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The Saints in My Life - My Spiritual Companions

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Saints in My Life

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In his book, Travelers Along the Way, Father Benedict J. Groeschel recounted stories of earthly personalities he has met, and the ways in which they have influenced him. Now the celebrated lecturer and retreat master addresses another dimension to this topic by introducing the heavenly companions he has come to know.

The Saints in My Life encourages us to see the Communion of Saints as a spiritual extended family. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ they should be as present to us as anyone we meet on the street. By becoming familiar with the saints stories, you will discover lives that resonate with your own, building the foundation for a personal relationship with them.

Father Groeschel reveals his favorite saints and his process for befriending the saints by describing:
---His first encounter with the saint.
---His friendship with and devotion to the saint.
---The way the saint has influenced him and affected his life.

Helpful sidebars in each chapter include a brief sketch of the life and significance of the saint; prayers Father Groeschel addresses to the saint; an excerpt from the writing of the saint or one of the saint's contemporaries; and, a review of a recommended book by or about the saint.

Saints included:

Saint Monica 331-387
Saint Augustine 354-430
Saint Benedict 480-547
Saint Francis of Assisi c1181-1226
Saint Clare of Assisi
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Saint John Fischer
Saint Thomas More
Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Peter Canisius
Saint John of the Cross
Saint Benedict Joseph Labrasso
Saint Catherine Laboure
Saint Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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1592760813
9781592760817
208
8"  (20.3 cm) x 5 1/5"  (13.2 cm)
More Our Sunday Visitor Gifts
2011

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St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/28
Tridentine Calendar - 08/28


Patron Of: Theologians, Eyes, Brewers, Printers

Also Known As
    Aurelius Augustinus
    Doctor of Grace

Memorial
    28 August

Profile
    His father was a pagan who converted on his death bed; his mother was Saint Monica, a devout Christian. Trained in Christianity, he lost his faith in youth and led a wild life. Lived with a Carthaginian woman from the age of 15 through 30. Fathered a son whom he named Adeotadus, which means the gift of God. Taught rhetoric at Carthage and Milan. After investigating and experimenting with several philosophies, he became a Manichaean for several years; it taught of a great struggle between good and evil, and featured a lax moral code. A summation of his thinking at the time comes from his Confessions: "God, give me chastity and continence - but not just now."

    Augustine finally broke with the Manichaeans and was converted by the prayers of his mother and the help of Saint Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him. On the death of his mother he returned to Africa, sold his property, gave the proceeds to the poor, and founded a monastery. Monk. Priest. Preacher. Bishop of Hippo in 396. Founded religious communities. Fought Manichaeism, Donatism, Pelagianism and other heresies. Oversaw his church and his see during the fall of the Roman Empire to the Vandals. Doctor of the Church. His later thinking can also be summed up in a line from his writings:

        Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.

Born
    13 November 354 at Tagaste, Numidia, North Africa (Souk-Ahras, Algeria) as Aurelius Augustinus

Died
    28 August 430 at Hippo

Canonized
    Pre-Congregation

Patronage
    brewers
    Bridgeport, Connecticut, diocese of
    Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
    Ida, Philippines, diocese of
    Isleta Indian Pueblo
    Kalamazoo Michigan, diocese of
    printers
    Saint Augustine, Florida, city of
    Saint Augustine, Florida, diocese of
    sore eyes
    Superior, Wisconsin, diocese of
    theologians
    Tucson, Arizona, diocese of
    Valletta, Malta



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

St. Bernadette of Lourdes Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 04/16


Patron Of: Sick Poor

Also known as

    * Bernada
    * Bernardetta
    * Bernardette Soubirous
    * Bernardette
    * Maria Bernadette
    * Marie Bernarde
    * Sleeping Saint of Nevers
 

Memorial
 16 April
 18 February in France

Profile
Oldest of six children in a very poor family headed by Francois and Louise Casterot. Hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14. Shepherdess. On 11 February 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she received a vision of the Virgin; her own account of it is in the Readings section below. She received seventeen more in the next five months, and was led to a spring of healing waters. She moved into a house with the sisters of Nevers at Lourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write. The sisters cared for the sick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both. Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors, she died with a prayer for Mary's aid. Since the appearances of Mary to young Bernadette in 1858, more than 200 million people have visited the shrine of Lourdes.

Born
7 January 1844 at Lourdes, France

Died
16 April 1879, Nevers, France of natural causes; body incorrupt

Beatified
1925

Canonized
1933 by Pope Pius XI

Name Meaning
brave as a bear

Patronage
 against bodily ills
 illness
 Lourdes, France
 people ridiculed for their piety
 poverty
 shepherdesses
 shepherds
 sick people
 sickness



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Catherine Laboure

St. Catherine Laboure Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 11/28
Tridentine Calendar - 12/31


Patron Of: Miraculous Medal

Profile
    Ninth of eleven children born to a farm family, and from an early age felt a call to the religious life. Never learned to read or write. Forced to take over running the house at age eight after her mother died and her older sister joined the Sisters of Charity. Worked as a waitress in her uncle's cafe in Paris. Upon entering a hospital run by the Sisters of Charity she received a vision in which Saint Vincent de Paul told her that God wanted her to work with the sick, and she later joined the order, taking the name Catherine.

    On 18 July 1830 she had a vision of Our Lady who described to her a medal which she wished struck. On one side it has the image of Our Lady, and the words, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"; on the other are the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Our Lady told Catherine that wearers of the medal would receive great graces, it has become known as the Miraculous Medal, and its wearing and devotion has spread worldwide. Miracles reported at her tomb.

Born
    2 May 1806 at Fain-les-Moûtiers, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France as Zoe Laboure

Died
    31 December 1876 at Enghien-Reuilly, France; body incorrupt; entombed in her convent chapel

Beatified
    1933 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized
    27 July 1947 by Pope Pius XII


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Clare of Assisi

St. Clare of Assisi Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/11
Tridentine Calendar - 08/12


Patron Of: Needle Workers, Eye Diseases, Goldsmiths, Laundry Workers, Embroiderers, Gilders, Good Weather, Television Writers

Profile
    Daughters of a count and countess. Her father died young. After hearing Saint Francis of Assisi preach in the streets, she confided to him her desire to live for God, the two became close friends. On Palm Sunday 1212 the bishop presented her with a palm, which she apparently took as a sign. Clare and her cousin Pacifica ran away from her mother's palace during the night. She eventually took the veil of religious profession from Francis at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi.

    Founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) at San Damiano, and led it for 40 years. Everywhere the Franciscans established themselves throughout Europe, there also went the Poor Clares, depending solely on alms, forced to have complete faith on God to provide through people; a lack of land-based revenues was a new idea at the time. Clare's mother and sisters later joined the order, and there are still thousands of members living lives of prayer in silence.

    Clare loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, and chivalrous. She would get up late at night to tuck in her sisters who'd kicked off their covers. She daily meditated on the Passion. When she learned of the Franciscan martyrs in Morrocco in 1221, she tried to go there to give her own life for God, but was restrained. Once when her convent was about to be attacked, she displayed the Sacrament in a monstrance at the convent gates, and prayed before it; the attackers left.

    Toward the end of her life, when the was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would display on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television. She was ever the close friend and spiritual student of Francis, who apparently led her soul into the light.

Born
    16 July 1194 at Assisi, Italy

Died
    11 August 1253 of natural causes

Canonized
    26 September 1255 by Pope Alexander IV

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. John Fisher

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 06/22


Patron Of: Diocese of Rochester, New York

Also known as
    John of Rochester
    John Fisher of Rochester

Memorial
    22 June
    formerly 13 June
    formerly 9 July

Profile
    Studied theology at Cambridge University, receiving degrees in 1487 and 1491. Parish priest in Northallerton, England from 1491 to 1494. Gained a reputation for his teaching abilities. Proctor of Cambridge University. Confessor to Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, in 1497. Bishop of Rochester, England in 1504; he worked to raise the standard of preaching in his see. Chancellor of Cambridge. Tutor of the young King Henry VIII. Excellent speaker and writer. When in 1527 he was asked to study the problem of Henry's marriage, he became the target of Henry's wrath by defending the validity of the marriage and rejecting Henry's claim to be head of the Church in England. Imprisoned in 1534 for his opposition, he spent 14 months in prison without trial. While in prison he was created cardinal in 1535 by Pope Paul III. Martyr.

Born
    1469 at Beverly, Yorkshire, England

Died
    martyred on 22 June 1535 on Tower Hill, Tyburn, England
    buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, Barking, without rites or a shroud
    head exhibited on London Bridge for two weeks as an example, then thrown into the River Thames
    relics in Saint Peter's Church in the Tower of London

Name Meaning
    God is gracious; gift of God

Canonized
    1935 by Pope Pius XI

Patronage
    diocese of Rochester, New York



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/14
Tridentine Calendar - 11/24


Patron Of: Contemplative Life, Mystical Theology, Mystics, Spanish Poets

Also known as
    Doctor of Mystical Theology


Memorial
    14 December
    formerly 24 November

Profile
    Born in poverty. Cared for the poor in the hospital in Medina. Lay Carmelite brother in 1563 at age 21, though he lived stricter than their Rule. Studied at Salamanca. Carmelite priest, ordained in 1567 at age 25. Persuaded by Saint Teresa of Avila to begin the Discalced or barefoot reform within the Carmelite Order, he took the name John of the Cross. Master of novices. Spiritual director and confessor at Saint Teresa's convent. His reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was ordered to return to Medina. He refused, and was imprisoned at Toledo, Spain, escaping after nine months. Vicar-general of Andalusia. His reforms revitalized the Order. Great contemplative and spiritual writer. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on 24 August 1926.

Born
    24 June 1542 at Fontiveros, Spain

Died
    14 December 1591 at Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain; relics at Segovia

Name Meaning
    God is gracious; gift of God

Beatified
    25 January 1675 by Pope Clement X

Canonized
    27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Monica

St. Monica Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/27


Patron Of: Mothers, Difficult Marriages, Widows, Abuse Victims, Alcoholics, Housemakers, Disappointing Children, Homemakers, Housewives, Married Women

Memorial

    * 27 August

Profile

    Raised in a Christian family, she was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, adulterous pagan named Patricius. Mother of two, one of whom is Saint Augustine of Hippo whose writings about her are the primary source of our information about Monica. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life). Spiritual student of Saint Ambrose of Milan. Reformed alcoholic.

Born

    * 322 at Tagaste (Souk Ahrus), Roman North Africa (modern Algeria)

Died

    * 387 at Ostia, Italy

Canonized

    * Pre-Congregation

Patronage

    * abuse victims
    * alcoholics
    * alcoholism
    * Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers
    * Bevilacqua, Italy
    * difficult marriages
    * disappointing children
    * homemakers
    * housewives
    * Mabini, Bohol, Philippines
    * married women
    * mothers
    * victims of adultery
    * victims of unfaithfulness
    * victims of verbal abuse
    * widows
    * wives

Prayers

    * Prayer to Saint Monica

Representation

    * girdle
    * tears

 



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Padre Pio

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 09/23


 Francesco Forgione
 Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
 Pio of Pietrelcina
Memorial
23 September
Profile
Born to a southern Italian farm family, the son of Grazio, a shepherd. At age 15 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars in Morcone, and joined the order at age 19. Suffered several health problems, and at one point his family thought he had tuberculosis. Ordained at age 22 on 10 August 1910.

While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on 20 September 1918, the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. Reportedly able to bilocate, levitate, and heal by touch. Founded the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. In the 1920's he started a series of prayer groups that continue today with over 400,000 members worldwide.

His canonization miracle involved the cure of Matteo Pio Colella, age 7, the son of a doctor who works in the House for Relief of Suffering, the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo founded by Padre Pio. On the night of 20 June 2000, Matteo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with meningitis. By morning doctors had lost hope for him as nine of the boy´s internal organs had ceased to give signs of life. That night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo´s mother and some Capuchin friars of Padre Pio´s monastery, the child's condition improved suddenly. When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: "Don´t worry, you will soon be cured." The miracle was approved by the Congregation and Pope John Paul II on 20 December 2001.
Born
25 May 1887 at Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy as Francesco Forgione
Died
23 September 1968 of natural causes



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Peter Canisius

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/21


Patron Of: Germany, Catholic Press, Writers of Catechisms

Also known as
    Hammer of Protestantism
    Peter Kanis
    Second Apostle of Germany

Profile
    Educated in Cologne, Germany; an excellent student, he received a master’s degree by age 19. He became a Jesuit after attending a retreat conducted by Blessed Peter Faber. Preacher. Writer. Teacher. He travelled and worked with Saint Ignatius of Loyola. During prayers he received a vision of the Sacred Heart, and ever after offered his work to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He led the Counter-Reformation in German lands. His catechism went through 200 editions during his life, and was translated into 12 languages. Ordained in 1546. Founded colleges. Addressed the Council of Trent on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.

Born
    8 May 1521 as Peter Kanis at Niemguen, Holland

Died
    1597 at Fribourg, Switzerland

Beatified
    1864 by Pope Pius IX

Canonized
    1925 by Pope Pius XI



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Teresa Benedicta

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/09


Patron Of: Death Of Parents

Also known as
    Teresia Benedicta
    Edith Stein

Memorial
    9 August

Profile
    Youngest of seven children in a Jewish family. Edith lost interest and faith in Judaism by age 13. Brilliant student and philospher with an interest in phenomenology. Studied at the University of Gottingen and in Breisgau. Earned her doctorate in philosophy in 1916 at age 25. Witnessing the strength of faith of Catholic friends led her to an interest in Catholicism, which led to studying a catechism on her own, which led to "reading herself into" the Faith. Converted to Catholicism in Cologne, Germany; baptized in Saint Martin's church, Bad Bergzabern, on 1 January 1922.

    Carmelite nun in 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teacher in the Dominican school in Speyer, and lecturer at the Educational Institute in Munich. However, anti-Jewish pressure from the Nazis forced her to resign both positions. Profound spiritual writer.

    Both Jewish and Catholic, she was smuggled out of Germany, and assigned to Echt, Holland in 1938. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she and her sister Rose, also a convert to Catholicism, were captured and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they died in the ovens like so many others.

Born
    12 October 1891 at Breslaw, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein

Died
    gassed on 9 August 1942 in the ovens of Auschwitz

Beatified
    1 May 1987 by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany

Canonized
    11 October 1998 by Pope John Paul II

Patronage
    Europe
    loss of parents
    martyrs



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/09


Patron Of: Martyrs, Europe, Against Death of Parents

Also known as

    * Edith Stein
    * Teresia Benedicta

Memorial

    * 9 August

Profile

    Youngest of seven children in a Jewish family. Edith lost interest and faith in Judaism by age 13. Brilliant student and philospher with an interest in phenomenology. Studied at the University of Göttingen, Germany and in Breisgau, Germany. Earned her doctorate in philosophy in 1916 at age 25. Witnessing the strength of faith of Catholic friends led her to an interest in Catholicism, which led to studying a catechism on her own, which led to “reading herself into” the Faith. Converted to Catholicism in Cologne, Germany; baptized in Saint Martin’s church, Bad Bergzabern, Germany on 1 January 1922.

    Carmelite nun in 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teacher in the Dominican school in Speyer, Germany and lecturer at the Educational Institute in Munich, Germany. However, anti-Jewish pressure from the Nazis forced her to resign both positions. Profound spiritual writer.

    Both Jewish and Catholic, she was smuggled out of Germany, and assigned to Echt, Netherlands in 1938. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, she and her sister Rose, also a convert to Catholicism, were captured and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they died in the ovens like so many others.

Born

    * 12 October 1891 at Breslaw, Dolnoslaskie, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein

Died

    * gassed on 9 August 1942 in the ovens of Oswiecim (a.k.a. Auschwitz), Malopolskie (Poland)

Venerated

    * 26 January 1987 by Pope John Paul II

Beatified

    * 1 May 1987 by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany

Canonized

    * 11 October 1998 by Pope John Paul II

Patronage

    * against the death of parents
    * Europe
    * martyrs

Representation

    * Star of David
 



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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