Gaspar, who was born in Rome, the son of a chef, in 1786, received his education as a Collegio Romano and was ordained priest in 1808. Shortly after this, Rome was taken by Napoleon's army, and he, with most of the clergy, was exiled for refusing to deny his allegiance to the Holy See. He returned after the fall of Napoleon to find a wide scope for work, as Rome had for nearly five years, been almost entirely without priests and sacraments. In 1815, Gaspar founded the Congregation of the most Precious Blood with the approval of Pope Pius VII. His wish was to have a house in every diocese, and he chose the most neglected and wicked town or district. The kingdom of Naples was in those days a nest of crime of every kind; no one's life or property was safe, and in 1821 the pope asked Gaspar to found six houses there. He was very happy to do this, but he had many difficulties to overcome before it was accomplished. In 1824, the houses of the congregation were opened to young clergy who wished to be trained specially as missionaries. In his lifetime, their work covered the whole of Italy. Journeying from town to town, enduring endless hardships, threatened often even with death, Gaspar always taking the hardest work himself, they preached their message. One of his principles was that everybody should be made to work. He therefore founded works of charity in Rome for young and old, rich and poor of both sexes. He opened the night oratory, where our Lord is worshipped all night by men, many coming to Him, like Nicodemus, by night who would not have the courage to go to confession by day. His last mission was preached in Rome during the cholera outbreak of 1836. Feeling his strength failing, he returned at once to Albano, and made every preparation for death. After the feast of St. Francis Xavier he went to Rome to die. He received the last sacraments on December 28, and he died the same day. Various miracles had been worked by St. Gaspar during his lifetime, and after his death many graces were obtained by his intercession. He was canonized in 1954.
Saints Joaquin (sometimes spelled "Joachim," pronounced "wal-keem") and Anne, are the parents of the Virgin Mary. There are no mentions of them in the Bible or Gospels, what we know comes from ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. She made her First Communion on June 17, 1887. As a pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St. Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... 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 year he entered the Franciscan Order of the Strictest Observance, or ... continue reading
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of prayer, and in her sixth year, her father placed her in the convent of ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes