Category Archives: Saints

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,

Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska)

Bl Maria Franciszka Siedliska.jpg

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.

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

St Rose Philippine Duchesne.JPGSaint Rose Philippine was called “the woman who is always praying.” Her singular focus on Christ and the mission won her esteem among those who found the Christian Gospel foreign. She is buried in St. Charles, MO, having died there on this date in 1852 at the age of 83. She lived the Lord’s parable of the Pearl of Great Price.
Beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1940 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988, Duchesne is the US founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, an order of religious women who were first founded in France by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat.

Saint Vladimir’s relics visit the USA

St Vladimir's relics detail.jpgThe privilege of having the relics of one’s patron coming to your home is a singular experience. Friends who are seminarians at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed their patron’s relics in solemn ceremony this past weekend.

An 11th century saint, Saint Vladimir is known in the Orthodox Church as the Holy and Great Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles who first experienced a dramatic conversion to Christ. He is credited with bringing Christianity to various places in Russia.
Saint Vladimir’s feast is commemorated in both the Orthodox and Latin Churches on July 15.

The press release of the veneration is here with yet another here.
in procession with St Vladimir's relics.jpg
Thanks to Deacon Dustin Lyon for the photos.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, a great American saint

St Frances Xavier Cabrini at Vatican Basilica.jpgO Lord and Bridegroom of your Church,

We praise you for this virgin wise

Who, lighted lamp in hand, went forth

To preach her Groom and win his prize!


From early youth she heard your voice

And longed to work in Asian lands;

But “in the west you’ll find your east,”

The pope said, firm in his commands.

So from her home, Francesca came

That she might care for those who left

Italian homes to seek for work,

But in the New World were bereft.

She founded schools and hospitals

And orphan homes, and traveled wide;

Despite ill health and stature small

Her works became our Church’s pride.


She labored long with sisters brave,

And soon her congregation spread

From North to Southern hemisphere,

Although she sailed the seas with dread.


In labors long and hard, she worked

That Christ her Lord might be well served

In poor and sick and ignorant,

That they might feel God’s love deserved.

O Trinity of love most great,

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,

With Frances and with all your saints

Bring us, at length, to heaven’s rest.


J. Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications


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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