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March Madness with the Saints

saints
March Madness with the Saints at Saint Louis Priory School

“Contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

Download a bracket (will be kept updated once voting begins)

And what is March Madness with the Saints? It combines Athletics with Theology: NCAA-style brackets with saints, and mixes fun with Lenten devotion. The endeavor was inspired by similar Lenten programs run by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and by an Episcopal rector, the Reverend Tim Schenck. Of course, our version has a distinctive Priory twist!

In our version, 24 saints are competing in an NCAA basketball tournament-style single-elimination bracket for Fr. Augustine’s trophy; you can also win an Amazon gift certificate and—most importantly— learn more about your heavenly patrons who have won the crown of victory. St. Paul says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it (1 Corinthians 9.24).

From Feb. 16, 2016, on school days, until Spring break, saintly mini-bios will be posted below. You have 24 hours to vote on who goes to the next round. Of the sixteen saints participating in round one, eight will move on to round two, where they will compete with eight new saints. These eight new arrivals are martyrs and have been spared round one.

Of these, eight holy candidates will move on to round three. Four will advance to round four. Finally, two saints will make it to the Finale, in the home stretch for Fr. Augustine’s trophy. On the way, you will meet some of the monks’ patron saints (such as St. Dunstan), spent time with little-known venerable martyrs such Blessed Miguel Pro, and learn about monastic saints like Saint Moses the Black and royal saints like St. Vladimir and St. Hedwig. To participate, print out the bracket and vote.

To have your bracket considered for the prize, make sure to submit your bracket at the library drop box on Friday, Feb. 12, by 3 p.m. If you’re looking for a Lenten journey that is both fun and educational, join the March Madness adventure in the saints’ company. As St. Benedict tells us, we are to look forward to holy Easter “with joy and spiritual longing” (Rule for Monks 49).

For more information and fun facts about saints, visit the concurrent book display in the library!


Biographies and Voting RSS Feed
FINAL: St. Alban Roe vs. St. Ambrose Barlow
3/17/2016

St. Alban Roe vs. St. Ambrose Barlow

Saint Alban Roe

saint alban roeBorn as Bartholomew Roe in 1583 in Suffolk, England, St. Alban Roe grew up Protestant in a time in Great Britain, when all monasteries were dissolved. He had quite a temper, which backfired on him when he tried to convert a Catholic prisoner to Protestantism. He found himself soundly defeated in the argument and was left with plaguing questions, which could only be reconciled through conversion to Catholicism. Desirous to enlighten others, he entered the English College at Douai in France to study for the priesthood. In 1610, he was expelled due to his temperament but did not leave quietly, staging a protest and getting support from some monks. Eventually, we was admitted to the English Benedictine Community at Dieulouard in Lorraine, where was ordained a priest in 1615. Shortly after his return to London to do mission work, he was finally incarcerated in Fleet prison for 17 years. Conditions were relaxed, which allowed him to come and go as he pleased during the day. This enabled him to continue his work of saving souls. In 1642, he was found guilty at his trial for being a priest. His temper made another apprearance at his trial and his behavior so annoyed the judge that the judge suspended his sentence and sent him back to prison. Alban created quite an impression with his death at Tyburn and it is rumored that his final speech was sent to Parliament and stored in their archives.

Saint Ambrose Barlow

st. Ambrose BarlowFather Ambrose writes...Ambrose Barlow (1585-1641) was born at Barlow Hall, near Manchester in 1585 and baptized with the name Edward. In 1597, Ambrose went to live with a branch of the family that had become Protestant. Ambrose, as a member of the household, conformed to Anglicanism.

However, upon completing his time in his Protestant relatives’ household, Barlow experienced a re-conversion to the Catholic faith and felt called to the priesthood. So he travelled to France became a member of the English Benedictines in exile. He didn’t have an easy time in his early monastic life and was known as an argumentative man. At one point, the community was discussing a controversial matter; and his superiors thought it was better to send him out of the monastery to a country house, so that the discussions would go more smoothly in his absence.

Ambrose was ordained priest in 1617. He then returned to England as a missionary, offering Mass in private homes and administering the sacraments. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly during this period. One who knew Ambrose Barlow said that he was the sort of man who liked nothing better than a good argument and a soft bed, and that the very hardships of his life mellowed him over time. His parishioners implored him to flee or at least go into hiding but he refused. Their fears were compounded by a recent stroke which had resulted in the 56-year-old priest being partially paralyzed. “Let them fear that have anything to lose which they are unwilling to part with,” he told them.

On 25 April 1641, Easter Sunday, Father Ambrose and his congregation of around 100 people, were surrounded by a hostile mob just as they Easter Mass was ending. Fr. Ambrose was arrested and confined, then appeared before the presiding judge, Sir Robert Heath, on the 7 September. The judge offered to let him go if he would stop “perverting” the people. Father Ambrose replied that he was not “perverting” them but reverting them to the Catholic faith of their ancestors, and that he would promise no such thing.

On the following day, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sir Robert Heath found Ambrose guilty, and sentenced him to be executed. Two days later, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor, simply for being a Catholic priest.

Vote

SEMIFINAL DOUBLE HEADER: Bl. Miguel Pro vs. St. Ambrose Barlow and St. Alban Roe vs. St. Boniface
3/16/2016

Bl. Miguel Pro vs. St. Ambrose Barlow

Blessed Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel ProBlessed Miguel (born January 13, 1891 – executed November 23, 1927), was a Mexican Jesuit Catholic priest executed under the presidency of the bitterly anti-clerical and anti-Catholic Plutarco Elías Calles. Under the 1917 Constitution, Catholic education was made illegal, and the clergy and religious were subject to severe restrictions. To pursue his Jesuit vocation, young Miguel had to go abroad—to Spain and Belgium. In 1926, after his ordination to the priesthood, When Calles came to power, the religious persecution intensified: churches in Mexico were closed, priests were outlawed, and the Mass and sacraments were offered only secretly. In response to the bloody religious persecution, there was a Catholic rebellion by the Cristeros, so called because of their battle-cry, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!). Father Miguel returned to his native land, knowing the danger. Father Pro became “God’s secret agent,” going about in disguise, offering Mass in secret, evading government agents, writing letters of encouragement to the faithful, which he signed with the nickname “Cocol.” In October 1926, Father Pro was arrested and then released under surveillance. In the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón, President Calles claimed, contrary to the evidence and testimony of those involved in the attempt, that Father Pro had been responsible. Father Miguel Pro was then executed on 23 November 1927 by firing squad and without trial.

As Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, “May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!” Blessed Miguel Pro was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on 25 September 1988.

Saint Ambrose Barlow

st. Ambrose BarlowFather Ambrose writes...Ambrose Barlow (1585-1641) was born at Barlow Hall, near Manchester in 1585 and baptized with the name Edward. In 1597, Ambrose went to live with a branch of the family that had become Protestant. Ambrose, as a member of the household, conformed to Anglicanism.

However, upon completing his time in his Protestant relatives’ household, Barlow experienced a re-conversion to the Catholic faith and felt called to the priesthood. So he travelled to France became a member of the English Benedictines in exile. He didn’t have an easy time in his early monastic life and was known as an argumentative man. At one point, the community was discussing a controversial matter; and his superiors thought it was better to send him out of the monastery to a country house, so that the discussions would go more smoothly in his absence.

Ambrose was ordained priest in 1617. He then returned to England as a missionary, offering Mass in private homes and administering the sacraments. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly during this period. One who knew Ambrose Barlow said that he was the sort of man who liked nothing better than a good argument and a soft bed, and that the very hardships of his life mellowed him over time. His parishioners implored him to flee or at least go into hiding but he refused. Their fears were compounded by a recent stroke which had resulted in the 56-year-old priest being partially paralyzed. “Let them fear that have anything to lose which they are unwilling to part with,” he told them.

On 25 April 1641, Easter Sunday, Father Ambrose and his congregation of around 100 people, were surrounded by a hostile mob just as they Easter Mass was ending. Fr. Ambrose was arrested and confined, then appeared before the presiding judge, Sir Robert Heath, on the 7 September. The judge offered to let him go if he would stop “perverting” the people. Father Ambrose replied that he was not “perverting” them but reverting them to the Catholic faith of their ancestors, and that he would promise no such thing.

On the following day, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sir Robert Heath found Ambrose guilty, and sentenced him to be executed. Two days later, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor, simply for being a Catholic priest.

 

Vote

St. Alban Roe vs. St. Boniface

Saint Alban Roe

saint alban roeBorn as Bartholomew Roe in 1583 in Suffolk, England, St. Alban Roe grew up Protestant in a time in Great Britain, when all monasteries were dissolved. He had quite a temper, which backfired on him when he tried to convert a Catholic prisoner to Protestantism. He found himself soundly defeated in the argument and was left with plaguing questions, which could only be reconciled through conversion to Catholicism. Desirous to enlighten others, he entered the English College at Douai in France to study for the priesthood. In 1610, he was expelled due to his temperament but did not leave quietly, staging a protest and getting support from some monks. Eventually, we was admitted to the English Benedictine Community at Dieulouard in Lorraine, where was ordained a priest in 1615. Shortly after his return to London to do mission work, he was finally incarcerated in Fleet prison for 17 years. Conditions were relaxed, which allowed him to come and go as he pleased during the day. This enabled him to continue his work of saving souls. In 1642, he was found guilty at his trial for being a priest. His temper made another apprearance at his trial and his behavior so annoyed the judge that the judge suspended his sentence and sent him back to prison. Alban created quite an impression with his death at Tyburn and it is rumored that his final speech was sent to Parliament and stored in their archives.

Saint Boniface

st bonifaceWinfrid was born around 680 AD in Crediton in Devonshire, England. Listening to a conversation of some monks visiting his home, he became inspired to become a monk at the tender age of 5. At 7, he was sent to school at an abbey and later on, became the director at a monastic school. His teaching skill and popularity attracted many scholars, for whom he wrote the first Latin grammar to be compiled in England. At the age of 30, he was ordained a priest and excelled in pastoral care. However, he received the call to undertake mission work to the Germanic tribes and in 722, he was consecrated a regional bishop with jurisdiction all over Germany. To strike against the pagan superstitions persisting in the area, he took an axe to Donar’s sacred oak, splitting it into fourth almost at the first stroke. His audience, having expected immediate revenge from their gods, were awed and started to convert to Christianity.  Even though his efforts were successful, his mission to the Germans eventually demanded his life when he extended his efforts to Frisia. In addition to the Christianization of Germany, without him Europe would not be in the shape it is today.

 

Vote

St. Boniface vs. St. Edmund Campion
3/14/2016

Saint Boniface

st bonifaceWinfrid was born around 680 AD in Crediton in Devonshire, England. Listening to a conversation of some monks visiting his home, he became inspired to become a monk at the tender age of 5. At 7, he was sent to school at an abbey and later on, became the director at a monastic school. His teaching skill and popularity attracted many scholars, for whom he wrote the first Latin grammar to be compiled in England. At the age of 30, he was ordained a priest and excelled in pastoral care. However, he received the call to undertake mission work to the Germanic tribes and in 722, he was consecrated a regional bishop with jurisdiction all over Germany. To strike against the pagan superstitions persisting in the area, he took an axe to Donar’s sacred oak, splitting it into fourth almost at the first stroke. His audience, having expected immediate revenge from their gods, were awed and started to convert to Christianity.  Even though his efforts were successful, his mission to the Germans eventually demanded his life when he extended his efforts to Frisia. In addition to the Christianization of Germany, without him Europe would not be in the shape it is today.

Saint Edmund Campion

st edmundSaint Edmond Campion, S. J., was an English Jesuit priest, who was martyred in 1581 when he was captured by priest hunters during an underground mission in Anglican England. He was convicted of high treason, which led to his execution at Tyburn. At the age of 13, we was chosen to make the complimentary speech when Queen Mary visited his hometown in August 1533. During his academic career at St. John’s College in Oxford he came to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I, winning her lasting regard. Eventually he received ordination as deacon in the Anglican Church, despite holding to Catholic doctrine. After a sojourn in Ireland, he escaped to the continent, where he was reconciled to the Catholic Church in Douai and started his theological studies. In 1571, he travelled to Rome disguised as a pilgrim to join the Jesuits. He returned as a Jesuit priest in 1580, disguised of a jewel merchant to aid the Jesuit mission to England. His presence in England became soon known and at the time he wrote his Decem Rationes, ten reasons arguing for the truth of Catholic claims, which was printed by a clandestine press. This caused a great uproar and a manhunt for St. Edmund Campion began, resulting in his sentence, despite offers of wealth and prestige if he returned to the Anglican Church.

Vote

St. Alban Roe vs. St. Athanasius
3/11/2016

St. Alban Roe

saint alban roeBorn as Bartholomew Roe in 1583 in Suffolk, England, St. Alban Roe grew up Protestant in a time in Great Britain, when all monasteries were dissolved. He had quite a temper, which backfired on him when he tried to convert a Catholic prisoner to Protestantism. He found himself soundly defeated in the argument and was left with plaguing questions, which could only be reconciled through conversion to Catholicism. Desirous to enlighten others, he entered the English College at Douai in France to study for the priesthood. In 1610, he was expelled due to his temperament but did not leave quietly, staging a protest and getting support from some monks. Eventually, we was admitted to the English Benedictine Community at Dieulouard in Lorraine, where was ordained a priest in 1615. Shortly after his return to London to do mission work, he was finally incarcerated in Fleet prison for 17 years. Conditions were relaxed, which allowed him to come and go as he pleased during the day. This enabled him to continue his work of saving souls. In 1642, he was found guilty at his trial for being a priest. His temper made another apprearance at his trial and his behavior so annoyed the judge that the judge suspended his sentence and sent him back to prison. Alban created quite an impression with his death at Tyburn and it is rumored that his final speech was sent to Parliament and stored in their archives.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria

St. AthanasiusBrother Athanasius writes...St. Athanasius (c. 296 – 373) was Patriarch of Alexandria, Confessor and is Docotor of the Faith. St. Athanasius is rather like a saintly version of a comic book superhero. First, he has a superhero-ish name since his name in Greek means “immortal.” Secondly, tradition holds that he began training under the bishop of Alexandria, St. Alexander, when he noticed the young Athanasius playing in the street: Athanasius was playing bishop and baptizing his friends. Another formative experience for St. Athanasius was participating in the Council of Nicea in 325 that formulated the creed we still say every Sunday and for which he would spend the rest of his life fighting.

When his mentor died in 328, St. Athanasius became the bishop of Alexandria and was ready to take on the world. I mean this literally as his nickname was “Athanasius Contra Mundum”. Of course, every superhero has an arch-villain that he fights and Athanasius battled a heretical priest named Arius who denied the divinity of Christ. Arius had friends in high places, like the Emperor Constantine (yes, the same one who legalized Christianity) who convened a synod to get Athanasius exiled and to back away from the Nicene Council (which the Emperor had earlier approved and supported). Of course St. Athanasius had two main superpowers to fight against Arius and his heresy: the first was his superhuman persistence, for example he was exiled 5 times by 4 different emperors for a total of nearly twenty years. The second was his cleverness and keen intellect. When he was charged with using the hand of a dead bishop for magic, Athanasius defended himself by smuggling into the trial inside a basket the still living bishop with both hands intact. While in exile, he kept himself busy by writing “On the Incarnation” which won many souls over to the orthodox position and also praised the ascetic life with a biography of St. Antony, the first Christian hermit-monk.

By the end of his life St. Athanasius was so beloved by the people of Alexandria and such a hero to them that his last exile ended because the emperor feared a revolt from them. In St. Athanasius we have a saint we can pray to for perseverance whenever we are punished for holding onto the Catholic Faith.

Vote

St. Ambrose Barlow vs. St. Peter Canisius
3/10/2016

Saint Ambrose Barlow

st. Ambrose BarlowFather Ambrose writes...Ambrose Barlow (1585-1641) was born at Barlow Hall, near Manchester in 1585 and baptized with the name Edward. In 1597, Ambrose went to live with a branch of the family that had become Protestant. Ambrose, as a member of the household, conformed to Anglicanism.

However, upon completing his time in his Protestant relatives’ household, Barlow experienced a re-conversion to the Catholic faith and felt called to the priesthood. So he travelled to France became a member of the English Benedictines in exile. He didn’t have an easy time in his early monastic life and was known as an argumentative man. At one point, the community was discussing a controversial matter; and his superiors thought it was better to send him out of the monastery to a country house, so that the discussions would go more smoothly in his absence.

Ambrose was ordained priest in 1617. He then returned to England as a missionary, offering Mass in private homes and administering the sacraments. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly during this period. One who knew Ambrose Barlow said that he was the sort of man who liked nothing better than a good argument and a soft bed, and that the very hardships of his life mellowed him over time. His parishioners implored him to flee or at least go into hiding but he refused. Their fears were compounded by a recent stroke which had resulted in the 56-year-old priest being partially paralyzed. “Let them fear that have anything to lose which they are unwilling to part with,” he told them.

On 25 April 1641, Easter Sunday, Father Ambrose and his congregation of around 100 people, were surrounded by a hostile mob just as they Easter Mass was ending. Fr. Ambrose was arrested and confined, then appeared before the presiding judge, Sir Robert Heath, on the 7 September. The judge offered to let him go if he would stop “perverting” the people. Father Ambrose replied that he was not “perverting” them but reverting them to the Catholic faith of their ancestors, and that he would promise no such thing.

On the following day, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sir Robert Heath found Ambrose guilty, and sentenced him to be executed. Two days later, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor, simply for being a Catholic priest.

Saint Peter Canisius

St. CanisiusCanisius is often called the Second Apostle of Germany (St. Boniface being the first). Peter was actually a Dutchman, born at Nijmegen in the Netherlands, the son of the burgomaster of the city. As a theology student at the University of Cologne, he attended a retreat given by Blessed Peter Faber and soon joined the Society of Jesus. As a young Jesuit, Peter was sent first to Bavaria, to shore up the Catholic identity of the University of Ingolstadt. Peter was so successful that he eventually became rector and vice-chancellor of the university. At the same time, he also led a popular Catholic revival among the Bavarians by his preaching and catechetical work.

Peter’s successes in Bavaria prompted King Ferdinand of Austria to ask Peter to come to Vienna, to do the same kind of work. The Church in Vienna was in crisis: not a single priest had been ordained in twenty years. The monasteries and religious houses were largely desolate, and the few priests were jeered at in the streets. At first, Peter had to preach to empty churches, partly because his Rhineland accent irritated his Austrian audiences. But Peter persevered and won the hearts of many Viennese by his ministry to the sick and dying during an outbreak of the plague. They were impressed by Peter’s willingness to minister to everyone, from the university professors to criminals in the jails. Peter began to draw the crowds, helping many to return to the Catholic faith and to the sacraments. He continued this work of Catholic renewal and education in Prague, Augsburg, and Fribourg.

Peter Canisius was also one of the greatest pioneers in catechesis: he produced catechisms for children, for adolescents, and for educated adults—with each text adapted to its audience. It is due to St. Peter Canisius that the Catholic faith was preserved in Austria and Germany. In defending the faith, he emphasized a conciliatory and constructive approach in dealing with sincere opponents of Catholic doctrine, so as to win them over by charity:

If you treat them right, the Germans will give you everything. Many err in matters of faith, but without arrogance. They err the German way, mostly honest, a bit simple-minded, but very open for everything Lutheran. An honest explanation of the faith would be much more effective than a polemical attack against Reformers.

Vote

Saint Dunstan vs. Blessed Miguel Pro
3/9/2016

Saint Dunstan

St. DunstanBrother Dunstan writes...St. Dunstan (909-988) was a very kind and humble Benedictine monk who worked as a blacksmith. He played beautiful music on the organ, and two sounds could be heard from his monastery: the anvil or the organ. He had a beautiful singing voice too. But one night, there was the sound of howling outside Dunstan's monastery. The Devil appeared and saw Dunstan shoe a lame horse and make him sound. Then, Dunstan noticed that the Devil was limping on one of his cloven hooves. He offered to make a shoe to help the Devil, too. The Devil envisioned a soft slipper, but instead, Dunstan nailed a red-hot horseshoe very tightly onto the split hoof.

The Devil screamed and begged him to take it off. But Dunstan was in no hurry to do that.

Dunstan's solution was to make the Devil promise that he would always respect the symbol of the horseshoe and never enter a building that is protected by the sign of a shoe.  To this day, people still hang horseshoes over the doors of their buildings and still tell the story of Saint Dunstan, Especially on May 19, St. Dunstan's Day. 

Saint Dunstan was also known to be a very kind schoolmaster at a time when most were cruel to their students.  When Saint Dunstan died, the new school master wanted to have all the boys whipped to teach them a lesson.  The boys prayed to Saint Dunstan who immediately heard their prayers and delivered them from their cruel teacher.  It was this story that made Br. Dunstan choose the saint as his patron.

Blessed Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel ProBlessed Miguel (born January 13, 1891 – executed November 23, 1927), was a Mexican Jesuit Catholic priest executed under the presidency of the bitterly anti-clerical and anti-Catholic Plutarco Elías Calles. Under the 1917 Constitution, Catholic education was made illegal, and the clergy and religious were subject to severe restrictions. To pursue his Jesuit vocation, young Miguel had to go abroad—to Spain and Belgium. In 1926, after his ordination to the priesthood, When Calles came to power, the religious persecution intensified: churches in Mexico were closed, priests were outlawed, and the Mass and sacraments were offered only secretly. In response to the bloody religious persecution, there was a Catholic rebellion by the Cristeros, so called because of their battle-cry, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!). Father Miguel returned to his native land, knowing the danger. Father Pro became “God’s secret agent,” going about in disguise, offering Mass in secret, evading government agents, writing letters of encouragement to the faithful, which he signed with the nickname “Cocol.” In October 1926, Father Pro was arrested and then released under surveillance. In the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón, President Calles claimed, contrary to the evidence and testimony of those involved in the attempt, that Father Pro had been responsible. Father Miguel Pro was then executed on 23 November 1927 by firing squad and without trial.

As Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, “May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!” Blessed Miguel Pro was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on 25 September 1988.

Vote

St. Charles Lwanga vs. St. Boniface
3/8/2016

Saint Charles Lwanga

 

st charles lwangaSaint Charles Lwanga was a Ugandan convert to Catholicism, who was martyred in 1886 because he refused to renounce his faith or to accept sexual exploitation by the king. During the first wave of executions in 1885 of mostly Anglican Christians, Charles Lwanga was asked by King Mwanga to take over the position of chief page, who had been executed for criticizing the king’s cruel killings. That very same day, Charles sought baptism from a missionary Catholic priest. In 1886, the king charged two pages and condemned them to death. Saint Charles Lwanga himself baptized these pages secretly. Guided by Lwanga, the royal pages refused to recant their faith, upon which the king condemned them to death, directing that they be marched to the traditional place of execution. Two of the prisoners were executed on the march there. When preparations were completed and the day had come for the execution on June 3, Lwanga was separated from the others by the Guardian of the Sacred Flame for private execution, in keeping with custom. Charles Lwanga was wrapped tightly in a reed mat, a yoke was hung on his neck, and he was thrown onto a pyre. As he was being burnt alive, Charles said to the Guardian, "It is as if you are pouring water on me. Please repent and become a Christian like me." In all, forty-five Christians were executed with Charles, half of them Catholic and half of them Anglican.

Saint Boniface

st bonifaceWinfrid was born around 680 AD in Crediton in Devonshire, England. Listening to a conversation of some monks visiting his home, he became inspired to become a monk at the tender age of 5. At 7, he was sent to school at an abbey and later on, became the director at a monastic school. His teaching skill and popularity attracted many scholars, for whom he wrote the first Latin grammar to be compiled in England. At the age of 30, he was ordained a priest and excelled in pastoral care. However, he received the call to undertake mission work to the Germanic tribes and in 722, he was consecrated a regional bishop with jurisdiction all over Germany. To strike against the pagan superstitions persisting in the area, he took an axe to Donar’s sacred oak, splitting it into fourth almost at the first stroke. His audience, having expected immediate revenge from their gods, were awed and started to convert to Christianity.  Even though his efforts were successful, his mission to the Germans eventually demanded his life when he extended his efforts to Frisia. In addition to the Christianization of Germany, without him Europe would not be in the shape it is today.

Vote

St. Edmund Campion vs. St. Aidan
3/7/2016

Saint Edmund Campion

st edmundSaint Edmond Campion, S. J., was an English Jesuit priest, who was martyred in 1581 when he was captured by priest hunters during an underground mission in Anglican England. He was convicted of high treason, which led to his execution at Tyburn. At the age of 13, we was chosen to make the complimentary speech when Queen Mary visited his hometown in August 1533. During his academic career at St. John’s College in Oxford he came to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I, winning her lasting regard. Eventually he received ordination as deacon in the Anglican Church, despite holding to Catholic doctrine. After a sojourn in Ireland, he escaped to the continent, where he was reconciled to the Catholic Church in Douai and started his theological studies. In 1571, he travelled to Rome disguised as a pilgrim to join the Jesuits. He returned as a Jesuit priest in 1580, disguised of a jewel merchant to aid the Jesuit mission to England. His presence in England became soon known and at the time he wrote his Decem Rationes, ten reasons arguing for the truth of Catholic claims, which was printed by a clandestine press. This caused a great uproar and a manhunt for St. Edmund Campion began, resulting in his sentence, despite offers of wealth and prestige if he returned to the Anglican Church.

Saint Aidan

st aidanFather Aidan writes...Saint Aidan, the Apostle to England, was born in Ireland in 590 and studied under Saint Senan before he entered he monastery at Iona.  He was sent to Northumbria by King Oswald as bishop and was honored for his great knowledge of sacred scripture.  He was known for his great kindness, holiness, and preaching skills.  He was known for his kindness to the poor and has many miracles attributed to him.  He founded the monastery at Lindisfarne where the great Saint Cuthbert was a monk.  In his kindness poor he was riding to preach the gospel and gave his strong beautiful horse, a gift of King Oswald to the poor man.  When his monks were trying to convert the English without success, Saint Aidan told them to be more gentle with them.  Saint Aidan was later sent himself to preach the gospel.  He was respected by Pope Honorius I for his missionary zeal and energy.  Saint Aidan died in 651 at the castle Bamburgh leaning against a column in the chapel.  Years later after a fire destroyed the castle, the column was still standing.

Saint Aidan has many miracles attributed to him.  His birth was made known through great signs and omens and he was known for his piety and devotion as a young man.  He was known for repelling a group of Saxons from the monastery of Saint David in Wales.  He also made his horse disappear when the monastery of Saint David in Wales was being attached by the Saxons.  

Saint Aidan is the patron of firefighters.

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St. Josaphat of Polotsk vs. St. Athanasius of Alexandria
3/4/2016

St. Josaphat of Polotsk 

st. josaphatSt. Josaphat was a monk and archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, who was martyred at Vitensk in today’s Belarus in 1623. Born to poor parents, he was nevertheless encouraged by them in Christian piety and religious participation. He studied church Slavonic and memorized most of the Eastern Christian book of hours, the source of his early Christian education, because clergy at his time seldom preached or did catechesis. In his early 20s, he entered the Monastery of the Trinity of the Order of Saint Basil the Great and developed a great reputation for holiness even as a young monk. In 1618, he was consecrated as archbishop of Polotsk. During his, episcopacy, he faced strong opposition especially in the Eastern regions because of his attempt to persuade the local population to accept the union with Rome, a task he advanced with great boldness. Falling victim to a conspiracy, we was lynched by townspeople in 1623.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria

St. AthanasiusBrother Athanasius writes...St. Athanasius (c. 296 – 373) was Patriarch of Alexandria, Confessor and is Docotor of the Faith. St. Athanasius is rather like a saintly version of a comic book superhero. First, he has a superhero-ish name since his name in Greek means “immortal.” Secondly, tradition holds that he began training under the bishop of Alexandria, St. Alexander, when he noticed the young Athanasius playing in the street: Athanasius was playing bishop and baptizing his friends. Another formative experience for St. Athanasius was participating in the Council of Nicea in 325 that formulated the creed we still say every Sunday and for which he would spend the rest of his life fighting.

When his mentor died in 328, St. Athanasius became the bishop of Alexandria and was ready to take on the world. I mean this literally as his nickname was “Athanasius Contra Mundum”. Of course, every superhero has an arch-villain that he fights and Athanasius battled a heretical priest named Arius who denied the divinity of Christ. Arius had friends in high places, like the Emperor Constantine (yes, the same one who legalized Christianity) who convened a synod to get Athanasius exiled and to back away from the Nicene Council (which the Emperor had earlier approved and supported). Of course St. Athanasius had two main superpowers to fight against Arius and his heresy: the first was his superhuman persistence, for example he was exiled 5 times by 4 different emperors for a total of nearly twenty years. The second was his cleverness and keen intellect. When he was charged with using the hand of a dead bishop for magic, Athanasius defended himself by smuggling into the trial inside a basket the still living bishop with both hands intact. While in exile, he kept himself busy by writing “On the Incarnation” which won many souls over to the orthodox position and also praised the ascetic life with a biography of St. Antony, the first Christian hermit-monk.

By the end of his life St. Athanasius was so beloved by the people of Alexandria and such a hero to them that his last exile ended because the emperor feared a revolt from them. In St. Athanasius we have a saint we can pray to for perseverance whenever we are punished for holding onto the Catholic Faith.

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Saint Alban Roe vs. Saint Moses the Black
3/3/2016

St. Alban Roe

 

saint alban roeBorn as Bartholomew Roe in 1583 in Suffolk, England, St. Alban Roe grew up Protestant in a time in Great Britain, when all monasteries were dissolved. He had quite a temper, which backfired on him when he tried to convert a Catholic prisoner to Protestantism. He found himself soundly defeated in the argument and was left with plaguing questions, which could only be reconciled through conversion to Catholicism. Desirous to enlighten others, he entered the English College at Douai in France to study for the priesthood. In 1610, he was expelled due to his temperament but did not leave quietly, staging a protest and getting support from some monks. Eventually, we was admitted to the English Benedictine Community at Dieulouard in Lorraine, where was ordained a priest in 1615. Shortly after his return to London to do mission work, he was finally incarcerated in Fleet prison for 17 years. Conditions were relaxed, which allowed him to come and go as he pleased during the day. This enabled him to continue his work of saving souls. In 1642, he was found guilty at his trial for being a priest. His temper made another apprearance at his trial and his behavior so annoyed the judge that the judge suspended his sentence and sent him back to prison. Alban created quite an impression with his death at Tyburn and it is rumored that his final speech was sent to Parliament and stored in their archives.

St. Moses the Black

st. moses the blackSt. Moses the Black seems on a first glance a very unlikely candidate for sainthood. After losing his position as a servant to a government official in Egypt under suspicions of murder and theft, Saint Moses put his imposing figure to practical use and became the leader of a gang of robbers terrorizing the Nile valley. The instrument of his conversion was the barking of a dog foiling an attempted robbery, which caused St. Moses to seek shelter with some monks in a desert monastery near Alexandria. Their peace and contentment influenced him to give up his old way of life and to become a Christian and later a monk. Saint Moses the Black thrived as a monk, only becoming discouraged when he thought that he was not perfect enough. While his adventurous spirit never left him, he became a renowned spiritual leader and preached non-violence.

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DOUBLE HEADER: St. Peter Canisius vs. St. Andrew Dung-Lac and St. Hedwig vs. St. Ambrose Barlow
3/2/2016

St. Peter Canisius vs. St. Andrew Dung-Lac

Saint Peter Canisius

St. CanisiusCanisius is often called the Second Apostle of Germany (St. Boniface being the first). Peter was actually a Dutchman, born at Nijmegen in the Netherlands, the son of the burgomaster of the city. As a theology student at the University of Cologne, he attended a retreat given by Blessed Peter Faber and soon joined the Society of Jesus. As a young Jesuit, Peter was sent first to Bavaria, to shore up the Catholic identity of the University of Ingolstadt. Peter was so successful that he eventually became rector and vice-chancellor of the university. At the same time, he also led a popular Catholic revival among the Bavarians by his preaching and catechetical work.

Peter’s successes in Bavaria prompted King Ferdinand of Austria to ask Peter to come to Vienna, to do the same kind of work. The Church in Vienna was in crisis: not a single priest had been ordained in twenty years. The monasteries and religious houses were largely desolate, and the few priests were jeered at in the streets. At first, Peter had to preach to empty churches, partly because his Rhineland accent irritated his Austrian audiences. But Peter persevered and won the hearts of many Viennese by his ministry to the sick and dying during an outbreak of the plague. They were impressed by Peter’s willingness to minister to everyone, from the university professors to criminals in the jails. Peter began to draw the crowds, helping many to return to the Catholic faith and to the sacraments. He continued this work of Catholic renewal and education in Prague, Augsburg, and Fribourg.

Peter Canisius was also one of the greatest pioneers in catechesis: he produced catechisms for children, for adolescents, and for educated adults—with each text adapted to its audience. It is due to St. Peter Canisius that the Catholic faith was preserved in Austria and Germany. In defending the faith, he emphasized a conciliatory and constructive approach in dealing with sincere opponents of Catholic doctrine, so as to win them over by charity:

If you treat them right, the Germans will give you everything. Many err in matters of faith, but without arrogance. They err the German way, mostly honest, a bit simple-minded, but very open for everything Lutheran. An honest explanation of the faith would be much more effective than a polemical attack against Reformers.

Saint Andrew Dung-Lac

St. Andrew Dung-LacAndrew Dung-Lac was born in 1795 to a poor pagan family in northern Vietnam. When he was twelve years old, his parents had moved to Hanoi to find work. There he met a Christian catechist  who gave him food and shelter and eventually led him to conversion and baptism. The young man took Andrew as his baptismal name; and filled with zeal for Christ, he began to study Chinese and Latin, and himself became a catechist in order to lead his own people to Christ. He went on to study theology and was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty-eight, becoming a zealous missionary among the Vietnamese. For Andrew Dung-Lac, to become a Christian meant turning away from the religion of his ancestors and in a sense becoming a stranger among his own people: it meant learning Latin in order to enter into Catholic civilization, as well as learning Chinese in order to be a highly cultured Vietnamese.

Beginning in 1835, he was arrested and imprisoned several times under the persecution ordered by the Vietnamese emperor Minh-Mang, who was called the Nero of Vietnam. The emperor excluded all foreign missionaries  and ordered Vietnamese Christians to renounce their faith by trampling on the crucifix. Andrew Dung-Lac continued to work among the Vietnamese Catholics and was imprisoned several times. At last, he was arrested and tortured and finally beheaded on the 21 December 1839.

 

 

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St. Hedwig of Poland vs. St. Ambrose Barlow

Saint Hedwig of Poland

st hedwigHedwig (Jadwiga) (1373-1399) was the daughter of the king of Hungary and Poland and when she was one year old she was betrothed to Wilhelm, the Hapsburg heir of Austria. Hedwig’s father chose Hedwig as heir to the Polish throne. The archbishop of Krakow crowned Hedwig as “Jadwiga, king of Poland” (meaning she the monarch in her own right and not just the king’s wife) in 1384, when she was only ten.

The Polish nobles then set aside the non-consummated marriage between Hedwig and Wilhelm so that she should marry Jagiello, the still-pagan duke of Lithuania and Ruthenia, who promised to become a Christian. The goal was the union of Poland and Lithuania under one crown. The wedding took place in Krakow Cathedral in February 1386, after Jagiello and his brothers and the leading Lithuanian nobles were baptized. She was twelve and he was thirty-six. Jagiello was crowned king of Poland as Ladislaus (Władysław) II; the great majority of the Lithuanians then followed their king’s example and accepted baptism.

Among Queen Hedwig’s most notable cultural legacies was the restoration of the Kraków Academy, which in 1817 was renamed Jagiellonian University in honour of the royal couple. Hedwig also hoped to unite Latin and Orthodox Christians. To promote this, she brought monks from Prague who used a Slavonic rite. In 1399 Hedwig was expecting a baby. The baby was born prematurely and died after three weeks. Hedwig herself died four days later. Jagiello continued to rule Poland as Ladislaus II until his death 35 years later. The cause for Hedwig’s canonization was introduced in 1426, but she had to wait until the first Polish Pope, John Paul II, beatified her in 1986 and canonized her on his visit to Krakow in 1997.

Saint Ambrose Barlow

st. Ambrose BarlowFather Ambrose writes...Ambrose Barlow (1585-1641) was born at Barlow Hall, near Manchester in 1585 and baptized with the name Edward. In 1597, Ambrose went to live with a branch of the family that had become Protestant. Ambrose, as a member of the household, conformed to Anglicanism.

However, upon completing his time in his Protestant relatives’ household, Barlow experienced a re-conversion to the Catholic faith and felt called to the priesthood. So he travelled to France became a member of the English Benedictines in exile. He didn’t have an easy time in his early monastic life and was known as an argumentative man. At one point, the community was discussing a controversial matter; and his superiors thought it was better to send him out of the monastery to a country house, so that the discussions would go more smoothly in his absence.

Ambrose was ordained priest in 1617. He then returned to England as a missionary, offering Mass in private homes and administering the sacraments. He was arrested and imprisoned repeatedly during this period. One who knew Ambrose Barlow said that he was the sort of man who liked nothing better than a good argument and a soft bed, and that the very hardships of his life mellowed him over time. His parishioners implored him to flee or at least go into hiding but he refused. Their fears were compounded by a recent stroke which had resulted in the 56-year-old priest being partially paralyzed. “Let them fear that have anything to lose which they are unwilling to part with,” he told them.

On 25 April 1641, Easter Sunday, Father Ambrose and his congregation of around 100 people, were surrounded by a hostile mob just as they Easter Mass was ending. Fr. Ambrose was arrested and confined, then appeared before the presiding judge, Sir Robert Heath, on the 7 September. The judge offered to let him go if he would stop “perverting” the people. Father Ambrose replied that he was not “perverting” them but reverting them to the Catholic faith of their ancestors, and that he would promise no such thing.

On the following day, the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Sir Robert Heath found Ambrose guilty, and sentenced him to be executed. Two days later, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor, simply for being a Catholic priest.

 

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Blessed Miguel Pro vs. Saint Bede
3/1/2016

Blessed Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel ProBlessed Miguel (born January 13, 1891 – executed November 23, 1927), was a Mexican Jesuit Catholic priest executed under the presidency of the bitterly anti-clerical and anti-Catholic Plutarco Elías Calles. Under the 1917 Constitution, Catholic education was made illegal, and the clergy and religious were subject to severe restrictions. To pursue his Jesuit vocation, young Miguel had to go abroad—to Spain and Belgium. In 1926, after his ordination to the priesthood, When Calles came to power, the religious persecution intensified: churches in Mexico were closed, priests were outlawed, and the Mass and sacraments were offered only secretly. In response to the bloody religious persecution, there was a Catholic rebellion by the Cristeros, so called because of their battle-cry, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!). Father Miguel returned to his native land, knowing the danger. Father Pro became “God’s secret agent,” going about in disguise, offering Mass in secret, evading government agents, writing letters of encouragement to the faithful, which he signed with the nickname “Cocol.” In October 1926, Father Pro was arrested and then released under surveillance. In the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón, President Calles claimed, contrary to the evidence and testimony of those involved in the attempt, that Father Pro had been responsible. Father Miguel Pro was then executed on 23 November 1927 by firing squad and without trial.

As Fr. Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly. Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, “May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Before the firing squad were ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!” Blessed Miguel Pro was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on 25 September 1988.

Saint Bede

st bedeFather Bede writes... St. Bede was born in Northumbria in the northeast of England around 672. When he was only seven years old, he was entrusted to the monks at Wearmouth & Jarrow, the remarkable foundation of St. Benet Biscop, to be educated. Abbot Biscop had filled his monasteries with books; in that center of learning, Bede was able to become the greatest scholar of his day.

In 686 a plague devastated the monastery. In his account, Bede wrote that only two monks were able to continue the Divine Office, the Abbot St. Ceolfrith and an anonymous boy. This boy was surely St Bede himself, who was about 14 at the time. 

St. Bede was ordained a deacon when he was only nineteen years old and a priest when he was 30. He spent all of his life teaching, studying, writing and observing the constant round of prayer in the Church at Jarrow.

Above all St. Bede gave himself to the study of the holy Scriptures, and so most of the books he wrote were commentaries on the Bible. What has made Bede famous wherever the English language is spoken is that he wrote the first great English history book, the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People).

St. Bede died on Thursday, May 26, 735, which that year was both Ascension Thursday and the Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury. He died having just finished his translation of St. John's Gospel and his last words were “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”

There is a story that soon after his death, one of his pupils sat down to compose an epitaph for his tomb. He had gotten as far as:

Hac sunt in fossa

Bedae ossa
Here are in this tomb are
Bede's bones

But he could not think of a word that would fit into the line, for a word like sancti (holy or saint) would have spoilt the meter. So he went to bed leaving the epitaph unfinished. In the morning he went back to work he found that an angel had put in the word that was wanted: 

Hac sunt in fossa
Bedae Venerabilis ossa.
Here are in this tomb
Bede the Venerable's bones.

This is why, ever since, he has been known as the Venerable Bede.

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ROUND 2: Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla vs. Saint Dunstan
2/29/2016

Time to kick off Round 2 of March Madness with the Saints! Saint Dunstan is our first returning winner. Bl. Ceferino is our first martyr (the martyrs had the first round off).

Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla

Bl CeferinoBlessed Ceferino Giménez Malla (26 August1861 — 8 August 1936) was a Spanish Gypsy, a Catholic catechist, and the patron saint of the Gypsies (often now called the Roma). He was executed by Spanish Republican militias during the Civil War and was beatified on May 4, 1997.

Known for his honesty, Ceferino became something of a leader in the Roma community of Barbastro and the surrounding area. People would seek him out for advice, and to mediate family quarrels. He also resolved disputes between Roma and Spaniards.

One day a local landowner, suffering from tuberculosis, passed out on the street. Heedless of the danger of contagion, Malla hoisted the man on his shoulders and carried him home. The grateful family rewarded him with a sum sufficient to start a mule-trading business, in which he prospered. Ceferino was as generous to the poor and needy as he was successful. It is said that he often lent money to poor Roma and used to feed poor children. Although illiterate, after his wife died, Giménez Malla began a career as a catechist under the guidance of a priest-teacher, Don Nicholas Santos de Otto, teaching both Roma and Spanish children. He had a gift for catechizing children by telling them stories.

In July 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Giménez Malla tried to defend a Catholic priest from Republican militiamen. They both were arrested and imprisoned in a former Capuchin monastery, converted into a wartime prison.An acquaintance advised him that he would probably be released if he gave up his rosary, but he refused. A Gypsy legend has it that the soldiers asked him if he had weapons, and that he answered: “Yes, and here it is,” while displaying his rosary. On August 9, Malla and others were taken by truck to a cemetery and shot. He reportedly died holding the rosary in his hands, and shouting: “Long live Christ the King!" He was buried in a mass grave; his body has never been found.

Saint Dunstan

St. DunstanBrother Dunstan writes...St. Dunstan (909-988) was a very kind and humble Benedictine monk who worked as a blacksmith. He played beautiful music on the organ, and two sounds could be heard from his monastery: the anvil or the organ. He had a beautiful singing voice too. But one night, there was the sound of howling outside Dunstan's monastery. The Devil appeared and saw Dunstan shoe a lame horse and make him sound. Then, Dunstan noticed that the Devil was limping on one of his cloven hooves. He offered to make a shoe to help the Devil, too. The Devil envisioned a soft slipper, but instead, Dunstan nailed a red-hot horseshoe very tightly onto the split hoof.

The Devil screamed and begged him to take it off. But Dunstan was in no hurry to do that.

Dunstan's solution was to make the Devil promise that he would always respect the symbol of the horseshoe and never enter a building that is protected by the sign of a shoe.  To this day, people still hang horseshoes over the doors of their buildings and still tell the story of Saint Dunstan, Especially on May 19, St. Dunstan's Day. 

Saint Dunstan was also known to be a very kind schoolmaster at a time when most were cruel to their students.  When Saint Dunstan died, the new school master wanted to have all the boys whipped to teach them a lesson.  The boys prayed to Saint Dunstan who immediately heard their prayers and delivered them from their cruel teacher.  It was this story that made Br. Dunstan choose the saint as his patron.

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Saint Ansgar vs. Saint Boniface
2/25/2016

Saint Ansgar

st ansgarSaint Ansgar has been called the “Apostle of the North” for his mission to bring Christianity to Scandinavia. After his mother’s early death, he was raised at Corbie Abbey, a Benedictine Abbey. According to the Vita Ansgarii, the story of his life written by his successor to the bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen, Rimbert, records St. Ansgar’s closeness to heaven and the visions he is said to have experienced, giving him guidance at different stages of his life. In a vision as a little boy, the saint learned that his deceased mother now resided with Holy Mother Mary in heaven. This had a profound impact on the young child, changing his careless attitude towards spiritual matters over night. His mission work to Scandinavia was never easy or straightforward, having to contend with Viking raids of his see and many other setbacks. However, Saint Ansgar was never discouraged and when Vikings destroyed his diocese, he did not give up, but redoubled his efforts. He is renowned for his preaching and charity to the poor. When one of his disciples praised his miracles, he rebuked him, saying: “Were I worthy of such favor from God, I would ask that He would grant me this one miracle, that by His grace He would make of me a good man.”

Saint Boniface

st bonifaceWinfrid was born around 680 AD in Crediton in Devonshire, England. Listening to a conversation of some monks visiting his home, he became inspired to become a monk at the tender age of 5. At 7, he was sent to school at an abbey and later on, became the director at a monastic school. His teaching skill and popularity attracted many scholars, for whom he wrote the first Latin grammar to be compiled in England. At the age of 30, he was ordained a priest and excelled in pastoral care. However, he received the call to undertake mission work to the Germanic tribes and in 722, he was consecrated a regional bishop with jurisdiction all over Germany. To strike against the pagan superstitions persisting in the area, he took an axe to Donar’s sacred oak, splitting it into fourth almost at the first stroke. His audience, having expected immediate revenge from their gods, were awed and started to convert to Christianity.  Even though his efforts were successful, his mission to the Germans eventually demanded his life when he extended his efforts to Frisia. In addition to the Christianization of Germany, without him Europe would not be in the shape it is today.

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Saint Cuthbert vs. St. Aidan
2/24/2016

Saint Cuthbert

st cuthbertCuthbert (634 – 687) grew up near Melrose Abbey, a daughter-house of Lindisfarne, in what is  now Scotland. He had decided to become a monk at Melrose after seeing a vision on the night in 651 that St. Aidan, the founder of Lindisfarne, had died. Plague struck the monastery in 664; and while Cuthbert recovered, the prior died and Cuthbert was made prior in his place.

Cuthbert spent much time among the people, ministering to their spiritual needs, carrying out missionary journeys, preaching, and performing miracles. Around 665 went as prior to Lindisfarne. His reputation for gifts of healing and insight led many people to consult him, gaining him the name of “Wonder Worker of Britain.” He continued his missionary work, travelling the breadth of the country.

In 684, Cuthbert was elected Bishop of Hexham but was reluctant to leave his hermit’s life and take up the bishop’s charge. However, he swapped dioceses with his old friend, the monk Eata; thus Cuthbert became Bishop of Lindisfarne. After Christmas in 686, however, Cuthbert returned to his hermit’s cell on Inner Farme Island, where he eventually died on 20 March 687 AD.

After Cuthbert's death, numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession. In particular, Alfred the Great, King of Wessex was inspired and encouraged in his struggle against the Danes by a vision or dream he had of Cuthbert. Thereafter the royal house of Wessex, who became the kings of a united England, made a point of devotion to Cuthbert. St. Cuthbert after his death became a figure of reconciliation and political as well as religious unity for the English kingdom.

For centuries, the banner of St Cuthbert was regularly carried in battle against the Scots, for St. Cuthbert was seen as the heavenly protector of the people of northern England. Since it was especially in the north that many English Catholics kept the faith, even after the Reformation, St. Cuthbert is an especially important intercessor for the Catholics of northern England, where his tomb remains a place of prayer and pilgrimage.

Saint Aidan

st aidanFather Aidan writes...Saint Aidan, the Apostle to England, was born in Ireland in 590 and studied under Saint Senan before he entered he monastery at Iona.  He was sent to Northumbria by King Oswald as bishop and was honored for his great knowledge of sacred scripture.  He was known for his great kindness, holiness, and preaching skills.  He was known for his kindness to the poor and has many miracles attributed to him.  He founded the monastery at Lindisfarne where the great Saint Cuthbert was a monk.  In his kindness poor he was riding to preach the gospel and gave his strong beautiful horse, a gift of King Oswald to the poor man.  When his monks were trying to convert the English without success, Saint Aidan told them to be more gentle with them.  Saint Aidan was later sent himself to preach the gospel.  He was respected by Pope Honorius I for his missionary zeal and energy.  Saint Aidan died in 651 at the castle Bamburgh leaning against a column in the chapel.  Years later after a fire destroyed the castle, the column was still standing.

Saint Aidan has many miracles attributed to him.  His birth was made known through great signs and omens and he was known for his piety and devotion as a young man.  He was known for repelling a group of Saxons from the monastery of Saint David in Wales.  He also made his horse disappear when the monastery of Saint David in Wales was being attached by the Saxons.  

Saint Aidan is the patron of firefighters.

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St. Athanasius of Alexandria vs. St. Nicholas of Myra
2/23/2016

St. Athanasius of Alexandria

St. AthanasiusBrother Athanasius writes...St. Athanasius (c. 296 – 373) was Patriarch of Alexandria, Confessor and is Docotor of the Faith. St. Athanasius is rather like a saintly version of a comic book superhero. First, he has a superhero-ish name since his name in Greek means “immortal.” Secondly, tradition holds that he began training under the bishop of Alexandria, St. Alexander, when he noticed the young Athanasius playing in the street: Athanasius was playing bishop and baptizing his friends. Another formative experience for St. Athanasius was participating in the Council of Nicea in 325 that formulated the creed we still say every Sunday and for which he would spend the rest of his life fighting.

When his mentor died in 328, St. Athanasius became the bishop of Alexandria and was ready to take on the world. I mean this literally as his nickname was “Athanasius Contra Mundum”. Of course, every superhero has an arch-villain that he fights and Athanasius battled a heretical priest named Arius who denied the divinity of Christ. Arius had friends in high places, like the Emperor Constantine (yes, the same one who legalized Christianity) who convened a synod to get Athanasius exiled and to back away from the Nicene Council (which the Emperor had earlier approved and supported). Of course St. Athanasius had two main superpowers to fight against Arius and his heresy: the first was his superhuman persistence, for example he was exiled 5 times by 4 different emperors for a total of nearly twenty years. The second was his cleverness and keen intellect. When he was charged with using the hand of a dead bishop for magic, Athanasius defended himself by smuggling into the trial inside a basket the still living bishop with both hands intact. While in exile, he kept himself busy by writing “On the Incarnation” which won many souls over to the orthodox position and also praised the ascetic life with a biography of St. Antony, the first Christian hermit-monk.

By the end of his life St. Athanasius was so beloved by the people of Alexandria and such a hero to them that his last exile ended because the emperor feared a revolt from them. In St. Athanasius we have a saint we can pray to for perseverance whenever we are punished for holding onto the Catholic Faith.

St. Nicholas of Myra

st nicholasBecause of his reputation of secret gift-giving for children and young people in danger of slavery or exploitation, St. Nicholas of Myra has become known through the centuries by his secular moniker Santa Claus. Very religious from an early age, the later 4th century Bishop of Myra was among his contemporaries for his holiness, passion for the gospel and zeal, challenging the pagan deities. His reputation was such that when Emperor Diocletian started the persecution of Christians in 303, he was seized by government officials, tortured and then imprisoned. He was finally liberated with the Edit of Milan by Emperor Constantine and the crowds of people create him with loud acclamation. One of the most interesting stories about him is his involvement in the Arian controversy. According to St. Methodius, it was thanks to the teaching and work of St. Nicholas that only the city of Myra in that region remained untouched by the Arian heresy. Attending the Council of Nicea in 325, it is said that he entered into a heated debate with Arius and became so angry with zeal for God that he punched his opponent straight in the face. This should give all of us pause in thinking of good old Santa Claus as a pushover!

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St. Simeon Stylite vs. St. Moses the Black
2/22/2016

St. Simeon the Stylite

st. simeon styliteBorn in about 388 at Sisan near the border of Syria, Simeon the Stylite would appear to be a man of legend, were it not for first-hand historical evidence. The most famous of the “pillar-hermits”, he spent 37 years living on top of a pillar, earning a great reputation for holiness.  Entering a monastery before the age of 16, he gave himself up to practices of austerity so extreme that his fellow monks considered him unsuitable for monastic community life. Secluding himself from the world in a small hut, Saint Simeon eventually removed himself to a rock. However, this did not grant him the peace he sought, as people still flocked to him. It is said that because he could not escape the world horizontally, he attempted to do so vertically by retreating to a platform on top of a high column. To grant him more privacy, a double wall was erected around his pillar and women were never admitted with in its confines, not even his mother while she was alive. Instead of withdrawing from the world completely, however, the saint continued to minister to the people who sought his wise guidance.

St. Moses the Black

st. moses the blackSt. Moses the Black seems on a first glance a very unlikely candidate for sainthood. After losing his position as a servant to a government official in Egypt under suspicions of murder and theft, Saint Moses put his imposing figure to practical use and became the leader of a gang of robbers terrorizing the Nile valley. The instrument of his conversion was the barking of a dog foiling an attempted robbery, which caused St. Moses to seek shelter with some monks in a desert monastery near Alexandria. Their peace and contentment influenced him to give up his old way of life and to become a Christian and later a monk. Saint Moses the Black thrived as a monk, only becoming discouraged when he thought that he was not perfect enough. While his adventurous spirit never left him, he became a renowned spiritual leader and preached non-violence.

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Saint Hedwig of Poland vs. Saint Vladimir of Kiev
2/19/2016

Saint Hedwig of Poland

st hedwigHedwig (Jadwiga) (1373-1399) was the daughter of the king of Hungary and Poland and when she was one year old she was betrothed to Wilhelm, the Hapsburg heir of Austria. Hedwig’s father chose Hedwig as heir to the Polish throne. The archbishop of Krakow crowned Hedwig as “Jadwiga, king of Poland” (meaning she the monarch in her own right and not just the king’s wife) in 1384, when she was only ten.

The Polish nobles then set aside the non-consummated marriage between Hedwig and Wilhelm so that she should marry Jagiello, the still-pagan duke of Lithuania and Ruthenia, who promised to become a Christian. The goal was the union of Poland and Lithuania under one crown. The wedding took place in Krakow Cathedral in February 1386, after Jagiello and his brothers and the leading Lithuanian nobles were baptized. She was twelve and he was thirty-six. Jagiello was crowned king of Poland as Ladislaus (Władysław) II; the great majority of the Lithuanians then followed their king’s example and accepted baptism.

Among Queen Hedwig’s most notable cultural legacies was the restoration of the Kraków Academy, which in 1817 was renamed Jagiellonian University in honour of the royal couple. Hedwig also hoped to unite Latin and Orthodox Christians. To promote this, she brought monks from Prague who used a Slavonic rite. In 1399 Hedwig was expecting a baby. The baby was born prematurely and died after three weeks. Hedwig herself died four days later. Jagiello continued to rule Poland as Ladislaus II until his death 35 years later. The cause for Hedwig’s canonization was introduced in 1426, but she had to wait until the first Polish Pope, John Paul II, beatified her in 1986 and canonized her on his visit to Krakow in 1997.

Saint Vladimir of Kiev

st. vladimirVladimir (958-1015) was born a prince of Novgorod in what is now Russia. As Grand Prince of Kiev, Vladimir later consolidated a great realm that extended from modern-day Ukraine to the Black Sea. He was raised in Slavic paganism and had been in his earlier years a ruthless and bloodthirsty warrior, even against his own brother, who had seized the throne and had murdered another brother named Oleg.  also had five wives and numerous female slaves. The motives for his conversion to Christianity are still much debated since there were political benefits to becoming an Eastern Christian, allied with the Byzantine Empire. In any case, Vladimir did profess his Christian faith and gladly accepted baptism and mended his ways: he gave up his harem and his concubines and married Anne, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor.

Vladimir tried thereafter to govern in a way that befitted a Christian ruler, restraining the cruelty and bloodshed that had seemed normal to him as a young man.

Prince Vladimir was closest in religion and politics to the court to the Byzantine Imperial court  and supported the work of Greek missionaries in his realm. At the same time, Vladimir was in full communion with the Pope of Rome and exchanged ambassadors with the papal court, while helping the German bishop St. Boniface of Querfurt in his missionary activity. St. Vladimir was revered not only because he was a sinner who repented but especially because he brought about the reconciliation of the Russian and Ukrainian people (both traceable back to the principality of Kiev) with God, with their entry into the wider family of Christendom.

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St. Peter Canisius vs St. Clement Maria Hofbauer
2/18/2016

Saint Peter Canisius

St. CanisiusCanisius is often called the Second Apostle of Germany (St. Boniface being the first). Peter was actually a Dutchman, born at Nijmegen in the Netherlands, the son of the burgomaster of the city. As a theology student at the University of Cologne, he attended a retreat given by Blessed Peter Faber and soon joined the Society of Jesus. As a young Jesuit, Peter was sent first to Bavaria, to shore up the Catholic identity of the University of Ingolstadt. Peter was so successful that he eventually became rector and vice-chancellor of the university. At the same time, he also led a popular Catholic revival among the Bavarians by his preaching and catechetical work.

Peter’s successes in Bavaria prompted King Ferdinand of Austria to ask Peter to come to Vienna, to do the same kind of work. The Church in Vienna was in crisis: not a single priest had been ordained in twenty years. The monasteries and religious houses were largely desolate, and the few priests were jeered at in the streets. At first, Peter had to preach to empty churches, partly because his Rhineland accent irritated his Austrian audiences. But Peter persevered and won the hearts of many Viennese by his ministry to the sick and dying during an outbreak of the plague. They were impressed by Peter’s willingness to minister to everyone, from the university professors to criminals in the jails. Peter began to draw the crowds, helping many to return to the Catholic faith and to the sacraments. He continued this work of Catholic renewal and education in Prague, Augsburg, and Fribourg.

Peter Canisius was also one of the greatest pioneers in catechesis: he produced catechisms for children, for adolescents, and for educated adults—with each text adapted to its audience. It is due to St. Peter Canisius that the Catholic faith was preserved in Austria and Germany. In defending the faith, he emphasized a conciliatory and constructive approach in dealing with sincere opponents of Catholic doctrine, so as to win them over by charity:

If you treat them right, the Germans will give you everything. Many err in matters of faith, but without arrogance. They err the German way, mostly honest, a bit simple-minded, but very open for everything Lutheran. An honest explanation of the faith would be much more effective than a polemical attack against Reformers.

Saint Clement Maria Hofbauer

St. Clement Maria HofbauerSt. Clement Maria Hofbauer (1751-1820) was born in Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic. Though he always aspired to the priesthood, his family’s poverty blocked the way to education; and the young man had to go to work as a baker. Later he became a hermit and dedicated himself to solitary prayer. He eventually recognized that his true vocation was to be a missioner; and so Clement returned to Vienna. At the cathedral where he had served Mass, he came to know two devout women who decided to pay the cost of Clement’s education, so that he could become a priest. Clement eventually joined a new and zealous Italian order called the Redemptorists, whom Clement established north of the Alps.

Father Clement went first to Poland, where he and his fellow Redemptorists ministered first to the German-speaking congregation in Warsaw and then expanded their pastoral work to the Poles, as well. The spirit of Father Clement is evident from this account of his work in Warsaw:

When Father Clement saw a homeless boy on the street, he brought him to the rectory, cleaned him up, fed him, and then taught him a trade and instructed him in the Christian way of life. Father Clement opened the Child Jesus Refuge for his homeless boys. For whom he had to beg constantly. Going into a bakery to buy a loaf of bread he came upon a master baker without an assistant. Father Clement spent the day working at the oven, using all his old baking skills. He got bread for his boys that day and for many days to come.

On another occasion, legend has it that he went begging to a local pub. When Father Clement asked for a donation, one of the patrons scornfully spat beer into the priest’s face. Wiping off the beer, he responded, “That was for me. Now what do you have for my boys?” The men in the bar were so astounded by the response that they gave Clemens Maria Hofbauer more than 100 silver coins.

When the Emperor Napoleon suppressed the religious orders, Father Clement and his community were forced to leave Warsaw and were even imprisoned for a time. Clement was determined to return to Vienna, which he succeeded in doing. There he became renowned as a preacher and confessor among all classes of people. At the same time, his activities were viewed with suspicion by the state; at one point, he was forbidden to preach, and his enemies claimed he was a papal spy. The chancellor of Austria even demanded Father Clement’s expulsion; but the Emperor Francis heard such good things about Clement that His Majesty even met with him and was much impressed. After that, the Redemptorists were on the way to legal recognition in Austria and played an important role in the Catholic revival of that period. In Clemens Maria Hofbauer’s life, God somehow had made it possible to overcome every obstacle.

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Saint Dunstan vs. St. Joseph of Cupertino
2/17/2016

Saint Joseph of Cupertino

St Joseph of CupertinoJoseph Desa (1603-1663) had a difficult road to religious life and priesthood. His parents were poor to start with, and then his carpenter father died early and left the family in dire straits. His widowed mother thought her son was a good-for-nothing and a burden; he was absent-minded and distracted and acquired the unflattering nickname of “Boccaperta” (“Open-Mouth”, the Gaper). In addition, his hot temper made him unpopular. His distraught mother tried to apprentice Joseph to a shoemaker, but Joseph had no talent for that trade. Eventually the Capuchin Franciscans accepted him as a lay-brother but then dismissed him because of his clumsiness and incompetence in the kitchen. His mother finally persuaded her brother—a Conventual Franciscan at Grottella—to give Joseph a job as a servant in the stables. And at this, Joseph succeeded; his disposition became more humble, and he practiced strict penances.

The Conventual Franciscans allowed Joseph to become a novice and to make vows and even to study for the priesthood. However, Joseph did not have an academic mind and struggled with his courses. There was only one Bible verse that he could remember and explain adequately: “Blessed is the womb that bore thee” (Lk 11.27). As it turned out, that was the verse upon which the bishop examined him! That is how Joseph was approved for ordination as a deacon; before long, he was ordained priest, as well. From the time of his ordination, Father Joseph’s ministry was accompanied by miracles and ecstatic experiences. During his seventeen years at Grottella, there were seventy recorded instances of Joseph levitating—of being lifted into thin air, by no apparent physical force. For many years, Joseph was not allowed to offer Mass in public because these distracting “flying” phenomena repeatedly occurred. Father Joseph acquired a considerable following among the faithful but was, to the end of his life, viewed with suspicion by some of his superiors. At the demand of the Inquisition of Perugia, Joseph was required to live in seclusion, almost under house arrest. And yet, the supernatural phenomena and miracles continued: clearly, even if Joseph was abandoned by men, God was with him.

Because of his levitations, St. Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of flyers and air pilots.

Saint Dunstan

St. DunstanBrother Dunstan writes...St. Dunstan (909-988) was a very kind and humble Benedictine monk who worked as a blacksmith. He played beautiful music on the organ, and two sounds could be heard from his monastery: the anvil or the organ. He had a beautiful singing voice too. But one night, there was the sound of howling outside Dunstan's monastery. The Devil appeared and saw Dunstan shoe a lame horse and make him sound. Then, Dunstan noticed that the Devil was limping on one of his cloven hooves. He offered to make a shoe to help the Devil, too. The Devil envisioned a soft slipper, but instead, Dunstan nailed a red-hot horseshoe very tightly onto the split hoof.

The Devil screamed and begged him to take it off. But Dunstan was in no hurry to do that.

Dunstan's solution was to make the Devil promise that he would always respect the symbol of the horseshoe and never enter a building that is protected by the sign of a shoe. To this day, people still hang horseshoes over the doors of their buildings and still tell the story of Saint Dunstan, Especially on May 19, St. Dunstan's Day.

Saint Dunstan was also known to be a very kind schoolmaster at a time when most were cruel to their students. When Saint Dunstan died, the new school master wanted to have all the boys whipped to teach them a lesson. The boys prayed to Saint Dunstan who immediately heard their prayers and delivered them from their cruel teacher. It was this story that made Brother Dunstan choose the saint as his patron.

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Saint Egbert of Ripon vs. Saint Bede
2/16/2016

Saint Egbert

st egbertEgbert was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, probably from Northumbria, in northern England. In 664, as a youth, he traveled to Ireland to study. His Northumbrian traveling companions died of the plague, and he contracted it as well. Egbert vowed that if he recovered, he would become a peregrinus on perpetual pilgrimage from his homeland of Britain and would lead a life of penitential prayer and fasting. He was twenty-five, and when he recovered he kept his vow until his death at age 90.

He began to organize monks in Ireland to evangelize in still-pagan Frisia and hoped to become a missionary himself. However, Egbert’s vocation was to be monastic reform and renewal, rather than direct missionary work. He also took an interest in fostering peace by trying to persuade the King of Northumbria from sending a military expedition to Ireland. While in Ireland, Egbert participated in the Synod of Birr in 697, which approved a legal code that sought to limit the excessive cruelty of war and of criminal punishments.

Egbert was clearly one who revered the Celtic Church and its monastic tradition; he also had great affection for Ireland. At the same time, Egbert wished for the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Christians to be united in accepting the Roman date of Easter. By Egbert’s time, most of the British Isles had accepted the Roman dating; but the great Celtic monastery of Iona was still unwilling to accept this Roman reform. So Egbert went to Iona and lived there with the monastic community. Over time, he succeeded in persuading the Iona monks to accept the Roman date of Easter. He died at Iona on the first day that the Easter feast was observed in the Roman way at the monastery, on 24 April 729. St. Egbert thus patiently fostered monastic and liturgical renewal by harmonizing the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions in the bond of Catholicity.

Saint Bede

st bedeFather Bede writes... St. Bede was born in Northumbria in the northeast of England around 672. When he was only seven years old, he was entrusted to the monks at Wearmouth & Jarrow, the remarkable foundation of St. Benet Biscop, to be educated. Abbot Biscop had filled his monasteries with books; in that center of learning, Bede was able to become the greatest scholar of his day.

In 686 a plague devastated the monastery. In his account, Bede wrote that only two monks were able to continue the Divine Office, the Abbot St. Ceolfrith and an anonymous boy. This boy was surely St Bede himself, who was about 14 at the time. 

St. Bede was ordained a deacon when he was only nineteen years old and a priest when he was 30. He spent all of his life teaching, studying, writing and observing the constant round of prayer in the Church at Jarrow.

Above all St. Bede gave himself to the study of the holy Scriptures, and so most of the books he wrote were commentaries on the Bible. What has made Bede famous wherever the English language is spoken is that he wrote the first great English history book, the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People).

St. Bede died on Thursday, May 26, 735, which that year was both Ascension Thursday and the Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury. He died having just finished his translation of St. John's Gospel and his last words were “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”

There is a story that soon after his death, one of his pupils sat down to compose an epitaph for his tomb. He had gotten as far as:

Hac sunt in fossa

Bedae ossa
Here are in this tomb are
Bede's bones

But he could not think of a word that would fit into the line, for a word like sancti (holy or saint) would have spoilt the meter. So he went to bed leaving the epitaph unfinished. In the morning he went back to work he found that an angel had put in the word that was wanted: 

Hac sunt in fossa
Bedae Venerabilis ossa.
Here are in this tomb
Bede the Venerable's bones.

This is why, ever since, he has been known as the Venerable Bede.

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Coming Soon
2/3/2016

Biographies of the saints of the day will be posted here, along with a poll where you can vote for a winner to move on. The polls will also be posted on our Twitter feed.

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4

 

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Saint Louis Priory School

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