5/22 St Rita

Today, May 22, we celebrate the life and works of St Rita, Patron of Impossible cases. St Rita was born in Spoleto, Italy in 1381. She knew at a young age that her life was meant to be dedicated to God and doing his good works. At a young age, she began to beg her parents to allow her to enter a convent, but instead they arranged a marriage for her. She became a good wife and mother, but her husband was a man of extreme anger and a violent temper. He would mistreat her often when he was angry and even went so far as to teach his children his ways.

Regardless of this, she performed her duties as a wife faithfully as well as focused on ensuring that her religious beliefs and relationship didn’t suffer. It was after twenty years of marriage and abuse that her husband finally left this world, struck down by an enemy. However, before he died, he repented of all he had done because St Rita prayed for him. Her sons left this world soon after, leaving St Rita all alone in the world. Her life quickly turned to praying, fasting, and penances of many kinds with good works as well.

She was admitted to the convent of the Augustinian nuns at Cascia in Umbria and began her life dedicated completely to God and away from the world desires of man. She was a woman of great devotion and love.

God Bless her and may we also have such strength to never falter in our religious relationship even when we feel as if we are facing too many hardships.

6/12 St Vicelin

Today, June 12, we celebrate the life and works of St Vicelin. Born in Hemeln, Lower Saxony, Germany, he was raised in the Catholic faith and attended the cathedral school of Paderborn. He had ideas of what it was that he wanted to do with his life, but no real set path for it aside from schooling. He ended up getting appointed as a canon at Bremen, Germany where he became head of a local school. However, that wasn’t what he was looking for in life. When the chance came, he was ordained and then set off on a life as a missionary. This took him to further north into Germany where he founded monasteries in places such as Holstein, Segeberg, and Hogerdorf.

Most of his work and missionary accomplishments didn’t come to fruitation because of a band of marauding pirates. He barely escaped with some of his priests from the fiasco and fled to safety in the Holy Roman Empire. That wasn’t the end of his life as far as the religious practices go though. He was named bishop of Staargard although there was some problems and resistance against him being appointed to such a position by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. That didn’t last though.

God Bless him and may we also follow the path that has been set before us.

6/11 St Artaldus

Today, June 11, we celebrate the life and works of St Artaldus. Artaldus was born in Savoy and showed great promise when it came to religion. At the age of eighteen, he went to court, but soon was appointed as Carthusian of Portes. This meant him relocating to Portes where he worked hard alongside others driven just as he was. There he was a priest and showed such drive and experience that he was told to return to where he was born to establish a church. Taking six others with him from Portes, he returned home to build a church. Not long after the first church was built, it was destroyed by fire. Instead of trying to rebuild on that location, St Artaldus took that as a sign and relocated the building to a new location, near to the river.

However, St Artaldus found himself to be in high demand and was even pulled from his quiet existence of working within his home area to be appointed as bishop of Belley, even though he fought against this. He was consulted by the Pope among others, including kings.

God Bless him and may we have such drive and passion for our Lord.

6/10 St Frymentius

Today, June 10, 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.

6/9 St Ephrem

Today, June 9, we celebrate the life and works of St Ephrem. St Ephrem is most known for the hymns and poems that were left behind that were about the faith that tended to inspire others deeply. Most believe that he was born into a Catholic family though he was not baptized until he was an adult which is actually quite common during his life. Aside from that most don’t know much about his younger years.

He served as a teacher and a deacon under four bishops. He had already begun working on writing his hymns and poems at this time and even described the men he worked under in them. He began to write hymns in order to counteract the heresies that were running rampant at the time. He and others developed the power of music as a way to get their points across and inspire others to take more from the church than merely what they might have heard during the sermon. It was his skill and imagery that captured many in this fashion.

He was driven out of this place due to war and political upheaval that had the city he lived in being handed over to a tyrant. As part of the treaty all Catholics were to leave the city. This happened once more before he was able to settle for a time in a city that did not hold to such. It was during this time that a famine hit Edessa in 372, the location the St Ephrem was residing in. He found people were hoarding food and confronted them. When they told him they had no one that was trustworthy enough to pass the food out, he volunteered and no one argued because they knew he would be honest in this. It was his last good work before God called him home.

God Bless him and may we also try to spread God’s love to others through the acts that we show them, not just our words.

6/8 St Eulalia of Merida

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.

6/7 St Vicelin

Today, June 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Vicelin. Born in Hemeln, Lower Saxony, Germany, he was raised in the Catholic faith and attended the cathedral school of Paderborn. He had ideas of what it was that he wanted to do with his life, but no real set path for it aside from schooling. He ended up getting appointed as a canon at Bremen, Germany where he became head of a local school. However, that wasn’t what he was looking for in life. When the chance came, he was ordained and then set off on a life as a missionary. This took him to further north into Germany where he founded monasteries in places such as Holstein, Segeberg, and Hogerdorf.

Most of his work and missionary accomplishments didn’t come to fruitation because of a band of marauding pirates. He barely escaped with some of his priests from the fiasco and fled to safety in the Holy Roman Empire. That wasn’t the end of his life as far as the religious practices go though. He was named bishop of Staargard although there was some problems and resistance against him being appointed to such a position by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. That didn’t last though.

God Bless him and may we also follow the path that has been set before us.

6/6 St Gratia

Today, June 6, we celebrate the life and works of St Gratia. St Gratia spent much of his young life at sea, fishing and bringing in food for others as well as trade. However, one day when he was around thirty, he went into a church in Venice and heard a sermon that reached out to him and spoke to him. Right then he knew that his life was changed and he wouldn’t return to a life as a fisherman. He was determined to enter that order and was accepted as a lay-brother at Monte Ortono.

There he was employed in the gardens and worked hard to earn the respect of the whole convent. It didn’t take long before they all saw in him something. He was sent to St Christopher in venice where he became friar. People claimed to see a light over his door every night and miracles were were performed in his presence. One such miracle occurred happened when the church was being repaired. While he was working, they received water all summer even though it was extremely dry. It stayed fresh and clean even when the sea got into it.

God Bless him and may we also follow God’s plan that can change our lives in a mere moment.

6/5 St Alnoth

Today, June 5, we celebrate the life and works of St Alnoth. St Alnoth was a hermit and a herder in his life. He tended the cows at the monastery of St Werburga in Northampton, England. He was a man that took great pride in helping others, even when it meant that he was being used. He didn’t mind though because he saw what he was doing as helping others in some way or another.

People looked towards him as a sign of holiness and patience. He wanted nothing more than to tend his animals and spread God’s love through helping others. It was when he retired from this position that he was martyred for his faith.

God Bless him and may we spread God’s love by helping others.

6/4 St Francis Caracciolo

Today, June 4, we celebrate the life and works of St Francis Caracciolo, Patron of Naples, Italy and Italian Cooks. St Francis was the founder of the Minor Clerks Regular with St John Augustine Adorno. Born in 1963, he was a member of a noble and wealthy Neapolitan family. There was a lot of issues that caused many to not what St Francis to continue in his pursuit of religions and a religious life, one of those being the fact that he had a rare skin disease, much like leprosy that many people feared. Regardless of this, he became a priest, at which time his skin disease completely disappeared.

Many saw this as a sign that he was supposed to do this. That regardless of the fact that others had tried to stop him and dissuade him from joining, he knew that it was God’s will that he continue on this path and he followed it. In 1988, he co-founded the Minor Clerks Regular and spent the rest of his life as the superior.

God Bless him and may we also not let others dissuade us from the path that God has set us on.

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