St. Augustine is one of the most influential doctors of the Catholic Church. He was born in the Roman province of Numidia, North Africa in 354. Born of a pagan father and a Christian mother, St. Monica, his early education was that of a young pagan gentleman. St. Augustine’s infamous life of impurity and practice of Manichaeism reveal the magnitude of his conversion to Christianity, mainly through the intercession of his mother, St. Monica.
Patience is something I pray for constantly. And it’s one of the things I mention in the confessional just as often. I have this vision in my head of what patience is supposed to look like: a mother with a soft expression, gently speaking to her child who has just done something wrong; calmly reprimanding the child who, in turn, is obediently sorrowful.
Bishop Emeritus William G. Curlin first met Mother Teresa in the 1970’s when he was a simple priest working with the poor, and she soon had him flying to India (and later New York, Philadelphia, Rome . . . etc.) to give spiritual retreats for her nuns. Listen to the full interview recounting a great spiritual friendship between a holy priest and a holy nun.
One of the most beautiful and universal titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary is her title as Queen, honored on the August 22nd feast of the Queenship of Mary. What does this mean, and what is the Church tradition on this doctrine of the Catholic Faith? Here is a brief overview of the profound mystery of this Marian title.
At the advanced age of about 80, St. Helen made a decision that would transform her life. Under Constantine’s orders, she organized a small group to travel to the Holy Land and find the actual Cross on which Jesus, the Son of God, died. She knew that this undiscovered relic was the foundation and the life-giving heart of the Christian faith.
St. Roch, also known as St. Rocco (c. 1295-1327), was a nobleman from Montpellier, France, the only son of the wealthy governor of the city. St. Roch was born with an unusual and deep red mark on his chest in the shape of a cross, a miraculous sign to his mother that the Blessed Virgin Mary had answered her prayers for her barrenness to be healed. He grew into a deeply religious child, fasting twice a week after the example of his pious mother. His parents died when he was 20, after which he gave his inheritance to the poor, handed the government of the city over to his uncle, and began a new life as a poor mendicant pilgrim.
Today is the #feastday of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Polish priest, Franciscan friar, and 20th century martyr for the Catholic faith. As a young boy he had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. One day Our Lady appeared to him and asked him which color crown he would prefer: white (for virginity), or red (for martyrdom). Maximilian’s response was that he chose both: he wanted to live a life of consecrated virginity and die a martyr for Christ.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe spent the last days of his life in Auschwitz. He was beaten severely, because priests were a particular object of hatred and abuse by the Nazis; yet he remained gentle and calm. Once he was beaten, lashed, and left for dead; but luckily some prisoners smuggled him into the camp hospital and he was able to recover and hear confessions.
Received by Francis and his friars at the Portiuncula, she knelt before him, laid aside her fine jewels, and had her hair shorn by the hand of the Little Poor Man. Her golden locks fell to the ground. She exchanged her sumptuous dress for a rough tunic and a humble veil. Then Saint Francis placed her with some Benedictine nuns for safekeeping.
Although she is not well known just anywhere, knowledge of Saint Philomena seems to be steadily growing. Catholics around the world are discovering her and becoming fervently devoted. Saint Philomena was martyred under the reign of Diocletian around 300 A.D. For more than fifteen hundred years, she became an unknown martyr, joining the numbers of beautiful but nameless souls who had died for Christ. But it seems that Jesus wanted to share her with the world.