3.20.2013

St. Jude

Hey Everyone! Today I have an awesome guest post about St. Jude by a new blogger friend name Jessa! Jessa blogs over at Shalom Sweet Home. Check out her blog link here and mini bio at the bottom of this post ---

(source)

“Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better…” – The Beatles
 Early in the RCIA Catholic conversion process, back when I was still a Protestant college kid in 2005, I was put in a small “home group” with two other students who were also in the process of discerning their conversions. Like so many other people searching for meaning, we had started to look for it in odd places. One girl had been moved by George Harrison’s death a few years prior to begin to look for a deeper meaning in life, and though it seemed like an odd leap from his Hare-Krishna Eastern mystic spirituality to the Catholic Church, here she was. Meanwhile, I had harbored a long-term fascination with John Lennon in particular and consistently joked that me becoming Catholic was basically a lost cause, so if any saint were going to help me, it would have to be Saint Jude. 

So it was only natural that, when pressed to come up with a name for our home group on the spur of the moment, we decided to name the group “Hey Saint Jude.”

 As a group, we discussed the beautiful Catholic implications of the Beatles’ song “Let it Be.” (Have you ever actually listened to the lyrics? It is one of the most beautiful Catholic songs I know, and it’s not even officially Catholic.) We bought a German chocolate cake with “Habemus Papam” scrawled across the top in honor of the election of Pope Benedict XVI. We fitted a wire halo around a stuffed penguin so my then-sponsor and now-husband could have a baby Jesus to hold when he dressed up as St. Joseph for the All Saints’ Day RCIA meeting.

Fast forward to the following Easter Vigil, where you will see the priest calling me “Jude” as he basically drowns me in chrism. My perfectly curled hairstyle was ruined by the oil, and yet I was so deliriously happy and sweet-smelling. The impossible cause had come true, and I chose St. Jude as my patron saint and confirmation name.
(Me, Easter Vigil 2006, pre-Chrism bath. I am the blonde one.)

Not much is known about the patron saint of impossible causes. According to tradition, he was a Jewish man born in the Galilee region, near what is now Caesarea Philippi, an archaeological site in the Golan Heights in modern-day Israel (only a few hours north of my current home in Jerusalem), and was most likely a farmer before leaving to follow Christ as one of his twelve disciples. But the New Testament doesn’t give us any vivid conversion story for him. He didn’t dramatically leave his nets and his father to follow Jesus, like James and John did (Matthew 4:21-22). He didn’t follow Jesus after being delivered by Him from possession by seven demons, like Mary Magdalene did (Luke 8:2). It’s not even 100 percent clear whether he is the same Jude that is designated as a relative of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3) and went on to write the last Christian epistle in the New Testament (The Letter of Jude). In fact, according to most Biblical scholars, it’s not the same guy.

 So, in fact, the only thing we know for certain about the apostle Jude is that he was an apostle. Real helpful, right?

 The only time that Jude speaks at all in the New Testament is in John 14:22, at the Last Supper, when he asks Jesus, “Master, what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” His question is simply a plot device to move Jesus’ story forward. But the story that Jesus is telling is significant: Jude’s only spoken line comes in the middle of the discourse during which Jesus is promising the disciples that he will later send the Holy Spirit (the “Advocate” and “Spirit of truth”) to guide them and be with them always.

Jude himself saw this prophecy come true, because one of the only other two times that he is mentioned in the New Testament is after the Ascension of Jesus, in Acts 1:13, in the list of apostles (the original twelve, minus Judas the Betrayer) staying in the Upper Room and present at Pentecost (see Acts 2). This is why he is often depicted with the tongue of fire on his head; showing the exact moment when he saw this prophecy fulfilled and received the Holy Spirit.

Jude is only mentioned one other time in the New Testament: in the complete list of the twelve apostles of Jesus found in Luke 6:16. But it is interesting to note that, in both these lists of apostles, he is the last one mentioned.
In the first list in particular, this could just be to indicate a very specific contrast between him and the second-to-last name on the list, Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus, who has the exact same given name as Jude in the vast majority of languages (save for English and French), including the original Greek: Ιούδας.
(Me, far right, at a St. Jude shrine in Nuevo León, Mexico, on the way back from a mission trip. Notice that St. Jude’s name in Spanish is actually “Judas,” just like Judas Iscariot. Also, notice the small tongue of fire and the Holy Spirit dove above St. Jude’s head.)

But why does St. Jude remain last on the list in the Upper Room? Judas Iscariot is long gone at this point and the danger of any confusion between the two has past.
But I like to think that his spot as last on the list of disciples is also significant; Jude is upheld as the saint of last resort. The last desperate thing you try when all hope is gone. His help often comes at the 11th hour, when you are at the point of giving up.  

The last shall indeed be first.

According to tradition, after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the apostle Jude went on to preach the gospel throughout the ancient Middle East until he was martyred in Beirut in the year 65. He is credited as being one of the first missionaries to bring Christianity to Armenia, which, more than 200 years later, became the first country in the world to make Christianity legal. His remains were brought to Rome, where many pilgrims, including Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in the 1100s and Saint Bridget of Sweden in the 1300s, developed steadfast devotions to the power of his intercession in difficult cases.

Widespread devotion to St. Jude as the patron saint of impossible causes spread beginning in the 19th century from Italy and Spain to Latin America and then to the United States. In addition to being the patron saint of impossible causes, St. Jude is also the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department, a soccer team in Brazil, and a variety of localities in the Philippines.

(Photo: An example of a classified ad in honor of St. Jude from a newspaper in San Angelo, Texas. Someone with the initials A.R. is a fellow devotee.)

Many people who pray to St. Jude for his intercession, particularly through a novena, promise that they will publicly thank him for his help, and as a result, a quick glance at the classified ads section of any newspaper from a city with a large Catholic population will find a number of classified ads thanking him for his intercession. Thanking him for taking each of our own sad songs and making them better.

“Na, na, na, na-na-na, na, na-na-na, na…” Hey Saint Jude, thanks for everything.
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Mini Bio: Jessa Barniol is an all-American girl and Protestant-to-Catholic convert living in Jerusalem with her husband, the Ecuadorean astrophysicist. She loves surprises, bright colors, snail mail, and tea. She blogs about her adventures in Jerusalem at Shalom Sweet Home.

3.17.2013

St. Patrick

First of all! Happy St. Patrick's Day from my family to yours! How are you celebrating? We did a combination of wearing green, watching Boondock Saints, attending mass, and hanging out all day long! 

I have been slacking on #40daysofsaints because I just am beyond busy. So if you are reading a long and interested in writing up about your favorite saint, please message me at itsjustcalledspicy (at) gmail (dot) com. I will try my best to post more this week and get us back on track to have shared 40 by Easter!
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So, today we are celebrating St. Patrick so I thought maybe I should share a little bit about St. Patrick on here! I'm sure many people don't know much about St. Patrick but love his day because it's a reason to celebrate your or even someone else's Irish heritage. When I went to Catholic school in Pre-K through 8th grade, we always watched this movie and this is where I learned about St. Patrick
You know, the kids cartoon. (source)
Anyways, Patrick was actually born in (Kilpatrick, most are not sure about the city,) Scotland in 385. His parents were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies. Between the age of fourteen and sixteen years old, Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd sheep. Ireland was being ruled by the Druids at the time. He lived in Ireland for six years before he returned home.
While in captivity in Ireland, Patrick had a dream from God in which he was told to go to the coast in order to escape. There, he found sailors who helped him return to his family.
He is said to have written this while in captivity: "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
After Patrick was reunited with his family, he had another dream in which the people of Ireland  were calling out to him: "We beg of you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
Patrick became a priest and then a bishop. He was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He preached the Gospel in Ireland and is said to have converted thousands to Christianity. He preached in Ireland for forty years and converted all of Ireland.
Many wonder why a shamrock is associated with St Patrick's Day and Ireland. It is because St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the trinity (three persons in one God).
St. Patrick passed away on March 17, 461.

Patron of: Ireland
Feast Day: March 17
An Irish Blessing for you:
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In other news, here is our little leprechaun today:
Thanks for stoppin by,

3.14.2013

Blessed Elizabeth of Trinity


Today, we have a guest post about Blessed Elizabeth of Trinity from MamaJ over at Team Orthodoxy. For more about MamaJ read her mini bio at the bottom of this post.
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I was 19 years old when I visited my sister at the convent and she stuffed a book into my hands and told me she had gotten special permission to sign it out of the novitiate library and that I “had to read it”.  Although in the middle of university studies, the second I opened those yellowed pages, I hardly set it down until I had read it cover to cover.  This book was “The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity” and it changed my life.
There is so much I could write here about the life of Bl.Elizabeth of the Trinity, I honestly don’t even know how I’m going to condense it into a blogpost, but I’m hoping I can share with you the most striking points of the life of this lesser known Carmelite nun.  While a contemporary of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and living a mere 500 km from each other (alright, I suppose that isn’t all that “mere”), the two never met or knew each other, but in the Carmel of Dijon, like the Carmel in Lisieux a Saint was being bred.
Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity was born Elizabeth Catez on July 18, 1880 in central France.  Born to a military family, as a child she was known to have a fiery temper, or as she described “oversensitiveness”.    The priest who prepared her for her First Communion told a friend of her mother’s “With her temperament, Elizabeth Catez will be either a saint or a demon.”  Her first confession brought about what she called her conversion, and she fought against those faults of anger and sensitivity.
One day, after Holy Communion, she heard the word “Carmel” spoken to her soul.  She understood at once, and at the age of 14 made a private vow of virginity.  She lived very near the Carmel in Dijon and longed to go there, but her Mother refused.  Being totally obedient, she left it up to God’s time, immersing herself (or so it seemed) in the life around her.  She was known as always being a part of everything, whether it was in the parish or social events, being at home with everyone, everywhere.  But her soul longed for Carmel, and whenever her “duties” were done, she’d leave immediately for the Carmelite convent, where she could be found at the grille, immersed in prayer.  She also kept a little notebook where she kept track, every evening, of her spiritual victories and defeats to be sure she was advancing.  Her mother finally consented and she finally entered in 1901.
Indwelling of the Trinity
Prior to entering the Carmel in Dijon, she searched for understanding of the feeling that she was “dwelt in” by the Presence of God.  Her Dominican priest explained to her “…most certainly, my child; the Father is there, the Son is there, and the Holy Ghost is there”.  She was overcome by this explanation and developed a profound devotion to the indwelling of the Trinity within her soul.  In her many letters and writings she strongly encourages us to find Heaven within our soul, for there dwells the Most Holy Trinity, and where the Trinity is, there is Heaven.  It was this love of the Trinity, who she called “My Three”, which inspired her Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity.
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O my God, Trinity Whom I adore!  Help me to become utterly forgetful of self, that I may bury myself in Thee, as changeless and as calm as though my soul were already in eternity.  May nothing disturb my peace or draw me out of Thee, O my immutable Lord! But may I at every moment penetrate more deeply into the depths of Thy mystery!
Give peace to my soul; make it Thy heaven, Thy cherished dwelling place, Thy home of rest.  Let me never leave Thee there alone, but keep me there, all absorbed in Thee, in living faith, adoring Thee and wholly yielded up to Thy creative action!
O my Christ, Who I love, crucified by love, fain would I be the bride of Thy Heart; fain would I cover Thee with glory and love Thee…until I die of very love!  Yet I realize my weakness and beseech Thee to clothe me with Thyself, to identify my soul with all the movements of Thine Own.  Immerse me in Thyself; possess me wholly; substitute Thyself for me, that my life may be but a radiance of Thine own.  Enter my soul as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior!
O Eternal Word, Utterance of my God!  I long to pass my life in listening to Thee, to become docile, that I may learn all from Thee.  Through all darkness, all privations, all helplessness, I crave to keep Thee ever with me and to dwell beneath Thy lustrous beams.  O my beloved Star! So hold me that I cannot wander from Thy light!
O Consuming Fire!  Spirit of Love! Descend within me and reproduce in me, as it were, an incarnation of thy Word that I may be to Him another humanity wherein He renews His Mystery!
And Thou, O Father, bend down toward thy poor little creature and overshadow her, beholding in her none other than Thy Beloved Son in Whom Thou hast set all Thy pleasure.
O my ‘Three,’ my All, my Beatitude, Infinite Solitude, Immensity wherein I lose myself!  I yield myself to Thee as Thy prey.  Bury Thyself in me that I may be buried in Thee, until I depart to contemplate in Thy Light the abyss of Thy greatness!
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Laudem Gloriae
In the summer of 1905, in conversation with another nun, she received her mission.  The nun shared with her a passage from St. Paul which said “God has created us for the praise of His glory.”  This verse struck her profoundly, and she ran to look up the Latin text.  She wrote in a letter, “I am going to tell you a secret: my dream is to be the ‘praise of His Glory.’  I read that in St. Paul, and my Bridegroom has made me understand that this is my vocation from in exile, while waiting to go and sing the eternal Sanctus in the city of the saints.  But this calls for great fidelity since, that in order to be a ‘praise of glory,’ I must be dead to everything that is not He, so that I may be moved only by His touch.”  As she began a battle with Addison’s disease, a kidney disease which was fatal at the time, her interior life became simple, to let herself be crucified in order to be the ‘Praise of His Glory’.  She no longer referred to herself as ‘Elizabeth’, but Laudem Gloriae (Praise of His Glory), and those sisters close to her, along with her Mother Prioress referred to her as the same.
Elizabeth, after joyfully suffering through her disease, died on November 9, 1906 after only five years in the Carmel of Dijon.  Her final words were “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life.”  She was beatified in 1984, and her case for Canonization is currently in process.

Laudem Gloriae and Me
I said at the beginning that her book changed my life.  When I finished reading it, Carmel resonated in my soul.  Her “doctrine” on the Trinity spoke to me in a way that I cannot explain, and in it I found my vocation.  It was still a few years until I realized how that would be manifested, but from that point I fell in love with the idea of “alone with God Alone”.  She is still the one who leads me by the hand.  Whenever I am struggling spiritually, whether it is in my vocation or otherwise, aside from Scripture, it is to her words that I run.  She is, and always will be the “best friend of my soul.”
Let us, in the heaven of our soul, be a ‘Praise of Glory’ to the Holy Trinity and a praise of love of our Immaculate Mother.  One day the veil will be withdrawn and we shall be brought into the eternal courts; there we shall sing in the bosom of Infinite Love, and God will give us ‘the new name’ promised to him that overcometh.  What will that name be?  Laudem Gloriae. – Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity
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MamaJ is a 20-something (ok, almost 30) wife and SAHM of two toddlers.  When she's not washing dishes, doing laundry, picking up toys and doing conflict management, she blogs about motherhood, faith and being a Carmelite with her fellow Team Orthodoxy friends at orthodoxcatholicism.com

3.13.2013

St. Helena


Hey Everyone, Today we have a guest post about St. Helena from Mandi who blogs at Messy wife, Blessed Life. For more info about Mandi, Check out her mini bio at the bottom of this post and her blog here
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In the lobby of our church, there are several framed pictures of gorgeous stained glass seemingly from the same cathedral.  I have gotten to know these pictures quite well, having spent my share of time in the lobby with a loud, grumpy, or otherwise naughty little toddler.  I’ll often walk back and forth in front of these pictures, pointing them out to Lucia and telling her a little bit about the Saints they portray.  Most of the Saints are instantly identifiable: The Blessed Mother holding Baby Jesus, St. Anne instructing the young Mary, St. Joseph holding his carpenter’s tools, St. Patrick decked out in green bishop’s garb, St. John the Baptist wearing animal skins.  And then there is a lovely, regal woman, wearing a crown upon her head.  I only knew her name because, thankfully, it’s written in stained glass: St. Helena.  We would pause only briefly to look at this lovely Saint, because I knew nothing of her to tell Lucia.  I've always been intrigued by royal Saints, since it seems Christianity and sainthood are usually associated with poverty, so after a few weeks of visiting with her in the lobby, I just had to look her up.
St. Helena lived in the third and fourth centuries, when Christianity was still young.  Not much is known about her early life or place of origin, and over the years there have been various stories about them without much backing.  Most likely she came from humble origins somewhere in Asia Minor.  It is suggested that she met her husband, Constantius, while he served as a soldier there.  It is also not known whether Helena was officially or only common-law married to Constantius.  Sometime after she gave birth to their son, Constantine, Constantius rose in political power and divorced Helena in order to marry the daughter of Emperor Maximinianus. 
When his father died and he became emperor, Constantine, ever loyal to his mother, had her brought to court and later, toward the end of her life, declared Augusta (empress).  As empress, she had coins with her image and cities named in her honor.  Aside from the early turmoil caused by her divorce, she lived a life quite different than many of the Saints we revere who lived lives of austerity and obscurity.  It is even suggested that Helena was involved in Constantine’s executions of both his wife and son.  (Some accounts say that Helena herself told Constantine to execute his wife, Fausta.)
Why do we venerate this Saint with a murky past?  Helena represents many of the early Saints in the Church.  We do not often know much about their lives, what has survived is more likely legend than it is history.  In Helena’s case, it’s possibly a bit of propaganda as well, since her son Constantine would have had anything negative about his beloved mother wiped from the records (hence the absence of details about her humble beginnings).  Yet, her life and deeds were instrumental to the early Church.
Helena, despite her suggested involvement in her son’s executions, was known as an extremely pious woman.  A convert to the faith, she was encouraged to embrace Christianity by her son.  Although this was most likely a political move on Constantine’s part, Helena fully accepted her new religion.  Her son was known for extending protection to Christians in the Roman Empire, and she was widely regarded for spreading Christianity - founding monasteries and building new churches throughout the West as well as in Palestine.  She is also remembered for her great acts of charity to whole communities of poor.  In her old age, she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pay homage to the places of Christ’s life and death.  When Constantine names his mother empress, he gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury so that she could find relics important to Christianity.  According to tradition, Helena had the pagan temple over Christ’s tomb torn down and the site excavated, uncovering three crosses, one of which is said to be the True Cross, and which can still be seen in Rome today.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on the site by Constantine, and Helena also had churches built in Bethlehem and the Mount of Olives, among other important Christian sites.  Helena died a few years after her return from Palestine, at the age of 80. 
I identify strongly with Helena, because she valued the history of Christianity and worked to preserve its Holy sites and relics.  As a lover of history, I am grateful to this early Christian empress for dedicating her old age to saving the physical remnants of Christ’s life for the future generations.  
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Mandi is a young Catholic wife (of almost three years) and mother to a newly walking toddler.  When she's not chasing after Lucia, she teaches Spanish, is obsessed with word games, and blogs at Messy Wife, Blessed Life.

3.12.2013

St. Brigid


Hey Everyone! Today, Liz from Tales from Astoria is going to tell you all about St. Brigid. Check out Liz's mini bio at the bottom of this post, and her blog here.
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St. Brigid became one of my favorite saints as I prepared for Confirmation in the eighth grade. I was looking for a “different” saint (a.k.a. not one that all of the other girls had picked). I knew I wanted a female saint who had something to do with education and helping those in need. St. Brigid fit the bill perfectly (it didn't hurt that she was Irish either).
St. Brigid lived during the 5th century. She became a nun and founded her own convent and several schools. Her convents and schools became renowned. She is known as the patroness of students. There are many miracles attributed to St. Brigid. However the most well know is about the conversion of a dying pagan chieftain. He was barely conscious and Brigid came to pray beside him. When he awoke he found, her praying beside him and a Christian Cross on his chest.  As a result of the great mercy God had shown him by saving him, St. Brigid baptized him along with the rest of his village.

It is said that St. Brigid converted her father while making a cross out of grass-like plants. During that time, farmers began making similar crosses at the beginning of Spring to help protect their crop and animals. The crosses were placed in prominent places in their barns and homes.
February 1st is the St. Brigid’s feast day. On this day some people still make or purchase crosses with the hope of receiving a special blessing from St. Brigid.

Here’s a quick pipe cleaner tutorial from CatholicIcing. She also suggests a wonderful picture book and a printable for the feat day.  
Maybe you could start a new tradition with your little one?
Prayer to St. Brigid
Saint Brigid,
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought a light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the wear.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Amen
source 
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Liz  blogs at Tales From Astoria about her life with her wonderful husband and sweet little boy. She is a former math teacher and guidance counselor. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and crafting.

3.09.2013

St. Augustine of Hippo

I thought it would be a good idea to talk about St. Augustine of Hippo today because he was St. Monica's son, and we talked about St. Monica here yesterday.
St Augustine lived from November 354 to August 430. His mother, Monica was faithful and his father was a pagan, who converted to Christianity before his death in 371. Augustine had two siblings who both went into religious life. He was raised Christian from his mother but at the age of 17, he left the church to follow the Manichaean religion. Augustine led a life filled with pleasure of women, to seek out experiences or make up stories in order to gain acceptance. Throughout this time, her urged a popular prayer, "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."
St. Monica & St. Augustine (source)
Augustine's mother wanted him to marry a woman of his class. As a young boy, he began a relationship with a young woman of Carthage who birthed his son, Adeodatus. It is said that his son was very intelligent. When Augustine converted in 389, he left the woman and their son. 
From Catholic Online: "Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life."

St. Augustine underwent three years battling with the Christian faith.
From Catholic Encyclopedia: "At first he turned towards the philosophy of the Academics, with its pessimistic scepticism; then neo-Platonic philosophy inspired him with genuine enthusiasm. At Milan he had scarcely read certain works of Plato and, more especially, of Plotinus, before the hope of finding the truth dawned upon him. Once more he began to dream that he and his friends might lead a life dedicated to the search for it, a life purged of all vulgar aspirations after honorswealth, or pleasure, and with celibacy for its rule (Confessions VI). But it was only a dream; his passions still enslaved him."

Finally, through reading through holy scriptures, light penetrated his mind. Soon, he understood that Jesus Christ was the only way to truth and salvation. A few days later, Augustine went with his mother and friends to devote his life to philosophy of Christianity, which he could no longer deny himself.

More for Catholic Online: "He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion."
Feast Day: August 28
Patron of brewers
He is the patron of brewers because his early life included many parties, entertainment and worldly ambitions. 
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St. Augustine was such a great saint and so much is known about him that it was pretty difficult to write this post without pulling some paragraphs from other resources. So Thanks to Catholic Online and Catholic Encyclopedia. I would love to read his "Confessions" book that he wrote before he passed away. I might be adding that to my reading list.
St. Augustine, Pray for us.
That's all for today! 

3.08.2013

St. Monica

Today, I'm sharing some info that I've looked up about St. Monica. She lived from 333-387. Monica was married by arranged marriage to a pagan man, Patritius, who held a position as an official in Tagaste, North Africa. Monica and Patritius did not have a happy marriage, and her constant prayer annoyed him. Still, he maintained reverence for her. The year before her husband died, he and his mother converted to Christianity. 
She and Patritius had three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua.
Monica's children, Navigius and Perpetua entered religious life and Augustine did not right away. She prayed for Augustine for seventeen years before he repented and sought Jesus. Not much is known about St. Monica, other than what is written from her son, St. Augustine of Hippo. It is said that she would beg the priests for prayers for her son so often that they began to try to avoid her persistence. Finally in 387, Augustine was baptized. St. Monica died that same year on her way back to Africa from Rome.
Feast Day: August 27
Patron Saint of: wives and abuse victims
For prayers to St. Monica, Check out these sites: 
St. Monica, Pray for us.
That's all for today!