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. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207, the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by ... 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
Felix was the son of Hermias, a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. He was born on his father's estate at Nola near Naples, Italy. On the death of his father, Felix distributed his inheritance to ... 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