St. Raymond Nonnatus

Raymond became a priest due to his quiet persistence in prayer and study. He was born to a noble Spanish family in 1204. His mother died during child birth and his father had high expectations for Raymond to serve in the country’s Royal Court.  However, the young Raymond felt drawn to religious life. In an attempt to dissuade him, his father ordered him to manage one of the family farms. However, Raymond spent his time with the workers, studying, and praying. His father finally gave up and allowed Raymond to enter the Mercederians. Fr. Raymond spent his entire estate ransoming slaves. He…

Saint Jeanne Jugan

On Aug. 30, the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross. During the 19th century, she founded the Little Sisters of the Poor with the goal of imitating Christ’s humility through service to elderly people in need. In his homily for her canonization in October 2009, Pope Benedict XVI praised St. Jeanne as “a beacon to guide our societiesâ€� toward a renewed love for those in old age. The Pope recalled how she “lived the mystery of loveâ€� in a way that remains “ever timely while so many elderly people are suffering from…

The Beheading of John the Baptist

On this day, the universal Church marks the beheading of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. As an adult, he lived as a hermit in the wilderness. After the Spirit inspired him, he went about preaching that the people should repent of their sins and be baptized in order to prepare for the Messiah. Herod imprisoned John because he had condemned Herod for committing adultery by living with his brother’s wife, Herodias.  At he celebration for Herod on his birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for him, and Herod was so impressed that he said he would offer her anything…

St. Augustine

Today, August 28, the Church honors St. Augustine. St. Augustine was born at the town of Thagaste (now Souk-Ahras in modern day Algeria) on November 13, 354 and grew to become one the most significant and influential thinkers in the history of the Catholic Church. His teachings were the foundation of Christian doctrine for a millennium.The story of his life, up until his conversion, is written in the autobiographical Confessions, the most intimate and well-known glimpse into an individual’s soul ever written, as well as a fascinating philosophical, theological, mystical, poetic and literary work.Augustine, though being brought up in early childhood…

St. Monica

On August 27, one day before the feast of her son St. Augustine, the Catholic Church honors St. Monica, whose holy example and fervent intercession led to one of the most dramatic conversions in Church history.Monica was born into a Catholic family in 332, in the North African city of Tagaste located in present-day Algeria. She was raised by a maidservant who taught her the virtues of obedience and temperance. While still relatively young, she married Patricius, a Roman civil servant with a bad temper and a disdain for his wife’s religion.Patricius’ wife dealt patiently with his distressing behavior, which…

St. Jeanne Elizabeth des Bichier des Anges

St. Jeanne was born July 1773 at La Blanc, France and died August 26, 1838. She was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.Born to nobility and educated in a convent school, Jeanne Elizabeth witnessed closely and was personally affected by the events of the French Revolution which shook France when she was just 16 years old. Upon the death of her father, she moved to La Guimetiere with her mother, and in 1796, realizing that she needed to do something to defend the Church and keep the faith alive amidst the attacks of the revolutionaries, she decided to begin a ministry of teaching and…

St. Louis IX of France

St. Louis was born to King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, at Poissy on April 25th 1215. Louis was made King at only 11 years of age, and was the father of 11 children. He led an exemplary life, bearing constantly in mind his mother’s words: “I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin.” His biographers have written of the long hours he spent in prayer, fasting, and penance, without the knowlege of his people. The French king was an avid lover of justice, who took great measures to ensure that the process of…

St. Bartholomew, Apostle

Saint Bartholomew is one of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13). The name (Bartholomaios) means “son of Talmai” which was an ancient Hebrew name.Besides being listed as an Apostle, he is not otherwise mentioned in the New Testament, at least not under the name Bartholomew: many ancient writers, and Catholic tradition have identified Bartholomew as Nathaniel in the Gospel of John (John 1:45-51, and 21:2). The Gospel passage read at Mass on the feast of Saint Bartholomew is precisely this passage from…

St. Rose of Lima

On August 23, the church celebrates the first saint of the New World, St. Rose of Lima. Isabel Flores de Oliva was born in Lima, Peru on April 30, 1586, daughter of Gaspar Flores and Maria de Oliva. She was baptized in the parish of San Sebastián in Lima by the priest, Fr. Antonio Polanco. She was confirmed in the village of Quives de Manos by the then Archbishop of Lima, St. Toribius de Mogrovejo. At a very young age, she chose to consecrate her life to God. She practiced very intense prayer and penance daily, sometimes depriving herself of…

Queenship of Mary

In this feast, particularly cherished by the Popes of modern times, we celebrate Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth.Pope Pius XII in the Papal Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam proposed the traditional doctrine on the Queenship of Mary and established this feast for the Universal Church. Pope Pius IX said of Mary’s queenship: “Turning her maternal Heart toward us and dealing with the affair of our salvation, she is concerned with the whole human race. Constituted by the Lord Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all choirs of Angels and the ranks of Saints in Heaven, standing at the…