As an aid to the Church’s mission of evangelization, the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia established the Print Media through Timek ti Amianan and the Broadcast Media through DZNS, an AM station.
It was recognized and agreed upon as contained in the First Nueva Segovia Pastoral Assembly the decrees regarding the role and mission of both arms of evangelization and the support that both priests and lay have to extend in promoting the apostolate.
In answer to PCP ll’s call for renewal, to a more organized thrust on evangelization, conscientization and formation of public opinion according to Gospel values the media apostolate, TIMEK and DZNS aim to pursue such goals.
History of DZNS-AM
In 1968, DZNS was just a 1,000 watt weakling, but one of the best at the time. The station is located on the ground floor of the Archbishop’s Residence in Vigan, with its transmitter more than a kilometer away, opposite the Vigan Major Seminary.
In the early part of 1970, it became an affiliate of the Philippines’ largest media outfit: ABS-CBN. It was the radio to beat in Ilocos Sur. It had a large audience for its two “LIVE SHOWS” on Sundays. Its News and Public Affairs Programs gave the competition a run for their money. Moreover, the weekly address of the Archbishop was the voice of Hope for the opposition at the time.
But when Martial Law was proclaimed on September 21, 1972, DZNS was abruptly down along with the rest of broadcast media. Two months later, DZNS was re-opened through a Temporary Permit to operate. It was the only ABS-CBC radio station allowed to broadcast. This was short lived, however. On Mary 20, 1973, the late Archbishop Juan C. Sison received a telegram from the Undersecretary of Defense, saying “Sorry Monsignor, your application for a Permanent Permit to operate is not granted”. On that day, DZNS breathed its last.
DZNS was formally re-opened on July 7, 1991. Archbishop of Nueva Segovia, the Most Rev. Orlando B. Quevedo, OMI, graciously opened the door and lit the path to the beginnings of responsible broadcasting. On September 7, 1991, DZNS was inaugurated by His Eminence Jose T. Cardinal Sanchez. DZNS, with its sensible and credible mission as a Church of people truly evangelized and evangelizing, upholds its virtue of Responsible Broadcasting of the Truth as it leads towards People Empowerment. The Station Office and the tower are located at Pantay Fatima, Vigan City.
DZNS is a member of the Catholic Media Network of the Philippines and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas under the franchise of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines. Making use of the satellite, CMN President, Rev. Fr. Francis Lucas successfully implemented the networking all CMN stations, hosting a 5day weekly morning program nationwide.
The Director of the Station is the Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. The past directors include: Most Rev. Juan C. Sison (deceased), Most Rev. Jose T. Cardinal Sanchez (Cardinal based in Rome), Most Rev. Orlando B. Quevedo, (now in the archdiocese of Cotabato), and the incumbent director is Most Rev. Ernesto A. Salgado.
The present radio station manager is Rev. Fr. Peter Joe Dagsi.
The upgraded tower of DZNS was blessed on February 19, 2008 by Archbishop Ernesto A. Salgado It was witnessed by the priests and employees of the Radio station. Hopefully, a better signal for the station will result to a wider and clearer coverage of the different programs of DZNS.
Evangelization through Radio DZUL and TV Maria
Father Jim Reuter, S.J., Director of the National Office of Mass Media says this: “If 25% of our Catholics went to Church on Sundays, they would not fit. Our Catholic schools reach only 5% of our Catholic population, our charitable institutions like clinics and orphanages reach only 2%.
The statistics show that there is much to be desired in our going to mass and living the mass. And the Mass Media comes to the rescue. The Liturgy, a celebration of faith is brought to people who through no fault on their part cannot possibly go to mass can switch on the radio or television.
There is no Filipino who cannot get to a transistor radio. There are now over a million television sets in Filipino households. Several provinces are putting up television stations and linking up with Manila’s major networks. Celebrations of the Holy Eucharist, Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours and other devotions are brought to the places of people hungry for God’s Word. We have Eternal Word Television Network and local stations like the Divine Mercy.
It is interesting to note that Pope Pius Xll in 1958 decided to mark a patron saint for television, a means of communication which wields so much power for good and evil. There are many saints who fit to be a patron saint of television. Pope Pius made his decision and was announced on February 14, 1958. Many were surprised of the Holy Father’s choice on Saint Clare.
L ife of the Saints, Make me live in you.
Through God’s providence, I was a recipient of a 2-months scholarship on a special course Pastoral Communication: Theology and Practice at the Gregorian University, Rome from April 24 – June 24, 2004.
With the knowledge gained, Archbishop Edmundo M. Abaya through Msgr. Gary Formoso, the station manager of DZNS gave me a radio program at the time slot 4:00- 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays which was later shortened to its present time of 4-5 pm.
Asked what I will discuss, I told Msgr. Formoso, lives of saints for I was reminded of what Archbishop John Foley said that his first radio program was on the lives of saints.
July 19, 2004, I reported for work at DZNS. Msgr. Formoso gave the title ‘SANTO: PAGADAWAN NAIMBAG A BIAG’ (Saints: Models of a Good Life) and the first saint I discussed was St. Hannibal. It is on air 4 – 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
The program is in conjunction with my government work as the Arroyo Administration created the Presidential Commission on Values Education through Executive Order 314. The President wants a program to inculcate values of honesty, modesty, integrity and good work ethics in the bureaucracy. There is a portion wherein my officemate gives a special report on PIA DISPATCH. My officemates who help me are Carlo Cańares and Imelda Rivero.
In Faces of Holiness Modern Saints in Photos and Words written by Ann Ball, the Introduction was written by J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., President, and University of St. Thomas. I have copied what he wrote on Updating the Process:
During the papacy of John Paul ll, the Congregation for Cause of Saints, which is charged with “making saints,” has been working overtime. According to the Holy Father, personal holiness is the path of authentic Church renewal. Contemporary men and women need models of sanctity to imitate.
Because the procedures for beatification and canonization were cumbersome, adversarial, and lengthy, John Paul decided to simplify them, making them both less expensive and more collegial. In 1983 he streamlined the whole process in the apostolic constitution Divines Perfectionism Magister. No longer modeled after a courtroom, the procedure would, in Kenneth Woodward’s description, “employ the academic model of researching and writing a doctoral dissertation.”
As outlined in John Paul’s 1983 apostolic constitution, the current process for beatification and canonization has three principal stages.
The first stage begins at the local level. It is up to the local bishop, in dialogue with the bishops of the surrounding region, to conduct a preliminary investigation of the candidate. He conducts a long and detained examination of the person’s life, writings, and heroic virtue. Upon successful completion of this study, the individual is declared a “servant of God.”
The paperwork then goes to Rome. This second state is the most difficult. If successfully concluded, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recommends that the pope declare the servant of God “blessed.” This means that the candidate has demonstrated the necessary “heroic virtue” and that this reputation for holiness has been confirmed by a miracle. Its authenticity is determined by a special team of doctors appointed by the Vatican.
Miracles proved to be obtained through the candidate’s intercession is an essential part of the process, with one notable exception. Those who are beatified or canonized as martyrs require no miracle. No further testimony is needed than the fact that an individual freely gave his or her life for the Faith.
The third stage is canonization itself: The enrolling of the blessed in the canon of saints proposed by the Church as worthy of veneration and imitation by Christians everywhere. Originally beatification was intended to distinguish local saints from those of interest to the universal Church. This distinction is now irrelevant. Confining veneration of the blessed to the local church is impossible in the global village. When proof can be obtained of a second miracle for a blessed, canonization follows, even though the saint has limited appeal.
When the Church officially recognizes her saints, she is not adding names to her heavenly hall of fame. Rather, she is inviting us to honor them and to petition their help.
It is for God to judge of and to make known, and for divinely-sanctioned authority to announce, in the case of those men and women whom He may wish to proclaim and placard before human eyes. But, remember, it is neither the proclamation nor the placarding that makes the Saint; God makes him.
Relics of Saints:
There are three classes of relics. First class is the corpse or any part of it; second class is objects intimately connected with a saint or Jesus; and third class, anything touched to a saint’s body.
First class relics _ Installation in altars was commended, but made optional by the Second Vatican Council to focus attention on the Eucharist rather than on relics. In Paris we have the body of St. Catherine Laboure and in France the body of St. Bernadette lies uncorrupted in glass-sided altars. Their bodies were never embalmed or treated for preservation. St. Augustine said: “while the martyr’s body does not bring honor to the altar, the altar does honor to the martyr’s tomb. St. Ambrose said:”As Christ who suffered for us all is on the altar, they who have been redeemed by his sufferings are beneath the altar. A small fragment of a martyr’s remains are placed in or around the altar or somewhere in the building.
Second class relics _ The Pillar of the Scourging in the churches in Rome, Constantinople and Jerusalem. All three relics are fragments of the same stone columns.
Third class relics _ Crown of Thorns preserved in Paris; Iron links at the Church of St. Peter in Chains; Five ancient boards at Our Lady of the Manger inside the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome; and the gloves of St. Padre Pio.
We profess our beliefs in the Communion of Saints when we recite the Apostle’s Creed. The church teaches that the saints in heaven are powerful intercessors before God’s throne because they enjoy favor with God. Thanks to the Communion of Saints, we can develop network with them whom we share something in common.
Friar Jim Van Vurst, O.F.M. writes How Do We React to Mother Teresa’s Doubts? on the “revelations” of Mother’s book (Come, Be My Light) of correspondence with her spiritual directors.
She described in deeply moving words her struggles with faith, her doubts and sense of abandonment by God. In the language of the spiritual life, Mother Teresa was experiencing the dark night of the senses and of the spirit. The dark night is a sign of spiritual growth and reflects the paradox of the gospel: To die is to live, to live is to die, less is more and more is less. The great expositors of these spiritual principles were St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
Mother Teresa was not fake, nor did she lose her faith. In fact, her faith grew all the time while she was walking with the Lord, growing deeper in her union with him. From St. Francis of Assisi to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, saints and all those seeking union with God have experienced darkness and struggles, some more than others. All saints speak of similar experiences, whether they were religious or laity.
But perhaps the most important example is what Jesus experienced during his own passion and death, hanging on the cross. In his human nature, he experienced an abandonment of God: “Why have you forsaken me?” But would anyone doubt that his faith at the moment of deepest sacrifice was the greatest ever?
One final point: Some people may feel upset that Mother Teresa’s letters were published and not destroyed as she had wanted. If every saint who died got their wish that their correspondence be destroyed, the Christian world would be without some of the most instructive and inspiring writings we could have. (Saints don’t always know what should be and should not be published.) Her experiences will enlighten a lot of people.
W e the Ortega Twins of the Philippines have special devotion to Twin saints Scholastica and Benedict, and Cosmos and Damian.
Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until Benedict left for Rome to continue his studies. Scholastica founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery.
Cosmo and Damian were brothers, and were born in Arabia three hundred years after Christ. When they quite little boys their father died, and they were left alone with their mother who taught her boys, that though they had no earthly father, God was their Father in heaven. The boys grew up and became skilled doctors, venerated in the East as the “moneyless ones” because they did not charge a fee for their services.
Since it never occurred to me that I will put the lives of the saints into print, I’ve not written down my sources. I have browsed the internet, read books, magazines, novenas, etc. which gave me the materials to share. To all the sources, I give thanks. We pray “Life of the Saints, Make me live in you.
Sebastian, young officer in the Roman army found out that twin brothers Mark and Marcellius were put to prison and to be killed because of their faith.
When Sebastian arrived at the prison, he saw the twins surrounded by pagans including their father urging them to give up their faith in order to live. Imagine how the twins were torn between their love of our Heavenly Father and their love for their earthly father.
Sebastian spoke, “Christian brothers! You have always shown yourselves so brave and stout-hearted. Will you now turn your backs on the King who has prepared a place of special glory?”
The twins looked at one another and they were won. They asked to be baptized. Chancellor Nicostratus was unconvinced and said; I need a better proof than your words.
Sebastian asked Zoe, the chancellor’s wife, “You believe, don’t you? Why don’t you speak to your husband? A word from you might show him the light, too. Sebastian was surprised when he saw tears from Zoe’s cheeks, Chancellor Nicostratus spoke: Sebastian, don’t you know my wife can’t speak?
Sebastian prayed silently and said to Zoe, “Look at me.” He made the sign of the cross on Zoe’s lips and asked, “Zoe do you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ?” The woman opened her lips and spoke the first words of her life, “I do believe in Jesus Christ, Our Lord.”
Zoe hardly finished speaking and embraced Sebastian and won the Chancellor to Christianity.
St. Jean Marie Vianney
Once a neighbor asked Marie if her son thought he was the devil because Jean-Marie crossed himself before and after he passed the fellow. When asked, Jean-Marie replied, “I blessed the hour.” His mother advised him not make a show of his devotion and avoid anything that draw attention to his piety. Jean-Marie took the counsel.
St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe
Sigmund Gorson, a Polish Jew, 14 year old boy and orphaned became friend with Maximilian Maria Kolbe. He said: “He did not hate the Nazis and he taught me not to hate.” He learned that hatred is a waste of time. You never hurt the one you hate, you only hurt yourself. That is why you should seek justice, but not revenge.
The Archbishop of Canterbury summoned Chad and mentioned serious flaws in his ordination as bishop. Chad had been consecrated to a place that was in fact not vacant, since Wilfred had already been appointed and ordained. What was the response of Chad? “I never felt worthy of ordination and am more than happy to return to Lastingham as a simple monk.”
He had a sense of humor even at death. When the Prefect ordered Lawrence stripped and put on a gridiron with burning coals under it. Having suffered a long time, he turned to the Prefect and said with a cheerful smile: “Let my body be turned; one side is cooked enough.” Before giving up his spirit, he prayed for the conversion of Rome.
In 1224, the army of Frederick ll came to plunder Assisi. Clare went out to meet them with the Blessed Sacrament on her hands. Suddenly a mysterious terror seized the enemies, who fled without harming anybody in the city.
St. Elizabeth Leseur
Elizabeth was determined to bring God to more people through the following means: not argue; work through example; and make God felt without speaking of God.
St. Martin de Porres
One day Martin’s mother sent him to buy flour for their bread. On the way, he saw poor children and gave the money saying, “Go buy something to eat.” Then he went to Church and prayed half-day. His mother got angry for they are poor and Martin can not give away the little amount they themselves need very much.
St. John of the Cross
One Christmas, Fr. John danced and cradled the Little Jesus in his arms saying: “My spirit is like a child dancing in His Father’s arms!”
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
She said: “If I wasted my time, I should consider it something stolen from the church and the poor for whom I am working.” She passed this philosophy on to her children.
St. Rose of Lima
She was called Rose by her mother because of her red cheeks. Having taken a vow of virginity, she refused to marry despite pressure from her parents. To keep suitors away, she used to rub her beautiful face and shapely fingers with pepper.
Among the apostles, St. Bartholomew, alias Nathanael, was known for his frankness. When the apostle Philip told him that he had found the Messiah, Jesus from Nazareth, he replied: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nazareth was a small town with no glorious past. Jesus appreciated the remark and said: Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him (John 1:47).
Louis was merciful even to rebels. When he was urged to put to death a prince who had followed his father in rebellion, he refused, saying: “A son cannot refuse to obey his father.”
St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine, stormed heaven by prayers, fasting, and tears. A wise Bishop, whom she invited to talk to her son, told her: “God’s time will come. It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”
Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila
The Dutch attempted to invade the Philippines in 1640. The victory over the Dutch would be attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary and commemorated every year on October 7, known as La Naval de Manila.
Elected Pope in 217, Callistus fought with success the heretics, and established the practice of the absolution of all sins, including adultery and murder.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On December 27, 1673 – and for 18 months thereafter – Jesus revealed himself and invited her to manifest the love of his Divine Heart. This was to be done by honoring the Sacred Heart on the First Friday of each month; by an hour of vigil every Thursday night; and by celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
St. Boethius Severinus
Dedicated himself to the study of Philosophy. Philosophy counsels him to become detached from worldly cares and to focus his attention on the only supreme good, God, the Creator of all things. In such a mind his peace and equilibrium will not be determined by outward circumstances.
St. Paul of the Cross
At 15, after listening to a sermon on the Passion of Jesus, he began a life of prayer and austerity. In 1720, he had a vision of the Blessed Mother, who told him to found a new congregation, whose members would wear a black habit and would mourn continually for the Passion of her Son.
St. John Capistrano
To amend for his past life, he rode through Perugia on a donkey, wearing a paper with the list of all his sins. In that guise he asked admission to the Friars Minor.
Bishop to her parents “Take very good care of your daughter. God has given you a treasure. Guard her purity and piety for God has chosen her to be a saint.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
“Greatest happiness of this life is to be released from the cares of the world.”
St. John Neumann
In 1854 he visited Rome to give an account of his diocese and to be present for the definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius 1X who had appointed him bishop and who remembered his reluctance to accept greeted Bishop Neumann, “Bishop Neumann, is not obedience to the Will of God the best of all sacrifices?”
St. Peter the Hermit
Sustenance was a piece of bread brought to him everyday by a bird.
St. Anthony of Egypt
Pilgrims visited the monastery to see him or seek his counsel. Received a letter from Emperor Constantine but never became proud. He told his monks: “Marvel instead that God wrote the law for mankind and has spoken to us through his own Son.”
At 13 years old she said, “I will not adore idol gods. The true God is Jesus Christ.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
When her Episcopalian husband died, her Roman Catholic friends were kind to her. With this kindness, she became interested in their faith and became a Catholic. Established the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph which led the foundation for the parochial school system in America.
Blessed William Carter
He offended public officials by publishing works that aimed to keep Catholics firm in their faith. Various vestments and suspect books were found in his home, and even managed to extract information from his distraught wife. The jury met for only 15 minutes before reaching a verdict of “guilty” and was hanged.
Mother Marianne of Molokai
Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls”. They took charge of the home that Blessed Damien De Vuester had established for men and boys. They changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.
St. Francis of Sales
Francis preached and distributed the little pamphlets he wrote to explain the true Catholic doctrine. His writings are addressed to lay people for he wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman.” Named patron of the Catholic Press.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
After spending missionary work at Sweden and Denmark, being an extraordinary preacher, the people returned to paganism. When the King of Sweden allowed the Christian missionaries to return, he directed new apostolic activities. But Sweden became pagan again after his death, and remained so until the coming of missionaries two centuries later. Ansgar’s life is another reminder that Christ takes care of the effects of the apostolate in his own way, he is first concerned about the purity of the apostles themselves.
St. Paul Miki and the Other Martyrs of Japan
While Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan was hanging upon a cross he said: The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I want to say to you all once again. Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”
In her spiritual testament, Colette told her sisters of Poor Clares: “We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation. Amen.”
A careless and irreligious soldier for Venice, Jerome was captured and put into prison. There he had a lot of time to think and he gradually learned to pray. When he escaped, he returned to Venice and began his studies for the priesthood. After ordination, events again called Jerome to a decision. Plague and famine swept northern Italy and he decided to devote himself and his property to abandoned children.
Our Lady of Lourdes
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius lX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 24, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
St. Giles Mary of St. Joseph
His father’s death left the 18-year old Francesco to care for the family. Having secured their future, he entered the Friars Minor at Galatone. For 53 years he served at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples in various roles, such as cook, porter or most often as official beggar for that community. He consoled the troubled and urging everyone to repent, thus the people whom Giles met on his begging rounds nicknamed him the “Consoler of Naples.”
Chair of St. Peter
The chair refers to the occupant, not the furniture. Its first occupant stumbled a bit, denying Jesus three times and hesitating to welcome gentiles into the new Church. Some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously. Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.
Martyrs of Plague at Alexandria, Egypt
Many and wonderful things happened. Christians of the city who had been forced by persecution to hide themselves and conduct their meetings in secret went out of their homes, risking themselves. They are true martyrs of charity for they attended to the dead and dying, nursed the sick.
Jean Pierre de Caussade
The theme of Jean Pierre de Caussade’s book is abandonment to Divine Providence. He outlines the path to holiness as performing our everyday tasks and duties; accepting what we cannot avoid and enduring with love and resignation things which could cause us weariness. To the faithful Christian he talks of present moment. God’s will must be present in our ordinary and everyday life.
Saints Perpetua and Felicitas
Perpetua was a prosperous woman, married and mother of a new born son. She was arrested with her servant Felicitas for being converts to Christianity. Felicitas was 8 months pregnant and gave birth inside the prison whom she entrusted to Christian friends. Survived the ordeal at the amphitheater where wild beasts were to devour them, they were put to death by sword. Perpetua and Felicitas exchanged a kiss together then Perpetua directed the sword to her own neck.
St. John of the Cross
At 8 years old he disappeared from his family. At 40, he made a pilgrimage at the Shrine of Santiago de Compostela. He went home and found that his mother died soon after his disappearance and his father entered the Franciscan monastery and already dead. A confessor persuaded him to abandon his plan to offer himself as a substitute for Christian slaves held by Moors. He ended up in Grenada supporting himself selling holy cards and devotional manuals. Later he offered shelter to the poor, helping the sick, prisoners, prostitutes, dying.
Cardinal Yves Congar
His works include (1) Reform of the Church, confirmed in his commitment to ecumenical dialogue to overcome divisions in the Body of Christ and (2) Theology of the Laity. He stated the vital role of the laity in the mission of the Church. The laity are not simply to “listen” and “obey” but to transform the world according to the values of the Kingdom of God.
Blessed Bartolo Longo
Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii Shrine was built by a former devil worshipper turned saint and great Man of Mary, Blessed Bartolo Longo. He set up a parish mission and promised to exhibit picture of Our Lady of the Rosary after the mission. He went to Naples to look for a painting of Our Lady. Finding one but cannot afford, the priest who converted him referred him to Mother Conchetta who possessed a painting but was in bad condition. Mother Conchetta assured Bartolo that Our Lady would work miracle through that image. It was brought to Pompeii and the painting was mounted on a marble throne imported from Lourdes as a fitting way to begin the establishment of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary and then miracles happened.
St. Arnold Janssen
St. Arnold Janssen, SVD opened the St. Michael’s Mission House in Holland amidst some oppositions. He said: “If something comes of this house we will thank God for the gift, if not, we will admit we were not good enough for His work.” It was successful and presently 6,000 SVD missionaries are working in different parts of the world.
St. Nicholas Owen
Nicholas was a clever builder and architect who used his skills to protect endangered priests. Without his help, hundreds of English Catholics would have been deprived of the sacraments. His gift for spotting unlikely places to hide priests was impressive, but more impressive was his habit of seeking support for his work in prayer and the Eucharist. If we follow his example, we may also discover surprising ways to put our skills to God’s service.
It wasn’t Francis lack of scholarly ability or deep-down goodness that almost kept him from the priesthood, but his bishop’s distrust of “late vocations.” Francis was ordained at the age of 51. Francis is a holy reminder that God’s call to reassess our life’s direction can reach us at any age. He founded the Society of St. Zita for maids and domestic servants, expanding it to include unmarried mothers, among others.
Fr. James Alberione, Apostle of Mass Communications
He learned from her mother to repeat Mary and it became his first word. As a priest, he organized a Catholic group composed of writers, technicians and booksellers to become evangelizers through mass media. A man of prayer, his advice to the priest-writers “the fruit of your writings depended more on your knees than on your pens, more on your masses than on your know-how.”
St. Magdalen of Canossa
Drawn by the love of God, at the age of seventeen she planned to consecrate her life to God and twice tried her vocation at a Carmel. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, the Holy Spirit urged her to follow a new path. To serve the needy without restriction, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged who are called to live, a life of complete availability to God and service towards others, willing to go to the most distant countries for the sake of this holy work.
St. Teresa of Los Andes
As a young girl growing up in Santiago, Chile, in the early 1900s, she read an autobiography of a French-born saint _Therese, popularly known as the Little Flower. At the age of 19 she became a Carmelite nun taking the name of Teresa. Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. She is Chile’s first saint.
Blessed James Oldo
The death of his love ones brought him into his own mortality. Upon the death of his wife, James determined to use whatever time he had left to build up treasures in heaven and to build God’s realm on earth. He became a priest. His house was transformed into a chapel, focused on caring for the sick and for prisoners of war. He died after contracting a disease from one of his patients.
Alphege was named archbishop of Canterbury. At that time, Danish terror returned to southern England and took the archbishop and other prominent people as hostage. Others were released on payment of ransom. But 3,000 gold crowns were demanded for the release of Alphege. He forbade his people to pay and in retaliation, he was brutally murdered. To die for justice was martyrdom.
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
A lawyer nicknamed “the poor man’s lawyer” he saw his fellow lawyers engaged in corruption and injustice, left his law career to become priest. He joined his brother as Franciscan friar of Capuchin Order. During an epidemic in the city where he was guardian of a friary, he care for and cured many sick solders.
St. Joseph, the Worker
Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius Xll instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 195. It is a constant necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
St. Gabriel Possenti
Twice during school he fell desperately ill, promised to give his life to God if he recovered, and then forgot his promise. On August day at church, Possenti saw a banner of Mary. Her eyes looked directly at him, and he heard the words “Keep your promise.” Possenti immediately joined an order of monks, taking the name Brother Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin and then became a priest. The Saint Gabriel Possenti Society seeks to have Possenti declared the patron saint of handgunners.
Clotilde, the daughter of King Chilperic of Burgunday was as good as she was beautiful, and wise. King Clovis the Great demanded that Clotidle marry him and she did. But she was sorry because he was not a Christian. She became the means of leading her husband to embrace Christianity. Soon a powerful enemy attacked him. “I will pray to Jesus for you,” Clotilde said, “and you must pray too.” Clovis won a great victory and was grateful to his wife and to Jesus.
St. Peter of Tarentaise
Peter became a Cistercian monk and eventually served as abbot. In 1142 he became archbishop of Tarentaise. Reluctant but Peter tackled his new assignment with vigor. He brought reform into his diocese. After about a decade as bishop Peter “disappeared” for a year and lived quietly as a lay brother at an abbey in Switzerland. When he was “found out,” the reluctant bishop was persuaded to return to his post. He again focused many of his energies on the poor.
St. Thomas More
As public servant, Thomas More and King Henry Vlll were friends. King Henry called him “My Thomas”. Thomas was against King Henry’s desire to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn. Enraged by the disposition of the Church, on May 16, 1532, Henry planned to liberate England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and for him as supreme head of the church of England. On that day, Thomas More resigned as Chancellor because he was above all a man of right principles. Convicted of perjury and was put to death preferring to displease the king rather than to displease God.
St. Paschal Baylon
Paschal joined the Friars Minor as a brother, spent his spare moments praying before the Blessed Sacrament. He defended the doctrine of the Real Presence against a Calvanist preacher and in the face of threats from other irate Calvinists. He asked to “Meditate well on this: Seek God above all things. It is right for you to seek God before and above everything else, because the majesty of God wishes you to receive what you ask for. This will also make you more ready to serve God and will enable you to love him more perfectly.” He was named patron of Eucharistic congresses and societies.
St. Isidro of Labrador
Isidore, a pious farmer married to Saint Mary de la Cabeza. Their son died young; they became convinced it was the will of God that they not have children and they lived together chastely the rest of their lives, doing good works. Accused by fellow workers of shirking his duties by attending Mass each day, taking time out for prayers, etc., Isidore claimed he had no choice but to follow the highest Master. One tale says that when his master came in the morning to chastise him for skipping work for church, he found angels plowing the fields in place of Isidore.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Born to some degree of privilege, she received a good education. By age 15, she had received a thorough exposure to the Bible, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and theology. It grieved her that the same opportunity was being denied to other young girls. She founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, which would focus on schools for the poor as well as boarding schools for young women of means.
St. Gregory Vll
Gregory’s papal letters stress the role of bishop of Rome as the vicar of Christ and the visible center of unity in the Church. He is well known for his long dispute with Holy Roman Emperor Henry lV over who should control the selection of bishops and abbots. He fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile. He said, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” Thirty years later the Church finally won its struggle against lay investiture.
The Holy Father instructed Boniface to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful. At 80 years old, during a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred
Founding the Premonstratensian Order was in truth a monstrous task: combating heresies (particularly regarding the Blessed Sacrament), revitalizing many of the faithful who had grown indifferent and dissolute, plus effecting peace and reconciliation among enemies. He entertained no pretensions about his own ability to accomplish this multiple task. Even with the aid of a goodly number of men who joined his Order, he realized that nothing could be effectively done without God’s power. He praised God for success.
Blessed Isidore Bakanja
Baptized at 26 years old, he died as martyr for the Scapular. For him the scapular and Rosary are badges that identifies a Christian. One night when Isidore was serving dinner at his master’s house, Longange saw Isidore’s scapular. Longange, an anti-Christian commanded Isidore to remove the scapular around his neck. A few days later, Longange noticed that the scapular was still hanging, ripped the scapular and tossed it to his dog. He was beaten and left his body at the plantation. His life shows heroic degree for the scapular devotion.
Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland
Jolenta was the daughter of the king of Hungary but her sister who was married to the Duke of Poland took her to supervise her education. Eventually married to the Duke she use her material means to assist the poor. Her husband joined her in building hospitals, convents and churches so that he was surnamed “the Pious.” Upon the death of her husband and the marriage of two of her daughters, Jolenta and her third daughter entered the convent of the Poor Clares. Her favorite devotion was the Passion of Christ.
St. Anthony of Padua
At an ordination no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words. He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.
St. Albert Chmielowski
His great talent for painting led to studies in Warsaw, Munich and Paris. He returned to Krakow and became a Secular Franciscan and took the name Albert. Reflecting on his own priestly vocation, Pope John Paul ll wrote in 1996 that Brother Albert had played a role in its formation” because I found in him a real spiritual support and example in leaving behind the world of art, literature and the theater, and in making the radical choice of a vocation to the priesthood. As a young priest, Karol Wojtyla repaid his debt of gratitude by writing The Brother of Our Lord, a play about Brother Albert’s life.
After a wasted youth, Romuald saw his father kill a relative in a duel over property. In horror he fled to a monastery near Ravenna in Italy. After three years some of the monks found him to be uncomfortably holy and eased him out. During another period of his life, as he was praying Psalm 31 (“I will give you understanding and I will instruct you”), he was given an extraordinary light and spirit which never left him. His father later became a monk, wavered and was kept faithful by the encouragement of his son.
St. Alban gave shelter to a priest fleeing persecution and they exchanged clothes. When the soldiers arrived at his house they seized him dressed in the priest’s cloak. He was brought to the judge and was meted this sentence: Since you have chosen to conceal a rebel rather than to surrender him you shall undergo all the tortures due to him if you dare to abandon the practice of our faith. Alban declared himself a Christian and willingly submitted himself to the judgment of the court. The executioner witnessed the courage of Alban and converted to Christianity.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
A son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps. His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero. But the more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints. He entered the Society of Jesus. In 1591, a plague struck Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own and he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds. Aloysius caught the disease himself and died within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later.
The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the Gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.
Maria de la Luz Camacho
There were persecutions and convents and churches were closed and turned into barracks for soldiers. Priests were thrown into prison or murdered. In 1924 when Maria was 17 years old, the National Eucharistic Congress was held in Mexico. Some bishops were arrested and thrown into prison. When the Blessed Sacrament came to Maria’s house she hardly left Him. She put flowers and sprinkled them with perfume and say: I want Jesus to remember that Maria of Coyoacan is the same as Mary of Bethany.” On December 30, 1934, 60 youths called Red Shirt planned to burn the parish church of Coyoacan in broad daylight. Maria was dressed in her best green dress with a white collar.
At age 22 she was married to 27 year-old Pierre Connelly, Episcopal curate. On September 1835, news spread that Rev. Pierce resigned his parish to study the doctrines of the Roman Catholic religion. He took Cornelia and children to New Orleans. Cornelia’s thought was “If Catholicism is true, why remain outside? The sacraments are means of grace. She had her first Holy Communion and on March 31, 1836 Pierce and Cornelia received Confirmation. Pierce later became a priest and Cornelia founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Queen Elizabeth remained King Dinis’ tender and loyal wife, and she obediently acceded to his will, even when he asked of her the utmost that any man could request of his wife: that she take into her care, and tutor, his illegitimate children. Her biographers have dubbed her the “Angel of Peace.” When he was on his deathbed, King Denis called Alfonso to his side, and entrusted Elizabeth to his care: “Look after your mother and my lady, the queen, for she remains alone. Stand by her, as is your duty...Think that having given you life, and for the many tears you have cost her, she is twice your mother.”
St. Anthony Zaccaria
He studied medicine but after graduation he never practiced it. He opted for an active Christian lifestyle. In January 1529 he was ordained to the priesthood. Now a priest his audience evolved into a structured Anthony Mary’s Oratory. To this group Anthony Mary preached his Sermons. Greatly inspired by St. Paul, Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.
St. Macrina the Younger
St. Macrina is the eldest child of nine children. Her father selected a suitable young man for her husband but the man died before their marriage. Macrina made it an excuse not to get into future marriage and claim the status of widow. She stayed with her mother and when her father died, she took care for the education and upbringing of her younger brothers. Two of his brothers became saints: St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebatea and her parents were St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. St. Gregory said “by the example and exhortation of St. Macrina, she led them along the path of sanctity.
St. Ignatius of Loyola
The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, he whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). It was during this year of conversion that he began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.
St. Alfonso de Ligorio
His father directed him to be a lawyer but quit when he was defeated in the courtroom. He was attracted to the priesthood. He achieved fame as a popular preacher in her hometown of Naples. His listeners easily understood his message which touched them to live spiritual and moral life. Founded the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer, the Order of priests called Redemptorists who preach to the rural poor. A trial in his life was having been expelled from the Order he founded as a result of having failed to read a vital document before signing it. His failing health and near blindness were not accepted as excuses.
St. Andrew Apostle
Born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, he was brother of Simon Peter, and both were fishermen. According to folklore, during a terrible drought many years ago, the farmers prayed to St. Andrew, asking him to request the good Lord to send rain. When no rain came, the people actually took down his statue from its niche and carried it up the mountain to their “milpas” or crops so that he could “see for himself” how very dry the entire region was. When it still did not rain, they resorted to beating the statue with sticks. Two days later, the rain came.
In 1950 at 14 years old, after attending mission preached by the Passionists, she experienced a “conversion.” The topic of the mission was the Way of Cross and she realized her life was more given to pleasure specially dancing which she decreased time until no dancing for whole year. She realized God wanted her to give more time to Prayer and Penance. Her thoughts of a religious life was not approved by her parents and so she entered the Catholic Action, a movement of helping the people, visiting the sick and bring religion to all they meet. Then became a Secular member of the Handmaids of the Mother of Mercy.
Santos Franco Sanchez
One day, Santos an external student at the Carmelite minor seminary suffered a severe earache. Santos told her mother. “The doctor says don’t have anything. Don’t worry about it, Mom. Let what God wants be done. I’m offering up everything to the Lord” Then, he was later diagnosed having an attack of meningitis. An ear specialist gave the sad news that it was too late for it had spread to Santos’ brain. An atheist doctor came to visit and years later declared. That child was a saint and he converted to Christianity before his death.
Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez
At 6 years old fire destroyed their house and store and sought help from their maternal aunt. He learned early that worldly goods are unstable and untrustworthy. He would often say: “The Lord shall provide, we’ll see.” When he was a teenager, he saved and bought her sister a Missal, teaching the meaning of the Mass and bring home and live what they celebrated in Church. He studied the lives of saints and said they were his friends and was fond of quoting them. There is an old saying which holds that “it rains when a saint dies”. It was shining in the morning but the funeral closed with a sudden rainstorm that almost halted the burial.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Gianna, a medical doctor from married Pietro Molla, a Brazilian engineer and also devout member of Catholic Action. They were blessed with three children. Then she had a miscarriage and got pregnant again. But towards the end of the second month of her last pregnancy Gianna began to experience pain. She made a heroic choice and asked the surgeon to operate in such a way as to save the pregnancy. Few days before delivery, she told her doctor: “If you have to choose, there should be no doubt, choose _ I demand it _ the life of the baby. Save him.” Seven days later after the birth of her child, mother Gianna died of complications in giving life to her fourth child. She is a martyr for the unborn.
Blessed Marie Leonie Paradis
Her father joined a gold hunting group to California, rarely wrote home. Worried, her mother went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Ann Varennes and on her return received a letter with a check. She entered the Novitiate of the Holy Cross in Saint Laurent with the religious name Leonie. On her father’s return he demanded her daughter to go home. Marie Leonie flung herself at the foot of the statue of Mary asking to die rather than to leave her beloved novitiate. She collapsed suffering from pulmonary hemorrhage. His loving father replied, “My daughter no longer belonged to him but to God alone.”
Blessed Mary of the Cross Mackillop
Mary became a nun on the feast of Joseph, and took the name Mary of the Cross. Indeed, Mary’s life was filled with crosses. She wrote: With the cross I am happy, but without it would be lost.” Her crosses included her being ex-communicated by the bishop but before the bishop’s death instructed a priest to find her and remove the sentence of ex-communication. Mary wrote: I think our late and much loved Bishop thought too kindly of us, and when some who did not understand our struggles and intentions spoke, perhaps too hastily of us, he believed what he heard and consequently felt bitterly disappointed in us.”
Blessed Virgin Mary
The Gospel teaches us that Jesus was perfectly obedient to his Mother while He was on earth. The apparitions show that Mary showers upon us all the love and care with which she surrounded Our Lord while he was on earth. She smiled on them; she smiled even when Bernadette sprinkled holy water as an exorcism. The children of Fatima declared that the Blessed Virgin “was so beautiful that were blinded and had often to lower our eyes.” The apparitions provide us an opportunity for Mary to show us that He continues to be so in heaven and so her own power is always the same.
St. Clelia Barbieri
On the evening of her First Holy Communion she knelt before her mother and asked for forgiveness for any wrong she had ever done. She vowed to obey her mother and asked her blessing. After receiving Holy Communion she lay prostrate before the statue of Our Lady and returned with joy shown in her face. She founded the Little Minims of Our Lady of Sorrows and instituted the practice of 13 Fridays in honor of St. Francis of Paola, founder of the Order of Minims. During her last day she reassured her companions: Be brave because I am going to paradise, but I shall always remain with you, too! I shall never abandon you.
St. Gaspar del Bufalo
Ordained priest, he established Pious Union of the Most Precious Blood. He was required to take an oath of allegiance to Emperor Napoleon if not he will be deported and he said: I cannot, I must not, I will not. When the Judge told Gaspar’s father to get Gaspar to take oath he replied: First shoot me and then my son, but don’t ask me to do that. On the day of her deportation, his mother said to a friend, “I prefer to die without my Gaspar than to see him a traitor in Rome.
Blessed Pierina Morosini
Pierina_asked her father: “If I wanted to be a sister, would you let me go, papa? Her Papa replied: “Look at the family, you earn a living for everyone. What would your mother do without you? You can do good at home, if you want, but if it is your vocation, I can’t forbid you.” Pierina stayed at home. At 16 years old, she went to Rome with young Catholic Action to attend the beatification of Maria Goretti. Walking towards her home after work, a man raped her, and was brought to the hospital by his brother who found her body as he was coming from home to meet her. Died after 2 days the doctor said, We have a new Maria Goretti.
Pope St. Pius X
Guided by his motto “to renew all things in Christ,” he implemented liturgical renewal and Biblical studies. He recommended the early age of seven in receiving the First Holy Communion, encouraged the daily Holy Communion and an easy fasting for the sick. He invited all priests to preach in a simple and direct manner. He promoted the use of sacred music during mass, reformed the Breviary and founded the Biblical Institute to promote scholarship in the study of the Scriptures. He was instrumental in the construction of the Code of Canon Law.
Blessed Rafka de Himlaya
Petronilla was named in honor of St. Peter, having been born of his feastday. She entered the novitiate at the Convent of St. Simeon of the Horn. Professed at 40 years old she took the name of her mother Rafka. Then she felt pain in her body spreading above her eyes, leaving her blind and paralytic but she did not complain. She was a mystic and was asked once, how she was able to go Church, Rafka replied, “I don’t know. I asked my Lord to help me and I suddenly felt my feet touching the ground. So, I got out of bed and dragged myself to Church.” That was the only time she left her bed during years of paralysis.
It would be nice to suppose that behind every great saint there is a saintly mother. If so, few have been so ably memorialized by their children as St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine. In his Confessions he gives her special credit for his conversion, noting that “in flesh she brought me to birth in your eternal life.” She did not cease to suffer on his behalf, praying constantly for his conversion and weeping over his sins. Finally, a sympathetic bishop reassured her: “Go now, I beg of you: it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”
Ambrose was known for his goodness and his powerful style of preaching. A professional speaker himself, Augustine was attracted by his kindly welcome. He delighted in Ambrose’s charming delivery and at first paid little attention to what was actually being said. Over time he found, however, that he could not keep the two apart. He began seriously to consider Christianity. Augustine was baptized by Ambrose in 387. His mother lived to see this great day but died soon after.
Sister Maria Aparecida
The custom then at birth of a girl was to espouse to one of the boys of the village. But this was not done because the father said she was destined to marry only a king. At eight years old, Curupira remembers his father’s words for the rest of her life. One day Curupira told the monsignor and Mother Clare of her desire to become a nun. In 1944 she had her solemn vows and married a King, Jesus Christ.
On the evening before leaving home to enter the Little Sisters of the Poor, a congregation engaged in the care of destitute aged, the parish priest brought Brigid to his library and asked her to choose any book she wished to take with her as remembrance. She chose Life of St. Teresa of Avila. She took the religious name Sis. Angeline of St. Agathe. She left the Congregation and was granted permission from Rome to begin new community to reach other aged people in need of care. She believed with St. Teresa’s Axiom _ With God, all things are possible. Mother Angeline said to a sister hesitant to take an assignment _ “I know you can’t. Neither can I, but did you ever stop to thing that Jesus and you can?”
Venerable Thecla Merlo
Teresa’s brother Costanzo entered the seminary and encountered Fr. James Alberione. Fr. Alberione told Constanzo: I need your sister to teach sewing to young girls. And in their first meeting, Fr. Alberione told Teresa to form a female apostolate of the press.” She replied “Yes”. Teresa discovered that in saying “Yes” is the secret to answering the call of God. On July 22, 1922, Teresa and eight other young women took their perpetual vows to the Institute of Pious Society of the Daughters of St. Paul. She adopted Thecla as her religious name after St. Paul’s first female companion. They spread the Word of God through the press, radio and motion pictures.
Blessed Peter Torot
Peter obtained a catechist’s diploma. He was particularly devoted to those who had fallen away from the practice of the Faith. He explained how much God loved them and eager to forgive them. Many returned to their faith. During World War ll, Peter was charged with holding religious assemblies and with interfering with Japanese plan to promote polygamy. He was sent to jail and one day asked his wife to bring his catechist clothes so when asked to meet God he is properly dressed. On the day of his death, he said: I am here (jail) because of those who broke their marriage vows and those who do not want the growth of God’s Kingdom.
Dr. Agnes McLaren
At 39 years old she entered the medical school in Montpellier, France. She attended services at the Catholic Church, yet remained a Protestant. At age 61, she received conditional Baptism. At 72 years old, she traveled to India and founded St. Catherine’s Hospital and wrote letters to Vatican asking to send medical women to India. What Agnes did was to plant the seed of her idea in Rome. She did not live to see it flower. In 1925, Dr. Dengel founded the first community of Medical Mission Sisters in Washington, D.C. Dr. McLaren’s plea to Rome came in 1936. Rome issued Instruction which confirmed work of the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries and also urged other communities to educate sisters as doctors for the missions.
Fr. Emil Kapaun
He was a bright student and interested in magazines about foreign missions. Each month he sent to the publication spiritual bouquet of prayers and sacrifices he had said and done for the missions. Being poor, Emil wrote to the Columban fathers and agreed to accept him with no financial assistance. The parish priest paid for his transportation in going to the seminary. Ordained a priest and then applied as auxiliary chaplain in the army air base in Kansas. Later enlisted in the Armed Forces. In an invasion into Korea, Fr. was captured and he said to one of the men _ If I don’t come back tell my bishop that I died a happy death. He died 3 or 4 days later.
Mother Lurana Mary
She was a postulant of the Sisters of the Holy Child. After a year, she doubted her vocation with the Angelican Sisters and left. In 1899, she founded with Fr. Paul a residence called Palace of Lady Poverty. The founders realized that the particular mission that God was calling them was to preach Christian unity and to call their Episcopalian brethren to Roman Church. The happiness of Mother Lurana was her reception into the Roman Catholic Church. She was also privileged to see her own mother and a sister became a convert. She was called “Woman of Unity”. The Society of the Atonement congregation work for the development of Christian faith communities.
Fr. Peter Pavlicek, OFM
Otto had an older brother, Joseph. In 1914 the First World War broke out and their father was sent to the front. In the same year Joseph fell gravely ill and the doctor told Otto that his brother will not live through to the morning. Otto went to the window, looked up to Heaven and said in a soft voice: “Mother, please help us!” Joseph lived and many years later Otto _ by now Fr. Peter _ referred to this experience in a report: “When, at that time, in my anguish I sent up a cry to Heaven “Mother, please help us!” I was thinking of our departed mother. Later I became aware of the fact that probably our mother had asked the Blessed Virgin to intercede with her Divine Son and that thus my prayer had been heard..”
It was 2nd February 1946 _ the Feast of Candlemas, when Fr. Peter laid everything at Our Lady’s feet and Mary did not disappoint him. He clearly heard the voice that answered him: “Do what I tell you, and Austria will have peace.” He instituted the Rosary Crusade for the Peace of the World. We say the Rosary because it is the Church most powerful prayer and finally why in Austria? Because it was from here that the outrage started, therefore reconciliation must also come from here. Hitler was born in Austria. By founding the worldwide Association of Prayer, Fr. Peter has taught and inspired millions to pray.
Martyrs of Birmingham
On September 15, 1963 someone tossed a dynamite at the window of a Baptist Church in Birmingham. Alabama. The explosion took the lives of four young girls and injured 20 others. The girls had just finished their Sunday school lesson. In Birmingham, there were demonstrations to cry for justice and racial equality. King Martin Luther delivered a eulogy at the funeral calling them martyred heroines of a lovely crusade for freedom and human dignity. He expressed hope that their deaths would awaken the conscience of Birmingham and stop hatred and division.
Blessed Carmelites of Guadalajara
On the night of July 22, 1936, 18 Carmelite nuns at Guadalajara received Holy Communion. They hung a small scapular in the chapel begging Our Lady and St. Joseph to protect their monastery. Almost immediately after the nuns escaped the Reds took possession of the monastery and not destroyed it as was their original intent. The three sisters _ Sr. Mary Angel of St. Joseph, Sr. Mary Pilar of St. Francis Borgia, and Sr. Teresa of the Child Jesus were shot. Five years later, their bodies were discovered and brought back in a solemn funeral procession and placed in a crypt in the monastery and Pope John Paul ll beatified them.
A member of Opus Dei, she learned the tragic news from the doctor that she had bone cancer. She wrote Msgr. Josemaria Escriva, the founder asking him to pray that she would know how to be strong and offer her sufferings for the work of Opus Dei. On November 11, 1958 she went to Rome and met Msgr. Escriva who suggested they had picture together. Back home she received the blessing of the sick. On the morning of Holy Thusday, Montse tried to sit to see the picture of Our Lady in front of her bed and whispered her last words: How much I love you. When are you coming to take me?”
St. Albert of Jerusalem
He drew the Carmelite formula of life of continual prayer, meditation on the word of God, silence, recollection and detachment and contact with God. On September 14, 1214 during a procession at St, John of Acre he was killed by knife-wound inflicted by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit whom Albert had removed from office because of his evil life.
St. Albert of Sicily
Born after 26 years of marriage, naturally his parents promised to consecrate him to the Lord. But when he was still young, the father wanted to arrange a marriage for him but the wife told her husband to honor their vow. Albert joined the Carmelites of Trapans and ordained a priest. He was sent to Messina which he freed from famine. Some ships loaded with food miraculously passed through. He became a Provincial Superior of Carmelites of Sicily and died at Messina on August 7, 1307.
St. Andrew Corsini
A story was told that on Christmas night of 1373, the Blessed Virgin Mary advised Andrew of his death. Andrew left a testament stating his wish to be buried in the Carmel of Florence but the priest of Fiesole buried him in their own city. The religious of Florence did not give up perhaps with the consent of the new bishop, Neri Corsini, a brother of Andrew, they came to Fiesole on the night of February 2, stole the body and carried it to Florence and exposed for 3 days in the view of people and then buried. After 12 years, his incorrupt body was placed in a monument erected in the Church of Carmel. In a fire in 1771, the monument was destroyed but her body was saved and like that of his brother Neri still preserved today in the cloister of the Holy Spirit.
St. Francis of Assisi
At a young age he was carefree, enjoyed social life and engaged in military projects. Captured, he spent a year in prison. At age 23 he had a gradual conversion which finally led him to renounce his former life and his father’s wealth to the point of standing naked in front of people. He shared his belongings to the poor. Lord God, maker of all living creatures inspired St. Francis to call all animals his brothers and sisters. He is the Patron Saint of the Animals and Environment.
The Lord granted Sr. Mary Faustina with great graces: with the gift of contemplation, with a deep knowledge of the mystery of the mercy of God, with visions, revelations, the hidden stigmata, with the gift of prophecy and of reading into human souls, and also with the RARE gift of MYSTICAL ESPOUSALS. As lavishly gifted as she was, this is what she wrote: “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God…My sanctity and perfection is based upon the close union of my will with the will of God.”
St. Teresa of Avila
She wrote: Poor spiritual direction can wreak untold harm. Teresa suffered for many years at the hands of incompetent directors. The task of direction requires discretion, prudence, a humility that does not impose one’s own way on another or allow for a desire to control others, and a profound love of the Lord illumined by one’s own experiential mystical knowledge. But she later met St. Francis Borgia who assured her that what was happening to her was the action of God and St. Peter of Alcantara who enlightened her. All things passes, alone God suffices.
St. Dominic Savio
Savio met Don Bosco for the first time on 2 October 1854. At the end of that first meeting, Savio entrusted himself to Don Bosco: “I am the cloth and you are the tailor. You will work on me to make something beautiful for Jesus.” Six months after staying at Don Bosco’s school., he heard Don Bosco talk about three points to sainthood: 1. that it is God’s will that each one should become a saint; 2. that it is easy to become a saint; 3. that there is a great reward waiting in heaven for those who try to become saints. His prompt reply to Don Bosco was: “I want you to help me to become a saint. I want to give up everything to Jesus and for always.”
Our Lady of Medjugorje
Our Lady’s Messages from Medjugorje regarding holiness, the visionaries said: Mary taught us how to progress to holiness. By following her, we begin to live the life of Heaven from this earth. On January 25, 1993, Mary told visionary Marija Pavlovic that her appearances in Medjugorje were meant to help people discern the signs of the times. May every hatred and jealousy disappear from your thoughts. May there only dwell love for God and your neighbor.
Fr. Joseph Skelton
African American born Protestant and converted to Catholicism. He became a priest because he said: I knew there was something missing. I answered his call and today, I have found what I was looking for.” He was ordained in the diocese of Bohol. The locals call him “Ang Totoong Pari” because they always see him in his long white sotana everywhere he goes, even in the middle of a scorching day. He loves celebrating mass in Latin and listens to confessions in an old confessional box.
Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew
In her youth she was a shepherdess, but already graced by deep mystical experiences. In 1570 she joined the Discalced Carmelite nuns of the first monastery of St. Joseph in Avila as the first lay sister of the reform. She became the assistant and travel companion of the reformer, who ordered Anne to learn to write, which she did almost miraculously.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Tells us the need to persist in prayer. In prayer one must hold fast and never let go. Why? In this game, he who gives up loses all. If it seems that no one is listening to you, then cry out still louder. If you are driven out of one door, go back by the other. If you are told, as was the Caanite woman that you do not deserve the grace for which you are asking, then reply like her that you lay no claim to unusual favors but only hope to eat the crumbs which fall from the divine table.
UST, LETRAN Alumni up for beatification
In the biggest beatification ever in history, Pope Benedict XV1, will beatify on October 28, a total of 498 martyrs of the communist persecutions during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, a number of them Spanish Dominicans who had either taught or studied at the University of Santo Tomas and the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila. Leading those to be beatified are Fr. Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, Fr. Jesus Villaverde Andres, Fr. Antonio Varona Ortega, and Inocencio Garcia Diez.
St. Edmund Campion
He abandoned the Angelican Church and formally reconciled by Roman Catholic Church entering the Society of Jesus. He was arrested and confined in the Tower of London. Brought before Queen Elizabeth, he was offered pardon if he return to the Protestant Ministry. Refused for he recognize the Queen for her temporal authority but not on matters of religion. He was executed.
St. Albert the Great
Endowed with the talent of combining human wisdom with divine faith. He distinguished himself by promoting Sacred Heart Devotion in a special way.
St. Margaret of Scotland
Married Malcolm lll inspite of her leanings toward a religious life to whom she had eight children. Through her influence over her husband and his court, she promoted the interests of the English population.
Our Lady of Penafrancia
One night, Simon Rolan of Paris heard a voice saying, go to Pena de-Francia and look for an image of the Virgin. He went around Francia but could not find and decided to go back to Paris but then he heard a voice, “Don’t lose hope. You will be rewarded for your hardships.” Then one day after mass he asked a man, “Please show me where I can find Pena de Francia. And the man pointing to a mountain said, “Below that mountain is Pena de Francia. They went to the cave and in the morning the Lady and Jesus appeared instructing them to dig and will see the image.
Bishop of Myra in Lycia (now part of Turkey). Known as Santa Claus. Nicholas rescued three young girls whose father was about to sell them into prostitution. Nicholas tossed into the window of their house, the dowry needed for his children. Jolly Santa Claus is the source of toys and treats and protector of those whose lives and innocence remain threatened today because of violence, poverty and exploitation.
St. Damasus 1, Pope
“He who walking on the sea could calm the bitter waves, who gives life to the dying seeds of the earth; he who was able to loose the mortal chains of death, and after three days’ darkness could bring again to the upper world the brother for his sister Martha:, he, I believe, will make Damasus rise again from the dust” (epitaph Damasus wrote for himself).
Our Lady of Guadalupe
When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas, on December 12, we learn two important lessons, one of faith and one of understanding. The first lesson is that God has chosen Mary to lead us to Jesus. The second lesson we take from Mary herself. Mary appeared to Juan Diego not as a European Madonna but as a beautiful Aztec princess speaking to him in his own Aztec language. If we want to help someone appreciate the gospel we bring, we must appreciate the culture and the mentality in which they live their lives. By understanding them, we can help them to understand and know Christ.
Lucy knew of the heroism of earlier virgin martyrs. She remained faithful to their example, and to the example of the carpenter, whom she knew to be the Son of God. She is the patroness of eyesight. Through the centuries many thousands of little girls have been proud of the name Lucy.
St. John of the Cross
John is a saint because his life was a heroic effort to live up to his name: “of the Cross.” The folly of the cross came to full realization in time. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34b) is the story of John’s life. The Paschal Mystery _ through death to life _ strongly marks John as reformer, mystic-poet and theologian-priest.
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” In their sight Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. When Lazarus died a second time, perhaps he was without fear. He must have been sure that Jesus, the friend with whom he had shared many meals and conversations, would be waiting to raise him again. We don’t share Lazarus’ firsthand knowledge of returning from the grave. Nevertheless, we too have shared meals and conversations with Jesus, who waits to raise us, too.
Blessed Anthony Grassi
Nothing provides a better reason for reassessing a life than a brush with death. At age 29, Anthony’s life already seemed to be on track when he was struck by lightning, while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was a brilliant priest blessed, at last, with serenity. But his experience softened him. He became a loving counselor and a wise mediator.
Blessed Pope Urban V
The cardinals had at first elected the brother of Pope Clement V1 (1342-52), but he declined. When the cardinal-electors could not agree on an alternative from among their own numbers, they turned to Abbot Grimoard because of his reputation for probity and sanctity. Although he was on a diplomatic mission in Naples at the time, the abbot was elected unanimously.
St. Francis of Assisi Christmas at Greccio
What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223. Francis resolved to create the manger he had seen at Bethlemen. The ideal spot was a cave in nearby Greccio. He would find a baby, hay upon which to lay him, an ox and an ass to stand beside the manger. At the appointed time people of the town arrived carrying torches and candles. One of the friars began celebrating Mass. Francis himself gave the sermon.
Stephen was a deacon in the early Christian Church. He spoke about Jesus, showing that He is the Savior, God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him. But Stephen looked up to Heaven and said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. His hearers plugged their ears and refused to listen to another word. They dragged St. Stephen outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death.
St. Basil the Great
St. Basil said: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor: the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”
From Apostolic times, the Church professed that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11). Although St. Paul might claim credit for promoting devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus because of what he wrote in Philippians, this devotion became popular because of 12th century Cistercian monks and nuns but especially through the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena, a 15th century Franciscan.
Blessed Angela of Foligno
Angela married, with three sons and wealthy. But, at 37 years old, life seemed to be a burden and so she prayed to St. Francis. The tragic circumstance of losing her entire family led to a discernment, seeing the hand of God leading her to a life of penance and prayer. Went to a pilgrimage to Assisi and experienced God’s love and gave away all her property, then lived on alms. Founded the Third Order of St. Francis, a family of Tertiaries men and women.
St. Raymond of Penyafort
A lawyer, and canonist, he had written for confessors a book of cases. The law can become an end in itself, so that the value the law was intended to promote is overlooked. But we must guard against going to the opposite extreme and seeing law as useless or something to be lightly regarded. Laws ideally state those things that are for the best interests of everyone and make sure the rights of all are safeguarded. From him, we can learn a respect for law as a means of serving the common good.
John the Gardener, Servant of God
Entered the Franciscan. A monastery garden was tended well to feed the community, not to make the grounds pretty. John saw to it that the refectory table was well supplied. But he also added a bit of beauty, growing flowers to enhance the chapel. God is surely pleased when we add a bit of beauty to the world _ especially when we warm it with an act of forgiveness. For, as John insisted, forgiveness is the loveliest thing in God’s eyes. Because of his work in the garden and the flowers he produced for the altar, he became known as “the gardener.”
St. Paul the Hermit
During the persecution of Decius in Egypt, Paul was forced to hide in the home of a friend. Fearing a brother-in-law would betray him, he fled in a cave in the desert, planning to return once the persecution ended. However, the sweetness of solitude and heavenly contemplation convinced him to stay. The will and direction of God are seen in the circumstances of our lives. Led by the grace of God, we are free to respond with choices that bring us closer to and make us more dependent upon the God who created us. Those choices might at times seem to lead us away from our neighbor. But ultimately they lead us back both in prayer and in fellowship to one another.
Venerable Edel Quinn
An Irish, she lived the life of a contemplative, with the Eucharist as the center of her days and wrote in her diary, “What desolation life would be without the Eucharist. More than anything else, I believe in the power of prayer.” She became a Legion of Mary and when she was free to enter the convent, she became sick and was taken instead to a sanitarium. When she was discharged she was sent to Africa to establish the Legion of Mary. Her work was crowned with success beyond human expectation and she was able to establish hundreds of presidia (local units) over many vicariates.
St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
She turned down offers of love from many prosperous suitors because she had consecrated herself as virgin to God. A spurned suitor denounced her as Christian and she was brought to court. Nothing could change her mind to offer incense to their gods and when the judge ordered her to be placed in a prostitution den, nobody dared to lay a finger on her for they saw her powerful aura of purity. Then she was ordered beheaded and she went to the execution place very happy. Martyr at 13 years old.
St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr
Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia. Hunger and torture failed to break them. Finally, a compromise was made: Would Vincent at least give up the sacred books to be burned according to the emperor’s edict. He would not. Vincent was thrown into a filthy prison cell _ and converted the jailer. Strangely enough, Vincent was given some rest. But he was to have no earthly rest, for when his friends among the faithful finally settled him on a comfortable bed, he went to his eternal rest.
Blessed Mother Marianne Cope
Though leprosy scared off most people in the 19th-century Hawaii, the disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, called her life “a wonderful work of divine grace.” Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, “She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.”
The final visit of Bernadet to the grotto was on July 16, 1858, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And there were reports of cures from the spring. Bernadet or her family never received any money from people. Not only did Bernadet always and absolutely refuse to accept any kind of gift, and people became convinced that Our Lady herself had instructed Bernadet that this rule was to be observed. One time, when Bernadet found out that her brother failed to refuse a coin that someone had practically forced on him, she boxed his ears and made him return the money.
Benedict XVI announced he will dispense with the five-year waiting period established by Canon Law to open the cause of beatification of Sister Lucia. It begins three years after her death. She saw the vision with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were beatified by John Paul ll in Fatima, in 2000. The mortal remains of the Carmelite nun were moved in 2006 to the Shrine of Fatima. The body of the nun who died at 97 is buried next to Jacinta. Francisco is buried in the same basilica.
Agar, Slave Woman
Agar was an outsider, foreigner, slave yet it was she who sees God and names Him in turn as the God who sees. Her experience discloses that Yahweh is a God of life and liberation who hears the voice of the oppressed. Thus, her deliverance in the desert prefigures the later deliverance of Abram’s descendants from slavery in Egypt. Agar is a witness to the power of God who makes a way out of no way.
Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto
The Church is always very cautions about endorsing alleged apparitions, but it has seen benefits from people changing their lives because of the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Prayer for sinners, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and praying the rosary _ all these reinforce the Good News Jesus came to preach. In his homily at their beatification, Pope John Paul ll recalled that shortly before Francisco died, Jacinta said to him, “Give my greetings to Our Lord and to Our Lady and tell them that I am enduring everything they want for the conversion of sinners.”
St. Peter Damian
Peter escaped poverty and the neglect of his own brother. He suffered but not lost trust and confidence in God’s goodness. Later his other brother, who as archpriest of Ravenna took him and sent him to good schools, entered the seminary, became priest, a professor, abbot and then cardinal. He warned against violations of poverty and too comfortable living. He preferred examples and stories rather than theory in his writings.
Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio
Sebastian sailed to Mexico and began working in the fields. He built roads to facilitate agricultural trading and other commerce. His 466-mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas took 10 years to build. In time he was a wealthy farmer and rancher. He entered virginal marriage twice and both died young. At age 72 Sebastian distributed his good among the poor and entered the Franciscan as a brother. He went out collecting alms for the friars and earned him the nickname “Angel of Mexico.”
St. Peter Bautist
St. Peter Bautist was born in Spain. In 1581, he sailed for the Philippines with a group of friars arriving in Manila in 1584. He is considered, the founder of San Francisco del Monte and the patron of the church and friary now known as San Pedro Bautista. In 1592, he was sent under the authority of Philip ll of Spain as an ambassador to Japan. With five other friars, he labored zealously, converting many to the faith. A fierce persecution broke out. On a hill in Nagasaki, on February 5, 1597, they were crucified and run through with spears.
When nobles in Hungary were dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir’s father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father but the army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the “enemy”, some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. Casimir returned home which irked his father was irked. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor’s daughter.
St. John Joseph of the Cross
At 16 he joined the Franciscans in Naples, John’s reputation for holiness promoted his superiors to put him in charge of establishing a new friary even before he was ordained. Obedience moved John to accept appointments as novice master, guardian and, finally provincial. His years of mortification enabled him to offer these services to the friars with great charity. As guardian he was not above working in the kitchen or carrying the wood and water needed by the friars.
Servant of God Sylvester of Assisi
Sylvester once sold Francis stones which were to be used to rebuild a church. When he saw Francis and Bernard of Quintavalle distributing Bernard’s wealth to the poor, Sylvester complained and asked for more money which Francis obliged. The handful of money he gave Sylvester soon filled him with guilt. He sold all of his goods, began a life of penance and joined Francis and the others.
St. Paul, the Simple
Paul, a humble farmer in Egypt, discovered at 60 years old the infidelity of his wife. He set off to be a monk, knocking at the door of St. Anthony’s cell. Anthony told him to go to a cenobium for he lives alone, only eating once very five days. He shut the door, and Paul remained outside. On the fourth day St. Anthony, fearing lest he should die, took him in. He subjected him to rather conventional kinds of texts which he followed. He became an ideal monk and the so called ”Pride of the Desert,” bearing with honor the title “the Simple.”
St. Fina (Seraphina)
Fina was struck with an illness that deformed and paralyzed her. She lay for six years on wooden planks. The only way she could bear the pain was to concentrate on Jesus as he was nailed to the cross. “I unite my sufferings to yours, Jesus,” she would whisper. Sometimes, when the pain was horrible, she would say, “It is not my wounds but yours, O Christ, that hurt me.” Fina became devoted to St. Gregory the Great, who himself had endured tremendous sufferings. St. Gregory appeared to her and said kindly, “Child, on my feast day God will grant you rest.” On March 12, 1253, St. Gregory came to take Fina to heaven .
St. Leander of Seville
The third local Council of Toledo (over which he presided in 589) decreed the consubstantiality of the three Persons of the Trinity and brought about moral reforms. The first to introduce the Nicene Creed at Mass in the sixth century. He saw it as a way to help reinforce the faith of his people and as an antidote against the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. They were four saints in the family that include St. Isidore, who succeeded him as a bishop of Seville, St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Écija and their sister St. Florentina who was an abbess.
Matilda of Saxony, Queen
She had three sons: Otto, afterwards emperor; Henry, duke of Bavaria who is known as "the Quarrelsome"; and Saint Bruno, archbishop of Cologne. His two sons (Otto and Henry) conspired to strip her of her dowry, on the unjust charge that she had squandered away the revenues of the state on the poor. She retired to her country home but was later reconciled to his sons who restored her all they had taken. After 32 years as widow, Matilda entered one of the convents she had founded.
St. John Eudes
He founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) at Caen. He shared with St. Mary Margaret Alacoque the honor of initiating devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, popularizing the Mass for the Sacred Heart in 1668 and the Holy Heart of Mary, popularizing devotions with his “The Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus” a month before his death at Caen on August 19th.
St. Joseph, the Spouse of Mary
Joseph is born from Mary who was betrothed to Joseph who was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals to us that God loves the just and many times chooses them for an important mission, protects them and does not join them to the impious. A constant idea in the Bible is the dream as a privileged place where God makes his projects and designs known, and sometimes reveals the future. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph to reveal to him God’s design.
In my program about the lives of Saints, I learned that they are of diverse backgrounds _popes, kings, queens, beggars, wives, children, single and religious people. But all saints have common traits:
1. Strive to love. St. Paul say: If I speak in human and angelic tongue but do not have love _ I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
2. Challenge society. St. Francis of Assisi said “If you would sanctify society, sanctify yourself.
3. Trust God. St. Philip Neri wrote “And be very sure that if God wants anything of you, you will be fit and strong enough for the work.
4. Want to be saints. St. Catherine of Siena explained _ All the way to heaven is heaven.
5. Enjoy created things. St. John of the Cross tells us our desire for human pleasures become an obstacle to our love for Christ only when they are greater than our desire for Jesus.
The lives of saints show us the possibility of living in the world and reaching the state of Christian perfection. It may not be easy at first, but their legacies show that when the soul becomes acquainted with God, having an intimate relationship with Him, it hungers and thirst for more of His love. Their souls were raised to heaven for their fervent prayers, holy meditations and reading pious books on various devotions and performing works of mercy.
A constant idea in the Bible is the dream as a privileged place where God makes his projects and designs known, and sometimes reveals the future. In Genesis we have the dreams of Jacob and Betel, Joseph his son, and the dreams of Pharoah.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph (Mt. 1:20) in a dream to reveal to him God’s design, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
My twin very often would tell me she had a dream. Sometimes I jokingly respond _ “What’s God telling you this time. I’m afraid we are going somewhere again!”
True enough, she said she was awakened with dream of our late father Bisting. That dream led us to Iba, Zambales. The faithful under then Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. welcomed the 12-foot statue of God the Father on September 5 where it stayed until October 4. It was a unique way of celebrating the 27th death anniversary of our father who died October 3, 1973.
St. Joseph, exemplifies the Christian attitude toward life’s many mysteries, a man of faith and humility he obeys God’s designs for his life. Faced by the difficult task of printing what touched me on the lives of saints I have shared in my radio program, to be included in our website www.ortegatwins.com
, I assumed the same attitude of St. Joseph and all the saints with all humility to obey, all for the greater honor and glory of God.
Words of encouragement have inspired me to continue with the program despite various commitments of being a wife, mother, manager of the Philippine Information Agency and founder of Pater Noster Learning Center, Sunday devotions to Ina Poonbato, secular member of the Discalced Carmelites.
At the outset, Msgr. Formoso said that the program have a positive response; Msgr. David William Antonio had heard my program on the life of Cardinal Richard Cushing; On October 31, 2005 I got a text message from then station manager, Fr. Arwin Rebollido saying: Congratulations! That was a nice catechism manang!” and Rev. Simeon Peralta admitted I know more on the lives of saints than he does.
Fr. Edwin Fontanilla of the diocese of La Union said, you sound like a child on air. Whether it was a complement or not, I take it positively for I want to be understood by the listeners. I am on air to inspire and that calls to be easily understood even by a child. Aside from priests, there are those who approach me saying they listen to my program.
According to Feliza Rabang, the wife of the late Architect Pablo Rabang when 4 p.m. is approaching he would ask her to ready the radio. One lady told me that her father at times would comment that he could not understand when I speak in English. Thus, as much as possible I consult the Ilocano dictionary to lessen my words in English.
May this compilation on the lives of saints that had touched me, a work of 3 H’s _ hands, head and heart inspire you to be an artist for the Lord, just like the saints.
Saints are men of every period and place.
Christ is their Light;
Christ is their Way;
Christ is their Bread; and
Christ is their Life.
‘Give me souls,’ pray the Saints.
‘Give us Saints,’ we pray _
Saints in our times and in our country!