A Catholic Monthly Magazine

July Saints

Saint1Blessed Peter To Rot (1912-1945)

Peter To Rot was born in 1912 in Rakunai, a village in Papua New Guinea. His parents belonged to the region’s first generation of Catholics. His father, Angelo, chief of Rakunai, led his people to the faith under the guidance of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

From adolescence, Peter’s strong inclination to piety and obedience led his parish priest to think he was destined for the priesthood. Angelo, feeling his people were not yet ready to have their own priest, agreed the boy should be trained as a catechist. In 1930, Peter was enrolled at St Paul’s Mission School, where he succeeded brilliantly, obtained his catechist’s diploma in 1933 and was assigned to his own village as catechist.

Peter was a modest man without vanity. His teaching was straightforward, immediate and effective. He referred constantly to the Bible he always carried with him. In 1936, Peter married the young Catholic Paula la Varpit with whom he had three children.

The Japanese occupation of Papua New Guinea in 1942 meant that all missionaries and their staff were imprisoned. Peter remained alone. During the war, he was the only spiritual guide for his people. With his constant presence, he led prayer services and catechetical instruction, administered Baptism, preserved and distributed Eucharist to the sick and dying, and assisted the poor.

At first, he was on good terms with the Japanese but after some reverses the authorities decided to ban Christian worship and all types of religious gatherings, and tried to get the people to return to their previous practice of polygamy. Peter strongly opposed this and was consequently arrested in April or May 1945. He was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment.

He was held in a concentration camp which had been set up in a cave. He was accused of holding religious gatherings, undue interference in the Japanese plan for polygamy, and persistence in his catechetical activities. Efforts to have him released failed.

In the end, he was taken to a room where a doctor gave him an injection, then something to drink and finally stuffed his ears and nose with cotton wool. During the ensuing convulsions, the doctor held his mouth closed until he drew his last breath.

Blessed Peter, show us the way to support the faith in our community.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint 3Saint Marcellina
(c. 327-398)

Saint Marcellina was born in Rome about 327, the older sister of Saint Ambrose of Milan and Saint Satyrus. She lived in Trier, where her father was prefect of Gaul. After her father’s death she went to Rome and was entrusted by her pious mother with the Christian education of her brothers.

She received the veil of a consecrated virgin from the hands of Pope Liberius on Christmas Day, 353. During his homily he exhorted her to embrace the evangelical virtues and to behave in church with the utmost respect. After Ambrose became Bishop of Milan in 374, Marcellina and her brother Satyrus went to live with him in Milan. She lived a life of great austerity.

Ambrose died on April 4, 397; Marcellina survived her brother and died in 398 or shortly afterwards.

Saint Marcellina, help us to be true examples of Christian living.

(Source: http://www.marcelline.org/index.php/en/about-us-uk/our-saints-uk)

Saint3Saint Martha 

Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. They lived in the little town of Bethany near Jerusalem. The Gospel tells us, ‘Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary and Lazarus.’ It was Martha who lovingly served the Lord when he visited them. One day, she was preparing a meal for Jesus and his disciples. She watched Mary sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. ‘Lord, tell my sister to help me,’ she suggested. Jesus said gently, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part.’

Martha’s great faith in Jesus was seen when her brother Lazarus died. When she heard that Jesus was coming to Bethany, Martha went to meet him. She felt the freedom to say, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ Jesus replied, ‘He who believes in me, even if he die, shall live. Do you believe this?’ And Martha answered, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world.’ Jesus worked a great miracle and raised Lazarus from the dead!

Later, Jesus came again to have supper with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Martha served them at table as always.

Saint Martha, teach us always to serve others with a joyful heart.

(Source: http://www.saintmarthachurch.org/saint_martha_biography.htm)

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