Our Lady of Peace

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Our Lady of Peace

There are persons who consider earthly goods as supreme. For them peace is necessary to maintain these goods and to continue to have a pleasant life. According to this purely materialist conception, the principal aim of religion would be to promote well-being on earth. Eternal life is not taken into account. Continue reading

SS. Martyrs of Gorcum

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SS. Martyrs of Gorcum

NINETEEN priests and religious men, who were taken by the Calvinists in Gorcum, after suffering many insults, were hanged on account of their religion at Bril, on the 9th of July, 1572. Of these, eleven were Franciscan friars, called Recollects, of the convent of Gorcum, amongst whom were Nicholas Pick the guardian, and Jerom Werden, vicar of the same convent. The former was thirty-eight years old, an eminent preacher, and a man endued with the primitive spirit of his order, especially the love of holy poverty and mortification. He feared the least superfluity even in the meanest and most necessary things, especially in meals; and he would often say: “I fear if St. Francis were living, he would not approve of this or that.” He was most zealous to preserve this spirit of poverty and penance in his house, and he used to call property and superfluity the bane of a religious state. His constant cheerfulness rendered piety and penance itself amiable. He often had these words in his mouth: “We must always serve God with cheerfulness.” He had frequently expressed an earnest desire to die a martyr, but sincerely confessed himself altogether unworthy of that honour. The other martyrs were a Dominican, two Norbertins, one Canon Regular of St. Austin, called John Oosterwican, 1 three curates, and another secular priest. Continue reading

Saint Maria Goretti

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Saint Maria Goretti

Virgin and Martyr
(1890-1902)

This little Italian girl, who before reaching the age of twelve was slain for having preferred death to sin, was beatified and canonized before fifty years had passed. Saint Maria Goretti, born in October, 1890 in the small hilltop village of Corinaldo near Ancône, was the second of the six living children of a very pious poor family. Her mother consecrated the infant to the Blessed Virgin on the day of her baptism. Her courageous parents labored under the sign of Christian poverty to support the children, but by 1896 their little plot of land proved insufficient to feed the growing family. The father decided they would move down to the plains of Rome, where it was said that fertile farm land could be rented at low cost. The move to Ferriere di Conca, near Nettuno, proved fatal to the good Luigi, who after only four years, exhausted by the unhealthy climate, the heavy heat and his hard labor, died a Christian death.
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Saints John Fisher and Thomas More

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Saints John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr and Thomas More, Martyr

John Fisher
(1469 – † 1535)

Thomas More
(1478 – † 1535)

Saint Thomas More was the greatest Englishman of his generation. In a land with a highly educated aristocratic class, his erudition was unequalled. He was a devoted family man who carried out an extensive correspondence with his children and ensured that his daughters were as well educated as his sons. He served the English crown faithfully both at home and abroad. He charmed his many friends with a rich and engaging personality. He published scholarly works and communicated with other humanists of his era. Yet despite all of these accomplishments, the fraught times he lived in eventually overwhelmed him. He could not save his own head. Continue reading