Mother Seton’s life coincides with the birth of the
United States and the rise of the Catholic Church in America. More
St. Lucy, along with St. Agnes, St. Agatha and
St. Cecilia, is one of the four great virgin martyrs of the early church.
Devotion to her has remained strong for more than 1,700 years, not only in her
native Sicily but throughout the Christian world: even the overwhelmingly Protestant
countries of Scandinavia celebrate the feast day of “Santa Lucia.” More
Philip Howard was a man without a moral compass, and nowhere was this sad fact more evident than in his marriage to Anne Dacre, daughter of another powerful family. More
St. John Chrysostom (c.347-407)More
The story is in St. Luke's Gospel. An unnamed woman, a notorious sinner, bearing an alabaster jar of perfumed oil enters unannounced into a house where Jesus is a guest. Without saying a word to the host or to the apostles or even to Christ Himself, she breaks open the jar and pours the scented oil over the Lord, washes His feet with her tears, then dries them with her long hair. For nearly 1,700 years tradition has identified this penitent woman as St. Mary Magdalene. Ever since artists have depicted St. Mary holding a beautiful urn, which has lead perfumers to take Mary as their patron saint. More
Lots of saints were prolific writers, but St. Francis de Sales was not just prolific, he was persuasive. The little leaflets he published on the truths of the Catholic faith - written in clear, polished prose - brought thousands of Calvinists back to the church. And for nearly 400 years his Introduction to the Devout Life has been a beloved "how to" book on giving up sinful habits and growing closer to God. More
An entire book could be devoted just to the patrons of children. More saints have been assigned to watch over infants, little boys and girls, and adolescents than any other group, perhaps because they are the most vulnerable members of the human family.More
It's often said there is antagonism between faith and
science, but in many respects it's an artificial quarrel.
Many scientists believe in God. Many religious believers
marvel over the wonders of the universe revealed by science.
And if any man bore witness that faith and science can
coexist, it was St. Albert the Great.
In 258, Emperor Valerian began a fresh round of anti-Christian persecution. Just days after the emperor had published his edict outlawing Christianity, a troop of Roman soldiers raided the catacomb of Praetextatus on the Appian Way, arresting Pope St. Sixtus II who had just finished celebrating Mass. When the soldiers burst in, they found the pope seated on a chair, surrounded by his seven deacons and subdeacons, as he taught the Catholic faith to his congregation. The Romans arrested Sixtus along with the deacons Felicissimus and Agapitus, and the subdeacons Januarius, Magnus, Vincent and Stephen. But for some inexplicable reason they did not take the deacon Lawrence. As the troops led their prisoners away, Lawrence, in tears, clutched at Sixtus' robes and said, "Where are you going, priest, without your deacon? Where are you going, father, without your son?" Sixtus comforted Lawrence, saying that in a few days they would be reunited. More
The story of the apostle known as "doubting Thomas" begins
after the first Easter. In fear for their lives after the
crucifixion of Jesus, the 11 surviving apostles (Judas had
hanged himself on Good Friday) had locked themselves in the
room they had used for the Last Supper. On Easter evening,
the Risen Christ appeared suddenly among them. Thomas was not
there, but when he returned, the other apostles were still
joyous and excited at finding the Lord alive. Not only did
Thomas doubt that Christ had risen from the dead, he set a
few conditions that would have to be met before he believed.
"Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails," he said,
"and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my
hand in His side, I will not believe."
Queens are rare today, but for many centuries just about every nation in the world had a queen. Although the world has evolved politically, devotion to St. Hedwig has been strong and constant among Poles and Lithuanians, who remember her not only as a skillful ruler, but also as a devout woman who was especially generous to the needy. More
In the small army of Scandinavia's saints, one of the most
appealing is St. Hallvard. He was a seafarer who traded furs,
walrus ivory and amber along the Baltic Sea ports. One day
Hallvard was about to sail across Oslo's Drammenfjor, when he
heard a cry. Looking up he saw a pregnant woman stumbling
down the dock toward his ship. As she climbed aboard, she
begged Hallvard to help her. Three men had accused her
falsely of theft and were out to kill her.