Today, June 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Vicelin. Born in Hemeln, Lower Saxony, Germany, he was raised in the Catholic faith and attended the cathedral school of Paderborn. He had ideas of what it was that he wanted to do with his life, but no real set path for it aside from schooling. He ended up getting appointed as a canon at Bremen, Germany where he became head of a local school. However, that wasn’t what he was looking for in life. When the chance came, he was ordained and then set off on a life as a missionary. This took him to further north into Germany where he founded monasteries in places such as Holstein, Segeberg, and Hogerdorf.
Most of his work and missionary accomplishments didn’t come to fruitation because of a band of marauding pirates. He barely escaped with some of his priests from the fiasco and fled to safety in the Holy Roman Empire. That wasn’t the end of his life as far as the religious practices go though. He was named bishop of Staargard although there was some problems and resistance against him being appointed to such a position by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. That didn’t last though.
God Bless him and may we also follow the path that has been set before us.
Today, June 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, June 5, 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, June 4, 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, June 3, we celebrate the life and works of Sts Charles Lwanga and Companions. St Charles was one of twenty-two martyrs of Udanda. He is the Patron of youth and Catholic action in most of tropical Africa. One of the things he is most remembered for is protecting his fellow pages from the demands of the Bagandan ruler, Mwanga. His demands went against their beliefs and he offered to instruct and teach them the Catholic faith during their imprisonment for refusing to give in to the ruler’s demands.
St Charles first learned of Christ’s teachings from two retainers in the court of Chief Mawulugungu. He worked in the royal household as an assistant to Joseph Mukaso, who was head of the pages. It gave him a chance to be seen as someone that they could trust when they were imprisoned. Because he was the leader and continued teaching, he was the first to be martyred. On the night that it was to happen, he encouraged the youths to resist their ruler. His final request was to receive Baptism. His strength and courage and belief in God inspired them all to remain chaste and faithful.
God Bless him and may we also not focus only on the bad of the situations placed before us, but on the good that God has promised us all.
Today, June 2, we celebrate the life and works of Saints Marcellinus and Peter. There is not much known about these two. What is know is what Pope St Damasus heard from the mouth of the man that was their executioner who became a Catholic after their deaths. St Maricellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist that both left this world in 304. These two, according to their story, saw their imprisonment as nothing more than another chance to evangelize and managed to convert the jailer as well as his family to Catholicism.
They didn’t view what was going to happen to them, or what seemed obvious as a bad thing. They viewed it as a chance to spread God’s love one more time to any that would listen. They had such fierce passion about what it was they were preaching and sharing with others that it almost seemed as if it were infectious. They were also said to have been martyred deep in a forest so no other Catholics could bury their bodies and venerate them, but two women came upon their bodies and buried them regardless. They are given the high honor of having the basilica Constantine built over their tombs as well as the presence of their names in the first Eucharistic prayer.
God Bless them and may we also have such joy and passion in spreading God’s love to those that we come upon. May they see God’s Light and Love shining through us.
Today, June 1, 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, May 31, 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.
Today, May 30, we celebrate the life and works of St Joan of Arc, Patron of soldiers and France. St Joan of Arc was born in 1412 and even at a young age she could hear the voices of St Michael, St Margaret, and St Catherine. What they said to her was personal and directed towards her life and well-being. For her, this all seemed normal. It was years later when she was seventeen that she heard them tell her to go before the King of France and help him to reconquer his kingdom. Even though everyone stood against and she had to fight for all that she was supposed to do, she finally made it before the king. Once again, it took some persuasion. After all, she was merely a seventeen year old girl in such a time. Finally they gave her a small army for her to command. With these men, she fought bravely and valiantly and helped the king reconquer his kingdom. She stood at his side when he was crowned.
However, she was captured and sold to the English when King Charles and the French did nothing to save her. She was imprisoned and tried before a tribunal for her crimes. Because she had never been taught theology or the way things worked in that time, she made some damaging remarks. They convicted her for being a heretic, adulteress and sorceress.
God Bless her and may we learn to listen to God when He points us in the direction that He has planned for us.
Today, May 29, we celebrate the life and works of St Maximus of Trier, Patron of Trier; invoked as protection against perjury, loss at sea and destructive rains. Most believe him to have been born in Silly, France. There isn’t much known of his younger years, but he was a man that many knew in his later years. He succeeded St Agritus as bishop of Trier in 332 and worked hard towards improving the faith and helping those in need.
He gave refude to St Athanasius in 336 and even gave his protection to St Paul, the patriarch of Constantinople. He worked hard and without fail against the Arian heretics and was considered one of their greatest enemies, opposing them in councils of Milan, Sardica and Cologne. He was called, by St Jerome, one of the more courageous bishops of his time and he lived up to this title and description whenever he could. Not because he thought that he had to, but because this was how God worked through him.
God Bless him and may we also work hard to strive towards spreading God’s love and His Word to those in the world.