St. Romuald (1027).
He was a Benedictine monk, and later an abbot. He was the founder
of the Camaldolese Order of the Benedictines in 1024. This saint’s
life was written by another holy man, Saint Peter Damian, Doctor
of the Church.
Juliana Falconieri (1340).
She is the niece of Saint Alexis Falconieri, one of the seven founders
of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her spiritual father
was Saint Philip Benizi, a member of the Servite Order. She became
the foundress of the Third Order of the Servites. And tooka vow
of virginity and began to dress and live like a nun when she was
only fifteen. Her great devotion was to the sorrows of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. Our Lady led her, because of this devotion, to a most
ecstatic love of the Blessed Sacrament. St. Juliana Falconieri is
called “the saint of the Holy Eucharist.” She died at
the age of 70 after many years of great sickness. She was so ill
in her stomach that she could not receive Our Lord in the Eurcharist
by way of Viaticum. She asked the priest as a favor that the Sacred
Host be placed on a corporal, and laid on her heart. At the moment
Juliana died, the Sacred Host disappeared and the form of the Host
was found stamped on her heart in the exact place where the Blessed
Sacrament had been laid when she was dying.
Sts. Gervase and Protase (165).
These are two heroic brothers who shed their blood for the Catholic
Faith in the city of Milan, Italy during the second century.
They are known as the protomartyrs of Milan. The relics of these
saintly brothers were discovered by St. Ambrose in the fourth century,
and their bodies now repose in the Church of Saint Ambrose in Milan.
Gervase and Protase are always mentioned in the Litany of the Saints,
and are two of the 11 holy martyrs especially remembered in this
sacred litany. The other nine are: Sts. Stephen, Laurence, Vincent,
Fabian, Sebastian, John, Paul, Cosmas and Damian.
St. Silverius (538).
This 60th Pope of the Catholic Church suffered great persecution
for defending the dogmatic truths of the one true Church founded
by Jesus Christ. He was exiled by the Empress Theodora to an island
off Naples after only two years on the papal throne. He died on
this island, a martyr.
St. Florence (Florentina) (636).
St. Florentina lived in Spain and was the sister of three brothers
who are saints—Sts. Leander, Fulgentius and Isidore,
Doctor of the Church. She became a nun and an abbess and died in
the same year as her great brother, St. Isidore.
He was born on March 9, 1568, and is the model of the virtue of
holy purity for all young Catholic boys. The first words Saint Aloysius
spoke as a little child were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. So
rich was his wisdom as a young boy that at the age of nine he made
a vow of perpetual virginity. God arranged it that a saint should
give Aloysius his first Holy Communion, St. Charles Borromeo, whose
feast day is Nov. 4, and who died in 1584. In 1585, when Aloysius
Gonzaga was 17, he joined the newly-founded Order of the Society
of Jesus. St. Aloysius died speaking the Holy Name of Jesus, on
the octave of Corpus Christi on June 21, 1591, when he was only
23 years old. The name of St. Aloysius in Italian is Luigi, and
countless Italian boys have been called by that name after
him. His name in French is Louis. He himself was named for St. Louis
of Toulouse, who in turn was named for the great King, St. Louis
of France. St. Robert Bellarmine wrote, by way of eulogy, the life
of St. Aloysius.
St. Terence (First Century).
He was the first Bishop of Iconium, in Lycaonia, in Asia Minor.
He was one of the 72 disciples of Our Lord. At St. Paul’s
dictation, it was he who wrote down the Epistle to the Romans. His
name is mentioned in this Epistle as Tertius, in Chapter 16,
verse 22. He is, at least by way of name, one of the favorite saints
of the Irish people. Many thousands of Irish boys have been named
Terence in honor of this holy man.
St. Paulinus of Nola (431).
Paulinus was born at Bordeaux, France, of one of its noblest and
wealthiest families. He was appointed by the Roman Emperor, Prefect
of all France. He was an orator and a poet. In rank, he finally
became a Roman senator, and then Prefect of Rome. He married a Catholic
Spanish girl named Therasia, who brought him into the Catholic Church.
Paulinus was baptized when he was 31 years old. The only child of
Paulinus and Therasia died in infancy. After this, they both consecrated
themselves to God. Therasia sold all her possessions, gave the money
to the poor and became a nun. And Paulinus, under the direction
of St. Ambrose of Milan, and under the inspiration of St. Felix,
the martyred Bishop of Nola, was raised to Holy Orders and elected
the Bishop of Nola. He was renowned through all Italy, France and
Spain for his sanctity. He said he was “glad to sell earth
so as to buy Heaven.” Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and
Gregory, the four Great Western Doctors of the Church, were
all ardent admirers of St. Paulinus, and each of them wrote much
in his praise.
Thomas More (1535).
He was the wonderful English martyr, Chancellor of the Realm, who
was beheaded on Tower Hill, just outside London, for not giving
in to the heretical Henry VIII. Thomas More stood against this king
who denied the supremacy of our Holy Father the Pope over the whole
Catholic and Christian world. Henry VIII, the founder of the Episcopal
Church, was an English king who married six wives, and murdered
two of them. St, Thomas More would not submit to him as head of
the Church that Christ founded. Because the king set up bishops
in place of the Pope (which accounts for the name Episcopalian,
taken from episcopi, the Latin word for bishops), other groups were
induced by various influences to set up other churches as well:
ministers for the Presbyterians; congregations for the Congregationalists;
liturgies for the Baptists; ideas for the Methodists; or ideas with
some sort of hierarchical setup for the Methodist Episcopals. St.
Thomas More was only 57 years old when he was martyred.
St. John Fisher (1535).
St. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester in England, and Chancellor
of the University of Cambridge at the time when the adulterous Henry
VIII was seceding from the Catholic Church and founding a religion
of his own, was the most notable Catholic bishop who opposed him.
John Fisher was a brave supporter of the Catholic queen, Catherine
of Aragon. He refused to take an oath of supremacy to the heretical
Henry VIII and was therefore He seized thrown into the Tower of
London. While there, the Holy Father, Pope Paul III, made him a
cardinal. Henry VIII, when he heard this, in furious anger swore
that Cardinal Fisher would not have a head on which to put the red
hat that the Pope would give him. John Fisher was beheaded. Anne
Boleyn, the illegitimate wife of Henry VIII, whom he later murdered,
asked for the head of St. John Fisher, and, like Herodias with the
head of John the Baptist, struck it with her hand. One of his teeth
made a wound in her hand, which never healed. There were, from 1535
to 1681, only 600 candidates for heroic sanctity among all the English
Catholic people. Fifty-four of these were beatified by Pope Leo
XIII, on December 29, 1886, and nine others on May 13, 1895. One
hundred and thirty-four more were beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher were both canonized by Pope
Pius XI on May 19, 1935, and 40 martyrs of England and Wales
were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The fewness of the English
martyrs shows us that Henry VIII did not completely lose the Faith
for England. The English people lost it for themselves.
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