Born in Syria, Saint Ignatius converted to Christianity and became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced all Christians to choose between death or Christianity. Ignatius refused to deny Christ so he was put to death. He’s well known for his 5 letters, explaining why to remain faithful to the Lord and respectful to elders.
St. Ignatius, you were a kind and tender pastor. Pray for all our parish priests that they may draw people ever more closer to Christ by exemplifying His mercy and goodness. St. Ignatius, you were not afraid to die as a martyr for our Lord. Pray for all those who are dying this day, amen.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Roman Catholic Visitation nun, is greatly recognized for her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Margaret has always shown an intense love for the Blessed Sacrament and preferred silence over typical childhood play. She began having severe body modifications after her first communion which caused her to be confined in bed from sickness. After she made a vow to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would remain in a religious life, her body was healed instantly. Saint Margaret received visions of Jesus Christ so often that she thought they were a normal part of life. After her father died, her mother told Margaret to find someone to marry. One night, after attending a ball in an evening dress, Margaret had a vision of Christ, scourged and bloody. He accused her of forgetting him and showed her that He loved her with all His heart especially after she made a vow to Mary. She, then, decided to return back to the vows she said and fulfil them. She became a nun and attended many Sacred Heart events. When she died, her body was laid in a tomb, where two immediate cures took place.
Saint Margaret Mary, you who was made a partaker of the divine treasures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for us, we beseech you, from this adorable Heart, the graces we need so sorely. We ask these favors of you with unbounded confidence. May the divine Heart of Jesus be pleased to bestow them upon us through your intercession, so that once again He may be loved and glorified through you. Amen.
Saint Teresa was born to the Spanish nobility and grew up reading the lives of the saints and playing in her garden alone. Crippled by disease at a young age, she was well educated at home. She was cured after praying to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12 and she prayed to Mary to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life so Teresa left home in secret and joined a Carmelite house at the age of 17. Seeing her passion to the Lord, her father finally let her have a religious life. As soon as she took her vows, Teresa became gravely sick which only got worse as she didn’t get enough treatment. She was declared a Doctor of the Church. When Saint Teresa died her heart showed signs of Transverberation(piercing of the heart).
Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things, whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices. Amen.
Saint Callistus was born a slave, owned by Caesar. His master entrusted a large sum of money to him to open a bank, which took several deposits and sent loans to people who refused to pay them back. This eventually caused Callistus to go broke. Knowing he would get the blame and punishment, he fled only to get caught and brought back to his master. Caesar sentenced him, Callistus, to work in the tin mines. After some time, a loophole in the law let him free from enslavement and he became the sixteenth pope. Saint Callistus was accused of many things but persevered. He spoke about how the church law trumps civil law. Eventually, he was martyred in the persecutions of Alexander Severus.
O God, who raised up Pope Saint Callistus the First to serve the Church and attend devoutly to Christ’s faithful departed, strengthen us, we pray, by his witness to the faith, so that, rescued from the slavery of corruption, we may merit an incorruptible inheritance. Through Christ our Lord, amen.
Blessed Magdalen Panattieri was in the Tertiary of the Sisters of Penance of Saint Dominic at age 20. She had a great devotion to Saint Catherine of Siena. As Magdalen lived with her family, she devoted her days to prayer, and care for the poor and young children. She gave talks to lay people and children, then later to priests and religious leaders. Blessed Magdalene received the stigmata, but kept it quiet. Noted for her simple innocence and piety, public devotion started spontaneously soon after her death.
Faithful God, you forsake no one who trusts in you and in your mercy hear the prayers of the devout. Through the help of Blessed Magdalen may we receive what we cannot obtain of ourselves. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Saint Edwin of Northumbria was born a pagan prince and was the king of Northumbria for 27 years. He converted to Christianity as an adult; he was baptized in 627 by Saint Paulinus of York, making him the first Christian King of Northumbria. Saint Edwin worked for an evangelization of his people during his reign. He died a martyr as he died in battle with the pagan king, Penda of Mercia, an enemy of faith.
Almighty, ever-living God, as You sent Your only Son to rescue us because Your love has no end, help to follow Your love and live in the way He showed us. St Edwin of Northumbria, once you learnt of the love of God, you brought it to your land and taught your people its true meaning, please pray for us, amen.
Pope Saint John XXIII was born into a peasant family and was educated at Bergamo and the Pontifical Roman Seminary. He was ordained in 1904 and was secretary to the Bishop of Bergamo, Italy. Pope Saint John XXIII served in World War 1 in the medical corps and as a chaplain. After the war, he reorganized the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and, in 1925, became an archbishop. John XXIII was Vatican diplomatic representative to Bulgaria, then to Turkey and Greece. He became a cardinal in 1953 and was elected the 261st pope in 1958. He promoted social reforms for workers, poor people, orphans, and outcasts. In 1959, John XXIII forbade Catholics to vote for Communist parties. He nearly doubled the number of cardinals, making the largest college in history. He convened the council, known as Vatican II in 1962, which was the highest point of his reign. His overflowing love for humanity and freshness to approach to ecclesiastical affairs made Pope Saint John XXIII one of the most loved popes of modern times.
Every day I need you, Lord, but today especially, I need some extra strength to face whatever is to come. This day, more than any other day, I need to feel you near me to strengthen my Courage and to overcome any fear. By myself, I cannot meet the challenge of the hour. Amen.
St. Daniel Comboni was born on March 15 1831 in Limone Sul Garda in Brescia, Italy to the poor gardeners Luigi Comboni and Domenica Pace as the fourth of eight children. He received priesthood on December 31, 1854, by the Bishop of Trent. On September 29, 1855, he attended a pilgrimage to the holy land with other priests with the blessing of his mother. 4 months later, he reached Khartoum, Sudan to liberate the enslaved boys and girls there. There were many difficulties such as illnesses and deaths of fellow missionaries. He left Khartoum with only two fellow missionaries. The rest died. He went to Rome to discuss a plan to liberate the children with Pope Pius IX. He wanted all of Europe and the Universal church to take part in his plan. He started two institutes in Verona, Italy. One for boys, and one for Girls. He founded many missions in Africa. He left Africa for Rome and took part in the First Vatican Council. He got 70 bishops to sign a petition for the evangelization of Africa, but it was delayed by the Franco-Prussian War. After the war, he traveled to Sudan again to act against the slave trade and start his mission. Sadly, he died on October 10, 1881, from the cholera pandemic. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 5, 2003
O Jesus, help us to preach the Word of God to others like St Daniel did so that others can hear the good news of the Gospel. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Saint John Henry Newman was educated at Trinity College, Oxford. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1824. As he continued his studies, he began to be influenced by Catholic writers. He resigned from his position in 1832 and helped found the Tractarian movement. Newman’s writings grew more and more catholic. In 1841, he lived in seclusion with friends, reading, studying, and praying. In 1845 Newman joined the Catholic church at last. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1846. He founded the London Oratory and was an influential writer on matters of theology, philosophy, and apologetics. Newman brought hundreds of people into the church and was made a cardinal in 1879. He passed away in 1890 from pneumonia.
O Lord, support us all day long until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at last. Amen.
Saint Simeon was a man who was righteous and devout. He had the Holy Spirit with him as he awaited the consolation of Israel. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he has seen the Messiah. Simeon went into a temple and saw baby Jesus. He performed the custom of the law to Him, took Him in his arms, and blessed Him. He told Mary and Joseph, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Lord, now let us, Your servants depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all people; A light for revelation to the gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel. Amen.