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.
Today, August 15, we celebrate the life and works of St Anno. Born around 1010, he grew up in the Swabian family and was educated at Bamberg. Even as a child he showed attention towards religion, dreaming of a life in the military. It was his uncle that he sent over the edge on a path towards a religious life. While studying at Bamberg, he learned much about religion as well as retained quite a bit of literary knowledge which is what seemed to set him up for great success. He became confessor to Emperor Henry III, who appointed him later as archbishop to Cologne.
He spent many years as an influential member of German court. He served both Henry III and Henry IV. It was because of these years in the public eye that when he reached his older years, he retired from the public eye to Siegburg Abbey.
God Bless him and may we also follow the path set before us and have such zeal for the life ahead of us.
Today, August 14, we celebrate the life and works of Saint Julie Billiart. Born in Cuvilly, her childhood game of playing “school” would dictate her life and what it is that she would do with it. As a young girl, she loved to pretend to be a teacher. When she turned sixteen, money became tight for her family so, to help make money, she began to teach others. It would be noon recess and she would sit on a haybale and read the parables to those in attendance, teaching them the lessons God had given us to learn through His Word. She cared deeply for her family and wanted nothing more than to help them in any way that she would.
A death threat on her father and then a murder attempt shocked her though and she fell into a period of poor health that would last for thirty years, a number of which she would be paralyzed. Even still, she had a deep abiding love for God and turned towards Him in all things. When the French Revolution broke out, she continued to share God’s love and offered her home as a place for the loyal priests to hide. This caused her to have to flee in secret a number of times over the years. It was one such night when she had to flee that she had a vision of her being surrounded by young girls. She was told, in the vision, that they would be her daughters, that she would start an institute that would teach them what they needed to know.
She and another woman set out and began the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. She and the women that worked with her worked hard to help others. They took their vows and it was at this time that she was healed and walked for the first time in twenty-two years. Even so, she continued to tax her health by tending to the sick and wounded. She didn’t think of herself, only others and trying to spread God’s love.
God Bless her and may we also have such strength and dedication to help others and spread God’s love.
Today, August 13, we celebrate the life and works of St Monica, Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims. St Monica was a woman of faith, but she was also fiercely loyal to her family. Through her family she was placed in an arranged marriage with a man that was not of faith and, though kind, also suffered from a violent temper. Her mother lived with them and that only seemed to make things harder for her. Even so, she stood strong in her faith and love and worked to show them the path to God. It took many years, but she was able to convert her husband and mother to Catholicism.
It was her goal then to work on the three sons that she had, especially after the death of her husband. Though two of them were quick to follow her path and even went into religious positions, the last one took longer. She prayed for him for 17 years, asking priests to help her through prayers. Though many ignored her please and requests, there were those that understood that this was her dream. She wanted her son to realize that he wasn’t living a complete life as he was. It took 17 years, but she finally was able to receive her answer as her son was baptized.
God Bless her and may we all have such strength in prayer and faith to never be dissuaded by others.
Today, August 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, August 11, we celebrate the life and works of St Dallan. Born in Connaught, he was a man that valued knowledge and learning more than anything. He wanted to know all that he could about everything, but religion especially. He became a great scholar who through all of his studies became blind. He became a poet and tried to use words to give others hope and spread information about God to the masses. He wrote one certain poem in honor of St Columbia which was published after St Columbia’s death and was called Ambra Choluim Kille. According to the legends surrounding St Dallan, his sight was restored after this poem was published.
He was martyred out at sea by pirates. They tried to ensure that he wouldn’t be found, but miraculously he was and was properly buried. He was a man that wanted others to know all that he did and crave to learn more from what the world and God had to offer them. He is a man that many should want to emulate.
God Bless him and may he be an example to us all to use our talents and passions to further the glory of God.
Today, August 10, we celebrate the life and works of Fra Angelico, patron of artists. Originally named Guido di Pietro, he took on the name Angelico because of the portraits that he painted of religious subjects. Born in Tuscany, he made a point of using his gifts to spread his religious beliefs as well as lived a life dedicated to piety that made the name stick. His career started out small as most would expect. He joined a Dominican convent and became a friar there. He started out his work as an artist by being an illustrator for religious books and other religious items.
His work and gifts were recognized as he began to paint more and began to branch out to paint pictures of portraits, to bring those that were religious into the light by capturing them in calm and religious art. It was so recognized that the pope even called for him to come to Rome to paint art for what was the Chapel of the Sacrament in the Vatican. He took these positions with honor, seeing it as his way of using God’s gift to share his belief and religion with the world. After he finished his work there, he returned to the convent he had joined in the beginning where he became prior. It was there that he lived out the rest of his days.
God Bless him and may we also use the gifts that God gives us to spread His love and work.