Tag Archive: saints

A kind soul has reminded me that, according to the 1962 Liturgical Calendar, still followed in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, 8 September – as well as being the Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary – is also the commemoration of Saint Adrian, martyr.  Saint Adrian was, unfortunately, one of the Saintly “casualties” in the liturgical reform following Vatican II, and so is no longer remembered on this day in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

St. Adrian of Nicomedia, also known as Hadrian of Nicomedia was an Herculian guard for the Roman emperor Galerius Maximian during the fourth century. While persecuting the Christians, St. Adrian questioned them about why they withstood the pain and suffering and what they expected in the afterlife. The Christians replied, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (I Corinthians 2:9).

St. Adrian of Nicomedia Martyred

Saint Adrian of Nicomedia marveled over the Christian’s words of faith and the courage the Christians displayed. Their willingness to die for the sake of Jesus Christ humbled and impressed St. Adrian of Nicomedia that he immediately converted to Christianity himself, refusing to persecute the Christians anymore, saying, “Write my name down also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God”. After his conversion, St. Adrian of Nicodemia was brought to the imperial court and tortured. His limbs were severed one by one on an anvil and then he was beheaded on March 4, 304. The body of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia was then set on fire but a rainstorm put out the flames and some of the guards were struck by lightning. St. Adrian’s wife, Saint Natalia, took one of his hands with her to Argyropolis. Saint Adrian of Nicomedia’s hand is now a relic in Grammont, Belgium.

Source: here.

I think it’s quite neat to share Our Lady’s Birthday with her.

So, Happy Feast Day to all the other Adrians out there!

Hail Glorious Saint Patrick!

Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17) to all readers!

In his message for Saint Patrick’s Day, Cardinal Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland says “that Patrick was a man who knew how to turn adversity into opportunity.  He successfully turned the adversity of six years of slavery on Slemish into an opportunity to grow in his knowledge and love of the God who, in Patrick’s words, ‘protected and comforted me as a father would his son.’  That knowledge and love of the Triune God are the basis of Patrick’s greatness” (St Patrick’s Message from Cardinal Brady).

This is a time of particular trial for the Church in Ireland, but also an opportunity for renewal: a chance to re-embrace the faith that fueled Saint Patrick and that filled the Irish Church to such an extent that missionaries went from Ireland to so many parts of the world.  The Church in many places, Australia included, owes a debt of gratitude to the many women and men, including religious and clergy, who left family and friends behind as Saint Patrick himself did, to share the Gospel of Christ.

Saint Patrick, pray for us!

Histories of St. Francesca Romana by Antoniazzo Romano

It seems to me that Saint John of God, who was remembered yesterday, and Saint Frances of Rome, whose feast is celebrated today (9 March), are particularly apt saints for Lent.

A few challenging words from the life of Saint Frances of Rome, from the Office of Readings:

“That same steadfastness enabled her to endure the evil-tongued detractors who spoke ill of her way of life.  Never did she show the slightest antipathy for those whom she knew spoke evil of her and of what she did.  Instead, she repaid evil with good and prayed unceasingly to God for them.

“[…] people came to her from everywhere, as to a safe place of refuge.  No one went away without being comforted even though she readily reproved sin and fearlessly castigated what was evil and displeasing to God.”

We have plenty of Saints who were priests and religious, so it’s always great to see some more laity on the way to “official” sainthood.  Recently, a German-born woman was beatified who was a mother and politician.  The following is from the Vatican Information Service:

VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon in Vienna, Austria, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of that city, presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for Sunday’s beatification of Hildegard Burjan in the cathedral of St. Stephen. In his remarks following the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Benedict XVI had reminded faithful how the new blessed had borne “magnificent witness to the Gospel”.

A Vatican Radio transmission dedicated to Blessed Hildegard explained that she was born into a Jewish family 1883 in the then Prussian city of Gorlitz, and studied philosophy at the University of Zurich. She married and, some time later following a period of illness, discovered the Christian faith and was baptised in 1909. She moved to Vienna where she became a member of the Austrian parliament, dedicating her political activity to serving the Gospel in support of workers and the oppressed, in keeping with the teachings of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical “Rerum novarum”.

In 1912 she founded the Association of Christian Women Home Workers, offering help to the hungry, creating a support network for families and combating child labour. In 1919 she founded the Congregation of Sisters of “Caritas Socialis”. In her dedication to the family she also gave birth to a daughter, against the advice of doctors who recommended an abortion for health reasons. She thirsted after justice, seeing the Face of Jesus in the poor and suffering. “We cannot help people with money and small offerings”, she would say, “rather we must give them the confidence that they are capable of doing something for themselves”.

In his homily yesterday, Cardinal Schonborn noted that Hildegard Burjan is proof that sanctity is also possible in political life. She “announced the Gospel through action”, he said. “Her beatification comes at a good time to highlight that action is a core issue. … Hildegard was a convincing Christian because, without too many words, she acted. In our own time we must again learn to understand what it means to be disciples, and to this end what we need are not theories, but examples of people who speak through their actions”.

Blessed Hildegard Burjan, pray for us!


Faithful Pray Beside Eileen O’Connor’s Tomb


St Anthony, pray for us!

Homily for Mass – Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa

[Readings: 1 Sam 16:1-13;  Ps 89;  Mt 2:23-28]


One thing I noticed as I reflected on the first reading is that Samuel is so in tune with the Lord that he is able to know precisely what the Lord wants: Samuel hears the Lord.  But interestingly, that intimacy with the Lord goes hand in hand with his own impulses which are not what the Lord desires.

The reading begins with the Lord asking Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul?”  Samuel struggled with the fact that the Lord wanted a new king anointed for Israel.

And then later when Samuel knows that one of Jesse’s sons is to be anointed king, the Lord has to correct Samuel’s way of seeing things.  But – even though Samuel is wrong in his judgements –  the important thing is that he is listening to the correction that the Lord gives.

This highlights an important reality: our closeness with the Lord, our intimacy with Him, will not magically make our own inner struggles go away.  We still have to fight, with God’s grace, our resistances to what the Lord wills.

We remember today St Anthony, one of the early monks in the Christian tradition.  Those monks aimed at a close following of Jesus’ way – to literally dispossess themselves and to follow the Lord by going out into the wilderness to engage in the spiritual battle with evil:  to face their ‘demons’, their inner resistances to the Lord’s will for them.

Today as we honour St Anthony the abbot, let’s ask him to pray for us.  Despite our own struggles to live the faith, and despite our own inner resistances to God’s will in our lives, let’s pray that like Samuel we may always have a listening heart … a heart that is open to the Lord’s word to us.

With God’s grace, especially assisted today by the graces of this Mass and our sacramental communion with the Son of Man, may we be able to live God’s will more and more in our lives.


More on St Anthony here.


St Adrian, pray for us!

His feast may not be celebrated in many places, however here at A secular priest, today (January 9), we remember St Adrian of Canterbury.

St Adrian of Canterbury

Read more about him here.

There is a nice interview, on the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s website, with Kathleen Evans who was cured of terminal cancer at the intercession of Australia’s St Mary of the Cross.

In 1993 Kathleen Evans was cured of terminal cancer at the age of 49. Her cure was recognised as Mary MacKillop’s second miracle. Last year, Mary became Australia’s first saint, taking her place among the saints of the Universal Church to become St Mary of the Cross.

After being diagnosed with lung cancer, which had spread to her brain, Kathleen was given only two months to live. With no medical intervention possible she turned instead to Mary MacKillop and to prayer.

Within days of a novena being said on her behalf by the Josephite Sisters and with a picture and relic of Mary MacKillop attached to her night gown, Kathleen began to regain her strength and eventually was miraculously cleared of cancer.

Now, 18 years later, Australia has its first saint and Kathleen, from Newcastle in New South Wales, is here to tell the story of this miracle. While in Melbourne with her husband Barry recently, Kathleen spoke to Kairos Catholic Journal’s Edwina Hall.

Read the full story here: And then Mary came in.


Intercession of St Mary MacKillop

St Mary of the Cross (MacKillop)

This morning I read a nice article by Fr Gerard Dowling OAM reflecting on his experience with cancer five years ago, and his gratitude for the intercession of St Mary MacKillop.

You can find the article in Melbourne’s Kairos Catholic Journal here, then go to page 37.

A bit late …

… but happy Feast Day to all church musicians!  The Feast of St Cecilia was celebrated on Nov 22nd.

I was interested in this post at Whispers in the Loggia about the organ that is in the Crystal Cathedral, which the Catholic Diocese of Orange is hoping to buy (the building, that is, including the organ).  It looks and sounds like an amazing instrument!

I also second the concluding comment at the end of that post.  Whatever were the Germans thinking?  It sounds like music that you’d hear in a lobby or an elevator.  The look on the Holy Father’s face as he sits is worth a caption!

Here’s to all those dedicated church musicians out there, and here’s to having worthy music that lifts our minds and hearts to the Lord.