Week at a glance
Wednesday July 28th ~
Thursday July 29th ~ Saint Martha
Friday July 30th ~ Saint Peter Chrysologus
Saturday July 31st ~ Saint Ignatius Loyola
St. Stephen's Catholic Parish - Olds, Alberta
Sunday August 1st ~ 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday August 2nd ~ Saint Eusebius of Vercelli & Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Tuesday August 3rd ~
Wednesday August 4th ~ Saint Jean-Marie Vianney
Thursday August 5th ~ Dedication of St. Mary Major
Blessed Frederic Janssoone
Friday August 6th ~ Transfiguration of the Lord
Saturday August 7th ~ Saint Sixtus II & Companions
Sunday August 8th ~ 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The monthly prayer intention of pope francis
Universal Intention ~ Social Friendship
We pray that, in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship.
calendar of saints
From Living With Christ
July 29 ~ Saint Martha
Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, and all three were friends of Jesus. They lived in Bethany, 3 km from Jerusalem. It was Martha who received Jesus into her house and who served the guests while her sister Mary sat at the Lord's feet, listening to his teaching. She is a model of hospitality as well as of fidelity in discipleship. Later, when Jesus returned to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead, it was Martha who went out to meet him and confessed her belief that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Martha is a patron of domestic workers and cooks.
July 30 ~ Saint Peter Chrysologus
Peter, born in Italy around 406, became Archbishop of Ravenna about 439. When he arrived in his diocese, he found a strong pagan influence and many lapsed faithful. Through his labours, paganism was eradicated and the faith revived. He was a concerned pastor and preacher and earned the title Chrysologus ('of golden words') because of his inspirational homilies, many of which are still extant. He died around 450 and was made a Doctor of the Church in 1729.
July 31 ~ Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) was born into a noble Basque family in northern Spain and raised as a gentleman destined for military service. In 1521, during the defence of the citadel of Pamplona, he was struck by a cannonball. During his convalescence, he read a life of Christ and lives of the saints and found himself inflamed with the desire to serve Jesus. Leaving home, Ignatius spent a vigil at Mary's altar in the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat and then lived in the nearby town of Manresa, praying and serving the poor. During this time, he had mystical experiences and illuminations, which later formed the basis of his Spiritual Exercises. After a brief stay in the Holy Land, Ignatius returned to Europe to acquire a formal education. He gathered together a group of students, including Francis Xavier, with whom he shared his eagerness for whole-hearted service of Jesus. After ordination and a variety of apostolic experiences, Ignatius brought the group to Rome, where they offered themselves in service to the pope. Wishing to make their companionship a lasting one, they formed the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Ignatius spent the rest of his life directing the rapidly growing order, writing its constitutions and refining the Spiritual Exercised. He was canonized in 1622 and is a universal patron of retreats and soldiers.
August 1 ~ Saint Alphonsus Liguori
The life of Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) spanned the 18th century. Born in Naples, he was ordained in 1726. He soon won a reputation in Naples as a preacher and became widely sought as a confessor. He was committed to preaching sermons that were simple to understand and structured to hold the listener's attention. In 1732 he went to Scala and founded an order of mission priests that became the Redemptorists. His Moral Theology was published in 1748. Alphonsus Liguori was known for his great kindness and concern for others. Made a bishop in 1762, he retired in 1775. He was canonized in 1839 and in 1871 was named a Doctor of the Church. He is a patron of moral theologians and confessors.
August 2 ~ Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
Born on the island of Sardinia, Saint Eusebius was brought up in Rome. He served as an ordained lector in Piedmont, where the people and clergy elected him bishop. In 355 a council was called at Milan in the hope of settling the dispute between Arians and Catholics. (Arians claimed that Jesus was not divine.) Summoned to the council by the emperor, Eusebius opposed the Arians, resulting in his banishment to Palestine. Following the death of the emperor in 361, he returned to his diocese and died there in 371. A manuscript copy of the Gospels said to be written in his hand can still be seen at the cathedral of Vercelli.
August 2 ~ Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Saint Peter Julian Eymard was born in 1811 near Grenoble, France. Because his father expected his only son to take over the family business, he denied Julian's wish to study, so Julian studied secretly. When Julian was 18, his father finally agreed to allow him to enter the Oblate novitiate in Marseilles, but within a few months Julian became so ill he was sent home to die. Surprisingly, Julian recovered and joined the diocesan clergy in Grenoble. Ordained in 1834, he was assigned to a mission church and was a devoted pastor. A visiting Marist priest rekindled in Julian the desire to serve in the missions. He transferred to the Marists and in 1851 he confided to his superior a call he felt to establish a group of men dedicated to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. By 1863 Rome had approved the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, whose charism is to promote the significance of the Eucharist for Christian living. Eymard also founded a community of religious women. Eymard believed that both prayer and works of charity are essential to the priestly life. Accordingly, the congregation worked with the very poor, preparing them to receive communion, but also caring for their material needs. Eymard is considered a pioneer in the rediscovery of the importance of the "bread of life" and in his call to involve laypersons more actively in the life of the Church. He died on August 1, 1868 was canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.
August 4 ~ Saint John Mary Vianney
The name of this French priest may be unfamiliar to many, but his title is known around the world: the Cure of Ars. He was born in 1786 near Lyons, France. At age 20, he enrolled in school but found studying difficult. Having learned the rudiments of theology, John was ordained in 1815. In 1818, John became the parish priest of the little village of Ars-en-Dombes, where most of the people were not interested in religion or God. He spent the rest of his life serving the parishioners of this village. A renowned confessor, he was visited by hundreds of pilgrims every day, hearing confessions for 12 to 16 hours daily. When he walked from the confessional to the rectory, pilgrims would cut pieces from his clothing and his hair. For 30 years he served all who came to him: people were healed and converted, and many were given appropriate words of wisdom or advice even before they had explained their predicament. When he died in 1859 at the age of 73, John Vianney already had the reputation of being a saint. He was canonized in 1925 and is a patron of parish priests.
August 5 ~ Blessed Frederic Janssoone
Born in 1838 in Flanders, Frederic was the 13th and last child of well-to-do farmers. In 1856, Frederic left school to support his widowed mother. After his mother died in 1861, he completed his studies and joined the Franciscans. Ordained in 1870, he was assigned as military chaplain during the Franco-Prussian War. In 1876, he was sent to the Holy Land, where he reinstated the Stations of the Cross through the streets of Jerusalem, built a church in Bethlehem and negotiated an accord among the Roman, Greek, and Armenian Christians concerning the use and maintenance of the sanctuaries of Bethlehem and of the Holy Sepulchre. When he came to Canada in 1881 on a fundraising tour, Frederic's skills as businessman, diplomat and preacher assured him a successful mission. He moved to Canada permanently in 1888 and set about helping organizers develop the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary (Notre-Dame-du-Cap) at Cap-de-la-Madeleine near Trois-Rivieres. Frederic died in Montreal on August 4, 1916. Buried in the crypt of the Franciscan chapel at Trois-Rivieres, he was beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II.
Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major
This basilica, built in the 4th century under Pope Liberius, was first called the Liberian Basilica. About the year 435, it was repaired and reconsecrated as the Basilica of the Virgin Mary, after the Council of Ephesus (431) proclaimed Mary the Mother of God. It is called St. Mary Major because it is older and larger than other churches in Rome also dedicated to Our Lady.
August 6 ~ Transfiguration of the Lord
The Feast of the Transfiguration has been observed on this day by the universal Church since the 15th century. The experience on Mount Tabor is one where Jesus reveals his divinity, and invites us all into a similar mystical encounter. The path up that mountain proceeds through prayer, and on this feast we are encouraged to read and reflect upon the biblical account of the Transfiguration.
August 7 ~ Saint Sixtus II & Companions
Pontius, a biographer, writes that Saint Sixtus was a "good and peaceable priest" who became pope in the year 257, succeeding Stephen I. That same year, persecution of Christians began under Emperor Valerian. The next year, Sixtus and several of his deacons were put to death in a catacomb where they celebrated Mass. Sixtus offered himself to prevent the arrest of others and was beheaded while speaking to the assembly. For deacons were then martyred, followed by two others later that day. Sixtus was buried in the papal tomb where he met his death, but his relics were moved centuries later to the church of Saint Sixtus, where they remain and are venerated still.
August 7 ~ Saint Cajetan
Saint Cajetan was born in Vicenza in 1480. In 1516 he joined a confraternity called the Roman Order of Divine Love and was ordained the same year. Cajetan gave up his position in Rome and devoted himself to serving the poor and the sick. His work made him aware of the desperate need for reform in the Church. In 1524, along with Gian Pietro Carafa (later Pope Paul IV) and others, he formed a society of clerks regular called the Theatines. They lived as secular priests in community but took monastic vows. Owning no property, they refused even to beg, relying on charity to supply their needs. When Spaniards plundered Rome in 1527, they tortured the Theatines in the mistaken belief they had hidden treasure. The community left Rome and set up houses in Venice and Naples, where Cajetan spent the rest of his life, gaining a reputation as a saint during his lifetime. He died in Naples in 1547.
August 8 ~ Saint Dominic
Saint Dominic de Guzman, born in Caleruega, Spain, around 1172, began his priestly life in Osma as a cathedral canon. In 1205, he and Bishop Diego of Osma were sent to France to combat the Albigensian heresy. The Albigensians believed that all matter was evil, and all good resided solely in the spiritual realm. Dominic worked tirelessly to defend the truth of the Incarnation. By 1216, Dominic had founded the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) and soon had houses in all the university cities in Europe. The priests were highly educated and could be sent where the need was greatest, fighting heresy and preaching the importance of the sacraments. Dominic himself walked from city to city, preaching and inviting vocations. When he died at Bologna in 1221, the order had already begun to flourish. He was canonized in 1234 and is a patron saint of the Dominican Republic, astronomers, scientists, and the falsely accused.