Saint John Chrysostom

“One of the most beloved saints of the Christian East, the renowned preacher and fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople John Chrysostom, will be remembered and celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on September 13, the day before the anniversary of his death in 407.

Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, who regard the Byzantine archbishop as one of the most important of the early Church Fathers, commemorate him a month later on November 13, the date that he assumed the position of archbishop in the Eastern imperial capital.

Among Christians of the Byzantine tradition, St. John Chrysostom is best known for the liturgical rite traditionally ascribed to him. Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches still celebrate the “Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” as their most common form of Eucharistic worship.

In the West, he is numbered among the 33 “Doctors of the Church,” and remembered especially for his extensive and profound teachings on the subject of the Holy Eucharist. Along with St. Joseph, he was named co-patron of the Second Vatican Council by Bl. John XXIII.

Born around 349 in the Syrian city of Antioch, which is today a part of Turkey, John received an education in the classical works of Greek. He was baptized at age 19 or 20 and mentored by the local Bishop Meletius, going on to attend a school of theology in the city.

For a total of six years, John left behind the relative wealth of his family background and lived a strict lifestyle as a monastic hermit, devoting himself entirely to prayer, fasting, and study of the Bible. This regimen permanently damaged his health, however, and he returned to the city to serve in the local church, eventually becoming a deacon and then priest.” – “Church Celebrates St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople”, EWTN

This post from EWTN.com is all about Saint John Chrysostom because today is his feast day. Saint John actually passed away on September 14th, but the Roman Catholic Church chose to make the day before his feast day. He is known sometimes as the patron saint of education. John lived a life in solitude and was very involved in praying each and every day. Take the time today to say a quick prayer to Saint John Chrysostom, and if you would care to read the full text of this article, click here.

Feast of the Nativity

This article from A Nun’s Life was a great one about Mary from yesterday’s Feast of the Nativity. If you would like to check out the full version of the article please, click here. Mary is one of the most important figures of the Catholic Church and we should all try a little harder to remember her in our daily lives. Hopefully yesterday you said a quick prayer to her in remembrance of the Feast of the Nativity. If you didn’t then you should take some time right now to do that!

“Today we celebrate the birth of Mary. Although scripture says nothing about the circumstances of her birth, it is rich in stories about her adult life. The stories are the source of lots of images and titles for Mary. One of the best known is Theotokos, the God-Bearer.

I love this particular image of Mary and what it symbolizes. For Mary, “God-bearing” wasn’t a one-time event. It didn’t end when Jesus was born. Mary witnessed to God’s goodness and kindness with her whole life. Scripture tells of many times when Mary stepped in to help others, sometimes asking her son to lend a hand too, as in the wedding feast at Cana. She cared for the people in her life and was a faithful friend, mother, and wife. To me, the image of Mary as God-Bearer reminds me that we all have the capacity to be “God-bearers” through the compassion and love we extend to others. So, my birthday gift to Mary is the extra special attention I’ll give to being the best God-bearer I can today.

What images of Mary have special meaning for you? How will you celebrate Mary’s birthday?” – “Feast of the Nativity of Mary”, A Nun’s Life

Pope Tells of Saint Hildegard

“Pope Benedict said the life of medieval nun St Hildegard of Bingen demonstrated that “women make a special contribution to theology”.

He was reflecting on the life of the 12th-century German Benedictine religious who experienced mystical visions that “were rich in theological content … They referred to the main events of the history of salvation and use a mainly poetic and symbolic language,” the pontiff said, according to a Catholic News Agency report.

“In the central part of her work she develops the theme of the mystical marriage between God and humankind which came about in the Incarnation.

“Even in this brief outline,” he continued, “we see how theology can receive a special contribution from women, because they are capable of speaking of God and of the mysteries of the faith with their specific intelligence and sensitivity.”

“Hildegard’s popularity led many people to consult her,” the Holy Father recalled. “Monastic communities, both male and female, as well as bishops and abbots all sought her guidance. And many of her answers remain valid, even for us.”

“With the spiritual authority she possessed, in the last years of her life Hildegard began to travel,” the Pope recounted. “She was considered to be a messenger sent by God, in particular calling monastic communities and clergy to a life in conformity with their vocation.”” – “St Hildegard an Example for Women in Theology: Pope”, CathNews

This posting was from CathNews.com and is all about Saint Hildegard. It is good to see Pope Benedict XVI spreading to people how awesome Saint Hildegard was in her life. She is not one of the most popular patron saints, but none the less did wonderful things with her life.

Relics of Padre Pio Shown in Brisbane

This post from CathNews.com talks all about Padre Pio who I have written of previously on here. His relics have been traveling around the world lately for all those faithful to see. It is great to hear about these large numbers turning out to see this wonderful saint’s things. The list of guest speakers in attendance to speak of Padre Pio is also impressive!

“Thousands of faithful in Brisbane gathered last week to be blessed with the relics of beloved Italian mystic, St Pio of Pietrelcina.

Our Lady of Graces’ Church, Carina, was packed on September 3 as was St Brigid’s Church, Red Hill, the following day, as people gathered to listen to Italian Capuchin Father Ermelindo Di Capua speak about the life, sanctity and humility of “Padre Pio”, reports The Catholic Leader.

Fr Ermelindo, one of the people to be close on a daily basis to then Padre Pio at the end of his life, was a confidant and English translator to the Italian mystic and saint.

Organiser Capuchin Father John Spiteri was overjoyed with the first Australian visit St Pio of Pietrelcina’s relics.

“It was a great success,” Fr Spiteri said.

“He spoke simply and very clearly about the spirituality and the holiness of Padre Pio,” Fr Spiteri said.

“One of his outstanding quotes was ‘Padre Pio was a simple, humble Capuchin’.”

Padre Pio was ordained a priest a century ago, on August 10. He first reported stigmata wounds – which remained permanent – to a spiritual advisor in 1910.

Pope John Paul II declared Padre Pio a saint in 2002.

“Fr Ermelindo was able to testify to the eminent holiness and the simplicity and the suffering Padre Pio endured,” Fr Spiteri said.

“It was wonderful to hear Fr Ermelindo speak so strongly about the holiness of Padre Pio without exaggeration.

“There was no sentimentality, no exaggeration, he spoke about the man as he was.”” – “St Pio Relics Draw Crowds of Faithful in Brisbane”, CathNews

Missouri Catholic School in Contest for $500,000

“Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic School, a 480 student elementary school in Missouri is competing for half a million dollars in a Kohl’s department store online contest that ends Friday night. Though they still hope to be among the winning schools, they can already see the positive effects the contest has had on the community.

The school, located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri is currently ranked in seventh place in the Kohl’s Care Foundation’s $10 million online contest. The top 20 schools in the country receiving votes via Facebook by Friday night will each receive $500,000.

Principal of Our Lady of the Presentation (OLP), Jodi Briggs told CNA that the school decided to participate in the contest in July in order to raise needed funds.

If the kindergarten through eighth grade school is one of the 20 winners, Briggs said, it will use the money to improve technology and add classrooms and spaces for students. “We are looking into adding additional classrooms or creating mobile computer labs” as well as “adding wireless capabilities” and “creating a multi-purpose space for band and choir,” she added.

Facing a growing number of students, the principal explained the expansion is needed as they currently “have to limit the number of students in classrooms, therefore creating a waiting lists for students wanting a Catholic education.”

Despite having an enrollment under 500 with the majority of students under the contest’s minimum voting age of 13 years old, Briggs explained that the school has successfully promoted the contest so far due to “the huge volunteer base of parents and parishioners that have come on board to help.”

“Our parish, diocese and community have rallied behind us,” Briggs continued. At the parish level, she said that the OLP priests have been “encouraging people to vote after Mass.” In addition, parents of students have volunteered time to help retired parishioners set up Facebook accounts and vote in the school computer lab.” – “Catholic Elementary School Makes Run at $500,000 Prize”, Catholic News Agency

This posting from Catholic News Agency tells about a Catholic school in Missouri attempting to win a big prize to make some changes to their school. Hopefully they are able to win this contest because Catholic schools all over could always use a little bit of extra money to invest into making their school a better learning facility. The entire parish has been pushing very hard to try and win and I hope their efforts work out for them all. To read the full article, click here.

Saint Gregory the Great

This posting from A Catholic Mom in Hawaii honors the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, which was yesterday. This article was very well written and is about one of my favorite patron saints. Saint Gregory was Pope from 590 to 604 and led a great life.

“”Dearly beloved, it is fitting that we should follow Him in our hearts to where we believe He has ascended in His body. Let us flee earthly desires. Let nothing here below delight us who have a Father in heaven.

We must consider very carefully that He who was mild at His ascent will be terrible at His return. He will demand from us with great strictness whatever He has commanded of us with gentleness. Le no one take lightly the time of repentance granted us, let no one neglect to have concern for himself while he can do so, because our Redeemer will come with great strictness in proportion to the great patience e has shown us before the judgment.

Reflect on these things, my friends, constantly turn them over in your minds. The disturbance of things may still be driving your hearts to and fro, but fix the anchor of your hope now in your eternal home.

Establish your mind’s attention in the true light. We have heard that the Lord has ascended into Heaven.

Let our belief be the subject of our meditation.

If the weakness of our body still holds us here, let us follow hi by the footsteps of our love.

He who gave us our desire will not fail us, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit God for ever and ever. Amen.

September 2010 Issue of Magnificat, Vol. 12, No.7” – “Feast of St. Gregory the Great”, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Advice from Pope Benedict XVI

“At the closing of a summer seminar for his former students, the Holy Father urged gratitude for the Eucharist, remarking that the Sacrament shows how “God’s style” is different than man’s, given the human tendency to give “only to those who will give us something back.”

The Pope’s former students gathered in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo between Aug. 27-30 for their annual seminar, which is often referred to as the “Ratzinger Schulerkreis.” According to Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (LOR), the theme of this year’s encounter focused on the Second Vatican Council. This year’s gathering drew the participation of 40 priests, professors, religious and lay people.

LOR reported that the topic of the four-day seminar was chosen by the Pope himself from among several options proposed by the association of his former theology students. Also selected by the Pope was the main speaker, Archbishop Kurt Koch, the recently appointed replacement for Cardinal Walter Kasper as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Archbishop Koch’s addresses to the group examined “The Second Vatican Council between tradition and innovation” and “Sacrosanctum concilium and the post-Conciliar reform of the liturgy.”

Pope Benedict was present at the meeting hall, located near the Castel Gandolfo town center, for several events on the schedule. After Archbishop Koch’s Friday and Saturday sessions, the Pope participated in discussions. On Sunday morning, he presided over Mass for his former students and joined them for breakfast.

“At the end of today’s Gospel,” the Pope said during his homily on Sunday, “the Lord makes us see how, in reality, we continue to live like the pagans do. We extend invitations only to those who can invite us. We give only to those who can give back.”

“But God’s style is different,” he said, adding that “we experience it in the Eucharist.”

“He invites us to His table, us, who have nothing to give Him,” the Holy Father continued. “During this event of the Eucharist, let’s let ourselves be touched above all by gratitude for the fact that God exists, that, despite our having nothing to give Him and being full of sins, He invites us to His table and wants to sit with us.”

“But,” the Pontiff noted, “we also want to be touched by guilt for being so slightly detached from the pagan style, for living so slightly the newness, God’s style.”

“And because of this,” the Holy Father concluded, “let’s start Mass by asking for forgiveness: a forgiveness that will change us, that will really make us similar to God, in His resemblance.”” – “Holy Father Closes ‘Summer School’ Urging Gratitude for God’s Forgiveness”, EWTN

It is good to see Pope Benedict teaching groups of mixed audiences about how to become closer with God. He has students, priests, bishops, and lay people all listening to him as equals. This is a beautiful thing and I am glad to see it happening. His main point of God giving to those who have nothing to return is an extremely valuable lesson that people should really take to heart more often. After reading it I know that I certainly am going to try to be more generous to others today.

Priest to Run Marathon in Denver

A Catholic priest from Colorado is going to be running in a marathon solely for prayers. That’s right, a team of members from a local parish will be running in a Denver based marathon in October. These guys only want people to say prayers for the vocation of priesthood. This is an absolutely amazing thing to see, and it is quite unique as well if you ask me. I think this is such a wonderful thing that is being done, and hopefully the prayers are heard and the Denver area finds more priests.

“A priest in the Archdiocese of Denver is launching an effort to increase prayers for vocations during the city’s upcoming marathon next month, telling CNA that there is a “great need” for vocations and that many young men and women in society “are not responding to the call.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon, which will be held on Oct. 17, draws thousands of participants to Colorado’s capital city each year, many of whom run to raise funds for specific causes. Rather than asking for financial pledges, however, Fr. Jim Crisman – director of vocations for the Denver archdiocese – is having runners ask for prayer pledges in the time leading up to the race.

Athletes who have signed up for the Run4Vocations initiative will run in the marathon as part of a relay team. They are asking the faithful to pledge prayers for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life within the archdiocese.

“There is a great need in the Archdiocese of Denver for more priests,” Fr. Crisman told CNA in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Additionally there is a great need for more men and women in Consecrated vocations.”

“Today we are witnessing a generous response by many of our young men and women to the Lord’s call to a supernatural vocation,” he wrote. “Even so, there are more who are being called and not responding to the call.”

When asked how many new students have entered the burgeoning Denver seminary, Fr. Crisman said that the “final count for the year is not yet in, but we have about 75 men in formation for the Archdiocese of Denver this year.”

“Archbishop Chaput ordained 5 men last spring and we accepted a dozen new men this fall,” he added. “Things are going well but the need keeps growing.”

Fr. Crisman said that individuals wishing to participate in the event can visit the website …

“When they click on the ‘RUN’ tab at the top of the page, and choose the ‘PRAYER PLEDGES’ button they will be taken to a page where they can register their prayer pledges and join us in asking the Lord for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life,” he explained.

In addition, the priest noted, “the page also shows some of the runners involved and gives a short bio on each.” Fr. Crisman remarked to CNA, “we would love to have supporters at the event both cheering and praying. If anyone would like to join the growing list of runners we would welcome that as well.”

When asked what served as his inspiration for starting the Run4Vocations effort, Fr. Crisman explained that the Archdiocese of Washington has a similar program.

“A college friend of mine has run in a marathon there for years raising money for their vocations office,” he said. “Seeing the opportunity to get people more involved in supporting vocations and raising prayer support for our vocation candidates made me begin this program here in Denver.”” – “Denver Priest Plans to Run for Vocations at Upcoming Marathon”, EWTN

Saint Raymond Nonnatus

The Saint of the Day for August 31 is St. Raymond Nonnatus.

Raymond became a priest due to his quiet persistence in prayer and study.

He was born to a noble Spanish family in 1204. His mother died during child birth and his father had high expectations for Raymond to serve in the country’s Royal Court. However, the young Raymond felt drawn to religious life. In an attempt to dissuade him, his father ordered him to manage one of the family farms. However, Raymond spent his time with the workers, studying, and praying. His father finally gave up and allowed Raymond to enter the Mercederians.

Fr. Raymond spent his entire estate ransoming slaves. He even offered himself as a hostage to free another. He was sentenced to death but was spared because his ransom would bring in a large amount of money.

During his imprisonment, he succeeded at converting some of his guards. To keep him from continuing his preaching, his captors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and attached a padlock. He was eventually ransomed, and he returned to Barcelona in 1239.

That year, he was named a cardinal by Pope Gregory IX. The following year, in 1240, he was summoned to Rome, but barely made it out of Barcelona before he died at the age of 36.

St. Raymond is the patron saint of pregnant women, childbirth, and newborn infants.” – “St. Raymond Nonnatus”, A Catholic View

This article found on A Catholic View tells all about one of the not so well known patron saints, Saint Raymond Nonnatus. It was good to see this article posted over on A Catholic View because I enjoyed reading about Saint Raymond. I had never read anything about what he did with his lift before, and this gave me a chance to do just that. He suffered through some tortures for his faith and was a great person. Everybody should take the time to pray to Saint Raymond today, as it is his feast day.

Saint Augustine

This posting from A Catholic View is all about Saint Augustine and what he did during his life to be considered a saint of the Catholic Church. If you would like to view the full text of this article, click here. Saint Augustine was a wonderful person and is definitely up there on my list of favorite patron saints. Saint Augustine is a very popular patron saint medal to wear and if your birthday is in August it would make perfect sense to own his medal.

“The Saint of the Day for August 28 is St. Augustine.

Augustine Aurelius was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, North Africa. His father was a pagan, his mother, St. Monica. Still unbaptized and burning for knowledge, he came under the influence of the Manicheans, which caused his mother intense sorrow. He left Africa for Rome, deceiving his mother, who was ever anxious to be near him. She prayed and wept. A bishop consoled her by observing that a son of so many tears would never be lost. Yet the evil spirit drove him constantly deeper into moral degeneracy, capitalizing on his leaning toward pride and stubbornness. Grace was playing a waiting game; there still was time, and the greater the depths into which the evil spirit plunged its fledgling, the stronger would be the reaction.

Augustine recognized this vacuum; he saw how the human heart is created with a great abyss; the earthly satisfactions that can be thrown into it are no more than a handful of stones that hardly cover the bottom. And in that moment grace was able to break through: Restless is the heart until it rests in God. The tears of his mother, the sanctity of Milan’s Bishop Ambrose, the book of St. Anthony the hermit, and the sacred Scriptures wrought his conversion, which was sealed by baptism on Easter night 387.

Augustine’s mother went to Milan with joy and witnessed her son’s baptism. It was what it should have been, the greatest event of his life, his conversion — metanoia. Grace had conquered. Augustine accompanied his mother to Ostia, where she died. She was eager to die, for now she had given birth to her son for the second time.” – “Memorial of St. Augustine, bishop, confessor and doctor”, A Catholic View