The son of a poor family of the Canary Islands, Peter de Betancur in his youth worked as a shepherd, finding in nature an incentive to prayer. Intent to serve the poor in the New World, he embarked on an arduous journey to Guatemala that ultimately left him penniless. In Guatemala City, Peter entered a Jesuit college through the assistance of a Franciscan friar, but soon left after failing in his studies. The friar then invited Peter to become a Franciscan brother, but the young man declined, feeling that God willed for him to remain in the world. Instead, Peter became a Third Order Franciscan, devoting himself to the service of African slaves, Native Americans, and other needy individuals. As a penance, each night he went out to carry a heavy cross through the streets. Peter later founded a congregation for the care of the poor, the Bethlehemite Brothers and Sisters. Deeply devoted to the Christ Child, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, Peter was a promoter of the Franciscans’ rosary of the Seven Joys of Mary, and instituted a weekly rosary procession in Guatemala City. He died on April 25, 1667.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children. In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed ... 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 people of Olkusz in Bohemia in 1431 had every reason to be suspicious of their new pastor. They knew what a Cracow professor would think of their small rural town. But even more insulting, their ... 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