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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Out of Africa

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, an African saint who was canonized just a few years ago by Pope John Paul II. I really didn’t know that much about her, other than the fact that she was from the Sudan, had been kidnapped in youth, and eventually became a religious in Italy. […]

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A Word to the Verbose

My “guardian angel” left this quote from St. Francis de Sales on my desk this morning:  ”The worst defect in talking is talking too much. Hence, in speech be brief and virtuous, brief and gentle, brief and simple, brief and charitable, brief and amiable.” Okay, I get the message. (Don’t have to hit me over […]

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Putting on Heirs

Today is the feast of St. Raymond of Penyafort. As readers will recall, I have an adopted son named Raymond, and having this great Dominican canonist as a patron saint played into our name selection. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I (or should I say, my son) was getting a Dominican […]

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A Man on Omission

Today is the feast of St. Basil the Great, a fourth-century bishop and doctor of the Church. A priest friend just sent me this remarkable quote from St. Basil’s writings: “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who […]

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The Beloved Disciple

The Church has always identified the Apostle John as the author of the fourth Gospel and the beloved disciple described in that Gospel. This common belief is richly reflected in the Church’s liturgy. The universal Church today celebrates the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. The readings, prayers, and antiphons unmistakably reflect the belief of […]

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A Bishop’s Bishop

Today is the feast of St. Ambrose, a remarkable fourth-century bishop and saint, who is considered a “doctor of the Church” because of his excellence as a teacher of timeless Catholic truth. Many saints have their feast day on or at least near the day of their death, which is understood as the day they […]

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