Tag Archives: saint

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Catholics in USA have a special reason to be happy today: one of our own is venerated at the altar. We liturgically remember Saint Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856).

Saint Mother Theodore is the 8th saint from the USA to be raised to the altar.

She is the patroness of the Diocese of Layfayette in Indiana.

John Paul beatified Guerin and Benedict canonized her in 2006.

Here are some quick facts.

Lots more info is noted here.

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and companions

The Church remembers the martyrdom of the Korean martyrs, more than 103 of them. The names of Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang are the hallmarks for this 19th century Christian witness. I can’t fathom the depth of love and hope these martyrs must have had in facing trials.

With the Church we pray,

O God, who have been pleased to increase your adopted children in all the world, and who made the blood of the Martyrs Saint Andrew Tae-gon and his companions a most fruitful seed of Christians, grant that we may be defended by their help and profit always from their example.

My 2011 blog post on today’s feast gives more information.

At Mass today at the Monastery of the Glorious Cross (Branford, CT), Father David Borino remembered the intentions of Sister Maria Kim, OSB, a nun of this monastery. In addition, I’d like to remember in prayer the Benedictine monks of Saints Maurus and Placidus Abbey, (Waegwan, Korea), St Paul’s Abbey (Newton, NJ), Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-Suk (archbishop emeritus of Seoul) and the Korean community in Queens, especially my friends Claire and Theresa. May the Divine Majesty richly bless these servants of God.

Saint Augustine of Hippo

St Augustine readingSaint Augustine was born in Tagaste, Souk-Ahras, Algeria on November 13, 354 to Patricius, a pagan, and Monica, a fervent Catholic. We liturgically observed Saint Monica’s feast yesterday.

We know from his writings and the witness of many others that Augustine was endowed with brilliant human, intellectual and spiritual gifts which lead him on a wild pilgrimage of heart and mind.

Following his education, Augustine was an accomplished rhetorician and teacher in Africa, Rome and Milan. His faith journey began with his mother Monica when he was a child but he didn’t complete his theological formation and wasn’t baptized for many years. In fact, he adopted the Manichean heresy as an intellectual lens to judge reality. But as we know from his Testimony, Augustine discerned moments of spiritual growth he decided to embrace Jesus Christ fully Catholic. By this time his common law wife named Una by scholars and who bore him a son, had departed. Conversion meant that marriage was not possible for him.

The gift of Baptism was given him by Saint Ambrose in Milan in 387. It is said that together with his son and some friends, he returned with them to Tagaste to begin a monastic life. While the ministerial priesthood was not in his personal discernment, the Church had decided that Augustine’s vocation was to serve as a priest in Hippo in 391, and later a bishop of that See in 397. Augustine’s ordination was lived lived in the monastic context.

Augustine was a prolific writer, an accomplished preacher, a monastic leader, a theologian, pastor, contemplative, and mystic. On this date in 430 at nearly 76 years of age, with North Africa being invaded by the Vandals and the Church devastated. Augustine mortal remains were first taken to Sardinia and later to Pavia, Italy, where they are now rest in the Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro.

Saint Monica

Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.

Saint Monica about the conversion of Augustine

Saint Monica gives hope to mothers (parents and family) that perseverance in prayer and friendship does influence others.  Good witness can’t be exchanged for anything else. Monica realized, no doubt, that her son, as bright as he was, had free will and that even God respected that fact. What does that say about praying in singular way, for the conversion of someone for 30+ years? It says that our heart and mind expands and makes room of God’s grace to come in new and unexpected ways.

Saint Monica, pray for us.

In praise of saints

I find saints to be helpful, provocative and needed. Christian living is difficult enough that I find myself in need of good witness to help me understand the horizons of Christian life, to invite me to live differently and to anchor me more squarely in the reality of what Scripture and tradition propose. Read the Roman Martyrology and you’ll notice through the centuries there are men and women lifted up by the Church as worthy of following. Recall that a saint’s purpose to is to point us not to himself, but to Jesus Christ. Saints are not self-referential.

Christianity can really be characterized as a genealogy beginning with the Trinity right down to our present age. In history we count the Mother of God, Mary, as the first disciple of God; in the coming months we’ll have two new disciples honored at the altar, John XXIII and John Paul II. These men for me, indicate a path to a right relationship with the Lord.

On one hand saints tell us not to be overly anxious, that following Christ is humanly possible and yet, work is needed to be a true follower of Christ. By work I mean a personal attention to the desires of the heart, knowing the person of Jesus, having a substantial freedom from a divided heart and tongue (sin) and a life worthy of being in the presence of God. A saint realizes he or she is a sinner and the only to be with God is to rely on His grace.

The other day Andy Crouch of the WSJ wrote a good piece titled, “Saints Be Praised–Officially or Otherwise: Catholics have the most rigorous process for naming them, but even Protestants have informal ones.” Here we have a broad approach among Christians in recognizing holy men and women.

In part Mr Crouch writes,

Saints, whether formally recognized by Catholicism or informally regarded as such by other denominations, are bracing reminders that the transformation of spirit promised by religion—so elusive for most of us—is possible in this life. Christians of any kind can appreciate the remarkable lives of the two men the Catholic Church will canonize later this year.

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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