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.
From the time of the Passion, when Christ poured out His blood for us all, the faithful have practiced devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In the month of July, the Church honors the Precious Blood and encourages us in this devotion. The traditional feast day devoted to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ is July 1st.
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.
Just like the sacrificial and life-giving death of Christ, the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul were used by God to lay the bedrock for the Church and bring salvation to the whole world. Because they are the solid rock on which the foundation of the Church is built, and they will forever remain her protectors and guides.
Each year on June 22nd we celebrate the feast day of two notable Catholic saints and martyrs: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher. It’s fitting that these two men share a feast day, because they were both righteous Englishmen martyred within two weeks of each other, for the same cause, on the same occasion, and at the hands of the same man.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, historically known by its Latin name, Corpus Christi, celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It is traditionally celebrated on the Thursday following the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. The feast dates to the Middle Ages and originated with a visionary nun and a Eucharistic miracle.
Today is the feast day of one of the most popular and loved saints of the Catholic church, Saint Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony of Padua was the fastest canonized saint in Church history, taking place a mere 11 months after his death. In 1946 he was proclaimed a doctor of the Church. St. Anthony was a Franciscan friar who lived during the lifetime of the founder of the Franciscan order, St. Francis of Assisi.
In 1672, Christ appeared to a French Visitation nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Over a series of visits, Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary the importance of devotion to His Sacred Heart. He asked that His heart, wounded on the cross and continually wounded by ingratitude of men for his sacrifice for them, be venerated and adored as an embodiment of His Divine mercy and love.
Yesterday’s Sacred Heart blog post discussed the very rich and interesting history of the Sacred Heart devotion. This second installment will discuss its relationship to other Catholic devotions closely connected with it, namely the Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has its roots all the way back to the time of the Apostles, and arguably even before this in the Song of Songs penned by Solomon. St. John the Evangelist is the Apostle associated with the Sacred Heart devotion because, one, he was known as the disciple whom Jesus loved; two, he was called the “Apostle of Love” due to the theme of love repeated in his Gospel and epistles; and three, because he had the special privilege of reclining on the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper.