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.
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
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those 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 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