Saint María Isabel Salvat Romero


María de la Purísima Salvat Romero was born in 1926 in Spain to Ricardo Salvat Albert and Margarita Romero Ferrer as the third of eight children.
She was baptized the following day with the name of “Maria Isabel” bestowed upon her in the church of Our Lady of the Conception on Goya Street. As a child she attended the school of the Irish Sisters in Madrid and received her First Communion at the age of six.

Romero and her family left Spain for Portugal from July 1936 to 1938 in order to escape the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War; they returned following the conclusion of the conflict. During her time in Portugal, she realized her true calling was to that of religious life. While her mother approved of this decision, her father ultimately attempted to suppress this, though later relented to the strong desire of his daughter.

Romero joined the Sisters of the Company of the Cross, established by Saint Angela of the Cross, on 8 December 1944 and was vested in the habit of the congregation for the first time on 9 June 1945, also taking he new name to symbolize this. Romero later made her temporary vows on 27 June 1947 and took her perpetual vows on 9 December 1952.

In 1966 she was sent to the Mother House of the congregation in Seville where she, in 1968, was named the Provincial of the Mother House. She eventually ascended to the position of Superior General in 1977 and was reelected thrice, remaining in office until her death.

During her tenure, she oversaw the updating of the Constitution while attempting during her term to defend and uphold the charism of the congregation. She continued to safeguard the charism while focusing on a renewed fidelity to the message of the Gospel and the magisterium of the Church, as well as an added emphasis on Marian and Eucharistic devotion. Romero also met with the sick and the poor each morning, working tirelessly for them in terms of serving them food and cleaning their clothes. In her role as Mother General she attended the beatification of Angela of the Cross by Pope John Paul II on 5 November 1982.

She was diagnosed with a tumor in 1994 and she faced her illness for the next four years with great docility to the will of God,suffering great pain but never complaining or going easy on herself.Romero died in Seville on 31 October 1998.

St.Anthony Mary Claret~Zeal for Souls And God 

Anthony was a short, energetic Spaniard, a peppery Catalonian. At age 17 he traveled to the lively trade center of Barcelona to further himself in the weaving profession of his father. He became so involved in the technology and business that he could think of almost nothing else. 

During this period of his life, he was a mediocre Catholic even though he maintained a devotion to Our Lady. One hot day in the summer of 1826, Anthony was wading in the sea when a huge wave engulfed him and carried him out into the deep. He could not swim, but called out to the Blessed Virgin for help, and found himself carried back to the shore, half drowned and semi-conscious. When he came to himself he realized how close he had come to dying. He began to consider the mediocrity of his life and he converted. 

He was ordained a priest and became a missionary. He revealed himself an orator with eminent qualities who appealed to the simple people. He had a very powerful voice that could be heard in the far corners of the public squares where he used to preach to the multitudes that gathered to hear him. The churches could not contain all those people, and at times even the squares overflowed. He used to go from city to city preaching, and many times the inhabitants of one city followed him along the road to the halfway point, where he was met by inhabitants of the next city who had come to welcome him and accompany him to their city.

The preaching of St. Anthony Mary Claret attracted and held the people. His words were zealous, rich with learning and natural eloquence, and filled with extraordinary charismas. Very often he would move his audience to tears. At times he would prophesize, interrupting a sermon, for example, to tell a lady: “You think that you still have a long time to live, but you are mistaken. You will die in six months.” At other times he would exorcise demons, saying, for instance, “I will expel the Devil that hovers over this audience.” As he pronounced the words of the exorcism, strange noises, lightning, and other phenomena were heard and seen by the multitude. Of course, these charismas impressed and attracted the people.

He realized that he was called to preach the truths of the Faith to the simple people. Doing this, he gave an edifying example to other religious Orders that were influenced by Liberalism and rejecting the Church’s traditional preaching methods in order to adapt themselves to the modern world. St. Anthony Mary Claret achieved a fabulous result using the traditional methods. His implicit reply to those who attacked the traditional methods was simple: the people don’t come to you because of the old methods, but because you are liberals. 

He also understood that he was called to increase the zeal of the people, not to organize or direct it. He would pass through the provinces planting the seed of the love of God, leaving the job of watering that seed and making it grow to others. 

Only weeks after founding his missionary congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, notice arrived from Rome that he had been nominated to become Archbishop of Santiago, the primatial see of Cuba. He was consecrated Bishop, made an Archbishop, and sent to Cuba. As soon as he arrived, he started to correct the bad customs and indifferent morals of the people and began a real conversion of the Island.

Through the maneuvers of Freemasonry, Queen Isabella II was deposed and exiled with her family and confessor

The Freemasonry that was deeply entrenched in Cuba could not tolerate this, and intensely attacked St. Anthony Mary Claret. He suffered all kinds of persecutions, including several attempts on his life. The opposition of the enemies of the Church was so strong that finally the Queen of Spain decided it would be more prudent to remove him from the Island and return him to Spain. At her request, he was offered the appointment of Patriarch of India, which would make him confessor and spiritual director of the Royal Court of Madrid. 

As his ship left the shore of Cuba, St. Anthony Mary Claret cursed the Island whose inhabitants had refused God. It was not long before this curse took effect. With its independence, Cuba rejected the life-giving spiritual sap it had received from Spain, and quickly became a center of corruption and immorality, a tourist site for Americans seeking dissolute vacations. This was the case until Communism took over the Cuban government and implanted its regime. You can see that the curse launched by St. Anthony Mary Claret was realized quite impressively. 

The chaplain of the Spanish Court had the title of Patriarch of India, but it was just an honorific title with nothing to do with India. Queen Isabella II was supporting the liberal side of the Spanish Royal House that was fighting against the good Carlist movement. As so often happens with liberals, they play the game of Freemasonry, and if they stop, Masonry takes them out of the game. Even though she was liberal, the Queen began to be influenced by St. Anthony Claret and gradually took a different position. When her policies started to become anti-liberal, the Masons removed her from power and sent her out of Spain in exile. It was St. Anthony Claret who provoked this political earthquake. 

It was also during that time in Spain he exercised a very successful missionary apostolate and more firmly established the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The deposing of Isabella II was in part a victory for the good cause. The Masonry knew that Spain was not yet ready to accept a Republic, and wanted to establish a Constitutional Monarchy first in order to prepare the way for a stable Republic. Because it was forced to depose the Queen, it was obliged to make the Republic prematurely. This caused a deep crystallization in public opinion against the Republic, which led to the restoration of the Monarchy some time later. The Republic would have triumphed earlier in Spain without the action of St. Anthony Mary Claret. 

Even as he grew old and suffered sicknesses, his incredible energy and gifts to move the people with his words continued. He was also granted many special graces, in particular, the grace of conserving the Sacramental Species within his heart. From one Communion to another, the Eucharistic Species were preserved incorrupt in his body so that he always had the Blessed Sacrament in his heart. 

In his last days, he participated in Vatican Council I, which the Pope had convened at the Vatican in December of 1869. Seeing many liberal Bishops opposing the matter of Papal Infallibility that was being discussed, he became indignant and strongly censured them in a speech. Hearing the errors being spoken on this topic, he was so overcome with indignation that the blood rushed to his head and he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. He died some months later.

St.John of Capistrano 


St. John was born in 1386 at Capistrano in the Italian Province of the Abruzzi. His father was a German knight and died when he was still young. St. John became a lawyer and attained the position of governor of Perugia. When war broke out between Perugia and Malatesta in 1416, St. John tried to broker a peace. Unfortunately, his opponents ignored the truce and St. John became a prisoner of war. On the death of his wife he entered the order of Friars Minor, was ordained and began to lead a very penitential life.

John became a disciple of Saint Bernadine of Siena and a noted preacher while still a deacon, beginning his work in 1420. The world at the time was in need of strong men to work for salvation of souls. Thirty percent of the population was killed by the Black Plague, the Church was split in schism and there were several men claiming to be pope. As an Itinerant priest throughout Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, St. John preached to tens of thousands and established communities of Franciscan renewal. He reportedly healed the sick by making the Sign of the Cross over them. He also wrote extensively, mainly against the heresies of the day.

He was successful in reconciling heretics. After the fall of Constantinople, he preached a crusade against the Muslim Turks. At age 70 he was commissioned by Pope Callistus II to lead it, and marched off at the head of 70,000 Christian soldiers. He won the great battle of Belgrade in the summer of 1456. He died in the field a few months later, but his army delivered Europe from the Moslems.

St.John Paul II~Pope of Divine Mercy 

Karol Jozef Wojtyla, elected Pope on 16 October 1978, was born in Wadowice, Poland, on 18 May 1920.


He was the third of three children born to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska, who died in 1929. His elder brother Edmund, a physician, died in 1932, and his father, Karol, a non-commissioned officer in the army, died in 1941.

He was nine years old when he received his First Communion and eighteen when he received the Sacrament of Confirmation. After completing high school in Wadowice, he enrolled in the Jagellonian University of Krakow in 1938.

When the occupying Nazi forces closed the University in 1939, Karol worked (1940-1944) in a quarry and then in the Solvay chemical factory to earn a living and to avoid deportation to Germany.

Feeling called to the priesthood, he began his studies in 1942 in the clandestine major seminary of Krakow, directed by the Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha. During that time, he was one of the organizers of the “Rhapsodic Theatre”, which was also clandestine.

After the war, Karol continued his studies in the major seminary, newly reopened, and in the school of theology at the Jagellonian University, until his priestly ordination in Krakow on 1 November 1946. Father Wojtyla was then sent by Cardinal Sapieha to Rome, where he attained a doctorate in theology (1948). He wrote his dissertation on faith as understood in the works of Saint John of the Cross. While a student in Rome, he spent his vacations exercising pastoral ministry among Polish emigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.

In 1948, Father Wojtyla returned to Poland and was appointed a curate in the parish church of Niegowi?, near Krakow, and later at Saint Florian in the city. He was a university chaplain until 1951, when he again undertook studies in philosophy and theology. In 1953, Father Wojtyla presented a dissertation at the Jagellonian University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler. Later he became professor of moral theology and ethics in the major seminary of Krakow and in the theology faculty of Lublin.

On 4 July 1958, Pope Pius XII appointed Father Wojtyla auxiliary bishop of Krakow, with the titular see of Ombi. Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak ordained him in Wawel Cathedral (Krakow) on 28 September 1958.

On 13 January 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Wojtyla as Archbishop of Krakow and subsequently, on 26 June 1967, created him a Cardinal.

Bishop Wojtyla took part in the Second Vatican Council (1962- 1965) and made a significant contribution to the drafting of the Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He also took part in the five assemblies of the Synod of Bishops prior to the start of his Pontificate.

On 16 October 1978, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope and on 22 October he began his ministry as universal Pastor of the Church.

Pope John Paul II made 146 pastoral visits in Italy and, as the Bishop of Rome, he visited 317 of the current 322 Roman parishes. His international apostolic journeys numbered 104 and were expressions of the constant pastoral solicitude of the Successor of Peter for all the Churches.

His principal documents include 14 Encyclicals, 15 Apostolic Exhortations, 11 Apostolic Constitutions and 45 Apostolic Letters. He also wrote five books: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (October 1994); Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (November 1996); Roman Triptych, meditations in poetry (March 2003); Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way (May 2004) and Memory and Identity (February 2005).

Pope John Paul II celebrated 147 beatifications, during which he proclaimed 1,338 blesseds, and 51 canonizations, for a total of 482 saints. He called 9 consistories, in which he created 231 Cardinals (plus one in pectore). He also presided at 6 plenary meetings of the College of Cardinals.

From 1978, Pope John Paul II convoked 15 assemblies of the Synod of Bishops: 6 ordinary general sessions (1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994 and 2001), 1 extraordinary general session (1985) and 8 special sessions (1980, 1991,1994,1995,1997,1998 (2) and 1999).

On 13 May 1981, an attempt was made on Pope John Paul II’s life in Saint Peter’s Square. Saved by the maternal hand of the Mother of God, following a lengthy stay in the hospital, he forgave the attempted assassin and, aware of having received a great gift, intensified his pastoral commitments with heroic generosity.

Pope John Paul II also demonstrated his pastoral concern by erecting numerous dioceses and ecclesiastical circumscriptions, and by promulgating Codes of Canon Law for the Latin and the Oriental Churches, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He proclaimed the Year of Redemption, the Marian Year and the Year of the Eucharist as well as the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, in order to provide the People of God with particularly intense spiritual experiences. He also attracted young people by beginning the celebration of World Youth Day.

No other Pope met as many people as Pope John Paul II. More than 17.6 million pilgrims attended his Wednesday General Audiences (which numbered over 1,160). This does not include any of the other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8 million pilgrims in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000 alone). He met millions of the faithful in the course of his pastoral visits in Italy and throughout the world. He also received numerous government officials in audience, including 38 official visits and 738 audiences and meetings with Heads of State, as well as 246 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers.

Pope John Paul II died in the Apostolic Palace at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday, 2 April 2005, the vigil of Sunday in albis or Divine Mercy Sunday, which he had instituted. On 8 April, his solemn funeral was celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square and he was buried in the crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

John Paul II was beatified in Saint Peter’s Square on 1 May 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI, his immediate successor and for many years his valued collaborator as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

St.Paul of the Cross~Founder of the Passionists 


St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa, January 3, 1694. His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety. He was inspired from on high to found a congregation; in an ecstacy he beheld the habit which he and his companions were to wear. After consulting his director, Bishop Gastinara of Alexandria in Piedmont, he reached the conclusion that God wished him to establish a congregation in honor of the Passion of Jesus Christ. On November 22, 1720, the bishop vested him with the habit that had been shown to him in a vision, the same that the Passionists wear at the present time. From that moment the saint applied himself to repair the Rules of his institute; and in 1721 he went to Rome to obtain the approbation of the Holy See. At first he failed, but finally succeeded when Benedict XIV approved the Rules in 1741 and 1746. Meanwhile St. Paul built his first monastery near Obitello. Sometime later he established a larger community at the Church of St. John and Paul in Rome. For fifty years St. Paul remained the indefatigable missionary of Italy. God lavished upon him the greatest gifts in the supernatural order, but he treated himself with the greatest rigor, and believed that he was a useless servant and a great sinner. His saintly death occurred at Rome in the year 1775, at the age of eighty-one. He was canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867. His feast day is October 20

Source:catholiconline.org 

The North American Martyrs 


In 1611, Jesuit missionaries first set foot on our continent. Within forty years eight of them, (whose feast day is October 19th) gave up their lives near the Georgian Bay and in upstate New York. This quadricentennial of the Jesuit mission gives us cause to look to our spiritual roots. 

Much like the setting sun, we often see the full beauty of the Saints as their mortal light exits this world. This is especially true of martyrs. The following is a brief summary of a few of the deaths of these Jesuits, which sums up the heroism with which they lived. 

When St. Isaac Jogues was received into the Jesuits his superior asked what he desired. His response: “Ethiopia and Martyrdom.” “Not so.” was the reply. “You will receive Canada and martyrdom.” 

After years of ministry among the Huron, St. Isaac Jogues was captured and tortured by the Mohawk Indians. On the verge of execution, he escaped and was smuggled back to France by the Dutch. He quickly rose to “stardom.” Everyone regarded him as a living Saint and national hero. The Queen of France even stooped to kiss his mangled hands, fingers missing, having being cut or gnawed off by his torturers. St. Isaac could have retired in the safety of France but returned to his mission as soon as he was able. He was killed by a Mohawk brave with a tomahawk.

St. Charles Garnier was ministering to his Huron village when it was attacked. He ran from one burning cabin to another, baptizing and comforting his people when he was shot in the upper chest and lower abdomen. After regaining consciousness he saw a wounded Huron writhing across the room. He pulled himself up and struggled toward the dying man to help him. An Iroquois brave noticed and killed him with his hatchet. He died with hand outstretched, reaching to minister to the wounded. 

St. Rene Goupil was a layman who worked side by side with the Jesuits. When St. Isaac Jogues was captured there was a time when St. Rene could have easily escaped but chose to stay with his friend. He endured weeks of disfiguring tortures, during which he comforted and converted fellow captives who were suffering a similar fate. He was tomahawked while walking side by side with Jogues for teaching a child how to make the sign of the cross. He fell to the ground saying the name of Jesus. 

St. Anthony Daniel had just finished celebrating Mass with his Huron friends at sunrise when the war cries of the Iroquois rang out through his village. He went to those who had been butchered to comfort and baptize them in their last moments. When the Iroquois were headed toward his church to burn it down he sprinted toward them and commanded them to stop. They did for a moment, stunned by this unarmed man’s courage. Then they brought him down with muskets and arrows. 

St. John de Brebeuf was a huge man with amazing courage. Though he lived under constant threat of death, a fellow missionary wrote, “Nothing could upset him during the twelve years I’ve known him.” 

He was the first missionary to enter Huronia. In time he became like one of them. He wrote instructions to those who wanted to join his mission starting with, “You must love these Huron, ransomed by the blood of the Son of God, as brothers.” 

Though he could have escaped, he chose to die with them when Iroquois raided their village. The younger St. Gabriel Lalemont, who had looked up to St. John, remained and died with him as well. Together they underwent some of the most gruesome tortures of any martyr in history for endless hours. Through it all they comforted their fellow captives. John reminded them, “The sufferings will end with your lives. The grandeur which follows will never have an end.” 

Seven years after their deaths, the daughter of an Iroquois chief was born in the very tribe that killed them. She is known today as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be beatified, proving true the words spoken by Tertullian 1,400 years before these martyrs entered paradise, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church!”   

These men set out into nations where a violent, gruesome death was constantly before them. We set out into an increasingly anti-religious culture where we might lose a few friends for standing up for the truth, or at worst, get mocked or sued, but probably not tomahawked. They set out on canoes into uncharted waters filled with tribes who were hunting them down. We set out in our cars to work or the supermarket to bump shoulders with a world that needs to be reminded of God through our words and our charity.   

If only we had a little of the courage of our founding fathers in faith.

St.Luke the Evangelist 


Luke was an Evangelist, the writer of the third Gospel. He never met Christ in person, but in his Gospel he says that he came to know about Jesus by talking to eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection. Hearing those stories helped Luke to become a believer, and he wrote his Gospel so that others would come to know and love Jesus.

Luke was a doctor and he traveled with St. Paul on his second missionary journey. In fact, Paul calls Luke his “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). Because he cared for the bodily needs of others, Luke is the patron saint of doctors. He is also the patron saint of artists because it is believed that he painted a famous portrait of Mary, our Blessed Mother.

In his Gospel, Luke helps us to know how concerned Jesus was for the sick, the poor, and anyone in need of help, mercy and forgiveness. Luke tells us that Jesus came to save all people. Through Luke’s Gospel, we learn how compassionate and caring Jesus was. Some of the most famous stories Jesus told are found in Luke’s Gospel: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-42).

The symbol for Luke’s Gospel is an ox, an animal that was often sacrificed as an offering to God in ancient times. In his writings about Jesus, Luke reminds us of the great sacrifice Jesus made to save all people through his death on the cross and his Resurrection.

Luke is also the author of the Acts of the Apostles. In Acts, we learn about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Apostles, especially St. Paul, and how the Church grew in the world. He was the one person who was said to have remained with St. Paul during his imprisonment and until his death.

St.Ignatius of Antioch 


The second Bishop of Antioch, Syria, this disciple of the beloved Disciple John was consecrated Bishop around the year 69 by the Apostle Peter, the first Pope. A holy man who was deeply loved by the Christian faithful, he always made it his special care to defend “orthodoxy” (right teaching) and “orthopraxy” (right practice) among the early Christians. 

In 107, during the reign of the brutal Emperor Trajan, this holy Bishop was wrongfully sentenced to death because he refused to renounce the Christian faith. He was taken under guard to Rome where he was to be brutally devoured by wild beasts in a public spectacle. During his journey, his travels took him through Asia Minor and Greece. He made good use of the time by writing seven letters of encouragement, instruction and inspiration to the Christians in those communities. We still have these letters as a great treasure of the Church today. 

The content of the letters addressed the hierarchy and structure of the Church as well as the content of the orthodox Christian faith. It was Bishop Ignatius who first used the term “catholic” to describe the whole Church. These letters connect us to the early Church and the unbroken, clear teaching of the Apostles which was given to them directly by Jesus Christ. They also reveal the holiness of a man of God who became himself a living letter of Christ. The shedding his blood in the witness of holy martyrdom was the culmination of a life lived conformed to Jesus Christ. Ignatius sought to offer himself, in Christ, for the sake of the Church which he loved. His holy martyrdom occurred in the year 107. 

In his pastoral letters he regularly thanked his brother and sister Christians for their concern for his well being but insisted on following through in his final witness of fidelity: “I know what is to my advantage. At last I am becomŹing his disciple. May nothing entice me till I happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Fire, cross, struggles with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs-let them come to me, provided only I make my way to Jesus Christ. I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth. Him I seek who died for us; him I love who rose again because of us.” 

Bishop Ignatius was not afraid of death. He knew that it had been defeated by the Master. He followed the Lord Jesus into his Passion, knowing that he would rise with Him in his Resurrection. He wrote to the disciples in Rome: “Permit me to imitate my suffering God … I am God’s wheat and I shall be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may become the pure bread of Christ.” The beauty of this Eucharistic symbolism in these words reflects the deep theology of a mystic. He was dedicated to defending the true teaching handed down by the Apostles so that the brothers and sisters in the early Christian communities, and we who stand on their shoulders, would never be led astray by false teaching. He urged them to always listen to their Bishops because they were the successors of the Apostles. He died a Martyrs death in Rome, devoured by two lions in one of the cruel demonstrations of Roman excess and animosity toward the true faith. Anticipating this event he wrote these inspired words: 

A letter to the Romans by St Ignatius of Antioch 

“I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals. I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. 

The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the world. Do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light. Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of imitating the passion of my God. If you have him in your heart, you will understand what I wish. You will sympathize with me because you will know what urges me on. 

The prince of this world is determined to lay hold of me and to undermine my will which is intent on God. Let none of you here help him; instead show yourselves on my side, which is also God’s side. Do not talk about Jesus Christ as long as you love this world. Do not harbor envious thoughts. And supposing I should see you, if then I should beg you to intervene on my behalf, do not believe what I say. Believe instead what I am now writing to you. For though I am alive as I write to you – still – my real desire is to die. My love of this life has been crucified, and there is no yearning in me for any earthly thing. Rather within me is the living water which says deep inside me: “Come to the Father.” I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world. I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish. 

I am no longer willing to live a merely human life, and you can bring about my wish if you will. Please, then, do me this favour, so that you in turn may meet with equal kindness. Put briefly, this is my request: believe what I am saying to you. Jesus Christ himself will make it clear to you that I am saying the truth. Only truth can come from that mouth by which the Father has truly spoken. Pray for me that I may obtain my desire. I have not written to you as a mere man would, but as one who knows the mind of God. If I am condemned to suffer, I will take it that you wish me well. If my case is postponed, I can only think that you wish me harm.” 

Source:catholiconline.org

St.Gerard Majella~Patron of Expectant Mothers 


St. Gerard Majella is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born in 1726 in Muro, Italy to a family of seven. Majella grew up in a poverty with a great respect for the poor. As he was just 12 when his father passed away, he was forced to grow up fast. Shortly after his father’s death, his mother sent him away to live with his uncle and learn to become a tailor, like his father. After a few years of working as a sewing apprentice, Majella took on a job with the local Bishop of Lacedonia as a servant.

Once Majella began earning money as a journeyman at the age of 21, he split his earnings with his mother, the poor of Muro and the rest in offerings for the poor souls. As the days passed, Majella began to grow pale and thin, often fasting and in prayer at a nearby Cathedral.

He applied to the Capuchin monastery at Muro twice, but was turned down both times. Majella was told his health was not well enough for such a strenuous life. However, Majella did not give up. In 1749, at the age of 23, he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and just three years later became a professed lay brother.

Majella lived with the three vows of Poverty, Chasity and Obedience. He stayed close with the poor and worked very many different jobs. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian, and tailor. However, because of his great piety, extraordinary wisdom, and his gift of reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women. Majella was often called on by the poor and the sick. Wherever his presence was demanded he graciously presented himself. He was there to “do the Will of God.”

This humble servant of God also had faculties associated with certain mystics including, levitation, bi-location and the ability to read souls. His charity, obedience, and selfless service as well as his ceaseless mortificationfor Christ, made him the perfect model of lay brothers.

Throughout his years of life, several reported miracles are tied to Majella including, restoring a boy’s life after he fell from a high cliff; blessing a poor farmer’s crops, ridding it of mice; blessing a poor family’s supply of wheat, causing it to last until the next harvest; and he multiplied bread for the poor on several occasions.

Along with his miracles effected through prayers for woman in labor, Majella’s last recorded miracle is one that many credit toward his becoming the patron of expectant mothers. Shortly before his death, Majella encountered a young girl. He had dropped his handkerchief and she set out to return it, only to be told to keep it. Majella told her she “may need it someday.” Years after Majella’s passing, the young girl became married and with child. She unexpectedly went into labor and was on the verge of losing her baby. She called for Majella’s handkerchief to be applied to her. Almost immediately, her pain abated and she proceeded to give birth to a healthy child, something very rare during that time.

His prayers are sought for the children, unborn children, women in childbirth, mothers, expectant mothers, motherhood, falsely accused people, good confessions, lay brothers and Muro Lucano, Italy.

Even as Majella became ill with tuberculosis, he only desired to live in God’s will. His one last request was that a small placard be placed on his door stating, “Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills.” Majella was told the Will of God wanted him to get better, and almost at once he became well. However, this only lasted for a month and quickly he became very ill once again. St. Gerard Majella died of disease on October 16, 1755 at the age of 29, living in the religious life for six years.

Due to the numerous miracles performed through Majella’s prayers, proceedings for his canonization began shortly after his death. In 1893, Majella was beatified by Pope Leo XIII and on December 11, 1904, Pope Pius X canonized the man of God.

Prayer: O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source:catholiconline.org 

St.Margaret Mary~Messenger of the Sacred Heart


Saint Margaret Mary was born at L’Hautecour, Burgundy, France, on July 22, 1647 to Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn. Her father died when she was about eight years old, leaving her family in a precarious financial situation and at the mercy of some rapacious relatives. As a young girl, she was stricken with rheumatic fever, and the resulting paralysis forced her to be bedridden for the next four years until the age of fifteen. It was during this time that she developed an intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life. During these hard times Margaret continued her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Christ made His presence known to her. She later wrote, “At that time, all my desire was to seek happiness and comfort in the Blessed Sacrament.”
On May 25, 1671, at the age of 23, Margaret entered the Order of the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial. She pronounced her final vows on November 6, 1672 and took the name Mary. During her retreat before her profession, she had a vision of Jesus in which He said, “Behold the wound in my side, wherein you are to make your abode, now and forever.” The Lord continued to appear to her in visions and on December 27, 1673, the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, as she knelt at the grill before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, she experienced a vision in which the Lord told her to take the place that Saint John had occupied at the Last Supper, and that she would act as His instrument. Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart as a symbol of His love for mankind, saying, “My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind … that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.” She described that His Heart was on fire and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Our Lord told her that the flames represented His love for humanity, and the thorns represented man’s sinfulness and ingratitude. Jesus informed her that her mission was to establish the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, and He revealed twelve promises that He would bestow upon all those who practice the devotion.

She had three more visions over the next year and a half in which Jesus instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine Fridays. Christ also inspired Margaret Mary to establish the Holy Hour and to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the final revelation, the Lord asked that a feast of reparation be instituted for the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.

Margaret Mary told her superior, Mother de Saumaise, about the visions and was treated with contempt. She was forbidden to carry out any of the religious devotions that had been requested of her in her visions. She became ill from the strain, and her superior, looking for a divine sign, vowed to believe the visions if Margaret Mary was cured. Margaret Mary prayed and recovered, and her superior kept her promise. There was a group within the convent who remained skeptical, however. Her superior ordered Margaret Mary to present her experiences to theologians, but they were judged to be delusions.

Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, a holy and experienced Jesuit, arrived as confessor to the nuns, and in him Margaret Mary recognized the understanding guide that had been promised to her in the visions. He became convinced that her experiences were genuine and adopted the teaching of the Sacred Heart that the visions had communicated to her. Her revelations were made known to the community when they were read aloud in the refectory from a book written by Blessed Claude. Her revelations in the open, she encouraged devotion to the Sacred Heart, especially among her novices, who observed the feast in 1685. A chapel was built in 1687 at Paray in honor of the Sacred Heart, and devotion began to spread in other convents of the Visitidines, as well as throughout France.

Margaret Mary became ill and died on October 17, 1690 during the fourth anointing step of the last rites. As she received the Last Sacrament, she said, “I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.”

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after her death. Margaret Mary was declared Venerable in March, 1824 by Pope Leo XII, and she was pronounced Blessed on September 18, 1864 by Pope Pius IX. The inauguration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus occurred in 1856, and Margaret Mary was canonized by Benedict XV in 1920.