Showing posts from September, 2016

St. Jerome: Father and Doctor of the Church

September 30 is the feast of St. Jerome, a Father and Doctor of the Church. Translator of the Bible into its official Latin version (the Vulgate), brilliant scholar, monk, traveler, teacher, letter writer, and consultant to Popes and Bishops, St.Jerome is one of the most important figures in the history of the Church.

St. Jerome was born in Dalmatia (near Aquileia, north of Rome) around 340 to a wealthy Christian family. At the age of 20, Jerome was sent to study in Rome, where he became fluent in Latin and Greek and developed a love for the classical writers. Here he acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to control his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. He travelled throughout western Europe with a friend but that ceased when he had a conversion experience in Trier and decided to become a monk. He joined a community in Aquileia in 370, where he met some who would become his close friends and others his enemies. Whe…

Feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

September 29 is the feast of the Archangels: Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. These three Archangels are the only angels named in Sacred Scripture and all three have important roles in the history of salvation.

Michael's name means "Who is like God?"  St. Michael’s name is mentioned four times in the Bible: twice in Daniel and once in both the Book of Revelation and the Epistle of St. Jude. In the book of Revelation 12:7-9, we read of a great war that took place in heaven, in which Michael and his angels battled with Satan and the other fallen angels (devils). Michael became the great champion of faithfulness to God and the victor over evil. Today, he is our protector. He guards the people of God, defends the souls of the just, and brings the souls to their final judgment.  To combat the forces of evil in our world today, we pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer.  Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer after experiencing a horrific vision of attacks against the Church…

Five Fast Facts about Saint Wenceslas

Here are some amazing facts about Saint Wenceslas:

1. Wenceslas’ grandfather, Borivoj I of Bohemia, was converted by Saints Cyril and Methodius, who began the Christianization of Bohemia during Borivoj's reign.

2. His grandmother Ludmila of Bohemia is also a Czech saint and martyr. She was canonized shortly after her death. Her feast is September 16.

3. Wenceslas' father died when Wenceslas was a child. It was his own mother who had his grandmother martyred. When Wenceslas was 18 he assumed leadership of the government and brought in German priests to help strengthen the faith in his duchy.

4. Wenceslas himself was martyred by his younger brother known as Boleslav the Cruel at a feast in honor of Sts. Cosmas and Damien.

5. Wenceslas was considered a martyr and a saint immediately after his death. The biographies that were written in the first fifty years after his death had a powerful influence on the Middle Ages conceptualization of the "righteous king" whose power …

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions, martyrs

The saint of the day for September 28 is Saint Lorenzo (Lawrence) Ruiz (1600-1637), a husband and father, the first saint of the Philippines and the first Filipino martyred for the Christian Faith.  He and 15 others were martyred at Nagasaki, Japan in 1637. The group included two consecrated women, two other laymen, two brothers and nine priests.

Lorenzo Ruiz was born at Binondo, Manila, Philippines to a Chinese Father and a Filipino mother who were both Catholic.  Educated by the Dominicans, he was a devoted and active Catholic, a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, and a third order Dominican.  He was a husband and father of two sons and a daughter.

In 1636, while working as a clerk for the Church, Lorenzo was falsely accused of murder and forced to leave his country. The Dominican fathers who knew Lorenzo arranged to have him take a ship to Japan. Soon after arriving in Japan, Lorenzo was captured for being Catholic and brought to Nagasaki, where he was tortured. He wa…

St. Vincent de Paul, Apostle of the Poor

September 26 is the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century French priest known for his apostolic work among the poor and marginalized.

Born to a poor family in Pouy in the southwest of France in 1581, Vincent was an intellectually gifted youth who began his theological studies at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 20.

On a voyage to the Holy Land, Vincent's ship was boarded by pirates and he was captured and sold into slavery in Africa, where he was held for two years before he converted his master to Christianity and was freed.

He returned to France and was appointed to a parish near Paris, from where he began to initiate and organize missions for the poor, destitute, forgotten, sick, uneducated, and unemployed.

He founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission and the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity and sent priests to Africa to minister to and ransom slaves.

He vigorously opposed Jansenism and helped reform orders of priests and religious, fam…

Saints Cosmas and Damian

Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian Dressing a Chest Wound by Antoine de Favray Photo Credit: Welcome Library

September 26 is the optional memorial of Sts. Cosmas and Damian. Cosmas and Damian were twin bothers born in Syria in the third century. They were also doctors, and they became known as “the holy money-less ones" because they cared for the sick free of charge. The strange practice of accepting no money for medical care was their way of embodying God’s providential love and care for his people. And folks took notice.

The twin brothers were arrested on September 27, during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 303. Soon after, the faithful brothers defied death by water, fire and crucifixion before they were finally beheaded in Cilicia, along with their three brothers. They were buried in Cyrrhus, Syria.        

Veneration to Cosmas and Damian began immediately. The faithful asked for their intercession, especially in matters of physical illness. St. Gregory of Tours sp…

Novena to St. Francis of Assisi begins today

October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, “the little beggar”, who is perhaps the most popular saint in history. He is the patron saint of animals, the environment, families, and peace. His novena begins on September 25.

make me an instrument of  peace
Where there is hatred,
Let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master grant that I may
    Not so much seek to be consoled
    As to console;
    To be understood,
    As to understand;
    For it is in giving that we
    Receive, it is in pardoning that
    We are pardoned.
    And it is in Dying that we are
    Born to Eternal life.


O God, come to my assistance.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know all things and nothing is hidden from You. In Your mercy and kindness, and through the intercession of Saint Francis, come to my aid in my present distress and grant my humble petitio…

St. Padre Pio: Ten Tips to Improve Your Spiritual Life

September 23 is the Feast of St. Padre Pio, also known as St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968).  He was a priest, mystic, and stigmatist, and Spiritual Father to many.

Here are ten bits of advice to help us grow spiritually from this powerful saint:

Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.

A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Pray, hope and don't worry. Anxiety doesn't help at all. Our Merciful Lord will listen to your prayer.

Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” 

Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!

Fear nothing. …

Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux begins today

The novena to St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, begins today, September 22, and is recited for nine days. St. Therese is a powerful intercessor. Also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus, she is a doctor of the Church and Pope Pius X called her the “greatest saint of modern times.”
Novena Prayers
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God up until the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in …

Discovery by Karina Fabian: A Virtual Book Tour

By Jean M. Heimann


I have to admit that while I enjoy watching science fiction films, I am not an avid reader of science fiction books, but I definitely enjoyed reading Discovery by Karina Fabian. In fact, I loved it! It is authentically Catholic – complete with saint quotes and filled with Catholic themes. Some of these themes include: mercy and redemption, evangelization, respect for human life, and surrender to God’s will.

Discovery is a gripping, suspense-filled science fiction tale that takes you on a journey into the unknown and the unexpected. It is an irresistible page turner! It grabs you by both arms and doesn't let go until the last page.  Discovery is an exhilarating, fun-filled read that contains all the makings of a great book. It has a titillating plot, complex characters, humor, mystery, and romance.

The plot of Discovery is intriguing. The Rescue Sisters, Sister Ann St. Joseph de Cupertino (Ann), Sister Thomas Aquinas Krueger (Tommie), and Sister Rita Aguil…

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Today is the feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. He is the traditional author of the first gospel. St. Matthew was born at Capernaum. He was working as a tax collector when Jesus called him to be one of the twelve apostles. He was sitting among the tax collectors, when Jesus said to him, "Follow me." "And he got up and followed him" (Matthew 9:9).

Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew. His gospel, with its familiar references to the messianic prophecies, throws light on the continuity between the covenants. Moreover, his vocation is one of the most popular episodes in the life of Jesus, because of the personality of the one called the tax collector and the revelation of redeeming love that concludes and crowns the story. Matthew's position as tax collector equated with collaboration with the enemy by those from whom he collected taxes. Jesus' contemporaries were surprised to see Christ with a traitor, but Jesus explained that he had come "not t…

St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Paul Chong and companions, Korean martyrs

September 20 is the memorial of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, St. Paul Chong, martyr, and companions. During the persecutions of 1839, 1846, 1866, and 1867, one hundred and three Christians in Korea gave their lives as martyrs. The martyrs included clergy, but were, for the most part, members of the laity. They consecrated the rich beginnings of the Church in Korea with their blood. Among them were Fr. Andrew Kim of Taegon, the first Korean priest and pastor, and Paul Chong of Hasang, a lay apostle.

St. Andrew Kim Taegon was born into a noble Korean family. He traveled to China to become a Catholic priest and he was ordained in Macao. When he returned to Korea, as the first native priest, he was arrested, tortured, and eventually beheaded.

Paul Chong Hasang was a seminarian, aged 45. As a layman, he was one of the great founders of the Catholic Church in Korea. He was persecuted before he could be ordained.


"We have received baptism, entrance into the Churc…

St. Januarius and the Miracle of the Blood

The saint of the day for September 19th, is St. Januarius, bishop and martyr. He is the patron saint of Naples, where Catholics assemble three times a year in Naples Cathedral to witness the liquefaction of a small sample of his his blood which is kept in a sealed vial.

St. Januarius was born in Naples and served as bishop of Beneventum (just east of Naples). He and his companions suffered martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution at Naples in 303. They were first thrown to the lions in the arena, but none of the beasts would attack them, so they were beheaded. The Christian women collected the blood of St. Januarius in a vial and placed it in his tomb.

St. Januarius has been invoked against volcanic blasts since 1631, when a violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius threatened Naples. The people of the city prayed to him to help them, and the flow of lava stopped. But the enduring fervor for this saint of the volcanoes is rooted in an inexplicable event known as “the miracle of the lique…

{SQT} Fr. Larry Richards, Books, Music, and More

1.  Fr. Larry Richards was in Wichita this past week and gave a wonderful parish mission to a nearby parish, so I attended. I often listen to Fr. Larry on EWTN Radio and knew that I enjoyed his call-in show Open Line, but I had no idea he was such a dynamic and gifted speaker. He is filled with the Holy Spirit who keeps him very active, energetic, humorous, and upbeat! I have never seen a priest quite like him before anywhere! What a wonderful man of God and an amazing evangelist!

Here was the schedule for the week:

Monday:  God's Love and Prayer
Tuesday:  Love of Others Done in the Context of the Mass
Wednesday: Passion of Christ and the Need for Confession followed by individual confessions.
Thursday:  Adoration and Healing done in the context of Church and then used St. Joseph's oil from Saint-Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada to bless us with as he prayed St. Joseph's healing prayer. It was so comforting and peaceful.

2. Most of you know I am a cat lover and have both…

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

September 15 marks the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. This title was given to our Blessed Mother due to the intense suffering and tremendous sorrow she experienced during the passion and death of her Son. She was indeed a co-redeemer with Christ due to the terrible pain she endured.  Traditionally and in Scripture readings, her suffering was not limited to the passion and death event; rather, it consisted of the seven dolors or seven sorrows of Mary, which were prophesied by the priest, Simeon in Luke 2: 34-35. There Simeon announced: "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."

Today, we are called to reflect on the seven great sorrows, which Mary lived in relation to her Son, as they are recorded in the Gospels or through tradition. The Seven Sorrows are:

The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)

The flight into…

Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross

September 14 is the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross. This feast is also called the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas.

The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, beginning with the miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- the same day that two churches built at the site of Calvary by Constantine were dedicated.

In the Western Church, the feast came into prominence in the seventh century, after Emperor Heraclius of Constantinople recaptured the cross of Christ from the Persians and returned it to Jerusalem.

On this feast day, we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The Cross -- because of what it represents -- is the most potent and universal symbol of the Christian faith. We revere the instrument by which Jesus Christ, Our Lord, saved us. Once an object of scorn, …

St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

Today, September 13, is the feast of St. John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407), one of the most famous Fathers, Doctors, and bishops of the Catholic Church. Known to be among the most prominent orators of his time, St. Chrysostom suffered much for his stances as a Catholic bishop, from both secular authorities and from some within the Church.

Born in Antioch, he studied law as a young man, but then went off to the mountains and became a hermit for several years. In 381, he became a deacon and was later ordained as a priest and served in his native city of Antioch. It was there that his powerful and eloquent oratory earned him the title "Chrysostom" (golden-mouthed). His homilies ranged from the Gospels to personal conversion to the moral reformation of society. He delivered 88 sermons alone on the Gospel of St. John.

He was offered the position of Bishop of Constantinople (the imperial capital), which he initially declined, but finally accepted in 398.  John tried to avoid politics…

Feast of The Most Holy Name of Mary

On September 12, the Church celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary to teach us how useful and advantageous it is for us to invoke her holy name in our needs. The name Mary by which we honor the Most Blessed Virgin means "Star of the Sea". It is, says Saint Bernard, very well given to her, because she is indeed a star which enlightens, guides, and leads us to a harbor in the stormy sea of this world.

The feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first observed in Cuenca, Spain in 1513.  In 1683, Pope Innocent XI extended the celebration of the feast day to the universal Church, to be celebrated on September 12th, four days after the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Mother.  With the revisions of the Roman Missal in 1970 following the Vatican Council II, the feast day was removed from the universal calendar, although the Votive Mass remained.  However, Pope John Paul II in the third edition of the Roman Missal, issued in 2003, …

7QT: Seven Gifts to Give Mother Mary

On Thursday, we celebrated the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and on Monday, we will be celebrating the feast of her Holy Name. She has given us so much! She has given us the gift of her maternal love. God calls all of us to be gift-bearers and to share the love that Our Mother has given us, through her virtues of humility, charity, purity, and obedience to God's will.

1.Pray a Litany to her.  The Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Name of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to instill in us how valuable and beneficial it is for us to invoke her holy name in all our needs. The name Mary means “Star of the Sea.” Like the stars in the sky, she reflects the light of Christ and illuminates the way for us along dark paths. She protects us from evil and guides us safely home.  St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, wrote: “As mariners are guided into port by the shining of a star, so Christians are guided to heaven by Mary.”  As “Star of the Sea”, Mary assists us in the storms of…