Martyrs of Damascus

Martyrs of Damascus Feast date: Jul 10 Beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1926, these eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen were offered the choice of converting to Islam or suffering death in Damascus on July 9, 1860. Thousands of Maronite Christians had already been killed by the Druz in Southern Lebanon in that year and the Druz, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam, had turned their attention to Damascus where they killed nearly two thousand more. When they had reached the Franciscan convent there, the superior, a spaniard named Fr. Emmanuel Ruiz, who had sheltered the Christians that…

Bl. Jane of Toulouse

Bl. Jane of Toulouse Feast date: Mar 31 Blessed Jane lived in the French town of Toulouse during the 13th century. A Carmelite monastery was founded in the same town in 1240 which exposed Jane to the Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality. In 1265 when St. Simon Stock, a 13th century reformer of the Carmelites, was passing through Toulouse, Jane met him and requested to be affiliated with the Carmelites. Simon agreed and Jane became the first Third Order Carmelite. Jane vowed herself to perpetual chastity and applied herself completely to the Carmelite Rule. In addition to many daily holy practices…

St. Pachomius

St. Pachomius Feast date: May 09 St. Pachomius can justifiabley be called the founder of cenobitic monasticism, monks who live in community. Even though St. Antony the Great was the first to go into the desert to live a life of seclusion pursuing evangelical perfection, he lived a heremitic life, that is, a primarily solitary life. Pachomius first started out as a hermit in the desert, like many of the other men and women in the third and fourth centuries who sought the most radical expression of Christian life.┬áThere he developed a very strong bond of friendship with the hermit…