During the French Revolution, priests that remained faithful to the pope found a refuge in the home of the Gagelin family of Montperreux, France. As a five-year-old son of this devout family, Francois Gagelin told his parents, “I want to be a priest.” Years later, after joining the Paris-based Society for Foreign Missions, Francois embarked for the Asian missions and was ordained a priest at Quang Tri, Vietnam. As a missionary in Vietnam, he observed, “In these countries, we suffer from pains of body and of spirit…But we ought not to count for anything all that in comparison to the great glory that God prepares for those who serve faithfully.” A renewal of persecution against Vietnam’s Catholics prompted Father Gagelin to surrender himself to the pagan authorities in 1833 in order to give courage to the faithful. He was charged with “hiding religious pictures and statuettes.” While in prison, he confided to a friend that he had longed for martyrdom since his childhood, and as a priest had asked God for this fate every time he elevated the Precious Blood during Mass. Father Gagelin was executed by beheading.
Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called "Poor Clares." When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great desire to imitate Francis and to live a poor humble life for Jesus. So ... 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 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