Week at a glance
calendar of saints
Wednesday August 5th ~ Saint Frederic Janssoone
Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major
Thursday August 6th ~ Transfiguration of the Lord
Friday August 7th ~ Saint Sixtus II & Companions
Saturday August 8th ~ Saint Dominic
Sunday August 9th ~ 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Monday August 10th ~ Saint Lawrence
Tuesday August 11th ~ Saint Clare
Wednesday August 12th ~ Saint Jane Frances de Chantel
Thursday August 13th ~ Saint Pontian
& Saint Hippolytus
Friday August 14th ~ Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saturday August 15th ~ Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday August 16th ~ 20th Sunday in Ordinary Times
Saint Stephen of Hungary
The monthly prayer intention of pope francis
THE MARITIME WORLD:
We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.
From Living with Christ
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.
August 9 ~ Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany (present-day Poland) on October 12, 1891, the youngest child in a large Jewish family. She studied philosophy with Edmund Husserl and received her doctorate at age 25. Drawn to Catholicism, Edith was baptized in 1922 and spent the next 12 years teaching at Catholic Institutions. In 1934 she joined the Carmelites in Cologne, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. By 1938 anti-Semitism was widespread, and her prioress helped Edith flee the Nazis, escaping to the Netherlands. She continued her writing and studies until August 2, 1942, when she and her sister were arrested by the Gestapo. On August 7, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz, and on August 9, Edith Stein, her sister and others died in the gas chambers. Although a convert to Catholicism, Edith Stein always acknowledged her Jewish heritage. Canonized on October 11, 1998, she is co-patron of Europe with Saints Benedict, Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden, and Catherine of Siena.
August 10 ~ Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence suffered his martyrdom in the year 258, three days after Sixtus II and six other deacons. A defender of the Church of Rome, he was one of the most venerated Roman martyrs of the early Church and is a patron of Rome. He is mentioned in the canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).
August 11 ~ Saint Clare
Saint Clare was born in Assisi about the year 1193. At the age of 18 she heard a sermon by Francis of Assisi and committed herself to a life of poverty. On Passion Sunday 1212, she secretly left home and went to the place where Francis lived with his community. Before the altar in the little church, she received the habit from him and went to live in a nearby Benedictine convent. Clare was joined by her younger sister Agnes and others, and the small community moved to San Damiano, near Assisi. Soon after, Clare's mother and sister Beatrice also joined them. In 1215, Clare was made abbess of the Poor Clares. The women modelled their life on the ideals of St Francis. They did without shoes, slept on the ground and never ate meat. Before long, other houses were founded in several countries. Francis taught that all his friars' needs should be met solely from daily contributions. It was Clare's great desire that her community also practice radical poverty. For 40 years Clare was abbess and never wavered from caring for her community or from assisting Francis. She received papal approval for her own Rule the day after she died - the first rule for religious life written by a woman for women. She was credited with many miracles and canonized just two years after her death.
August 12 ~ Saint Jane Frances de Chantel
Saint Jane Frances Fremiot was born at Dijon, France, in 1572. She and her husband had six children; in 1601, her husband died in an accident. After overcoming her depression, Jane Frances sought the spiritual dimension of her suffering. With her spiritual advisor, Francis de Sales, she founded the Congregation of the Visitation for women who wished to live a religious life but could not endure the austerity of the existing religious orders. Committed to working with the sick and the poor, she died in 1641, having established about 85 monasteries.
August 13 ~ Saint Pontian & Saint Hippolytus
Saint Pontian succeeded Pope Urban I in 230. When Maximinus became emperor in 235, a period of persecution began during which Pontian was exiled to the mines of Sardinia. He resigned his office and died a martyr. Saint Hippolytus was a priest in the early third century, a well-known scholar and theologian. A few of his works survive, including a prayer on which our Eucharistic Prayer II is based. When Callistus became pope in 217, Hippolytus rebelled. In 235, banished to the Sardinian mines, Hippolytus met the exiled Pontian, was reconciled to the Church, and died a martyr's death.
August 14 ~ Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Maximilian was born in Poland in 1894. As a Franciscan, he worked to spread the Gospel in his native Poland as well as Japan. He had a great devotion to Our Lady. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he helped thousands of refugees, including Polish Jews. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941 and imprisoned at Auschwitz. Three months after Maximilian's arrival, a prisoner escaped. In retaliation, 10 men were chosen at random to die. One was a young father; Maximilian offered to take his place. His offer accepted, Maximilian died on this day in 1941 and was canonized in October 1982.
August 15 ~ Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary celebrates her being assumed - taken up body and soul - into heaven at the end of her earthly life. It began as a feast day in the Eastern Church after the Council of Ephesus (431) proclaimed Mary the Mother of God. By the 6th century, the feast celebrated Mary's Dormition, her 'falling asleep,' meaning her death; there are several ancient icons of the Dormition. The Western Church began to celebrate this feast around 650.
August 16 ~ Saint Stephen of Hungary
Saint Stephen and his father, the third duke to govern the Magyars, were baptized when Stephen was 10. In 997, when he was 22, Stephen succeeded his father and was soon at war in his attempt to unite the Magyars. Having consolidated his position, Stephen obtained Pope Sylvester II's approval for the proper establishment of the Church in Hungary. Stephen was crowned first King of Hungary in 1001. Stephen ensured that Magyars were trained as priests, churches were built, and the great monastery of St Martin, begun by his father, was finished. He instituted reforms in religion, civil law, and government. A deeply committed Christian, Stephen was very generous, often distributing alms. When his only son died in a hunting accident, Stephen's life was made miserable by fights over the succession. He died in 1038, having united Hungary in politics and in religion, and was canonized in 1083.