St. Cajetan

Saint Cajetan was one of the great reformers of the Church during the period of the Reformation, remaining loyal to the Church regardless of the corruptions and excesses that led many others to betray Her.He was born inOctober 1480  into a noble family, and received a rigorous education guided by his mother, following the death of his father when he was just two. His studies of canon and civil law led him to work as a jurist in the court of Pope Julius II, which he abandoned upon the Pope’s death, in order to study for the priesthood.He was ordained at the age of 36…

The Transfiguration

Both Roman and Eastern rite Catholics celebrate the Church’s feast of the Transfiguration today, August 6, on its traditional date for both calendars. The feast commemorates one of the pinnacles of Jesus’ earthly life, when he revealed his divinity to three of his closest disciples by means of a miraculous and supernatural light.Before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Christ climbed to a high point on Mount Tabor with his disciples Peter, James, and John. While Jesus prayed upon the mountain, his appearance was changed by a brilliant white light which shone from him and from his clothing. During this event,…

Blessed Frederic Janssoone

The greatest desire and prayer of Blessed Frederic Janssoone was to help others come closer to God. His ministry as a Franciscan help him to do that, and took him to many places, from Europe, to the Holy Land and then to North America, where he died.He was born in Flanders in 1838 as the youngest of 13 children in a wealthy farming family. Frederic was nine when his father died, and he dropped out of school to work as a traveling salesman in order to help support his family. His mother died when he was 23. He completed his studies and then entered the…

St. John Mary Vianney

On August 4, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. John Vianney, patron of priests.  John Vianney, also known as the Holy Curé de Ars, was born May 8, 1786 in Dardilly, near Lyon, France to a family of farmers. He was ordained a priest in 1815 and became curate in Ecully. He was then sent to the remote French community of Ars in 1818 to be a parish priest. Upon his arrival, the priest immediately began praying and working for the conversion of his parishioners. Although he saw himself as unworthy of his mission as pastor, he allowed…

St. Nicodemus

St. Nicodemus was a secret disciple of Jesus. As a member of the Sanhedrin, he would meet Jesus by night so that the others would not see him with Jesus. Eventually, it was Nicodemus who reminded the Sanhedrin that Jesus had the right to a trial. Together with St. Joseph of Arimathea, he prepared Jesus’ body and placed him in the tomb. Tradition holds that St. Nicodemus was martyred, though no record remains.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

St. Peter Julian Eymard, whose feast the Church celebrates on August 2, helped many Catholics – both clergy and laypeople – to rediscover the importance of the Eucharist. He is also considered a pioneer in involving laypeople more actively in the life of the Church.Peter Julian Eymard was born near Grenoble, France, in 1811. He had wanted to enter the priesthood as a youth, but his father forbade him because he wanted Peter Julian to take over the family business.Finally, at the age of 18, he was permitted to join the Oblate novitiate. However, he became very ill, so ill that he was sent back home…

St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus Liguori is a doctor of the Church who is widely known for his contribution to moral theology and his great kindness.He was born in 1696 in Naples to a well-respected family, and was the oldest of 7 children. His father was Don Joseph de’ Liguori, a naval officer and Captain of the Royal Galleys, and his mother came from Spanish descent. He was very intelligent, even as a young boy. As a boy of great aptitude, he picked up many things very quickly. St. Alphonsus did not attend school; rather, he was taught by tutors at home where his…

St. Ignatius of Loyola

On July 31, the Universal Church marks the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Spanish saint is known for founding the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, as well as for creating the “Spiritual Exercisesâ€� often used today for retreats and individual discernment.St. Ignatius was born into a noble family in 1491 in Guipuzcoa, Spain. He served as a page in the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella.He then became a soldier in the Spanish army and wounded his leg during the siege of Pamplona in 1521. During his recuperation, he read “Lives of the Saints.â€�…

St. Peter Chrysologus

On July 30, the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Peter Chrysologus, a fifth-century Italian bishop known for testifying courageously to Christ’s full humanity and divinity during a period of doctrinal confusion in the Church. The saint’s title, Chrysologus, signifies “golden speechâ€� in Greek. Named as a Doctor of the Church in 1729, he is distinguished as the “Doctor of Homiliesâ€� for the concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna. His surviving works offer eloquent testimony to the Church’s traditional beliefs about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the penitential value of Lent, Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and…

St. Martha

“Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus” (John 11:5).Saint Martha is mentioned in three Gospel passages: Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9, and the type of friendship between her and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus, with the Lord Jesus is evident in these passages.In the gospel of Luke, Martha receives Jesus into her home and worries herself with serving Him, a worry that her sister Mary, who sat beside the Lord’s feet “listening to Him speak,” doesn’t share. Her complaint that her sister is not helping her serve draws a reply from the Lord who says to…