Saint Dionysius the Areopagite

Image may contain: 3 people

Saint Dionysius the Areopagite

First Bishop of Athens and of Paris
and his Companions, Martyrs
(† 117)

Of all the Roman missionaries sent into Gaul, Saint Dionysius or Denys the Areopagite, converted by Saint Paul in Athens, carried the Faith farthest into the west, fixing his see at Paris. France claims him as one of her greatest glories.

He was a highly educated philosopher of Greece, and one of the nine archontes or leaders of the city of Athens, a counselor, as some say, if not the Head of the Athenian senate. He was born in the year 9 of the Christian era, and had traveled to Heliopolis in Egypt to learn mathematics and astrology. There he saw for himself, in his early twenties, the eclipse of the sun contrary to all the laws of nature, which occurred at the death of the Son of God. His teachers could not explain it to him otherwise than as a sign of changes in divine matters. In his letters to Saint Polycarp he says himself that the astrologer he questioned had answered him rather by divine inspiration than by any natural knowledge. And he himself had cried out: Either the God of nature is suffering, or the entire mechanism of the world is going to be destroyed to return to its ancient state of chaos! Already he was being prepared for his conversion twenty years later, which is related by Saint Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter seven. Continue reading

Christopher Columbus

Image may contain: 4 people

Christopher Columbus

(Italian CRISTOFORO COLOMBO; Spanish CRISTOVAL COLON.)

Born at Genoa, or on Genoese territory, probably 1451; died at Valladolid, Spain, 20 May 1506.

His family was respectable, but of limited means, so that the early education of Columbus was defective. Up to his arrival in Spain (1485) only one date has been preserved. His son Fernando, quoting from his father’s writings says that in February, 1467, he navigated the seas about “Tile” (probably Iceland). Columbus himself in a letter to King Ferdinand says that he began to navigate at the age of fourteen, though in the journal of his first voyage (no longer in existence), in 1493, he was said to have been on the sea twenty-three years, which would make him nineteen when he first became a mariner. Continue reading

Saint Louis Bertrand

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Saint Louis Bertrand

Dominican Missionary and Preacher
(1526-1581)

Saint Louis Bertrand was born in the year 1526, the oldest of the eight children of his good Christian parents, at Valencia in Spain. He was in every way a model of modesty and obedience, and it was foreseen that God had some particular role for him. He devoted himself to the sick in the hospitals. He desired to enter the Order of Saint Dominic, but for some time could not obtain his parents’ permission. Finally, in 1545, he became professed in the Dominican Order, then was ordained a priest in 1547 when he was only 21 years old, according to the desire of his Superiors. In 1551, at the age of twenty-five, he was made master of novices, and in this post he formed many great servants of God. It is said that despite his strictness, he was so gentle that his chastisements were more agreeable to his novices than the favors of their best friends.
Continue reading