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Archive for April, 2013

St. Theodora

St. TheodoraFeastday: April 28

Very little is known about Saint Throdora. There is a pious fiction according to which Theodora, a beautiful Christian girl of Alexandria.

She was sentenced to a brothel during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian when she refused to sacrifice to the gods. She fell dead when she was rescued by Didymus.

Later when Didymus’ act was discovered, he was beheaded. Her feast day is April 28th.

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St. ZitaFeastday: April 27

St. Zita was born at the village of Monte Sagrati in 1218 into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a saintly hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always tried to do God’s will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother.

At the age of twelve Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her home at Monte Sagrati. As things turned out, she stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She found time every day to attend Mass and to recite many prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so perfectly that the other servants were jealous of her. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! She use to say: “a servant is not holy if she is not busy; lazy people of our position is fake holiness.”

At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness and she became a very close friend. St. Zita was given a free reign over her working schedule and busied herself with visits to the sick and those in prison.

Word spread rapidly in Lucca of her good deeds and the heavenly visions that appeared to her. She was sought out by the important people, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a saint.

She is the patroness of domestic workers. Her feast day is April 27.

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St. Conrad of ParzhamFeastday: April 21

1818 – 1894

Saint Conrad of Parzham was a German Franciscan mystic and lay brother. He was born Carl Birndorfer in Parzham, Bavaria, Germany, on December 22, 1818. He was the ninth son in a peasant family.

He had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and each day fervently recited the Rosary. On feast days he frequently made a journey to some remote shrine of the Blessed Mother. During such pilgrimages, always made on foot, he was engaged in prayer, and when he returned in the evening, he was usually still fasting.

He became a Capuchin lay brother in 1849. For more than thirty years Conrad served as porter or doorkeeper of the shrine of Our Lady of Altotting and was known for his Marian devotions. Conrad had the gift of prophecy and of reading people’s hearts.

He died in Altotting on April 21. He was canonized in 1934.

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Feastday: April 20

When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St. Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice edified all his piety and obedience.

The Abbot, wishing to test him, gave him the lowest possible post – that of cowman and shepherd in the Abbey farm at Merille. Marcian accepted the work cheerfully, and it was noticed that the beast under his charge throve and multified astonishingly. He seemed to have a strange power over all animals. The birds flocked to eat out of his hands: bears and wolves departed at his command; and when a hunted wild boar fled to him for protection, he defended it from its assailants and set it free.

After his death, the Abbey took the name of the humble monk. His feast day is April 20th.

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St. ThomaisFeastday: April 14

Died: 476

Saint Thomais was an Egyptian martyr who was born and brought up in Alexandria. At fifteen she married a fisherman and moved to live with his family. She was an ardent Christian who was murdered by her father-in-law for refusing his unwanted and illicit attentions.

One day when her husband had went out fishing, her father-in-law tried to lead her into temptation out of lust for her. When she refused him with the teachings of the Bible, he threatened to cut her head off which she accepted willfully refusing to stay away from God’s teachings.

She was burried in a tomb in the monastries cememtry at the instruction of Saint Daniel of Skete. She is prayed to for deliverance from sexual impurity and to avoid temptations and lust.

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St. HermengildFeastday: April 13

Patron of Seville, Spain
Died: 586

Saint Hermengild was the Prince of Visigothic Spain, and martyr. He was the son of Leovigild the Visigoth, king of Spain, and was raised as an Arian. He fell out with his father in 579, then revolted the following year.

During his rebellion, he converted from Arian Christianity to Roman Catholicism. His wife, Indegundis, converted him from that heresy, which brought about his disinheritance by Leovigild and his defeat at Seville, Spain, by his father.

When Hermenegild refused to accept Arianism, he was axed to death. He was martyred on April 13, 586. His feast is now confined to local calendars.

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St. John Baptist de la SalleFeastday: April 7

Patron of Teachers

John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. He was known for his work with the poor.

John was very involved in education. He founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (approved in 1725) and established teacher colleges (Rheims in 1687, Paris in 1699, and Saint-Denis in 1709). He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction.

He also began teaching in the vernacular instead of in Latin. His schools were formed all over Italy. In 1705, he established a reform school for boys at Dijon. John was named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

He died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7th. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. His feast day is April 7th.

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