St. Mary Magdalene stood by Our Lord at the foot of the Cross, alongside St. John and the Blessed Mother, and the next morning went to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body. As a reward for her great love and faithfulness, she is the first recorded witness of Jesus’ Resurrection. It was Mary Magdalene who informed the twelve Apostles that Jesus rose from the dead, and for this she is called “Apostle to the Apostles.”
Saint Camillus de Lellis is an example how God often plants the seeds of your life’s mission among the ordinary, even sinful, circumstances in which you find yourself. It is never too late to amend your life and endeavor to become a saint; in the end, by the grace of God, all things truly will work together for your good and His glory.
Many faithful men went to Mt. Carmel to live as hermits in imitation of the Prophet Elijah. Over time a community developed informally. By the 1200’s this group desired to order their lives around a structured Rule. At the direction of St. Albert, then Patriarch of Jerusalem, they were given a Rule of Life. They lived in general solitude as they prayed and fasted, but they built a church and came together for prayer during the day. They named the church after Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary from his childhood, and, as such, he faithfully wore a scapular. He is reported to have worn a brown scapular since he was a boy, and he insisted that doctors not remove it during his emergency surgery following the assassination attempt on his life on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, 1981.
Kateri trekked over 200 miles through rough terrain, a two month, undoubtedly difficult due to her poor eyesight, to reach the Christian settlement. There she desired to live a life of prayer and penance. She declined marriage and lived as a single woman with deep faith, offering her sufferings and life to Christ. Her great sanctity, virtue, mystical prayer life, and love for Christ amazed the Jesuits and everyone who knew her. It is said that people loved to be around her and listen to her speak because her soul radiated the beauty and peace of God.
The St. Benedict medal as we commonly know it today (the Jubilee medal) was first made in 1880 to commemorate the fourteenth centenary anniversary of St. Benedict’s birth by the Archabbey of Monte Cassino, the most important monastery established by the Saint in the 6th century.
The St. Benedict medal is one of the most popular among Catholics, and there are many indulgences associated with this medal which you can read about here. There are also spiritual benefits associated with the pious use of the medal including warding off evil and temptation, obtaining the conversion of sinners, help for women during childbirth, strength in preserving purity, granting the grace of a happy death, protection during storms, and interceding for curing diseases.
The cause for Maria’s canonization opened in 1935, with Alessandro himself—her murderer—testifying to her sanctity and heavenly intercession on his behalf. Maria was then beatified in 1947. Assunta, a woman so destitute during her life, was now very rich. She remarks about her daughter’s beatification: “When I saw the Pope coming, I prayed, ‘Madonna, please help me.’ He put his hand on my head and said, blessed mother, happy mother, mother of a Blessed!”
What do the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska have in common with the events at Fatima? Visions of a destroying angel and of the Holy Trinity, the 13th day, a call to penance, and a fervent prayer for mercy.
Like the martyrdom of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, a great number of Christians perished at the hands of Nero during the terrible persecution that lasted from 64-68 A.D. This was the first major persecution of the newly founded Church at Rome. These holy men and women, also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome,” are the foundation on which the Church was built.