Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Feastday: January 11

726 – 802

From catholic.org

St. Paulinus was born near Friuli, Italy, to a family of farmers and grew up as a farmer. Although being born in a farmer family, he was given an excellent education and earned a reputation for erudition and scholarship.

In 774, he was summoned to the court of Charlemagne and became a favorite of the Carolingian ruler. In 776 he was sent back to Italy and, against his will, was appointed Patriarch of Aquileia.

He represented Charlemagne at various Church Councils, wrote against and denounced the heresy of Adoptionism, and sent missionaries to attempt the evangelization of the Avars. He also preached in the regions of Styria and Carinthia, was a talented poet, and was the author of a treatise on Christian perfection for the duke of Friuli.

He died on January 11.


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St. Elizabeth Ann SetonFeastday: January 4

Died: 1821

Saint Elizabeth Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

Early Life:
St. Elizabeth grew up in the high end of New York society. In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth’s early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort.

In 1794, St. Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. However after a few years due to her father in laws death and husband’s illness, they lost all their wealth and had to file for bankruptcy and moved to Italy. Her husband eventually died.

Italy & Catholic Faith:
In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her own kindness, patience, good sense. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith, and over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instructions.

Community Work:
St. Elizabeth started a school in Baltimore. She and two other young women, who helped her in her work, began plans for a Sisterhood. They established the first free Catholic school in America. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children.

On March 25, 1809, Elizabeth Seton pronounced her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, binding for one year. From that time she was called Mother Seton.

By 1818, in addition to their first school, the sisters had established two orphanages and another school. Today six groups of sisters trace their origins to Mother Seton’s initial foundation.

Mother Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46, only sixteen years after becoming a Catholic. She was canonized on September 14, 1975.

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St. Maria Giuseppe RosselloFeastday: December 7

St. Maria Giuseppe Rossello was the foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy. She was born at Albisola Marina, Liguria, Italy, in 1811, and was baptized Benedetta.

At sixteen she became a Franciscan tertiary, and in 1837, she and three companions, Pauline Barla, Angela, and Domenica Pessio, found a community in Savona. The congregation was devoted to charitable works, hospitals, and educating poor young women.

In 1840, Maria Giuseppe, also called Josepha, was made superior.

By the time she died on December 7, 1888, she had made sixty-eight foundations. She was canonized in 1949.

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St. Clare of MontefalcoFeastday: August 17

1268 – 1308

Saint Clare was born in Montefalco, Italy around 1268. As a young woman she joined a convent of Franciscan tertiaries. This group established Holy Cross Convent at Montefalco in 1290, adopting the Rule of St. Augustine.

Saint Clare’s sister Joan was the abbess of this community, but at her death Clare succeeded her. She led an austere life, being particularly devoted to the Passion of Christ and His Cross. When Clare died in 1308, an image of the Cross was found imprinted on her heart, and her body remained incorrupt.

She was canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII. Her feast day is August 17th.

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St. Pope John IFeastday: May 18

Died: 526

St. John I (Pope and Martyr), was a native of Tuscany in Italy. He was elected Pope while he was still an archdeacon upon the death of Pope Hormisdas in 523. At that time, the ruler of Italy was Theodoric the Goth who subscribed to the Arian brand of Christianity, but had tolerated and even favored his Catholic subjects during the early part of his reign.

However, about the time of St. John’s accession to the Papacy, Theodoric’s policy underwent a drastic change as a result of two events: the treasonable correspondence between ranking members of the Roman Senate and Constantinople and the severe edict against heretics enacted by the emperor Justin I, who was the first Catholic on the Byzantine throne in fifty years.

Spurred on by the appeals of Eastern Arians, Theodoric threatened to wage war against Justin but ultimately decided to negotiate with him through a delegation of five Bishops and four senators. At its head he named Pope John – much against the latter’s wishes.

Pope John succeeded in persuading the Emperor to mitigate his treatment of the Arians and thus avoid reprisals against the Catholics in Italy. The Pope’s visit also brought about the reconciliation of the Western and Eastern Churches.

However, Theodoric had been becoming more suspicious with each passing day and as he got word of the friendly relations between the Pope and the emperor, he concluded that they were plotting against him. Hence, on the delegation’s return to the capitol city of Ravenna, Pope John was imprisoned by order of Theodoric and died a short time later as a result of the treatment he experienced there.

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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. Alexis FalconieriFeastday: February 17

Patron of the city of Orvieto (Italy)
1200 – 1310

Saint Alexis Falconieri was a founder and a mystic. He and six others joined together to establish the congregation of the Servites. He is the uncle of St Juliana Falconeri (also one of the founders of Servites) He was the son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy. Saint Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence in 1225.

Gathered together on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233, the group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary which inspired them to found a new religious community dedicated to prayer. They founded the group at La Camarzia, near Florence, moving eventually to Monte Senario, on the outskirts of the city.

Another vision inspired Alexis and his companions to form the Servites, or the Servants of Mary. All in the group were ordained priests, except for Saint Alexis, who believed he was not worthy of such an honor.

He helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio, and he managed the day-to-day temporal affairs of the congregation. The Servites received papal approval from Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Saint Alexis was the only founding member still alive when the approval was received.

He died at Monte Senario on February 17, 1310, recorded as 110 years old. Saint Alexis and his companions are called the Seven Holy Founders. They were canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.

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