Today, October 14, we celebrate the life and works of St Olympias. Born to a wealthy noble family of Constantinople, she was orphaned as a child and given to the care of her Theodosia by her uncle. It was expected that she marry into power and, in time, she did, by marrying a prefect. However, she was widowed shortly after. Because she had such money, men were offering her marriage left and right, trying to get ahold of her money, which she refused. Emperor Theodosius simply put her money into a trust until she would reach the age of thirty because she refused his choice for her husband.
That was the time that she turned her attention towards God and began working within the church. By the time that her estate was reestablished in 391, she was already a deaconess and had founded a community with other women much like herself. She did much in her life, including establishing a hospital and orphanage that gave shelter to many of the monks of Nitria.
God Bless her and may we also not look towards our worldly possessions, but towards sharing God’s love with the world.
Today, October 13, we celebrate the life and works of St Aldemar. St Aldemar was born in Capua, Italy. There is not much known of his adolescent years, but he became a monk in Monte Cassino before gaining the attention of Princess Aloara to the region to fix what was wrong with this place. For the most part this meant building new convents and spreading religion to those that had not yet been reached. When she built on near Capua, Italy, he was appointed as the religious leader of this place and took such to heart. It was his home and he loved it dearly. As such, he dedicated himself to working hard for the people and reaching out to them.
St Aldemar was known as a miracle worker and it was in his position as religious leader at the convent in Capua that he actually began to show these miracles to others. It was years later that he decided to resign from this position, allowing another to take his place, but this angered the Princess greatly who had placed him in this position to begin with. He left the area and went to Boiana, Italy. It was there that a dispute with a companion almost ended in him joining our Heavenly Father before his time. He fled the area, traveling to build more convents and houses of worship.
God Bless him and may we also spread God’s love and work to others, following the path that God has laid out for us.
Today, October 12, 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.
Today, October 11, we celebrate the life and works of St. Marguerite d’Youville. Born in Varennes, Quebec on October 15, Marie Marguerite Dufrost de La Jemmerais knew that there was more to what she was meant to do than simply living the lives of those around her. She wanted to do more. Even at a young age she knew this. In 1722, she married Francois D’Youville. Though this marriage would only last for eight years, she was blessed with three children in that time before she became a widow. She worked hard in that time to support herself and her children while still tending to her desire to do charitable works as well.
In 1737 with three companions, she founded the Grey Nuns when they took their initial vows, though it wouldn’t be until 1745 that a formal declaration took place. Two years later she was appointed Directress of the General Hospital in Montreal, which was taken over by the Grey Nuns. Even after she left this world to join God, the Grey Nuns still continue her work in establishing schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout Canada.
God Bless her and may we also turn our passion for sharing God’s love and helping others into a life long pursuit.
Today, October 10, we celebrate the life and works of St Eulalia of Merida, Patron of Mérida, Spain; Oviedo, Spain; runaways; torture victims; widows. Born in Spain, Merida was a woman of beauty, but she had dedicated herself to the Catholic faith and wanted nothing of worldly possessions or desires. In fact, it is believed that at the young age of twelve, she went before Judge Dacian of Merida to talk to him about his horrible treatment of Catholics and for trying to force them to worship false idols that they wanted no part of. They were tortured because they wouldn’t give in to his demands and she wanted him to feel bad about it and repent for actions.
At first he was amused by her words and actions, finding her to be nothing more than a small girl that had no idea of what she was talking about. With her persistence, it only served to bring forth his wrath and irritation because she was nothing more than a child. How dare she tell him what he should and should not be doing. As such, she ordered her to be removed from his presence and tortured until she understood her mistake. She was martyred for her faith.
God Bless her and may we also stand strong in our beliefs and understanding, reaching out to others when they are in need.
Today, October 9, we celebrate the life and works of St Artaldus. Artaldus was born in Savoy and showed great promise when it came to religion. At the age of eighteen, he went to court, but soon was appointed as Carthusian of Portes. This meant him relocating to Portes where he worked hard alongside others driven just as he was. There he was a priest and showed such drive and experience that he was told to return to where he was born to establish a church. Taking six others with him from Portes, he returned home to build a church. Not long after the first church was built, it was destroyed by fire. Instead of trying to rebuild on that location, St Artaldus took that as a sign and relocated the building to a new location, near to the river.
However, St Artaldus found himself to be in high demand and was even pulled from his quiet existence of working within his home area to be appointed as bishop of Belley, even though he fought against this. He was consulted by the Pope among others, including kings.
God Bless him and may we have such drive and passion for our Lord.
Today, October 8, we celebrate the life and works of St Ailbhe, Patron of wolves. St Ailbhe is one that is seen throughout myths and legends of Ireland as a Bishop and preacher. He was a disciple of St Patrick and was also known by many as Albeus. He was a missionary that traveled about the lovely Ireland, even going so far as to become the bishop of Emily in Munster Ireland, the first bishop of that area.
The legends that surround him are rather unique. In one it claims that he was abandoned in the woods as an infant and a wolf took him in as her own. This was brought on because a she-wolf came to him to escape a hunting party, laying her head against him. He, of course, protected her from those seeking to end her life. From such things you can see that he was a man given to such kindness and charity for others, including the animals of God.
God Bless him and may we show such kindness to those that we meet in our lives.
Today, October 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Alnoth. St Alnoth was a hermit and a herder in his life. He tended the cows at the monastery of St Werburga in Northampton, England. He was a man that took great pride in helping others, even when it meant that he was being used. He didn’t mind though because he saw what he was doing as helping others in some way or another.
People looked towards him as a sign of holiness and patience. He wanted nothing more than to tend his animals and spread God’s love through helping others. It was when he retired from this position that he was martyred for his faith.
God Bless him and may we spread God’s love by helping others.
Today, October 6, we celebrate the life and works of St Gratia. St Gratia spent much of his young life at sea, fishing and bringing in food for others as well as trade. However, one day when he was around thirty, he went into a church in Venice and heard a sermon that reached out to him and spoke to him. Right then he knew that his life was changed and he wouldn’t return to a life as a fisherman. He was determined to enter that order and was accepted as a lay-brother at Monte Ortono.
There he was employed in the gardens and worked hard to earn the respect of the whole convent. It didn’t take long before they all saw in him something. He was sent to St Christopher in venice where he became friar. People claimed to see a light over his door every night and miracles were were performed in his presence. One such miracle occurred happened when the church was being repaired. While he was working, they received water all summer even though it was extremely dry. It stayed fresh and clean even when the sea got into it.
God Bless him and may we also follow God’s plan that can change our lives in a mere moment.
Today, October 5, we celebrate the life and works of Blessed Junipero Serra, Patron of Vocations. Blessed Junipero Serra was actually born as Miguel Jose Serra on the island of Majorca on Novemeber 24, 1713. He took the name of Junipero in 1730 when he entered the Franciscan Order. It took seven years for him to be ordained to which he went on to teach philosophy and theology at the University of Padua until 1749.
At the age of 37, he landed in Mexico City where he would spend the rest of his life working to convert the people of the new world. He spent much of his time in the then Mexican territories of Upper and Lower California. It is because of him and his work in the area that we can thank for the foundation and spread of the Church on the West Coast. He founded 21 missions and converted thousands of Indians.
God Bless him and may we also leave such an impact on the lives of those we come across.