Archives For Saints

 

Saturday (Sept 30) is the Feast Day of St. Jerome (347-420 CE)…

Jerome was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia . He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive

The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.

He is recognized as a Saint and Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. (Bio via Wikipedia)
 
Here is an insightful, and perpetually relevant clip from his writings… 
 
 

On Making Use of Secular Writings in Theology
From Letter 70 – To Magnus, An Orator of Rome

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Today (September 27) is the Feast of St. Vincent DePaul… 

Here is his story:

(Adapted from The Catholic Encyclopedia)

“Charity is the cement which binds communities to God
and persons to one another ”
– St. Vincent DePaul

Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580 (though some authorities have said 1576); Vincent died at Paris, 27 September, 1660. Born of a peasant family, he made his humanities studies at Dax with the Cordeliers, and his theological studies, interrupted by a short stay at Saragossa, were made at Toulouse where he graduated in theology. Ordained in 1600 he remained at Toulouse or in its vicinity acting as tutor while continuing his own studies. Brought to Marseilles for an inheritance, he was returning by sea in 1605 when Turkish pirates captured him and took him to Tunis. He was sold as a slave, but escaped in 1607 with his master, a renegade whom he converted.

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Seven Martyred Monks of Gafsa
Liberatus, Boniface, Servus, Rusticus,
Rogatus, Septimus, and Maximus

Martyred 483 A.D.

 

Today (August 17) is the traditional feast day for these seven martyred monks.  This is their story… 

HUNERIC, the Arian Vandal king in Africa, in the seventh year of his reign, published fresh edicts against the Catholics, and ordered their monasteries to be demolished everywhere. Seven monks, named Liberatus, Boniface, Servus, Rusticus, Rogatus, Septimus, and Maximus, who lived in a monastery near Gafsa, in the province of Byzacena, were at that time summoned to Carthage. They were first tempted with great promises, but as they remained constant in the belief of the Trinity, and of one Baptism, they were loaded with irons and thrown into a dark dungeon.

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Today, July 20, is the Feast Day of St. Margaret of Antioch

 

The story of this important saint…
Adapted from The Catholic Encyclopedia by Marina Konow
 

“Threatened with death unless she renounced the Christian faith, the holy virgin refused to adore the gods of the empire and an attempt was made to burn her, but the flames, we are told in her Acts, left her unhurt. “

 
 

St. Margaret of Antioch was a virgin and martyr. Also called Marina, she belonged to Pisidian Antioch in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Her mother dying soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a pious woman who lived not far from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, Margaret was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse, and lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother (in what is now Turkey).

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Holy People

 
A Feature Review of 

The Saints:
A Short History

Simon Yarrow

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Nick Jordan
 
 
 
Simon Yarrow is a historian of medieval religion at the University of Birmingham. His first book, Saints and Their Communities: Miracle Stories in Twelfth-century England, was a reworking of his Oxford dissertation, and he continues to focus on related research areas. The Saints: A Short History is exactly what its title says it is, no dumbed-down version of the larger book, but a well-written and concise survey of the meaning of sainthood in Christian history.

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Aelred

Today is the traditional date for the feast of St. Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 – 12 January 1167).

St. Aelred’s most familiar extant work is On Spiritual Friendship (read an excerpt here), a work that some have interpreted as a paean to same-sex love. 

His Story:

Aelred was of noble descent, and was born in the north of England, in 1109. Being educated in learning and piety, he was invited by David, the pious king of Scotland, to his court, made master of his household, and highly esteemed both by him and the courtiers. His virtue shone with bright luster in the world, particularly his meekness, which Christ declared to be his favorite virtue, and the distinguishing mark of his true disciples. The following is a memorable instance to what a degree he possessed this virtue: a certain person of quality having insulted and reproached him in the presence of the king, Aelred heard him out with patience, and thanked him for his charity and sincerity, in telling him his faults. This behavior had such an influence on his adversary as made him ask his pardon on the spot.

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Today is the Feast of
St. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-c.395)…

 
I’ve been digging into his work recently, especially his theology of the Trinity, and this book by Hans Urs von Balthasar…
 

Presence and Thought: Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa
Hans Urs von Balthasar

Paperback: Ignatius Press, 1995
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I’ve been particularly been fascinated by von Balthasar’s understanding of history as described in this passage…
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“Be holy, because I am holy.”
 
 
A Review of 

Blessed Among Us:
Day by Day with Saintly Witnesses

Robert Ellsberg

Hardback: Liturgical Press, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Danny Wright
 
 
In His book Blessed Among Us, Robert Ellsberg provides readers with an encyclopedia of introductions to a wide variety of saintsEach day offers a brief biography of two “saints” who have lived a life of example and ends with quotes to aid the reader in reflection. This particular volume can be used as an addendum for praying the hours (and can be found as such in the daily prayer app offered by Liturgical Press, Give Us This Day), as a supplement for personal inspiration and reflection, or as the subject for family devotions, or as encouragement for a church/ministry staff. There is a wealth of information shared in a succinct, accessible style that will spark your creativity and curiosity, inspire more attentive living, and may even cause you to fire up your search engine, or send you to your favorite website or bookstore in search of the actual writings that are being referenced.

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Linking The Past With Present
 
A Brief Review of 
 

Poets & Saints:
Eternal Insight. Extravagant Love. Ordinary People.

Jamie George

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Lynn Domina
 
 
In Poets & Saints: Eternal Insight, Extravagant Love, Ordinary People, Jamie George has undertaken an intriguing project. Partly memoir, partly religious history, partly devotional, the book links the past with the present, the extraordinary with the ordinary, the public with the personal. Traveling through Europe with his children and a film crew, he reflects on the lives of several writers and saints (some canonized, others not) affiliated with the regions they explore. He pays particular attention to the characters’ flaws in order not only to humanize them but also to provide specific detailed examples of individuals who did what was theirs to do, trusting that God will show contemporary readers what is their own. George’s project is ambitious, but his style is hospitable. He writes conversationally, including sufficient detail for readers unfamiliar with his material but also with sufficient energy to keep readers with a stronger background in religious history engaged.

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St. Catherine and
the Turmoil of the World

A Review of 

Setting the World on Fire:
The Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena
Shelley Emling

Hardback: St. Martins, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Christiana N. Peterson

 

A few nights ago, before I turned off my lamp to go to sleep, my iPhone screen lit up to the news of another mass killing. In Nice, France, a man used his truck as a weapon to murder over 80 people who were celebrating Bastille Day. The next morning, there was news of a military coup in Turkey.

My heart dropped, my anxiety rose, the tears flowed. I turned to my husband and asked him, “Is this it? Is this the end?”

Many of us who are Christians, even if we aren’t apocalyptic leaning, find ourselves wondering–in the rising grief of the last few months of mass shootings, unarmed black men killed by police, the killing of policemen, and political strife–if the end is nigh. In our terror, we even seem to long for it, calling, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Lately, when I am torn up with grief, when I wonder when God will make all things new, I have been reaching for the Christian mystics, who have been able to offer me a little humility, solace, and perspective.

Shelley Emling’s book Setting the World on Fire: the Brief, Astonishing Life of St. Catherine of Siena, is a highly readable introduction to the life and times of the saint and mystic, Catherine of Siena, whose Medieval world was as turbulent (if not more than) ours. Emling carefully weaves together a narrative of this complex patron saint of Italy along with details about the political and social contexts that shaped and moved her.

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