Saint Alphonse de Liguori, Bishop and Teacher of the Church
He was born in Naples, Italy, in 1696 AD, into a noble family. He studied philosophy and law and worked as a lawyer. After a while, he left his work and chose the priestly corps for his desire to serve God and his neighbor. He was a good shepherd who spent most of his time in the poorest areas of the city. He cared about evangelism, so he was an eloquent preacher and a kind acquaintance. He wanted to advance the poor and the simple spiritually and humanly, so he established with some of his companions the Association of the Fathers of the “Holy Redeemer”. He excelled in writing books, especially in literary theology, to teach people and strengthen their faith. He was chosen as a bishop over the diocese of St. Agata in Italy, and he served her faithfully and faithfully for fifteen years, after which he had to resign due to his health condition. He rested in the Lord in 1787. Among his sayings: “The holiness and perfection of the whole soul is in the love of Jesus Christ, our God, our Redeemer and our supreme good... Doesn't God deserve all our love? And he loved us from eternity?!
Saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli
He was born on the island of Sardinia at the beginning of the fourth century. He was a priest, studied in Rome, and gained the appreciation of Pope Julius I, who appointed him bishop of the diocese of Vercelli, northern Italy. He cared about preaching to spread the Gospel, and established the monastic life in his diocese, as he lived a communal life with his priests. The Aryosian Emperor Constantius exiled him to Asia Minor because of his adherence to his Catholic faith, so he endured the torments for a long time. Upon his return to his chair, he strived with great valor to return the believers to the righteous faith, refuting the Aryosians who denied the equality of the Son to the Father. He fell asleep in the Lord in the year 371. Among his sayings: “I rejoice in your faith and the salvation that results from it... Likewise, I want and desire to serve your holiness not only according to the flesh, but I also want to sacrifice myself for the sake of your salvation.”
Saint Peter Julianus Aimar, priest
He was born in France in 1811. From his first communion he showed a special love for the mystery of the Eucharist. And he promised that day to become a priest. After his ordination, he was appointed as a parish priest in a French town whose people were far from the church, so he succeeded, with his faith and love, in persuading and encouraging them to approach the mysteries of penance and the Most Holy Communion. He founded a monastic association to honor the secret of the Eucharist. He would visit prisoners sentenced to hard labor and try to persuade them to join the group of sacrificial worshipers while they were in prison. In his preachings, he urged people to daily communion, in addition to prostrating themselves to the Eucharist, and to live in the spirit of sacrifice, repentance, and atonement. Pope John XXIII proclaimed His Holiness in 1962. Among his sayings: “If Jesus did not conceal all His glory in the Eucharist, we priests could not say to you: Be humble!”
Saint John Mary Vianney, priest
He is known as "Khoury Aras". He was born near the city of Lyon in France in 1786 AD from a simple peasant family and grew up without obtaining degrees. He faced many difficulties before becoming a priest. He was appointed priest of a small parish in the village of Ars, close to his birthplace. He worked hard in preaching, austerity, prayer and love, so he shined with his virtues and created a new spiritual reality in his parish. His fame spread, and the penitents flocked to him from everywhere to confess their sins and to hear his advice. He rested in the Lord in 1859. Pope Pius XI declared His Holiness in 1925. He is considered an intercessor for parish priests and a role model for them in their message. Among his sayings: “The intrinsic union of God with the human soul is like the union of two melted candles together, so no one can separate them. It is so beautiful that God is united with his little creation: such happiness that cannot be understood.
Saint Caytanus, priest
He was born in the city of Vicenza in northern Italy, in 1480 AD, into a noble family. He studied law in Padua and then became a priest. He worked in the Roman circles. But he also cared about the apostolic work with the poor and the needy. Together with his friend, the bishop of the city of "Teati", he established a priestly association dedicated to preaching and liturgical prayer. He was persevering in prayer and acts of mercy, especially for patients nearing death. He was famous for his great confidence in God, so people called him the "Saint of Divine Providence." He rested in the Lord in the city of Naples in 1547. Among his sayings: “Dare and ask the Virgin to give you her son, for he is the true food for the soul in the sacred secret on the altar. She will willingly give you what you asked, and he will also willingly come to be your food.”
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Virgin Martyr
Her name is Edith Stein. She was born in Prussia in 1891 AD, to a Jewish family of German origin. When she was fourteen years old, she left her parents' faith and became an atheist. She studied philosophy and became an accomplished student of the famous philosopher Edmund Husserl (founder of the phenoménologie). At the age of thirty, she converted to the Christian faith and received baptism in the Catholic Church. She taught philosophy for many years before she was prevented from doing so because of the racist laws that excluded the Jews at the time. In 1933, she entered the Convent of the Carmel Sisters in the German city of Cologne, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1942, the Nazis forcibly removed her from the convent and took her to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she was martyred. Pope John Paul II declared her a saint in 1998. She left philosophical writings and spiritual reflections of great depth. Among her sayings: “The love of Christ knows no bounds and never ends. She never backs down in the face of ugliness and filth. For Christ did not come for the righteous, but for sinners.”
Saint Clara, the Virgin
She was born in the town of Assisi, in central Italy, in 1193 AD, from a rich and noble family. She was eighteen years old when she asked St. Francis to share with him his evangelical way of life. Her family strongly opposed her desire, so she fled from her home and sought refuge in St. Francis, who settled her in a simple house near the church of St. Damianos, which he had previously renovated. After a while, her mother, her two sisters, and some girls joined her, to live with her a life of evangelical poverty, love, and prayer. They were the first of the “Poor Ladies” fraternity, that is, what is known today as the Clarisse Sisters. In addition to the monastic law, Clara left other spiritual writings that reveal the depth of her relationship with Christ. She fell asleep in the Lord in 1253, after receiving from Pope Gregory IX the privilege that she had fought for throughout her life: “the privilege of poverty,” that is, the right of her order not to own anything, contrary to the custom of monasticism that was prevalent in her time. Among her sayings: “Blessed are you, virtue of poverty: you give eternal treasures to those who love and embrace you!”
Saint Anne Francesca de Chantal, nun
She was born in Dijon, France, in 1572 AD, into a noble family. She married a man named de Chantal, with whom she lived a happy life and had six children whom she raised on faith and piety. The two cooperated to help the needy, especially during the famine that afflicted the country at the time. After the death of her husband, she turned to St. Francis of Sales, who was the bishop of Geneva, for guidance. So, by directing him, she continued her journey towards Christian perfection, by practicing acts of love, especially serving the poor and the sick. She established the “Visitation” Congregation and managed it wisely throughout her life. She was characterized by calmness and sweetness, and she gained the love of those around her. She fell asleep in the Lord in 1641. Among her sayings: “There is another kind of martyrdom, which is the martyrdom of love. By it God sustains the lives of His servants, male and female, to work for His glory, and at the same time makes them martyrs and confessors.”
Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr
He was born in Poland in 1894 A.D. and entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. Europe at the time was experiencing many turmoils that ended with the outbreak of World War II. During this period, Saint Maximilian carried out a mighty message in Europe and Asia, through the word and publications. He was passionate about the Virgin Mary, so he established the “Soldiers of the Immaculate Mary” fraternity. In 1941, Nazi soldiers took him to the concentration camp in Auschwitz during World War II, where he was forced to do the most difficult and humiliating work. There he gave his life for the life of another man, the head of a family, who was imprisoned with him. He died of starvation in terrible pain, and on his lips were the words: “Peace be upon you, O Mary…”. Pope John Paul II called him “the patron saint of our difficult age.” Among his sayings: “By obedience, we somewhat transcend the limits of our insignificance, as we imitate the divine will that guides us with its endless wisdom and acumen, so that our work is righteous.”
Saint Stephen, King of Hungary
He was born in Al-Majar (Hungary) in the year 969 AD, from a noble family that granted him the sacrament of baptism and raised him in faith and piety. On Christmas Eve of the year 1000, he was proclaimed king of his country, taking the title of "Apostolic King". He ruled the country with justice, piety, and peace, observing the teachings of the Church and striving to achieve the common good. He established many bishoprics, worked on the flourishing of church life, and built a number of holy shrines that the Hungarian people loved with great love. His activity had a great impact in laying a solid foundation for the Christian culture that spread in the country. Among his commandments to his son: “My son, if you wish to honor the crown of the king, I order you, above all, and advise and invite you to keep the Catholic and Apostolic faith and guard it carefully... Be steadfast, do not be discouraged by success, and do not be discouraged by failure. Be humble, so that God may exalt you, here and in eternity.
Saint Pius X, Pope
He was born in the province of Venice, northern Italy, in 1835 AD. He was ordained a priest and interested in the pastoral service. He became bishop of Mantua and then patriarch of Venice. He was elected to the Chair of Rome in 1903, and his motto in his pontificate was Paul's saying: “The renewal of all things in Christ.” He strived to achieve it, with a simple, poor life, and at the same time bold and resolute. He worked to reform the Christian life, encouraging people, including the young, to draw closer to the Eucharist. He wrote a new book of catechism. Encourage the "Bible" movement. He reformed the liturgy and began to renew church laws. Resist the erroneous ideas spread by the current of modernity and other currents that consider the Christian faith outdated and not compatible with modern sciences and ideas. He fell asleep in the Lord in 1914. Among his sayings: “The psalms have a wonderful power that motivates the soul to practice all the virtues... Who is not affected by them when they sing of God’s infinite majesty and power, and His indescribable justice, goodness, and mercy?!
Saint Louis, King of France
He is Louis IX, King of France. He was born in 1214. He ascended the throne at the age of twenty-one and pledged to spread the gospel in his kingdom. He married and had eleven children, whom he raised in a virtuous Christian upbringing. In his life, he was an example of a secular believer committed to the principles of the Bible. He was distinguished by the spirit of humility and meekness. He was diligent in praying and helping the needy. He managed his kingdom well for the benefit of his people and for his temporal and spiritual benefit. He founded the Sorbonne University to encourage the children of poor families to study theology. He participated in some campaigns in the Holy Land, passing through Egypt, the Levant and Jerusalem. He passed away in 1270 in Tunis, near the city of Carthage in Ifriqiya. From his will to his son: “My dear son, I teach you first to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength: because there is no salvation without this... Let your heart be full of mercy for the poor, the wretched, and the afflicted, and try to help them and comfort them as much as you can.”