wake of
Nicea I (325).

Saint Thomas Becket

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Our prayer today is one asking the Lord for the grace being a courageous witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The liturgical prayer (used at Mass) is found here.

Read Butler’s life of Becket and/or the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the martyred archbishop.

I’m multi-media here at Communio blog, so I found a montage of scenes from the movie “Becket” (1964) with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole creatively put together. The acting is superb, dress is stunning and the drama insightful.
You like to read the piece on transferral of Becket’s relics here.

Saint Stephen

St Stephen ACarracci.jpg

Stephen saw the heavens opened; he saw and entered; blessed is the man for whom the heavens were opened.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, grant us to imitate what we revere, so that we may learn to love also our enemies; for we celebrate the birth to immortality of him who interceded even for his persecutors with Thy So our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Stephen is known as a deacon and the Protomartyr (the first among all martyrs who witness to Christ). Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles give us an understanding of Stephen. Saint Stephen is the patron of deacons, permanent and transitional, bricklayers and of Hungary.

A news itemĀ from the Pope on Saint Stephen and those those suffer for their faith.

Pope says John Paul lived a life of heroic virtue & makes others saints

JP the Pilgrim.jpgPope Benedict recognized John Paul II as living a life of heroic virtue upon the recommendation of the Congregation for Saints. There are various steps the Church takes when she investigates someone for possible canonization. This is the second of four of the steps, next being “beatification.” The Church will now refer to John Paul as the “Venerable Servant of God …” but there is no public ceremonial for bestowing this title as there is when a person is beatified or canonized.

Also, in an extraordinary move, the Pope recognized the the heroic virtue of Pope Pius XII

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The Holy Father also acknowledged that God has made a new saint for the Church: Blessed Mary Mackillop. Blessed Mary was an Australian sister, foundress and educator born in 1842 and died in 1909. In the face of great hardship encountered as the result of a nasty bishop, she was excommunicated for about year but Mother Mary of the Cross was virtuous  throughout the ordeal. The bishop, an alcoholic received Mother Mary back into full communion on his deathbed. John Paul beatified Mother Mary in 1995 and she has wide acclaim. She is Australia’s first saint.
A canonized saint in the Catholic Church is a declaration of moral certitude and therefore an infallible statement of the Church, that that person does enjoy, as far as it’s humanly possible to say, beatitude with the Blessed Trinity. Hence, a saint is “made.”
A Wiki article on Mary Mackillop is found here.
Also, made a saint is Blessed Andre Bessett!!!

Saint Lucy

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While Saint Lucy prayed, there appeared unto her blessed Agatha, who comforted the handmaid of Christ.
Hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the feast of blessed Lucy, Thy virgin and Martyr, so may we also be strengthened in the love of true piety.
Since Saint Lucy is the patron saint of those diseases of the eyes, let us remember these people before God through the intercession of Saint Lucy. Also, let us pray for those women who live their lives in the Order of Consecrated Virgins that Saint Lucy will guide them.

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]
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