Justin was born at San Fele, Italy on October 9th. He was taken to Naples when a child by his parents, joined the Vincentians when 18, and was ordained. After helping found a Vincentian house at Monopoly, he served as superior at Lecce and in 1839 was sent as the first prefect and vicar apostolic to the new Catholic mission at Adua, Ethiopia. His efforts to evangelize met with great opposition, but in 1841 he was included in a delegation of Ethiopian prelates to Cairo to request the Coptic patriarch of Alexandria to appoint one of his monks Abuna (patriarch) of the Ethiopian church. In Cairo, the patriarch denounced the presence of Father de Jacobis on the delegation and intrigued to a point one Salama as Abuna. Some of the delegation then accompanied Father de Jacobis to meet the Pope in Rome. On his return, Father de Jacobis founded a college and seminary at Guala, and in 1846 a vicariate apostolic of the Galla was established, with William Massaia as its first bishop. These developments caused Salama to launch an anti-Catholic campaign. The college was closed, Catholicism was proscribed, and bishop Massaia was forced to return to Aidan. In 1848, he secretly consecrated Father de Jacobis, now a fugitive, bishop at Massawa, with authority to administer the sacraments in the Ethiopian rite. By 1853, the new bishop had ordained some twenty Ethiopians, was ministering to 5000 Catholics, and was able to reopen the college. In 1860, Kedaref Kassa became king as Theodore II and in return for the backing he had received from Abuna Salama, launched a persecution of the Catholics. Bishop de Jacobis was arrested and after several month's imprisonment was released and managed to find his way to Halai in southern Eritrea. He spent the rest of his life in missionary work along the Red Sea coast and died in the valley of Alghedien on July 31 of fever he contracted while on a missionary trip. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975. His feast day is July 31.
Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewess. He joined St. Paul when Paul preached at Lystra replacing Barnabas, and became Paul's close friend and ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
The 24th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of ... 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
St. Julie (Julia) Billiart was born in 1751 and died in 1816. As a child, playing "school" was Julie's favorite game. When she was sixteen, to help support her family, she began to teach ... 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 ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes