Francis Xavier Bianchi, of Arpino, Italy, suffered much in striving to overcome his father's opposition to his religious vocation. Having been ordained a Barnabite priest at the age of twenty-four, Father Bianchi spent hour upon hour in the confessional, sustained by a deep prayer life. His personal resolve to make himself always and everywhere available to anyone seeking his priestly ministry and counsel seemed to impart to his words and prayers an extraordinary efficacy. Later in life, Father Bianchi was crippled by the swelling and ulceration of both his legs, rendering him incapable of moving about or even standing on his own. He nonetheless managed to continue celebrating Mass. When in 1805 a lava flow from the erupting Mount Vesuvius threatened Naples, he had himself carried to the advancing edge of the lava, where with a blessing he halted it. Although bedridden, Father Bianchi continued to counsel those who came to him. Three days before his death, he experienced a vision of his deceased penitent, Saint Mary Frances of Naples, who before her own death in 1791 had promised to appear to him thus.
Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece of Edward IV and Richard III. She married Sir Reginald Pole about 1491 and bore five sons, including Reginald Cardinal Pole. Margaret ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Margaret was an English princess. She and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with the beautiful princess. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long. As ... 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
There is a saint called Benedict the Black or Benedict the Moor. He was born a slave near Messina, Italy. He was freed by his master and became a solitary, eventually settling with other hermits at ... 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