8/12 St Dismas

Today, August 12, we celebrate the life and works of St Dismas. This man is someone many remember, though they might not know his name. St Dismas was the man that was crucified with Jesus at Calvary. There isn’t much known about him aside from what he did and said when he was on the cross and the fact that he was an exceptional thief. However, there are myths that surround him, including one that involves him and saving a family from the other man that he was crucified with, Gestas. It is said that he paid Gestas money to leave the family untouched as they were on a journey through Egypt. It was then that the child with them predicted that they would be crucified with Christ.

There is nothing to substantiate this claim, but we can look at what was written about the crucifixion to see just what kind of man St Dismas was. He, as far as he was concerned, deserved the fate that was given to him, but Christ did not. He told Gestas to stop tormenting Christ with his words, that they belonged there while Christ did not. It was because of his actions that day that Christ told him he would have a place with Him in Heaven. It goes a long way towards showing us that faith can be a saving grace.

God Bless him and may we also have such faith as to stand our ground in our beliefs no matter the circumstances.

8/11 St Abdiesus

Today, August 11, we celebrate the life and works of St Abdiesus. St Abdiesus was also called Hebed Jesus and was a deacon of the Catholic community in Persia that was caught up in the persecutions that were conducted at the time by King Shapur II. Even though he, as well as eight others, knew that by not denying their faith and giving King Shapur II what he wanted they would be tortured and, eventually, martyred, they still remained strong in their beliefs and stood steadfast against all that they knew would be done to them.

The others that were to accompany him in this persecution and be martyred were Abrosimus, Acepsimus, Azadanes, Azades, Bicor, Milles and a woman named Tarbula. These were people that were not of low birth for the most part. These were all Persian courtiers, priest and bishops. These were all people that were looked upon with favor. They showed themselves to be an excellent example of what it meant to be faithful to God no matter the circumstances.

God Bless them and may we also be strong in the face of diversity and never forsake our Lord in any circumstance.

8/10 St Victoria

Today, August 10, we celebrate the life and works of St Victoria. Though there isn’t much known about St Victoria, it is told that she and her sister were always being approached by suitors wanting their hand in marriage. They kept refusing and, because of this, they made a point of imprisoning and starving them until they would give in to their request. Still, they refused quite nicely continuously, both turning towards their faith to give them strength in handling the situation. Her sister worked hard to spread the word of the Lord even while they were imprisoned and, because of this, she became a martyr.

St Victoria took up what her sister had been doing, spreading the word and working on giving hope to those also imprisoned. When the guards found out, they had her martyred as well but not before she reached one of them and converted him to Catholicism. Though they were faced with starvation and imprisonment, neither of them lost their faith. They knew that the Lord had a plan for them and He would not fail them.

God Bless them and may we also have such strength in faith even when we are faced with such harsh conditions.

8/9 St Berthold

Today, August 9, 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.

8/8 St Benjamin

Today, August 8, we celebrate the life and works of Saint Benjamin. Saint Benjamin was a man of great faith. In Persia for 12 years that were able to live in peace. Then, in 420, a Catholic Bishop called Abdas came to Persia and burned down their Temple of Fire, a temple dedicated to one of their gods. Enraged by this, King Isdegerd told Abdas he was to rebuild the temple or he would burn down all of the Catholic places of worship in his land.

Abdas refused. As such, the king made good on his word and went out of his way to not only burn down their places of worship, but to also capture those held power within these churches. One of these men was Saint Benjamin. St Benjamin, though captured and held prison for a year, was told he would be released so long as he didn’t talk about religion or his God ever again. He refused, telling them that it was his God and he could not be silent. Even so, he was released.

As he had told them, he didn’t stay silent and preached about God and His love at every opportunity that he could. Once more he was apprehended for this and taken before the king who ordered him to be tortured and then martyred.

God Bless him and may we also have such strength and determination to share God’s love and Word with the world.

8/7 St Daniel

Today, August 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Daniel. St Daniel was an Egyptian that took pity on those Catholics that were being imprisoned in the mines of Cilicia to work as punishment for their belief. He, along with four others with him, went to Caesarea, Palestine to offer comfort to those being enslaved because of their religion. They wanted nothing more than to share a little of God’s love with their brothers being brutalized. They made it no further than the gates of Caesarea before they were apprehended and brought before the governor.

Firmilian, the governor, was a hard man and listened to the city guardsmen accuse these men of being Catholics. He refused to stand for such happening in his city. He sentenced the group to be martyred for their faith as an example of what would happen to any Catholics that came to his city. He would do all within his power to help along the Maximus persecution. All men went bravely to their fates, never once denying their relationship with God.

God Bless him and may we also bravely help those in need, bringing a little light into their lives by sharing God’s love with them.

8/6 St Anicetus

Today, August 6, we celebrate the life and works of St Anicetus. Born a Syrian from Emesa, he was a deeply devoted religious man that wanted to do all that he could for God’s work and spread that throughout the land. In about 155, he became pope and began to do all that he could and all that he saw God leading him to do to help spread Catholicism to the world. He actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism as well as worked to bring peace and knowledge to those under his care.

It was during his time as pope that the controversy between East and West over the date of Easter first appeared. He saw St Polycarp, who came to visit him in Rome, about this issue, but it never came to a resolution. It only seemed to accelerate and grow more heated over the next centuries.

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

8/5 St Hilda

Today, August 5, we celebrate the life and works of St Hilda. St Hilda was born of royal blood. In fact, she was the daughter of the king of Northumbria, England. She didn’t care about her royal blood aside from the fact that it would allow her to reach more people to spread the Word of God. She worked hard to learn all that she could and focus that to a life dedicated to Him.

At the age of thirty three, she followed her sister to the Chelles Monastery in France. However, at the request of Si Aidan, she returned to her homeland and become abbess of Hartlepool. She took that job joyously and focused on training others to follow in her footsteps, including five bishops.

God Bless her and may we also dedicate ourselves to passionately to the life that God has planned for us.

8/4 St Anastasia Patricia

Today, August 4, we celebrate the life and works of St Anastasia Patricia. There is a wonderful legend surrounding St Anastasia Patricia. She was the beautiful daughter of an Egyptian nobleman and a lady-in-waiting to Emperor Justinian in Constantinople. The Emperor was taken by her beauty and wanted nothing more than to make her his, though he was married to another at the time, Theodora. To escape him, she fled to a convent in Alexandria where she became a nun and dedicated her life to God. For many years she lived here in peace and was able to simply focus on her relationship with God and doing good deeds for others.

Upon the death of Theodora though, Emperor Justinian came after her, swearing that he would make her his new wife. She fled Alexandria into the desert where she met Abbot Daniel. He allowed her to hid in his community as a hermit while dressed as a monk to escape the Emperor. It seemed that did the trick and she was able to live her life out there for the rest of her days, living a solitary life of prayer and austerity.

God Bless her and may we also put God before all else in our lives, following his path and standing strong when others might tempt us with worldly temptations

8/3 St Lydwine

Today, August 3, we celebrate the life and works of St Lydwine, Patron of sickness; chronically ill, ice skaters, town of Schiedam. St Lydwine did not have an easy life. Born in Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man, she fell ill as a young girl and this would only be the beginning. Throughout her life she was battling illness, but she never let it get her down. Quite the opposite. She offered up her suffering as God’s Will and never tried to speak in anger towards him. She was quite a holy and caring woman.

As if battling illness wasn’t enough, in her youth when she was ice skating, she hit another person and broke a rib. This never healed properly and would later cause her problems when an abscess formed in her side which was later rupture and cause her extreme agony. Once more, she offered it up to God and saw that it was His will that this happen to her. She wanted others to look at her and see that even though she was suffering, she still had the utmost faith in God and His direction in her life. Some of the illnesses that she suffered from include headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, spasms of the muscles, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata.

God Bless her and may we also turn even our bad times over to God with the knowledge that He will lead us where He has plans for us and that there is nothing that He puts in our path that we can’t handle as long as we turn towards Him.

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