Today, August 25, 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.
Today, August 24, 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.
Today, August 23, 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.
Today, August 22, 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.
Today, August 21, 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.
Today, August 20, 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
Today, August 19, 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.
Today, August 18, we celebrate the life and works of St Hilarion. St Hilarion was a man that spent most of his time in the desert. He was a man of God that turned to Him for wisdom and was given the gift of performing miracles. This was something that grew to be a burden for St Hilarion because no matter what he did or where he went, people would flock to him wanting him to help them. He was born in Palestine, but educated in Alexandria, Egypt. It was because of his place of education that he traveled the desert for some time with St Anthony. When it became too much, he fled and became a hermit in Majuma, which is near to Gaza, Israel.
It took him a few years, but he eventually returned to the desert to St Anthony only to find that his fame had spread and people were searching for him to see him perform miracles. He fled once more to Sicily, but St Anthony’s companion, St Hesychius tracked him down and asked him to travel with him. They traveled to Dalmatia, Croatia, and Cyprus, spreading the Lord’s Word and performing miracles.
God Bless him and may we also, no matter the trails or upsets we face, follow the Lord’s plan for us. He knows all and will never place in our paths more than we can handle through Him.
Today, August 17, we celebrate the life and works of St Rosalia. St Rosalia was born in Palermo, Spain. Even at a young age she knew that God was the way. She turned from earthly desires and focused her life on God. To do this and to ensure she wasn’t tempted by earthly desires, she ran away to hide in a cave. On these cave walls she inscribed the words, “I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.” She remained there for all of her life.
She lived a life in constant communion with God and giving all of her praise and glory to Him. She had no desire to return to the world and, to prove to herself that she was passed the point of desiring that which the world offered, she moved her hiding place to Mount Pellegrino, just three miles from where she grew up and had lived as a child. It was almost as if she were showing that she had truly given all of herself to God.
God Bless her and may we be as devote as she was in life.
Today, August 16, we celebrate the life and works of St Brice. St Brice was raised by a well known and quite religious man, St Martin of Tours. However, this had quite an adverse reaction on St Brice. He became extremely vain and held St Martin in contempt. St Martin was patient with him, showing him love and guidance. In time, St Brice apologized to St Martin and asked for his forgiveness. He made an effort to change his life and even succeeded St Martin in becoming bishop of Tours.
However, he reverted to his old way and became lax once more in his duties. For this he was exiled ot Rome where he spent seven years learning and watching. At the end of those seven years he had completely changed his life around and devoted himself fully to God and His mission.
God Bless him and may we also remember that through everything God is always there and will lead us down the right path.