Sometime before 588, Ethelbert, the pagan king of England’s Anglo-Saxons, married a Christian from France, the princess Bertha. When years later the missionary Saint Augustine of Canterbury arrived in England from Rome in 597 to undertake the evangelization of the country, Ethelbert came to hear him speak. Although he was not yet willing to become a Christian himself, Ethelbert gave Augustine permission to catechize his people. Eventually the king did embrace Christianity. In 601, Pope Saint Gregory the Great wrote to encourage him in his new faith: “Zealously foster the grace that God has given you, and press on with the task of extending the Christian faith among the people committed to your charge. Make their conversion your first concern…God will most surely grant you his rewards in heaven if you faithfully proclaim his name and truth upon earth.” Ethelbert contributed to the advancement of the Church, erecting new churches and the monastery of Canterbury later known as Saint Augustine’s Abbey. He also helped to bring about the conversion to Christianity of a fellow monarch, the East Saxon king Sabert.
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
Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the ... 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
When Alfred Bessette came to the Holy Cross Brothers in 1870, he carried with him a note from his pastor saying, "I am sending you a saint." The Brothers found that difficult to believe. Chronic ... 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