A Catholic Monthly Magazine

January Saints

Saint4Saint Gregory Nazianzen
(c. 329-390)

Saint Gregory was born at Arianzus in Cappadocia, and read law in Athens for ten years. Instead of taking up his profession, he joined St Basil and was later ordained by his father who was bishop of Nazianzus. He was consecrated Bishop by his own father, under whom he served as coadjutor. In 380, Peter reluctantly accepted the see of Constantinople, then greatly troubled by the Arian heresy. He proved an active and holy patriarch. A few months later, he resigned and retired to his birthplace.

He was gentle, retiring and peace-loving and was an eloquent preacher, but was most powerful when writing. His works were particularly directed against Arianism. He died in Nazianzus in 390.

Saint Gregory, help us to stay strong in the face of the secularism of our day.

(Source: A New Dictionary of the Saints,  Donald Attwater. 1993 Burns & Oates, Kent)

Saint5Blessed Veronica of Binasco (d.1497)

Veronica grew up in Binasco, Italy, in a poor but scrupulously honest family. As she developed a desire for saintliness and perfection, she became tired of other distractions. Having no formal education, she attempted, unsuccessfully, to teach herself to read. While making this effort one night, it is said that the Virgin Mary appeared to Veronica, telling her that while some of her pursuits were necessary, her reading was not.

Veronica became accustomed to nearly constant apparitions and religious ecstasies. She joined an Augustinian lay order at the convent of Saint Martha in Milan at the age of 22. This community was very poor; Veronica’s job was to beg in the streets of the city for food. After three years into her vocation as a nun she became racked with secret bodily pains, but was notably patient and obedient to her superiors. She received a vision of Christ in 1494, and was given a message for Pope Alexander VI, and travelled to Rome to deliver it. After a six-month illness, Veronica died on the date she had predicted, 13 January 1497.

Blessed Veronica, show us the importance of living with God.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_of_Milan)

Saint6Saint Joseph Sebastian Pelczar (1842-1924)

Joseph was born in the small town of Korczyna in southwestern Poland in 1842 and was raised in an atmosphere of traditional Polish piety. Recognising his exceptional talents, his parents sent him to the district town of Rzeszow after he had completed his elementary schooling.

Even when still a young student, Joseph decided to devote himself to the service of God. In his diary he wrote: “Earthly ideals are fading away. I see the ideal of life in sacrifice, and the ideal of sacrifice in the priesthood.” Following his ordination in 1864, he was appointed to a parish in Sambor where he worked as a curate for a year and a half. Then he was sent to study in Rome, and came away with broadened knowledge and a deep, abiding love for the Roman Pontiff. On his return to Poland, he spent a short time as a curate before being appointed as a university professor.

Apart from his academic duties, Father Pelczar worked with young people, joined the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Society for the Education of the People, and established the Fraternity of Our Lady, Queen of the Polish Crown, to care for the poor, the orphans, apprentices and servants, especially the sick and unemployed. He also founded a Congregation of Sisters to carry out similar works.

In 1900 he was appointed Bishop of Przemysl. He was widely regarded as a good pastor, devoted to the people entrusted to him. Despite poor health, he worked tirelessly in the religious and social needs of his diocese, making regular pastoral visits and devoted special attention to raising the moral and intellectual awareness of the clergy. He exemplified a life of deep piety, with special devotion to Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament. Always responsive to the needs of the faithful, he took special care of the poorest, opening nurseries, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, schools for poor country girls, and providing tuition assistance for the education of poor seminarians.

Among his gifts was a rich literary heritage – he wrote numerous theological, historical and canonical books, pastoral letters, sermons, addresses, as well as prayer books and textbooks.

Having fulfilled God’s will, despite many obstacles, he died in the odour of sanctity on 28 March 1924.

Saint Joseph, help us to be always responsive to the needs of others.

(Source: Internet – various)

Tagged as: , ,

Comments are closed.