Today, April 13, we celebrate the life and works of St Guiseppe Maria Tommasi, parton of Catholic liturgy. Son of the duke of Palermo and of Rosalina Traino, he grew up to become a man of God and a cardinal. It was almost like a family tradition to join the church for both of his parents did as well as his four sisters. Born in Sicily, he entered the Theatine novitiate at Palermo at the young age of 15. He worked hard to study everything that he could including scripture, Hebrew, and Greek philosophy. Knowledge was power and he wanted to have as much as possible.
He was called before the Vatical years later and worked with reforms among religious orders and continued his own studies and interests on the side in such things as theology, language and philosophy as well as relief for the poor. He was appointed to the position of Cardinal shortly after Clement XI became pope.
God Bless him and may we also take the knowledge that we acquire in life and use it to bring glory to God.
Today, April 12, we celebrate the life and work of St Sabinus. St Sabinus was a bishop of many cities and, ultimately ended up as a martyr along with his companions, St. Exuperantius, Marcellus, Venustian, and others. St Exuperantius and Marcellus were his deacons and the others were his converts. They were brought before the local government because of their many conversions as well as the fact that St Sabinus had cured a blind child. They saw this as heresy and were threatened by the relationship that St Sabinus had with God as well as the effect him preaching had on the people. They all became martyrs.
He loved God and wanted nothing more than to spread God’s word and love. God Bless him and his followers for their love and work towards improving the world through the Lord’s love.
Today, April 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, April 10, we celebrate the life and works of St Nilus the Elder. He was a man of great faith that spent much time in Sinai. It was there that he was a member of the imperial court of what is now Constantinople. There, with his son, he gave up the rest of his family to focus on the life of becoming a monk of Mount Sinai. It was during this time that he worked on writing, both treaties and various doctrines.
However, hardship struck when his son, Theodulus was kidnapped by Arab raiders. He stopped all that he was doing to set out to find him. It took time, but he never doubted that God would deliver his son back into his life. They were reunited and then returned to Mount Sinai to resume their lives as monks.
God Bless him and may we also hold strong in our faith even when facing our worst fears. God is with us and will put nothing in our path that we can’t handle through Him.
Today, April 9, we celebrate the life and works of Saint Waldetrudis. She was also known as Waltrude and Waudru, the daughter of two Saints, Saints Walbert and Bertilia. It was quite normal for her family to be Saints because of their deep devotion to God and their desire to spread that same joy and love to others. Even her sister was a Saint, St. Aldegunus of Maubeuge.
Saint Waldetrudis married Saint Vincent Madelgarius, she knew that her life would never be the same, that she would continue to line of Saints and encourage her children to spread God’s love as she had been taught at a young age. She became the mother of saints Landericus, Madalberta, Adeltrudis, and Dentelin.
It was years later that her husband, Saint Vincent decided to become a monk at the monastery that he had founded. To Saint Waldetrudis, it seemed only natural for her to establish a convent of her own at Chateaulieu.
God Bless her and may we also have such passion and dedication towards God and spreading that love to others.
Today, April 8, 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, April 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Conrad of Constance. St Conrad was born to a wealthy and prestigious family and was son of Count Heinrich of Altdorf. Because of his high rank in society, he was taught in a cathedral school and later ordained there. It was after his education came to an end that he was offered the esteemed position of provost of the Constance cathedral. He spent much of his time focusing on what was important for the school and furthering the education of those that desired to be taught.
Years later he was appointed Bishop of Constance. With this honor, he worked hard for the people. He avoided the political world and focused on what needed to be done for the Catholicism. He built many churches and gave away all of the money that he inherited to the church, the poor, and fixing the buildings and such that were in need.
God Bless him and may we also focus on what’s important in our lives, our churches, and in God’s plan for us.
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.