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.
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
St. Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207, the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by ... 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. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth ... 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