The very first words that Simon de Rojas uttered as a child were “Ave Maria.” Years later, as a priest of the Trinitarian Order, Simon, a native of Valladolid, Spain, would come to be known as “Father Ave Maria” for his extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Mother. He was an early advocate of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Zealous in fulfilling his duties of preaching and hearing confessions, he sustained himself by spending much time in prayer during the day and late at night. He also served as confessor to the Spanish queen, Margaret of Austria. When in 1611 she fell gravely ill following childbirth, becoming comatose, her husband King Philip III feared that she would be unable to receive the sacraments before dying. Father Rojas then came to her bedside. After he had greeted her with the words, “Ave Maria, Senora” (“Hail Mary, my lady”), she instantly became conscious and answered him, “Gratia plena, Padre Rojas” (“Full of grace, Father Rojas”). Father Rojas was thereupon able to administer to her the anointing of the sick and Viaticum before she died.
It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God gave this saint, rather than on her life. In fact, it would be difficult to do differently, so overwhelming were those gifts from God. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important ... 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
When Alfred Bessette came to the Holy Cross Brothers in 1870, he carried with him a note from his pastor saying, "I am sending you a saint." The Brothers found that difficult to believe. Chronic ... 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