Saint Barbara

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Saint Barbara

Virgin and Martyr
(† 235)

Saint Barbara was brought up by a pagan father, Dioscorus. With the intention of protecting her beauty, he kept her jealously secluded in a lonely but very luxurious tower which he built for that purpose; for in his own way he loved her. In her forced solitude, this very gifted young girl undertook to study religion, and soon saw clearly all the vices and absurdities of paganism; her clear mind realized that there could be only one supreme Creator-God, and that He is entitled to the worship of His reasonable creatures. Divine Providence by its wonderful ways contrived to obtain for her the means to send a message to Origen, the famous exegete, asking for knowledge of the Christian faith. That teacher of Alexandria immediately sent to her, at Nicomedia, a disciple named Valentinian. Soon she was baptized, and Our Lord appeared to her, as He would appear to others such as Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Teresa of Avila, to tell her He had chosen her to be His spouse. Saint Barbara, rejoicing, hoped to be able to communicate her precious new faith to her father, but would soon discover that hope was vain.
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Saint Francis Xavier

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Saint Francis Xavier

Jesuit Missionary to the Orient
(1506-1552)

A young Spanish gentleman, in the dangerous days of the Reformation, was making a name for himself as a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris. He was aspiring, apparently, to a high dignity, until Saint Ignatius of Loyola decided to undertake the spiritual conquest of this ardent soul. What does it profit a man to gain the entire world, if he suffers the loss of his soul? Ignatius often repeated to the brilliant teacher. The words of Christ, joined to the example of Ignatius and his disciples, prevailed. It was not long before his gifted friend decided to labor for the glory of God, by adopting the evangelical life of an apostle, to which he was indeed called. He was among the first five members of the Society of Jesus, those who with Ignatius made their religious vows in the church of Montmartre in Paris, on the feast of the Assumption in 1534.
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Desiring the Cross

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Desiring the Cross

CHRIST tells you:

MY CHILD, to bear your daily cross, to actually love it, to gain control over your body by punishing it, to avoid honors, to desire insults, to despise yourself and to want others to despise you, to bear all trials and disappointments with peace of soul, to desire no prosperity in this world – all of this is not natural to any normal human being. One who has these desires and follows them out, is either abnormal, or he is putting on a show to get admiration or some other human satisfaction, or else he is receiving the higher wisdom of divine grace. Continue reading