St. James Intercisus, Martyr


St. James, pray for us !

St. James was a Persian military officer and courtier to King Yezdigerd I. He was a great favorite of the king, so when this king began to harass Christians, St. James did not have the courage to confess his faith. He was afraid of losing the king’s friendship.


Instead he gave up his faith or at least pretended to. Saint James’ wife and mother were broken-hearted. When the king died, they wrote a strong letter to him to change his ways.

This letter had its effect on St. James. He had been a coward, but at heart, he was still good. Now he began to stay away from court. He blamed himself openly for having given up his faith.

The new king Bahram sent for him, but this time, James did not hide anything. “I am a Christian,” he said. The king accused him of being ungrateful for all the honors his father, King Yezdigerd, had given him.

“And where is your father now?” St. James calmly answered. The angry king threatened to put the saint to a terrible death. Saint James replied, “May I die the death of the just.”

The king and his council ordered for James to be tortured to death and be cut up into many pieces. But James was not afraid. He said, “This death which appears so dreadful is very little for the purchase of eternal life.”

Then he told the executioners, “Begin your work.” All the while, he kept declaring what he believed, that his body would one day rise in glory. St. James Intercisus died in 421. The word Intercisus means “cut into pieces”.

Reflection: Throughout the history of the Church martyrdom has always held a preeminent place because it has been viewed as the most sublime consummation of the Christian vocation and the greatest surety of obtaining the eschatological hope. The experience of martyrdom should not be sought after nor should it be cowardly rejected. Rather it should be freely and courageously embraced as the crowning witness of a radical option for God and for the kingdom. In this way an individual becomes conformed to Christ, the faithful witness (Revelation 1:5) [1]. Thus the martyrs are constituted as a type of archetype of holiness with regard to the Christian life and their example reinvigorates the Church in its mission of evangelization, its mission of communicating the joy of salvation to all people and thus promoting a more human lifestyle. by:Vinícius Augusto Ribeiro Teixeira, CM

Prayer: O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed James the Intercisus with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he  imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his  footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr

nov 25

St. Catherine, pray for us!

St. Catherine lived in early Christian times and was the daughter of a wealthy pagan couple of Alexandria, Egypt. She was a very beautiful girl whose great interest was in learning. Catherine was very good at science and public speaking.

She loved to study deep questions of philosophy and religion. She began to read about Christianity. Then one day she received a vision and decided to become a Christian.

St. Catherine was only eighteen when Emperor Maxentius began making the Christians suffer. Without fear, lovely young St. Catherine told him that he was being very cruel and would be punished by God.

When he spoke of the pagan gods, she very plainly showed him that they were false. Maxentius could not answer her arguments, so he sent for fifty of his best pagan philosophers.

Once again, St. Catherine proved the truth of her religion. All fifty philosophers were convinced that she was right and decided to become Christians. In great anger, Maxentius had every one of them killed.

Then, he tried to win her by offering her a queen’s crown. When St. Catherine refused the crown, he had her beaten and thrown into prison.

While Maxentius was away at camp, his wife and an officer were very curious to hear this amazing Christian girl speak and went to her prison cell. All who heard her knew she spoke the truth and as a result they and two hundred soldiers of the guard were converted and became Christians.

When Maxentius found out, they were all put to death. Then he ordered Catherine to be placed on a wheel full of spikes to be tortured to death. When the wheel began to spin, it suddenly snapped in two and broke.

Finally, St. Catherine was beheaded. She has always been the patroness of Christian philosophers.

Reflection: The constancy displayed by the Saints in their glorious martyrdom can be isolated from their previous lives, but is their natural sequence. If we wish to emulate their perseverance, let us first imitate their fidelity to grace.

Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Catherine of Alexandria to your people as a Virgin and an invincible Martyr, grant that through her intercession we may be strengthened in faith and constancy and spend ourselves without reserve for the unity of the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary


St. Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us !

St. Elizabeth, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary was born in Presburg. When she was only thirteen years old, she married Louis, the ruler of Thuringia. St. Elizabeth was a beautiful bride who dearly loved her handsome husband. Louis returned her affection with all his heart. God gave them three children and they were very happy for six years.


She build a hospital at the foot of the mountain where the castle stood and looked after the sick herself. Once when she was taking food to the poor and sick in secret, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her cloak. The food she was carrying miraculously changed to roses.

Then St. Elizabeth’s sorrows began. Louis died of the plague. She was so heart-broken that she cried: “The world is dead to me and all that is joyous in the world.” Louis’ relatives had never liked St. Elizabeth because she had given so much food to the poor.

While Louis was alive, they had not been able to do anything but now they began to trouble her. Within a short time, this beautiful, gentle princess and her three children were sent away from the castle. They suffered hunger and cold.

Yet St. Elizabeth did not complain about her terrible sufferings. Instead she blessed God and prayed with great fervor. She accepted the sorrows just as she had accepted the joys.

St. Elizabeth’s relatives came to her rescue. She and her children had a home once more. Her uncle wanted her to marry again, for she was still very young and attractive. But the saint had decided to give herself to God.

She wanted to imitate the poverty of St. Francis. She went to live in a poor cottage and spent the last few years of her life serving the sick and the poor. She even went fishing to try to earn more money for her beloved poor.

St. Elizabeth was only twenty-four when she died in 1231. On her death bed, she was heard to sing softly. She had great confidence that Jesus would take her to himself.

Reflection: Ecclesiastes says that everything is vanity. In this contemporary world, everything is ephemeral and passing. We may have everything we desire and want yet these things are transitory. We cannot bring them when we die that is why in the Psalm God reprimands us that why are seeking for futile things and loving for falsehood when in fact, this things are just temporal and St. Paul reminds that we must set our minds on things above. Let us follow the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary who never weary of earthly goods but on the celestial reality.

Prayer: O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica

nov9Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the oldest and highest ranking of the four major basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, not St. Peter’s Basilica as so many mistakenly believe. The Basilica is also called the Church of Holy Savior or the Church of St. John Baptist. In ancient Rome this was the church where everyone was baptized. It the oldest church in the West, built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This feast became a universal celebration in honor of the archbasilica, the ecclesiastical mother church, called “the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world” (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput), as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.

Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.

Reflection: “What was done here, as these walls were rising, is reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechizing, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love” (St. Augustine, Sermon 36).

Prayer: O God, who from living and chosen stones prepare an eternal dwelling for your majesty, increase in your Church the spirit of grace you have bestowed, so that by new growth your faithful people may build up the heavenly Jerusalem. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St. Martin de Porres

Originally posted on The Holy Ones:

martiniSt. Martin de Porres was born at Lima, Peru, in 1579. His father was a Spanish gentleman and his mother a coloured freed-woman from Panama. At fifteen, he became a lay brother at the Dominican Friary at Lima and spent his whole life there-as a barber, farm laborer, almoner, and infirmarian among other things.

Martin had a great desire to go off to some foreign mission and thus earn the palm of martyrdom. However, since this was not possible, he made a martyr out of his body, devoting himself to ceaseless and severe penances. In turn, God endowed him with many graces and wondrous gifts, such as, aerial flights and bilocation.

St. Martin’s love was all-embracing, shown equally to humans and to animals, including vermin, and he maintained a cats and dogs hospital at his sister’s house. He also possessed spiritual wisdom, demonstrated in his solving his sister’s marriage problems, raising a dowry for his niece inside of three day’s…

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Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza, Bishop

Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza, pray for us !

Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza, pray for us !

Dominicans honor one of their own today, Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza. This was a man who used his skills as a preacher to challenge the heresies of his day.

Bartholomew was born in Vicenza around 1200. At 20 he entered the Dominicans. Following his ordination he served in various leadership positions. As a young priest he founded a military order whose purpose was to keep civil peace in towns throughout Italy.

In 1248, Bartholomew was appointed a bishop. For most men, such an appointment is an honor and a tribute to their holiness and their demonstrated leadership skills. But for Bartholomew, it was a form of exile that had been urged by an antipapal group that was only too happy to see him leave for Cyprus. Not many years later, however, Bartholomew was transferred back to Vicenza. Despite the antipapal feelings that were still evident, he worked diligently—especially through his preaching—to rebuild his diocese and strengthen the people’s loyalty to Rome.

During his years as bishop in Cyprus, Bartholomew befriended King Louis the Ninth of France, who is said to have given the holy bishop a relic of Christ’s Crown of Thorns.

Bartholomew died in 1271. He was beatified in 1793.

Reflection: Educating ignorant people is an act of mercy. We must present to them the Truth that lies alone in Christ Jesus. If they accept it then they will be enlightened and if not, they will not obtain the fullness of reality. This truth in Jesus is liberating. It frees us from the burden of ignorance and immorality. Only in this Truth that we can live the fullness of life. And lastly, fullness of life means happiness with God forever.

Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who chose blessed Bartholomew to preside as Bishop over your holy people, we pray that, by his merits, you may bestow on us the grace of your loving kindness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr

Originally posted on The Holy Ones:

Saint Callistus the First, ora pro nobis! Saint Callistus the First, ora pro nobis!

Imagine that your biography was written by an enemy of yours. And that its information was all anyone would have not only for the rest of your life but for centuries to come. You would never be able to refute it — and even if you couldno one would believe you because your accuser was a saint.

That is the problem we face with Pope Callistus I who died about 222. The only story of his life we have is from someone who hated him and what he stood for, an author identified as Saint Hippolytus, a rival candidate for the chair of Peter. What had made Hippolytus so angry? Hippolytus was very strict and rigid in his adherence to rules and regulations. The early Church had been very rough on those who committed sins of adultery, murder, and fornication. Hippolytus was enraged by the mercy that…

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