Tuesday, January 27, 2015

St. Angela Merici: Founder of the Urusulines, Religious Educator of Women



Today is the optional memorial of St. Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursulines, the the first teaching congregation of women in the Church. It was a new, almost revolutionary foundation for its time, as it focused primarily on the education of women. Her foundation led to the emancipation of women not only in the Church, but in society as well. Women were educated so as to transform society by educating their own family in the faith and living out that faith in their lives.

 Angela was born to a family of minor nobility on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy and died on January 27, 1540 in Brescia. Her parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. When her sister died quite suddenly without receiving the last sacraments, Angela was deeply upset. At the age of 15, she became a third order Franciscan and increased her prayers and sacrifices for the repose of her sister's soul.  When she asked God to reveal to her the condition of her deceased sister, He answered her prayer by showing her a vision of her sister in heaven.

When her uncle died, she returned to live at Desenzano to make a life for herself. She was convinced of the need for women to be educated in their faith and converted her home into a school where she daily gathered all the girls of Desenzano to teach them the basics of Christianity. It was at this time that she received a vision, which led her to found a religious order who were to devote their lives to the spiritual education of young women. The school she organized at Desenzano was so successful that she was invited to the nearby city of Brescia, to establish a school there, which she accepted.

During a pilgrimage to Holy Land, while visiting Crete, Angela was struck blind. This did not interrupt her trip, however, but she continued on the journey, visiting the shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she still had her sight. On the way home, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was miraculously restored at the same place where it had been lost.

In 1525, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her great holiness and her success as a religious teacher of young girls, invited her to remain in Rome; however, Angela returned to Brescia to live a quiet life, away from the limelight.

At the age of 57, Angela selected twelve young women to assist her in catechetical work. Four years later, the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula, commonly known as the Ursulines, for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through the solid Christian education of future wives and mothers.

She died only five years later. St. Angela's body is incorrupt. She was beatified in 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

St. Angela Merici is the patron saint of physically challenged people, sick people, and of those who have lost their parents.

Quotes From St. Angela Merci:

"Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family."

"We must give alms. Charity wins souls and draws them to virtue."

"Mothers of children, even if they have a thousand, carry each and every one fixed in their hearts, and because of the strength of their love they do not forget any of them. In fact, it seems that the more children they have the more their love and care for each one is increased."

"As our Savior says: 'A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit.'  He says: A good tree, that is, a good heart as well as a soul on fire with charity, can do nothing but good and holy works. For this reason Saint Augustine said: "Love, and do what you will," namely, possess love and charity and then do what you will. It is as if he had said: Charity is not able to sin."

"Be sincerely kind to every one according to the words of our Lord: 'Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.' Thus you are imitating God, of whom it is said: 'He has disposed all things pleasantly.' And again Jesus said: 'My yoke is easy and my burden light.'

- From Spiritual Testament by Saint Angela Merici

St. Angela Merici -- A Prayer of Remembrance

Angela, a valiant woman, inspire us today to be people of faith,
people of action, people in love with God and all creation.
May we be makers of peace in a wounded world.
May we be creators of justice in a broken world.
May we be passionate and compassionate in a indifferent world.
You who traveled the road before us, be with us as you promised.
May the example of your pilgrim heart encourage us on our journey.
Amen.

~ Author Unknown

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pope Francis: women first and foremost in transmitting faith



Faith...is a gift that passes from generation to generation, through the beautiful work of mothers and grandmothers, the fine work of the women who play those roles...

It occurs to me: why is it mainly women, who to pass on the faith? Simply because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman. It is the path chosen by Jesus. He wanted to have a mother: the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary.

~ Pope Francis in his homily at Monday morning Mass, January 26th at in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.

Novena to St. Blaise Begins Today



The feast of St. Blaise is February 4. He is one of fourteen holy helpers and is the patron of:   physicians, sick cattle, and wild animals because of his care for them. He is invoked against afflictions of the throat and against numerous other physical ailments, which include: angina, bladder diseases, blisters, coughs, dermatitis, dropsy, eczema, edema, fever, goiters, headaches, impetigo, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, snake bites, stomach pain, teething pain, toothaches, ulcers, and whooping cough.

PREPARATORY PRAYER 
Almighty and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saving, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.

Prayer in honor of St. Blaise
O GOD, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blase, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Invocation of St. Blaise
St. BLASE, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of our Savior did suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfill my duties, and with the aid of God's grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal punishment. Amen.

Prayer
My LORD and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.

Sts. Timothy and Titus: St. Paul's Companions and Co-workers in Evangelization



Today, January 26, is the memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus. Both men were close colleagues with St. Paul in his missionary journeys and perpetuated his work among the Gentiles.

Timothy and Titus were converted to Christianity by Paul, and became his companions and helpers. Paul made both men bishops and assigned Timothy to the Church in Ephesus, and Titus to the Church in Crete. He wrote them “pastoral” epistles, giving advice for both pastors and parishioners.

Timothy, “brother and co-worker for God in the gospel of Christ” (1 Thes 3:2) was young (Paul writes “Let no one have contempt for your youth” in 1 Timothy 4:12a), and somewhat shy, but had great zeal for spreading the faith. He has been viewed by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus" (Rev 2:1-17). He joined Paul in the joy of the privilege of preaching the gospel, but also  suffered much because of it. St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for refusing to worship the goddess Diana.

Titus, Paul’s “partner and co-worker” (2Cor 8:23) was the mediator or peacemaker, the one St. Paul sent to clear up misunderstandings, settle differences, and to establish a new Church. He was sent to evangelize the inhabitants of Crete, who were known to be “liars, vicious beasts, and lazy gluttons” (Timothy 1:12). He received a letter from St. Paul, which encouraged Christians to live temperate, moral, and virtuous lives, while awaiting the coming of Christ. Tradition tells us that St. Titus died a natural death at the age of 94, having lived in the state of virginity his entire life.

St. Timothy is the patron saint of intestinal disorders and stomach diseases. St. Titus is the patron of Crete.

Collect: God our Father, you gave your saints Timothy and Titus the courage and wisdom of the apostles: may their prayers help us to live holy lives and lead us to heaven, our true home. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Quote:
“But when the kindness and generous love of God our Savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy” ~Titus 3:4-8

Reflection:
The lives of Sts Timothy and Titus reveal that evangelization is a task that requires courage, patience, perseverance, and zeal. There is both joy and suffering involved in spreading the gospel message. Today, let us pray to the Holy Spirit asking for the grace to carry out our Christian duty to spread the gospel message to others in imitation of Sts. Timothy and Titus.

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann January 2015.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fr. Barron on Atheism and Philosophy


In a recent article published in the online journal “Salon,” philosophy professor John Messerly claims that religion has a "smart-people problem." Is this the case? Fr. Robert Barron responds.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival


March for Life 2015 -- Rally on the National Mall

Go HERE for More Photos.

Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at RAnn’s Place for Sunday Snippets, where we share our blog posts from the previous week. 

My posts from this past week include the following: 

St. Francis de Sales: Model Evangelist

7 QT: The Saint, the March, and the Book

Top Twelve Ways to observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

St. Agnes: Model of Chastity

The Top Three Reasons to March for Life

St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr

Prayer to End Abortion (English and Spanish)

St. Canute: King of Kindness, Wisdom, Charity, and Courage

Friday, January 23, 2015

St. Francis de Sales: Model Evangelist



St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), a theologian and the patron saint of writers has long been my mentor and model, and one of my most powerful intercessors. As a theologian and a writer, I look to him for guidance and for assistance in my work. His unique methods of evangelization have also greatly inspired me. As Catholics, we are all called to be missionaries and witnesses to the truth by virtue of our Baptism. St. Francis de Sales is a saint whose virtues we can learn from and emulate, when it comes to sharing the Gospel message with others.

Francis was born at the Chateau de Sales in Swiss Savoy (modern France) on August 21, 1567, to a noble family. He was a frail and delicate child, but very intelligent, humble, kind, loving, patient and gentle, obedient, and truthful.

At the age of thirteen, Francis studied theology at the University of Paris and immediately afterward earned a doctorate in law. His father desired that he become a lawyer and politician. However, he felt called to the priesthood and was ordained during the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church at this time was losing many of its parishioners to the new churches of the Protestant Reformation and Francis set out to restore Catholicism to the area around Lake Geneva known as Chablais.

For three years, he trudged through the countryside, his feet frozen and bleeding, as he trampled through the snow. No one would listen to him, so he wrote out his sermons, copying them by hand in the form of leaflets, and placed them under doors. He spent hours answering letters and preaching to lay persons. It is said that he converted 40,000 people by the time he left to return home.

In 1602, Francis was appointed Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland – the heart of Calvinist territory. Through his persuasive preaching and his gentleness, he convinced many to return to their Catholic faith. His motto was, "He who preaches with love, preaches effectively."

As Bishop of Geneva, his words of inspiration and wise counsel led many people to live out the gospel message in their lives. He founded the Order of the Visitation with St. Jane Francis de Chantal, a good friend, with whom he shared his spiritual beliefs. He remained active throughout his life, using his talent for writing to assist him in ministering to others. St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Universal Church and patron of the Catholic press.

His most important written works are Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God. 

Quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

“The highest degree of meekness consists in seeing, serving, honoring, and treating amiably, on occasion, those who are not to our taste, and who show themselves unfriendly, ungrateful, and troublesome to us.”

"Keep your heart very wide to receive in it all sorts of crosses and resignations or abnegations, for the love of Him who has received so many of them for us."

"Faithfully attend to your obligations, but know that you have no greater obligation than that of your salvation and of the saving progress of your soul on the way to true devotion."

“Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, not even if your whole world seems upset. If you find that you have wandered away from the shelter of God, lead your heart back to Him quietly and simply.”

"How beautiful it is to behold a person destitute of all attachment, ready for any act of virtue or charity, gentle to all, indifferent as to any employment, serene in consolations and tribulations, and wholly content if only the will of God is done!"

Do not look forward in fear
to the changes of life;
rather look to them with full hope
as they arise.
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cared for you today
will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering,
Or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace
And put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

~St. Francis de Sales

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann January 2015

Prayer to St. Francis De Sales

O Glorious St. Francis, model of the interior life, and full of zeal for the salvation of souls! Obtain for me the grace to employ all my faculties, not for my own sanctification alone, but for that of my neighbor also; that continually spreading abroad the sweet odor of Jesus Christ by my words and works, I may attain with thee the blessedness promised to the merciful: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy;" and that I may one day have a share in the glory which thou dost enjoy in paradise with the angels and saints, where those who edify and instruct to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity (Dan. xii. 3).

Prayer for Writers (taken from Saintly Support: A Prayer for Every Problem)

May the Lord guide me and all those who write for a living. Through your prayers, St. Frances de Sales, I ask for your intercession as I attempt to bring the written word to the world. Let us pray that God takes me in the palm of His hand and inspires my creativity and inspires my success. St. Francis de Sales, you understand the dedication required in this profession. Pray for God to inspire and allow ideas to flow. In His name, let my words reflect my faith for others to read. Amen.

7 QT: The Saint, the March, and the Book



1. The saint of the day is St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918), a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, who was canonized Oct. 21, 2012. She is the first Franciscan woman from North American to be canonized, and only the 11th American saint.

She was one of ten children born to a German farm family who immigrated to upstate New York. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis at the age of twenty-four and the following year made her religious profession. She served as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York State, a task which she had intended to do for the rest of her life, but God had other plans, At the age of 32, she began a new ministry as a nurse-administrator at St Joseph's in Syracuse, N.Y., where she served as head administrator for six years.

In 1877, she was elected Mother Provincal, when she received a request from the Sandwich Islands to send sisters to care for the sick. At the age of forty-six, Mother Marianne traveled to Hawaii with six other Franciscan Sisters, to serve those suffering from leprosy. Their immediate task was to manage  the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu and they made major improvements to the living conditions and treatment of the patients there. They also opened a hospital and a school for girls. Mother Marianne ran the Bishop Home, and until 1895, managed the Home for Boys at Kalawao, founded by Father Damien for boys and young men.

She died in 1918 at the age of 80 and was buried on the grounds of Bishop Home. Her remains were returned to Syracuse in 2005. She was beatified in 2005 and canonized just seven years later.

A woman of great charity, compassion, and courage, this beloved mother of outcasts, devoted 35 years to caring for those afflicted with Hansen’s disease on Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii.

- by Jean M. Heimann



2.   The March for Life in Washington D.C. -- Did you know that there were an estimated half-million participants in our nation's capitol on January 23, 2015, protesting abortion and celebrating the gift of life? That estmate blows me away! It lifts me up at the same time!

3. This is what I was doing on the day of the March -- Not all of it, of course just some of it.

4.  I have also been doing radio and podcast interviews for my book lately, like this one.

5. I continue to work-out daily to stay healthy. As a writer and a blogger, this is essential!




6.  Here is Tony Agnesi's review of my book, Seven Saints for Seven Virtues.

7.  Fellow Blogger, Catholic Wife, Mother of Six, Lawyer, Journalist, Pre-Cana instructor, and Speaker Karee Santos has added Seven Saints for Seven Virtues to this list.  Thank you, Karee!

Have a great weekend! 


For more Quick Takes, go HERE.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top Twelve Ways to observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children



The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

-Via USCCB.

Here are twelve ways you can observe the memory of this day in a holy and meaningful way:

1. Pray for those who are trapped in the culture of death, that the veil that covers their eyes and blinds them from the truth will be lifted.

2. Pray that pro-life laws will be passed and lawmakers be elected, who will uphold the truth that life begins at the moment of conception and ends at natural death.

3. Pray for the election of a 100% pro-life President who supports the sanctity of human life with no exceptions.

4. Pray the Rosary for the closing of all abortion clinics – especially for the largest one – Planned Parenthood.

5. Fast from: TV, radio, the Internet, the phone, shopping, eating favorite foods, and other enjoyable activities.

6. Go to Mass and offer it up for an end to abortion.

7. Go to Eucharistic Adoration and spend the hour praying for an end to abortion and the conversion of our country.

8. Participate in any of the many pro-life marches being held across the country.

9. Contact your congressmen and ask them to support pro-life legislation.

10. Pray outside an abortion clinic.

11. Write a letter to your local newspaper about your sanctity of life views, encouraging others to support pro-life legislation.

12. Donate baby food, baby clothing, maternity clothing, diapers, or cash to a crisis pregnancy center.

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann January 2015.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

St. Agnes: Model of Chastity



January 21 is the feast of St. Agnes, a virgin, who was martyred at the age of thirteen in 304.  She is invoked as the patron of young girls and serves as a excellent model of chastity.

Born to a Christian family of Roman nobility during the third century, St. Agnes matured into a beautiful, graceful young woman.  By the age of twelve, she was already receiving several suitors to ask for her hand in marriage; however, she had developed a deep spirituality which guided her to consecrate her virginity to God. Thus, she turned each suitor away, explaining that Christ was her only spouse. She was even willing to accept death rather than give up her consecrated virginity to marry. Living as a Christian during the politically charged time of the Diocletian persecution of Christians in Rome, she was under the constant threat of torture and death.

A Roman prefect desired that Agnes marry his son. Embittered by her second rejection to marry his son, the prefect turned her in to the political authorities as a Christian.  Agnes was arrested. She was brought before statues of gods and told to worship them.  When she refused, she was taken to a brothel and was stripped naked, to be displayed before a pagan audience, a terrifying experience for this chaste young woman.  Miraculously, God grew Agnes’s hair, quickly lengthening it to cover her body, protecting her modesty. Then, the prefect’s son tried to rape her and immediately lost his sight, which was restored by the saint’s intercessory prayers. Next, Agnes was sentenced to death by fire, which failed to harm her.  Finally, she was put to death by the sword.  Her body was taken away and buried in a catacomb that later came to bear her name.

Under the reign of the Emperor Constantine, his daughter Constintina built a church at the site of Agnes’s tomb. For centuries, two lambs have been brought to the church of St. Agnes in Rome and blessed every year on her feast day. When the lambs have grown into sheep, their wool is woven into 'palliums', which are stoles the Pope confers on archbishops to wear on their shoulders as symbols of the sheep carried by the Good Shepherd.

~ Excerpted from Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, copyright 2014 Jean M. Heimann and Servant Books.

The Top Three Reasons to March for Life



This week, America memorializes the 57 million innocent lives lost to abortion since January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court imposed abortion on all 50 states through the unjust Roe v. Wade decision. We also remember the many mothers — and fathers — whose lives have been devastated by abortion.

In the following video, National Director of 40 Days for Life David Bereit shares the Top Three Reasons to ‎March for Life‬. Be sure to share this with others. Thank you!



Here is a listing of all the places 40 Days for Life will be.

St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr



The saint of the day for January 20 is St. Fabian, pope (236-250) and martyr. Eusebius, a historian, recounted that Fabian was a layperson, most likely a farmer, who came to Rome, when the people were electing a successor to Pope Anterus.

As a layperson, he may have come for the same reason many still come to Rome today during a papal election: concern for the future of the faith, curiosity about the new pope, a desire to grieve for the pope who had passed. Seeing all the important people gathered to make this momentous decision must have been overwhelming. Which one would be the new pope? Someone known for power? Someone known for eloquence? Someone known for courage?

Suddenly during the discussion, a dove descended from the ceiling. But it didn't settle on "someone known" for anything at all. The dove, according to Eusebius, "settled on [Fabian's] head as clear imitation of the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove upon the Savior." There must have been something of the Holy Spirit working because everyone suddenly proclaimed Fabian as "worthy" to be pope and this stranger was elected.

To us the dove signifies peace, and this dove was prophetic. Starting close to Fabian's election, the suffering and persecuted Church began a time of peace. The emperor, Philip, was friendly to Christians and not only was the persecution stopped but Christians experienced acceptance.

In this era of peace, Fabian was able to build up the structure of the Church of Rome, appointing seven deacons and helping to collect the acts of the martyrs.

But, in a timeless story, the people who had always been in power were not happy to see the newcomers growing and thriving. There were many incidents of pagans attacking Christians and when Philip died so died the time of peace. The new emperor, Decius, ordered all Christians to deny Christ by offering incense to idols or through some other pagan ritual.

In the few years of peace, the Church had grown soft. Many didn't have the courage to stand up to martyrdom. But Fabian, singled out by the symbol of peace, stood as a courageous example for everyone in his flock. He was the first one to die a martyr's death under the Emperor Deius' brutal persecutions in 250. Fabian is buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus that he helped rebuild and beautify. A stone slab with his name can still be found there.

Prayer

Pope Saint Fabian, it's so easy to believe that peace means a life without conflict or suffering. Help us to see that the only true peace is the peace Christ brings. Never let us as a Church or as individual Christians choose to deny our beliefs simply to avoid an unpleasant situation. Amen.

Quote: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” -Tertullian.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Prayer to End Abortion (English and Spanish)



Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

 En Español:

Oración para abolir el aborto

Dios Padre, te agradezco por el obsequio de mi vida,
por las vidas de todos mis hermanos y hermanas.
Sé que no hay nada que destruya la vida más que el aborto,
y me regocijo al saber que Tu has conquistado la muerte
con la Resurrección de Tu Hijo.
Estoy listo para poner de mi parte en la lucha para abolir el aborto.
Este día me comprometo
a nunca más quedarme en silencio,
nunca más quedarme pasivo,
y nunca más olvidarme de los no nacidos.
Me comprometo a ser activo en los movimientos pro vida,
y nunca dejar de luchar por la vida
hasta que todos mis hermanos y hermanas sean protegidos,
y que nuestra nación sea de nuevo una
nación con libertad y justicia
no solo para algunos, sino para todos,
Por Cristo Nuestro Señor. Amen!

- Via Priests for Life.

St. Canute: King of Kindness, Wisdom, Charity, and Courage



By Jean M. Heimann

The saint of the day is St. Canute. He was the illegitimate son of King Sweyn Estrithson of Denmark and the nephew of King Knud of England. He succeeded his older brother Harold to the throne of Denmark in the year 1080.

As the King of Denmark, he was known as Knud IV. He married Adela, sister of Count Roberts of Flanders. King Canute was gifted with wisdom, charity, and kindness; he was also an excellent athlete, an expert equestrian, and a great general.

At the onset of his reign, he led a war against the barbarians and his army defeated them. In the splendor of his success, kneeling at the foot of the altar, he surrendered himself and his kingdom to Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Through his kingdom, he spread the gospel message, constructed churches, and maintained missionaries.

Turmoil arose in his kingdom due to the laws he had made championing the Church and he fled to the Island of Fünen. Dissidents went to the church of Saint Alban where Canute, his brother, and seventeen of his followers were praying. While his enemies were still outside of the church, Canute confessed his sins at the foot of the altar, and received Holy Communion. Stretching out his arms before the altar, he zealously commended his soul to his Creator. In this position, he was struck by a spear, thrown through a window, and was murdered for Christ’s sake.

Canute was buried in St. Alban's, renamed St. Canute's Cathedral. Miracles were recorded at his tomb. He was canonized in 1101 by Pope Paschal II.

St. Canute is the patron saint of Zeeland, Denmark. His symbols are: a knight with a wreath, a lance, and a ciborium.