Christopher Bales, of Coniscliffe, England, journeyed to the continent to study for the priesthood, and was ordained around the age of twenty-three. In 1588 he returned to England, but was soon captured by the Elizabethan authorities. Under the direction of the murderous government agent Richard Topcliffe, Father Bales was tortured on a rack, and at one point was hung up by his wrists for a span of twenty-four hours. At his trial he was condemned to death for having been ordained overseas and for having come back to England to exercise his priestly ministry. In response to these charges, Father Bales asked the judge whether the great missionary to England, Saint Augustine of Canterbury (+c. 605), who was also ordained overseas and came to England to exercise his priesthood, was likewise a traitor. The judge offered the absurd answer that since the time of Saint Augustine, the law had been changed to make these actions illegal. Just before suffering execution by drawing and quartering, Father Bales declared to the bystanders that he was being put to death only because he was a priest.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
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
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
The "Great Martyr," and the leader of converts in the Roman army. While serving as a tribune in the army of General Galerius, Andrew and his men faced a battle with a Persian host. Calling upon ... 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