Category Archives: Saturday Saints

Saturday Saints- #123

Today we feature the letter “P.” So our saint for the day is Padre Pio:

Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Italian: Pio da Pietrelcina), O.F.M. Cap. (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968), was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic,now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

Padre Pio became famous for exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He was both beatified (1999) and canonized (2002) by Pope John Paul II.

There is a great deal more to his life, no surprise given he was a figure of much controversy. More can be learned about him at his wiki, located here.

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Saturday Saints- #122

The letter “O” makes its triumphant return today. Thus, our saint is none other than Saint Oliver Plunkett:

Oliver Plunkett (also spelt Oliver Plunket) (Irish: Oilibhéar Pluincéid), (1 November 1625 – 1 July 1681) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was the last victim of the Popish Plot. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, thus becoming the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

A few snippets from the Wikipedia article on him:

On the enactment of the Test Act in 1673, to which Plunkett would not agree for doctrinal reasons, the college was closed and demolished. Plunkett went into hiding, travelling only in disguise, and refused a government edict to register at a seaport to await passage into exile. For the next few years he was largely left in peace since the Dublin government, except when put under pressure from the English government in London, preferred to leave the Catholic bishops alone.

In 1678 the so-called Popish Plot, concocted in England by clergyman Titus Oates, led to further anti-Roman Catholic action. Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin was arrested, and Plunkett again went into hiding. The Privy Council in London was told that Plunkett had plotted a French invasion. The moving spirit behind the campaign is said to have been Arthur Capell, the first Earl of Essex, who had been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and hoped to resume the office by discrediting the Duke of Ormonde. However Essex was not a ruthless or unprincipled man and his later plea for mercy suggests that he had never intended that Plunkett should actually die.

You can find much more about this martyr at the link above.

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Saturday Saints- #121

It has been a while since I wrote a post in this series, so it seems only appropriate that I bring it back. We left off with the letter “M”, which means that today’s letter is “N.” Thus, our saint for today is Saint Naum:

Saint Naum (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Наум, Sveti Naum), also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c. 830 – December 23, 910) was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School and is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church.

More can be found out about his life at his wiki, located here.

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Saturday Saints- #120

Our letter for today is the letter “M.” So we have as our saint, Margaret of Hungary:

Saint Margaret, O.P. (January 27, 1242 – January 18, 1271) was a Dominican nun and the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina. She was the younger sister of St. Kinga of Poland (Kunegunda) and the Blessed Yolanda of Poland and, through her father, the niece of the famed Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.

The four-year-old Margaret was entrusted by her parents to the Dominican monastery at Veszprém in 1245. Six years later she was transferred to the Monastery of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on Nyulak Szigete (Rabbit Island) near Buda (today Margaret Island, named after her, and a part of Budapest; the ruins of the monastery can still be seen). She spent the rest of her life there, dedicating herself to religion and opposing all attempts of her father to arrange a political marriage for her with King Ottokar II of Bohemia. She appears to have taken solemn vows when she was eighteen years old. In marked contrast to the customs of her Order, she received the Consecration of Virgins along with some other royals to prevent further attempts on the part of her father to have her vows dispensed by the Pope for marriage.

More can be found out about her and her life at her wiki, located here.

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Saturday Saints- #119

It has been a while since a post in this series. Today we resume where we left off, the letter L. Thus, our saint for today is Saint Lawrence of Rome:

St Lawrence is thought to have been born in Huesca, a town in the region of Aragon that was once part of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The martyrs Orentius and Patientia are traditionally held to have been his parents.

He encountered the future Pope Sixtus II, who was of Greek origin, one of the most famous and highly esteemed teachers in Caesaraugusta (today Zaragoza). Eventually, both left Spain for Rome. When Sixtus became the Pope in 257, he ordained St Lawrence as a deacon, and though Lawrence was still young appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the patriarchal church. He is therefore called “archdeacon of Rome”, a position of great trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the church and the distribution of alms among the poor.

St Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, notes that Roman authorities had established a norm according to which all Christians who had been denounced must be executed and their goods confiscated by the Imperial treasury. At the beginning of August 258, the Emperor Valerian issued an edict that all bishops, priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death. Sixtus was captured on 6 August 258, at the cemetery of St Callixtus while celebrating the liturgy and executed forthwith.

After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that St Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. Saint Ambrose is the earliest source for the tale that St Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. He worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church.[5] One account records him declaring to the prefect, “The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor.” This act of defiance led directly to his martyrdom and can be compared to the parallel Roman tale of the jewels of Cornelia.

On 10 August, St Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons, suffered a martyr’s death.

More can be found at his wiki, located here.

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Saturday Saints- #118

The letter K returns, and gives us today’s saint. That saint? Saint Kessog:

Saint Kessog was an Irish missionary of the mid-sixth century active in the Lennox area and southern Perthshire. Son of the king of Cashel in Ireland, Kessog is said to have worked miracles, even as a child. He left Ireland and became a missionary bishop in Scotland. Using Monks’ Island in Loch Lomond as his headquarters, he evangelized the surrounding area until he was martyred, supposedly at Bandry, where a heap of stones was known as St Kessog’s Cairn. Kessog was killed in 520 AD.

The St McKessog’s church in Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond is named after Kessog and the church contains an effigy of the saint. Kessog is claimed to have brought Christianity to the area around Luss in 510 AD and 1500 years of continuous Christian presence in the area was celebrated in 2010.

A bit more can be found out about him at his wiki, located here.

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Saturday Saints- #117

Today’s saint hails from the east, and Syria in particular, although Lebanon became his eventual home. Our saint is Saint John Maron:

John Maron (Arabic: يوحنا مارون‎‎, Youhana Maroun; Latin: Ioannes Maronus) (born in 628 in Sirmaniyah or Sarmin, present Syria – died in 707 in Kfarhy, Lebanon), was a Syriac monk, and the first Maronite Patriarch. He is revered as a saint by the Maronite and Roman Catholic Churches, and is commemorated on March 2. He died and was buried in Kfarhy near Batroun, in Lebanon, where a shrine is dedicated to him.

Some of his early life:

John studied Greek and patrology in Constantinople. Returning to Saint Maron’s, he wrote on such diverse topics as teaching, rhetoric, the sacraments, management of Church property, legislative techniques, and liturgy. He composed the Eucharistic Prayer which still bears his name. As a young priest he engaged himself in ecumenical debates with the Monophysites. Noted as a teacher and preacher, he explained the doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon (which focused on the nature of Jesus as both God and human), wrote a series of letters to the faithful against Monothelitism which Beit-Marun had adopted, and then travelled Syria to explain the heresy.

He was consecrated bishop in 676, and assigned to Mount Lebanon with a mission to oppose heresies, keep the Maronites united with the Church, and support the faithful in an area being invaded by Arabs. He travelled extensively in the areas involved in combat, preaching, conducting Mass, tending to the sick, and sheltering the homeless.

More can be found out about the founder of the Maronite Catholic Church at his wiki, located here. I should note that some of what is written in the wiki does not match up with what the Maronites teach about their history. Even today there is some dispute about such matters, including alleged heresies on their part at first.

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