CATHOLIC FAITH: Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Therese, a Doctor of the Church.
St. Therese pray for us!

CATHOLIC FAITH: Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Therese, a Doctor of the Church.

St. Therese pray for us!

CATHOLIC SAINTS: Today is the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who is a martyr during the Nazi Occupation of Poland.
After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, St. Maximilian and a number of the friars were arrested for their activities in media evangelization. The Nazis stripped Niepokalonow of everything of value while the friars that remained spent their time caring for refugees. After several months, St. Maximilian and the other friars were released. Despite a ban on Kolbe’s publications, he managed to convince the Nazis to allow a final printing of one of the magazines in 1940. During this period of oppression, the friars turned to Eucharistic Adoration as their primary apostolate. In February of 1941, the Nazis arrested him again, and ordered him to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. He was given the registration number 16670.
In late July 1941, a prisoner escaped from St. Maximilian’s barracks. In retaliation, the Nazis selected ten prisoners to starve to death. One of the ten, Polish Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek, cried out in agony over the fate of his family without a father. To the astonishment of prisoners and captors, Maximilian stepped forward from the ranks and stood before the Commandant.
The commandant asked, “What does this Polish pig want?”
Father Kolbe pointed to the Polish sergeant, saying, “I am a Catholic priest. I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.”
The commandant stood silent for a moment, and then allowed Gajowniczek to return to the other men while Father Kolbe took his place.
Maximilian then entered the starvation chamber with nine other men. He spent the last two weeks of his life encouraging his nine companions by praying and singing hymns with them in the block 13 starvation bunker.
On August 14, 1941, the vigil of the feast of the Assumption, Maximilian was one of four prisoners still alive. His impatient captors executed him by means of a lethal injection of carbolic acid and burned his body in the crematorium. Saint Maximilian’s Feast Day is August 14.
Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian Kolbe on 10 October 1982 as a Martyr of Charity and “patron saint of our difficult century.”
Seargeant Francis Gajowniczek survived World War II and spent the rest of his life touring the world speaking about the man who saved his life. He was present at St. Maximilian’s canonization. He died in 1995.

CATHOLIC SAINTS: Today is the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who is a martyr during the Nazi Occupation of Poland.

After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, St. Maximilian and a number of the friars were arrested for their activities in media evangelization. The Nazis stripped Niepokalonow of everything of value while the friars that remained spent their time caring for refugees. After several months, St. Maximilian and the other friars were released. Despite a ban on Kolbe’s publications, he managed to convince the Nazis to allow a final printing of one of the magazines in 1940. During this period of oppression, the friars turned to Eucharistic Adoration as their primary apostolate. In February of 1941, the Nazis arrested him again, and ordered him to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. He was given the registration number 16670.

In late July 1941, a prisoner escaped from St. Maximilian’s barracks. In retaliation, the Nazis selected ten prisoners to starve to death. One of the ten, Polish Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek, cried out in agony over the fate of his family without a father. To the astonishment of prisoners and captors, Maximilian stepped forward from the ranks and stood before the Commandant.

The commandant asked, “What does this Polish pig want?”

Father Kolbe pointed to the Polish sergeant, saying, “I am a Catholic priest. I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.”

The commandant stood silent for a moment, and then allowed Gajowniczek to return to the other men while Father Kolbe took his place.

Maximilian then entered the starvation chamber with nine other men. He spent the last two weeks of his life encouraging his nine companions by praying and singing hymns with them in the block 13 starvation bunker.

On August 14, 1941, the vigil of the feast of the Assumption, Maximilian was one of four prisoners still alive. His impatient captors executed him by means of a lethal injection of carbolic acid and burned his body in the crematorium. Saint Maximilian’s Feast Day is August 14.

Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian Kolbe on 10 October 1982 as a Martyr of Charity and “patron saint of our difficult century.”

Seargeant Francis Gajowniczek survived World War II and spent the rest of his life touring the world speaking about the man who saved his life. He was present at St. Maximilian’s canonization. He died in 1995.

FAITH: Today is the feast of Saint Thomas More, Martyr (1478-1535)

The life and martyrdom of Saint Thomas More have been the source of a message which spans the centuries and which speaks to people everywhere of the inalienable dignity of the human conscience, which (…) is “the most intimate centre and sanctuary of a person, in which he or she is alone with God, whose voice echoes within them” (Gaudium et Spes, 16). Whenever men or women heed the call of truth, their conscience then guides their actions reliably towards good. Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth over power, Saint Thomas More is venerated as an imperishable example of moral integrity. And even outside the Church, particularly among those with responsibility for the destinies of peoples, he is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal the service of the human person.

(…)

Thomas More had a remarkable political career in his native land. Born in London in 1478 of a respectable family, as a young boy he was placed in the service of the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Morton, Lord Chancellor of the Realm. He then studied law at Oxford and London, while broadening his interests in the spheres of culture, theology and classical literature. He mastered Greek and enjoyed the company and friendship of important figures of Renaissance culture, including Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam.

His sincere religious sentiment led him to pursue virtue through the assiduous practice of asceticism: he cultivated friendly relations with the Observant Franciscans of the Friary at Greenwich, and for a time he lived at the London Charterhouse, these being two of the main centres of religious fervour in the Kingdom. Feeling himself called to marriage, family life and dedication as a layman, in 1505 he married Jane Colt, who bore him four children. Jane died in 1511 and Thomas then married Alice Middleton, a widow with one daughter. Throughout his life he was an affectionate and faithful husband and father, deeply involved in his children’s religious, moral and intellectual education. His house offered a welcome to his children’s spouses and his grandchildren, and was always open to his many young friends in search of the truth or of their own calling in life. Family life also gave him ample opportunity for prayer in common and lectio divina, as well as for happy and wholesome relaxation. Thomas attended daily Mass in the parish church, but the austere penances which he practised were known only to his immediate family.

He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1504 under King Henry VII. The latter’s successor Henry VIII renewed his mandate in 1510, and even made him the Crown’s representative in the capital. This launched him on a prominent career in public administration. During the following decade the King sent him on several diplomatic and commercial missions to Flanders and the territory of present-day France. Having been made a member of the King’s Council, presiding judge of an important tribunal, deputy treasurer and a knight, in 1523 he became Speaker of the House of Commons.

Highly esteemed by everyone for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, his open and humorous character, and his extraordinary learning, in 1529 at a time of political and economic crisis in the country he was appointed by the King to the post of Lord Chancellor. The first layman to occupy this position, Thomas faced an extremely difficult period, as he sought to serve King and country. In fidelity to his principles, he concentrated on promoting justice and restraining the harmful influence of those who advanced their own interests at the expense of the weak. In 1532, not wishing to support Henry VIII’s intention to take control of the Church in England, he resigned. He withdrew from public life, resigning himself to suffering poverty with his family and being deserted by many people who, in the moment of trial, proved to be false friends.

Given his inflexible firmness in rejecting any compromise with his own conscience, in 1534 the King had him imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was subjected to various kinds of psychological pressure. Thomas More did not allow himself to waver, and he refused to take the oath requested of him, since this would have involved accepting a political and ecclesiastical arrangement that prepared the way for uncontrolled despotism. At his trial, he made an impassioned defence of his own convictions on the indissolubility of marriage, the respect due to the juridical patrimony of Christian civilization, and the freedom of the Church in her relations with the State. Condemned by the Court, he was beheaded.

(…)

Thomas More, together with 53 other martyrs, including Bishop John Fisher, was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. And with John Fisher, he was canonized by Pius XI in 1935, on the fourth centenary of his martyrdom.

(…)

The life of Saint Thomas More clearly illustrates a fundamental truth of political ethics. The defence of the Church’s freedom from unwarranted interference by the State is at the same time a defence, in the name of the primacy of conscience, of the individual’s freedom vis-à-vis political power. Here we find the basic principle of every civil order consonant with human nature.

(…)

Therefore, after due consideration and willingly acceding to the petitions addressed to me, I establish and declare Saint Thomas More the heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians, and I decree that he be ascribed all the liturgical honours and privileges which, according to law, belong to the Patrons of categories of people.

(John Paul II - Apostolic letter issued Motu Proprio proclaiming Saint Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians - October 31, 2000)

FAITH: Today is the feast of Saint Thomas More, Martyr (1478-1535)

The life and martyrdom of Saint Thomas More have been the source of a message which spans the centuries and which speaks to people everywhere of the inalienable dignity of the human conscience, which (…) is “the most intimate centre and sanctuary of a person, in which he or she is alone with God, whose voice echoes within them” (Gaudium et Spes, 16). Whenever men or women heed the call of truth, their conscience then guides their actions reliably towards good. Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth over power, Saint Thomas More is venerated as an imperishable example of moral integrity. And even outside the Church, particularly among those with responsibility for the destinies of peoples, he is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal the service of the human person.

(…)

Thomas More had a remarkable political career in his native land. Born in London in 1478 of a respectable family, as a young boy he was placed in the service of the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Morton, Lord Chancellor of the Realm. He then studied law at Oxford and London, while broadening his interests in the spheres of culture, theology and classical literature. He mastered Greek and enjoyed the company and friendship of important figures of Renaissance culture, including Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam.

His sincere religious sentiment led him to pursue virtue through the assiduous practice of asceticism: he cultivated friendly relations with the Observant Franciscans of the Friary at Greenwich, and for a time he lived at the London Charterhouse, these being two of the main centres of religious fervour in the Kingdom. Feeling himself called to marriage, family life and dedication as a layman, in 1505 he married Jane Colt, who bore him four children. Jane died in 1511 and Thomas then married Alice Middleton, a widow with one daughter. Throughout his life he was an affectionate and faithful husband and father, deeply involved in his children’s religious, moral and intellectual education. His house offered a welcome to his children’s spouses and his grandchildren, and was always open to his many young friends in search of the truth or of their own calling in life. Family life also gave him ample opportunity for prayer in common and lectio divina, as well as for happy and wholesome relaxation. Thomas attended daily Mass in the parish church, but the austere penances which he practised were known only to his immediate family.

He was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1504 under King Henry VII. The latter’s successor Henry VIII renewed his mandate in 1510, and even made him the Crown’s representative in the capital. This launched him on a prominent career in public administration. During the following decade the King sent him on several diplomatic and commercial missions to Flanders and the territory of present-day France. Having been made a member of the King’s Council, presiding judge of an important tribunal, deputy treasurer and a knight, in 1523 he became Speaker of the House of Commons.

Highly esteemed by everyone for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, his open and humorous character, and his extraordinary learning, in 1529 at a time of political and economic crisis in the country he was appointed by the King to the post of Lord Chancellor. The first layman to occupy this position, Thomas faced an extremely difficult period, as he sought to serve King and country. In fidelity to his principles, he concentrated on promoting justice and restraining the harmful influence of those who advanced their own interests at the expense of the weak. In 1532, not wishing to support Henry VIII’s intention to take control of the Church in England, he resigned. He withdrew from public life, resigning himself to suffering poverty with his family and being deserted by many people who, in the moment of trial, proved to be false friends.

Given his inflexible firmness in rejecting any compromise with his own conscience, in 1534 the King had him imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was subjected to various kinds of psychological pressure. Thomas More did not allow himself to waver, and he refused to take the oath requested of him, since this would have involved accepting a political and ecclesiastical arrangement that prepared the way for uncontrolled despotism. At his trial, he made an impassioned defence of his own convictions on the indissolubility of marriage, the respect due to the juridical patrimony of Christian civilization, and the freedom of the Church in her relations with the State. Condemned by the Court, he was beheaded.

(…)

Thomas More, together with 53 other martyrs, including Bishop John Fisher, was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886. And with John Fisher, he was canonized by Pius XI in 1935, on the fourth centenary of his martyrdom.

(…)

The life of Saint Thomas More clearly illustrates a fundamental truth of political ethics. The defence of the Church’s freedom from unwarranted interference by the State is at the same time a defence, in the name of the primacy of conscience, of the individual’s freedom vis-à-vis political power. Here we find the basic principle of every civil order consonant with human nature.

(…)

Therefore, after due consideration and willingly acceding to the petitions addressed to me, I establish and declare Saint Thomas More the heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians, and I decree that he be ascribed all the liturgical honours and privileges which, according to law, belong to the Patrons of categories of people.

(John Paul II - Apostolic letter issued Motu Proprio proclaiming Saint Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians - October 31, 2000)

FAITH: February 13 - Today is the feast of SAINT CATHERINE DE RICCI
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of Monticelli in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. After a brief return home, she entered the convent of the Dominican nuns at Prat in Tuscany, in her fourteenth year. While very young, she was chosen Mistress of Novices, then subprioress, and at twenty-five years of age she became perpetual prioress. The reputation of her sanctity drew to her side many illustrious personages, among whom three later sat in the chair of Peter, namely Cerveni, Alexander de Medicis, and Aldo Brandini, and afterward Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI respectively. She corresponded with St. Philip Neri and, while still living, she appeared to him in Rome in a miraculous manner.She is famous for the “Ecstacy of the Passion” which she experienced every Thursday from noon until Friday at 4:00 p.m. for twelve years. After a long illness she passed away in 1589. Her feast day is February 13.

FAITH: February 13 - Today is the feast of SAINT CATHERINE DE RICCI

St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of Monticelli in Florence, where her aunt, Louisa de Ricci, was a nun. After a brief return home, she entered the convent of the Dominican nuns at Prat in Tuscany, in her fourteenth year. While very young, she was chosen Mistress of Novices, then subprioress, and at twenty-five years of age she became perpetual prioress. The reputation of her sanctity drew to her side many illustrious personages, among whom three later sat in the chair of Peter, namely Cerveni, Alexander de Medicis, and Aldo Brandini, and afterward Marcellus II, Clement VIII, and Leo XI respectively. She corresponded with St. Philip Neri and, while still living, she appeared to him in Rome in a miraculous manner.She is famous for the “Ecstacy of the Passion” which she experienced every Thursday from noon until Friday at 4:00 p.m. for twelve years. After a long illness she passed away in 1589. Her feast day is February 13.

FAITH: February 3 - Today is the feast of SAINT BLAISE, Physician, Bishop, Martyr
Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise’s protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally Blaise was killed by the governor.
Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies.
In His Footsteps:
Take time as Saint Blaise did to find out how you can help wild animals. Find out what is being done to support and protect the wildlife in your area. There is wildlife everywhere, even in cities. Even a birdfeeder can help God’s creatures survive.
Prayer:
Saint Blaise, pray for us that we may not suffer from illnesses of the throat and pray that all who are suffering be healed by God’s love. Amen.

FAITH: February 3 - Today is the feast of SAINT BLAISE, Physician, Bishop, Martyr

Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise’s protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.

Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.

The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally Blaise was killed by the governor.

Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies.

In His Footsteps:

Take time as Saint Blaise did to find out how you can help wild animals. Find out what is being done to support and protect the wildlife in your area. There is wildlife everywhere, even in cities. Even a birdfeeder can help God’s creatures survive.

Prayer:

Saint Blaise, pray for us that we may not suffer from illnesses of the throat and pray that all who are suffering be healed by God’s love. Amen.

FAITH: January 29 - Today is the feast of SAINT GILDAS THE WISESurnamed the Wise; b. about 516; d. at Houat, Brittany, 570. Sometimes he is called “Badonicus” because, as he tells us, his birth took place the year the Britons gained a famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, near Bath, Somersetshire (493 or 516). The biographies of Gildas exist — one written by an unknown Breton monk of the Abbey of Rhuys in the eleventh century, the other by Caradoc, a Welshman in the twelfth century. Both biographies contain unchronological and misleading statements, which have led some critics to reject the lives as altogether valueless. Ussher, Ware, Bale, Pits, and Colgan endeavour to adjust the discrepancies by contending that there were at least two saints named Gildas, hence their invention of such distinctive surnames as “Albanicus”, “Badonicus”, “Hibernicus”, “Historicus”, etc. The more general opinion, however, adopted by Lanigan, Leland, Healy, Stingfleet, Mabilon, Bollandus, and O’Hanlon, is that there was but one St. Gildas. The discrepancies may be accounted for by the fact that the lives were drawn up in separate countries, and several centuries after the saint existed. As to Caradoc’s statement that Gildas died at Glastonbury, O’Hanlon remarks that Glastonbury appropriated more saints than Gildas (Lives of Irish Saints, I, 493).Both narratives agree in several striking details, and may thus be harmonized: Gildas was born in Scotland on the banks of the Clyde (possibly at Dumbarton), of a noble British family. His father’s name was Cau or Nau; his brother’s, Huel or Cuil. He was educated in Wales under St. Iltut, and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Léon. Having embraced the monastic state, he passed over to Ireland, where he was advanced to the priesthood. He is said to have lived some time in Armagh, and then to have crossed to North Britain, his teaching there being confirmed by miracles. On his return to Ireland, at the invitation of King Ainmire, he strengthened the faith of many, and built monasteries and churches. The Irish annalists associate him with David and Cadoc in giving a special liturgy or Mass to the second order of Irish saints. He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome. On the homeward journey his love of solitude caused him to retire to the Isle of Houat, off Brittany, where he lived a life of prayer, study and austerity. His place of retreat having become known, the Bretons induced him to establish a monastery at Rhuys on the mainland whither multitudes flocked (Marius Sepet, “St. Gildasde Rhuys”, Paris, s.d.). It was at Rhuys he wrote his famous epistle to the British kings. His relics were venerated there till the tenth century, when they were carried for safety into Berry. In the eighteenth century they were said to be preserved in the cathedral of Vannes. He is the patron of several churches and monasteries in Brittany and elsewhere. His feast is locally observed on 29 January; another feast, 11 May, commemorates the translation of his relics.The authentic work of St. Gildas, “De excidio Britannae liber querulus”, is now usually divided into three parts: (1) The preface; (2) A sketch of British history from the Roman invasion to his own time; (3) An epistle of severe invective addressed to five petty British kings — Constantine, Vortipor, Cyneglas, Cynan, and Maelgwn. In the same epistle he addresses and rebukes the clergy whom he accuses of sloth and simony. His writings are clearly the work of a man of no ordinary culture and sanctity, and indicate that the author was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures.Gildas is regarded as the earliest British historian and is quoted by Bede and Alcuin. Two manuscripts copies of his writings are preserved in Cambridge University library.

FAITH: January 29 - Today is the feast of SAINT GILDAS THE WISE

Surnamed the Wise; b. about 516; d. at Houat, Brittany, 570. Sometimes he is called “Badonicus” because, as he tells us, his birth took place the year the Britons gained a famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, near Bath, Somersetshire (493 or 516). The biographies of Gildas exist — one written by an unknown Breton monk of the Abbey of Rhuys in the eleventh century, the other by Caradoc, a Welshman in the twelfth century. Both biographies contain unchronological and misleading statements, which have led some critics to reject the lives as altogether valueless. Ussher, Ware, Bale, Pits, and Colgan endeavour to adjust the discrepancies by contending that there were at least two saints named Gildas, hence their invention of such distinctive surnames as “Albanicus”, “Badonicus”, “Hibernicus”, “Historicus”, etc. The more general opinion, however, adopted by Lanigan, Leland, Healy, Stingfleet, Mabilon, Bollandus, and O’Hanlon, is that there was but one St. Gildas. The discrepancies may be accounted for by the fact that the lives were drawn up in separate countries, and several centuries after the saint existed. As to Caradoc’s statement that Gildas died at Glastonbury, O’Hanlon remarks that Glastonbury appropriated more saints than Gildas (Lives of Irish Saints, I, 493).

Both narratives agree in several striking details, and may thus be harmonized: Gildas was born in Scotland on the banks of the Clyde (possibly at Dumbarton), of a noble British family. His father’s name was Cau or Nau; his brother’s, Huel or Cuil. He was educated in Wales under St. Iltut, and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Léon. Having embraced the monastic state, he passed over to Ireland, where he was advanced to the priesthood. He is said to have lived some time in Armagh, and then to have crossed to North Britain, his teaching there being confirmed by miracles. On his return to Ireland, at the invitation of King Ainmire, he strengthened the faith of many, and built monasteries and churches. The Irish annalists associate him with David and Cadoc in giving a special liturgy or Mass to the second order of Irish saints. He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome. On the homeward journey his love of solitude caused him to retire to the Isle of Houat, off Brittany, where he lived a life of prayer, study and austerity. His place of retreat having become known, the Bretons induced him to establish a monastery at Rhuys on the mainland whither multitudes flocked (Marius Sepet, “St. Gildasde Rhuys”, Paris, s.d.). It was at Rhuys he wrote his famous epistle to the British kings. His relics were venerated there till the tenth century, when they were carried for safety into Berry. In the eighteenth century they were said to be preserved in the cathedral of Vannes. He is the patron of several churches and monasteries in Brittany and elsewhere. His feast is locally observed on 29 January; another feast, 11 May, commemorates the translation of his relics.

The authentic work of St. Gildas, “De excidio Britannae liber querulus”, is now usually divided into three parts: (1) The preface; (2) A sketch of British history from the Roman invasion to his own time; (3) An epistle of severe invective addressed to five petty British kings — Constantine, Vortipor, Cyneglas, Cynan, and Maelgwn. In the same epistle he addresses and rebukes the clergy whom he accuses of sloth and simony. His writings are clearly the work of a man of no ordinary culture and sanctity, and indicate that the author was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures.

Gildas is regarded as the earliest British historian and is quoted by Bede and Alcuin. Two manuscripts copies of his writings are preserved in Cambridge University library.

FAITH: January 22 - Today is the feast of SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, Priest, Founder of the Pious Society of Missions (Pallotines) A contemporary of Cardinal Newman’s and the Cure of Ars’, St. Vincent  Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable  pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic  Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to  inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the  Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this  was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind  schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into  the very heart of contemporary society. He was born in Rome in  1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was  very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was  ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology  soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza  University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral  work. Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He  organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and  gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as  evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became  known as a “second St. Philip Neri.” He gave away his books, his  possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an  old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened “to kill the  first priest who came through the door.” In 1835, he founded  his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a  missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of  missionaries. He died at the age of fifty-five and his body  lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized  by Pope John XXIII in 1963. Thought for the Day: There is a  certain genius that comes from the faith and we see it in our day in  Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The saints tackled great and difficult things  and accomplished wonders because they did not depend upon their own  strength and effort. They knew that all things are possible with God and  they took God at His word in asking for miracles and near-miracles.  They were never disappointed. From ‘The Catholic One Year  Bible’: … Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the  water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was  terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Instantly  Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him. “O man of little faith,”  Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”—Matthew 14:29-31

FAITH: January 22 - Today is the feast of SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI, Priest, Founder of the Pious Society of Missions (Pallotines)

A contemporary of Cardinal Newman’s and the Cure of Ars’, St. Vincent Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into the very heart of contemporary society.

He was born in Rome in 1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral work.

Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became known as a “second St. Philip Neri.” He gave away his books, his possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened “to kill the first priest who came through the door.”

In 1835, he founded his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of missionaries.

He died at the age of fifty-five and his body lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1963.

Thought for the Day: There is a certain genius that comes from the faith and we see it in our day in Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The saints tackled great and difficult things and accomplished wonders because they did not depend upon their own strength and effort. They knew that all things are possible with God and they took God at His word in asking for miracles and near-miracles. They were never disappointed.

From ‘The Catholic One Year Bible’: … Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him. “O man of little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”—Matthew 14:29-31

FAITH: January 18 - Today is the feast of SAINT MARGARET OF HUNGARY
Daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary and Marie Laskaris; grand-daughter of the Byzantine emperor. When Hungary was freed from the Tatars, her parents had pledged their next child to God. To keep this promise, Margaret was placed in a Dominican convent at Veszprem, Hungary at age 3; Blessed Helen of Hungary served as her novice mistress. She transferred at age ten to the convent of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on the Hasen Insel near Buda, where she lived the rest of her life. At one point her father arranged a marriage for her to King Ottokar II of Bohemia, but she adamently refused. She took vows at age 18. Known for severe self-imposed penances, and for kindness to those of lower social station. The investigation for her canonization lists 27 miracles including healings and a case of awakening from death.

FAITH: January 18 - Today is the feast of SAINT MARGARET OF HUNGARY

Daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary and Marie Laskaris; grand-daughter of the Byzantine emperor. When Hungary was freed from the Tatars, her parents had pledged their next child to God. To keep this promise, Margaret was placed in a Dominican convent at Veszprem, Hungary at age 3; Blessed Helen of Hungary served as her novice mistress. She transferred at age ten to the convent of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on the Hasen Insel near Buda, where she lived the rest of her life. At one point her father arranged a marriage for her to King Ottokar II of Bohemia, but she adamently refused. She took vows at age 18. Known for severe self-imposed penances, and for kindness to those of lower social station. The investigation for her canonization lists 27 miracles including healings and a case of awakening from death.