Saint Dionysius the Areopagite

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.

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Saint Bridget of Sweden

Saint Bridget of Sweden

Widow
(1302-1373)

Saint Bridget was born into the Swedish royal family in the year 1302, the daughter of very virtuous Christian parents. More than one prophetic episode attended the birth of Bridget, whose voice would be heard with admiration by the entire world, according to a bishop of her country. Curiously, for three years she said not a word, then began to speak with facility and clarity, like persons of mature years. At the age of seven, after her mother had died, she beheld the Mother of God, who presented her with a beautiful crown. She became sober, modest, candid, humble, and peaceful. At the age of ten she saw Our Lord as He was on the Cross, and she began to meditate constantly on the mysteries of the Passion, while occupying herself exteriorly with needlework.

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