Tag Archives: saint

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

St Gregory of Nyssa.jpgGod our Father, Saint Gregory, your bishop, praised you by the splendor of his life and teaching. In your kindness, as we forget what is past and reach out to what is before us, help us to attain that vocation to which we are called.


Saint Gregory Nyssa converted to Christianity in his early twenties and at the urging of his brother, Saint Basil, he was ordained bishop of Nyssa. He is the author of many theological works but he’s also known to be a mystic and a humanist. His final work, the Life of Moses, is mystical reflection on the life of Moses, Israel’s great leader and prophet.

Saint Gregory understood his life –indeed all of life– as unending progress of discovering what God is doing in us and how sin is refusal to keep on growing in this discovery, for “the one thing truly worthwhile is becoming God’s friend.”

Some of Saint Gregory’s famous sayings are the following:

“So we say to God: Give us bread. Not delicacies or riches, nor magnificent purple robes, golden ornaments, and precious stones, or silver dishes. Nor do we ask Him for landed estates, or military commands, or political leadership. We pray neither for herds of horses and oxen or other cattle in great numbers, nor for a host of slaves. We do not say, give us a prominent position in assemblies or monuments and statues raised to us, nor silken robes and musicians at meals, nor any other thing by which the soul is estranged from the thought of God and higher things; no–but only bread! . . .

“But you go on business to the Indies and venture out upon strange seas; you go on a voyage every year only to bring back flavourings for your food, without realizing that . . . [it] is above all a good conscience which makes the bread tasty because it is eaten in justice. . .

“‘Give Thou bread’–that is to say, let me have food through just labor. For, if God is justice, anyone who procures food for themselves through covetousness cannot have his bread from God. You are the master of your prayer if your abundance does not come from another’s property and is not the result of somebody else’s tears; if no one is hungry or distressed because you are fully satisfied. For the bread of God is, above all, the fruit of justice.”

For more about Saint Gregory, a Cappadocian, read this article.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

St Elizabeth Ann Seton2.jpgLord God, You blessed Elizabeth Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to Your people. Through her example and prayers may we learn to express our love for You in love for others.


At the Mass which Pope Paul VI declared Seton a saint he said:


 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is an American. All of us say this with spiritual joy, and with the intention of honoring the land and the nation from which she marvelously sprang forth as the first flower in the calendar of the saints. This is the title which, in his original foreword to the excellent work of Father Dirvin, the late Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, attributed to her as primary and characteristic: “Elizabeth Ann Seton was wholly American”! Rejoice, we say to the great nation of the United States of America. Rejoice for your glorious daughter. Be proud of her. And know how to preserve her fruitful heritage. This most beautiful figure of a holy woman presents to the world and to history the affirmation of new and authentic riches that are yours: that religious spirituality which your temporal prosperity seemed to obscure and almost make impossible. Your land too, America, is indeed worthy of receiving into its fertile ground the seed of evangelical holiness. And here is a splendid proof-among many others-of this fact.


May you always be able to cultivate the genuine fruitfulness of evangelical holiness, and ever experience how-far from stunting the flourishing development of your economic, cultural and civic vitality -it will be in its own way the unfailing safeguard of that vitality. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was born, brought up and educated in New York in the Episcopalian Communion. To this Church goes the merit of having awakened and fostered the religious sense and Christian sentiment which in the young Elizabeth were naturally predisposed to the most spontaneous and lively manifestations. We willingly recognize this merit, and, knowing well how much it cost Elizabeth to pass over to the Catholic Church, we admire her courage for adhering to the religious truth and divine reality which were manifested to her therein. And we are likewise pleased to see that from this same adherence to the Catholic Church she experienced great peace and security, and found it natural to preserve all the good things which her membership in the fervent Episcopalian community had taught her, in so many beautiful expressions, especially of religious piety, and that she was always faithful in her esteem and affection for those from whom her Catholic profession had sadly separated her.



·         Born in New York City, August 28, 1774

·         Married William Magee Seton, January 25, 1794; mother of 5 children; William died in Pisa, December 27, 1803

·         Received into the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday, March 14, 1805, by Father Matthew O’Brien in St. Peter’s Church, Barclay Street, NY

·         Formation of the new community in 1808, first Religious Congregation of women in the USA

·         Died at Emmitsburg, Maryland, January 4, 1821

·         Canonized on September 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI

St Elizabeth Ann Seton4.jpg 

Her devotion to the Eucharist, sacred Scripture, especially the 23rd Psalm, and the Blessed Virgin Mary are hallmarks of Seton’s spiritual life. Following the example of Saints Vincent de Paul and Louis de Marillac hers was an apostolic spirituality.


The Church says officially: In Emmitsburg, Maryland, USA, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton who, after having been widowed, professed the Catholic Faith and worked competently at educating girls and feeding impoverished children as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, which she founded. (Martyrologium Romanum, 2005)

Saints Basil and Gregory

Sts Basil & Gregory.jpgGod our Father, You inspired the Church with the example and teaching of Your saints Basil and Gregory. In humility may we come to know Your truth and put it into action with faith and love.


Just three -of many– things about being a Christian according to Saint Basil the Great:


The Christian ought to be so minded as becomes his heavenly calling, and his life and conversation ought to be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.


The Christian ought to regard all the things that are given him for his use, not as his to hold as his own or to lay up; and, giving careful heed to all things as the Lord’s, not to overlook any of the things that are being thrown aside and disregarded, should this be the case.


Every one ought, as far as he is able, to conciliate one who has ground of complaint against him. No one ought to cherish a grudge against the sinner who repents, but heartily to forgive him. He who says that he has repented of a sin ought not only to be pricked with compunction for his sin, but also to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.


Pope Benedict’s 2007 catechesis on Saint Basil part I and part II.

Saint Thomas Becket

St Thomas Becket.jpgAlmighty God, You granted the martyr Thomas the grace to give his life for the cause of justice. By his prayers make us willing to renounce for Christ our life in this world so that we may find it in heaven.




A few words on Becket.

Feast of the Holy Family

Holy Family.jpg


Father in heaven, creator of all, you ordered the earth to bring forth life, and crowned its goodness by creating the family of man.

In history’s moment when all was ready You sent your Son to dwell in time, obedient to the laws of life in our world.

Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value of family life, and help us to live in peace with all men that we may share in your life forever.

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]yahoo.com.
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