A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Saints for April

Saint Macarius the Wonder Worker

Apr 1 (†830)

Born in Constantinople; died on Aphusia Island, Bithynia, on August 18, c. 830.
Piously baptized Christopher in Constantinople, he took the name Macarius upon becoming a monk at Pelekete nearby. Eventually he was elected abbot and became known for the miracles he wrought.

Macarius was ordained by Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople, was imprisoned and tortured for his opposition to the iconoclasm proclaimed by Emperor Leo the Armenian, and was released by Leo’s successor, Emperor Michael the Stammerer.

When he refused Michael’s demands that he support the iconoclastic heresy, he was exiled to the island of Aphusia off the coast of Bithynia and died there (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
“To you, O Master, who loves all mankind
I hasten on rising from sleep.
By your mercy I go out to do your work and I make my prayer to you.
Help me at all times and in all things.
Deliver me from every evil thing of this world and from pursuit by the devil.
Save me and bring me to your eternal kingdom,
For you are my Creator,
You inspire all good thoughts in me
In you is all my hope and to you I give glory, now and forever.” -Saint Macarius

Saint Gemma Galgani

Apr 11(1878-1903)

Gemma Galgani was born in 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. At school, she was loved by her teachers and her fellow pupils. Quiet and reserved, she always had a smile for everyone. Although a good student, she had to quit school due to chronic ill health before completing the course of study.

Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favoured with many mystical experiences and special graces for which she suffered ridicule. She had an immense love for the poor, and after her father’s death, the nineteen-year-old became parent to her seven siblings. Gemma did not want to marry but sought to pray and speak only to God. Seriously ill with meningitis, she was cured through the intercession of Saint Gabriel Possenti. Her poor health prevented her from fulfilling her desire to become a nun.

The young woman often saw her guardian angel whom she often sent on errands. She had many ecstasies, at the end of which she would return to normal and go about her usual family life. Most of her severe penances were hidden from those who knew her. Along with many other spiritual graces, in 1899 Gemma received the stigmata, which would appear on a Thursday evening staying open and bleeding till Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. The marks remained on her skin till she died of tuberculosis in 1903. Saint Gemma, give us the grace to suffer lovingly for God.

St Conrad of Parzham

Apr 21 (1818-1894)

Saint Conrad was born in Parzham, Bavaria in 1818.  His Catholic parents taught him farming and he spent many hours in prayer while going about his work. After attending a Capuchin mission in his town, he applied to join them. Like his spiritual father, Saint Francis, Conrad did not seek ordination as a priest, but remained a simple lay brother all his life. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting, holding the position of porter for 41 years.

The young friar’s patience and holy life overcame the doubts of those who were jealous of his position, where he dealt with many people, obtaining friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. Everyone, and especially children, was treated with the courtesy Saint Francis demanded of his followers.

Brother Conrad ate little, slept less and worked hard, but always in communion with Christ. He had a great longing for the Eucharist and served Mass with singular devotion. Whatever extra time he had from his work he spent before the Blessed Sacrament. To this consuming dedication to the Eucharist and his crucified Lord, Conrad added a special devotion to Mary. He prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows and the Crucifix in the porter’s office and was always ready to spread devotion to Mary by the distribution of rosary beads.
Finally crippled, Conrad served his last Mass on April 18th 1894 and died three days later. Saint Conrad, teach us to treat others with courtesy.

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