Category Archives: Saints

Saint Edward the Confessor

St Edward the Confessor.jpgHail to You, Christ, Prince of Peace!

Your great reign shall never cease!
Model of each Christian king,
Hear the song of praise we bring
For Saint Edward, strong and true,
Ever faithful, Lord, to You!
On this day we sing his fame,
And proclaim Your holy Name!
Steadfast in his nation’s care,
Fervent with the poor to share,
Just to great and small, they say;
His good deeds we sing this day!
Give us grace, like him to strive,
That our faith might be alive,
Full of mercy, love, and grace
That the world may see Your face!
Glory to the Father bring!
Glory to the Son, our King!
Glory to the Spirit blest!
Three-in-One, in heaven’s rest!
With St. Edward joined as one,
May we pray, “Thy will be done!”
Till we there in heav’n may be
Joined with You, forever free!
suggested tune: St George’s Windsor

Blessed John XXIII

Pope John XIII.jpgToday we are given Blessed John XXIII as a model of holiness. Pope Blessed John’s liturgical memorial is not the date of his death but the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

As one example of his holy inclinations I recently read his 1962 letter to women religious, “Il Tempio Massimo.” It is remains a beautiful testament to a great man filled with the Holy Spirit lived as a man of the Church. In this letter the Pope talks about the place of spiritual renewal in religious life; he’s got the grace of a new Pentecost in mind: an old person can be born again.
The new Pentecost in Blessed John’s mind is evidenced in a life of prayer, a life of example and a life in the apostolate, whether active or in the cloister. Of course, this letter to the women religious has a specific structure and emphasis but one that ought not be lost to the rest of the Church today; the Pope encourages us “to cultivate a holy enthusiasm” in life in Christ aiming to a more complete and full vocation first introduced to us in the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist) and then in the call to serve the Lord and the Church in a particular manner (the vowed life, priesthood for those given that vocation, the married state and single life).
 Blessed John’s points on prayer could be summarized as follows:
1. “…more rigid mortification and penance is intended to affirm once again the pre-eminence of the duties of worship and of complete consecration of life to prayer over any other form of apostolate…;
2. “…conform more perfectly to the call of the Divine Master…in the contemplative life”;
3. “…the only foundations and soul of the apostolate is the interior life”;
4. without a life of prayer can “…fall into that ‘heresy of action’;
5. a life of prayer “…entails not a mechanical repetition of formulas but is rather the irreplaceable means by which one enters into intimacy with the Lord, to better understand the dignity of being daughters of of God and spouses of the Holy Spirit, the ‘sweet guest of the soul’ Who speaks to those who know how to listen in recollection”;
6. “holy Mass should be the center of your day, so much so that every action converges on it as a preparation or as a thanksgiving. Let Holy Communion be the daily food which sustains, comforts and strengthens you”;
7. 3 recommended and fundamental devotions: “Nothing is better for enlightening and encouraging the adoration of Jesus than to meditate upon Him and invoke Him in the threefold light of the Name, the Heart and the Blood.
I’d recommend reading the rest of the letter because Pope John talks about honoring poverty, radiating chastity, a life of sweet obedience and the apostolic and contemplative life.

Blessed John Henry Newman

Bl John Henry Newman.jpgO God, who bestowed on the priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow Your kindly light and find peace in Your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fulness of Your truth.


“God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another” (JH Newman, Meditations on Christian Doctrine).

Blessed John Henry’s feast day today is the anniversary of his conversion to Catholicism and not the date of his birth into eternal life (death), as most of the saints are honored. 

The other Propers for Mass and the Office of Readings for Newman’s feast day can be found here.

Saint Faustina Kowalska

St Faustina.jpg

Clued-in Catholics know the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. They are, however, unlikely to know the person who made this devotion known to the world and who was instrumental in getting the work of divine mercy known in the world today. Today, the Church gives us the woman who made the Lord’s mercy known to men and women of today. 

Sr Faustina
Kowalska wrote in her Diary:  “I feel tremendous pain when I see the
sufferings of my neighbours. All my neighbours’ sufferings reverberate in my
own heart; I carry their anguish in my heart in such a way that it even
physically destroys me. I would like all their sorrows to fall upon me, in
order to relieve my neighbour” (Diary, p. 365). This is the degree of
compassion to which love leads, when it takes the love of God as its

It is this love which must inspire humanity today, if it is to face
the crisis of the meaning of life, the challenges of the most diverse needs
and, especially, the duty to defend the dignity of every human person. Thus the
message of divine mercy is also implicitly a message about the value of every
human being. Each person is precious in God’s eyes; Christ gave his life for
each one; to everyone the Father gives his Spirit and offers intimacy. (Pope John Paul II, Canonization homily, April 30, 2000).

Saint Jerome

St Jerome and lion.jpgAt Mass today the preacher told us of a vision Saint Jerome had of Christ who asked him: Are you going to follow Cicero or me? (Jerome was educated in Latin literature and was a “student” of Cicero.) We know the end of the story for Jerome, but what of each of us?

Whom do you follow? Are you in love with Christ or merely giving lip service in being in relationship to Him?
Saint Jerome, pray for us!

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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