St. John of the Cross brought a unique union of mind and heart to the worship of God. His great love of God inspired some of the most beautiful poetry in the Spanish language. Have you ever written a love poem to God?
A close friend of Ignatius of Loyola, Francis abandoned career plans for a professorial teaching position to serve in the foreign missions. His courage and zeal not only brought many converts to the faith, but inspired generations of missionaries to spread the gospel far and wide.
Sometimes called the "First Apostle," Andrew characteristically brought people to Christ, including his brother St. Peter.
This statue depicts him holding the X-shaped cross on which he was reportedly crucified.
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.
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.
Thank 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.
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.