Bessarion is greatly venerated in the East, where his name in various forms is sometimes given in Baptism; e.g. Joseph Stalin's father was called Vissarion. He was a native of Egypt, and having heard the call to perfection he went into the wilderness, where he was a disciple first of St. Antony and then of St. Macarius. We are told that rather than live under a roof he wandered about like a bird, observing silence and subduing his flesh by mighty fasting; he is said to have once gone forty days without food, standing in prayer amid brambles. His neighborly charity led him to a height of perfection that was manifested by miracles: he made saltwater fresh, he several times brought rain during drought, he walked on the Nile, he overcame demons. Like so many other desert fathers, St. Bessarion lived to a great age; and he was compared by his admirers with Moses, Joshua, Elias, and John the Baptist. St. Bessarion is named in the Roman Martyrology on June 17th, but his usual date in the East is June 6th.
If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would Philip Neri. Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. She made her First Communion on June 17, 1887. As a pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St. Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181. In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes