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Remembering All of the Saints

Who exactly do we remember on All Saints’ Day? The official liturgical calendar of the Church, the Martyrologium Romanum, says that the Solemnity of All Saints commemorates all the saints who are in Heaven with Jesus Christ. The Martyrologium Romanum also reminds us that, even though we are still pilgrims on earth, some human beings […]

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Making Sense of Church Feasts

The liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church is a complicated thing, with varying liturgical colors, two cycles of daily Mass readings, three cycles of Sunday Mass readings, and a four-week psalter for the Divine Office. Add in important dates related to the Son of God and commemorations of the saints, and it can start to […]

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Lessons from the Saints for September

There are many lessons that we can learn from the lives of the saints of the month of September. Here are seven of those lessons. Lesson #1: You don’t need so much “stuff” in your life The famous Mother Teresa (feast day Sep. 5), known to the Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, founded the […]

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Saint John Vianney and Philomena

When Saint John Vianney (whose feast day is August 4) attributed miracles to the intercession of the martyr Philomena, was it really her prayers that healed people, or was it due to Saint John’s prayers? Fr. George Rutler, in his charming book The Cure of Ars Today, delicately raises the question of whether Saint John […]

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Two great saints of July

Two of my favorite lesser-known saints are celebrated in July: Saint Christina the Astonishing and Blessed Titus Brandsma. Saint Christina’s life story is, well, astonishing, and would make a great movie, as described here. Many people know about great Carmelite saints such as Teresa of Jesus, John of the Cross, and Therese of Lisieux. But […]

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July Saints: What makes a great (Catholic) leader?

One of the advantages of reading about a few saints each day is that you learn about hundreds of saints in the course of a year. One of the disadvantages is that it becomes difficult to “see the forest for the trees”; that is, it’s hard to notice what similar saints teach us. In the […]

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June: A Month for Martyrs

June is traditionally known as the month of the Sacred Heart, but it could also be known as the month of martyrs because there are so many great witnesses to the faith on the Church’s calendar for June. The month ends with the First Martyrs of Rome, the title given to the Christian men and […]

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Saint Makers of the Month of May

Proverbs 27:17 teaches us that, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (RSV).” Nowhere is this more obvious than in the saints of the Church in the month of May. Some saints have a particular gift for inspiring other men and women to become saints. Of course, there are many saints and blesseds commemorated […]

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Saints of the Month of May

Want to find out what my book about saints is like before you buy it? Search for a date in the month of May. I created short biographies of lesser-known saints and blesseds for every day in May, and none of them are included in my book. Blessed Columba of Rieti (feast day May 20), […]

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Help from the Saints in April

It is easy for the saints of the past to seem, well, out of date. After all, early Church martyrs and cloistered nuns didn’t have to deal with the problems we have today, right? Wrong. With a little effort, it’s easy to find at least one saint commemorated by the Church every day of April* […]

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March: Befriending the saints

The difference between reading a biography of a living famous person and reading the biography of a deceased saint is that you can reasonably hope to befriend the saint! After all, our Lord has promised that those who love Him and keep his commandments can hope to spend eternity with Him, and the holy men […]

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February: A preview of the saints of the month

There are thousands of saints in the calendar of the Catholic Church, which means that there are hundreds of saints every month. In my book about saints, I tried to make that number a bit more manageable by only including a few saints per day and limiting the descriptions of each one to a short […]

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The Proclamation of Christmas

The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ The Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their coursefrom the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth,and formed man in his own likeness; when century upon century had passedsince the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after […]

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December: A brief history of saints in the Church

When our Lord died, He did not formally establish a canon of sacred writings, explicitly define canon law, or establish a process for the canonization of saints. He didn’t even write a Gospel. He established a Church to do that. Why God decided to put human beings in charge of these important matters is a […]

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