Some saints, while they were still living, had other saints appear to them from heaven to offer encouragement (for example, St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to St. Faustina). Some also had the Devil appear and physically attack them (for example, St. Padre Pio). But it’s not too common that a saint from heaven appears to another living saint to beat them up!
At the time of Don Bosco’s death in 1888 there were 250 houses for boys founded by the Salesian Society containing 130,000 children; of these, over 6,000 became priests. The Salesian Society still exists today and is the second largest religious order in the world, continuing St. Bosco’s mission of helping and educating poor and disenfranchised youth. St. Don Bosco is also known for his many prophetic dreams. His most famous dream regards future troubles for the Church and is known as the Prophecy of the Two Columns.
St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) was an influential 19th century Italian priest who ministered to the poor and neglected boys of Turin, Italy, who were driven to a life of desperation and crime in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Don Bosco became their mentor and spiritual director, inspiring them to a life of virtue and saving many from a future of poverty and incarceration.
January 28 is the feast day of perhaps the greatest intellect of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelic Doctor due to his purity of mind and body. He gave up a life of nobility and wealth to be a poor Dominican friar, at the time a new religious order, much to the consternation of his family.
One biographer notes that prior to St. Thomas Aquinas’ birth a holy hermit prophesied to his mother about her unborn child,
“He will enter the Order of Friars Preachers, and so great will be his learning and sanctity that in his day no one will be found to equal him.”
After St. Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622) was ordained bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, he began to get “serious” about developing an interior life of holiness. That is, he got serious about not just being a religious person, but intentionally working on being a true saint. This noble goal was remarkable because during his day such serious attempts at holiness were reserved primarily for monks and nuns—those men and women living as cloistered contemplatives dedicated solely to this pursuit.
Nativity scenes have been a popular Advent and Christmas decoration for centuries. And, did you know, it originated with a Catholic saint? St. Francis of Assisi had a special devotion to the Child Jesus, and he is credited with creating the first nativity scene on Christmas Eve of the year 1223. He recreated the scene of Christ’s birth in a special service and Mass he held inside of a cave, inviting both his fellow friars and the townspeople to join in the celebration.
We’ve been aniticpating this day, and now it’s here. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be raised to the altars in 2016.
Yesterday (on his birthday!) Pope Francis approved the second miracle needed for her cause for canonization. Today, the news is spreading like wildfire. The date for her canonization is being suggested as September 4th, September 5th being her feast day and the anniversary of her passing into eternal life.
December 13th is the feast day of St. Lucy. St. Lucy was a virgin martyr during the earliest centuries of Christianity under its worst persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire, therefore making her one of the most glorious saints in heaven.
She is of such renown that she is one of the saints mentioned by name in the Canon of the Mass, and one of only seven female saints listed.
The historical story surrounding this Marian apparition is truly fascinating. There are so many significant details regarding the time period and culture to which the image was revealed. In addition, there is a whole other fascinating story surrounding just the image itself and its highly unusual properties. All of this detail cannot possibly be covered in one blog post . . . but here is a sampling! I hope the information from this blog post will encourage you to have a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to celebrate her feast day in a special way each and every year.