Saints: May 2009 Archives

Saint Philip Neri

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Paolo Domenico Finoglio, Abbazia di Montserrat, Spain.jpg

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand.

Father, You continually raise up Your faithful to the glory of holiness. In Your love kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled the heart of Philip Neri.

More information about the charism of Saint Philip Neri and the Oratorians may be found here and here.

Saint Rita of Cascia

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"Please let me suffer like You, Divine Savior," was Saint Rita's prayer.

Saint Rita of Cascia (d. 1457) is the well-known saint and patron of the desperate, seemingly impossible causes and situations. She assists Saint Jude and others before the Throne of Grace. The reputation of Saint Rita is such because she had been involved in so many stages of life as a - wife, mother, widow, and Augustinian nun, she buried her family, helped bring peace to her city Unmbria in Italy, saw her dreams denied and fulfilled - and never lost her faith in God, or her desire to be with Him. The shrine where her relics are venerated in Cascia (Italy) is well-visited.

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Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you: (mention your petition). Be kind to me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honor you and sing your praise forever.

Glorious Saint Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.

Visit the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia

Just as the man who thinks only of this world does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there. (Franz Jägerstätter)


Franz Jägerstätter (1907-1943) married Franziska Schwaninger in 1936 and honeymooned in Rome receiving a blessing from Pope Pius XI after which he maintained it was a spiritual awakening. He was a daily communicant and a Secular Franciscan.

At the time of his death at age 36, Blessed Jägerstätter left behind a widow and 3 small daughters. Interestingly both his priest and his bishop urged him to give up his conscientious objection, and join the army; his sacrifice was regarded as folly by his neighbors. The chaplain who saw Jägerstätter to his death related that Jägerstätter said, "I am completely bound in inner union with the Lord."

Reflecting upon the context of his life he said:

The situation in which we Christians of Germany find ourselves today is much more bewildering than that faced by the Christians of the early centuries at the time of their bloodiest persecution ... We are not dealing with a small matter, but the great (apocalyptic) life and death struggle has already begun. Yet in the midst of it there are many who still go on living their lives as though nothing had changed ... That we Catholics must make ourselves told of the worst and most dangerous anti-Christian power that has ever existed is something that I cannot and never will believe ... Many actually believe quite simply that things have to be the way they are. If this should happen to mean that they are obliged to commit injustice, then they believe that others are responsible. ... I am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth even though it costs me my life. For you will not find it written in any of the commandments of God or of the Church that a man is obliged under pain of sin to take an oath committing him to obey whatever might be commanded him by his secular ruler. We need no rifles or pistols for our battle, but instead spiritual weapons, and the foremost of these is prayer.

The Common for Martyrs: One Martyr in Easter Time

Read William Diono's First Things article, "Franz Jägerstätter: Martyr and Model

For another essay on Blessed Franz Jägerstätter read... 

His biography, In Solitary Witness, can be purchased from Amazon

Erna Putz' biography, Franz Jägerstätter-Martyr: A Shining Example in Dark Times can be read here

The Houston Catholic Worker's article on the witness of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter 

Franz Jägerstätter: Letters and Writings from Prison (Orbis Books, 2009).

Saint Isidore

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St Isidore the Farmer.jpgWell done, good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things, saith the Lord.


O God, Who didst give Thy people blessed Isidore as a minister of eternal salvation, we beseech Thee; grant that we may deserve to have him as an intercessor in heaven, whom we had as a teacher of life on earth.


Saint Isidore was married to a religious woman named, Maria Torribia. She, too is a saint of the Church. The couple had one son who died unexpectedly as a child. After the son's death Isidore and Maria vowed to live a life of perfect continence. We ought to remember that Isidore came from a family of saints.

It is known that Isidore frequented Mass every morning making him late to work, which likely made his employer a bit annoyed, except that his work as a plowman was done by angels resulting in three times more productivity. His boss witnessed such miraculous events and accorded Isidore with great respect. Keep this info in the back your head next time you're late to work due to attendance at Mass.

Saint Isidore loved the poor and the animals. The miracle of the multiplication of food occurred when he fed a flock of starving birds and at another time he shared his food with a large group of beggars.

Isidore died on May 15, 1120 at 60 years of age and was canonized in 1622 along with four very notable Spanish saints. The joke at the time of his canonization was that there were four Spaniards and a saint. The famous group was Saints Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Francis Xavier, Phillip Neri, and Isidore. His body has been found incorrupt.

A biography on our bishop and doctor saint.

Saint Matthias

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St Matthias.jpgYou have not chosen me; I have chosen you. Go and bear fruit that will last, alleluia.

O God, Who did associate blessed Matthias to the company of Thine Apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.

A brief biography of the Apostle Matthias.

Saint Isaiah

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St Isaie.jpg

With a great voice like that of a trumpet,

You proclaimed the coming of Christ to the world.

You were revealed as a swiftly-writing scribe of the things to come;

Therefore, we acclaim you with hymns,

Most illustrious prophet Isaiah. (Troparion, Tone 4)


Endowed with the gift of prophecy,

Prophet-martyr Isaiah, herald of God,

You made clear to all the incarnation of Christ

By proclaiming with a great voice:

"Behold, the Virgin shall conceive in her womb." (Kontakion, Tone 2)

Pray for us, Saint Joseph, alleluia.

Thou faithful protector of all our work, alleluia.

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Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth. The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph's entire life. For Jesus, these were hidden years, the years to which Luke refers after recounting the episode that occurred in the Temple: "And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them" (Lk 2:51). This "submission" or obedience of Jesus in the house of Nazareth should be understood as a sharing in the work of Joseph. Having learned the work of his presumed father, he was known as "the carpenter's son." If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus' work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.

In the human growth of Jesus "in wisdom, age and grace," the virtue of industriousness played a notable role, since "work is a human good" which "transforms nature" and makes man "in a sense, more human."

The importance of work in human life demands that its meaning be known and assimilated in order to "help all people to come closer to God, the Creator and Redeemer, to participate in his salvific plan for man and the world, and to deepen...friendship with Christ in their lives, by accepting, through faith, a living participation in his threefold mission as Priest, Prophet and King."

What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification which each person must acquire according to his or her own state, and one which can be promoted according to a model accessible to all people: "St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies; ...he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things-it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic."

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, 1989

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 May 2009.

Saints: April 2009 is the previous archive.

Saints: June 2009 is the next archive.

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