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.
If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would Philip Neri. Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Bridget arrived in Ireland a few years after St. Patrick. Her father was an Irish lord named Duptace. As Bridget grew up, she became holier and more pious each day. She loved the poor and would often bring food and clothing to them. One day she gave away a ... 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
Francis was born at Paola, Italy and was educated at the Franciscan friary of San Marco there, and when fifteen became a hermit near Paola. In 1436, he and two companions began a community that is ... 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