Saint John Neumann

Neumann was born in Prachatice, Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic. He attended school in Budweis and joined the seminary there in 1831. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Prague, where he studied theology. He intended to be ordained, but his bishop, in 1835, decided there would be no more ordinations, as Bohemia had a high number of priests already. Neumann, who spoke eight languages then wrote to other bishops in Europe, but they all replied that they also had too many priests and could not ordain him. He…

Read More

Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She was born two years before the American Revolution, and grew up in the upper class of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels. In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth’s early life was a quiet, simple, and often lonely one. As she grew older, the Bible became her continual instruction and comfort. In 1794, Elizabeth married a wealthy young man named…

Read More

St Genevieve

St. Genevieve was a beautiful peasant born around 422 in Nanterre, France, to her father Severus and her mother Gerontia. When Genevieve was only seven-years-old, St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre visited Nanterre. While there, many people flocked to receive his blessing. The young Genevieve stood amid the crowd which had gathered around the bishop. In no time, the man of God singled her out and foretold her future sanctity. At her request, the holy Bishop led her to a church, accompanied by all the faithful, and consecrated her to God…

Read More

St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great, born at Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330 was one of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Several of his brothers and sisters are honored among the saints. He attended school in Caesarea, as well as Constantinople and Athens, where he became acquainted with St. Gregory Nazianzen in 352. A little later, he opened a school of oratory in Caesarea and practiced law. Eventually he decided to become a monk and found a monastery in Pontus which he directed for five years. He…

Read More

Feast of St Sylvester I, Pope

St. Sylvester, born in Rome, was ordained by Pope St. Marcellinus during the peace that preceded the persecutions of Diocletian. He passed through those days of terror, witnessed the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, and saw the triumph of Constantine in the year 312. Two years later he succeeded St. Melchiades as Bishop of Rome. In the same year, he sent four legates to represent him at the great Council of the Western Church, held at Aries. He confirmed it’s decision and imparted them to the Church. The Council of…

Read More

Life of St Thomas à Becket, Bishop, Martyr

According to a contemporary writer, Thomas Becket was the son of Gilbert Becket, sheriff of London; another relates that both parents were of Norman blood. Whatever his parentage, we know with certainty that the future chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury was born on St. Thomas day, 1118, of a good family, and that he was educated at a school of canons regular at Merton Priory in Sussex, and later at the University of Paris. When Thomas returned from France, his parents had died. Obliged to make his way unaided, he…

Read More

St. Anthony the Hermit

Anthony was born about circa 468 at Valeria in Lower Pannonia. When he was eight years old, his father died and he was first entrusted to the care of St. Severinus. After the death of Severinus, an uncle, Bishop Constantius of Lorsch in Bavaria took charge of his upbringing. While in Bavaria, Anthony became a monk. He returned to Italy in 488 and joined the cleric Marius and his companions as a hermit at Lake Como. However, he gained so many disciples that he was forced to flee. Anthony then…

Read More

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

St. John the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus was the son of Zebedee and Salome . John was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He is also known as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos and the Beloved Disciple. John’s older brother was St. James the Great, another one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles. Jesus referred to the brothers as “Boanerges,” meaning “sons of thunder.” John is believed to be the longest living apostle and the only not…

Read More

St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr

Saint Stephen, one of the first ordained deacons of the Church was the first Christian martyr. The Greek word from which we derive the English word martyr literally means witness. In that sense, every Christian is called to bear witness to Jesus Christ, in both their words and their actions. Not all are asked to shed their blood. Those who do shed their blood for the faith are the greatest of witnesses. They have been especially honored since the very beginning of Christianity. Stephen was so conformed to Jesus in…

Read More

St Chaeremon of Nilopolis

St. Chaeremon was a priest and bishop of Nilopolis in Egypt. Chaeremon and his companions were martyred during the reign of Emperor Trajanus Decius. Many of the Christians were driven out into the desert. There they died in a variety of ways: hunger, thirst, cold nights, wild animals, criminals. Naturally, if the Christians tried to return to civilization, they were killed. The young, healthy Christians were sold into slavery. Chaeremon was very old when the persecution became extreme. The elderly bishop and a companion went for shelter to the mountains…

Read More