Saints: December 2011 Archives

Holy Innocents

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At the king's command these innocent babes and little Children were put to death. They died for Christ, and now in the glory of heaven as they follow Him, the spotless Lamb, they sing for ever: Glory to You, O Lord!

O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not speaking but by dying, grant we pray, that the faith in you which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of living.

Pay close attention to the sentiments of this prayer: confession of the reality of God not by words but by actions, by the way we live. How appropriate to keep this in mind these days.

Saint John the Evangelist

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St John on Pathmos ACano.jpgToday, the Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of the Beloved disciple, Saint John the Evangelist. As you know, John is the great theologian, perhaps you might say after Saint Paul, of Jesus. His Gospel is a superb love story.

At dinner tonight Abbot Caedmon of Portsmouth Abbey blessed wine. It was a wonderful experience to hear the prayers used and a churchman pointing to a significant Catholic sacramentality that's not often seen today.

Saint Stephen

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St Stephen Fra Angelico.jpg

You are the chief in the choir of Martyrs, like unto an angel; who pleaded with God for those that stoned him.  O blessed Stephen, intercede for us with the Lord.

 (A Sarum text)

Grant, Lord, we pray, that we may imitate what we worship, and a learn to love even our enemies,  for we celebrate the heavenly birthday of a man who knew how to pray even for his persecutors.

Saint Lucy

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The people of Sicily and northern Europe especially remember Saint Lucy as their heavenly patron and friend. I have a particular fondness for her because Saint Lucy is an early martyr of the Church and because an aunt and uncle lived with physical blindness.
We pray at Mass with these words...
May the glorious intercession of the Virgin and Martyr Saint Lucy give heart, we pray, O Lord, so that we may celebrate her heavenly birthday in this present age and so behold things eternal. 
Hermina Tharwat, 12, Egypt.jpg

Hermina Tharway, 12, prepares for exams at Santa Lucia, a home for blind people in Abou, Egypt (image by Holly Pickett).

The Santa Lucia Home -- named in honor of the patron saint of the blind -- was built with funds from CNEWA's donors and houses ten girls and eight boys from ages 8 to 18. The children do not attend school next door, which is not equipped to teach the blind. Rather, they are enrolled in public programs in other areas of the city. The boys attend El Nour School in Alexandria's Muharram Bey neighborhood, while the girls attend a similar school in the Zizina area. 

Sister Souad and her colleague, Sister Hoda Chaker Assal, rouse the children every morning for breakfast, baths and a 7:45 date with the school bus. 

"Here we wake them and prepare them for school, we feed them and do their laundry and we tuck them in at night and make sure they get a good rest," says Sister Souad. "It is just like at home."

For more from this story see, Blind to Limitations.

h/t to One to One, the blog of Catholic Near East Welfare Association

St Juan-Diego.jpgA relatively obscure saint on our liturgical calendar, as many are, but here in the USA while Saint Juan Diego (1774-1548) is not as well-known as he ought to be, those who recognize him know that he famous for being an instrument of Divine Providence. He discerned God's will and lived his life as though he really belonged to Jesus Christ. He is the first native American to be raised to the altar. As Pope John Paul said, Juan Diego shed light on the divine path to salvation. Pray and closely read the prayer used at Mass below.

The Church prays,

O God, who by means of Saint Juan Diego showed the love of the most holy Virgin Mary for your people, grant through his intercession, that, by following the counsels our Mother gave at Guadalupe, we may ever be constant in fulfilling your will.

Saint Ambrose

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O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom.

Let's pray for Cardinal Angelo Scola and the Church in the great Archdiocese of Milan.

Saint Nicholas

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St Nicholas GBellini.jpgThe feast of Saint Nicholas observed today is an opportunity to reflect on our reliance on others as we go onto the Lord as a community, people who have regard for another. The sainted bishop Nicholas of Myra (Turkey) reminds us of our reception of unmerited grace given by God.

Let us pray for sailors, orphans and pawnbrokers. I'd also like to remember Melkite Bishop Nicholas Samra on his feast day.

The Church prays...

We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us.

(RM 2011)

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 December 2011.

Saints: November 2011 is the previous archive.

Saints: January 2012 is the next archive.

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