On All Saints Day we commemorate the Communion of the Saints and pray united with them for our world. We ask their prayers on our behalf and for their sanctity to inspire us in word and deed to reach our goal with them in heaven.
Today 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.
One 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.
Raised by peasant farmers and captured into slavery, one would not expect Vincent de Paul to become a world renowned saint of the Catholic church. Yet his concern for the poor and for education, including the clergy, inspired people throughout the world.
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.
This striking statue of St. Matthew in St. John Lateran show Matthew stepping on his collected taxes and embracing the Word of God.
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.
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.
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.
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.
in the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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.
Saint Lawrence depicted in one of the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna with the grill of fire and the books of Scripture.
St. Dominic was said to have dreamed about meeting a beggar on the road who together with himself would do great things for the Church. The next day, Dominic met St. Francis, the beggar - an important encounter between the founders of two important religious communities which would challenge the Church and change it for the better.
Honored by France on the bicentennial of his birth with this postage stamp, John Vianney has been a model of patience, purity of heart and self-sacrificing love since his story began to be told. Even during his lifetime, he became renowned for his preaching and his charism as a confessor.
When we set out as disciples, we never know whether we'll meet with success like Jonah or opposition, like Jeremiah.
It isn't always something connected with us, sometimes it's simply due to people's hardness of hearts. It's not always the packaging of the message, nor the tailoring of the information to the target audience, sometimes it's a stiff-necked situation. Nor should we think Jonah a more successful, effective prophet than Jeremiah.
Our witness to Christ is our responsibility. The results are up to Him. Frustrating, perhaps in the short run, but consoling in the long run.