A Catholic Monthly Magazine

June Saints

Saint1Saint Ephrem (died circa 373)

Poet, teacher, orator and defender of the faith, Ephrem is the only Syrian recognised as a doctor of the Church. Born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia, he was baptised as a young man and became famous as a teacher in his native city. When the Christian emperor had to cede Nisibis to the Persians, Ephrem, along with many Christians, fled as a refugee to Edessa. He was ordained a deacon but declined becoming a priest and was said to have avoided episcopal consecration by feigning madness!

He had a prolific pen, and his writings best illumine his holiness. Although he was not a man of great scholarship, his works reflect deep insight and knowledge of the Scriptures. He wrote hymns against the heretics of his day.

He preferred a simple, austere life, living in a small cave overlooking the city of Edessa. It was there that he died.

Saint Ephrem, obtain for us a deep love of Holy Scripture.

(Source: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1409)

Saint2Blessed Anne Maria Taigi

Blessed Anne Marie Taigi was born in Siena. Her father was a pharmacist in Siena, but his business went bankrupt when Anne was five and the family moved to Rome in search of work. There, Anne Marie attended the school conducted by the Filippini Sisters for two years, following which she worked at various occupations to help the family finances.

While still young, she married Dominic Taigi, butler to a noble family. Anne Marie was known to be very concerned about her dress and appearance, far more than would be expected of a working class mother. Life at home was not always peaceful. Dominic could be ill-tempered and caustic, and Anne was known to have had an adulterous affair with an older man.

But one day while at prayer in St Peter’s Cathedral, she felt a sudden strong inspiration to forgo the things of the world. She began to live a more austere life, took time for prayer, found a spiritual director and gave all she could to the poor. She gave God first place in her household and worked hard to evangelise her family. By her docility to her husband and her avoidance of anything which might irritate him, she preserved the family peace and led them closer to God.

She bore seven children, three of whom died in childhood. The remaining four she educated in the ways of God as they grew to maturity.

As the years went on and Anne Marie devoted herself to prayer, she began to receive mystical gifts. She had the gift of prophecy and clairvoyance, and sometimes went into ecstasy. She had one desire only: to love God and to serve Him in everything. She had great devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Trinity, to the Infant Jesus, to the Passion of Our Lord as well as a tender love of Our Lady. Her simple presence had a powerful effect on many, and she became counsellor to cardinals, royalty and three popes.

She died in 1837, her body has remained incorrupt, and she is the patron of victims of verbal spouse abuse.

Blessed Anne, teach us to look first to God in all our decisions.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint3Saint Paulinus of Nola  (c. 354-431)

Born near Bordeaux, Paulinus was the son of the Roman prefect of Gaul, owner of large estates, became a distinguished lawyer, and with his Spanish wife, Therasia, he retired at an early age to a life of cultured leisure.

The two were baptised by the saintly bishop of Bordeaux and moved to Therasia’s estate in Spain. After many childless years, they had a son who died a week after birth. This occasioned their beginning a life of great austerity and charity, giving away most of their Spanish property. Possibly as a result of this great example, Paulinus was rather unexpectedly ordained a priest at Christmas by the bishop of Barcelona.

He and his wife then moved to Nola, near Naples. Paulinus gave away most of his remaining property, to the consternation of his relatives, and continued his work for the poor. Supporting a host of debtors, the homeless and other needy people, he lived a monastic life in another part of his home. By popular demand he was made Bishop of Nola and guided that diocese for 21 years.

Saint Paulinus, help us not to cling to the possessions of this world.

(Source: http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1420)

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