Are angels “saints”?

A CUF member asks… Isn’t sainthood for human beings that led extraordinary lives of faith? Then why do we call Michael the Archangel St. Michael the Archangel? He is an angel, a strictly spiritual being. The word “saint” derives from the Latin “sancta,” which means “holy” one.  Thus, by definition all of God’s holy angels […]

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Martha, Martha

As Catholics, we try to balance in our lives of faith the active Martha and the contemplative Mary. Sometimes in the process Martha gets a bad rap. She’s anxious and worried about many things (Lk. 10:41), so at times we might picture her as a frantic busybody flitting around doing 101 things, while the serene Mary sits at the feet […]

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The Other Lawrence

Today is the feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi. When reference is made to a “St. Lawrence,” however, we are usually referring to the third-century deacon and martyr who is even mentioned in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I). This latter St. Lawrence, given his special patronage of those who barbecue, is indeed a fine summertime […]

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All Saints, All the Time

In recent years, it seems that Catholic families have been reclaiming All Saints’ Day on November 1st–not only for the great feast it is in itself, but as an opportunity to provide wholesome, spiritually edifying entertainment for our children as an alternative to pagan Halloween celebrations. And so many communities have been sponsoring All Saints’ Days parties and […]

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Son of Encouragement

On this date the Church celebrates the feast of St. Barnabas, whose exploits are described in the Acts of the Apostles. This feast is significant to my family, as we named a child whom we miscarried nine years ago Barnabas, and every year on this date we especially remember the gift of this precious child, […]

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Lyre, Lyre, Sanctifier

Today the universal Church celebrates the feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian, a fourth-century doctor of the Church. Of all the doctors of the Church, I believe he is the only one who became what we would today call a “permanent deacon.” This fascinating saint early in life attended the ecumenical Council of Nicaea and ran […]

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St. Athanasius, pray for us!

Today is the feast of St. Athanasius, a fourth-century bishop and doctor of the Church. His titles aptly include “Father of Orthodoxy” and “Pillar of the Church.” He defended the faith of the Church against the Arian heresy, which held that Christ was created and therefore not divine. Our Lord’s divinity was upheld at the […]

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Upstaging St. Valentine

Very few of us will walk up to someone today and greet him or her with the words, “Happy St. Cyril’s Day,” or even “Happy Cyril’s Day.” And surely no one will tell their sweetheart to “Be my Methodius.” And yet, today the universal Church commemorates Sts. Cyril and Methodius, not St. Valentine, notwithstanding the […]

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The Exquisite Timing of Lourdes

The timing of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes beginning on February 11, 1858, was not only providential in the sense of God’s loving kindness to us sinners, but was absolutely exquisite in terms of what was going on in European intellectual circles at that time. The sex scandals involving priests and […]

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