Saints: July 2009 Archives

Saint Peter Chrysologus

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St Peter Chrysologus.jpgThe Lord led the just in right paths, and showed him the kingdom of God.

O God, Who did miraculously select the illustrious Doctor, Peter Chrysologus, to govern and instruct Thy Church; grant we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him as an intercessor in heaven, whom we had as a teacher of life on earth.

O Mystery of God's own love,
Once hid, but now from heav'n above
Come down in Christ to save us all
Who were enslaved, in evil's thrall:

For Peter, shepherd of Your sheep,
Your Church's feast of joy we keep;
His faithful witness to Your Word
Made Gospel truth be always heard.

Dispenser of the mystery
Of God-made-man, he sought to be
A preacher fearless in the sight
Of all who searched for heaven's light.

All glory, Lord, to you we bring
As in this summertime we sing
To Father and to Spirit blest;
With Peter, give us endless rest!

LM (88 88), no suggested tune
James Michael Thompson (c) 2009 WLP
Martha Mary & Lazarus.jpgHeavenly Father, your son was received as an honored and welcome guest in the home of Bethany. Keep us close to the Master in our prayer and work that, blameless in his sight, he may welcome us into our eternal home, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

(Today, the Roman Missal observes the feast of Saint Martha and the Benedictine Missal supplement observes together the memorial of all three saints, Martha, Mary & Lazarus. Since it's the preference of this blog writer to follow a diversity of Missals, I am using the collect found in the Benedictine missal supplement because the collect there gives the feast a slightly different sense in our liturgical monastic sensibility today. Of prime concern is the remembrance of monastic hospitality and these saints are known to be hosts of the Lord. Our work today, then, is look at those areas in our life where hospitality exists and where it is unfortunately restrained or non-existent.)
Mother Anne, be joyful;Life of Joachim & Anne Giotto.jpg
sing, O mother holy,
Since thou art the parent
O God's Mother lowly.

Praise thy wondrous daughter;
Joachim, too raises
To the Virgin Mary
His paternal praises.

For in her our planet
First hath benediction
Which hapless Eva
Suffered malediction.

Therefore take the praises
Joyous hearts are paying;
And from all defilement
Cleanse us by thy praying.

Father, Son eternal,
Holy Ghost supernal,
With one praise we bless Thee,
Three in One confess Thee. Amen.

(the Lauds hymn for the feast)

O God, Who did choose blessed Joachim and Anne to be the parents of the glorious Mother of Thine only-begotten Son, grant us through their prayers to praise Thy mercy forever in the fellowship of Thine elect.
St James the Greater Greco.jpg
O daughters of Jerusalem come and see the Martyrs with crowns, whom the Lord has crowned on the day of solemnity and joy, alleluia, alleluia.

We beseech Thee, O Lord, keep and sanctify Thy people, that strengthened by the help of Thine Apostle James they may please Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

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St Sharbel.jpg

Every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

God our Father in Saint Sharbel Makhluf, You gave a light to Your faithful people. You made him a pastor of the Church to feed Your sheep with his word and to teach them by his example. Help us by his prayers to keep the faith he taught and follow the way of life he showed us.

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf (1828-1898) was born in a small Lebanese mountain village who became, at 23 years old, a monk of the Lebanese Maronite Order and later ordained a priest in 1859. He is known for his intense devotion to lectio divina, the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sensing a deeper call in 1875, he began a solitary life (as a hermit) which he lived for twenty-three years of his life. Sharbel's witness taught us about the virtues of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer in world dominated by an attraction to money, power and fame. Since July 24, 2004 Saint Sharbel has been introduced the liturgical observance in the sacred Liturgy.

Archbishop Francis M. Zayek said of Saint Sharbel:

"Reading about the holy hermits of the desert, we used to consider many reported facts as mere fables. In the life of Blessed Sharbel, however, we notice that these facts are authentic and true. Blessed Sharbel is another Saint Anthony of the Desert, or Saint Pachomius, or Saint Paul the Anchorite. It is marvelous to observe how you, Maronites, have preserved the same spirituality of the fathers of the desert throughout the centuries, and at the end of the nineteenth century, 1500 years later, produced a Sharbel for the Church."

(The icon was painted by iconographer Christine Habib el DayƩ. Other pieces of the artist's work can be seen here and she can also be found on Facebook.)

Saint Bridget of Sweden

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St Bridget of Sweden.jpgLord, our God, you revealed the secrets of heaven to Saint Bridget as she meditated on your Son's Passion. Grant that we your servants may find great joy when your glory is revealed.

"In Christ's death, I have died now;
In Christ I live anew.
With faith in God's Son, Jesus,
That keeps me ever true,
I know the love he's shown me,
That washed my sin away.
His cross, which daily guides me
Informs me as I pray."

Thus Bridget, monarch, mother,
Good spouse and Christian wise,
Lived Jesus' sacred Passion
And, e'er before His eyes
She loved the poor and lowly,
Gave all her store away,
Called men and women to her
To live the Gospel way.

Give glory to the Father,
Whose loving plan ordained
That we should each be bought back
From sin and sorrow's shame!
Give glory to Christ Jesus,
Whose death has set us free!
Give glory to the Spirit;
To God, the One-in-Three.

James Michael Thompson
76.76.D; suggested tune: O Sacred Head Surrounded

St Mary Magdalene Caravaggio.jpgEarly in the morning of the first day of the week, when Jesus had arisen, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven seven devils.

Heavenly Father, Mary Magdalene was the first upon whom Your Son enjoined the task of announcing the joy of Easter. In union with this Apostle to the Apostles, enable us now to follow her example of heralding the living Christ so that we too may see Him enthroned at Your side.

We especially remember the Order of Friars Preachers today because of Saint Mary Magdalene's patronage.

An angel in the flesh, the foundation of the prophets, and the second forerunner of Christ, the glorious Elijah from on high sent grace to Elisha, to cure sicknesses & cleanse lepers. He likewise overflows with healing for those who honor him.

(Troparion of the feast, Tone 4)

St Elijah FBol.jpg

Let all Christ's Church assemble here

And, gathered in His holy Name,

Keep solemn, joyful festival

To sing of great Elijah's fame.

Of all the prophets who foretold

God's hidden plan of saving grace,

He is the chief: to him we give,

The Tishbite, now the choicest place.

He called the folk of Israel

Back to their covenant with God;

Through kingly wrath and violence

God's narrow way of truth he trod.

When earthly tasks for him were done,

You called him in a special way:

A fiery chariot came for him,

Foretelling Christ's ascension day.

For all the graces You have giv'n

Through what Elijah did for You,

Your Church on earth gives endless praise,

O Father, Son, and Spirit true.

L.M. (88.88)

James Michael Thompson (2009)

Saint Camillus de Lellis

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St Camillus Lellis.jpg

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Father, you gave Saint Camillus a special love for the sick. Through his prayers inspire us with your grace, so that by serving you in our brothers and sisters we may come safely to you at the end of our lives.

A bio on Saint Camillus

Bl Kateri Tekakwitha.jpg

Lord God, you called the virgin, blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, to shine among the Indian people as an example of innocence of life. Through her intercession, may all peoples of every tribe, tongue, and nation, having been gathered into your Church, proclaim your greatness in one song of praise.

The National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha staffed by the Conventual Franciscans.

St Henry II.jpg
God of might and power, you bestowed many gifts upon Saint Henry and turned him from the cares of an earthly kingdom to a concern for heavenly things. Hear his prayer and grant that amid the changes and uncertainties of this life we may hasten to you with undivided hearts.

Today's saint, Henry II, is one of the few monarchs admitted to the canon of saints. Emperors along with civil and canon lawyers don't seem to be too plentiful among the communion of saints. Henry was in fact an emperor, a husband and a Benedictine oblate. Throughout his life Henry devoted himself to the evangelization of peoples, the support of the Church (materially and spiritually), and is known to have attended to his spiritual life by being faithful to lectio divina, praying the Divine Office and the sacred Liturgy, and doing works of mercy and charity for the poor and marginalized. He is reported to have lived very chastely with his wife. Also important for us here is the fact that as king, Henry followed the Rule of Saint Benedict with a degree of seriousness that was rather unheard of, even among the monks and nuns. As Saint Benedict lived his earthly life and enjoined on his followers a sense of attentiveness to the reality of the final judgment, Henry conformed his life to the same: as Benedict had a concern for the welfare of brothers, he also instilled in them a heightened sense of Christ's final judgment, and so did Henry. Do we?

God our Father, You made Saint Benedict an outstanding guide to teach men how to live in your service. Grant that be preferring your love to everything else we may walk in the way of your commandments.

St Benedict a Bohemian artist.jpg

Famous for his work on the 12 degrees of humility, Saint Benedict proposes the following for those who want to advance in the spiritual life. The degrees of humility are given below.

The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes (cf Ps 35[36]:2), shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded, that he always consider in his mind how those who despise God will burn in hell for their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God. And whilst he guard himself evermore against sin and vices of thought, word, deed, and self-will, let him also hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh.

The second degree of humility is, when a man love not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carried out that word of the Lord which said: "I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me" (Jn 6:38). It is likewise said: "Self-will hath its punishment, but necessity win the crown."

The third degree of humility is, that for the love of God a man subject himself to a Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle said: "He became obedient unto death" (Phil 2:8).

The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up, but hold out, as the Scripture said: "He that shall persevere unto the end shall be saved" (Mt 10:22). And again: "Let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord" (Ps 26[27]:14).

The fifth degree of humility is, when one hides from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed by him in secret, but humbly confesses them. Concerning this the Scripture exhorts us, saying: "Reveal thy way to the Lord and trust in Him" (Ps 36[37]:5). And it said further: "Confess to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever" (Ps 105[106]:1; Ps 117[118]:1). And the Prophet likewise said: "I have acknowledged my sin to Thee and my injustice I have not concealed. I said I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord; and Thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sins" (Ps 31[32]:5).

The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that is enjoined him holds himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: "I am brought to nothing and I knew it not; I am become as a beast before Thee, and I am always with Thee" (Ps 72[73]:22-23).

The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his tongue he declares, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: "But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people" (Ps 21[22]:7).

The eighth degree of humility is, when a monk doeth nothing but what is sanctioned by the common rule of the monastery and the example of his elders.

The ninth degree of humility is, when a monk withholds his tongue from speaking, and keeping silence doth not speak until he is asked; for the Scripture shows that "in a multitude of words there shall not want sin" (Prov 10:19); and that "a man full of tongue is not established in the earth" (Ps 139[140]:12).

The tenth degree of humility is, when a monk is not easily moved and quick for laughter, for it is written: "The fool exalts his voice in laughter" (Sir 21:23).

The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaks, he speak gently and without laughter, humbly and with gravity, with few and sensible words, and that he be not loud of voice, as it is written: "The wise man is known by the fewness of his words."

The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only humble of heart, but always lets it appear also in his whole exterior to all that see him; namely, at the Work of God, in the garden, on a journey, in the field, or wherever he may be, sitting, walking, or standing, let him always have his head bowed down, his eyes fixed on the ground, ever holding himself guilty of his sins, thinking that he is already standing before the dread judgment seat of God, and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: "Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven" (Lk 18:13); and again with the Prophet: "I am bowed down and humbled exceedingly" (Ps 37[38]:7-9; Ps 118[119]:107)

St Augustine Zhao Rong.jpg

Father, we celebrate the memory of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and his companions who died for their faithful witnessing to Christ. Give us the strength to follow their example, loyal and faithful to the end.


Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, a Chinese diocesan priest who was martyred with 119 companions in 1815. Among their number was an eighteen-year-old boy, Chi Zhuzi, who cried out to those who had just cut off his right arm and were preparing to flay him alive: "Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian."

Saint Maria Goretti

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St. Maria Goretti.jpgFather, source of innocence and lover of chastity, you gave Saint Maria Goretti the privilege of offering her life in witness to Christ. As you gave her the crown of martyrdom, let her prayers keep us faithful to your teaching.

Saint Maria Goretti is an example for the new generations who are threatened by a non-commital attitude that finds it difficult to understand the importance of the values which admit of no compromise. [But] do not let the consumer culture and pleasure numb your conscience! Be an alert and vigilant "watchmen", be the real champions of a new humanity. (Pope John Paul II, 7 July 2002)

Saint Thomas

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Because thou has seen Me, Thomas, thou has believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed, alleluia.

St Thomas PPRubens.jpg
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to glory in the solemn festival of Thy blessed Apostle Thomas; may his patronage ever help us, and may we at all times imitate his faith with suitable devotion.

Pope Benedict's 2006 catechesis on Saint Thomas is quite illustrative of true faith through the example of the Apostle.

Are we free enough to follow Christ in the same manner as the Apostle Thomas? Do we adhere closely to Christ in all ways --holding nothing back--so has to truly say that Christ is the way, the truth and the life? What makes us insecure in our following Christ? Does uncertainty paralyze us in being a true Christian? Why?

Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.

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 July 2009.

Saints: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Saints: August 2009 is the next archive.

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