12/1 St Peter of Tarantaise

Today, December 1, we celebrate the life and works of St Peter of Tarantaise. Born in France, St Peter was rather like most young boys in the sense that he had a desire to learn and dedicated himself to his studies because he knew that that was where his future was. He worked hard and at twenty, St Peter joined the Cistercian Order at Bonneveaux with his two brothers as well as his father. He was greatly known for his piety and, in ten years, he was sent to become abbot of Tamie. There he worked hard to ensure others would receive God’s Word and love and he had built a hospice for travelers to use when they came through the area.

In 1142, he was appointed as archbishop of Tarantaise, even though he didn’t want to become such. Even so, he worked hard and dedicated his time and energy towards reforming the diocese, purging the clergy of corrupt and immoral members, aiding the poor, and promoting education. He is also credited with starting the custom of distributing bread and soup the so called May Bread just before the harvest, a custom which endured throughout France until the French Revolution

After 13 years as bishop, he suddenly disappeared. Eventually it was discovered that he was serving as a lay brother in a Cistercian abbey in Switzerland and was convinced to return to Tarantaise and resume his episcopal duties. Trusted as an advisor by popes and kings, he defended papal rights in France and was called upon to assist in bringing about a reconciliation between King Louis VII of France and then Prince Henry II of England.

God Bless him and may we also have such faith to want to serve others as God would want us to.

11/30 St Daniel the Stylite

Today, November 30, we celebrate the life and works of St Daniel the Stylite. He was born in Maratha, Syria. He knew at a young age that he was going to be dedicating him life to the Lord. He became a monk in nearby Samosata. It was there that he learned of St Simeon Stylites the Elder. He made a point of seeing him twice where he lived on a pillar at Antioch. It was only a few years later, at age 49, that he decided he wanted to follow in St Danial’s path and become a pillar of the community, the person that others looked to for religious guidance. He became a living pillar on a spot near to Constantinople. Because of this, Emperor Leo I built a set of pillars with a platform on top for him to use.

He was ordained in that very spot and quickly began to attract a multitude of people. He celebrated holidays on his pillar, preached, gave advice and even cured the sick that were brought to him. He gave counsel to Emperor Leo and Zeno and the patraich of Constantinople. He stayed on this pillar for thirty-three years and only came down from that place once. He only came down from the pillar to turn Emperor Baliscus away from backing the heresy of Monophysitism.

God Bless him and may we also be ready to give our lives over to the Lord to do his good work.

11/29 St Eulalia of Merida

Today, November 29, 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.

11/28 St Romanic

Today, November 28, we celebrate the life and works of St Romanic. St Romanic was a man born to the Austrian court. His parents were rather on the wealthy side and as such he should have benefited from this. However, tragedy struck in the form of Queen Brunhilda that killed his parents. Because of the strife caused between his parents and the queen, St Romanic took to wandering. He was a devote man though, and turned his focus towards both God and making a new life for himself. He worked hard to figure things out and wanted to start his own monastery before his life was through.

With the help of St Amatus, they set out to find a dual monastery for men and women that was later named Remiremont. This place was built on land that St Romanic owned, that he had worked hard to gain after years of having wandered on his own. Many of the monks that worked there were friends of St Romanic as well as family that he had brought into the faith.

God Bless him and may we see the light that the future holds even when the present seems dark.

11/27 St Maria Giuseppe Rossello

Today, November 27, we celebrate the life and works of St Maria Giuseppe Rossello. Born in Albisola Marina, Liguria, Italy in 1811, she was baptized shortly after in her home town. She spent her life dedicated to Christ and His teachings, wanting to do more for the world than simply marry and raise a family of her own. When she turned sixteen, she made her choice and became a Franciscan tertiary. She spent ten years of her life working towards her goal of starting her own place of worship, her own place to work to spreading God’s Word and love. In 1837, she, along with Pauline Barla, Angela, and Domenica Pessio, started their own community in Savona.

This place was dedicated towards charity works, helping those less fortunate through charitable works in the areas surrounding their community, hospitals and educating poor young women so they could have a better future for themselves. They worked hard and tirelessly towards their goals, especially St Maria. Her hard work paid off in the end when she was named Mother Superior in 1840. She was one of the founders of Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy.

God Bless her and may we also work to help others that are in need, spreading God’s Word and love.

11/26 St Erminold

Today, November 26, we celebrate the life and works of St Erminold. St Erminold was born in the German region of Swabia and was sent to a monastery at a young age, as was usual for many children in that area, to be educated for life. While most would go back to their regular lives, he went on to become a monk and was subsequently appointed as abbot of the monastery of Prufening. St Erminold was famous of his compassion and his desire to tend to those that were in need, such as those that were hungry and sick. During the famine that struck the land, he actually emptied the storehouse of all of their food to feed those in need, regardless of if they had to suffer from starvation. The people mattered more. However, St Erminold prayed to God to intervene and provide the monks with food in their hour of need.

Their prayers were answered when the next day a rich nobleman arrived and wanted to relieve their need from his own wealth. They were given food and supplies. This seemed to invoke jealousy within the other monks that hadn’t agreed with his measures or the way he had done things. He wanted to bring back the discipline that they had lived by before that had slowly seemed to grow lack. There were those that liked the way that things were and resented him for wanting to change it. One of these monks let his resentment get the better of him and struck St Erminold with a heavy wooden beam. He was gravely injured from this. While everyone gathered around his sick bed, he predicted to them that the following day when they sang Glory to God in the Highest, he would depart this world to join God. His prediction came true.

God Bless him and may we also put others first and show God’s love through our actions towards them.

11/25 St Gerald

Today, November 25, 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.

11/24 St Bibiana

Today, November 24, we celebrate the life and works of St Bibiana. There isn’t much really known about St Bibiana other than her name. There has been a few things that have been connected to her though. She suffered and endured a persecution started by Apronianus Governor of Rome. Her parents were both Catholics, known as Flavian and Dafrosa. They were martyred for their religious beliefs by the Apronianus Governor of Rome while their two daughters were stripped of everything they owned and left to fend for themselves.

When he realized that this forced poverty was doing nothing on them, that they seemed to only be acting stronger in their religious beliefs, he had them brought before him. Her sister professed her beliefs only to become a martyr in that exact moment. However, St Bibiana was delivered to the hands of an evil woman that wanted to nothing but seduce the woman into turning away from her religion. St Bibiana stood strong in her beliefs and didn’t give up her virginity, claiming it for God.

She was brought back before him, showing that even this had done nothing towards breaking her spirit. For this, he had her tortured, wanting to break her. Instead, she took joy in it, praising God the entire time.

God Bless her and may we also hold true to what we belief even in the face of adversity.

11/23 St Francis Xavier

Today, November 23, we celebrate the life and works of St Francis Xavier. Born to a Spanish castle in the Kingdom of Navarro, which is now a part of Spain. He studied at the University of Paris which is where he received his licentiate. It was also there that he met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven men that would begin the Society of Jesus. He joined Ignatius in Venice after leaving Paris and, from there, they traveled the world as missionaries, mostly in Palestine. It was there that he was ordained.

After the church was recognized, he traveled on to preach to other places, including Lisbon and eventually to India. It was in India that he spent a lot of time preaching to the natives and spreading the love of God to them. He converted tens of thousands in that place over to Catholicism over the next decade or so.

God Bless him and may we also follow the path that God gives us with such passion.

11/22 St Anno

Today, November 22, 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.

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