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Reflections: Saints Section (Saints: Various)

St. Patrick

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Reflections: 

Saints Section:

Saints (Various)

Wisdom of the Popes, Saints, Theologians, Other...

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Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Agnes

St. Ambrose

St. Andrew

St. Andrew Avellino

St. Apollonia

St. Augustine

St. Benedict

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bruno

St. Caecilia

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis of Assisi (links)

St. Jerome (links)

St. John

St. Joseph

St. Jude

St. Laurence

St. Laurence Justinian

St. Louis IX

St. Martin of Tours

St. Mary Magdalene

St. Monica

St. Nicholas

St. Patrick

St. Paul

St. Peter

Sts. Peter & Paul

St. Stephen

St. Teresa on St. Peter of Alcantara

St. Thomas

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Prayers of the Saints

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Writings of the Saints (Reflections)

Honoring & Intercession of the Saints

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Category
Quotation

Blessed Virgin Mary

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Lk. 1:26-38)

"And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house." (Lk. 1:39-56)

"We have the Virgin as universal advocate in all things, for she is more powerful in whatever necessity than are the other Saints in particular needs." (Pope Pius XII)

"Can. 1276 It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke the Servants of God reigning together with Christ and to venerate their relics and images; but before the others, all the faithful shall follow the Blessed Virgin Mary with filial devotion." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Among the saints in heaven the Virgin Mary Mother of God is venerated in a special way. Because of the mission she received from God, her life is most closely linked with the mysteries of Jesus Christ, and there is no one who has followed in the footsteps of the Incarnate Word more closely and with more merit than she: and no one has more grace and power over the most Sacred Heart of the Son of God and through Him with the Heavenly Father. Holier than the Cherubim and Seraphim, she enjoys unquestionably greater glory than all the other saints, for she is 'full of grace,' she is the Mother of God, who happily gave birth to the Redeemer for us. Since she is therefore, 'Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope,' let us all cry to her 'mourning and weeping in this vale of tears,' and confidently place ourselves and all we have under her patronage. She became our Mother also when the divine Redeemer offered the sacrifice of Himself; and hence by this title also, we are her children. She teaches us all the virtues; she gives us her Son and with Him all the help we need, for God 'wished us to have everything through Mary.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Also See: Mary, Our Mother (Reflections) | Mary, Our Mother Section | The Saints & The Blessed Virgin Mary | Marian Scriptural References | Popular Marian Devotions | Popular Marian Prayers | Marian Prayers | The Holy Rosary

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St. Agnes

"Dear Child [St. Agnes]! Innocent even in the capital of pagan corruption, and free of heart even amidst a slavish race, we see the image of our Emmanuel in thee. He is the Lamb; and thou art simple, like him: he is the Lion of the Tribe of Juda; and like him thou art invincible. Truly these Christians, as the pagans said, are a race of beings come from heaven to people this earth! A family that has martyrs and heroes and heroines like thee, brave Saint! That has young virgins, filled, like its venerable pontiffs and veteran soldiers, with the fire of heaven, and burning with ambition to leave a world they have edified with their virtues, is God's own people, and it can never be extinct. Its martyrs are to us the representation of the divine virtues of our Lord Jesus Christ. By nature they were as weak as we; they had a disadvantage which we have not - they had to live in the very thick of paganism, and paganism had corrupted the whole earth'; and notwithstanding all this, they were courageous and chaste." (Dom Gueranger)

Also See: Martyrs / Martyrdom

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St. Ambrose

"Following the examples of the prophet Elias and of the Baptist, thou didst fearlessly reprove kings for their evil doings; thou didst admirably adorn the throne of the hierarchy; thou didst enrich the world with the multitude of thy miracles; and therefore thou didst strengthen the faithful and convert the unbelievers, by the nourishment of thy divine Scriptures. O Ambrose! O holy priest! Pray to Christ our Lord that he grant the forgiveness of their sins to them that celebrate with love thy holy memory." (Hymn to St. Ambrose)

Also See: Doctors of the Church

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St. Andrew

"Thou hast a special power of leading souls to Jesus, O glorious saint! For even he, who was to be made the pastor of the whole flock, was presented to the Messias by thee." (Dom Gueranger)

"We should remember that Saint Andrew is the apostle of the cross. To Peter, Jesus has given firmness of faith; to John, warmth of love; the mission of Andrew is to represent the cross of his divine master. Now it is by these three, faith, love, and the cross, the at the Church renders herself worthy of her Spouse. Everything she has or is, bears this threefold character." (Dom Gueranger)

"When Jesus, our Messias, began His public life, thou hadst already become the obedient disciple of the Precursor, who preached His coming; thou wast among the first of them who received the Son of Mary as the Messias foretold in the law and the prophets. But thou couldst not keep the heavenly secret from him who was so dear to thee; to Peter, then, thou didst bear the good tidings, and didst lead him to Jesus." (Liturgical Year)

"Thou teachest us this way; it is that of fidelity, of fidelity even to the cross. In that way thou didst courageously walk: and because the cross leads to Jesus Christ, thou didst passionately love the cross. Pray for us, O holy apostle! That we may begin to understand this love of the cross; and that having understood it, we may put it in practice. Thy brother says to us in his Epistle: 'Christ having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought.' ... Because thy Master was crucified, thou wouldst also be crucified. From the high throne to which thou hast been raised by the cross, pray for us, that the cross may be unto us the expiation of the sins which are upon us, the quenching of the passions which burn within us, and the means of uniting us by love to Him, who, through love alone for us, was nailed to the cross." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Mottos / Last Words | Martyrs / Martyrdom | The Apostles 

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St. Andrew Avellino

"Calling to mind the circumstances of thy blessed end, Christians honor thee as a protector against sudden and unprovided death: be our guardian at that last moment; let the innocence of our life, or at least our repentance, prepare for us a happy exit; and may we, like thee, breath out our last sigh in hope and love." (Liturgical Year)

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St. Apollonia

"There is one very striking circumstance in the martyrdom of St. Apollonia. Her executioners, to punish the boldness wherewith she confessed our Lord Jesus Christ, beat out her teeth. This has suggested to the faithful, when suffering the cruel pain of toothache, to have recourse to St. Apollonia; and their confidence is often rewarded, for God would have us seek the protection of His saints, not only in our spiritual, but even in our bodily sufferings and necessities." (Dom Gueranger)

Also See: Martyrs / Martyrdom

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St. Augustine

"The whole world celebrates your praises; the Catholics venerate and admire you as the restorer of the ancient faith. But what is mark of still greater glory, all the heretics hate you. They honor me, too, with their hatred." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"For to begin with the queen of all the virtues, our Saint [Augustine], leaving all else aside, made the love of God so completely the goal of his desires and efforts, and fed its flame so steadfastly in his soul, that he is fittingly portrayed as holding in his hand a burning heart." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"Did not the Heavenly Father, then, abandon Augustine to his own devices, that [St.] Monica [his mother] might ply Him with tearful entreaties and serve as a type of those mothers, who by their long-suffering and gentleness of temper, by their tireless supplication of the divine mercy, succeed at length in winning back their sons to virtue? 'For it was impossible that the son would perish, for whom so many tears were shed.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"When [St. Augustine] addressed himself to discussing the last end appointed for man, he makes haste to lay down the principle that those who wish to arrive thereto will make a fruitless endeavor, unless they submit themselves with docile obedience to the Catholic Church, since it alone is destined by God to enrich souls with the light of virtue, without which one of necessity strays from the right path and is driven headlong to imperiling his eternal salvation." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"First of all, Augustine made it the object of his strenuous endeavor that all men should thoroughly learn and with conviction what was the chief end of their existence, what was the only way that led to true happiness. Could anyone, we ask, no matter how shallow and frivolous, have heard without being deeply stirred that avowal, made to God by a man who had lived for pleasure so long and was admirably endowed for winning this world's prizes, when he cried: 'Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is restless till it rest in Thee'?" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"Hence, Augustine was by degrees estranged from the Manichean heresy and, urged as it were by a Divine impulse, was led to Milan to meet Ambrose the Bishop there. The Lord 'little by little with a touch of tender pity shaping and moulding his heart,' though the wise words of Ambrose brought him to believe in the Catholic Church and in the truth of the Bible. Then it was that the son of Monica, though not yet immune from anxiety and from the allurements of vice, still grasped firmly the truth that Divine Providence has set the way of salvation only in Christ Our Lord and in the Sacred Scriptures, which find the sole warrant of their truth in the authority of the Catholic Church. Yet how hard and toilsome is the complete conversion of a man, who has long been straying from the straight path." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"We have sketched the career and the deserts of our subject, Venerable Brethren; a man [St. Augustine] to whom none or very few can be compared from among those who have flourished from history's dawn to the present, if we regard his soaring and subtle genius, his wealth and range of learning, his sanctity mounting to the topmost pinnacle, his invincible defense of Catholic truth. We have already cited more than one who spoke his praises. How charmingly, and how truly, Jerome writes to his contemporary and close friend; 'My resolution is to love, to welcome, to cherish, to admire you, and to champion your words as though they were my own'. And again: 'Well done!. You are famous throughout the world. Catholics revere and receive you as another builder of the ancient Faith. A mark of greater glory it is, that heretics loathe you. Me too they assail with a like hatred. They would kill in desire those whom they cannot slay with the sword'." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"While our Lord in securing the stability and promoting the growth of His foundation, which belongs to all time, did not limit Himself to a single method nor proceed always in the selfsame way, yet it is noteworthy that in every age He raised up distinguished men, who, by talents and efforts suited to the times and their exigencies, should rejoice the heart of the Christian people, by successively curbing and conquering the 'power of darkness.' This choice of Divine Providence, when it fell upon Augustine of Tagaste, was marked by a discrimination that was more than ordinarily striking. He was the light set upon the candlestick, he was the vanquisher of every heresy and a guide to eternal salvation for his contemporaries. What is more, he continued to teach and console Christians as age succeeded age. Nay, even in our time we owe it to him in large measure that among believers the truth of Faith maintains its luster, while love for God has not ceased to burn. Indeed, it is a matter of common knowledge that the writings of [St.] Augustine, by their exceptional sublimity and charm, cast a spell over many who are at variance with us or who seem utter strangers to the Faith." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"It soon became clear what sort of a 'vessel of election' the Lord had wrought in Augustine and for what brilliant deeds he was destined. Ordained priest and later advanced to the bishopric of Hippo, he shed the light of his abundant learning not merely on Christian Africa, but on the entire Church, bestowing...the blessings of his apostolate. He meditated on books of Holy Writ, long and earnestly did he offer to the Lord the prayers, whereof the meaning and the accent still live in his writings. That he might daily better fathom and understand the truths of Divine Revelation, he read through with close scrutiny the works of the Fathers and Doctors who preceded him and whom he regarded with humble veneration. Though he came after those holy men, like dazzling stars shed luster on the Catholic name - Clement of Rome, for example, and Irenaeus, Hilary and Athanasius, Cyprian and Ambrose, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom; though a contemporary of Jerome, nevertheless Augustine still excites in all men the greatest admiration because of the subtlety and depth of his thoughts and because of the marvelous wisdom breathing from the pages, which through long span of nearly fifty years he wrote and published." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"The praise of Augustine has never ceased to be proclaimed in the Church of God, even by the Roman Pontiffs. While the holy Bishop was yet alive, Innocent I greeted him as a beloved friend and extolled the letter which he had received from the Saint and from four Bishops, his friends: 'A letter instinct with faith and staunch with all the vigor of the Catholic religion'. Shortly after the death of Augustine, Celestine I defends him against his opponents in the following noble words: 'We have ever deemed Augustine a man to be remembered for his sanctity, because of his life and services in our communion, nor has rumor at any time darkened his name with the suspicion of evil. So great was his knowledge, as we recall, that he was always reckoned by my predecessors also among our foremost teachers. All alike, therefore, thought highly of him as a man held in affection and honor by all'. Gelasius I hailed Jerome and Augustine as 'luminaries among ecclesiastical teachers'. Hormisdas wrote in answer to Bishop Possessor's request for direction these weighty words: 'What the Roman, that is, the Catholic Church follows and maintains touching free will and the grace of God, can be learned from the different works of blessed Augustine, those especially which he addressed to Hilary and Prosper, though the formal chapters are contained in the ecclesiastical records'. A like testimony was uttered by John II, when in refutation of heretics he appealed to the works of Augustine: 'Whose teaching,' he said, 'according to the enactments of my predecessors, the Roman Church follows and maintains'. Can anyone be unaware how thoroughly familiar with the doctrine of Augustine were the Roman Pontiffs, during the ages that followed close upon his death, as Leo the Great, for example, and Gregory the Great? Thus Saint Gregory, thinking as highly of Augustine as he thought humbly of himself, wrote to Innocentius, prefect of Africa: 'If you wish to feast on choice food, read the works of blessed Augustine, your fellow countryman. His writings are as fine wheat. Seek not for our bran'. It is well known that Adrian I was in the habit of quoting passages from Augustine, whom he styled 'an eminent doctor'. Again, Clement VIII, to throw light on the obscure features of abstruse debates, and Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constitution 'Auctorem fidei,' to unmask the evasions of the condemned Synod of Pistoia, availed themselves of the support of Augustine's authority. It is a further tribute to the glory of the Bishop of Hippo, that more than once the Fathers in lawful Councils assembled, made use of his very words in defining Catholic truth." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

Also See: Doctors of the Church | What Delayed St. Augustine's Conversion (Coming Home Reflections) | St. Monica

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St. Benedict

"O Benedict! Thou vessel of election, thou palm of the wilderness, thou angel of earth, we offer thee the salutation of our love! What man was ever chosen to work on the earth more wonders than thou hast done? The Savior has crowned thee as one of His principal cooperators in the work of salvation and sanctification of men. Who could count the millions of souls who owe their eternal happiness to thee? Thy immortal rule has sanctified them in the cloister and the zeal of they Benedictines has been the means of their knowing and serving the great God who chose thee. Around thee, in the realms of glory, a countless number of the blessed acknowledge themselves indebted to thee, after God, for their eternal happiness; and upon the earth whole nations profess the true faith, because the Gospel was first preached to them by thy disciples." (Dom Gueranger)

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux

"As a monk [St. Bernard of Clairvaux] was so given to fasting, that whenever he had to take food he seemed to be undergoing torture." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Doctors of the Church

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St. Bruno

"St. Bruno was an eloquent and learned man; yet in his most sublime contemplation he expressed to God all the burning sentiments of his soul by a single word, which he wished never to cease repeating, but to continue actually to pronounce it for all eternity with fresh ardor and jubilation: 'O goodness! O goodness! O infinite goodness!' But by this word his heart said more than discourses could express in many years or ages." (Butler)

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St. Caecilia

"On how many occasions has Caecilia inspired virtue or sustained courage; how many weaknesses has the thought of her prevented or repaired! Such power for good has God placed in His saints that they influence not only by the direct imitation of their heroic virtues but also by the inductions which each of the faithful is able to draw from them for his own particular situation." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Martyrs / Martyrdom 

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St. Francis de Sales

"His kindness of heart never varied, no matter who the persons were with whom he had to deal, the hour of the day, [or] the trying circumstances he had to meet." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923 A.D.)

"[St. Francis de Sales] seemed to have been sent especially by God to contend against the heresies begotten by the [so-called] Reformation. It is in these heresies that we discover the beginnings of that apostasy of mankind from the Church, the sad and disastrous effects of which are deplored, even to the present hour, by every fair mind. What is more, it appears that Francis de Sales was given to the Church by God for a very special mission. His task was to give the lie to a prejudice which in his lifetime was deeply rooted and has not been destroyed even today, that the ideal of genuine sanctity held up for our imitation by the Church is impossible of attainment or, at best, is so difficult that it surpasses the capabilities of the great majority of the faithful and is, therefore, to be thought of as the exclusive possession of a few great souls." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923 A.D.)

"It is almost unbelievable with what vigor and constancy he defended the cause of Jesus Christ among the people of La Chablais. In order to bring them the light of faith and the comforts of the Christian religion, he was known to have traveled through deep valleys and to have climbed steep mountains. If they fled him, he pursued, calling after them loudly. Repulsed brutally, he never gave up the struggle; when threatened he only renewed his efforts. He was often put out of lodgings, at which times he passed the night asleep on the snow under the canopy of heaven. He would celebrate Mass though no one would attend. When, during a sermon, almost the entire audience one after another left the Church, he would continue preaching. At no time did he ever lose his mental poise or his spirit of kindness toward these ungrateful hearers. It was by such means as these that he finally overcame the resistance of his most formidable adversaries." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923 A.D.)

"Whoever attentively reviews the life of St. Francis [de Sales] will discover that, from his earliest years, he was a model of sanctity. He was not a gloomy, austere saint but was most amiable and friendly with all, so much so that it can be said of him most truthfully, 'her conversation (wisdom) hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness.' (Wisdom, viii, 16) Endowed with every virtue, he excelled in meekness of heart, a virtue so peculiar to himself that it might be considered his most characteristic trait. His meekness, however, differed altogether from that artificial gentility which consists in the mere possession of polished manners and in the display of a purely conventional affability. It differed, too, both from the apathy which cannot be moved by any force and from the timidity which does not dare to become indignant, even when indignation is required of one. This virtue, which grew in the heart of St. Francis as a delightful effect of his love of God and was nourished by the spirit of compassion and tenderness, so tempered with sweetness the natural gravity of his demeanor and softened both his voice and manners that he won the affectionate regard of everyone whom he encountered." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923 A.D.)

Also See: Doctors of the Church | Saints (Classic Encyclicals) | On the Writings of St. Frances de Sales (Book Review & Exchange Reflections)

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St. Francis of Assisi (links)

For Information on St. Francis of Assisi, Try:

St. Francis of Assisi Section

St. Francis of Assisi (Reflections)

St. Francis of Assisi: Biographical Information

St. Francis of Assisi: Prayers

Saints (Classic Encyclicals)

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St. Jerome (links)

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St. Jerome / Holy Scripture (Scripture Reflections)  

St. Jerome and Books (Catholic Book Review & Exchange Reflections)  

The Aged St. Jerome (Catholic Seniors Reflections) 

Saints (Classic Encyclicals)

Doctors of the Church

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St. John

"One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved [that is, St. John], was reclining at Jesus' side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, 'Master, who is it [that will betray you]?'" (Jn. 13:23-25)

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (Jn. 19:25-27)

"If Moses, after having conversed with God in the cloud, came from the divine interview with rays of miraculous light encircling his head: how radiant must have been the face of St. John which had rested on the very Heart of Jesus, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! How sublime his writings! How divine his teaching! Hence the symbol of the Eagle, shown to the Prophet Ezechiel, and to St. John himself in his Revelations, has been assigned to him by the Church: and to this title of The Eagle has been added, by universal tradition, the other beautiful name of Theologian." (Dom Gueranger)

"The Apostles, those Lights placed by the hand of Jesus himself upon the candlestick of the Church, died out by martyrdom one after the other, leaving St. John the sole survivor of the Twelve. His white hair, as the early Fathers tells us, was encircled with a thin plate of gold, the mark of episcopal dignity; the Churches treasured up the words which fell from his inspired lips, and considered them as their rule of Faith; and his prophecy of Patmos the Apocalypse, proves that the future of the Church was also revealed to him. Notwithstanding all this, John was humble and simple, like the Divine Infant of Bethlehem; and one cannot read without emotion what the early writers tell us of him, how he was often seen fondling a pet bird in his venerable hands." (Dom Gueranger)

"O John! The dearly Beloved Virgin Disciple of Jesus! For love of him thou didst leave thy father Zebedee and his boat. Thou didst disdain the caresses of thy young betrothed, and didst follow the Messias, That thou mightest merit to drink at the sacred fount of his heart. Thou too, when on this earth, didst behold the transfiguration of the Son of God, which vision, as we are taught, is not granted save to the Saints in life eternal. Jesus, when conquering on his cross entrusted his Mother to thy keeping; That thou, a Virgin, mightest protect and care for the Virgin in his stead. Imprisoned and torn by scourges, thou didst rejoice, for it was thy bearing testimony to Christ. Thou raisest, too, the dead to life, and in the name of Jesus breakest the poison's power. To thee, above the rest, the Almighty Father reveals his own embosomed Word. Do thou ever commend us to God by unwearied intercession. O John, Disciple dear to Christ! Amen." (Bl. Notker)

"And yet this same gentle and loving Saint was the inflexible enemy of heresy; for heresy, by destroying Faith, poisons Charity in its very source. It is from this Apostle that the Church has received the maxim she gives to us, of shunning heresy as we would shun a plague: If any man come to you and bring not the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into the house, nor say to him 'God speed thee', for he that saith unto him 'God speed thee', communicateth with his wicked works (Jn. 1:10-11). St. John having one day entered one of the public baths, he was no sooner informed that the heresiarch Cerinthus was in the same building, than he instantly left the place as though it were infected. The disciples of Cerinthus were indignant at this conduct of the Apostle, and endeavored to take away his life by putting poison into the cup from which he used to drink; but St. John having made the sign of the cross over the cup, a serpent was seen to issue from it, testifying both to the wickedness of his enemies and to the divinity of Christ, This apostolic firmness in resisting the enemies of the Faith made him the dread of the heretics of Asia; and hereby he proved how justly he had received from Jesus the surname Son of Thunder" (Dom Gueranger)

Also See: The Apostles

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St. Joseph

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St. Jude

"St. Jude, by his Catholic Epistle, has also a special right to be reckoned among our Lord's principle workmen. But our apostle had another nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father Cleophas or Alpheus, to St. Joseph, and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter's Son (Ftn.: Together with James the Less, apostle, and first bishop of Jerusalem, a certain Joseph less known, and Simeon, second bishop of Jerusalem, all sons of Cleophas, and of our Lady's sister-in-law called in St. John's gospel Mary of Cleophas)." (Liturgical Year)

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St. Laurence

"As it is impossible for Rome to be concealed, so it is equally impossible to hide Laurence's crown." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he favors he conferred were innumerable, and prove the greatness of his power with God; who has ever prayed to him and has not been graciously heard?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"In the ineffable heavenly city thou hast been received to citizenship, and the civic crown adorns thy brow in its eternal Senate. So brightly shine thy jewels that it seemeth the heavenly Rome hath chosen thee perpetual Consul... Thou hearest all who pray to thee, they ask what they will and none ever goes away sad." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: Mottos / Last Words | Martyrs / Martyrdom

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St. Laurence Justinian

"[St. Laurence Justinian] would choose of his own accord the humblest duties of the monastery, and begged his bread in the most crowded parts of the town, seeking rather mockery than alms. He bore insults and calumnies unmoved in silence." (Liturgical Year)

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St. Louis IX

"We may say of Louis IX as an epitome of his life: 'He made a covenant before the Lord to walk after Him and keep His commandments; and cause them to be kept by all.' God was his end, faith was his guide: herein lies the whole secret of his government as well as of his sanctity. As a Christian, he was a servant of Christ, as a prince he was Christ's lieutenant; the aspirations of the Christian and those of the prince did not divide his soul; this unity was his strength, and it is now his glory." (Liturgical Year)

Also See: St. Louis' Parting Words to His Son

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St. Martin of Tours

"Where [St. Martin of Tours] found scarcely a Christian on his arrival, he left scarcely an infidel at his departure." (Cardinal Pie)

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St. Mary Magdalene

"Afterward [Jesus] journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources." (Lk. 8:1-3)

"As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.' The Lord said to her in reply, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.'" (Lk. 10:38-42)

"Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. So the sisters sent word to him, saying, 'Master, the one you love is ill.' When Jesus heard this he said, 'This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.' Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, 'Let us go back to Judea.'... When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (But) even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise.' Martha said to him, 'I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.' When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, 'The teacher is here and is asking for you.' As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to him, 'Sir, come and see.' And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 'See how he loved him.' But some of them said, 'Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?' So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, 'Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.' Jesus said to her, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?' So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, 'Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.' And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, 'Untie him and let him go."' (Jn. 11:1-7, 17-44)

"Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, 'Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages and given to the poor?' He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, 'Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.'" (Jn. 12:1-8)

"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala." (Jn. 19:25)

"The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, 'Truly, this was the Son of God!' There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee." (Mt. 27:54-56)

"When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, 'Truly this man was the Son of God!' There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem." (Mk. 15:39-41)

"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it (in) clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb." (Mt. 27:57-61)

"When it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid." (Mk. 15:42-47)

"And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen. And behold he will go before you into Galilee. There you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you. And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet and adored him. Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee. There they shall see me." (Mt. 28:1-10)

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted. you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen: he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee. There you shall see him, as he told you. But they going out, fled from the sepulchre: for a trembling and fear had seized them. And they said nothing to any man: for they were afraid. But he rising early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalen; out of whom he had cast seven devils. She went and told them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. And they hearing that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe. And after that he appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as they were going into the country. And they going told it to the rest: neither did they believe them. At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again." (Mk. 16:1-14)

"But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, 'Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.' And they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened." (Lk. 24:1-12)

"On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 'They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.' So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned home. But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She said to them, 'They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him.' When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?' She thought it was the gardener and said to him, 'Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbouni,' which means Teacher (Master). Jesus said to her, 'Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'' Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and what he told her.'" (Jn. 20:1-18)

"She embraces the feet of her Lord, washes them with her tears, dries them with her hair; washing and wiping them, she anoints them with sweet ointment, and covers them with kisses. Such, O Wisdom of the Father, is the banquet that delights Thee!... The Pharisee invited Thee, but it is Mary [Magdalene] that gives Thee a feast." (Sequence)

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St. Monica

"O happy shower of tears, through which shone forth so bright a light within the Church! Monica sowed in much weeping, but she reaped her fruit in joy." (Sequence, Middle Ages)

Also See: St. Augustine

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St. Nicholas

"The sick are restored to health by the miraculous oil. They who are in danger of shipwreck are delivered by [St.] Nicholas' prayers. He raised from amongst the dead a corpse which lay on the road. A Jew asks for baptism, on witnessing the miraculous recovery of his money. A vase that had sunk in the deep sea, and a child that was lost to his father, are both recovered. Oh how great a saint did he appear by multiplying corn in a famine! ...[Sing] the hymns of Nicholas' praise; For all who pray to him with earnest hearts, will go back cured of their spiritual ailments. Amen." (Sequence of St. Nicholas)

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St. Patrick

"St. Patrick was a hero of fearless faith, deep trust and who by the grace of God was able to create a family of faith out of a pagan land. What fearless faith Patrick had to return to the land that made him a slave. What fearless faith he had to confront and finally defeat the dreaded Druids and their pagan ways which so long dominated the Irish people. What fearless faith Patrick had to withstand the brutal tribal chiefs whose word was law and whose power was their sword." {Keleher}

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St. Paul

"'My brothers and fathers, listen to what I am about to say to you in my defense.' When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew they became all the more quiet. And he continued, 'I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison. Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for punishment those there as well. 'On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I replied, 'Who are you, sir?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.' My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. I asked, 'What shall I do, sir?' The Lord answered me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.' Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus. 'A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and stood there and said, 'Saul, my brother, regain your sight.' And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.' After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord saying to me, 'Hurry, leave Jerusalem at once, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' But I replied, 'Lord, they themselves know that from synagogue to synagogue I used to imprison and beat those who believed in you. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was being shed, I myself stood by giving my approval and keeping guard over the cloaks of his murderers.' Then he said to me, 'Go, I shall send you far away to the Gentiles.'" (Acts 22:1-21)

"Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions. But when (God), who from my mother's womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas [Peter] and remained with him for fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord. (As to what I am writing to you, behold, before God, I am not lying.) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown personally to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only kept hearing that 'the one who once was persecuting us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.' So they glorified God because of me." (Gal. 1:11-24) [Note: Some ancient languages have no word for cousin (and other relatives) so the term "brothers" may be used to refer to relatives other than blood brothers. The use of this terminology does not mean that Jesus had blood brothers, which of course he didn't since Mary is an ever virgin. For more information on this topic, visit the Non-Catholics (apologetics) Section.]

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)

"Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." (2 Cor. 11:24-30)

"For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Kephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me." (1 Cor. 15:3-10)

"I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. About this person I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:2-10) 

"O God, who by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle didst instruct the multitude of the Gentiles: grant, we beseech thee, that whilst we celebrate his memory, we may find the effects of his prayers. Through Christ our Lord. Amen." (Collect)

Also See: Sts. Peter & Paul | Martyrs / Martyrdom | Mottos / Last Words

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St. Peter

Also See: St. Peter (Topic Page)

"Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Kephas' (which is translated Peter)." (Jn. 1:42)

"When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter said in reply, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' Jesus said to him in reply, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" (Mt. 16:13-19)

"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers." (Lk. 22:31-32)

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' He then said to him a second time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Tend my sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, 'Do you love me?' and he said to him, 'Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.' (Jesus) said to him, 'Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.' He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, 'Follow me.'" (Jn. 21:15-19)

"He who denied and loved, died in perfect love for Him, for Whom he had promised to die with wrong haste. It was necessary that Christ should first die for Peter's salvation, and then Peter die for Christ's Gospel." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"O God, who by delivering to the blessed Apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, didst give him the power of binding and loosing: grant that by his intercession we may be freed from the bonds of our sins. Who livest." (Office, St. Peter's Chair)

"Let us invoke too the prince of the Apostles to whom Christ Himself gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whom He made the rock of His Church, against which the gates of hell will never prevail; let us also invoke his fellow-apostle Paul, and all the heavenly saints who are already crowned and hold the palm of victory. We ask that they implore for all Christians (Catholics) the abundance of divine favor which they desire." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

"Our Lord having made Peter declare his love, informs him of his future martyrdom; an intimation to us how we should love: 'Verily, verily, I say to you, When you were young, you girded yourself, and walked where you would.' He reminds him of his former life, because, whereas in worldly matters a young man has powers, an old man none; in spiritual things, on the contrary, virtue is brighter, manliness stronger, in old age; age is no hindrance to grace. Peter had all along desired to share Christ's dangers; so Christ tells him, Be of good cheer; I will fulfill your desire in such a way, that what you have not suffered when young, you shall suffer when old: 'But when you are old'. Whence it appears, that he was then neither a young nor an old man, but in the prime of life." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"That is, [he, Peter] shall be crucified. And to come to this end, Another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not (Jn. 21:18). First He said what would come to pass, secondly, how it would come to pass. For it was not when crucified, but when about to be crucified, that he was led where he would not. He wished to be released from the body, and be with Christ; but, if it were possible, he wished to attain to eternal life without the pains of death; to which he went against his will, but conquered by the force of his will, and triumphing over the human feeling, so natural a one, that even old age could not deprive Peter of it. But whatever be the pain of death, it ought to be conquered by the strength of love for Him, Who being our life, voluntarily also underwent death for us. For if there is no pain in death, or very little, the glory of martyrdom would not be great." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: St. Peter (Vatican View Reflections) | Sts. Peter & Paul | Vatican View Section | The Apostles | Pope (Topical Scripture) | Martyrs / Martyrdom 

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Also See: St. Peter (Topic Page)

"Let us also seek the suffrages of the Most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of Paul, his fellow Apostle, and of all the Saints in Heaven, who having now become God's friends, have arrived at the heavenly kingdom, and being crowned bear their palms, and being secure of their own immortality are anxious for our salvation." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanta Cura", 1864 A.D.)

Also See: The Aged Apostles Peter & Paul (Catholic Seniors Reflections) | St. Peter | St. Paul | Vatican View Section | The Apostles

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St. Stephen

"When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But [Stephen], filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.' But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them'; and when he said this, he fell asleep." (Acts 7:54-59)

"Full of the Holy Ghost, Stephen fixes his gaze on the heavens above: Seeing there the glory of God, he pushes on to victory, he pants for the crown. Behold, Stephen! On God's right hand is thy Jesus, and he is fighting for thee. Boldly tell it to the crowd that the heavens are opened for thee, and that Jesus shows himself to thee. He then commends his spirit to his Savior, for whom he deems it sweet to be thus stoned to death." (Adam of St. Victor)

Also See: Martyrs / Martyrdom | Mottos / Last Words

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St. Teresa on St. Peter of Alcantara

St. Teresa, Doctor of the Church, after St. Peter of Alcantara's death, said: "Since his departure, our Lord has been pleased to let me enjoy more of him than I did when he was alive: he has given me advice and counsel in many things, and I have frequently seen him in very great glory. The first time that he appeared to me, he said, 'O happy penance, which hath obtained me so great a reward!' with many other things. A year before he died, he appeared to me when we were at a distance from one another, and I understood that he was to die, and I advertised him of it. When he gave up the ghost he appeared to me, and told me that he was going to rest. Behold here the severe penance of his life ending in so much glory, that methinks he comforts me now much more than when he was here. Our Lord told me once that men should ask nothing in his name, wherein he would not hear them. I have recommended many things to him, that he might beg them of our Lord, and I have always found them granted."

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St. Thomas

"The metaphysical philosophy of St. Thomas, although exposed to this day to the bitter onslaughts of prejudiced critics, yet still retains, like gold which no acid can dissolve, its full force and splendor unimpaired. Our Predecessor therefore rightly observed: 'To deviate from Aquinas, in metaphysics especially, is to run grave risk' (Pope St. Pius X)." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"Lastly, our Doctor possessed the exceptional and highly privileged gift of being able to convert his precepts into liturgical prayers and hymns and so became the poet and panegyrist of the Divine Eucharist. For wherever the Catholic Church is to be found in the world among whatsoever nations, there she zealously uses and ever will continue to use in her sacred services the hymns composed by St. Thomas. They are the expression of the ardent supplications of a soul in prayer and at the same time a perfect statement of the doctrine of the august Sacrament transmitted by the Apostles, which is pre-eminently described as the Mystery of Faith. If these considerations are borne in mind as well as the praise bestowed by Christ Himself to which We have already referred, nobody will be surprised that St. Thomas should also have received the title of the Doctor of the Eucharist." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"In what other Doctor was this 'word of wisdom' mentioned by St. Paul more remarkable and abundant than in the Angelic Doctor? He was not satisfied with enlightening the minds of men by his teaching: he exerted himself strenuously to rouse their hearts to make a return of His love to God, the Creator of all things. 'The love of God is the source and origin of goodness in things' he magnificently declares (1, xx, 2), and he ceaselessly illustrates this diffusion of the divine goodness in his discussion of every several mystery. 'Hence it is of the nature of perfect good to communicate itself in a perfect way and this is done in a supreme degree by God...in the Incarnation' (III, i, I). Nothing, however, shows the force of his genius and charity so clearly as the Office which he himself composed for the august Sacrament. The words he uttered on his deathbed, as he was about to receive the holy Viaticum, are the measure of his devotion to that Sacrament throughout his life: 'I receive Thee, Price of the redemption of my soul, for the love of Whom I have studied, kept vigil and toiled'." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"Moreover, as 'it is the characteristic of charity to make man tend to God by uniting the affections of man to God in such a way that man ceases to live for himself and lives only for God' (II-II, xvii, 6, ad 3), so the love of God, continually increasing in Thomas along with that double wisdom, induced in him in the end such absolute forgetfulness of self that when Jesus spoke to him from the cross, saying: 'Thomas, thou hast written well about me,' and asked him: 'What reward shall I give thee for all thy labor?' the saint made answer: 'None but Thyself, O Lord!' Instinct with charity, therefore, he unceasingly continued to serve the convenience of others, not counting the cost, by writing admirable books, helping his brethren in their labors, depriving himself of his own garments to give them to the poor, even restoring the sick to health as, for example, when preaching in the Vatican Basilica on the occasion of the Easter celebrations, he suddenly cured a woman who had touched the hem of his habit of a chronic hemorrhage." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"Such a combination of doctrine and piety, of erudition and virtue, of truth and charity, is to be found in an eminent degree in the angelic Doctor [St. Thomas Aquinas] and it is not without reason that he has been given the sun for a device; for he both brings the light of learning into the minds of men and fires their hearts and wills with the virtues. God, the Source of all sanctity and wisdom would, therefore, seem to have desired to show in the case of Thomas how each of these qualities assists the other, how the practice of the virtues disposes to the contemplation of truth, and the profound consideration of truth in turn gives luster and perfection to the virtues. For the man of pure and upright life, whose passions are controlled by virtue, is delivered as it were of a heavy burden and can much more easily raise his mind to heavenly things and penetrate more profoundly into the secrets of God, according to the maxim of Thomas himself: 'Life comes before learning: for life leads to the knowledge of truth' (Comment. in Matth., v); and if such a man devotes himself to the investigation of the supernatural, he will find a powerful incentive in such a pursuit to lead a perfect life; for the learning of such sublime things, the beauty of which is a ravishing ecstasy, so far from being a solitary or sterile occupation, must be said to be on the contrary most practical." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"He enjoyed a more than human reputation for intellect and learning and [Pope St.] Pius V was therefore moved to enroll him officially among the holy Doctors with the title of Angelic. Again, could there be any more manifest indication of the very high esteem in which this Doctor is held by the Church than the fact that the Fathers of Trent resolved that two volumes only, Holy Scripture and the Summa Theologica, should be reverently laid open on the altar during their deliberations? And in this order of ideas, to avoid recapitulating the innumerable testimonies of the Apostolic See, We are happy to recall that the philosophy of Aquinas was revived by the authority and at the instance of Leo XIII; the merit of Our illustrious Predecessor in so doing is such, as We have said elsewhere, that if he had not been the author of many acts and decrees of surpassing wisdom, this alone would be sufficient to establish his undying glory. Pope [St.] Pius X of saintly memory followed shortly afterwards in his footsteps, more particularly in his Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici, in which this memorable phrase occurs: 'For ever since the happy death of the Doctor, the Church has not held a single Council [the last at the time of this writing was Vatican I] but he has been present at it with all the wealth of his doctrine.' Closer to Us, Our greatly regretted Predecessor Benedict XV repeatedly declared that he was entirely of the same opinion and he is to be praised for having promulgated the [1917] Code of Canon Law in which 'the system, philosophy and principles of the Angelic Doctor' are unreservedly sanctioned. We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest. It would be an endless task to explain here all the reasons which moved Our Predecessors in this respect, and it will be sufficient perhaps to point out that Thomas wrote under the inspiration of the supernatural spirit which animated his life and that his writings, which contain the principles of, and the laws governing, all sacred studies, must be said to possess a universal character." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

"[St.] Thomas possessed all the moral virtues to a very high degree and so closely bound together that, as he himself insists should be the case, they formed one whole in charity 'which informs the acts of all the virtues' (II-II, xxiii, 8; I-II, Ixv). If, however, we seek to discover the peculiar and specific characteristics of his sanctity, there occurs to Us in the first place that virtue which gives Thomas a certain likeness to the angelic natures, and that is chastity; he preserved it unsullied in a crisis of the most pressing danger and was therefore considered worthy to be surrounded by the angels with a mystic girdle. This perfect regard for purity was accompanied at the same time by an equal aversion for fleeting possessions and a contempt for honors; it is recorded that his firmness of purpose overcame the obstinate persistence of relatives who strove their utmost to induce him to accept a lucrative situation in the world and that later, when the Supreme Pontiff would have offered him a mitre, his prayers were successful in securing that such a dread burden should not be laid upon him. The most distinctive feature, however, of the sanctity of Thomas is what St. Paul describes as the 'word of wisdom' (I Cor. xii, 8) and that combination of the two forms of wisdom, the acquired and the infused, as they are termed, with which nothing accords so well as humility, devotion to prayer, and the love of God. That humility was the foundation upon which the other virtues of Thomas were based is clear to anyone who considers how submissively he obeyed a lay brother in the course of their communal life; and it is no less patent to anyone reading his writings which manifest such respect for the Fathers of the Church that 'because he had the utmost reverence for the doctors of antiquity, he seems to have inherited in a way the intellect of all' (Leo XIII, ex Card. Caietano, litt. Encycl. Aeterni Patris, 4th August, 1879); but the most magnificent illustration of it is to be found in the fact that he devoted the faculties of his divine intellect not in the least to gain glory for himself, but to the advancement of truth. Most philosophers as a rule are eager to establish their own reputations, but Thomas strove to efface himself completely in the teaching of his philosophy so that the light of heavenly truth might shine with its own effulgence. This humility, therefore, combined with the purity of heart We have mentioned, and sedulous devotion to prayer, disposed the mind of Thomas to docility in receiving the inspirations of the Holy Ghost and following His illuminations, which are the first principles of contemplation. To obtain them from above, he would frequently fast, spend whole nights in prayer, lean his head in the fervor of his unaffected piety against the tabernacle containing the august Sacrament, constantly turn his eyes and mind in sorrow to the image of the crucified Jesus; and he confessed to his intimate friend St. Bonaventura that it was from that Book especially that he derived all his learning. It may, therefore, be truly said of Thomas what is commonly reported of St. Dominic, Father and Lawgiver, that in his conversation he never spoke but about God or with God." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923 A.D.)

Also See: Popes on the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (Catholic Book Review & Exchange Reflections) | Doctors of the Church

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