So much of our sacred language is an expression of profound heavenly experiences expressed in the common language of the day. Pentecost is a feast day celebrated 50 days after Easter.
The life of Francis of Assisi reminds us that people of holiness and greatness are not born that way. They become holy and great because they choose to act when God asks them to change the world, making his “kingdom come” on earth as it is in heaven.
Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, one of thirteen children in a family of minor nobility in northern Spain. He grew up at a time of great adventurers like Christopher Columbus and dreamed of gaining fame in battle, so he joined the army of Spain to do just that.
Thomas Aquinas was the youngest of nine children born to noble parents in the Kingdom of Sicily. Following the tradition of the times, five-year-old Thomas was sent to the Abbey of Monte Cassino to train among Benedictine monks.
Each year the church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, remembered for his dramatic conversion documented in The Acts of The Apostles.
In a recent address to Italy’s National Missionary Congress, Pope Francis stated that all Christians and “not just the few” are called to intensify their missionary spirit and go out to proclaim the joy of the Gospel. For some of us, the Holy Father’s comment may beg the question – how exactly do we achieve this? Perhaps the feast of St. Francis Xavier provides the answer – just do what God asks you to do.