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Showing posts from December, 2012

To the Sinners, to Make Much of Time

---I hope Robert Herrick will not sue me---
Gather ye sinners while ye may              Old time is still a-flying And this lamb that ye behold today             Tomorrow will be a lion
The great big lie, the worldly riches             Will never be fulfilling Like the chasing of the wind Vain is all your tilling
Come to Christ, the only Way             Faith, hope and love will fill your morrow Earthly wisdom is deceiving And much knowledge brings much sorrow
Tarry not, but know thy Saviour             before ‘tis late for day is spent; Night will come with all its terror             and His knocking forever end

Twenty One Saint Everyone Must Know III - I

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XXI - XIX Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp
XVIII - XVI Saints Jerome, John Chrysostom, Elijah
XV - XIII Saints Therese of Lisieux, Teresia Benedicta, Teresa of Avila
XII - X Saints John of the Cross, Benedict of Nursia, Thomas Aquinas
IX - VII Saints Sultana Mahdokht, Dominic, Monica
VI - IV Saints Augustine, John the Apostle, John the Baptist

3-St. Paul (5 AD – 67 AD) [Martyr] The “Apostle to the Gentiles” has seen his share of “trouble,” “hardship,” “persecution,” “famine,” “nakedness,” “danger” and “sword” (Galatians 2:8, Romans 8:35). While others boast in their lineage and all matters that pertain to the “flesh,” St. Paul finds all these “rubbish” for the sake of “knowing” Christ (Philippians 3:8).His sole desire is to “know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering” (Philippians 3:10). Pain is not something that an average person would seek. Rather, only those who have tasted the profound and intense love of Christ ca…

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know VI - IV

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XXI - XIX Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp
XVIII - XIV Saints Jerome, John Chrysostom, Elijah
XV - XIII Saints Therese of Lisieux, Teresia Benedicta, Teresa of Avila
XII - X Saints John of the Cross, Benedict of Nursia, Thomas Aquinas
IX - VII Saints Sultana Mahdokht, St. Dominic, St. Monica

6-St. Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD) [Doctor of the Church] The few lines I will write here will do a great injustice to a man like St. Augustine because I can never describe the magnitude of the influence he has had on the entire development of human thought. He is a Doctor of the Church, and his contributions to the doctrine of the Catholic faith are too numerous to be counted. St. Augustine is born to a Christian mother, St. Monica, and a non-believing father who is later baptized on his deathbed. Throughout his life, he embraces and repudiates various philosophies. In his late teens, he is drawn to the Manichean heresy, a sect that combines Christian elements with that of Babylon…

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know IX - VII

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XXI - XIX Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp
XVIII - XVI Saints Jerome, John Chrysostom, Elijah
XV - XIII Saints Therese of Lisieux, Teresia Benedicta, Teresa of Avila
XII - X Saints John of the Cross, Benedict of Nursia, Thomas Aquinas

9-St. Sultana Mahdokht (? - 319 AD) [Martyr]  On the Iraqi-Turkish border, approximately 60 KM northeast of the city of Dohuk is a valley called Sapna. The valley is towered by Matena Mountain from the north and Cara Mountain from the south. Nestled in this green valley is an old Chaldean village called Araden. The name of the village comes from old Aramaic language meaning the Land of Eden or Garden of Eden, signifying the beautiful natural scenery that adorns the area.There is a church in this village that dates back to the early 4th century, around the year 325 A.D.It is named after St. Sultana Mahdokht, whose Feast Day is celebrated on January 12th in the liturgical calendars of the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church o…

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know XII - X

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XXI - XIX Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp
XVIII - XVI Saints Jerome, John Chrysostom, Elijah
XV - XIII Saints Therese of Lisieux, Teresia Benedicta, Teresa of Avila


12-St. John of the Cross (1542 AD - 1591 AD) [Doctor of the Church]Along with St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross is responsible for reforming the old Carmelite order and founding the Order of the Discalced Carmelites. The term discalced refers to a person who is barefooted, which in turn signifies the poverty in which the members of this Order live. The charism of this Order is mainly contemplative prayer. St. John of the Cross writes his spiritual masterpiece, the Dark Night of the Soul, to elaborate on the spiritual experience that we encounter in our path to a complete union with God. After achieving some success in our spiritual undertaking and having attained some mastery over the Seven Deadly Sins, God retracts His Spirit and leaves us in a complete desolation and aridity. This happens af…

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know XV - XIII

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XXI-XIX: Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp
XVIII-XVI: Saints Jerome, John Chrysostom, Elijah




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15-St. Therese of Lisieux (1873 AD – 1897 AD) [Doctor of the Church] St. Therese of Lisieux is another Carmelite Saint.  Born Marie Francois Therese Martin, she enters the convent at the early age of 15. While still at home with her father, she tells him about her wish to enter a convent. They both break down in tears. Composing himself, her father picks up a flower from the ground and says to her that in the same fashion that God cares for the flower, likewise he cares for us as well. St. Therese recalls this conversation and says that when she hears her father speaking, it is like he is telling her life story. She takes the flower as a symbol of her, as she later becomes known as The Little Flower. Initially, of course, her application to enter the convent is rejected because of her young age. Determined to join the Order, St. Therese travels to Rome with her…

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know XVIII - XVI

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XXI - XIX: Saints Gregory the Great, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp



18-St. Jerome (347 AD – 420 AD) [Doctor of the Church] St. Jerome is a great ascetic who lives a hermetical lifestyle in the deserts and monasteries for some periods of his life. He is a prolific writer best known for his translation of the Septuagint into Latin. His writings also include commentaries on Scriptures, letters to friends and heretics, and the collections of previous Church Fathers. Most of his writings have a rhetorical/polemic nature, whereby usually he defends the orthodox doctrines of the Church against heretics and schismatic groups. It is not possible to discuss his works in any comprehensive manner in this tiny blog post. However, to have a taste of this fervent and passionate defender of orthodoxy, one of his letters will suffice. In response to a monk named Jovinanus, whose theological stances have been condemned by the Council of Milan in 390 AD. Copies of his writings are sent to St. Jerome, and …

Twenty One Saints Everyone Must Know XXI - XIX

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The Church, or the community of believers, is surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses,” righteous souls of brothers and sisters who have passed on to the glory and whose presence sustains their brothers and sisters on this earth (Hebrews 12:1). These souls are the various Martyrs and Saints whose witness for Christ strengthens their contemporary brothers and sister, while also planting the seed of the Church among the heathens. Today, the Saints still shower us with their prayers and intercession, helping us in our journey to our heavenly home. Their protection and intercession is a gift of God who promises that “watchmen” will always be “posted” around the “walls of Jerusalem,” which refers to the Church of the New Testament (Isaiah 62:6). These “watchmen” will never be “silent day or night” (Isaiah 62:6). They will not “give themselves rest,” nor will they give the Lord any “rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:7). Having been promised thi…