As we continue through this summer, it can feel like the heat and humidity exhaust us to the point where everyday feels the same. It seems to be a never ending cycle of heat, mosquitoes and thunderstorms and I find myself focused on the negative as I just float along. However, when I have a goal in mind, something that I am striving towards, the hot days suddenly become more bearable. I need that jolt of fresh air to keep me going. Just like our physical lives, our spiritual lives in the summer can go through some exhaustion as well. For those who have not explored our Saint Website yet, we hope it can be a spark for you this August. For those of you who already look at our saints of the day, we have added five new saints this month that can hopefully be insightful and helpful for your prayer and reflection time throughout the month.
Bl. Frédéric Janssoone
Tomorrow we will celebrate the life of 19th century Franciscan Bl. Frédéric Janssoone. Although he lived and worked at the end of the 1800s, his life can still be a model for so many of us today. He was a missionary in Canada and was not only known for his missionary work, but also for his handling of the administrative tasks of the growing missionary efforts of the Franciscans there. Today, it is easy to compartmentalize ourselves as being good at one thing at a time, for example, either excelling at missionary work or administrative work. The life of Bl. Frédéric, however, shows us that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can combine both missionary and administrative work into a life of holiness. He is a wonderful example of how we can allow the Lord to work in our lives in many different ways.
Bl. Frédéric Janssoone, Pray for Us
St. Mary MacKillop
On August 8th, we will celebrate the feast of St. Mary MacKillop. I found it interesting that St. Mary MacKillop lived at almost the exact same time as Bl. Frédéric Janssoone. Here are two people, from different walks of lives, in different parts of the world who both found their way to Sainthood. It gives us reason to believe that there are saints all throughout the world in our time. I also think that St. Mary MacKillop was inspirational because she was the first person to be canonized from Australia. It is always hard to be the first person for anything. Most people do not like to be put out of their comfort zone, much less to be the first person canonized as a saint in a specific country. Whether it be our career, our socioeconomic situation, or any other hardship we may face in our life, we can always look to St. Mary MacKillop as a role model for living a saintly life under challenging circumstances.
St. Mary MacKillop, Pray for Us
St. Alberto Hurtado
In the middle of the month, we will celebrate St. Alberto Hurtado. He was a 19th century Chilean Jesuit. After joining the Jesuits, he noticed two main problems that would become the basis for his ministry. First, many Catholics in the country had very little interaction with a priest. Second, many of the poor, including children, did not have housing. St. Alberto Hurtado devoted his life to helping the people of Chile overcome these two problems and I encourage you to read more about his work! I am particularly inspired by the ability of St. Alberto Hurtado to notice the societal issues at the time and fix them with haste.. He did not wait for someone else to do it; he saw the need and he addressed it right away. In our lives, may we strive to be as receptive and adaptive as St. Alberto Hurtado and help those around us without hesitation.
St. Alberto Hurtado, Pray for Us
St. Joseph Calasanz
The feast of St. Joseph Calasanz will be celebrated on August 25th. He lived and worked at the end of the 16th century and beginning of the 17th century in Italy. St. Joseph noticed that children from poor families were not able to receive an adequate education which would put them at a disadvantage later in life. This lack of education perpetuated the cycle of poverty among poor families and greatly reduced the educational success of their children. St. Joseph founded some of the first free schools in Rome which greatly helped these marginalized children in their attempt to escape this cycle. Let us learn, from the example of St. Joseph Calasanz, of the power that education has to lift people up and benefit everyone in society.
St. Joseph Calasanz, Pray for Us
St. Joseph of Arimathea
The story of St. Joseph of Arimathea is one that most of us are familiar with from the Gospels. We will celebrate his feast on August 31st to close out the month. St. Joseph of Arimathea was a follower of Jesus who helped take Him down from the Cross and give Him a proper burial after his crucifixion. After he saw eleven of the twelve Apostles abandon Jesus during his Passion and the brutal death Jesus suffered, St. Joseph remained resolute in his faith and helped to care for Jesus during his death. Let us pray for the intercession of St. Joseph of Arimathea and ask that even in the most trying of times, we may, like him, stay committed to Christ and to the care of others.
St. Joseph of Arimathea, Pray for Us
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.