Friday, September 22, 2006

Saint Tarcisius

Tarcisius lived in Rome and served at Holy Mass in the catacombs. The catacombs is where the Christians worshipped God because they were persecuted by the pagans.

One day while Tarcisius was carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the martyrs in prison, he was caught and beaten to death. He refused to give up the Eucharist. Tarcisius died a boy martyr of the Holy Eucharist.

Tarcisius’s life shows us ho much the early Christians loved the Blessed Sacrament. Holy Mass and the Eucharist gave them strength to die for their Faith. He teaches us, children and adults, to love Jesus in the Eucharist as our best friend.

Remember to ask Saint Tarcisius to help us have a greater love and devotion to Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Saint John Baptiste De La Salle

John was the eldest of ten children of a wealthy and noble family. He was destined for the priesthood at age 10 and began to prepare for the Holy Priesthood when he was 11 years old.

He went to the seminary in Paris, but after the death of his parents he had to leave to look after his brothers and sisters. A few years later he returned to his studies and was ordained. He was admired for his great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

John was asked to help in two schools in which the teachers were trying to educate their students free of charge. He helped the teachers for four years, and then decided to spend his life with them.

He gave away the fortune his parents had left him. He and the young men then took vows to become teachers and teach all their lives. This was the beginning of the congregation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or Christian Brothers.

During his lifetime, John introduced new methods of education. He divided the students into grades and started the first school to train teachers. He also started high schools and technical schools where children might learn a trade. He is often called the "father of modern education."

Saint John died at Rouen in 1719 and was canonized in 1900.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Saint Stephen

Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple who died for his faith in Jesus. As chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles tells us, Stephen was chosen as a deacon in the early Church.

Peter and the apostles had found that they needed helpers to look after the care of widows and the poor. So they ordained seven deacons and Stephen is the most famous of these.

God worked many miracles through Stephen. He spoke with such wisdom and grace that many people who heard him, became followers of Jesus. The enemies of the Church of Jesus were furious to see how successful Stephen's preaching was.

They could not answer his wise arguments, so they laid a plot and got men to lie about him. These men said that he had spoken sinfully against God. He faced the great gathering of enemies without any fear. In fact, the Holy Bible says that his face looked like the face of an angel.

Stephen spoke about Jesus, showing that he is the Savior God had promised to send. He scolded his enemies for not having believed in Jesus. At that, they rose up in great anger and shouted at him.

But Stephen looked up to heaven. He said that he saw the heavens opening and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. His enemies closed their ears and refused to listen to another word.

They dragged him outside the city of Jerusalem and stoned him to death. The Saint prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" and he fell to his knees but begged God not to punish his enemies for killing him.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saint John of the Cross

John was born in Spain and was the son of a weaver. He went to a school for poor children and became a servant to the director of the hospital at Medina. For seven years, John cared for the poor in the hospital while also studying at a Jesuit college.

Even as a youth, he liked to do penance as he understood the value of offering up sufferings for the love of Jesus. Because of this great love of God John joined the Lay Carmelite order as a brother when he was twenty-one.

With St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross was chosen by God to bring a new spirit of eagerness among religious. But his life was full of tests and trials.

Although he opened new monasteries where people followed his holy way of life, they found fault with him and thought that some of his ideas were too strict. He was even thrown into prison and made to suffer terribly. At one time, when he had fierce temptations, God seemed to have left him alone and he suffered alot.

Yet when these storms of trouble passed, the Lord rewarded his faithful servant. He gave him deep peace and joy of heart and John was very close to his God. In fact, Mother Mary herself showed John how to escape from his prison cell.

Saint John had a wonderful way with sinners. Once a beautiful but sinful woman tried to make him do wrong. He talked to her and she decided to change her life. Another lady had such a bad temper that she was nicknamed "the terrible" and St. John was easily able to calm her down by his kind manners.

John asked God to let him suffer every day for love of Jesus. And to reward him, Jesus showed himself to St. John in a special way.

Saint John is famous for his spiritual books, which show us how to grow close to God. He died on December 14, 1591 and is now known as a Doctor of the Church.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher was a very big, brave, strong soldier. His name was Offero, and he lived in the land of Chanaan. Looking for adventure, he left his native land saying, "I will roam through the whole world in search of the mightiest of kings, and be his servant."

He came at last upon a hermit who guarded a dangerous passage across a stream, and guided travelers to a place where they could cross with safety. This man of God instructed the giant about our Lord, the greatest King. Offero settled down near the stream and carried travelers across on his shoulders to serve the great King.

One day he carried a little boy on his shoulders. The water began to rise while the boy on his shoulders grew heavier. Offero cried out, "Child you are very heavy! I feel as if I were carrying the whole world upon my shoulders."

The little boy answered smiling, "You are carrying more than the world; you are carrying Him who created heaven and earth."

Saying these words, the boy dipped His hand into the water and baptized Offero. Since then he is called Christopher or Christ-bearer.

Saint Christopher died a martyr.He is Patron Saint of travelers especially motorists.