Tag Archives: saint

Saint Camillus de Lellis

DeLillisToday is the Feast of Saint Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614), spiritual son of Saint Philip Neri, who under his guidance founded a new order in the Church, the Camillans, who are dedicated to the care of the sick. He had the charism of honoring the sick as living images of Christ. This captures our Christian life in a clear way.

Please keep the sons of Camillus in prayer who recently elected a new general superior.

Pope Leo XIII made Saint Camillus, with Saint John of God, a patron of the sick.

Saint Barnabas

St BarnabasWe read that in the first days of the Church, the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul; and none said that anything which he possessed was his own. (Acts 4:32) Amid this fervent company of Christians who practiced evangelical poverty, one only is singled out by name, Joseph, a rich Levite from Cyprus. He, having land, sold it, and bringing the price, laid it at the feet of the Apostles. They then gave him a new name, Barnabas, son of consolation. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and was soon chosen for an important mission, the rapidly growing Church of Antioch. Here he perceived the great work which was waiting to be done among the Greeks, and therefore he hastened to seek out and bring Saint Paul to Antioch, from his retirement at Tarsus.

When the prophet Agabus at Antioch foretold a great universal famine, Barnabas and Paul were selected by the faithful, to take to the Church of Jerusalem their generous offerings for the poor of that city. It was also at Antioch that the two Saints were named for the apostolate of the Gentiles; and they sailed together for Cyprus and then to the cities of Asia Minor. Their preaching struck men with amazement, and some cried out, The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men! calling Paul Mercury, and Barnabas Jupiter. The Saints traveled together once again, to the Council of Jerusalem, and told of the signs and wonders which God had wrought among the Gentiles during their missionary journey. Shortly after this they separated; Barnabas with John Mark went to Cyprus, while Paul with Silas returned to Asia Minor.

The tradition of Milan, Italy, reveals that Saint Barnabas went from Cyprus to Italy, and in Milan founded its church; he is still honored there as its first bishop. After seven years he consecrated Saint Anathalon to replace him, and returned to Cyprus to visit the churches. He crisscrossed the island several times to bring to every city and village the Holy Name of the Son of God. In Salamis, some of the recalcitrants plotted together to kill him. He was aware of the conspiracy; nonetheless, after foretelling to John Mark that he would die that same day, he went to the synagogue to preach as usual. It was there that he was stoned as a blasphemer, in the year 61 of our era. Saint John Mark succeeded in burying him near Salamis.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 6

St John Baptist de la Salle

John Baptist de la SalleThe seventeenth-century Frenchman John Baptist de la Salle was drawn to what he discerned as God’s will for him be abandoning all earthly things. He was capable, from a noble family, good looking and yet the entitlements of society were insufficient for his heart. John was ordained at 27 and was offered place among the canons at Rheims which he later gave up.

We believe that Divine Providence shows us the path to walk by putting people and circumstances in our way as pointers to serve Him and Him alone. The events of his era led John Baptist and others to take seriously the work of mercy educating young men, especially the poor.

The charism of educating the poor was so attractive that men who desired to serve the Lord and the Church a brothers and not priests gave way to the founding of a community of religious men called the Brothers of the Christian School (Christian Brothers, or De La Salle Brothers and sometimes the French Christian Brothers). Over time the work was more defined by educating boys of poor families, training teachers and setting up homes and schools for delinquents of the wealthy. It was John’s desire that the men in his care would be become a good Christian men.

De La Salle had lived his final years with chronic asthma and the painful rheumatism giving himself totally to God on Good Friday. He was 68. The Church canonized Father John Baptist de la Salle in 1900 and in 1950, Pope Pius XII named de la Salle patron of schoolteachers.

Saint Valentine

St ValentineHappy Saint Valentine’s day.

Valentine was a Roman nobleman who gave his home to be used for Christian marriages. Valentinus, as he was called in the ancient language, died for the Faith on February 14, and since the Middle Ages has been associated with love.

The day was first associated with romantic love in Geoffrey Chaucer’s works in the High Middle Ages, when the the ideal of courtly love flourished. This was especially true in 18th-century England.

Christians ought to love as Jesus loved: complete self-giving. Remember to love well.

Holy Innocents

The day on which we recall those innocent children, the boys we call holy, who unknowingly gave their lives for their Savior, let’s hear the words of Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children
who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king,
Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the
fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues.
Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these
children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred
. For as
today’s feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was
poured out upon the holy children, did heaven’s blessing stream down upon them.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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