Saint of the Week

Saint of the Week 
September 24th, 2023


Jerome, Priest and Doctor—Memorial c. 340s–420
Feast Day September 30

Patron Saint of archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, schoolchildren, students, and translator.

Who is St. Jerome and why is he so significant that we honored him with a feast on September 30?

     St. Jerome (345–420) was considered the greatest biblical scholar of his day, conversant with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He set about translating the books of the Bible from their original languages into Latin.

     Much of Jerome’s correspondence has survived and gives us a powerful glimpse into the kind of person that he was, as well as the time in which he lived. Jerome eventually became Pope Damasus’ (366–384) personal secretary. In the West, Latin was overtaking Greek as the language of the common people. The pope desired a translation of the Bible that would be accurately translated from the original languages into the language and idiom of the people. Previous Latin translations existed, but they were poor in quality.

   Jerome set about this task and spent the rest of his life meticulously translating. He is credited with the translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate, a Latin translation intended to address the needs of the common people. That translation became the standard and the only one used by Catholics until modern times. Catholics did not actively engage in a similar process until 1943, when Pius XII allowed Catholic scholars once again to go back to the original languages and translate an accurate and meticulous version of the Bible. We carry on that tradition to this very day. ©LPi.

I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: “Search the Scriptures,” and “Seek and you shall find.” For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. ~Saint Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah.


Saint of the Week 
September 17th, 2023

St. Pius of Pietrelcina 1887–1968
Feast Day September 23
Patron Saint of adolescents and civil defense volunteers Invoked by those in need of stress relief, spiritual healing, and for January blues
Patron Saint of adolescents and civil defense volunteers Invoked by those in need of stress relief, spiritual healing, and for January blues

Best known as Padre Pio, St. Pius was born Francesco Forgione in 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy. As a young boy he suffered many illnesses including typhoid. He joined Capuchin Franciscans at 15 and took the name of Pius or “Pio” in honor of Pope Pius I. He was ordained in 1910, and at this time he received the marks of stigmata, the wounds of Christ, but they eventually healed. Frequent ill-nesses continued to plague him as a young man.

Padre Pio served in the Italian Medical Corps during World War I, but he was discharged early because of illness, which was likely tuberculosis. He was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. In 1918, while continuing to serve at the friary, the stigmata appeared again, and this time remained until his death.

Many faithful came to see him at the friary, his days were long, beginning with Mass at 5 a.m. then hearing confessions all day with breaks to bless the sick. A simple man, content to do God’s will on earth and with the ardent desire to serve the sick and poor in whom he saw Christ, he urged a hospital, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (House for the Relief of Suffering), to be built in San Giovanni Rotondo. It opened in 1956.

Padre Pio died at the age of eighty-one in 1968 and in 2002 Pope John Paul II proclaimed him “St. Pio of Pietrelcina.”


Saint of the Week 
September 10th, 2023

Saint John Chrysostom c. 347–407
Feast Day September 13
Patron Saint of preachers, orators, lecturers, and public speakers Invoked against epilepsy

       Born in Antioch in the 4th century, and raised by his widowed mother, Saint John received a rigorous classical education. He was first called to the ascetic life, even spending time as an anchorite living in a cave near Antioch. However, this life of extreme mortification was hard on his physical body, and he eventually returned to the city to recover.

       Saint John was ordained in 298. He spent the next 12 years preaching in the Cathedral of Antioch, and it was most likely during this time that he earned the name Chrysostom which means “golden-mouthed.”

      In 397 or 398 he was made archbishop of Constantinople against his will. This post placed Saint John in the midst of imperial politics. But he would not be drawn in. He kept a modest household without extravagance and refused to serve the sumptuous suppers for political supplicants that predecessors in the position had. He preached against corruption and decadence and fought for the reform of clergy even deposing corrupt bishops.

      Unfortunately, this high moral stance made enemies of powerful people at court and in the Church. They conspired against him and eventually Saint John was exiled to Armenia. He died in exile in 407. He was made a Father of the Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1568.


Saint of the Week 
September 3rd, 2023

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta 1910–1997
Feast Day September 5th.
Patron Saint of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity
Canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016

Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s Story

     Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the tiny woman recognized throughout the world for her work among the poorest of the poor, was beatified October 19, 2003. Among those present were hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in 1950, as a diocesan religious community. Today the congregation also includes contemplative sisters and brothers, and an order of priests.

Born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje, Macedonia, Gonxha (Agnes) Bojaxhiu was the youngest of the three children who survived. For a time, the family lived comfortably, and her father’s construction business thrived. But life changed overnight following his unexpected death.

During her years in public school, Agnes participated in a Catholic sodality and showed a strong interest in the foreign missions. At age 18, she entered the Loreto Sisters of Dublin. It was 1928 when she said goodbye to her mother for the final time and made her way to a new land and a new life. The following year she was sent to the Loreto novitiate in Darjeeling, India. There she chose the name Teresa and prepared for a life of service. She was assigned to a high school for girls in Calcutta, where she taught history and geography to the daughters of the wealthy. But she could not escape the realities around her—the poverty, the suffering, the overwhelming numbers of destitute people.

In 1946, while riding a train to Darjeeling to make a retreat, Sister Teresa heard what she later explained as “a call within a call. The message was clear. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.” She also heard a call to give up her life with the Sisters of Loreto and instead, to “follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.”

After receiving permission to leave Loreto, establish a new religious community, and undertake her new work, Sister Teresa took a nursing course for several months. She returned to Calcutta, where she lived in the slums and opened a school for poor children. Dressed in a white sari and sandals–the ordinary dress of an Indian woman–she soon began getting to know her neighbors especially the poor and sick—and getting to know their needs through visits.

The work was exhausting, but she was not alone for long. Volunteers who came to join her in the work, some of them former students, became the core of the Missionaries of Charity. Others helped by donating food, clothing, supplies, and the use of buildings. In 1952, the city of Calcutta gave Mother Teresa a former hostel, which became a home for the dying and the destitute. As the order expanded, services were also offered to orphans, abandoned children, alcoholics, the aging, and street people.

For the next four decades, Mother Teresa worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor. Her love knew no bounds. Nor did her energy, as she crisscrossed the globe pleading for support and inviting others to see the face of Jesus in the poorest of the poor. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 5, 1997, God called her home. Blessed Teresa was canonized by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

Mother Teresa’s beatification, just over six years after her death, was part of an expedited process put into effect by Pope John Paul II. Like so many others around the world, he found her love for the Eucharist, for prayer, and for the poor a model for all to emulate.


Saint of the Week 
August 27th, 2023

Saint Monica c. 332–387
Feast Day August 27

Patron Saint of homemakers, married women, mothers, abuse victims, alcoholics, and widows Invoked against difficult marriages and difficult children.

Holiness Runs in the Family

      Raising faithful children is no easy task. For St. Monica, it seemed nearly impossible. Her husband wasn’t Christian and often mocked her faith. Their son, Augustine, fell quickly into wild ways. He and his friends drank, stole, and caroused throughout town. Monica never stopped praying for Augustine, no matter how far he strayed. Augustine became swept up in heresy, a false form of Christianity. He lived with a mistress and had a child out of wedlock. All the while, Monica kept praying. Conversion came slowly to Augustine, but at age 32, he was finally baptized. Augustine would go on to become a priest, then bishop, then world-renowned theologian whose works have stood the test of time. May St. Monica and St. Augustine inspire us to never stop praying for our loved ones.

       Saint Monica, though you had a difficult life, you continually turned your difficulties over to God. You prayed, grew in virtue, and had a profound impact on your whole family. Please pray for me, that I will never lose hope for those who have gone astray but will remain faithful in prayer for them, trusting in God’s divine mercy. Saint Monica, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.


Saint of the Week 
August 20th, 2023

Feast Day August 21.

    On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of earth at Riesi, Province of Treviso, in Venice; on August 20, 1914, he saw the light of heaven; and on May 29, 1954, he who had become the two hundred fifty ninth pope was canonized St. Pius X.

      Two of the most outstanding accomplishments of this saintly Pope were the inauguration of the liturgical renewal and the restoration of frequent communion from childhood. He also waged an unwavering war against the heresy and evils of Modernism, gave great impetus to biblical studies, and brought about the codification of Canon Law. His overriding concern was to renew all things in Christ.

      Above all, his holiness shone forth conspicuously. From St. Pius X we learn again that “the folly of the Cross”, simplicity of life, and humility of heart are still the highest wisdom and the indispensable conditions of a perfect Christian life, for they are the very source of all apostolic fruitfulness. His last will and testament bears the striking sentence: “I was born poor, I have lived in poverty, and I wish to die poor.


Saint of the Week 
August 6th, 2023

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Feast Day Aug 9th
Patron Saint of Europe and those who Lost Parents

      St. Teresa Benedicta was born Edith Stein. She was born into a German Jewish family, but she stopped believing in God when she was fourteen years old. Highly gifted, Stein grew up to obtain her doctorate in philosophy, studying under the famous phenomenologist philosopher Edmund Husserl. Her conversion to Catholicism began when she read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. St. Teresa Benedicta was baptized in 1922 and became a Discalced Carmelite twelve years later. Fearing for her safety (as an ethnic Jew) after the terror of Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938), the nuns in Cologne sent her to the Carmel in Echt, the Netherlands While the move preserved her safety for four years, the Nazis ultimately invaded the Netherlands, arrested her and brought her to Auschwitz, where within a week of her arrival, they executed her. She died at the age of 50, a martyr, was beatified on 1 May 1987 by Pope John Paul II and later canonized by him on 11 October 1998.


Saint of the Week 
July 30th, 2023

Feast Day July 31

Patron Saint of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Spiritual Exercises, soldiers, and retreats.

This week we celebrate a spiritual master! Not only is St. Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits, but the legacy of his life of prayer — now called Ignatian spiritualty — inspired believers the world over. Injured as a young soldier, Ignatius spent his time in recovery reading the lives of the saints. They inspired his soul to holy heroism, changing his life forever. Ignatius gathered a group of friends who also desired to be “contemplatives in action,” finding God in all circumstances. This became the Jesuits — a great missionary and teaching order. Ignatius himself was constantly attuned to his own inner promptings. This self-knowledge — open to the movements of the Holy Spirit — led him to be an incredibly astute spiritual director. For Ignatius, recognizing God as the first principle of one’s life deter-mined everything. How has God changed you?


Saint of the Week 
July 23rd, 2023

Saint James, Apostle First Century–c. 44
Feast Day July 25:

Patron Saint of blacksmiths, druggists, equestrians, hatmakers, laborers, pilgrims, knights, soldiers, tanners, veterinarians, and several countries and cities, including Santiago de Compostela, Spain Invoked against arthritis and rheumatism

     Saint James the Apostle is also called James, son of Zebedee, or James the Greater to distinguish him from the other James in Jesus’ group of twelve. Most of what we know about Saint James is recorded in the New Testament. He and his brother John were collected by Jesus along the sea of Galilee. Matthew 4:18-22 tells the story of Jesus calling first Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and then the sons of Zebedee. In Mark 3:17 the brothers receive a nickname from Jesus who calls them “sons of thunder” because of their many extreme reactions, like that in Luke 9:54 when they offer to call down fire on a Samaritan village. Saint James was part of Jesus’ intimate circle, a witness to the Transfiguration, the resurrection of Jarius’ daughter, and the agony in the garden of Gethsemane. In A.D. 44 Herod Agrippa had “James, the brother of John, killed by the sword.” (Acts 12:2) He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is written of in the New Testament.

        According to Spanish tradition, his body was taken to Santiago de Compostela, Spain where his relics were rediscovered in 9th century. This tradition has sometimes been at-tributed to a passage in the Song of Roland which tells of St. James appearing to Charlemagne in a dream, prophesy-ing that Charlemagne would conquer the Moors in Spain. This was followed by a vision of stars which if followed would lead to the saint’s lost tomb. In the Middle Ages Compostela was a hugely popular pilgrimage site. The saint’s relics continue to rest in the cathedral there and one can still undertake the pilgrimage.



Saint of the Week 
July 9th, 2023


     On July 14th, we celebrate the feast of the “Lily of the Mohawks.” St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American woman to be canonized. Orphaned by a smallpox outbreak, Kateri survived with severe scar-ring and impaired eyesight. Despite tragedy, she was a devout girl at a young age, often building crosses from sticks in the woods. When she was 18, she began se-cret instruction in the Catholic faith with French missionaries. Her commitment to Christianity and vow of virginity was misunderstood and ridiculed by her fellow villagers. She escaped to a nearby mission, where she attended daily Mass, taught the children, and cared for the sick and the elderly. Sometimes the greatest misunderstandings can come from those closest to us. Like St. Kateri, God invites us to be faithful to our commitments of faith and to always respond in love.