Saint Sabas

Saint Sabas

Patriarchal Abbot in Palestine
(439-531)

Saint Sabas, one of the most renowned patriarchs of the monks of Palestine, was born in the year 439, near Caesarea. At the age of fifteen, in the absence of his parents, he suffered under the conduct of an uncle, and weary of the world’s problems decided to forsake the world and enter a monastery not far from his family home. After he had spent ten years in religious life, his two uncles and his parents attempted to persuade him to leave the monastery to which he had migrated in Palestine. He replied: Do you want me to be a deserter, leaving God after placing myself in His service? If those who abandon the militia of earthly kings are severely punished, what chastisement would I not deserve if I abandoned that of the King of heaven?

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Saint Barbara

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

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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