Saints: May 2012 Archives

Reminding us that the Holy Spirit "continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth" Pope Benedict announced that on October 7, at the beginning of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he would proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Church. "These two great witnesses of the faith lived in very different historical periods and came from different cultural backgrounds," he said. "But the sanctity of life and depth of teaching makes them perpetually present: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into that experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with the world that constitutes the horizon of permanent life and action of the Church."

The Pope continued: "Especially in light of the project of the New Evangelization, to which the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be dedicated, and on the vigil of the Year of Faith, these two figures of saints and doctors are of considerable importance and relevance."

Saint Philip Neri

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St Philip Neri Brooklyn Oratory.jpg

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.

In so many ways Saint Philip Neri is a saint, a witness to the work of the Holy Spirit in this world. This fact is borne in the activity of his life for the salvation of souls. He was a close friend of the Benedictines, Dominicans, and the Jesuits. A well-sought after confessor and preacher, he drew the keen attention of Popes, bishops and saints. Who can't relate to a man who had a keen sense of humor, a love for all people, especially the youth, and a miracle-worker. The Church has named Saint Philip one of the patrons of Rome.

My love for Philip Neri leads me to hope that Connecticut, preferably New Haven, will see an Oratory in the future.

Among other things today, I watched the 2010 film "Saint Philip Neri: I Prefer Heaven," with Gigi Proietti, Adriano Braidotti, Francesco Salvi, and Roberto Citran. The director is the wonderful Giacomo Campiotti whom I met last fall in NYC while he was stateside promoting another film of his.

A brief biography of Saint Philip Neri.

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Saint Pachomius

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St Pachomius.jpegThe Church gives us Saint Pachomius (+346), the Egyptian monk and abbot famous for being the "founder" of community-focussed monasticism (cenobitic) thus offering an new pattern of following Christ as a monk that up until Pachomius, one did alone. 200 years later Saint Benedict brought this version of monastic life in general acceptance in the west, drawing on what this sainted abbot first done. He's known, too,  for his writings titled "Koinonia" (in Latin, Communio).  He wrote: 

"Brothers, as long as you have breath in your bodies, strive for your salvation. Before the hour comes in which we shall weep for ourselves, let us practice virtue eagerly."

The Church prays...

O God, Who didst raise the blessed abbot Pachomius to the heights of doctrine and of virtue, grant that we, by following his example, may seek before all else the bread of Thy Word: light for our minds, and stillness for our hearts.
Peter in Prison Rembrandt.jpg

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider Saint Peter's miraculous liberation from imprisonment on the eve of his trial in Jerusalem. Saint Luke tells us that as "the Church prayed fervently to God for him" (Acts 12:5), Peter was led forth from the prison by an Angel of light. The account of Peter's rescue recalls both Israel's hasty exodus from bondage in Egypt and the glory of Christ's resurrection. Peter was sleeping, a sign of his surrender to the Lord and his trust in the prayers of the Christian community. The fulfillment of this prayer is accompanied by immense joy, as Peter rejoins the community and bears witness to the Risen Lord's saving power. Peter's liberation reminds us that, especially at moments of trial, our perseverance in prayer, and the prayerful solidarity of all our brothers and sisters in Christ, sustains us in faith. As Peter's Successor, I thank all of you for the support of your prayers and I pray that, united in constant prayer, we will all draw ever closer to the Lord and to one another.

Pope Benedict XVI

10 May 2012

Do we have perseverance in prayer? 
Are we in prayerful solidarity with others?

What really sustains our prayer?

St Jospeh working.jpeg

Work is often treated as a four letter word; something to be avoided. Understanding what the value of work is today is rather complex due to the ideology we've been subjected to since at least the 19th century as a result of industrialism, Communism and Socialism. 

One of the many beautiful things John Paul II wrote about is the human person and how the person is meant to thrive, not just exist. His ideas about what and who the person is understood in what he taught about subjectivity, meaning that there is "the ground on which the dynamic relation, or rather inter-relation, between the person and the action is actualized. The failure to recognize manĀ“s subjectivity would deprive us of the level on which can be grasped all the aspects of this interrelation."

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 2012.

Saints: April 2012 is the previous archive.

Saints: June 2012 is the next archive.

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