Today, April 6, we celebrate the life and works of St Eligius, patron of metalworkers. St Eligius was born in Limoges, France around 590. He didn’t set his sights on becoming a man of God at a young age, but rather focused on his metalwork and became quite an accomplished blacksmith. It was through this skill that he was appointed master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris and became close friends with him and his family. It was through this connection that he finally was able to do some good. He gave generously to the poor and built many churches and convents, including a major convent on land that was given to him by the King’s son.
It was later in life that he was able to notice and devote himself to God through becoming a priest. He was a zealous man and passionate about preaching to others and spreading God’s good work and love. He was appointed as bishop of Noyon and Tournai. He built many churches in these areas and went through many times to preach to those in the areas. If he felt that he was needed there, he would go and spread His word and love.
God Bless him and may we also spread God’s love through both the small and big things in our lives.
Today, April 5, we celebrate the life and works of St Vigor. Born in Artois, France, he studied under the renowned St Vedast. However, when his father showed opposition to him becoming a priest, he ran away. It was when he ran away that he finally was ordained, not wanting his father to stand in the way of what he saw to be his future. He loved the Lord and wanted nothing more than to become His loyal subject throughout his life.
He did much preaching in Raviere and worked for many years as a missionary in that area. The only reason he stopped working as a missionary was when he became bishop of Baycux. When he became bishop, he worked hard to stop the spread of paganism and bring forth the love of the Lord into the world. He is known for the church that he built on the land and grounds that a one-time pagan idol was worshiped on as well as the monastery he established nearby by the name of St Vigor le Grand.
God Bless him and may we have such passion that we would turn all of our hope and life over to God to guide to do with as He chooses.
Today, April 4, we celebrate the life and works of Saint Isidore of Seville. Born into a family of Saints and leaders, it wasn’t exactly easy footsteps for St Isidore to follow. In fact, his older brother, Leander, when he took over his brother’s education, he thought that punishment and force would ensure that St Isidore worked hard and learned all that he needed to. He was an intelligent man in his later years and hardworking. Perhaps it was because of his brother that he became this way or it was just naturally engrained in him. No one is really sure.
Like everyone though, St Isidore as a boy couldn’t take the abuse for a prolonged amount of time and finally ran away. He felt like sure a failure for not being able to meet his brother’s expectations and learn as his brother wanted him to. As he sat outside by a stream, he noticed that the water that dropped from above onto the rocks, while it seemed to have no force to it, had begun to wear holes in the rock. This was his moment of clarity that allowed him to return home to finish his studies. Even his small efforts would go a long way in the end.
There isn’t much known aside from his brother teaching methods about their relationship. However, in their later years, these two worked side by side on many projects and, when Leander left this world to venture to Heaven, St Isidore continued and finished many of his brother’s projects.
He was a hardworking man and it showed when he took over Leanders place as bishop of Seville. He worked hard to learn more and to teach others. He converted the Visigoths from Arianism to Catholicism. He wrote many books that are still used today. He took that lesson he learned at the stream to heart and tried to dedicate it to everything he did.
God Bless him and may we also remember that even the smallest of efforts, though it might seem as if it isn’t making a difference, can make a big difference with time.
Today, April 3, we celebrate the life and works of St Stephen, Patron of Stonemasons. St Stephen was appointed as a caretaker of one of the churches by the original 12 Apostles because they realized that they needed people to be the caregivers of such places and look after the widows and the poor. He was ordained as a deacon with six other men and left to do his work. He was a man that spoke all of the time of God and the works that He had done. He spoke of Jesus and how he was the Savior of the world. His heart was full of God’s love and many miracles happened through him.
This didn’t sit well with others, those that didn’t want God’s Word to be heard. They viewed St Stephen as the enemy. So they devised a plot. They couldn’t stand up to him in an argument because he was wiser than they. He had an answer for everything that they said. Instead they spread lies about him, talking about how he was talking sinfully about God, that he was lying and telling stories. People gathered in anger against him, but he merely continued as he always had, talking about the wonders of God, how Jesus was Lord and Savior. They wouldn’t listen. They plugged their ears and simply dragged him from the city of Jerusalem where he was martyred. Even so, his last moments were filled with God, with asking him to take his spirit into His open arms and for Him to forgive his enemies for what they had done to him.
God Bless him and may the joy of the Lord fill us so completely as it did St Stephen.
Today, April 2, 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, April 1, we celebrate the life and works of Saint Melito of Sardis. There is not much known about Saint Melito. Most of his work is lost and very little is known about him. He was believed to have been a hermit. There is documentation that he traveled to Palestine at one point, but the reason for the journey and where he actually went are lost as well. There are a few things of his that we do still have, such as his Old Testament Scriptures and fragments of his discourse where he encouraged Marcus Aurelius to adopt Catholicism as the religion of the Holy Roman Empire.
One of the things he was most famous for, or most known for at the time was his parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament. He was able to share these with others and had great success. Many looked for these, his most noted one being Peri-Pascha. His way of thinking and his work inspired many others throughout the years.
God Bless him and may we also use our skills to further praise God and spread His word to the world.
Today, March 31, 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, March 30, we celebrate the life and works of Blessed Amadeus IX of Savoy. Blessed Amadeus wasn’t known for being a great leader, though he was the son of Duke Louis I of Savoy. Born to this noble bloodline, he was betrothed as an infant to Princess Yolanda, the daughter of King Charles VII of France. It was always set upon him that he would take over his father’s position one day and lead his people with a beautiful noblewoman at his side. Blessed Amadeus had certain problems with this though. He wanted to dedicate his time towards charity and helping others. On top of that, he suffered from epilepsy.
Still, he married Princess Yolanda in 1451 and succeeded his father. He remained in this position for twenty years before he finally resigned from his dukedom because it had become too hard on him and his condition. He left it in the hands of Princess Yolanda. A revolt developed shortly after and he was captured and imprisoned until Yolanda’s brother, King Louis XI of France could negotiate his release. One released, he returned to his life of charity.
God Bless him and may we also see the light even in times of darkness when we feel like there is too much that we are faced with and turn to God for the courage and strength to face it all.
Today, March 29, 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, March 28, we celebrate the life and works of St Venturino of Bergamo. Born in Italy, he followed his dreams from a young age and joined the Dominicans in 1319. It was there that he was able to distinguish himself for his skills with preaching that drew in large crowds just to hear his words. Pleased by the fact that he could use his words to spread God’s message to large groups at one time, he used this as a way to make his decision to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. He would use this to preach to the people.
However, when Pope Benedict XII learned about his pilgrimage, he feared that he meant to come to Rome to name himself Pope and forbade him from coming. When the Dominicans heard of such, they also issued their own warning and told him he was not to go. He ignored both of these warnings and went on his pilgrimage to Rome before he continued on to Avignon, spreading God’s word. It was in Avignon that he was arrested and imprisoned until 1343. It was after he was released that he is known to have helped organize a crusade at the urgings of Pope Clement VI against the Turks.
God Bless him and may we also follow our hearts even when others might stand in our way to spread God’s Love and Word to those that are in need of hearing such.