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. When Ignatius was severely wounded in a battle with the French, his days of knighthood ended – and his spiritual adventures began.
In the early fourth century, a physician named Blaise became the Bishop of Sebastea in Armenia (known today as Silvas, Turkey). “The Acts of St. Blaise” gives us a rare biographical sketch of the man, and it attributes many healings and miracles to him — both during his life and through his intercession after his death. Because these “Acts” are of medieval origin, and many hundreds of years removed from the historical person, many are uncertain of their veracity.
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.
The feast of St. Francis Xavier helps us understand what each of us must do to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in the world today. In the words of the saint – just do what God asks you to do.
The feast day of St. Martin de Porres reminds 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 chooses saints from humble places and shapes them through difficult circumstances.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Vianney, also known as the Cure’ of Ars. His era was not unlike our own. There was much confusion about life, greed, and a seeming lack of caring for truth and justice.