7/28 St Julie Billiart

Today, July 28, we celebrate the life and works of St Julie Billiart. Born in Cuvilly, her childhood game of playing “school” would dictate her life and what it is that she would do with it. As a young girl, she loved to pretend to be a teacher. When she turned sixteen, money became tight for her family so, to help make money, she began to teach others. It would be noon recess and she would sit on a haybale and read the parables to those in attendance, teaching them the lessons God had given us to learn through His Word. She cared deeply for her family and wanted nothing more than to help them in any way that she would.

A death threat on her father and then a murder attempt shocked her though and she fell into a period of poor health that would last for thirty years, a number of which she would be paralyzed. Even still, she had a deep abiding love for God and turned towards Him in all things. When the French Revolution broke out, she continued to share God’s love and offered her home as a place for the loyal priests to hide. This caused her to have to flee in secret a number of times over the years. It was one such night when she had to flee that she had a vision of her being surrounded by young girls. She was told, in the vision, that they would be her daughters, that she would start an institute that would teach them what they needed to know.

She and another woman set out and began the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. She and the women that worked with her worked hard to help others. They took their vows and it was at this time that she was healed and walked for the first time in twenty-two years. Even so, she continued to tax her health by tending to the sick and wounded. She didn’t think of herself, only others and trying to spread God’s love.

God Bless her and may we also have such strength and dedication to help others and spread God’s love.

7/27 St Monica

Today, July 27, we celebrate the life and works of St Monica, Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims. St Monica was a woman of faith, but she was also fiercely loyal to her family. Through her family she was placed in an arranged marriage with a man that was not of faith and, though kind, also suffered from a violent temper. Her mother lived with them and that only seemed to make things harder for her. Even so, she stood strong in her faith and love and worked to show them the path to God. It took many years, but she was able to convert her husband and mother to Catholicism.

It was her goal then to work on the three sons that she had, especially after the death of her husband. Though two of them were quick to follow her path and even went into religious positions, the last one took longer. She prayed for him for 17 years, asking priests to help her through prayers. Though many ignored her please and requests, there were those that understood that this was her dream. She wanted her son to realize that he wasn’t living a complete life as he was. It took 17 years, but she finally was able to receive her answer as her son was baptized.

God Bless her and may we all have such strength in prayer and faith to never be dissuaded by others.

7/26 St Rupert

Today, July 26, we celebrate the life and works of St Rupert. He was a member of a noble Frankish family and found himself called towards religion at a young age. This led to him being appointed as bishop of Worms, Germany. It was with this appointment that he found himself focusing on spreading the faith throughout Germany, wanting to bring that faith to the people. He knew that one of these ways was to educate the people. With the patronage of Duke Thedo of Bavaria, he was able to take over a deserted town which he then built a monastery, a church, and a school for people to come to. This was renamed as Salzburg, Austria.

He brought in missionaries to help people and to bring life to the then deserted town. He established a nunnery there as well, appointing his sister as the first abbess. This place became his pet project and he focused a lot of his time on this location. It was here that he spent the rest of his life.

God Bless him and may we also spread our love and faith to others, educating them so they too can establish a relationship with God.

7/25 St Dallan

Today, July 25, we celebrate the life and works of St Dallan. Born in Connaught, he was a man that valued knowledge and learning more than anything. He wanted to know all that he could about everything, but religion especially. He became a great scholar who through all of his studies became blind. He became a poet and tried to use words to give others hope and spread information about God to the masses. He wrote one certain poem in honor of St Columbia which was published after St Columbia’s death and was called Ambra Choluim Kille. According to the legends surrounding St Dallan, his sight was restored after this poem was published.

He was martyred out at sea by pirates. They tried to ensure that he wouldn’t be found, but miraculously he was and was properly buried. He was a man that wanted others to know all that he did and crave to learn more from what the world and God had to offer them. He is a man that many should want to emulate.

God Bless him and may he be an example to us all to use our talents and passions to further the glory of God.

7/24 St Fra Angelico

Today, July 24, we celebrate the life and works of St Fra Angelico, patron of artists. Originally named Guido di Pietro, he took on the name Angelico because of the portraits that he painted of religious subjects. Born in Tuscany, he made a point of using his gifts to spread his religious beliefs as well as lived a life dedicated to piety that made the name stick. His career started out small as most would expect. He joined a Dominican convent and became a friar there. He started out his work as an artist by being an illustrator for religious books and other religious items.

His work and gifts were recognized as he began to paint more and began to branch out to paint pictures of portraits, to bring those that were religious into the light by capturing them in calm and religious art. It was so recognized that the pope even called for him to come to Rome to paint art for what was the Chapel of the Sacrament in the Vatican. He took these positions with honor, seeing it as his way of using God’s gift to share his belief and religion with the world. After he finished his work there, he returned to the convent he had joined in the beginning where he became prior. It was there that he lived out the rest of his days.

God Bless him and may we also use the gifts that God gives us to spread His love and work.

7/23 St Colette

Today, July 23, we celebrate the life and works of St Colette. Born to a carpenter in Picardy, France, she was christened Nicolette though everyone called her Colette. Though she had quite a bit of money, when she lost her father at seventeen, she didn’t want anything to do with it and simply distributed it to the poor before becoming a Franciscan tertiary. She went from there to Colby where she would be able to live as a solitary. It was her holiness and religious discipline that many recognized her for. However, when she had a dream that had her reforming the Poor Clares, she left Colby to do just that.

She received the Poor Clares habit from Peter de Luna and began her work right away. She reformed many old convents and was appointed as Superior to the convents she reformed as well as the convents that she founded with new reform rules. Everyone recognized her for her sanctity, ecstacies, and visions of the Passion as well as a prophecy that told of her leaving this world to join God.

God Bless her and may we also follow the path that God sets before us no matter how hard it may seem when we are facing it down.

7/22 St Berthold

Today, July 22, we celebrate the life and works of St Berthold. Born in France, historians believe him to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was a brilliant student and learned quickly, far more quickly than most would have assumed. He studied at the University of Paris. It was after he was ordained that he joined his brother, Aymeric, in Turkey for the crusades. It was here while they were on the crusades that St Berthold came to Mount Carmel. At the summit he found a group of hermits.

He promptly joined the hermits and began to establish rules that they were to live by. They reached out then, spreading God’s word to others and trying to reform those they came across. He was a brilliant man and a firm believer in God. He was faithful and rejoiced in God and the love that God had shown and continued to show to us all.

God Bless him and may we also spread God’s love to those we come across.

7/21 St Dominic Savio

Today, July 21, we celebrate the life and works of St Dominic Savio, Patron of the falsely accused. From a young age, St Dominic knew that he was meant to do the Lord’s work. When he received his First Holy Communion, he chose the motto, “Death, but not sin” and made a point throughout his life to stay true to that. As a teenager he worried about the others his age that he went to school with, fearing that they would stray and sin. He wanted to be used by the Lord to spread His word and do good deeds.

There were many times while he was in school that he showed the others his age just what it was that they were doing and how it was wrong. When someone brought in a book of pictures that were shameful, he took merely a glance at it before ripping it apart and exclaiming how they were preparing themselves to go to hell. Though they argued, in the end they realized just how right he was, that they had grown used to seeing such things and we’re blackening themselves instead of keeping their eyes on God. The same was done again for a fight in which St Dominic intervened. The boys that had been so angry as to throw stones at each other were so moved by his words that they stopped their fight, apologized and went to confession.

At the age of 15, St Dominic took ill and went home from the school he was at. There he only got worse. While most would have feared this, he embraced it, exclaiming in joy and happiness that he couldn’t wait to be with the Lord.

God Bless him and may we too follow in his steps to keep our eyes on the Lord and not be distracted by the earthly things that are placed before us as temptation.

7/20 St Hyginius

Today, July 20, we celebrate the life and works of St Hyginius. He was a philosopher before he found Christ, but found God and followed the path that was laid out before him to the fullest, eventually becoming pope. He was born in Athens and it was there that he was educated as well. He heard many teachings of other Catholics that came through Athens and that eventually led him to the right path. It is said that during his reign he organized the clergy and brought about what it known viewed as the governance of the Catholic church.

Aside from information about the order that he brought about to the clergy and the organizing of the various prerogative of the clergy, there isn’t much known about the man that was pope from 136 to 140. He was a man that knew what God wanted him to do and worked hard to achieve those goals before he joined our Heavenly Father.

God Bless him and may we also see the path that God has laid out before us and follow it through to the end.

7/19 St Apollonia

Today, July 19, we celebrate the life and works of St Apollonia, Patron of dental diseases. A young woman, St Apollonia, amongst other virgins, were targeted during a persecution under the reign of Emperor Philip. This was during the persecution of Decius that they were targeting Catholic people, trying to force them to renounce their faith once and for all and turn their attention towards those that they chose to worship. St Apollonia and the other women in her group were captured and brought before a judge. They were given the choice to renounce their faith or be tortured. She refused to turn away from God and pronounced her love for Him.

For this she was tortured. Among the things done to her, all of her teeth were knocked out of her head. It was horrible and gruesome, yet never once did she falter. When told that she could either renounce God or she would be burned, she jumped into the flames voluntarily, all the while singing praises to God and proclaiming Him to be the one true God.

God Bless her and may we also refuse to turn away from God, to spread our belief and faith in Him and never falter.

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