A Catholic Monthly Magazine

August Saints

Feast: 2 August

Blessed Jane of Aza

Mother of Saint Dominic and Blessed Mannes, Blessed Jane was born of the prominent d’Aza family and married Felix de Guzman. Three of their children spent their lives in the service of the Church: Anthony, Mannes and Dominic.

According to tradition, Jane had a dream before her son’s conception in which she saw a hound racing through the world igniting everything with a flaming torch. Troubled by this dream, she went to pray at the Benedictine abbey of San Domingo de Silos, located in a pleasant valley about twenty miles north of Caleruega. This dream was indeed prophetic. Dominic did ignite the world with sacred truth through preaching and teaching born from a life of dedicated prayer, love for the Word of God, and a burning desire to gain souls for Christ.

It is widely believed that Dominic’s keen sensitivity to the sufferings of others, which he displayed from childhood on, was acquired from his mother, who, although from a noble family, was known for her compassion toward the poor and needy.

Blessed Jane, teach us sensitivity to others and a habit of prayer.

Source: dominicanfriars.org/blessed-jane-of-aza

Feast: 16 August

Feast: 16 August

Blessed Maria Sagrario

Elvira was the third of the four children of Isabel Cantarero and Ricardo Moragas, who was appointed pharmacist to the royal household and moved his family to Madrid in 1886. One of the first Spanish women to earn a degree in pharmacy, Elvira was planning a secular career until she felt called to religious life. She delayed her response to raise her younger brother Ricardo after the deaths of their father (1909) and mother (1911) and to run the family pharmacy until he could take it over.

She was a capable, just, and charitable professional. She entered the Discalced Carmelite convent of Saints Anne and Joseph in Madrid in 1915 and began her postulancy. When she progressed to the novitiate, she took the name María Sagrario de San Luis Gonzaga. She professed her solemn vows in 1920. She was appointed mistress of novices and was elected prioress for the second time just before the outbreak of violence in Madrid in July 1936.

When the convent was attacked, she sent her sisters to safety and hid herself with another sister in the city where the two were found and arrested on August 14. The following day she was executed by firing squad for refusing to denounce others.

Blessed Maria, may we give ourselves to God in utter fidelity.

Source: encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias

Feast: 30 August

Blessed Stephen Nehmé

Joseph Nehme was born in Lehfed, Lebanon, the youngest of seven children. His early education took place at Our Lady of Grace School, which was run by the Lebanese Maronite Order. Two years after his father’s death in 1905, Joseph entered the novitiate of the Order of Maronites in the Monastery of Sts Cyprian and Justina in Kfifan, making his monastic vows two years later and taking the name Stephen after the patron saint of his birthplace. As a friar, Brother Stephen spent his life in different monasteries of the Order, working in the fields and gardens and dedicating himself to carpentry and construction jobs.

Stephen became known as a man of prayer and was called a ‘disciple of the land’. He saw his homeland as a school of sanctity and a source of spirituality. Always and everywhere, the young friar was able to transmit the Good News to his brothers, simply by the way he acted and his example. He lived an intense life of prayer, faithful to the Order’s constitutions and spirituality. His generous spirit, prudent judgment and compassion for the difficulties of others won him the respect and love of his co-workers.

Friar Stephen’s spirituality was marked by the awareness of the Lord’s constant presence in every instance of his life, which he himself summarised by often repeating, “God sees me”. His consciousness of his country as ‘holy ground’ never left him, and his whole life can be described as a great act of love, a total gift of his being to God. 

During the adversities of World War One, Stephen bore his cross as saints do, denying himself and following his Lord with trust and courage.

Blessed Stephen, help us to recognise God’s constant presence in our lives.   

Source: Internet, various

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