Helpers, Heroes and Friends
Helpers, Heroes & Friends:
Learning how to follow Christ by knowing the Saints
Saints have always been a part of the rich history of the Catholic Church. From Saint Ulrich of Augsburg, canonized in 993 by Pope John the XV, to Blessed Carlos Acutis, set to be the next Saint named in the church, the Saints have been a source of spiritual inspiration. Join us as we explore the lives of the Saints and learn how, through their ordinary lives, they have become extraordinary examples of Christian living. Through their example, and the wide variety of their backgrounds, we can see that holiness is for everyone!
Saint Isidore the Farmer (Feast Day: May 15) and his wife Saint Maria, a married couple from Spain who worked hard, prayed hard, and served the Lord.
Saint Nunzio Sulprizio (Feast Day: May 5), a 19-year-old poor kid from Italy who “couldn't catch a break”, but he spread the joy of the Gospel to everyone he met.
May 17 - Saint Rita of Cascia, a woman who married a cantankerous man, raised two sons, and then became a widow at a relatively young age. She spent the rest of her life as a nun, serving the poor and inspiring others.
May 24 - Saint Philip Neri, a priest from Rome, who believed that laughter and joy were essential in preaching the Gospel to the poorest residents of every city.
May 31 - Saint Norbert - A successful and handsome young man who planned to have a great career in the political circles of 12th century France. Bit after he had a powerful conversion experience, he founded a religious order of priests and eventually became an archbishop. He was dedicated to serving the poor, and lived a life of such simplicity that he was occasionally mistaken as a beggar himself! He spent a great deal of energy seeking to reconcile groups of people who were divided by angry hostilities. He was known in his own day as an "apostle of peace & reconciliation."
June 7 - Saint Margaret of Scotland - a beautiful young woman who married the King of Scotland in the 11th century. She was a wife, mother, scholar and saint. Her husband and sons reflected the 'rough and tumble' nature of the Scottish people at that time, but she gently and effectively taught her family - and the Scottish people - how to serve Christ by caring for the poor, feeding the hungry, and educating children. She prayed and read the Bible each day, and her faith was the source of strength when she experienced difficulties. At a time when women were often ignored in a patriarchal culture, Margaret changed a nation through the convictions of her faith.
June 14 - Saint Basil - As a boy, Basil grew up in a wealthy family in Asia Minor. His parents were faithful followers of Jesus, and Basil eventually became a monk, priest and archbishop. At one point, the Emperor demanded that Basil change his preaching and teaching, but Basil insisted that political leaders could not force him to abandon the authentic teachings of the Gospel. Basil paid a price for such faithfulness, but was ultimately vindicated. He was a bishop who preached every day, served food to the poor and created hospitals for the sick. He died in the year 379.
June 21 - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga - His father wanted him to be a soldier, and at the age of 6 Aloysius managed to accidentally fire a loaded canon in a military camp! While he could be mischievous at times, Aloysius also developed a deep love for Christ. He disappointed his parents by announcing that he wanted to become a Jesuit. During his seminary training in the 16th century, the Plague broke out in central Italy. While many people fled the City of Rome to protect their health, Aloysius and other Jesuits remained behind to care for the sick. Even after Aloysius himself contracted the Plague, he asked for permission to remain in Rome to work at the Jesuit hospital. He died at the age of 23, giving his life as he served Christ by serving his neighbor.
June 28 - Saint Peter - He was a married man who had a small fishing business in a town called Capernaum. He worked hard, in conditions that were often dangerous. And then, one day, an itinerant rabbi from Nazareth met Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee - and Peter's life was changed forever. Jesus invited Peter to follow him... and Peter abandoned his boats and his nets, and he started the adventure of following Jesus. Peter was a passionate man, who had an occasional habit of putting his foot in his mouth. He had a charisma which made him a natural leader among the first group of disciples. He could be intensely faithful, and he could deny that he even knew Jesus. After the Resurrection, our Lord asked Peter to lead the early Christians. Peter stayed faithful to Christ, eventually becoming a martyr in the city of Rome.