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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

Father Andrea Santoro

Fr. Andrea Santoro a 60-year-old Italian priest who was part of the Vatican's "Fidei Donum" program, which sends priests to help in the missions for a fixed period of time. In the afternoon of Feb. 5, the Italian priest was shot twice while he was praying in his parish, St. Mary Church, in the Black Sea coastal city of Trebizond.


Father Santoro, from the Diocese of Rome, had been serving in Turkey for about 10 years,


Murdered Priest's Letter to Benedict XVI
"A Visit of Yours Would Be a Consolation"


Here is a translation of a letter dated Jan. 31 and written to the Pope by Father Andrea Santoro, the Italian missionary who was shot and killed last Sunday in his parish church in Trabzon, Turkey. Benedict XVI directed that the letter be published in the Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano. According to the Pontiff, the letter "reflects the zeal, faith and love that beat in the Don Andrea Santoro's heart."


Content of Fr. Santoro's letter to Pope Benedict XVI

Rome, January 31, 2006


Holiness:


I am writing to you in the name of some Georgian ladies of my parish, St. Mary's in Trabzon (Trebisonda) on the Black Sea, Turkey. They dictated it to me in Turkish, I have translated it for you exactly as it came from their lips and I give it to you on the occasion of my visit to Rome. I am don Andrea Santoro, a Fidei Donum priest of the Church of Rome in Turkey, in the Diocese of Anatolia, resident here for the past 5 years. My flock is made up of 8/9 Catholics, many Orthodox of the city, and Muslims, who make up 99% of the population. You, Holiness, are both the Bishop of my native diocese (Rome) as well as Bishop of my diocese of destination, as it is an "Apostolic Vicariate." In virtue of this double title, I give you the letter of the three Georgian women.


***

Dear Pope:

We greet you in the name of all Georgians.


We ask God to give you health in the name of Jesus.


We are very happy that God chose you as Pope. Pray for us, for the poor, for the miserable all over the world, for children. We believe your prayer reaches God directly. Georgians are very poor, they have debts, they have no homes or work. We are without strength.


At present we live in Trabzon and work. Pray that God will bless us and create in us a new and pure heart. We do not forget the Christian life and we try to be a good example for Turks in the name of God so that through us they will see and glorify God.


We have many things to say and recount, but, "Inshala" [God willing], if you come to Trabzon, we will be able to speak face to face. Your coming will be a joyful celebration. We pray and hope that God will give you health, peace and a Christian life. We kiss your hands. We will be happy if you reply and send us a photo with your signature.


You, as an ordinary father, pray for don Andrea and Loredana [an Italian volunteer who works in the parish], that God will give them strength and that through them the Church will grow and multiply in Trabzon.


[Signed:] Maria, Marina and Maria


In the name of the other Georgian Christians, we invite you to Trabzon on the occasion of your coming visit to Turkey in November.


***


Holiness:


I join these three women to truly invite you to visit us. It is a small flock, as Jesus said, which tries to be salt, leaven and light on this earth. A visit of yours, even if brief, would be a consolation and encouragement. If God wills … nothing is impossible for God.


I greet you and thank you for everything. Your books served me as nourishment during my theology studies. Bless me. And may God bless and assist you.


Don Andrea Santoro
Fidei Donum priest of the Diocese of Rome in Turkey, Diocese of Anatolia, city of Trabzon on the Black Sea, St. Mary's Church


Source: www.zenit.org
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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JANUARY 1
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

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JANUARY 2
ST. BASIL AND ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN

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JANUARY 3
ST. GENEVIEVE

St. Genevieve was born around 422 in Nanterre, a small village four miles from Paris. While still very young..
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JANUARY 4
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON

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JANUARY 5
ST. JOHN NEUMANN

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JANUARY 6
BLESSED ANDRE BESSETTE

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JANUARY 7
ST. RAYMOND OF PENYAFORT

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JANUARY 8
ST. THORFINN

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JANUARY 9
ST. JULIAN AND ST. BASILISSA

St. Julian and St. Basilissa were husband and wife. They lived in the early part of the fourth century.
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JANUARY 10
ST. WILLIAM

St. William came from a wealthy French family. Even as a boy, he did not waste time fooling around or being idle.
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JANUARY 11
ST. THEODOSIUS

St. Theodosius was born in Asia Minor in 423. As a young man, he set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
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JANUARY 12
ST. MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS

St. Marguerite was born in Troyes, France, on April 17, 1620, but spent most of her eighty years in..
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JANUARY 13
ST. HILLARY OF POITIERS

St. Hilary was born into a pagan family on 315 in Poitiers, a town in France. His family was rich and well-known. Hilary received a good education.
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JANUARY 14
ST. MACRINA

St. Macrina and her husband learned the high price of being true to their Christian beliefs.
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JANUARY 15
ST. PAUL THE HERMIT

St. Paul was born into a Christian family in the year 229. They lived in Thebes, Egypt. Paul's parents showed him by their own lives how to love God..
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JANUARY 16
ST. BERARD AND COMPANIONS

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JANUARY 17
ST. ANTHONY OF EGYPT

St. Anthony was born in 251 in a small village in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister.
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JANUARY 18
BLESSED CHRISTINA

Blessed Christina lived in the sixteenth century. She was born in Abruzzi, Italy. Her baptismal name was Matthia. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.
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JANUARY 19
ST. CANUTE

St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark. He lived in the eleventh century. Canute was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and..
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JANUARY 20
ST. FABIAN AND ST. SEBASTIAN

St. Fabian was a pope who died a martyr in 250. It was during the persecution by Emperor Decius.
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JANUARY 21
ST. AGNES

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who died in 304. She was just twelve years old when she suffered martyrdom..
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JANUARY 22
ST. VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA

St. Vincent was martyred in Spain in 304. This was the same year that Agnes was martyred in Rome.
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JANUARY 23
ST. JOHN THE ALMSGIVER

St. John was a dedicated Christian nobleman. He used his wealth and position to help poor people. After his wife passed away, John became a priest and bishop. In 608, he was consecrated the patriarch of Alexandria..
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JANUARY 24
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

St. Francis was born at the de Sales castle in Savoy, France, on August 21, 1567. His wealthy family provided him with an excellent education. By the age of twenty-four, Francis was..
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JANUARY 25
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

St. Paul lived at the time of Jesus but as far as we know they never met. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of..
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JANUARY 26
ST. TIMOTHY AND ST. TITUS

St. Timothy was born in Lycaonia in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jew and his father was a Gentile.
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JANUARY 27
ST. ANGELA MERICI

St. Angela was born in the small Italian town of Desenzano, Italy, around 1474. Her parents died when she was ten. She and her only sister, who was three years older, loved each other..
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JANUARY 28
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

St. Thomas lived in the thirteenth century. He was the son of a noble family of Italy. He was very intelligent, but he never boasted about it. He knew that his mind was a gift from God.
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JANUARY 29
ST. GILDAS

St. Gildas was born around the year 500 in Britain. He set out as a young man to practice a self-sacrificing lifestyle.
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JANUARY 30
ST. BATHILDIS

St. Bathildis was a frightened, Christian English girl could have never imagined what her future would be like.
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JANUARY 31
ST. JOHN BOSCO

St. John Bosco was born in Turin, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His parents were poor farmers. When John was two, his father died. John's mother struggled to keep the family together.
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