Francis Xavier Bianchi, of Arpino, Italy, suffered much in striving to overcome his fatherís 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.
She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered by caesarean operation when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). He joined the Mercedarians under St. ... continue reading
By Alex Basile