- Saturday, 30 January 2016 16:18
A rather unknown beatus is the lay woman from the archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, who vocation it was to be a Catechist and Martyr is honored today. Blessed Carmen Marie (1888-1937) was born in Nantes, France; she met the Lord after being raped and martyred in the Spanish Civil War; burned alive on 30 January 1937 in Torrent, Valencia, Spain.
A brief biography available in French can be read here.
John Paul II beatified García Moyon on March 11, 2001.
Blessed Carmen Marie, pray for all teachers of Christian Doctrine and those who live with the trauma of rape.
- Wednesday, 14 October 2015 16:08
Happy feast day of Pope Saint Callistus. The Church liturgically remembers this early pope because of his leadership and spiritual care in the face of trial and heresy. Slave, failed banker, convict and pope. He’s a late second century personage. Studied theology, ordained a deacon and a great counselor. Killed in 222 a riot against Christians. He’s the patron saint of cemetery workers. The pope’s biography is incomplete and often untrustworthy due to the lack of good records from this time. This Pontiff shows how to face our trials (and death): with Christ alone. Don’t give into the temptation of nihilism. Seek what God has shown us: Himself.
The liturgical scholars tell us that Callistus gave us the Ember Days. Before the revision of the Liturgy, the Church observed days of prayer and fasting (outside Fridays, Advent and Lent, and certain other days) with Ember days. There exists for sets of Ember days corresponding more-or-less with the change of seasons. So, Ember Days were known by the faithful from about AD 220 to 1969. Callistus links our Christian life with a good dose of Old Testament theology and typology.
As typical, when you touch something ancient it has the possibility of disintegrating, which is what happened to the Embers. The 1969 revision of the Church calendar reads:
“In order to adapt the rogation and ember days to various regions and the different needs of the people, the conferences of bishops should arrange the time and plan of their celebration. Consequently, the competent authority should lay down norms, in view of local conditions, on extending such celebrations over one or several days and on repeating them during the year. On each day of these celebrations the Mass should be one of the votive Masses for various needs and occasions that is best suited to the intentions of the petitioners.”
- Friday, 04 September 2015 10:01
Today, at least in the Orthodox world, Moses the Prophet and God-Seer, is liturgically remembered for giving us God’s Law, leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, and taking off his sandals before the burning bush. Catholics liturgically commemorate the Prophet Moses but he is not currently on the Roman liturgical calendar. This Moses is not confused with another Saint Moses who was a hermit and bishop and called by some the “Apostle to the Saracens.”
“That light teaches us what we must do to stand within the rays of the true light: sandaled feet cannot ascend that height where the light of truth is seen, but the dead and earthly covering of skins, which was placed around our nature at the beginning when we were found naked because of disobedience to the divine will, must be removed from the feet of our soul. When we do this, the knowledge of the truth will result and manifest itself.”
— St. Gregory of Nyssa, “The Life of Moses”
- Wednesday, 12 August 2015 08:03
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572 – 1641), wife, mother, and foundress of the Order of the Visitation. She had the assistance of Saint Francis de Sales with the Visitation. Saint Jane Frances is among the few saints that we know who is wife, mother and foundress. Many vocations in one person.
Holy Mother Saint Jane Frances said: “Give God a free hand to do as He likes, while you look on in loving simplicity.”
Saints beget saints. Here is a good example. Saint Vincent de Paul, a friend and spiritual director of the saint’s, said this about her:
“She was full of faith, yet all her life had been tormented by thoughts against it. While apparently enjoying the peace and easiness of mind of souls who have reached a high state of virtue, she suffered such interior trials that she often told me her mind was so filled with all sorts of temptations and abominations that she had to strive not to look within herself…But for all that suffering her face never lost its serenity, nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth.”
- Monday, 27 July 2015 11:23
The Church has many stellar men and women who consciously served God and their neighbor. The Church, from the time of Jesus, cared for the health of people. Recall the miracles of cure that Jesus did for his hearers; the miracles were carried over to the Apostles who healed people in the Holy Name of Jesus. Then, several people come to mind who have special patronage either on the spiritual plane or the physical or both: Saint Luke, Saint Agatha, Saint Blase, Saint Peregrine, the 14 Holy Helpers and today’s saint, Pantaleon (the Eastern Church spells his name as Panteleimon, meaning “holy compassionate one”). The artists have rendered Pantaleon healing a child or being in the middle of his execution for being a Christian.
The hagiography of Panteleon reveals that he was from a wealthy pagan father and a Christian mother, well-educated, a physician who was martyred in the fourth century. His cult was alive and well in the Middle Ages.
Saint Pantaleon, pray for us.