ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and
the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria
was already very pretty. She helped her mother on the farm, in the
house and with the care of the other children. She never complained
because they were so poor. In fact, she cheered up her poor mother
and was a great comfort to her. She went to Mass regularly even
though it meant a two-hour walk. Maria also received the sacrament
of Reconciliation as often as she could.
A young neighbor, Alexander, tried a few times to make Maria sin.
She absolutely refused. She did her best to avoid him. July 5, 1902,
was a hot summer day. Maria was alone in the cottage mending clothes.
Alexander came again to try to make her sin. He dragged her into
a room. When she tried to scream, he stuffed a handkerchief into
her mouth. Yet Maria managed to keep saying, "No, no! It is
a mortal sin. God doesn't want it. If you commit it, you will go
to hell." And she struggled as much as she could. Alexander
panicked. He stabbed her furiously with a dagger. Then he ran away.
was taken to a hospital, where she died about twenty-four hours
later. During her last hours, she forgave her murderer. Her only
worry was for her mother. With great joy, the girl received Jesus
in Holy Communion. Then she went to heaven. Alexander was sent to
prison. For a long time, he did not repent of his horrible crime.
Then one night he had a dream or vision of Maria offering him flowers.
From that moment on, he was a changed man. When he was freed from
prison after twenty-seven years, his first visit was to the Goretti
home. He asked Maria's mother for forgiveness. Then Alexander spent
the rest of his life as the gardener in a nearby monastery.
was declared "blessed" by Pope Pius XII on April 27, 1947.
He appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's with Maria's eighty-two-year-old
mother, Assunta. Three years later, on July 25, 1950, the same pope
declared Maria a saint. He called her "a martyr of holy purity."
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution
by Queen Elizabeth I. "Mr." Roger Dickenson was an undercover
diocesan priest. Ralph Milner was a husband and father. He worked
as a farm laborer and was brought into the Church through the good
example of his neighbors. The day he made his First Communion he
was put into prison for being a Catholic. The jailer liked Mr. Milner
so his prison confinement was not strict at first. For several years,
he went on "parole" to find supplies of food and whatever
the other prisoners needed. While on parole, he was of great help
to "Mr." Dickenson and Father Stanney, a Jesuit. The day
came when Father Dickenson, too, was caught. He and Mr. Milner were
brought to trial together. Father Dickenson was tried for the crime
of being a Catholic priest. Mr. Milner was tried for helping Father
Dickenson perform his ministry. The judge looked at the crowd in
the courtroom. He thought of Mrs. Milner and the couple's eight
children. He wanted to free Milner at all costs. "All you have
to do," he said, "is visit a Protestant church, just for
a few minutes, to say you have been there. I'll let you go free
to be with your family." Mr. Milner quietly and firmly refused.
He and Father Dickenson went bravely to their deaths. It was July
martyr, Lawrence Humphrey, had been brought into the Church by Father
Stanney, S.J. He would not give up the faith he had so recently
acquired. Lawrence was just twenty-one years old when he was martyred.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century.
He was baptized Peter. St. Antoninus, whose feast day is May 10,
called Pope Eugene "a great pope with great sufferings."
Pope Eugene had been Father Peter, a priest in Pisa, when he felt
the call to become a Cistercian monk. He went to Clairvaux, France,
and joined the monks there. St. Bernard of Clairvaux was the superior.
His feast day is August 20. Peter chose "Bernard" for
his religious name. He did this because of his great esteem for
sent his namesake, Bernard, to become the superior of a monastery
in Rome. Pope Lucius II died in 1145. That is when a most unusual
thing happened. The cardinals elected Abbot Bernard to be pope.
The abbot was not at the meeting because he was not a cardinal.
He was shocked. St. Bernard of Clairvaux was surprised too. He felt
sorry for Bernard. He wrote an open letter to the cardinals: "May
God forgive you for what you have done," he said. "You
have involved in responsibilities and placed among many people a
man who fled them both."
chose to be called Eugene III. His time as pope brought him many
difficulties. The Roman senate threatened to oppose him if he did
not let them keep stolen property. A man who had been previously
excommunicated went to Pope Eugene and asked forgiveness. Soon after,
he fell back into his old ways. He even joined a faction that was
directly against the pope. Pope Eugene had to leave Rome a few times
because of the dangers surrounding him. When this happened, he would
find peace and strength at a monastery. Then he would have the courage
to go back and face his difficult task again. He wore his Cistercian
habit and lived simply. No matter how hectic his life was, he always
had the heart of a monk. One of his fellow monks wrote to St. Bernard
of Clairvaux about Pope Eugene: "There is no arrogance or domineering
way in him." Pope Eugene died on July 8, 1153.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during
the second century. After her husband's death, she served God by
prayer and works of charity. Her good example led others to become
Christians, too. This angered the pagan priests, who complained
to Antoninus Pius, the emperor. They said Felicity was an enemy
of the state because she was making the gods angry. So the emperor
ordered Felicity arrested. Seven young men were arrested with her.
It is believed that they were her sons. Like the mother of the Maccabees
in the Old Testament, Felicity remained calm. The governor tried
in vain to make her sacrifice to the gods. He ended with the words,
"Unhappy woman, if you wish to die, die! But do not destroy
sons will live forever if, like me, they scorn the idols and die
for their God," Felicity answered. This brave woman was forced
to watch her sons being put to death. One was whipped, two were
beaten with clubs, three beheaded and another drowned. Four months
later, Felicity, too, was beheaded. Her strength came from her great
hope that she would be with God and her sons in heaven.
it could be said, was martyred eight different times. This is because
she had to watch each of her sons die. Then she too gave up her
life for Jesus.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family.
His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds. As a boy, he
was sent to Rome to study in the public schools. When he was a young
man, he became disgusted with the corrupt lifestyle of pagan Rome.
Benedict left the city and went looking for a place where he could
be alone with God. He found the right spot. It was a cave in the
mountain of Subiaco. Benedict spent three years there alone. The
devil often tempted him to go back to his rich home and easy life.
However, Benedict overcame these temptations by prayer and penance.
One day, the devil kept making him think of a beautiful lady he
had once seen in Rome. The devil tried to make him go back to look
for that lady. Benedict almost gave in to the temptation. Then he
felt so sorry that he threw himself into a bush of long, sharp thorns.
He rolled around in the thorns until he was covered with scratches.
From then on, his life was calm. He did not feel powerful temptations
like that again.
three years, people started coming to Benedict. They wanted to learn
how to become holy. He became the leader of some men who asked for
his help. But when he tried to make them do penance, they grew angry.
It is said that the men even tried to poison Benedict. He made the
Sign of the Cross over the poisoned wine and the glass shattered
Benedict became the leader of many good monks. He started twelve
monasteries. Then he went to Montecassino where he built his most
well-known monastery. It was here that St. Benedict wrote the wonderful
rules for the Benedictine order. He taught his monks to pray and
work hard. He taught them especially to be humble always. Benedict
and his monks greatly helped the people of their times. They taught
them how to read and write, how to farm, and how to work at different
trades. St. Benedict was able to do good because he prayed all the
time. He died on March 21, 547. In 1966, Pope Paul VI proclaimed
him the patron of Europe. In 1980, Pope John Paul II added St. Cyril
and St. Methodius as patrons of Europe along with St. Benedict.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the
tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only
brother, Hugh, was murdered. The man who did it was supposed to
have been Hugh's friend. Urged on by his father and by his own anger,
John began looking for a way to avenge his brother's death. He felt
that his personal honor depended on it.
Friday, he came face to face with the murderer in a narrow passageway.
John drew his sword and started toward the man. Hugh's killer fell
to his knees. He crossed his arms on his chest and begged forgiveness
for love of Jesus who died on the cross. With a tremendous effort,
John dropped his sword. He embraced his enemy and moved on down
the road. When he came to a monastery church, he went in and knelt
before the crucifix. He asked forgiveness for his sins. Then a miracle
happened! Christ on the cross bowed his head. It was as if to tell
John that he was pleased with him for forgiving his enemy. John
felt that his own sins were forgiven. Such a change came over him
that he went straight to the abbot of that monastery. He asked if
he could join the monks.
John's father heard about it, he said he would burn the whole monastery
if his son did not come out. The monks did not know what to do.
John solved the problem by cutting off his hair and borrowing a
habit from one of the monks. Even his father was so impressed that
he let him remain. St. John later went off to live a stricter life.
He started his own community of monks. John became a model for imitating
the poor lifestyle of Jesus. He also took wonderful care of all
the poor people who came to the monastery gate. God granted him
power to work miracles and to give wise guidance. Even Pope St.
Leo IX went to St. John to seek his advice. St. John died on July
12, 1073. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Celestine III in 1193.
page 1, 2, 3,
OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
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?