St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Image may contain: 1 person

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Landgravine of
Hesse and Thuringia

St. Elizabeth, a model of devotion and purity to those who live singly, a mirror of love and retirement for married people, a most perfect example of patience for widows, and whose virtues deserve to be followed by all, high and low, was born in Hungary. She was a daughter of Andrew II., King of Hungary, and of Gertrude, daughter of the Duke of Carinthia. According to the Roman Breviary, Elizabeth began in early childhood to fear God, and increased in piety with age. The walk she loved best of all was going to church, where she prayed with angelic devotion, and whence it was a difficult task to bring her home, as her greatest delight consisted in praying. At the door of the church, she always took off the jewelled coronet which she wore, and when asked why she did this, she replied: “God forbid that I should ever appear with such a crown before the face of Him who was crowned with thorns, and who, out of love for me, was nailed to the cross.” She called Mary, the divine Mother, her mother, and entertained great devotion towards St. John, the Apostle and Evangelist, whom she chose as the special protector of her chastity. She never refused what was asked of her in the name of the Blessed Virgin or in that of St. John. The money allotted to her for her recreation, she gave to the poor, requesting them to say the Ave Maria. She was an enemy to luxury, vain adornments and idleness. Nature had not only bestowed upon her unusual personal beauty, but had also endowed her with great qualities of mind. Continue reading

St. Pontian

Image may contain: one or more people

St. Pontian, Pope and Martyr

THE LIBERIAN Calendar informs us that this pope sat five years from the death of St. Urban, in 230, the church then enjoying peace in the reign of Alexander Severus. But Maximinus, who, by contriving the assassination of the best of the Roman emperors, in May, 235, opened to himself a way to the imperial throne, began his reign by raising a bloody persecution. He was by birth a barbarian, a native of Thrace, and of a gigantic stature: for his cruelty towards all men he is surnamed Busiris, Typhon, and Phalaris, and was a monster of gluttony. St. Pontian was banished by him in the beginning of his reign into the isle of Sardinia, where he died the same year, if not by the sword, at least by the hardships of his exile and the unhealthfulness of the air. See Tillemont, t. 3. 1

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866. November 19.

The Dedication of the Churches of SS. Peter and Paul

Image may contain: 7 people

The Dedication of the Churches of SS. Peter and Paul, at Rome

THE VATICAN church, dedicated in honour of St. Peter, is the second patriarchal church at Rome, and in it reposes one half of the precious remains of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul. The tombs of the great conquerors and lords of the world have been long since destroyed and forgotten; but those of the martyrs are glorious by the veneration which the faithful pay to their memory. Amongst all the places which the blood of martyrs has rendered illustrious, that part of the Vatican hill which was consecrated with the blood and enriched with the relics of the prince of the apostles, has always been most venerable. “The sepulchres of those who have served Christ crucified,” says St. Chrysostom, 1 “surpass the palaces of kings, not so much in the greatness and beauty of the buildings (though in this also they go beyond them) as in another thing of more importance, namely, in the multitude of those who, with devotion and joy, repair to them. For the emperor himself, who is clothed in purple, goes to the sepulchres of the saints, and kisses them; and, humbly prostrate on the ground, beseeches the same saints to pray to God for him; and he who wears a royal crown upon his head, holds it for a great favour of God, that a tent-maker and a fisherman, and these dead, should be his protectors and defenders, and this he begs with great earnestness.” And St. Austin, or another ancient father. 2 “Now at the memory of the fisherman the knees of the emperor are bowed, and the precious stones of the imperial crown shine most where the benefits of the fisherman are most felt.” 1 Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST RESUMED SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Image may contain: one or more people

INSTRUCTION FOR TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST RESUMED SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

[For the Introit of this day’s Mass see the Introit of the third Sunday after Epiphany.]

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that ever fixing our thoughts on such things as are reasonable, we may both in our words and works do what is pleasing in Thy sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

EPISTLE (I. Thess. I. 2-10.) Brethren, we give thanks to God for you all, making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing; being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father: knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election: for our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned, to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven (whom he raised from the dead), Jesus, who both delivered us from the wrath to come. Continue reading

St. Philippine Duchesne

Image may contain: 1 person

St. Philippine Duchesne

Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in 1769 in Grenoble, France. Against her parents’ wishes, she entered the convent at age 19. During the French Revolution, the convent closed, so she cared for the poor and sick. After the war, she joined the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Philippine grew up listening to stories about missionaries in America. It became her lifelong dream to go to America and work with the Native Americans. In 1818, at age 49, she traveled to America. She landed in New Orleans, where the bishop sent her up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and the nearby colony of St. Charles, Missouri. There she founded a school for girls. Cold and hunger forced her to leave St. Charles. Then she founded the first Catholic school for Native Americans in Florissant, Missouri. She created several schools and houses for her nuns in the United States.

She was 72 when a mission was founded at Sugar Creek, Kansas, with Native Americans. Although she was retired and in ill health, she was invited along. Since she never was able to learn the language, she spent her days in prayer. Other missionaries taught the people. She became known as “Woman-Who-Prays-Always.” She died in 1852 at age 83.