Saints: January 2009 Archives

Saint John Bosco

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John Bosco Dream of 2 pilars.jpgSaint John Bosco, full of confidence I turn to you, asking you to intercede for me. Help me to lead a good and happy life. May I always be a help to others, avoid sin and die a happy death. Bring down the blessings of God special graces which I now ask...I trust in His love and mercy to grant what He knows is best for me.

Saint John Bosco, send us good and holy priests and religious and grant perseverance to those who are preparing to offer their lives to God. Amen.

Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

Saint Angela Merici

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"Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."

St Angela Merici and daughters.jpg

Lord, may Saint Angela commend us to Your mercy; may her charity and wisdom help us to be faithful to Your teaching and to follow it in our lives.

A brief bio and a Wiki article

The Company of Saint Ursula in the United States

Conversion of Saint Paul

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Conv of St Paul.jpgI planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the increase, Alleluia.


O thou great Doctor, Paul, we here beseech of thee Lead thou our spirits up to heavenly mystery,

Till ends the partial knowledge that to us is given, While here below, and we receive the fuller light in heaven.

May everlasting honor, power and glory be, And jubilation, to the Holy Trinity, The One God, ever ruling all things mightily, Throughout all endless ages of eternity. Amen.


O God, Who has taught the whole world by the preaching of the blessed Paul the Apostle; we beseech Thee, that we, who this day celebrate his conversion, may by his example advance unto Thee.

On this day 50 years ago (1959), Blessed Pope John XXIII, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, announced the Second Vatican Council.

Saint Francis de Sales

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Thumbnail image for St Francis de Sales.jpg O God, Who did will that blessed Francis, Thy Confessor and Bishop, should become all things unto all men for the salvation of their souls, mercifully grant that being filled with the sweetness of Thy love, we may, through the guidance of his counsels and the aid of his merits attain the aid the joys of everlasting life.


Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) born in Thorens, Savoy, in France, was a brilliant student and lawyer. At an early age he was nominated Bishop of Geneva and later he vigorsly fought Calvinism. Together with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal he founded the Order of the Visitation. A classic book on the spiritual life is de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life. He died in Lyons and was canonized in 1665. In 1877, Pope Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. Pius XI declared him patron of journalists and other writers.

Saint Agnes

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St Agnes.jpgAgnes beatæ virginis
natalis est, quo spiritum
cælo refudit debitum
pio sacrata sanguine.

Matura martyrio fuit
matura nondum nuptiis;
prodire quis nuptum putet,
sic læta vultu ducitur.

Aras nefandi numinis
adolere tædis cogitur;
respondet: «Haud tales faces
sumpsere Christi virgines.

Hic ignis exstinguit fidem,
hæc flamma lumen eripit;
hic, hic ferite, ut profluo
cruore restinguam focos».

Percussa quam pompam tulit!
Nam veste se totam tegens,
terram genu flexo petit
lapsu verecundo cadens.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui natus es de Virgine,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,in sempiterna sæcula.

(Saint Ambrose)

Almighty and eternal God, Who did choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant, that we who celebrate the solemnity of blessed Agnes, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may experience her intercession with Thee.


Lamb1.jpgChurch has remembered Saint Anges, who died in 305, since 354 in the sacred Liturgy, poetry and art. This ancient feast retains a custom of blessing of the wool of two lambs brought to the pope from the Trappist Abbey of Tre Fontane. The wool from the lambs is given to the nuns to weave the pallia. The pallia spend some time at the relics of Saint Peter below the main altar of Saint Peter's Basilica showing a special unity between the Pontiff and the archbishop. The pallium is a white woolen band embroidered with six black crosses worn over the shoulders and has two hanging pieces, front and back. Since the 9th century, the pallium has wider use and is worn by the pope and by metropolitan archbishops symbolizing authority and expresses the special bond of unity between the archbishop and the Roman Pontiff. Pallia are given, upon request from by the metropolitan archbishops on the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Paul by the pope. The pallium is worn by the archbishop in his diocese and when necessary, in the other diocese in the Metropolitanate and is generally worn only for significant ecclesial events like the blessing of Chrism, ordinations, consecration of altars and not for daily and Sunday Mass.



Saint Meinrad

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 St Meinrad2.jpg



All-powerful and eternal God, your wonders shine forth in the merits of your blessed martyr Meinrad. We beg you that, as you crowned him with the glory of suffering for your name, so now we might be aided by his prayers in obtaining your mercy.


The Archabbey of Saint Meinrad in sourthern Indiana continues the tradition of their heavenly.

Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau

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Blessed Basil Moreau.jpgI have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)


Lord God, help us to imitate the virtues of Blessed Basil Moreau, especially his trust in Divine Providence, his confidence in the Cross as our only hope, and his zeal for making God known, loved, and served.


Blessed Basil Moreau is an example on how to "promot[e] hope in the Cross of Christ...[showing us]...a radical identification to Christ, and to cultivate in our own lives union of hearts and zeal for the mission."



Commemorative booklet of the beatification of Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau

A recent biography: Basil Moreau: Founder of Holy Cross

Saint Anthony, Abbot

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Sts Anthony Abbot & Michael Lippi.jpgGod, who allowed Blessed Anthony the Abbot to serve You with a marvelous life in the desert, grant by his intercession that, denying ourselves, we may constantly love You above all things.


More on Abbot Saint Anthony

Saint Hilary of Poitiers

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All-powerful God, as Saint Hilary defended the divinity of Christ Your Son, give us a deeper understanding of this mystery and help us to profess it in all truth.


Saint Hilary of Poitiers.jpgSaint Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) was a leading defender of the Church against the Arian heresy. He wrote twelve books about the Holy Trinity as well as commentaries on St. Matthew's Gospel and the Psalms. Known as the Doctor of the Divinity of Christ and in 1851 named a Doctor of the Church.


"Drawing confidence from God's kindness to undertake the office of a wise man, though it is an office beyond our powers, we intend so far as we can (pro nostro modulo) to set forth the truth professed by the Catholic faith, and to eliminate errors opposed to it. For, if I may use the words of Hilary, 'I am conscious that I owe it to God as the chief office or duty of my life that my every word (omnis sermo meus) and perception (sensus) should speak of Him.'"

-St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, Bk.I, ch. II, in Opera omnia s. Thomae Aquinatis (Rome, 1968), p. 6.

Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys

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Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.jpgO Mother Bourgeoys, you, whose compassionate power is ever increasing, show us your way of Truth, Faith and Holiness.

Make us humble enough to abandon ourselves to the Will of God, generous enough to find in the Cross the joy of the Loving Giver.

May your fidelity to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament lead us ever nearer to this source of light and peace. May your spirit of openness help us to be concerned for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Finally, may Our Lady of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bring us to this unity of eternal grace to which God has called you for all eternity. Amen.


A Vatican biography and another view of the Canadian saint's life.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

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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.

Blessed André Bessette

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Blessed Andre.jpgLord our God, friend of the lowly, You gave your servant, Brother André, a great devotion to Saint Joseph and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted. Through his intercession help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in Your glory.



Blessed André Bessette (1845-1937), born near Quebec, was professed brother in the Congregation of the Holy Cross. He did the humble work in his religious house for over forty years. He was known to have had a great devotion to Saint Joseph and therefore he was entrusting the intentions of the poor and sick to him. He built the shrine which grew into the great basilica known as Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada.


Saint John Neumann

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St John Neumann.jpgO God, who willed blessed John, thy confessor and bishop, to shine in pastoral works; graciously grant that, following his teachings and examples, we might obtain eternal life.


"John Nepomucene Neumann spent the whole of his adult life striving to live as a total Christian. Nevertheless, no one would have been more shocked than John Neumann at the thought that one day he would be canonized a saint. The possibility never crossed his mind. While his whole consciousness was directed toward serving God in immediate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, he was constantly aware of shortcomings in saying his prayers, in faithfulness to the rule of life he had set for himself, and in the accomplishment of his daily duties.

"One of his primary objectives was to introduce the Forty Hours Devotion - a three-day ceremony in which the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in a monstrance on the altar, and priests and people encouraged to keep a constant vigil in the church, honoring Christ's bodily presence among them. Neumann drew up the diocesan-wide schedule, recognizing the fact that while this practice would be fairly easy in the large city parishes it would be most difficult in the smaller settlements. His objective was to have this devotion in progress somewhere in the diocese, all year long.  (Francis Xavier Murphy, C.SS.R.)

O Saint John Neumann, your ardent desire of bringing all souls to Christ impelled you to leave home and country; teach us to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism which makes us all children of the one Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, the first-born of the family of God.


Obtain for us that complete dedication in the service of the needy, the weak, the afflicted and the abandoned which so characterized your life.  Help us to walk perseveringly in the difficult and, at times, painful paths of duty, strengthened by the Body and Blood of our Redeemer and under the watchful protection of Mary our Mother.


May death still find us on the sure road to our Father's House with the light of living Faith in our hearts. Amen.


A few dates in the saint's life

  • 28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Czech Republic
  • 28 June 1836 ordained priest by Bishop John Dubois, NYC
  • January 1842 taking his vows at Baltimore, MD, the first Redemptorist in the USA
  • 28 March 1852 ordained bishop 4th bishop of Philadelphia, PA; The Episcopal motto was Passio Christi, conforta me - Passion of Christ strengthen me
  • 5 January 1860 of a stroke at 13th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia
  • 19 June 1977 canonized by Pope Paul VI

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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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

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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.

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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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Saints category from January 2009.

Saints: December 2008 is the previous archive.

Saints: February 2009 is the next archive.

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