Saints: November 2010 Archives

St Andrew FDuquesnoy.jpg
Saint Andrew, pray for us.

Ask Saint Andrew to ask the Lord for the grace to carry the cross in humility, dignity and in the face of great opposition, opposition found within ourselves and from others. May he ask the Lord to bless the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Scotland, Russia, the Archdiocese of Amalfi and for fish mongers, old maids and singers.
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O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the Martyrs Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions faithful to the Cross of your Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant, through their intercession that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth.

Saint Andrew and his 117 companions are known as the Martyrs of Vietnam, killed for their faith in Christ between 1745 and 1862, but these people are few in number compared with the vast number of people thought to have been persecuted. Saint Andrew was a secular priest who was killed in 1839. Among the companions there were 8 bishops, 50 priests, 59 lay faithful of Vietnamese, Spanish and French nationalities. Pope John Paul II canonized these saints in 1988.

Pope Saint Clement I

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St Clement I.jpgHow blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God. Life in immortality! Brightness in righteousness! Truth in full assurance! Faith in confidence! Temperance in holiness! And all this God has subjected to our understandings: What therefore will those things be which he has prepared for them that wait for him? Only the Creator and Father of spirits, the Most Holy, knows both the greatness and beauty of them. Let us therefore strive with all earnestness, that we may be found in the number of those that wait for him, and that we may receive the reward which he has promised. But how, beloved, shall we do this? We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things that are pleasing and acceptable to him. We must perform those things that are agreeable to his holy will and follow the way of truth, casting off from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, together with all covetousness, strife, evil manners, deceit, whispering, detractions, all hatred of God, pride and boasting, or vain-glory and ambition; For they that do these things are odious to God, and not only they that do them, but also all such as approve of those that do them. (St Clement I to the Corinthians 17)

Saint Cecelia, Virgin & Martyr

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On this feast of an early woman martyr, Saint Cecelia, it is good to reflect on music and its impact on the heart. As she lay dying for three days, Cecelia sang of the Lord's glory and extolled the singular devotion of one dedicated to the Lord as a virgin. Saint Cecelia is the patron saint of musicians. Benedict XVI writes about beauty and contemplative nature of music:

St Cecilia.jpgThe encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes, so that later, from this experience, we take the criteria for judgment and can correctly evaluate the arguments. For me an unforgettable experience was the Bach concert that Leonard Bernstein conducted in Munich after the sudden death of Karl Richter. I was sitting next to the Lutheran Bishop Hanselmann. When the last note of one of the great Thomas-Kantor-Cantatas triumphantly faded away, we looked at each other spontaneously and right then we said: "Anyone who has heard this, knows that the faith is true." The music had such an extraordinary force of reality that we realized, no longer by deduction, but by the impact on our hearts, that it could not have originated from nothingness, but could only have come to be through the power of the Truth that became real in the composer's inspiration. (Message to Communion and Liberation, August 2002, Rimini, Italy; text available May 2, 2005,
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The great foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth is liturgically remembered today. As she lay dying Mother Mary of Jesus spoke the word charity in five languages. One of the many reasons why I like Mother Foundress is her strong sense that "An interior life is essential for the active life."

On July 4, 1885 the Nazareth Sisters arrived in the New York Harbor and eventually landed in Chicago where they made their first foundation in the USA. For 125 years they have served the Church in a variety of ministries, namely education, pastoral ministry in parishes, hospitals and and orphanages.

Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd's liturgical prayers are here.

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

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St Rose Philippine Duchesne.JPGSaint Rose Philippine was called "the woman who is always praying." Her singular focus on Christ and the mission won her esteem among those who found the Christian Gospel foreign. She is buried in St. Charles, MO, having died there on this date in 1852 at the age of 83. She lived the Lord's parable of the Pearl of Great Price.

Beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1940 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988, Duchesne is the US founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, an order of religious women who were first founded in France by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat.

St Vladimir's relics detail.jpgThe privilege of having the relics of one's patron coming to your home is a singular experience. Friends who are seminarians at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed their patron's relics in solemn ceremony this past weekend.

An 11th century saint, Saint Vladimir is known in the Orthodox Church as the Holy and Great Prince Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles who first experienced a dramatic conversion to Christ. He is credited with bringing Christianity to various places in Russia.

Saint Vladimir's feast is commemorated in both the Orthodox and Latin Churches on July 15.

The press release of the veneration is here with yet another here.

in procession with St Vladimir's relics.jpg

Thanks to Deacon Dustin Lyon for the photos.

St Frances Xavier Cabrini at Vatican Basilica.jpgO Lord and Bridegroom of your Church,

We praise you for this virgin wise

Who, lighted lamp in hand, went forth

To preach her Groom and win his prize!


From early youth she heard your voice

And longed to work in Asian lands;

But "in the west you'll find your east,"

The pope said, firm in his commands.

So from her home, Francesca came

That she might care for those who left

Italian homes to seek for work,

But in the New World were bereft.

She founded schools and hospitals

And orphan homes, and traveled wide;

Despite ill health and stature small

Her works became our Church's pride.


She labored long with sisters brave,

And soon her congregation spread

From North to Southern hemisphere,

Although she sailed the seas with dread.


In labors long and hard, she worked

That Christ her Lord might be well served

In poor and sick and ignorant,

That they might feel God's love deserved.

O Trinity of love most great,

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,

With Frances and with all your saints

Bring us, at length, to heaven's rest.


J. Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications


Striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit.
Lord, fill Your Church with the Spirit that gave Saint Josaphat the courage to lay down his life for his people. By his prayers may Your Spirit make us strong and willing to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters.
God, you are the martyrs' crown!St Josaphat of Poltosk.jpg
Hear the hymn we raise in gladness, 
Praising good Saint Josaphat,
Who in midst of earthly sadness
Followed Truth, and Way, and Life,
Braving trouble, scorn, and strife.

Josaphat, a preacher bold,
Was a bishop strong and fearless.
In his love for all his flock
And his ardor, he was peerless:
"That in Christ we one may be"
Was his earnest, heart-felt plea.
Strong defender of his Church,
Lover of the Eastern teaching,          
Faithful priest and leader true
Urged his people through his preaching,
And, by God's mysterious grace,
Took in heav'n a martyr's place.
God the Father, God the Son,
God the Spirit, hear our praises
With our hymns on this glad day;
 Which your Church in glory raises.
With Saint Josaphat, in song,

Echoing the ages long!

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications


Saints in Verbum Domini

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You may be curious to know the saints and blessed Pope Benedict references in Verbum Domini, or whose work he used.

The Pope said, "The interpretation of sacred Scripture would remain incomplete were it not to include listening to those who have truly lived the word of God: namely, the saints" (48). 

And, "No sooner do I glance at the Gospel, but immediately I breathe in the fragrance of the life of Jesus and I know where to run. Every saint is like a ray of light streaming forth from the word of God..." (49).

Who are the saints?

Mary, the Mother of God
Saint Peter

Saint John the Evangelist
Saint Paul
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Saint Bonaventure
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint John of the Cross
Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
Saint John Chysostom
Saint Maximus the Confessor
Saint Jerome
Saint Gregory the Great
Saint Ambrose
Saint Augustine
Saint Anthony Abbot
Saint Basil the Great
Saint Benedict
Saint Athanasius
Saint Francis of Assisi
Saint Clare of Assisi
Saint Dominic
Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint John Bosco
Saint John Mary Vianney
Saint Pius of Pietrelcina
Saint Josemaría Escrivá
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Saints Gaetano Errico
Saint Maria Bernarda Bütler
Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception
Saint Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán
Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Saint Elizabeth
Blessed Jordan of Saxony
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Blessed Aloysius Stepinac
Blessed John XXIII

Plus, the Pope uses the works of Origen, Richard of Saint Victor and Hugh of Saint Victor, the last two are notable scholars and saintly men; Richard and Hugh are not saints but may be we can push their cause.

"Read the divine Scriptures frequently; indeed, the sacred book should never be out of your hands. Learn there what you must teach."

Saint Martin of Tours

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Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.

Saint Martin, intercede before the Lord on our behalf, care for our poverty
and lead us closer to Christ.

Pope Saint Leo the Great

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Pope St Leo the Great.jpgThe Church offers us today the life of someone salvation history has determined to be a significant figure in the proclamation of the Gospel. Pope Saint Leo the Great, a doctor of the Church helped the Church of his era develop orthodox thinking on the person of Jesus Christ that is standard theology today. He defended the two natures of Jesus Christ at the Council of Chalcedon. The Fathers of Chalcedon said, "Peter has spoken through Leo!"

Saint Leo is one of three popes to be given the title "the Great" acknowledging his work as a father of the faithful. 

This text is a hymn based on a text taken from the Office of Readings for Matins for Christmas. This text captures Leo and his keeping belief in Christ correct.

God truly is come down from heaven,
begotten of the Father,
and has entered into the womb of the Virgin
and has appeared visibly to us,
clothed in human flesh
received from our first parent:

and He who is both God and man,
Light and Life,
the Creator of the world,
has passed through the closed portal.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
St Josemaría Escrivá.jpgThe Pope advocated knowing the lives of the saints as a way of coming to know Christ, and to know how to live one's baptism. This video of Saint Josemaría Escrivá gives an excellent introduction to the life of a 20th century saint and founder of the lay movement of Opus Dei.

Saint Josemaría's work was to make known that sanctification is open to all people. People can find God in their ordinary lives; deep spirituality can be found in the everyday activity, at work, in the family, the world. Secularity (not to be confused with secularism) showed the face of the living God. Living for God is what we are all called to, with absolutely no distinction. Holiness is not just for priests and nuns. At his canonization on October 6, 2002, Pope John Paul II called Escrivá the "saint of ordinary life."

Saint Josemaría's liturgical memorial is June 26.

Saint Charles Borromeo

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St Carlo Borromeo OBorgianni.jpg

Saint Charles  Borromeo's intercession is as much needed today as ever we needed it. He was an unexpected gift of God to his family and to the Church and we ask him to intercede for us. Some interesting points about the legacy of Saint Charles Borromeo, whose feast we celebrate today.

  • His nephew, Federico Borromeo (1564-1631), was archbishop of Milan from 1595 and, furthering Charles' support for Catholic learning, in 1609 founded the Ambrosian Library in that city. He donated a tremendous collection of art and literature to the library.
  • Borromeo's emblem is the Latin word humilitas (humility), which is a portion of the Borromeo shield. He is usually represented in art in his robes, barefoot, carrying the cross as archbishop; a rope round his neck, one hand raised in blessing, thus recalling his work during the plague.
  • Borromeo is one of only four people mentioned at the beginning of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing them as responsible for the Council of Trent, which gave way to the modern day catechism. The others mentioned are St. Peter Canisius, St. Turibius of Mongrovejo and St. Robert Bellarmine.
  • The city and county of St. Charles, Missouri are named for Borromeo.

All Saints

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Today is the day since the time of Pope Gregory III that the Church has observed a day for all the saints ever recognized officially, and for those who are in the process of becoming listed saints in the martyrology, and certainly all those holy men and women who ever lived. Looking at the Roman Martyrology, the book that contains all the saints of the Church, but it doesn't list the all the Baptized. Hence, our feast day. There is a great dynamic of love that we observe today, but it should be a dynamic that we live every day of our lives. How many people, holy men and women have we known who touched out lives in great and small ways. I think of the various priests, and laity who promised to pray for me.

During his September visit to England, Pope Benedict boldly asked the young (indeed, all of us) to consider becoming saints and not to settle for something less than what we are made for. The value here, if you want to speak in this way, is that holiness is not for plastic people, people who have no sense of relationships, no concept of community, no understanding of the value of good friends. Holiness means taking ourselves seriously as loved people and worthy of friendship with the Lord and with another person; holiness is means setting aside distractions, sinful tendencies and the lack of attentiveness of God and what Jesus did for us. That is, Jesus' death and resurrection for love of us personally. It's taken me a long time to understand this point, and what the Pope has invited to, but there is solid, reliable truth in that God alone satisfies me. Which means, other things and mediocre relationships do not. Here is a portion of his homily:

Saints Buoninsegna.jpg

What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.

Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?

When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple - true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Pope Benedict XVI
Greeting to Catholic Pupils of the United Kingdom
St Mary's College, Twickenham

17 September 2010

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 November 2010.

Saints: October 2010 is the previous archive.

Saints: December 2010 is the next archive.

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