4/28 St Stephen

Today, April 28, we celebrate the life and works of St Stephen, Patron of Stonemasons. St Stephen was appointed as a caretaker of one of the churches by the original 12 Apostles because they realized that they needed people to be the caregivers of such places and look after the widows and the poor. He was ordained as a deacon with six other men and left to do his work. He was a man that spoke all of the time of God and the works that He had done. He spoke of Jesus and how he was the Savior of the world. His heart was full of God’s love and many miracles happened through him.

This didn’t sit well with others, those that didn’t want God’s Word to be heard. They viewed St Stephen as the enemy. So they devised a plot. They couldn’t stand up to him in an argument because he was wiser than they. He had an answer for everything that they said. Instead they spread lies about him, talking about how he was talking sinfully about God, that he was lying and telling stories. People gathered in anger against him, but he merely continued as he always had, talking about the wonders of God, how Jesus was Lord and Savior. They wouldn’t listen. They plugged their ears and simply dragged him from the city of Jerusalem where he was martyred. Even so, his last moments were filled with God, with asking him to take his spirit into His open arms and for Him to forgive his enemies for what they had done to him.

God Bless him and may the joy of the Lord fill us so completely as it did St Stephen.

4/27 St Marculf

Today, April 27, we celebrate the life and works of St Marculf, Patron Saint who cured skin diseases. St Marculf was born in Bayeux, Gaul to noble parents that wanted him to follow in their footsteps and take over the family business. That wasn’t the path that St Marculf wanted to follow. He knew even at a young age that his life was meant for something more. He was ordained at the age of thirty and began doing missionary work at Coutances soon after. However, even that wasn’t enough to cover what it was that the male wanted to do with his life. He wanted to live as a hermit and was ready to dedicate all of his time to this.

In the end he was granted land by king Childebert of Nanteuil. He set up a place on that land far from others to live his life out as a hermit. This attracted numerous disciples and he had built a monastery where he was abbot. It became a great pilgrimage center after he left this world to join the Lord.

God Bless him and may we also follow the path that God has set for us regardless of what others want us to do.

4/26 St Aileran

Today, April 26, we celebrate the life and works of St Aileran. St Aileran was renowned for his knowledge and proud of being a scholar. He was a monk, biographer and scholar and known as Sapiens the Wise. He was one of the most distinguished professors at the school of Clonard in Ireland and even went on to become the rector of the school. Many of his works that were published are still read today. These works include the Fourth Life of St Patrick, a Latin-Irish litany, the Lives of St Brigid and St Fechin of Fore as well as a treatise on the genealogy of Christ.

He was a man that believed in knowledge being power and there was no knowledge as powerful as that which involved faith and religion. He was devoted to spreading God’s word to others and used his knowledge to provide extensive amounts of such.

God Bless him and may we also have such devotion in our relationships with God.

4/25 St Catherine of Senia

Today, April 25, we celebrate the life and works of St Catherine of Senia, Patron of Fire Prevention. St Catherine came from a really large family, being the 25th child born to a wool dyer in northern Italy. She started having mystical experiences when she was only around six years old, seeing guardian angels as clearly as if they were people standing right before her. She knew then that her life was going to be dedicated towards God and furthering the spread of His love and Word throughout the world.

She became a Dominican tertiary at the age of 16 and continued to have visions even into her later life, seeing angels, Christ, Mary, and the saints at any given time. She was a brilliant theologian, especially for her day and especially considering she had no formal education. She even persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon in 1377. She was a wonderful woman that was fully enriched and in love with her religious life. She felt as if her life was fulfilled and filled with many glorious and wonderful chances to do more for God.

God Bless her and may we also have such passion and fire when it comes to spreading God’s love to others and letting Him shine through us.

4/24 St Zita

Today, April 24, we celebrate the life and works of St Zita, Patron Saint of domestic workers. She was born to a poor, but holy Catholic family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. For Zita, she made a point of always trying to do God’s will obediently whenever it was point to her by her mother. It was at the age of 12 that St Zita because a housekeeper in the household of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy. This was 8 miles from her family and home in Monte Sagrati. She ended up staying with this family for 48 years of her life. She always found time to attend Mass and to recite her prayer as well as to carry out the duties that had been assigned to her.

Originally her employers were upset by her generous gifts to the poor of food, but it didn’t take long before they were won over by her diligence, good works, patience and goodness. She was to become a good friend of the family. She was even given free reign over her working schedule and made a point of fitting in time to visit the sick and those in prison to share God’s love.

God Bless her and may we also work hard to show God in our lives in everything we do, no matter how big or small.

4/23 St Peter Chanel

Today, April 23, we celebrate the life and works of St Peter Chanel, Patron Saint of Oceania. Born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France, his intelligence and simple piety brought him to the attention of the local priest who saw to his elementary education. Father Trompier had every intention of showing St Peter the way towards dedicating his life to God and doing His good works. Entering the diocesan Seminary, he easily won both the affection and esteem of the students and professors. After his ordination, he was sent to a country parish that was rather rundown. He spent the three years that he was there completely revilatilizing it.

However, he wanted to do more than that. He wanted to go on missionary work. It was in 1831 that he was able to follow this dream and joined the newly formed Society of Mary which concentrated on missionary work at home and abroad. However, instead of this taking him to far off lands to spread the Word of God, he was appointed to teach at the Seminary at Belley and would remain there for the next five years. This wouldn’t be the end of his work towards missions though. At the end of his time teaching, he was given the position of Superior of a little band of missionaries that was sent to New Hebrides in the Pacific to proclaim the Faith to its inhabitants.

He was so excited. It took 10 months to reach their destination and, once there, they split up to go to the smaller islands to spread the Faith. He went to the Island of Futuna with a laybrother and an English layman, Thomas Boog. They were well received by the pagans and their king, but the kings jealousy and fear were aroused when the missionaries learned the language and gained the people’s confidence. It became obvious to the king that if his people adopted the Catholic Faith he would lose the abolition of some of the prerogatives he enjoyed. When his son expressed interest in being baptized, it was the king’s last straw. He ordered a band of his warriors to attack the missionaries and they were martyred.

God Bless him and may we also not stop in our desire to follow the path that we feel God has laid out for us no matter where it might lead us.

4/22 St Cletus

Today, April 22, we celebrate the life and works of St Cletus. St Cletus was the third bishop of Rome and followed in the footsteps of St Linus. Because of the circumstances alone of his appointment, it shows his virtue for what it was among the first disciples of St Peter in the West. He was an immensely virtuous man. He sat in this highly esteemed position for 12 years, from the year 76 to the year 89 and did many things that are still used today.

There are many documents that show him to be the martyr that most believed him to be. He was a man that was devout and extremely skilled towards the religious works of his time. He worked hard to bring God to the lives of those that were in his charge and spread the love that he felt every day from God. When he left this world to be with the Heavenly Father, he was buried near St Linus on the Vatican and his relics are still at the church to this day.

God Bless him and may we also live our lives to the fullest in the pursuit of God and spreading His wisdom and love to the world.

4/21 St Mark

Today, April 21, we celebrate the life and works of St Mark, Patron Saint of notaries. He wrote the second Gospel and, in the New Testament, is sometimes referred to as John Mark. It wasn’t just him that was held in high esteem during the early years of the Church, but also his mother, Mary. It was her home in Jerusalem that served as a meeting place for many Catholics there. He traveled quite a bit with St Paul and St Barnabas through the island of Cyprus and ended up accompanying St Barnabas, his cousin, alone on many other journeys. There is also many stories of him in Rome with St Peter and St Paul. It was he that founded the Church of Alexandria.

His greatest work, of course, was writing the second Gospel, which he likely wrote while in Rome before the year 60 A.D. It was originally written in Greek because he wanted to make it easy for the Gentile converts to be reached with God’s Word. St Mark was requested by the Romans to write down the teachings of St Peter and this is something he set out to do. The second Gospel is supposed to be record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles.

God Bless him and may we also spread God’s Word in whatever fashion we are best equipped to do so.

4/20 St Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Today, April 20, we celebrate the life and works of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen. St Fidelis was not originally born as such. His birth name was Mark Rey and he was born in Sigmaringen, Germany in 1577. He was actually a lawyer that took to traveling across Europe to tutor to aristocrats, but he found himself defending the poor more often than he would work with the aristocrats. It’s not surprising that he decided to stop practicing law and turn his life towards doing other things he deemed to be more important. This led to him becoming a Franciscan Capuchin monk and taking on the name of Fidelis.

He quickly became a missionary, going to such places as Grisons, Switzerland where he worked tirelessly towards bringing the Word of God to those that were there. However, the local Protestants thought that he was so good at what he was doing, that he couldn’t really be genuine and they claimed that he was actually a spy for the Austrian Emperor. This led to him being martyred.

God Bless him and may we also turn our lives towards spreading God’s Word to others joyfully and tirelessly.

4/19 St George

Today, April 19, we celebrate the life and works of St George, Patron of Boy Scouts, England, Germany, Portugal, and soldiers. If you were to sit down and read the legends and the legendary acts that surround St George, many would think there was no way this man could have possible existed, let alone been a religious man devoted to God. Historians don’t dispute that St George was indeed a real person and was martyred for his faith. Some of the legendary acts include being martyred three times, but each time he was brought back to life by the power of God. Besides this we have dead men brought to life to be baptized, wholesale conversions, armies and idols destroyed instantaneously, beams of timber suddenly bursting into leaf, and finally milk flowing instead of blood from the martyr’s severed head.

The best known legend regarding St George happens to be that of him slaying the dragon. It is said that a dragon was ravaging the land, known as Selena. He made his home in a marshy swamp and caused great horrors and problems for the townspeople if he ever came near to the village. To try to appease him, the townspeople offered up two sheep a day to keep him away and feed him. When this didn’t satisfy the beast, they would offer a human sacrifice. There came a day when the king’s daughter was chosen to be this sacrifice. He tried desperately to find another to take her place, but the villagers wouldn’t agree to this.

They dressed the girl as a bride and sent her out into the swamp. It was by chance that St George was riding by and saw the girl. He asked her what she was doing so far from the village to which she told him to leave or he would likely perish as well. St George refused and stayed with her until the Dragon appeared. Making the sign of the cross, he attacked the creature, defeating it and rescuing the girl. While the king offered him half of his kingdom, St George politely declined and told him that he needed to simply take care of his people and the church, honor the clergy and have pity on the poor. With that, he rode away from the village.

God Bless him and may we also stand strong against any foe knowing that God is by our side through everything.

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