St. Barlaam of Antioch (also known as St. Barlaam the Martyr or St. Barlaam of Caesarea) was an early 4th century martyr with a glorious story of fortitude in the face of torture and an unlikely champion of the Church. St. Barlaam was an elderly, uneducated peasant jailed for his Christian faith as part of the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. When his trial arrived he was scourged, racked, and tortured for days in an attempt to force him to apostatize. After each inhumane trial he was asked to renounce his Christian faith. He refused.
Are you looking for a Patron Saint or heavenly intercessor? We receive emails nearly every week asking how to go about choosing a Patron Saint. Not everyone has a given name that is both Christian and shared with a heavenly protector. Your Name Saint is a beginning, but having other Patron Saints is a beautiful way to grow in the Faith.
The Saints are an incredible treasure of the Church, and they are our heavenly family. They have walked where we walk, and they have lived the struggles of this world. They rejoice as they await our arrival in eternity, and they share in the desire to help us reach heaven. Most Catholics have numerous “favorites” and patrons.
Cultivating a deeper relationship with your patron saint(s) is one way to grow in your faith and in communion with the Church of the past and the present. These intimate friendships help connect us to heaven, even as we struggle down here below. It is a great consolation to know that we have the heavenly court urging us on and interceding for us before the throne of God. Here are 6 ways to deepen your relationships with your special Patron Saints:
In our society the virtue of purity seems “old fashioned” or “prudish” to many. There is very little today that is considered scandalous. Sadly, our culture has mainstreamed many things that would have been considered improper, impure and unacceptable in days gone by.
Bombarded with sexualized images and content for so long, people are now desensitized to impurity. Unfortunately, this includes our impressionable young girls and our maturing young women. They no longer recognize many inappropriate and obscene things as offensive.
The virtue of Purity consists of much more than sexuality, but as we strive to raise children and grandchildren whose values and convictions reflect the heart of God, representing sexual purity becomes more challenging every day. Especially against the backdrop of our disordered culture.
In a culture where impurity assaults us, the Church offers many models of virtue to us and to our young women. They stand in stark contrast to the feminine role models offered to us by the disordered world.
Here are the inspiring stories of four virgin martyrs who suffered death rather than compromise their purity:
Pope John Paul II had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and as such faithfully wore a scapular (notice him wearing his scapular in the above photo).
He is reported to have worn a brown scapular since he was a boy, and he insisted that doctors not remove it during surgery following the assassination attempt on his life in May of 1981.
The Blessed Trinity—the Triune God—is the greatest mystery of the Christian faith and the end for which we were created. While in this life we should prepare our hearts for heaven by catechizing ourselves as best we can about each Person of the Blessed Trinity and the role they play in our sanctification and salvation. Here are a few great resources from the saints, our teachers and forbears, to meditate on the Person of the Holy Spirit during this octave of Pentecost.