The reading of a devotional book prompted the seventeen-year-old Pierre-Francois Neron, of Bornay, France, to turn his thoughts to the service of God. As a parish sacristan, he spent whole nights praying in church. Inspired by accounts of missionaries he had read in the Annals of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Pierre became a priest of the Paris Society for Foreign Missions at the age of twenty-nine. Before setting out for the missions in Vietnam, he visited the French shrine of Our Lady of Victories in Bourmont to pray for the grace of martyrdom. After reaching Vietnam in 1849, he spent eleven years in the missions, motivated by the intent “to give the last drop of my blood to procure for God the homage of every single creature.” Amid his labors, he recited each evening the Stations of the Cross. Following his capture by agents of the pagan emperor Tu-Duc, Father Neron was imprisoned in a cage for three months before suffering beheading. The news of Father Neron’s martyrdom so grieved his mother that she was stricken with paralysis at the end of a Mass for her son. She died two years later.
Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert Bellarmine was the third of ten children. His mother, Cinzia Cervini, a niece of Pope Marcellus II, was dedicated to almsgiving, prayer, ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
- "excerpts taken from Victories of the Martyrs," by St. Alphonsus de Liguori Taken from the Acts of St. Anastasia, who is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and commemorated by the Church [old calendar] on December 25, St. Anastasia was a spiritual child of St. ... 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 Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes