Posts tagged ‘Canonized by Pope Gregory XV’

Saint Philip Neri

Saint Philip NeriAlso known as

  • Amabile Santo
  • Apostle of Rome
  • Philip Romolo Neri

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Though he was related to Italian nobility, Philip came from a poor family. His father, Francisco Neri, worked as a notary. Philip’s brother died in childhood, but his two sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta survived. Known as a pius youth, Philip was taught humanities by the Dominicans.

The family moved to San Germano in 1533 to help some relatives with their business, and while there Philip would escape to a local Dominican chapel in the mountains. Having received a vision that he had an apostolate in Rome, Philip cut himself off from his family, and went there.

He was befriended by Galeotto Caccia who took Philip in and paid him to tutor his two sons. Wrote poetry in Latin and Italian. He studied philosophy and theology, and when he tired of learning, he sold all his books and gave the money to the poor.

Philip began to visit and care for the sick, and impoverished pilgrims, and founded a society of like-minded folk to do the same. He became a friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. A layman, he lived in the city as a hermit. During Easter season of 1544, while praying in the catacomb of San Sebastiano, he received a vision of a globe of fire that entered his chest, and he experienced an ecstasy that physically enlarged his heart.

With Persiano Rose, he founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity. He began to preach, with many converts. In 1550 he considered retiring to the life of a solitary hermit, but received further visions that told him his mission was in Rome. Later he considered missionary work in India, but further visions convinced him to stay in Rome.

He entered the priesthood in 1551. Father Philip heard confessions by the hour, could tell penitents their sins before they confessed, and had the gift of conferring visions. He began working with youth, finding safe places for them to play, becoming involved in their lives.

Pope Gregory XIV tried to make him a cardinal, but Philip declined. His popularity was such that he was accused of forming his own sect, but was cleared of this baseless charge. In 1575 he founded the Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians, a group of priests dedicated to preaching and teaching, but which suffered from accusations of heresy because of the involvement of laymen as preachers. In later years he was beset by several illnesses, each of which was in turn cured through prayer.

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Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits. Saint Philip Neri

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Philip Neri“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 January 2019. Web. 22 February 2019. <>

Saint Isidore the Farmer

Saint Isidore the FarmerAlso known as

  • Isadore the Farmer
  • Isidore Bonden
  • Isidore of Madrid
  • Isidore the Laborer
  • Isidro Labrador
  • Isidore the Worker

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Pious farmer. Married to Saint Mary de la Cabeza. Their son died young; they became convinced it was the will of God that they not have children, and they lived together chastely the rest of their lives, doing good works. Accused by fellow workers of shirking his duties by attending Mass each day, taking time out for prayers, etc. Isidore claimed he had no choice but to follow the highest Master. One tale says that when his master came in the morning to chastise him for skipping work for church, he found angels plowing the fields in place of Isidore. Miracles and cures reported at his grave, in which his body remains incorrupt.

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O God, Who didst teach Adam the simple art of tilling the soil, and Who through Jesus Christ, the true vine, didst reveal Thyself the husbandman of our souls, deign, we pray, through the merits of Blessed Isidore, to instill into our hearts a horror of sin and a love of prayer, so that, working the soil in the sweat of our brow, we may, with Christ our Lord, enjoy eternal happiness in heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayer to Saint Isidore, Patron of Farmers; from The Fold, August 1953

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Isidore the Farmer“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 January 2019. Web. 22 February 2019. <>

Saint Teresa of Avila

detail of a painting of Saint Teresa of Avila by Peter Paul Rubens, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, AustriaAlso known as

  • Teresa de Avila
  • Teresa of Jesus
  • Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada
  • The Roving Nun
  • Theresa of Avila

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Born to the Spanish nobility, the daughter of Don Alonso Sanchez de Cepeda and Doña Beatriz. She grew up reading the lives of the saints, and playing at “hermit” in the garden. Crippled by disease in her youth, which led to her being well educated at home, she was cured after prayer to Saint Joseph. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented.

Soon after taking her vows, Teresa became gravely ill, and her condition was aggravated by the inadequate medical help she received; she never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions to be holy and true.

She considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. Teresa founded several houses, often against fierce opposition from local authorities. Mystical writer. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 27 September 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

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God, deliver me from sullen saints. Saint Teresa of Avila

Know that even when you are in the kitchen, our Lord moves amidst the pots and pans. Saint Teresa of Avila

Oh my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value. Saint Teresa of Avila

There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God’s. Saint Teresa of Avila

There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world. Saint Teresa of Avila

We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to look upon Him present within us. Saint Teresa of Avila

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains everything. God alone is enough. Saint Teresa of Avila

Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. Saint Teresa of Avila

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Saint Teresa of Avila

You ought to make every effort to free yourselves even from venial sin, and to do what is most perfect. Saint Teresa of Avila

O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in “wedding garments.” Amen. Saint Teresa of Avila

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that is we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example. What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For is at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort. Saint Teresa of Avila

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Teresa of Avila“. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 February 2019. Web. 22 February 2019. <>

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

detail of an illustration Saint Ignatius of Loyola; date unknown, by William Holl the Younger; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Inigo Lopez de Loyola

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Born to the Spanish nobility. Youngest of twelve children. Page in the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Military education. Soldier, entering the army in 1517, and serving in several campaigns. Wounded in the leg by a cannonball at the siege of Pampeluna on 20 May 1521, an injury that left him partially crippled for life. During his recuperation the only books he had access to were The Golden Legend, a collection of biographies of the saints, and the Life of Christ by Ludolph the Carthusian. These books, and the time spent in contemplation, changed him.

On his recovery he took a vow of chastity, hung his sword before the altar of the Virgin of Montserrat, and donned a pilgrim‘s robes. He lived in a cave from 1522 to 1523, contemplating the way to live a Christian life. Pilgrim to Rome and the Holy Land in 1523, where he worked to convert Muslims. In 1528 he began studying theology in Barcelona and Alcala in Spain, and Paris, France receiving his degree on 14 March 1534. His meditations, prayers, visions and insights led to forming the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus on 15 August 1534; it received papal approval in 1541. Friend of James Lainez, Alonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Simón Rodriguez, Blessed Peter Faber, and Saint Francis Xavier, the group that formed the core of the new Society. He never used the term Jesuit, which was coined as an insult by his opponents; the Society today uses the term with pride. He travelled Europe and the Holy Lands, then settled in Rome to direct the Jesuits. His health suffered in later years, and he was nearly blind at death.

The Jesuits today have over 500 universities and colleges, 30,000 members, and teach over 200,000 students each year.

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Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better from a wound he had received in battle, he asked for some of these books to pass the time. But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints written in Spanish.

By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.

While reading the life of Christ our Lord or lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?” In this way he let his mind dwell on many thoughts; they lasted a while until other things took their place. Then those vain and worldly images would come into his mind and remain a long time.

But there was a difference. When Ignatius reflected on worldly thoughts, he felt intense pleasure; but when he gave them up our of weariness, he felt dry and depressed. Yet when he thought of living the rigorous sort of life he knew the saints had lived, he not only experienced pleasure when he actually thought about it, but even after he dismissed these thoughts, he still experienced great joy. Yet he did not pay attention to this, nor did he appreciate it, until one day, in a moment of insight he began to marvel at the difference. Then he understood his experience. Thoughts of one kind left him sad, the others full of joy. – from the life of Saint Ignatius, from his own words, by Luis Gonzalez

Do not let any occasion of gaining merit pass without taking care to draw some spiritual profit from it; as, for example, from a sharp word which someone may say to you; from an act of obedience imposed against your will; from an opportunity which may occur to humble yourself, or to practice charity, sweetness, and patience. All of these occasions are gain for you, and you should seek to procure them; and at the close of that day, when the greatest number of them have come to you, you should go to rest most cheerful and pleased, as the merchant does on the day when he had had most chance for making money; for on that day business has prospered with him. Saint Ignatius Loyola

If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity. Saint Ignatius Loyola

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Ignatius of Loyola“. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 February 2019. Web. 22 February 2019. <>

Saint Francis Xavier

detail from the painting 'Saint Gregory the Great with Saints Ignatius and Francis Xavier', by Guercino, c.1626, oil on canvas, National Gallery, London, EnglandAlso known as

  • Apostle to the Far East
  • Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta
  • Franciscus de Xabier

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Born to the nobility of the Basque reqion. Studied and taught philosophy at the University of Paris, and planned a career as a professor. Friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola who convinced him to use his talents to spread the Gospel. One of the founding Jesuits, and the first Jesuit missionary. Priest.

In Goa, India, while waiting to take ship, he preached in the street, worked with the sick, and taught children their catechism. He would walk through the streets ringing a bell to call the children to their studies. Said to have converted the entire city.

He scolded his patron, King John of Portugal, over the slave trade: “You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country’s riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise.”

Tremendously successful missionary for ten years in India, the East Indies, and Japan, baptizing more than 40,000 converts. His epic finds him dining with head hunters, washing the sores of lepers in Venice, teaching catechism to Indian children, baptizing 10,000 in a single month. He tolerated the most appalling conditions on long sea voyages, enduring extremes of heat and cold. Wherever he went he would seek out and help the poor and forgotten. He traveled thousands of miles, most on his bare feet, and he saw the greater part of the Far East. Had the gift of tongues. Miracle worker. Raised people from the dead. Calmed storms. Prophet. Healer.

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It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken. Saint Francis Xavier

The best way to acquire true dignity is to wash one’s own clothes and boil one’s own pot. Saint Francis Xavier

We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. The country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.

I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians.

I wish the university students would work as hard at converting these people as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them.

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God‘s will and his choice.

They would cry out with all their heart: “Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do?” Send me anywhere you like – even to India! – from letters to Saint Ignatius of Loyola from Saint Francis Xavier

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Francis Xavier“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 February 2019. Web. 22 February 2019. <>