St. Barbatus

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St. Barbatus, or Barbas, Bishop of Benevento, Confessor

A.D. 682.

ST. BARBATUS was born in the territory of Benevento, in Italy, towards the end of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great, in the beginning of the seventh century. His parents gave him a Christian education, and Barbatus in his youth laid the foundation of that eminent sanctity, which recommends him to our veneration. Devout meditation on the holy scriptures was his chief entertainment; and the innocence, simplicity, and purity of his manners, and extraordinary progress in all virtues, qualified him for the service of the altar, to which he was assumed by taking holy orders as soon as the canons of the church would allow it. He was immediately employed by his bishop in preaching, for which he had an extraordinary talent; and, after some time, made curate of St. Basil’s, in Morcona, a town near Benevento. His parishioners were steeled in their irregularities, and averse from whatever looked like establishing order and discipline amongst them.  Continue reading

The Subsequent History of Bernadette Soubirous

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The Subsequent History of Bernadette Soubirous

by Richard F. Clarke, S.J., 1888

July 28, 1858, the Bishop of Tarbes issued a pastoral (mandement) in which he said that ecclesiastical authority was going to occupy itself with the Grotto at Lourdes, and that a commission was charged to make an official inquiry. The commission had for its object to furnish an answer to the following questions: Continue reading

St. Francis Regis Clet

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St. Francis Regis Clet

Lazarist Missionary
(1748-1820)

Born in 1748, Francis was the son of a merchant of Grenoble in France; he was the tenth of fifteen children. The family was deeply religious, and several of its members were already consecrated to God. Francis attended the Jesuit college at Grenoble, and in 1769 entered the novitiate of the Lazarists, a missionary Community founded by Saint Vincent de Paul. He was ordained a priest in 1773, then taught moral theology in a diocesan seminary. In 1789 he was named director of the Lazarist Seminary in Paris, but was obliged by the fury of the revolution in that year, with the entire Congregation, to abandon the mother house.

Blessed Francis exposed his desire to be a foreign missionary to his superior, and was sent by him to China in 1791; there he labored for 28 years, entirely alone for several years in a vast district. Death had deprived him of his two brother-priests. Persecutions in 1812 and 1818 destroyed his church and schoolhouse, and he himself escaped several times, as it were by miracle, from searching parties. But he was finally betrayed by a Chinese Christian for a large sum of money, and seized in June of 1819.

For five weeks he endured cruel tortures in total silence, then was transferred to another prison, where he found a fellow Chinese Lazarist from whom he could receive the Sacraments. His death sentence was pronounced in January of 1820, and he died in February of that year, strangled while tied to a stake erected like a cross.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by C. G. Herbermann with numerous collaborators (Appleton Company: New York, 1908).

Commemoration of the Passion of Christ

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Commemoration of the Passion of Christ

The Circumstances of Our Saviour’s Passion

INTRODUCTION. The scene of today’s Gospel was at the feast of Tabernacles, in the autumn of the year before our Lord’s death. The Jews, aroused to violence over the rebuking words of Jesus, sought to kill Him by stoning, but since other circumstances and another time had been eternally decreed for His passion and death. He easily escaped their hands, as before at Nazareth He had eluded the fury of His own townsmen. Since this Gospel, however, shows us how great and how long continued was the hatred of the Jews for our Lord, it is appropriately read on this Sunday when we begin the solemn commemoration of His passion. Continue reading

Saint Bernadette Soubirous

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Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Virgin
(1844-1879)

Saint Bernadette Soubirous was born at Lourdes, in the Pyrenees mountains, in 1844. This young girl, fragile of health, born of a very poor but pious family, at fourteen years of age witnessed eighteen apparitions of Our Blessed Lady at Lourdes, from February 11, 1858 to July 16th of the same year. She was instructed to make known the healing powers which the Blessed Virgin, by Her presence, would give to the miraculous spring of Lourdes. A worker who had lost an eye in an explosion recovered his sight when he washed his face in this water; a dying child was plunged into the small basin which had formed around the spring, and the next day began to walk. The police attempted to stop the crowds from going to the Grotto for the foretold apparitions, but were unable to do so. On March 25th, the Beautiful Lady identified Herself in response to Bernadette’s request: I am the Immaculate Conception.
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