St. Patrick, pray for us

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints. He was born in Roman Britain and when he was fourteen or so, he was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans but Patrick turned to God and wrote his memoir, The Confession. In The Confession, he wrote: “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and…

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The Memorial of Blessed Iwene Tansi

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was a native of Aguleri town of Anambra State, Nigeria. He was born in Aguleri, in September 1903 and he died in Leicester, England on January 24, 1964. He was of Igbo Ethnic group of Nigerian, an ordained Catholic priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria. The date of his ordination was December 19, 1937. While still alive, he worked in the Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri parishes. Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi later became a Cistercian Monk at Mount Saint Bernard Monastery in…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Life of Saint Peter Canisius

Peter Canisius, a renowned  courageous Dutch Jesuit Priest was born in 1521 in Nijmegen in the Duchy of Guelders. At 43, he founded colleges that even Protestants respected. They gave him a cover as official “visitor” of Jesuit foundations. In 1565, Peter, a courageous and someone above suspicion was chosen as a Roman secret agent to get the decrees of the Council to all the European bishops ,a dangerous assignment in the sixteenth century. But Peter couldn’t hide the decrees like our modern fictional spies with their microfilmed messages in…

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