Posts tagged ‘saints story’

Saint Genesius of Rome

Genesius was a gifted actor, comedian, playwright and the leader of a troupe of actors in Rome. When Diocletian initiated his great persecution, Genesius, who was a pagan, hatched a grand scheme to construct a play parodying the Christian Sacraments, to expose them to the ridicule of the audience.

Thus he resolved one day to represent Baptism, with all its ceremonies, as ludicrously as possible. To this effect he became well acquainted with all that takes place at holy Baptism, he appointed the parts for the play, and instructed the actors as to what they were to do.

On the day of the performance Emperor Diocletian and his court were present. The comedy began, with Genesius acting the principal part. Feigning to be sick, he lay down, calling to his friends to bring him something to relieve his suffering. When they had done this, he said that he felt that he was soon to die, and wanted to become a Christian, and that they should “baptize” him. Everything was brought upon the stage that was used at Baptism, and an actor playing a priest came on stage in order to “baptize” the ailing catechumen. All the questions were put to him which are made to those who are to be baptized. The ceremony was performed in so ludicrous a manner, that the Emperor and all the people shouted with laughter. Read more…

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Saint Cornellius Pope & Martyr

Saint Cornelius was elected Pope in 251 during the persecutions of the Emperor Decius. In hopes that Christianity would fade away, Decius ordered all citizens to perform a religious sacrifice in the presence of commissioners, or else face death. Many Christians refused and were martyred. Decius then prevented the election of a new pope. However, soon afterwards Decius was forced to leave the area to fight the invading Goths and while he was away the elections for pope were held. In the 14 months without a pope, the leading candidate, Moses, had died under the persecution. The Roman priest, Novatian, convened a synod of bishops to confirm him as the rightful successor of Peter. However Cornelius was unwillingly elected the twenty-first pope in March 251.

Novatian was very angry not only that he was not elected pope, but that someone who did not believe in rebaptism was. After Cornelius’s appointment to the papacy, Novatian became more rigorous in his philosophy, convinced that bishops could not pardon the worst of sins, and that such sins could only be reconciled at the Last Judgment.

Cornelius had the support of St. Cyprian, St. Dionysius, and most African and Eastern bishops while Novatian had the support of a minority of clergy and laymen in Rome who did not acknowledge Cornelius as pope. Cornelius’s next action was to convene a synod of 60 bishops to restate himself as the rightful pope and the council excommunicated Novatian as well as all Novatianists. Also addressed in the synod was that Christians who stopped practising during Emperor must be welcomed back and insisted that they perform an adequate penance. Read more…

Saint Teresa Benedicta of The Cross

Edith Stein, religious name Teresa Benedicta was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. Edith was born in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), Lower Silesia, into an observant Jewish family. She was the youngest of 11 children and was born on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Hebrew calendar, which combined to make her a favourite of her mother.

When she was not yet two years old her father died suddenly, leaving Edith’s mother to raise the seven remaining children (four had died in childhood) and to manage the family business. Brought up on the Psalms and Proverbs, Edith considered her mother a living example of the strong woman of Proverbs 31, who rises early to care for her family and trade in the marketplace. At 14 years old, Edith considered herself an atheist, but she continued to admire her mother’s attitude of total openness toward God.

As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Edith philosophical studies encouraged her openness to the possibility of transcendent realities, and her atheism began to crumble under the influence of her friends who had converted to Christianity. Read more…

Saint Fina of Gimignano

St. Fina or Seraphina, was an Italian Christian girl who is venerated in the Tuscan town of San Gimignano. Fina dei Ciardi was born in San Gimignano in 1238. The Daughter of Cambio Ciardi and Imperiera, a declined noble family, she lived all her existence in a humble house located in the historic centre of the famous “city of beautiful towers”.

The child was pretty and attractive. Poor as she was she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. As far as possible she lived the life of a recluse at home, sewing indeed and spinning during the day, but spending much of the night in prayer. Fina has a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary, and that she went out only to hear Mass. She was also said to be extraordinarily kind.

Around 1248, her father died when she was still young and about the same time Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Fina’s life was changed by a serious illness, which began, progressively, to paralyse her. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went to work or beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity and with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix she kept on repeating, “It is not my wounds but thine, O Christ, that hurt me”. Read more…

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was born in January 31, 1673 in Montfort-sur-Meu, the eldest surviving child of eighteen born to Jean-Baptiste and Jeanne Robert Grignion. St. Louis-Marie possessed a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament as a child, and was also intimately devoted to the Blessed Virgin, especially through the Rosary. He took the name Marie at his confirmation.

The saint manifested a love for the poor while he was at school and joined a society of young men who ministered to the poor and the sick on school holidays. When he was 19, he walked 130 miles to Paris to study theology, gave all he had to the poor that he met along the way and made a vow to live only on alms. He was ordained priest at the age of 27, and for some time fulfilled the duties of chaplain in a hospital. In 1705, when he was 32, he discovered his great gift for preaching and committed himself to it for the rest of his life. During sixteen years he preached the Gospel in countless towns and villages. As an orator he was highly gifted, his language being simple but replete with fire and divine love. His whole life was conspicuous for virtues difficult for modern degeneracy to comprehend: constant prayer, love of the poor, poverty carried to an unheard-of degree, joy in humiliations and persecutions.

But he also met with opposition, especially from the Jansenists, a heretical movement within the Church that believed in absolute Predestination, in which only a chosen few are saved, and the rest damned. Much of France was influenced by Jansenism, including many bishops, who banished Loius-Marie from preaching in their dioceses. He was even poisoned by Jansenists in La Rochelle, but survived, though he suffered ill health after. Read more…

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux (Latin: Bernardus Claraevallensis), O.Cist (1090 – 20 August 1153) was born from Tescelin de Fontaine, lord of Fontaine-lès-Dijon, and Alèthe de Montbard, both members of the highest nobility of Burgundy. He was the third of seven children, six of whom were sons. At the age of nine years, he was sent to a school at Châtillon-sur-Seine run by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. Bernard had a great taste for literature and devoted himself for some time to poetry. His success in his studies won the admiration of his teachers. He wanted to excel in literature in order to take up the study of the Bible. He had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, and he would later write several works about the Queen of Heaven.

In the year 1111, at the age of 21, Bernard left his home to join the monastic community of Citeaux, after the death of his mother. His five brothers, two uncles, and some 30 young friends followed him into the monastery. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d’Absinthe, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which later evolved into Clairvaux, the valley of light. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary.

Within four years, a dying community had recovered enough vitality to establish a new house in the nearby valley of Wormwoods, with Bernard as abbot. The zealous young man was quite demanding, though more on himself than others. A slight breakdown of health taught him to be more patient and understanding. Read more…

Saint Marcelinna

Marcellina was born in Trier, Gaul around the year 330 as a member of a Catholic family. She was eldest sister to saint Satyrus and Saint Ambrose of Milan. After the death of her father, who was prefect of the Gauls, she moved to Rome with her pious mother and brothers.

Marcellina was discreet beyond her years, and from her cradle sought with her whole heart the only thing for which she was created and sent into the world. Being charged at Rome with the education of her two brothers, she inspired them, by words and example, with an ardent thirst of virtue. She taught them that nobleness of blood cannot enhance merit, nor make men more illustrious unless they despise it; and that learning is an unpardonable crime and folly, if by it a man should desire to know everything that is in heaven and earth but himself; for with the true knowledge of ourselves are all our studies to begin and end, if we desire to render them in any degree advantageous to ourselves. She kindled in their tender breasts a vehement desire, not of the show of virtue, but to become truly virtuous. In her whole conduct all her view was only the glory of God.

She was still young back then, when she received the veil of consecrated virginity from Pope Liberius on Christmas day in 353 in front of many people and then devoted herself to the practice of piety and asceticism. The pope, in a short discourse on that occasion, exhorted her frequently to love only our Lord Jesus Christ, the chaste spouse of her soul, to live in continual abstinence, mortification, silence, and prayer, and always to behave herself in the church with the utmost respect and awe. He mentioned to her the page of Alexander the Great, who, for fear of disturbing the solemnity of a heathenish sacrifice by shaking off his hand a piece of melted wax that had fallen upon it, let it burn him to the bone. Read more…