Saints

St. Gertrude the Great

Gertrude

 

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.

 


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. 

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

Evening Memorial Mass For All Souls Day

CandleThank you to all those parishioners, who having prayed a Mass of Christian Burial this year at Holy Cross for a family member or friend, returned to share Eucharist with us on All Souls Evening. After the homily, each family lit a candle on the Tree of Life in memory of a deceased family member.

Hospitality and refreshments were provided after the mass in the St. Joseph's Room downstairs. 


Sts. Crispin and Crispian, Brother Cobblers

CrispinToday two brother martyrs are on the Roman calendar - both shoemakers by trade and evangelists by calling. They preached the gospel by day and cobbled at night - a real-life response to those of us who never seem to have time for anything. They were martyred under the Roman persecutions for refusing to be silent about Christ.

Though they doubtlessly crafted new shoes, they surely repaired old ones too. A lesson for our society which too often sees worn or broken things as disposable.

Inspired by Crispin and Crispian, let us examine whether we can re-apportion our time to do more things which yield everlasting results. We can also pray for those who repair the broken in our world, especially people, that they not lose enthusiasm or become discouraged. 


St. Francis of Assisi

FrancisOne of the many stained glass windows honoring St. Francis of Assisi in Holy Cross Church. Holy Cross owns 14 smaller windows depicting events in the life of St. Francis. Many of them are installed alongside this larger window in a group and some are installed in the windows of the North Transept. The windows were originally in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Germantown, Philadelphia. 

 


Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Twin physicians who became Christians and evangelized in word and deed through their free patient care and prayer. They were tortured and martyred under the emperor Diocletian for failing to renounce their faith. Many cures were attributed to their relics and prayerful intercession.

It is well that we remember that prayer and medicine work best together. Nor should necessary health care require that the patients become penniless.

0926SS. Cosm & Dam XIXs BulgCosmas and Damian with their empty coffers and healing instruments. ( via Vultus Christi)


St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Hildegard of Bingen

Bernini
Bellarmine by Bernini

Hildegard_von_Bingen._Line_engraving_by_W._Marshall._Wellcome_V0002761

St. Robert Bellarmine played an important role in the counter-reformation of the Catholic Church. He helped clarify Catholic teachings and orthodoxy and wrote two catechisms, including one for children. He opposed censuring Galileo and urged him to more clearly define his view of the universe as a theory to prevent him from contradicting the rather literal view of Scripture held the time (e.g. that the sun rises, runs is course in the sky and sets in the west - impossible if it is stationery as Galileo posited).

Hildegard of Bingen was a healer and mystic, using medicinals and plants to treat many ailments. She composed liturgical music, including hymns which has survived to this day. Her playfulness, piety and visions attracted much attention and generated resentment in some church leadership though she was eventually declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.

 


Saint Nicholas of Tolentine

Nicholas
Saint Nicholas of Tolentine was named by his mother in honor of St. Nicholas (December 6th) after intercession to the saint to bear a child.

He was dedicated to the church at an early age and became noted for the sanctity of his life, his preaching and miracles through his intercession.

His frequent requests to pray for the souls in purgatory led to his being named Patron of the Holy Souls.

 

 

 


Saint Fiacre

FiacreSaint Fiacre, patron of gardeners and healers grew medicinal herbs and prayed for healing the afflicted.

Many plants and herbs are still grown for their restorative and medicinal properties and even the peace and beauty of a home garden can bring healing and peace to the weary soul.

Amid the  curious and amusing anecdotes about Fiacre's life, his piety, probity and reputation as a healer shines forth. 

 


The Passion of St. John the Baptist

https://www.vam.ac.uk
https://www.vam.ac.uk
John the Baptist by August Rodin


We can see how lust, greed for power and approval, the need to save face and other vices tempted King Herod who condemned St. John the Baptist to the chopping block. If John was the conscience of the king, the king chose to silence him rather than listen and mend his ways. 

Modern day events are uncomfortably similar. 

As the school year begins and we welcome our teachers back to school today, let us prepare in earnest to help our children form their consciences clearly and not let worldly concerns muffle the voice of the prophet within them.

 

 

 


Tizian_041A copy of this painting by Titian was gifted to the Basilica of the Assumption in Washington, D.C. by Popes Pius XII and John XXIII.

Today our prayer can be one of gratitude to Jesus Christ for his saving power of the cross and resurrection, veneration of Mary as the best of us and reassurance that where she goes, so shall we, and hope and joy in expectation of our own bodily glory in heaven with Mary and all the saints.