Today, October 20, we celebrate the life and works of St Julia. St Julia was born to a noble family in South Africa. However, when she was still young her village was invaded by barbarians and she was captured and sold into slavery. Even so, she did all things asked of her humbly and with great cheerfulness for her heart was filled with the love of the Lord. She spent any time that she could reading holy books and in prayer.
She made herself invaluable to her owner and he went most places with her by his side. He tried to convince her to give up her beliefs, but she refused. In time, because she served him so loyally and humbly, he left her alone and let her believe as she wished. One day he decided to leave South Africa for France and took her with him. Along the way they came upon an island that was having a pagan festival. She refused to go near to the village while they were celebrating because she didn’t want them to mistake her as having their beliefs and didn’t want to be presented with any form of temptation to worship false idols.
The ruler of this village saw this and was greatly angered that she would insult them. He demanded to know who she was. Her owner told him that she was his servant and that he couldn’t get by without her. When the ruler offered him four of his best slave women for her and the owner refused, he began to plan another way to get to her. While her owner slept, the ruler tried to convince her to sacrifice to his gods. She refused and angered the ruler once more.
God Bless her and may we also stand strong against temptation and remain steadfast in our beliefs and love of the Lord.
Today, October 19, we celebrate the life and works of St Anthony Mary Claret, Patron of textile merchants, weavers, savings, catholic press, Claretians Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Diocese of the Canary Islands , Claretian students , Claretian educators, technical and vocational educators. St Anthony was born in Spain and began his life with plans to be a weaver like those in his family. However, he changed his mind one day and began to study for priesthood with every intention of becoming a Jesuit. As life progressed, it became obvious that his health, which was very poor, wouldn’t allow him to follow that path. Instead, he simply served as a secular priest.
This path would lead him to an interesting life, one that included him creating the Claretian Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well as the Apostolic Institute of the Immaculate Conception. It also led him serving as archbishop of Santiago de Cuba in Cuba. This ended when he returned to the court of Queen Isabella II as a confessor and followed her into exile. This exile only lasted a year for him before he participated in the First Vatican Council.
God Bless him and may we also stand steadfast in our path that He has laid out for us all.
Today, October 18, we celebrate the life and works of St John of Capistrano, Patron of Jurist. St John was born in an area of Italy known as Capistrano to a wonderful family, including a father that was a former German knight in 1385. He attended university in Perugia, studying law and establishing himself as a lawyer in Naples. However, King Ladislas of Naples wanted him to return to Perugia as governor and to act on his behalf. It was because of this that he returned to Perugia only to find himself in a war against a neighboring town that led to his betrayal and imprisonment.
When he was finally released after that, he joined a Franciscan monastery, wanting to escape the cruelty of men by turning to the one that would and had stood by him through everything. He worked hard to learn what he could and focus on what was important in his life at that time. When he became ordained, he took that time to travel the world and preach about penance and establish communities devoted to the faith. He did much to help others and pass on the Word. His last great journey happened when he was seventy and Pope Callistus III charged him with leading a crusade against Mohammed II. St John led the crusade at the front of those he was given and could raise to join him, even into battle where he was victorious.
God Bless him and may we stand strong and remember that God is always with us through all of our trials and tribulations.
Today, October 17, we celebrate the life and works of St Ignatius of Antioch. St Ignatius was a man of strong faith. He believed in encouraging and promoting the right practice and the right teaching throughout the lands and faith. He was appointed Bishop of Antioch by the Apostle Peter, the first Pope. He used this power to spread his encouragements and to give hope and strength to others.
In 107, however, during the reign of the tyrant Emperor Trajan, St Ignatius was sentenced to be martyred for the faith because he wouldn’t renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, he took this as a blessing and saw it as God’s will for him to spread His Word further. He was arrested and taken to Rome, which took him through Asia Minor and Greece. It was during this time that he listened to what God had for him to do and wrote seven letters of encouragement for the people.
God Bless him and may we follow God to faithfully regardless of the circumstances that we are presented with.
Today, October 16, we celebrate the life and works of St Frumentius, Patron of Aksumite Empire. St Frumentius was born in Lebanon, however he is known as “the father” of Ethiopia. This came about because he and another, known as St Aedesius went on a voyage in the Red Sea. There was a terrible shipwreck and they were the only two to survive. It was because of this that they were taken to the Ethiopian royal court where they soon attained high positions. St Aedesius was a royal cup bearer and St Frumentius was a secretary.
They introduced Catholicism to the lands through the royal family, especially when the young princes’ came into power. When this happened, St Frumentius went to Alexandria, Egypt to request that a missionary be sent to Ethiopia before he returned there himself.
God Bless him and may we spread the Word of God to any that will listen.
Today, October 15, 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, 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.