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…

Pope St. Pius X

Pope Pius X, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the first Pope elected in the 20th century. He came to the papal office in 1903 and died 11 years later in 1914, just as World War I was beginning.He was born in 1835 at Riese, near Venice, and was one of eight children. His family was poor. He felt a calling to be a priest at a young age and was ordained in 1858. After 26 years, he was named bishop of Mantua, Italy, and in 1893, he became patriarch of Venice. As Pope, he issued decrees making the age of…

St. Bernard de Clairvaux

On August 20 the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Doctor of the Church thanks to his writings and sermons which greatly influenced Europe during the 12th century, and his numerous efforts which helped to avoid a schism in the Church in 1130.Born in 1090, Bernard spent his early years near Dijon, France before leaving to joining the Cistercians at the age of 22. He was well educated and so passionate about his faith that he convinced his brothers, his uncle, and many of his friends to join him at the abbey.Bernard first entered the abbey…

St. John Eudes

St. John Eudes was a French missionary and the founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity, and was also the author of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  St. John was born at Ri, France on November 14th, 1601.  At the age of fourteen he took a vow of chastity and since the time he was a child he tried to live in imitation of the Lord Jesus. When he was ordained a priest in 1625, at the age of 24, he was immmediately thrust into the service of victims of the plague, whom…

St. Hyacinth

St. Hyacinth was one of the first members of the Dominicans (the Order of Preachers) and the “apostle of the North”, and is also called the “Apostle of Poland.”Hyacinth was born into nobility in 1185 at the castle of Lanka, at Kamin, in Silesia, Poland, and received an impressive education, becoming a Doctor of Law and Divinity before traveling to Rome with his uncle, Ivo Konski, the Bishop of Krakow. In Rome he met St. Dominic and decided to join the Order of Preachers immediately, receiving his habit from Dominic himself in 1220.After his novitiate he made his religious profession,…

St. Stephen of Hungary

On Aug. 16, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of King Saint Stephen of Hungary, the monarch who led his country to embrace the Christian faith during the 11th century. Before the future saint’s birth in 975, his mother, the duchess Sarolt, is said to have received a vision in which the original Saint Stephen – the Church’s first martyr – appeared telling her she would bear a son who would evangelize their land. Together with her husband, the Hungarian duke Geza, Sarolt is believed to have been converted and baptized by the bishop Saint Adalbert of Prague. The…