St. Lawrence (d. 258 A.D.) was likely a Spaniard by birth who lived in Rome while Christianity was outlawed under pain of death. He was appointed by Pope St. Sixtus II as archdeacon over the seven deacons of Rome, and held the sacred duty of tending to the Church’s wealth and distributing alms to the poor.
Prayer is “the necessary and sure means of obtaining salvation, and [contains] all the graces we need to attain [salvation]…To save one’s soul without prayer is most difficult, and even impossible…but by praying our salvation is made secure, and very easy…If we do not pray, we have no excuse, for the grace of prayer is given to everyone…if we are not saved, the whole fault will be ours, because we did not pray.” If Alphonsus’s words are indeed true, then how crucial is prayer to our daily life, and to our eternal destiny! Do we live as though such words are true?
St. Martha, the feisty sister of Mary of Bethany, tends to get a bad rap. After all, when Jesus came to visit the two sisters, Martha complains about Mary not helping—and Jesus’s response seems to be a scolding in which He praises contemplation and disregards practical action and service. However, the story isn’t as simple as that, and I don’t believe that Martha should be remembered as “the one who wasn’t doing it right.”
Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 1373) was one of the most important and famous mystics of the Middle Ages, causing her to be named one of the patron saints not only of Sweden, but of all Europe. Among the many visions she records in her Revelations is this remarkable description of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her glory as the Queen of Heaven. In this vision St. Bridget sees Our Lady possessing seven lilies and seven precious stones in her heavenly crown. Each one symbolizes a different quality or characteristic. Seven, of course, is the biblical number symbolizing perfection.
Recently I encountered a slight problem when turning to the saints in regards to marriage and family, and perhaps you would too, because from the list of popular saints I know, it may often be the case that a favorite saint was, um, celibate. That being said, I decided to compile a list of thoughts and prayers on parenting and finding holiness at home – from 10 saints who were mothers and fathers themselves.
The White Cord of St Joseph is piously used as a remedy against physical ailments and a support in living the virtues of chastity and purity of heart. This beautiful devotion began almost 400 years ago in the small town of Antwerp, Belgium. An Augustinian nun was miraculously healed there after asking for St. Joseph’s intercession while wearing a cord blessing in his honor.
There’s nothing quite like seeing someone say goodbye to a spouse, family member, or friend in uniform at the airport. A long, silent hug. A gentle wave. A tearful goodbye at the parting of ways. One chin lifted bravely, a heavy bag flung over a shoulder—while the one left behind gives an encouraging smile and […]
When you’re trying to imitate the behavior of someone you admire, reflecting on specific moments in his or her life is particularly helpful. We see the fruits of this practice when meditating on the mysteries of Christ’s life in the rosary, or when praying with the mysteries of Mary’s life in the Seven Sorrows devotion. […]
When it comes to patron saints and intercessors, Pope Francis has no shame playing favorites. He has made it clear in various audiences, such as his 2015 meeting with families in the Philippines, that St. Joseph is at the top of his list. From this report it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to guess that Pope […]
When it comes to our health and the health of loved ones, we often turn to prayer. We pray for disease prevention, for physical healing or for peace. Fortunately, there seems to be a special saint for every illness and health concern we can think of! Here is a list of both popular and not-so-well-known saints to invoke for common ailments: