Monday, July 24, 2006

Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was an English princess who was born in Hungary and was the great-niece of Saint Stephen of Hungary. She and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land.

They got ship wrecked on the Scottish coast and King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them. He fell in love with the beautiful princess and Margaret and Malcolm were soon married. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters and they loved their children very much.

Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. Malcolm was good, but he and his court were very rough. When he saw how wise his wife was, he willingly listened to her good advice.

Margaret helped him control his temper and practice the Christian virtues. She made the court beautiful and civilized. The king and queen were wonderful examples because of the way they prayed together and treated each other. They fed crowds of poor people. They tried very hard to imitate Jesus in their own lives.

Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Many people had bad habits that kept them from growing closer to God. Margaret worked hard to find good teachers to help the people correct their evil ways.

She and Malcolm had new churches built. She loved to make the churches beautiful to honor God. In fact, Queen Margaret embroidered some of the priests' robes herself.

Their youngest son became Saint David and one of their daughters Saint Maud. But Margaret had sorrows, too. She was very ill, and she learned that both her husband and her son, Edward, had been killed in battle. They died just four days before Margaret's death. She died on November 16, 1093.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Saint Rose of Viterbo

Rose was born in Viterbo, in Italy. During that time Emperor Frederick had conquered land that belonged to the Church. Rose's special mission as a teenager was to make the people of her own city and nearby cities remain faithful to the Holy Father the Pope. And this she did very well.

When she was eight years old, Rose was very sick and our Blessed Mother appeared to her and told her that she should wear the habit (uniform) of Saint Francis. Our Lady also told Rose to set a good example by her words and actions. Slowly Rose became strong and healthy again.

She began to think more and more about how much Jesus suffered for us and how much we had hurt him because of our sins. She prayed and made sacrifices to show Jesus how much she loved him.

Later on, this brave girl began to preach in the streets of the city. She told people not to agree with the emperor who had taken land from the Church. So many people listened to her advice that Rose's father became frightened. He told her he would beat her if she did not stop preaching. She was only thirteen years old, but she answered gently, "If Jesus was willing to be beaten for me, I can be beaten for him. I must do what Jesus has told me to do, and I will not disobey him."

For two more years Rose preached with such success that the enemies of the pope wanted to kill her. In the end, the emperor sent Rose and her parents out of the city. But Rose said that the emperor was going to die soon and that is exactly what happened.

When they returned to Viterbo, Rose was not allowed to become a nun, so she returned to her own home. There she died in 1252, when she was only seventeen. Her body is preserved and venerated in Viterbo.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saint Bonaventure

Saint Bonaventure was a great man of the Church because he loved God and spread this love to all he met.

When he was a little boy he got very sick and through praying to St. Francis of Assisi he was very quickly healed from his illness. This made Bonaventure love St. Francis so much he wanted to grow and join the Franciscan Order, which he did!

Bonaventure was also very smart but this did not make him boastful and instead he loved to pray in front of the Crucifix, this filled his heart with love for God and everyone he met.

Bonaventure not only joined the Franciscans he became its Minister General which put him in charge of his fellow Fransican Brothers.

Everyone loved Bonaventure because he was so kind and always so cheerful, this brought him many friends and admirers even the Pope admired this mans great love for God and the Church. This is why Pope Gregory X Ordained Bonaventure as Cardinal of Albano.

When sometimes his Franciscans brothers would fight and argue Bonaventure would write to them and try his hardest to make sure that everyone made peace with each other. He knew this would please its founder, St. Francis of Assisi.

Bonaventure worked very hard for the Church and for the Franciscan Order by writing a lot of books and helping others to understand how St. Francis wanted them to live and to obey its Rule.

Oneday the Pope asked Bonaventure to assist him in setting up a Council, Bonaventure immediately began to prepare for this Council, but unfortunately he became sick.

God loved Saint Bonaventure so much that He took Bonaventure to Heaven so they could be together in the Heavenly Kingdom.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in the year 1901 in Italy, unfortunately his parents did not share a great love for God. This did not stop the young Pier Giorgio from loving God and the Catholic Church with all his heart.

He was given special permission from a young age to receive the Eucharist daily, this filled the heart of Pier Giorgio with such love for God and for the poor.

Just like Jesus, Pier Giorgio longed to serve the poor and help them to live good lives, so he would often visit the poor and give them food and clothes.

Pier Giorgio was always a very happy young boy, this attracted many people to him as he was always joyful and loving to everyone he met. At about 17 years of age Pier Giorgio joined St. Vincent de Paul so that he could continue to help the sick and the poor in his area.

Pier Giorgio loved the poor people so much that when he graduated from school, rather than receive a car as a present he instead asked for money. His father gave his son the money unknowing that Pier Giorgio intended to give all that money to the poor people rather than keep it for himself.

His heart was filled with the love of God and so he tried to share this love with all those around him. He also loved to go mountain climbing and would often like to pray in the mountains and talk to other mountain climbers about the love of God.

Oneday when he was walking with his father, Pier Giorgio saw a poor man shiving in the streets and so Pier Giorgio took his own coat off and gave it to the poor man. This made his father angry but Pier just replied, 'But you see, Papa, it was cold.'

Pier Giorgio also loved to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament for he loved God with all his heart and soul. Sometimes this holy young man would spend the entire night praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Oneday a very nasty leader tried to take power in Italy Pier Giorgio did not like him, and tried to warn other people that this leader Benito Mussolini was not a good or kind man.

Till oneday Pier Giorgio came down with a very bad cold which soon turned out to be worse he became very ill with polio. Even though Pier Giorgio was very sick and near death still he begged his sister to go and help the poor families who had been relying on him for help. Even when he was so sick Pier Giorgio never forgot the poor.

When Pier Giorgio died the streets were full of all the people that this young man had helped, for the poor people truly loved Pier Giorgio with all their heart.

Even though Pier Giorgio loved the poor he loved God more and so God called this loving young man to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin

Anne Therese Guerin was born in the year 1798 in France. Her family was not rich but they loved each other and the Guerin family also loved their Faith.

From a very early age Anne Therese longed to be a Nun, but unfortunately her father died and so Anne Therese had to postpone her longing to join a Religious Order and instead went to work to help her invalid mother and younger sister.

The Catholics in France at that time were undergoing great troubles as their country recovered from the revolution. This did not frighten Anne Therese who remained solid in her Faith.

Finally once Anne Therese reached the age of 25 she was able to become a Nun, she joined the Sisters of Providence and took the name Sister Theodore. Due to her special abilities it was not long before she came to be well known to her Superiors who were impressed with her obvious devotion to Jesus.

Oneday a letter arrived from America which requested the aid of some Religious Sisters. So it was that Sister Theodore responded to the Bishops request and both she and some of her fellow nuns set sail for America, how exciting for them!

The Sisters arrived in Indiana in the year 1840. The Sisters soon realised how very different America was from France, but under the guidance of Mother Theodore they soon settled into the frontier land of Indiana.

During her life and despite many struggles Mother Theodore loved Jesus with great devotion and through this love she reached out to the poor. Mother Theodore started many schools one of which would become known as The College of Our Lady of the Woods.

Because of the severe weather and the living conditions this affected Mother Theodore's health and so soon God called Mother Theodore Guerin to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin will soon become another Saint of America when our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will Canonise her.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Saint Joan of Arc

Joan was born in a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer. Her mother Isabelle Romee was gentle and loving. She taught Joan how to sew and spin wool.
Joan was a shepherdess who loved to pray, especially at the shrines of Our Blessed Mother.

This honest little peasant girl was to become a heroine. One day while she was watching her sheep, Saint Michael the Archangel, appeared to her and said, "Daughter of God, go save France!"

For three years she heard the voices of Saints calling her to action. When she was sixteen, she began her mission.

There was a war going on between France and England. It was called the Hundred Years' War. England had won so much French land that the king of England called himself the king of France, too. The real French king was weak and fun-loving. He thought the French armies would never be able to save the country.

With his permission, Joan led an army into the city of Orleans, which the English had almost captured. In her white, shining armor, this young heroine rode with her banner flying above her. On it were the names of JESUS and MARY.

She was hit by an arrow in the great battle of Orleans, but she kept on urging her men to victory. At last they won! Joan and her army won more and more battles. The English armies had to retreat.

After the victories, Joan's time of suffering began. She was captured and sold to the English for ten thousand Francs. The ungrateful French king did not even try to save her. She was put in prison and after an unfair trial at Rouen in France, she was tied to a stake and burned to death.

Joan was not even twenty. She was afraid of fire yet she went bravely to her death on May 29, 1431. Her last word was "Jesus." Four hundred and eighty-nine years later, on May 16, 1920, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed Joan a Saint.