In the early Fourth Century a physician named Blaise became the Bishop of Sebastea in Armenia, which is now modern day Silvas, Turkey. Not much is known of the life of St. Blaise. “The Acts of St. Blaise” give us a biographical sketch and attribute many healings and miracles to him, both during his life, and through his intercession after his death.
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.
The feast day of St. Martin de Porres is a reminder to all who work on behalf of the poor that man’s ways are not God’s ways. Rather than choose powerful and dynamic leaders to be his hands and feet on earth, our Lord often draws out saints from humble places and shapes them through difficult circumstances.
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.