St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

St. Ambrose, pray for us !

The Holy Ones

St. Ambrose, pray for us. St. Ambrose, pray for us.

At 33 Ambrose had it all – a successful career as a lawyer, an important position as governor of Milan, the approval and friendship of the emperor, and a large estate.

Then the bishop of Milan died. At this time, about 374, heresies threatened to destroy the Church. The bishop had supported the Arian heresy that argued against the divinity of Christ. Who would take his place – an Arian or a Catholic? Both sides met in the cathedral and a riot broke out.

Public order was Ambrose’s responsibility as governor so he hurried to the church and made a passionate speech not in favor of either side, but in favor of peace. He begged the people to make their choice without fighting, using restraint and moderation.

Suddenly, while he was speaking, a voice called out, “Ambrose for bishop!” Soon everyone was shouting, “Ambrose for bishop!”

The other bishops of the province were only too glad to…

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The Holy Ones

St. Francis Xavier, pray for us. St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of SpanishNavarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre founded the Society of Jesus. In 1536 he left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice, from whence they all in tended to go as missionaries to Palestine (a trip which never materialized), was ordained there in 1537, went to Rome in 1538, and in 1540, when the pope formally recognized the Society, was ordered, with Fr. Simon Rodriguez, to the Far East as the first Jesuit missionaries. King John III kept Fr. Simon in Lisbon, but Francis, after a year’s voyage, six months of which were spent at Mozambique where he preached and gave aid to the sick eventually arrived in Goa, India in 1542 with Fr. Paul of Camerino an Italian, and…

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St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr

The Holy Ones

Saint Bibiana,pray for us! Saint Bibiana,pray for us!

St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr (Feast day – December 2nd) Other than the name, nothing is known for certain about this saint. However, we have the following account from a later tradition.

In the year 363, Julian the Apostate made Apronianus Governor of Rome. St. Bibiana suffered in the persecution started by him. She was the daughter of Christians, Flavian, a Roman knight, and Dafrosa, his wife. Flavian was tortured and sent into exile, where he died of his wounds. Dafrosa was beheaded, and their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and left to suffer poverty. However, they remained in their house, spending their time in fasting and prayer.

Apronianus, seeing that hunger and want had no effect upon them, summoned them. Demetria, after confessing her Faith, fell dead at the feet of the tyrant. St. Bibiana was reserved for greater sufferings. She was placed in the hands of a wicked woman called Rufina, who…

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St. Edmund Campion, Martyr


St. Edmund, pray for us!

St. Edmund was born at London in England. He was the son of a Catholic bookseller who was converted and became an Anglican. When he grew up he planned to join his father in business but received a scholarship to Saint John’s College in Oxford.

He was a very popular young English student and a very good speaker. In fact, St. Edmund was chosen to deliver aWELCOMING SPEECH to Queen Elizabeth when she visited his college. Some students were very attracted by his happy nature and his many talents and made him their leader.

Even the queen and her chief ministers were fond of this handsome young man. The Queen wanted to make him a Deacon in the Church of England.

But St. Edmund was troubled about his religion, as he believed that the Catholic Church might be the only true Church. He did not hide his feelings, and the government, which was persecuting Catholics, became very distrustful of him.

St. Edmund knew that he would lose the queen’s favor and all his chances of a great future if he chose to become a Catholic. The young man prayed about it and decided to become a Catholic anyway.

After he had escaped from England, St. Edmund studied to become a priest. He entered the Society of Jesus. When the Holy Father decided to send some Jesuits to England, Father Campion was one of the first to go.

The night before he left, one of the other Jesuit priests wrote over his doorway: “Father Edmund Campion, martyr.” Although he knew what danger faced him, the holy priest set out cheerfully. In fact, he had many a laugh because of his disguise as a jewel merchant.

In England he preached with great success to Catholics who had to meet with him in secret. Spies of the queen’s men were everywhere trying to catch him. He wrote: “I won’t escape their hands much longer. Sometimes I read letters that say ‘Campion has been caught’!”

It was a traitor who finally had St. Edmund captured. The government officials who had been so fond of him visited St. Edmund in jail. Even Queen Elizabeth came.

But none of their threats or promises could make him give up the Catholic faith. Although they made him suffer, he still defended himself and his fellow priests so well that no one could answer him. But the enemies of the Church condemned him to death anyway.

Before he was put to death, St. Edmund forgave the man who had betrayed him. He even helped save the man’s life. He was tortured in the Tower of London, then hanged, drawn and quartered.

Parts of his body were displayed as a warning to other Catholics at each of the four city gates. St. Edmund Campion died in 1581.

Reflection: We should not be afraid in giving witness of our faith. Martyrdom is one of the surest way to Heaven for by it you have sealed your faith with your blood, a signature that can never be erased.

Prayer: Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Edmund to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his (her) triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. 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. 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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