St. Anthony, Abbot

ArtLogo AnthonyThe Father of Western monasticism, Anthony chose a life a solitude in the desert, but as so often happens, the holiness and reputation of a holy hermit draws pilgrims and eventually he founded a monastery of like-spirited desert dwellers. Their poverty and solitude embodied their vision of leaving all and following Jesus.

I never paid too much attention to the pig or wild boar which is depicted with St. Anthony in some works of art, but now see that the boar is very frequently at his side. The original association was with a healing Anthony performed on a wild boar but became joined to the medieval use of lard as a soothing skin lotion for certain maladies for which the afflicted prayed to St. Anthony for relief. St. Anthony is joined atop the facade in St. Peter's by a faithful, grateful boar.


St. Peter Orseolo

An admiral at age 20, married with child, selected Doge of Venice. Served for two years during which he used substantial funds of his own to help rebuild and restore the Kingdom of Venice from fire and destruction. Built orphanages, hospitals and showed care for the poor while helping rebuild St. Mark's Cathedral. Abdicated his throne and left his wife (with her consent) to become a monk and later a hermit. He became known for his sanctity and miracle working. He certainly led an interesting and varied life.

ArtLogo Orseolo

St. Adrian of Canterbury


St. Adrian of Canterbury, having declined the papal offer to become Archbishop of Canterbury (twice), nevertheless traveled to England and became abbot of the St. Augustine's Abbey, a place which he developed into a center of classical learning and Catholic identity in England. He was noted for his preaching, teaching and sanctity, even among a population that was sometimes inimical to the Catholic faith.


St. Raymond of Penafort

Logo RaymondSt. Raymond of Penafort, Dominican preacher and important figure in the history of Canon Law. Patron of lawyers, he is shown with a book of Canon Law and the key of authority in the church on his cincture. He lived to nearly 100 years of age - quite a notable feat in the 12th - 13th centuries.


Saint Lucy

Let there be more light! St. Lucy reminds us on a dark and dreary day with shortened daylight hours even in good weather, that the light is coming...Jesus Christ the Light of the World. We will celebrate that message with joy this coming Third Sunday of Advent by lighting the rose colored candle to enkindle our hope in the coming of the Savior.


Saint Barbara

Saint BarbaraToo many of the historical details of the life of St. Barbara were lost in history for her feastday to remain on the Roman Calendar after its revision in 1969, but Barbara still remains on the roster of saints.

Due to sudden nature of her death and that of her executioner (her father by lightning?), she has been invoked for protection against lightning and storms, and explosions, especially those occurring in mines, munitions factories and those who work with explosives.

While that may not pertain to most of us, she is also the patroness of a death with the solace of the last sacraments of the church - Holy Eucharist or Viaticum and the anointing of the sick.


The Miraculous Medal

Miraculous Medal

The images on the Miraculous Medal are rich in meaning. On the face of the medal is The Immaculate Conception, including the date the image was revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The oration around the image (this medal in French), "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

On the reverse of the medal, the Marian symbol M is intertwined with the mystery of the cross, surrounded by 12 stars (apostles) with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


St. Gertrude the Great



St. Gertrude the Great was a nun who after an early period in her life when she focused on secular studies, became devoted to the study of theology and more intensely prayerful.

She was an early adopter of piety to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion to Christ's passion including the Five Wounds of Christ and a concern for the souls in purgatory.

This stained glass window depicts her joyful spirit and her reported embrace of the stigmata.



This statue of St. Albert the Great outside the University of Cologne shows the two worlds a scholar/teacher inhabits: the theoretical and the practical. The very best teachers we've had can bring both together to inspire love for God and the world God created.


St Laurence O'Toole

Archbishop of Dublin and Papal Legate to Ireland, Laurence was known for his holiness and simplicity of life and his courageous peace-keeping efforts. As you may recall, a reliquary containing his heart was stolen some years ago but recently returned to the church from which it was taken. 

St. Laurence O'Toole Window at Holy Cross Church
Reliquary containing Laurence O'Toole's heart

Dedication of St. John Lateran

Basilica_di_san_giovanni_e_palazzoWe don't celebrate a building today, per se, but three images in the mass readings are given to us for reflection: the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Mystical Body of Christ of which we are all a part, and Christ's Resurrected Body.

St. John Lateran, the pope's cathedral with his cathedra or chair, symbolizes our unity with the Bishop of Rome, head of the church on earth.