Melchoir Garcia Sampedro, of Cortes, Spain, was born into a family so poor that he had to pay for his own education by teaching younger students. At the age of twenty-four, he entered the Dominican Order. After arriving in Vietnam to serve in the missions, Father Melchoir was eager to declare his priestly identity openly, despite the danger of execution from hostile pagan authorities. He was nonetheless persuaded by the Vietnamese faithful to remain in hiding so as to continue ministering to them. Following the martyrdom of the vicar apostolic, (Saint) Jose Diaz Sanjuro, in July of 1857, Father Melchoir succeeded him in this office and received episcopal consecration. The new bishop was soon captured and imprisoned in a cage. On July 28, 1858, he was put to death with exceptional barbarity. His executioners stretched him out on the ground, and striking him repeatedly, hacked off first his hands and feet, then his arms and legs, and finally his head. During the excruciating ordeal, the bishop prayed aloud.
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. According to legend, her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave ... 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
St. Julie (Julia) Billiart was born in 1751 and died in 1816. As a child, playing "school" was Julie's favorite game. When she was sixteen, to help support her family, she began to teach ... 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