Posts

St. Hedwig of Silesia

Image
You'd think if you buried someone in a lead coffin with their name on it and kept it in the same place they died, it would be pretty easy to keep track of. But over centuries, even such seemingly obvious things can get lost. St. Hedwig's bones are one such artifact, forgotten sometime around 1764 and rediscovered by a fluke in 2020 . Beyond the interesting history of her remains, St. Hedwig was a devout duchess, who dedicated her life (and her sizable resources) to helping the poor, the orphans, and the widows in her community.   Lifetime:  1174 to 1243 Region:  Bavaria; Poland Patronages:  Orphans; Poland; Berlin; Brandenburg Iconograpy:  Crown; Barefoot; Lay sister habit Feast Day: October 16 Hedwig was born in Bavaria as the daughter of a count. She had several siblings, and through her sister Gertrude was the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. At the age of 12, Hedwig married Henry the Bearded, duke of Silesia, though his reign was hotly contested by several other members of

Bl. Carlo Acutis

Image
Blessed Carlo Acutis was born in 1991, making him younger than me. It's an interesting experience, adoring a saint who was born later than yourself. I hope I get other opportunities to, for it's easy to imagine the lives of the saints as being in far away times and places, rather than wearing a Spider-Man costume for Halloween. It really drives home the point that, in any time and place, each of us are called to sainthood in our own way. Lifetime:  May 3, 1991 to October 12, 2006 Region:  Milan, Italy Patronages:  Youth; Programmers; Video gamers Iconograpy:  Rosary; Computer; Monstrance Feast Day: October 12 Carlo Acutis was born in London, but his Italian family moved back to Italy when he was young. Though he was baptized as an infant, his family wasn't particularly religious. In fact, before his birth, his mother says she had only been to church three times. Nonetheless, Carlo learned about the faith from a young age from his grandmother before she died, from his babys

St. Raphael the Archangel

Image
Unlike the archangels Michael  and Gabriel, Raphael only appears in the books of Tobit and Enoch, books that are not in all denominations' Bibles. However, he is also featured very prominently especially in the story of Tobit, which is a very interesting story indeed! Lifetime:  Eternity Region:  Heaven & Earth Patronages:  Pharmacists; Physicians; The blind; Lovers Iconograpy:  Angel with fish; Staff; Bottle or flask Feast Day: September 29 (with other Archangels) Raphael's name means "God healed", and his role in Tobit is a great example of that. In the book of Tobit, Tobit himself, a faithful man of God, gets blinded by... Well, there's no tame way to put this. He falls asleep and birds poop in his eyes. Afflicted by this blindness, Tobit prays that God let him die so he can stop being a burden upon his family, but the blindness persists for years. However, he eventually recalls a big bunch of money he had left behind in a far-off land, so he decides to sen

St. Andrew Kim Taegon and the Korean Martyrs

Image
St. Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean-born priest, and has his own feast day on the date of his martyrdom, September 16. However, he is also celebrated with the other 102 Korean martyrs, with whom he was canonized, on September 20. Lifetime:  August 21, 1821 to September 16, 1846 Region:  Korean peninsula Patronages:  Korean clergy Iconograpy:  Black gat hat; Red stole; Crucifix and Bible Feast Day: September 16; September 20 (with Korean martyrs) The victims of a mass persecution in the mid 1800s, 103 of the Korean martyrs have been declared saints in the Catholic church, and an additional 124 have been beatified. These martyrs were killed for practicing their Christian faith in the heavily Confucian country they lived in.  When Christian missionaries first entered Korea, they were surprised to find thousands of faithful Christians already living there. Though they had never seen a priest, these Korean Christians had learned of the faith through books traded from China and slowly

St. Helena of Constantinople

Image
St. Helena is famous for many things, one of the premier of which is being the mother of Emperor Constantine I, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity and in many ways the progenitor of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire".  However, St. Helena's accolades go much further than being a mother to one of the most influential figures in history. She is also credited with discovering the relic of the True Cross on which Jesus was executed, as well as (according to various accounts) several other relics including the nails of the crucifixion, the holy tunic, and the rope that tied Christ to the cross. Helena was instrumental in founding churches at several holy sites, including the believed sites of the Nativity, the Ascension, and the Crucifixion of Jesus as well as the Burning Bush where Moses spoke to God. And for lovers of cats, according to tradition Helena imported hundreds of cats to Cyprus to solve a local snake problem, and is the reason for the Cyprus cat br

St. Lawrence

Image
St. Lawrence is one of the most well-known deacon saints, notably for his method of martyrdom (being burned alive on a gridiron), and for the waterway bearing in name in the US and Canada. The Gulf of St. Lawrence was so named because the French explorer Jacques Cartier first arrived there on St. Lawrence's feast day in 1535. Lifetime:  225 to 258 Region:  Rome Patronages:  Comedians; Firefighters; Librarians Iconograpy:  Gridiron; Deacon robes; Censer Feast Day: August 10 Lawrence was born in a region of what is now Spain, which was at the time a Roman province. According to church tradition, both of Lawrence's parents, Saints Orentius and Patientia, were also martyred for their faith. Before his famous martyrdom, however, Lawrence was a layperson who happened to meet a wise teacher in his home town. That teacher would go on to become Pope Sixtus II (the same Sixtus that is referenced in the Communicantes  of the Roman Canon during Mass alongside Lawrence himself). Both left S

Bl. Solanus Casey

Image
I was blessed to be able to attend Father Solanus Casey's beatification in Detroit in 2017, though I had not yet joined the Church. It was lauded in the media as the "Catholic equivalent of the Super Bowl", and an estimated 60,000 pilgrims were in attendance. And no, that isn't a Tardis, I just happened to have blue Lego doors laying around. Though if they chose to base the next Doctor on a beatified Franciscan priest noted for his humility, I surely wouldn't complain. Lifetime:  1870 to 1957 Region:  Detroit, Michigan Patronages:  Porters; Failure and setbacks; Skin conditions; Detroit Iconograpy:  Door; Red glasses; Franciscan habit Feast Day: July 30 Solanus Casey was born Bernard "Barney" Francis Casey and was one of sixteen children. When he was seven, he contracted an illness that permanently damaged his voice and killed two of his siblings. Because his family moved several times when he was young, Barney never completed an education. He started wo