Saints: November 2012 Archives

Saint Andrew

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Sts Andrew and Thomas Bernini.jpg
Dicit Andreas Simoni fratri suo:
Inveniemus Messiam, qui diciture Christus; et adduxit eum ad Iesum.

Andrew said to Simon his brother:
We have found the Messiah!
(which is interpreted, the Christ);
and he led him to Jesus.

Saint Andrew, the First Called, brother of Saint Peter, at first a disciple of the Baptist,  is the patron saint of many places, Constantinople, Amalfi,  Scotland, Russia, among others.

Our prayer offered to Saint Andrew for his intercession is for the unity of the Christian Churches, most particularly between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Today, the Bishop of Rome sends a delegation to the Bishop of Constantinople for the celebration of today's feast.

Let's pray with the Church

We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you.

Saint Clement of Rome

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St Clement.jpg
Almighty ever-living God, who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints, grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son, bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips.

After Peter as the chosen head of the Church, the next crucial leader of the Church is the 1st century Saint Clement of Rome. In the development of what a "pope" is for the Church, Clement is often claimed to be such. His immediate predecessors Linus and Cletus were certainly bishops of Rome, but it seems as though Clement is concerned for Christians beyond the City walls.

He was a Jewish-Roman by birth and is reported to accepted Christian faith at the hands of either Saints Peter or Paul. Called to be a missionary, Clement assisted these great apostles as well as Jerome and a companion of Barnabas, Luke and Timothy. It is the testimony of Tertullian that we learn that Clement was ordained a bishop by Saint Peter. Clement, is known in papal history for being the 4th bishop of Rome; his papal service followed Peter, Linus and Cletus. Pope Clement served the Church for 9 years, 11 months and 20 days.

Circa 96 Clement wrote to the people of the Church in Corinth defending the faith against their peoples' abandonment of Christian faith seen in their acceptance of prostitution at the Temple of Aphrodite. But the Corinthians also were accused of being impious, envious, and angry among other issues. Clement laid for us a spiritual path that says that we are to abandon all things of this world to more perfectly follow Jesus. Clement was an ardent worker for unity among Christians. We can't be friends with Caesar and at the same time with the Lord. Purity of heart and body were essential.

Saint Cecilia

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Santa Cecilia with angels.jpgO God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of your handmaid Saint Cecilia, grant we pray, that what has been devoutly handed concerning her may offer us examples to imitate and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants by Christ your Son.

The feast of Saint Cecilia is most known for being the patroness of church musicians. But what ought to bring us closer to reality is that her fame and veneration across the world is because of her joy in facing death because of her intense love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The dates of her existence are difficult to pinpoint but history tells us that her body was discovered in AD 822. Liturgical legend places her death along that with her husband Saint Valerian and her brother-in-law Saint Tiburtius during the reign of Pope Urban I (r. 222-230). Therefore, Emperor Alexander Severus would responsible for her death.

Cecilia, though married, remained a virgin, that is, singularly focussed on Christ's love as opposed to human love. At the time of her marriage her husband was not a Christian, but due to an act of the Spirit, Valerian accepted Christ in baptism.

Two saints arrived

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Two saints arrived today. Actually, their relics arrived and with their papers. A friend sent me the relics of Saint Casimir and Saint Pius X.

What is a relic? The word "relic" comes from the Latin "relinquo" meaning "I leave" or "I abandon." Typically a relic of a saint is a bone or piece of hair if it is a first class relic. Something owned by the saint, like clothing or a piece of a desk, is a second class relic and something touched by the relic is a third class relic.

We only adore Jesus Christ. We honor, that is, venerate, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. There is a difference. The distinction is shown in the fact that we don't pray to a crucifix or a statue or a relic. Our prayer is directed to the one whom the crucifix, statue or relic indicates. The power to do miracles rests with God alone, Mary and the saints intercede on our behalf.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

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Frances Cabrini first US citizen canonized.jpgMother Frances Cabrini, the first US citizen to be canonized by the Church spent a night with the Benedictine sisters at Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. 

Recorded: "In the winter of 1902 the new convent and the new chapel had a special visitor. Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, traveling west, stopped over night. Sister Barbara loved to recall: 'She was a very nice ordinary Sister. She liked coffee.'" 

from The Meaning of the Mountain, by Sr. M. Faith Schuster, O.S.B.

(Mother Cabrini was on her way to Denver to care for the Italian immigrants.)

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini once said, "We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone."

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc

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St. Josaphat, Ukrainian bp.jpgToday, with the feast of Saint Josaphat (c. 1580-1623), we ought to mourn the sad division of the Church that exists between East and West.

The Church prays,

Stir up in your Church, we pray, O Lord, the Spirit that filled Saint Josaphat as he laid down his life for the sheep, so that through his intercession we, too, may be strengthened by the same Spirit and not be afraid to lay down our life for others.

Notice that the prayer calls to our attention that we too, are called to be witnesses to the work of unity, even to the point of laying down our lives for others. Here the use of the word 'witness' is used in two ways: giving testimony by word and deed and dying, if need be, with our own lives. Here's the dual meaning of the martyr (witness).
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Saint Martin of Tours

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Greco Martin Tours.jpg

Sundays are not days on which the Church observes the liturgical memorial of saints. It happens periodically, but today's feast of Saint Martin of Tours (AD 316-397) is not one them, at least not in the USA. Perhaps in Tours where the saint lived there is a festive celebration of Martin, I am uncertain of such. But that today is Veterans' Day here and that the liturgical calendar recalls Martin, it seems silly not to think of this most famous saint as we pray for Veterans. 

The Church prays,

O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love.

Martin was widely honored for his holiness and witness to Jesus Christ; through his intercession God performed many miracles and many came to Christian faith. It is said that saints beget saints. Martin was a disciple of the famed  Saint Hilary of Poitiers and Saint Lidorius desired that Martin succeed him as bishop of Tours and his successors were Saint Britius and Saint Perpetuus; and Saint Benedict had a significant devotion to Martin.

One of the famous stories of Martin is the one of the cloak. As the narrative goes, Martin was approaching Amiens meeting a poorly attired beggar who was obviously in need: cold, hungry and homeless. That he was a virtuous man, Martin cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar. That night, in a dream, Jesus appeared to Martin  wearing the cloak given to the "beggar." As Martin recounted, he heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized [a catechumen] and has clad me" (Sulpicius Severus, ch 2). One version of the story tells of the cloak being restored in full to Martin.

Martin of Tours tomb.jpg

A friend of Saint Martin, Sulpicius Severus wrote in his Vita of Martin that,

The body being laid out in public was being honored by the last sad offices on the part of the mourning brethren, when Martin hurries up to them with tears and lamentations. But then laying hold; as it were, of the Holy Spirit, with the whole powers of his mind, he orders the others to quit the cell in which the body was lying; and bolting the door, he stretches himself at full length on the dead limbs of the departed brother. Having given himself for some time to earnest prayer, and perceiving by means of the Spirit of God that power was present, he then rose up for a little, and gazing on the countenance of the deceased, he waited without misgiving for the result of his prayer and of the mercy of the Lord. And scarcely had the space of two hours elapsed, when he saw the dead man begin to move a little in all his members, and to tremble with his eyes opened for the practice of sight. Then indeed, turning to the Lord with a loud voice and giving thanks, he filled the cell with his ejaculations.

Saint Martin is not only the patron saint for the military but he's also asked to intercede for those battling alcoholism.

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All Saints

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All Saints Montage.jpgLet us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God. (Entrance Ant.)

With the Church we pray, 

Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long.

The history of living the Gospel is filled with saints known and unknown: you might say anonymous saints who lend their witness to the symphony of those we have known to live and die for Christ. It is this feast of All Saints that the Church acknowledges the presence of those who are not venerated at the altar but nonetheless are making intercession before the throne of Grace. All the saints, known and unknown are those who lived a life of faith, hope and charity and therefore give us hope that in following the path given by Jesus is reasonable and worthy. These people who struggled and strove to live the gifts given by the Holy Spirit.

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 2012.

Saints: October 2012 is the previous archive.

Saints: December 2012 is the next archive.

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