The early life of Stephen, a native of Thiers, France, is uncertain due to historical inaccuracies in the medieval biography of the saint. Nonetheless, his undertaking of consecrated life as a hermit is related in moving and convincing detail. Having built for himself a small hermitage on the mountain of Muret, Stephen vowed himself to God thus: "I, Stephen, renounce the devil and all his pomps, and offer myself to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the one true God in three Persons." He also prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, declaring, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, I commend my body, soul, and senses to your Son and to you." Thereafter, Stephen spent the next forty-eight years of his life in this wilderness, devoting himself to prayer and penitential self-denial. When on one occasion two papal legates visited him, they inquired as to whether he was a monk, a hermit, or a canon. He replied, "I am a sinner." Other men intending to imitate Stephen came to join him, so that the hermitage of Muret grew into a monastic community and a new religious congregation that would later be known as the Order of Grandmont.
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had ... 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 Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes