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Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent. The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the C…
 
Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance. Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking lif…
 
Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocki…
 
Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome. Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal represen…
 
“Can anything good ever come out of Nazareth?” This is certainly a question for the ages and St. Bartholomew the Apostle asked it in the first century; when he heard his friend, St. Philip, speak about the Messiah from Nazareth. There is not much known of St. Bartholomew, he only appears in the gospel occasionally. We do know that he was born, in t…
 
If someone asked if you to describe your political leaders or country rulers would you be able to say they are spiritual ambassadors who stand up for the sanctity of marriage and have an uncanny need to help the poor. Even to the extent of pulling money from their own pockets and giving it to them? St. Stephen of Hungary was one such ruler. He used…
 
If this were a television series, the scene might look like this: A towering crowded cathedral, a grand organ filling the air with heavenly sounds, it's Palm Sunday, the Bishop is presiding, Solemn High Mass! The featured family in their Easter finery, having just arrived from their palace is occupying the front pew. The mother, first daughter of a…
 
During Vatican II it was said "Moral Theology should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring fourth fruit in charity for the life of the world." St. Alphonus Liguori, the patron of moral theologians would celebrate in that statement. After losing a very…
 
Wow, Patron Saints for grandparents. We know what an important job grand parenting is, God worked especially hard to find this ideal set for Jesus. Born to the tribe of Judah and the royal house of David, Saints Ann and Joachim were a devout, religious couple. They shared a wealthy, comfortable life in Nazareth with plans to be the world's best par…
 
Were you ever accused of doing something you did not, or been slandered or put down by others. St. Mary Magdalene knows about this all too well. Other than Mary, the mother of Jesus few women are more honored in the Gospels than she was, yet she could well have been the patron of the slandered, since for almost twenty centuries she has been the vic…
 
Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptura…
 
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