St. Alphonsus LiguoriSaint Alphonsus was born at Naples in 1696. Though renowned as a doctor of both Canon and Civil Law, he left the legal profession and entered the priesthood. Subsequently he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. To foster the Christian life, he applied himself to preaching among the people and writing books on moral theology, of which he is considered a master. He was chosen bishop of Sant’ Agata dei Ciofi, but soon resigned his office to work with his confreres at Nocera dei Pagani in Campagna. Saint Alphonsus died in 1787.
St. Eusebius of VercelliSaint Eusebius was born at the beginning of the fourth century in Sardinia. He became a member of the Roman clergy and in 345 was elected first bishop of Vercelli. He spread religion by his preaching and established the monastic life in his diocese. Because of his faith he was driven into exile by Emperor Constantius and endured much suffering. Returning to his country, he worked tirelessly against the Arians for the restoration of the faith. He died at Vercelli in 371.
St. Peter Julian EymardBorn in La Mure, France, Saint Peter became a parish priest in 1834 and joined the Marists five years later. He fostered Eucharistic adoration throughout his life and founded a religious order of priest-adorers of the Holy Eucharist who came to be known as the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament.
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dedication of St. Mary MajorAfter the Council of Ephesus (431) in which the mother of Jesus was acclaimed as Mother of God, Pope Sixtus III erected at Rome on the Esquiline Hill a basilica dedicated to the honor of the holy Mother of God. It was .afterward called Saint Mary Major and it is the oldest church in the West dedicated to the honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Transfiguration of the LordThis feast commemorates the occasion when Jesus took the apostles Peter, James, and John to the top of a mountain and, accompanied by the Old Testament figures Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets), was transfigured before them. They heard the Father’s voice declaring Jesus as his Son. Jesus intended the experience to strengthen the apostles’ faith during the trials that awaited them.
St. Sixtus II and CompanionsSaint Sixtus was ordained bishop of the Church of Rome in 257. The following year, while celebratmg the sacred liturgy in the cemetery of Saint Callistus, he was arrested by soldiers carrying out the edict of the Emperor Valerian. On the same day, August 6, he was put to death along with four deacons. He was buried in the same cemetery.
St. CajetanSaint Cajetan was born at Vicenza in 1480. He studied law at Padua and after being ordained a priest, he founded the Congregation of Clerks Regular at Rome to foster the Church’s mission. He extended this congregation into the district of Venice and into the kingdom of Naples. He was most earnest in prayer and in love of nieghbor. He died at Naples in 1547.
St. DominicSaint Dominic was born in Calaruega in Spain around the 1170. He studied theology at Palencia and was made canon of the church of Osma. He worked effectively against the Albigensian heresy through preaching and good example. To carry on this work he gathered together companions and founded the Order of Preachers. He died at Bologna on August 6, 1221.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the CrossEdith Stein was born of Jewish parents in 1891, becoming an influential philosopher following her extensive studies at major German universities. Following her conversion to Catholicism she became a major force in German intellectual life, entering the Discalced Carmelites in 1933. Sister Teresa Benedicta was arrested by the Nazi regime in 1942, along with all Catholics of Jewish extraction and transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz that same year.
St. LawrenceLawrence was a deacon of the Church of Rome. He became a martyr during the persecution of Valerian four days after the martyrdom of Pope Sixtus II and his four companions. Lawrence’s tomb is located in the field of Verano near the Via Tiburtina where subsequently Constantine the Great built a basilica. Devotion to Lawrence was widespread by the fourth century.
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Jane Frances de ChantalJane Frances was born in Dijon, France, in 1572. She was married to the nobleman de Chantal, and had six sons to whom she carefully taught the Christian faith. When her husband died, she wholeheartedly embraced the religious life under the guidance of Saint Francis de Sales and performed works of charity especially for the poor and sick. She founded the Visitation Order which she directed wisely until her death in 1641.
Sts. Pontian and HippolytusSaint Pontian was ordained bishop of Rome in 231. In 235 he was banished to Sardinia by the Emperor Maximinus, along with the prlest Hippolytus. There he resigned from his office and .later dIed. His body was buried in the cemetery of Saint Callistus, while the body of Hlppolytus was buried in a cemetery along the Via Tiburtina. The Roman Church sanctioned devotion to both martyrs at the beginning of the fourth century.
St. Maximilian Mary KolbeSaint Maximilian became a Franciscan in 1907 and devoted his life to fostering devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a priest, a publisher and the founder of the “City of the Immaculate.” Sentenced to hard manual labor at Auschwitz, he offered his life in exchange for that of an innocent man. He is remembered for his prophetic words, “Hatred is not a creative force. Only love is a creative power.”
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryThis solemnity celebrates the Church’s belief that at the end of her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken body and soul into heaven. Since she was free from sin, she did not undergo the corruption that sin and death bring to the human race but instead was able to enjoy immediately the resurrection that awaits all faithful Christians. The Assumption was declared a dogma of the faith in 1950.
St. Stephen of HungarySaint Stephen was born at Pannonia around the year 969. After his baptism he was crowned king of Hungary in the year 1000. In his relationship with his subjects he was just, peaceful and pious, exactly observing the laws of the Church and ever seeking the welfare of his people. He founded many dioceses and spent great energy in fostering the work of the Church. He died at Szekesfehervar in 1038.
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. John EudesSaint John Eudes was born in the diocese of Seez in France in the year 1601. After his ordination to the priesthood he spent several years in giving missions. Then he founded congregations dedicated to improving priestly formation and to encouraging morally endangered women to lead Christian lives. He also fostered great devotion to the hearts of Jesus and Mary. He died in 1680.
St. BernardSaint Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon in France. After a religious upbringing, he joined the Cistercians in 1111 and later was chosen abbot of the monastery of Clairvaux. There he directed his companions in the practice of virtue by his own good example. Because of schisms which had arisen in the Church, he traveled all about Europe restoring peace and unity. He wrote many theological and spiritual works. He died in 1153.
St. Pius XSaint Pius was born in 1835 in the village of Riese in the province of Venice. After he became a priest he performed his duties with distinction. He became bishop of Mantua and patriarch of Venice, and was elected pope in 1903. He took as the motto of his reign to renew all things in Christ. He fulfilled this task in the spirit of simplicity, poverty and courage, arousing the faithful to a Christian way of life and waging constant warfare against the errors of his age. He died August 20, 1914.
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin MaryToday, one week after the celebration of her Assumption into heaven, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as queen of heaven and earth.
St. Rose of LimaSaint Rose was born at Lima, Peru in 1586. She led a virtuous life at home and, after receiving the habit of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, she made great progress in a life of penance and contemplation. She died August 24, 1617.
St. BartholomewSaint Bartholomew was born at Cana. He was brought to Jesus by the apostle Philip. After the ascension of the Lord, he is said to have preached the Gospel in India where he was rewarded with the crown of martyrdom.
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. MonicaSaint Monica was born of a Christian family at Tagaste in Africa in 331. While still a young maiden she was married to Patricius. They had children, among whom was Augustine. She poured forth many tears and prayers to God for his conversion. A model of the virtuous mother, she nourished the faith by her prayers and witnessed to it by her deeds. She died at Ostia in 387.
St. AugustineSaint Augustine was born at Tagaste in Africa in 354. He was unsettled and restlessly searched for the truth until he was converted to the Faith at Milan and baptized by Ambrose. Returning to his homeland, he embraced an ascetic life and subsequently was elected bishop of Hippo. For thirty-four years he guided his flock, instructing it with sermons and many writings. He fought bravely against the errors of his time and explained the Faith carefully and cogently through his writings. He died in 430.
Passion of St. John the BaptistOn this day the Church commemorates the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. When John spoke the truth to Herod about the king’s immorality, Herod had him thrown into prison and then beheaded. The nativity of John is celebrated on June 24.