St. Junípero SerraMiguel Jose Serra took the name of Junípero when, in 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and theology at the University of Padua until 1749; the next year he traveled to Mexico City and spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of the peoples of the New World. In 1768 Father Serra took over the missions of the Jesuits in what is modern-day California. An indefatigable worker, he was in large part responsible for the foundation and spread of the Church on the West Coast of the United States when it was still mission territory. He founded twenty-one missions and converted thousands of Indians who were taught sound methods of agriculture, cattle raising, and arts and crafts. Junípero was imbued with a penitential spirit and practiced austerity in sleep, eating, and other activities. Worn out by his apostolic labors, he died on August 28, 1784, and was was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988.
St. ThomasSaint Thomas is remembered for his incredulity concerning Christ’s resurrection from the dead. When confronted by the risen Lord his disbelief gave way to belief and he proclaimed the Easter faith of the Church: “My Lord and my God!” Nothing certain is known of his life except for this evidence in the gospels. He is said to have subsequently preached the Gospel to the people of India. Since the fourth century the celebration of the transference of his body to Edessa has been commemorated on July 3.
St. Anthony Mary ZaccariaSaint Anthony was born at Cremona in Lombardy in 1502. He studied medicine at Padua. After his ordination to the priesthood, he founded the Society of Clerics of Saint Paul, also known as the Barnabites. The Society did much to reform the morals of the faithful. He died in 1539.
St. Elizabeth of PortugalSaint Elizabeth was born of the Aragonese royal family in 1271. As a young maiden she was given in marriage to the king of Portugal and bore him two children. She bravely endured afflictions and troubles through prayer and works of charity. When her husband died she distributed her property to the poor and received the habit of the Third Order of Saint Francis. After ending a serious dispute between her son and son-in-law she died in 1336.
St. Maria GorettiSaint Maria was born of a poor family at Corinaldi, Italy in 1890. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. She was of a pious nature and often at prayer. In 1902 she was stabbed to death, preferring to die rather than be raped.
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Augustine Zhao Rong and CompanionsSaint Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese diocesan priest who was martyred with his 199 companions in 1815. Among their number was an eighteen year old boy, Chi Zhuzi, who cried out to those who had just cut off his right arm and were preparing to flay him alive: “Every piece of my flesh, every drop of my blood will tell you that I am Christian.”
St. BenedictSaint Benedict was born at Nursia in Umbria about the year 480. Educated at Rome, he began the eremitic life at Subiaco where he gathered disciples, and then departed for Monte Cassino. There he established the famous monastery and composed the Benedictine Rule. Because this rule was subsequently adopted throughout Europe, he received the title of patriarch of Western monasticism. He died on March 21, 547, but since the end of the eighth century, his memory has been observed on this day.
St. HenrySaint Henry was born in Bavaria in 973. He succeeded his father in ruling over a duchy and was later elected Emperor. He was most remarkable for his work in Church reform and for fostering missionary activity. He died in 1024 and was enrolled among the saints by Pope Eugene III in 1146.
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. BonaventureSaint Bonaventure was born about the year 1218 at Bagnorea in Tuscany. He studied philosophy and theology at Paris and, having earned the title Master, he taught his fellow members of the Order of Friars Minor with great success. He was elected Minister General of the Order, a position he filled with prudence and wisdom. After being made Cardinal-Bishop of Albano, he died at the Council of Lyons in 1274. His writings did much to illuminate the study of both theology and philosophy.
Our Lady of Mount CarmelSacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel’s faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.
St. Camillus de LellisSaint Camillus was born at Chieti in the Abruzzi in 1550. He first entered the military profession, but upon his conversion he devoted himself to the care of the sick. His studies com-pleted, he was ordained to the priesthood and founded a society which established hospitals and cared for the sick. He died in Rome in 1614.
St. ApollinarisEarly accounts report that Saint Apollinaris was ordained Bishop by Saint Peter himself and sent as a missionary bishop to Ravenna during the reign of the emperor Claudius. Renowned for his powers to heal in the name of Christ, he was frequently exiled, tortured and imprisoned for the faith, and finally, martyred.
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Mary MagdaleneMary Magdalene was one of Christ’s disciples and was present when he died. Early on the morning of the resurrection, she was, according to Saint Mark’s account (16:9), the first to see the risen Lord. By the twelfth century particularly, devotion to Saint Mary Magdalene was widespread in the western Church.
St. BridgetSaint Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. She married and gave birth to eight children for whom she was a devoted mother. After her husband’s death she continued to live in the world but devoted herself to the ascetic life as a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis. She then founded a religious order and, journeying to Rome for the sake of penance, became a model of great virtue to all. She also wrote many works in which she related her mystical experiences. Saint Bridget died at Rome in 1373.
St. Sharbel MakhlufSt. Sharbel was a Lebanese monk, born in a small mountain village and ordained in 1858. Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Saint Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice and prayer by the way he lived his life.
St. JamesSaint James, son of Zebedee and brother of Saint John the apostle, was born at Bethsaida. He was present at most of the miracles performed by Christ and was put to death by Herod around the year 42. He is especially honored at Compostella in Spain where a famous church is dedicated to his name.
Sts. Joachim and AnneFrom an ancient tradition, going back even to the second century, the parents of the Virgin Mary are known by the names of Joachim and Ann. Devotion to Saint Ann is found in the sixth century in the East, and by the tenth century it was widespread in the West. Saint Joachim was likewise honored, but at a more recent date.
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. MarthaSaint Martha was a sister of Mary and Lazarus. When she received the Lord as a guest at Bethany, she looked after him with devoted attention. She begged the Lord to raise her brother, Lazarus, from the dead.
St. Peter ChrysologusSaint Peter was born about the year 380 at Imola in Emilia, and there entered the priesthood, He was elected bishop of Ravenna in 424 and instructed his flock by his learned sermons and wrrtmgs. He died around the year 450.
St. Ignatius of LoyolaSaint Ignatius was born in 1491 at Loyola in Cantabria. He spent his early years at court and as a soldier. Later he was converted to God and undertook theological studies at Paris where he attracted his first followers, and afterward at Rome he joined them together as the first members of the Society of Jesus. He exercised a most fruitful apostolate both by his written works and in the training of his disciples who won great praise for their renewal of the Church. He died at Rome in 1556.