Saints: July 2010 Archives

Saint Peter Chrysologus

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San Pietro Crisologo.jpgO God, who made the Bishop Saint Peter Chrysologus an outstanding preacher of your Incarnate Word, grant, through his intercession, that we may constantly ponder in our hearts the mysteries of your salvation and faithfully express them in what we do. Through our Lord.

Saint Peter Chrysologus (born c. 400 and died c. 450; known also as "the man of golden speech"), Archbishop of Ravenna, was named a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII because of his eloquent, evocative and persuasive speech which led many to Christ. Many of his sermons are extant and used for spiritual reading in the Roman Office. Chrysologus was a student of Cornelius who ordained him to the Order of Deacon. He was an early advocate of the frequent reception of Holy communion; worked diligently for unity among Christians and lovingly cared for the poor.

Saint Martha

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Christ with Martha and Mary.jpgIn midst of burning desert heat
Three strangers came along the way
Where Abraham and Sarah stayed;
He saw them, and begged them to stay.

In hospitality, he sought
To care for each and ev'ry need;
In answer came the promise sweet:
"Your wife will bear a son, indeed."

In much the same way, Jesus came
To Martha and to Mary's place;
While Mary sat and heard the Lord,
All awed by such amazing grace,

Her sister called, rebuking her
And scolded Christ for lack of care.
But Jesus said, "What Mary chose
Alone is needful, and most fair."

In giving hospitality,
We serve our God in neighbor's guise;
The trouble others seem to be
Will oft be Christ, to our surprise;

And yet the one thing needful is
The mystery of Christ in all,
Our hope of glory.  Here we sit
And hear our Master's loving call.
Santiago de Compostella con el Rey.jpgAlmighty Father, by the martyrdom of Saint James You blessed the work of the early Church. May his profession of faith give us courage and his prayers bring us strength.

This year is being dedicated to Saint James the Greater (known as the Jacobean Holy Year or Año Santo Jacobeo). The holy year dedicated to Saint James is observed when his feast falls on a Sunday, as it does today. The ceremonial opening of the Holy Year begins as it does in Rome with the opening of the Holy Door; if you read Spanish you'll find the January ceremonial described here.

Read King Juan Carlos' 2010 message --the Offering-- during his visit to the Shrine of Saint James (Santiago de Compostella).

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

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St Charbel 04.jpgThe mountain heights of Lebanon
Resound with songs of joy;
The cedars of that ancient land
Stand tall as we employ
Our hymns of praise and thankfulness
For Sharbel's saintly ways,
Lived out in strict humility
That guided all his days.

True monk and hermit of the hills,
Saint Maron's modest son
Scorned wealth and comfort in his life
That heaven's crown be won.
Of Mary, heaven's Queen and Gate,
Devoted son was he,
Who cherished all the ancient rites
With great humility.

Fierce lover of the lowly life,
True father of the poor,
As you have done, so help us all
To struggle and endure,
That Christ be praised in ev'ry life,
That riches not ensnare
Or rule us in our daily walk;
That strong may be our prayer!

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
One God in persons three,
Receive this hymn we offer now,
And keep your Church e'er free
To follow, as Saint Sharbel did,
Enflamed with love so bright
That we, with eyes fixed firm on Christ,
May vanquish sin's dark night.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications

Saint Bridget of Sweden

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St Bridget of Sweden2.jpgIn 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 leads me
And guides me as I pray.

Thus Bridget, monarch, mother,
Good spouse and Christian wise,
Lived Jesus' sacred Passion
Each day 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 purchased
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.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications

Saint Mary Magdalene

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St Mary Magdalene.jpgIn hours of darkness, Mary
Prayed psalms throughout the night,
"I searched throughout the city
Until the morning light;
And then I saw the watchmen,
And asked them, in their way,
'Have you seen him my heart loves?'
As night turned into day."

Thus Mary, in her weeping,
Went searching near and far,
And could not find her Master,
The bright and Morning Star.
She thought she saw the gard'ner,
And asked where Jesus lay;
She heard his voice say, "Mary!"
And there stood Christ, the Way. 

We thank you for the witness
That she bore for your Son,
The faith she kept proclaiming
Until her life was done.
All glory to the Father,
All glory, Risen Son!
All glory to the Spirit,
True Godhead, only One!

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications
76 76 D; AURELIA
Bl Katerit Tekakwitha.jpgBlessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656 - 1680), is known popularly as the "Lily of the Mohawks" and the "Geneviève of New France." Kateri was born in the Mohawk area of Ossemenon in New York State, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior and a Catholic Algonquin woman whom he had saved from captivity at the hands of the Iroquois. By the time she four years old smallpox killed her parents and her brother; she was left her scarred and with impaired eyesight.

Adopted by her uncle, the chief of the Turtle clan, and Kateri  had many offers of marriage. The Jesuit missionaries  (the Black Robes) gave some knowledge of the Catholic faith to Kateri that gave her the desire to live life not only as a Christian but as a virgin: a heroic determination at the time. However,  Kateri  was not baptized until she was 20. Because of her virtue she experienced persecution and death threats, she fled to the established Christian community at Kahnawake in Québec. Observers testify that Kateri advanced in communio with God taking on bodily mortifications with intense prayer; she died at the age of 24. Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 June 1980.
When I met the son of Saint Gianna Berretta Molla in May I thought, "Wow, this is amazing, I've made another connection with a saint!" Of course, in the back of my head I recalled that Saint Gianna's husband died this past spring. We usually don't think of saints and their families these days. In some ways, and perhaps in every way, abstracting a saint from his or her biological family (and friends) makes that saint too vague and plastic.

It wasn't until recent times that technology opened a new facet of a holy person's life by making it possible to have more accurate portraits and voice recognition. Video and audio files reveal the concrete person so as not to rely exclusively upon someone's "recollections" or hagiography no matter how accurate these memories or details may be. How different are our spiritual relationships with the likes of Saints Padre Pio, Josemaria, Blesseds John XXIII, Mother Teresa, Marianne Cope, and the Servant of God John Paul II  from the likes of Saints Benedict, Dominic, Francis and Agatha! Why mention this? I was reading the local newspaper's obits today and stumbled upon the death notice of Dorothy Lorraine Bessette Gazzola, 89, the grand niece of Blessed Andre Bessette. The family published Bessette-Gazzola's visiting her grand uncle in Montreal when she was a child. She knew a saint! She hugged and kissed a saint! She could relate personally with saint! How great is that!!!

Blessed Andre is due to be canonized a saint in October.

Saint Maria Goretti

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St Maria Goretti.jpg"What does this fragile but christianly mature girl say to today's young people, through her life and above all through her heroic death?" Pope John Paul II asked on her feast day in 2003.

He went on to say: "Marietta, as she was lovingly called, reminds the youth of the third millennium that true happiness demands courage and a spirit of sacrifice, refusing every compromise with evil and having the disposition to pay personally, even with death, faithful to God and his commandments. How timely this message is.

Today, pleasure, selfishness and directly immoral actions are often exalted in the name of the false ideals of liberty and happiness. It is essential to reaffirm clearly that purity of heart and of body go together, because chastity 'is the custodian' of authentic love."
Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati4.jpg
Prayer to Follow Pier Giorgio

O Father, You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati the joy of meeting Christ and of living his faith in the service of the poor and the sick; through his intercession may we, too, walk the path of the beatitudes and follow the example of his generosity, spreading the spirit of the Gospel in society. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

When he beatified Pier Giorgio twenty years ago John Paul remarked in his homily that, 

"Today's celebration invites all of us to receive the message which Pier Giorgio Frassati is sending to the men and women of our day, but especially to you young people, who want to make a concrete contribution to the spiritual renewal of our world, which sometimes seems to be falling apart and wasting away because of a lack of ideals. By his example he proclaims that a life lived in Christ's Spirit, the Spirit of the Beatitudes, is "blessed," and that only the person who becomes a "man or woman of the Beatitudes" can succeed in communicating love and peace to others. He repeats that it is really worth giving up everything to serve the Lord. He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone, and that only the revolution of charity can enkindle the hope of a better future in the hearts of people."

Read Pope John Paul II's homily at the beatification of Pier Giorgio.

More information on Blessed Pier Giorgio at Frassati USA
Sts Andrew & Thomas GLBerini.jpg
Taking the extraordinary example of faith Thomas has, let live as though the real Presence meant something: My Lord and my God.

Almighty Father, as we honor Thomas the apostle, let us always experience the help of his prayers. May we have eternal life by believing in Jesus, whom Thomas acknowledge as Lord, for He lives and reigns with Your and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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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This page is a archive of entries in the Saints category from July 2010.

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