While serving as an army corporal, Francis Trung Van Tran, of Phan-Xa, Vietnam, was imprisoned after being accused of cheating during a scholastic exam. When subsequently the Vietnamese emperor Tu Duc granted a general amnesty to prisoners, all were ordered to trample upon a cross in renunciation of Christianity if they wanted to be set free. Having converted to the Catholic faith, Francis refused to comply with this command. When questioned about this, he admitted to being a Christian, adding, “Never will I desert my religion.” He was thereafter beaten repeatedly and sentenced to death for his faith. When two mandarins of the imperial court petitioned Tu Duc to pardon the condemned man, the emperor not only refused their request, but he also ordered the mandarins themselves to be punished for trying to save the prisoner. At his execution, Francis asked for a bit of limestone paste, which he then used to draw a cross upon the back of his neck. He was put to death by beheading.
St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast - February 27th) Leander was born at Cartagena, Spain, of Severianus and Theodora, illustrious for their virtue. St. Isidore and Fulgentius, both bishops were ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the ... 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
Maximilian was born in 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He contracted tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life. Before his ordination as a priest, Maximilian ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes