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.
Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa during the persecutions of Emperor Trajan. Sarbelius, also called Sharbel, was a high priest at Edessa, in Mesopotamia. They were ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Irish abbess and disciple of St. Abban. When St. Abban founded a convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, Ireland, Gobnata was placed in charge. A well there bears her name. 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
So often we hear people or even ourselves excuse an action by saying "I was only following orders." But for Nereus and Achilleus this excuse could not stand in the face of the cross. ... 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