Today, June 8, 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.
Today, October 4, we celebrate the life and works of St Fabiola. Married to the wealthy Roman Fabia family, she was a part of the Jerome Circle for a time, but fell away from the group as well as divorced her husband because of his lifestyle and then remarried shortly after. It was only when she lost her second husband that she turned her life completely towards the church and devoting her life to God. She spent her time in the church dedicated to working on aiding churches and those in need as well as building new churches for people that didn’t have such an option near to where they live.
One of her main focuses was the Catholic hospital that she had built to aid the public that had fallen ill. She spent much of her time there, working to care for those that were sick and in need. She supported Jerome later in Rome and even built a hospice on her way back from helping him to which she continued her charitable works.
God Bless her and may we also dedicate our lives to helping those in needs in whatever way we can.
Today, October 3, we celebrate the life and works of St Francis Caracciolo, Patron of Naples, Italy and Italian Cooks. St Francis was the founder of the Minor Clerks Regular with St John Augustine Adorno. Born in 1963, he was a member of a noble and wealthy Neapolitan family. There was a lot of issues that caused many to not what St Francis to continue in his pursuit of religions and a religious life, one of those being the fact that he had a rare skin disease, much like leprosy that many people feared. Regardless of this, he became a priest, at which time his skin disease completely disappeared.
Many saw this as a sign that he was supposed to do this. That regardless of the fact that others had tried to stop him and dissuade him from joining, he knew that it was God’s will that he continue on this path and he followed it. In 1988, he co-founded the Minor Clerks Regular and spent the rest of his life as the superior.
God Bless him and may we also not let others dissuade us from the path that God has set us on.
Today, October 2, we celebrate the life and works of St Gerald. In the eleventh century, there was a called to be a reform in Spain. The archbishop of Toledo was set in charge of bringing together a group of those within the church to set this reform into motion. He pulled from France many monks and clerics, one of whom was St Gerald, Abbot of Moissac. He was appointed to the position of choir director of the Cathedral of Toledo.
He did such an amazing job and so many people looked to him. He went above and beyond in the duties that were given to him and made a point of letting God’s love shine through him and all that he did. He did such an amazing job that when the position of See of Braga opened up, the clergy and the people all voted for St Gerald to be appointed as their bishop. He did much to fix what he viewed was wrong in the city, including abuses that had been laid out before he was appointed to his role.
God Bless him and may we also let God’s love shine through us.
Today, October 1, 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.