Blessed John Licci

John Licci is one of the longest living holy men of the Church. His 111 years on this earth in a small town near Palermo, Sicily, were filled with many miracles. His mother died during childbirth, and his father was a poor peasant who had to work the fields, and so was forced to leave John alone as an infant.  One day, a neighbor took the crying baby to her home to feed him. She laid the infant on the bed next to her paralyzed husband, and he was instantly cured.  After receiving the suggestion of Blessed Peter Geremia to enter religious life, John joined…

St. Frances Cabrini

On November 13, the universal Church honors St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian missionary who spent much of her life working with Italian immigrants in the United States. Mother Cabrini, who had a deathly fear of water and drowning, crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times in service of the Church and the people she was serving. St. Frances Cabrini, from a young age, longed to be a missionary in China, but God had other plans for her. Orphaned in Italy before she was 18, she joined the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and took on the name “Xavierâ€� in…

St. Josaphat

Today, on the day of his martyrdom, Nov. 12, Roman Catholics and some Eastern Catholics remember St. Josaphat Kuntsevych, a bishop and monk whose example of faith inspired many Eastern Orthodox Christians to return to full communion with the Holy See. Other Eastern Catholics, including the Ukrainian Catholic Church, celebrate St. Josaphat’s feast day on Nov. 25.Born in 1580 in the western Ukrainian region of Volhynia, John Kuntsevych did not become “Josaphatâ€� until his later life as a monk. He also was not initially a full member of the Catholic Church, born to Orthodox Christian parents whose church had fallen…

St. Martin of Tours

On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church honors St. Martin of Tours, who left his post in the Roman army to become a “soldier of Christâ€� as a monk and later bishop.Martin was born around the year 316 in modern-day Hungary. His family left that region for Italy when his father, a military official of the Roman Empire, had to transfer there. Martin’s parents were pagans, but he felt an attraction to the Catholic faith which had become legal throughout the empire in 313. He received religious instruction at age 10, and even considered becoming a hermit in the desert.Circumstances, however,…

Pope St. Leo the Great

Nov. 10 is the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical memorial of the fifth-century Pope Saint Leo I, known as “St. Leo the Great,â€� whose involvement in the fourth ecumenical council helped prevent the spread of error on Christ’s divine and human natures. St. Leo intervened for the safety of the Church in the West as well, persuading Attila the Hun to turn back from Rome. Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians also maintain a devotion to the memory of Pope St. Leo the Great. Churches of the Byzantine tradition celebrate his feast day on Feb. 18. “As the nickname soon attributed…

Dedication of St. John Lateran

The feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran is celebrated by the entire Church. It marks the dedication of the cathedral church of Rome by Pope Sylvester I in 324. This church is the cathedra (or chair) of the bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. A Latin inscription in the Church reads: “omnium ecclesiarum Urbis et Orbis mater et caput.â€� Translated, this means, “The mother and head of all churches of the city and of the world.â€�The basilica was originally named the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior. However, it is called St. John Lateran…

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was born Elizabeth Catez in Bourges, France, in 1880. Her father, a military captain, died when she was only seven, leaving her mother to raise Elizabeth and her sister, Marguerite.  Elizabeth was a very lively girl and a gifted pianist, but was very stubborn and experienced fits of rage. However, even in her strong temperament she had a great love for God, and an early attraction to a life of prayer and reflection. She visited the sick often and taught catechism to children.  Against her mother’s wishes, Elizabeth entered a monastery of Discalced Carmelites in 1901…

St. Peter Ou

St. Peter Ou is one of the Martyrs of China. He was born to a non-Christian family in 1768. As a young man, he was outspoken with had a deep understanding of justice, and would eventually come to the defense of the poor and oppressed.He married and ran his own business, which was a large hotel. He was one of the first to convert to Christianity after missionaries arrived in his area, and he took the name Peter at his baptism. He enthusiastically preached Christianity to anyone who came by, later becoming a lay leader of the converts in his district….

Saint Jean-Theophane Venard

On November 6, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Jean-Théophane Vénard, a French missionary to Vietnam who was martyred for the faith. Famous for having inspired St. Therese of Lisieux, who said of St. Jean-Théophane that he was someone who had lived her own image of a martyr and missionary, St. Jean was born in France, became a priest in the Society of Foreign Missions, and was sent to Vietnam. Due to the persecutions of the anti-Christian emperor Minh-Menh, priests were forced to hide in the forest and live in caves. They were able to sneak out at night…

Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg

Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg was a martyr during the Second World War. Born in 1875, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Berlin, Germany. He served in the Cathedral of Berlin and was an outspoken critic of the Nazis and their anti-Semitic campaign.He organized protests outside concentration camps, led public prayers for the Jews, and filed complaints against the Nazi party. Bernhard was eventually arrested for these actions and imprisoned for two years, but this did not deter him. After his release, he resumed his actions and criticisms against the Nazis. He was arrested again and sentenced to the Dachau concentration camp….