ALL POSTS TAGGED: PRIEST



Born in 1542, John was raised in Spain by a widowed mother who could barely provide for her sons. At a young age, he worked in a hospital and developed a great love for the poor and the sick. He sometimes felt that he was in the presence of Jesus when he was tending the patients. But John wanted to become even closer to God. He became a Carmelite friar when he was almost 20 years old.


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John was born in 676 and raised in Damascus. His father worked for the Muslim government which controlled the city, but John’s family were faithful Christians and respected in the community. John inherited his father’s job, but resigned when people began to complain that a Muslim, not a Christian, should have the job.


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The Catholic Church calls Saint Francis Xavier “the Apostle to the Indies” and “the Apostle of Japan.” The word apostle means “one who is sent.” Jesus sent his 12 apostles out to announce the coming of God’s kingdom. Hundreds of years later, the Church sent Francis Xavier out to preach the same good news.


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Since the beginning of the Church, some people have preached false beliefs. The Church calls these people heretics. It calls their beliefs heresies.


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John Vianney was born a peasant in Dardilly, France, in 1786. As a youth, John shepherded sheep on his father’s farm. It was during the French Revolution, and it was illegal for Catholics to attend Mass at the time. But the Vianney family traveled distances every Sunday to worship and pray in secret. Because of this, young John saw priests as particularly heroic to the people. Even after the revolution ended, when religion could again be practiced openly, John felt drawn to the vocation of the priesthood.


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Columba (521-597) was born of a royal family in Donegal, Ireland, but he is best known as one of the most famous Scottish saints. He became a monk at an early age and founded monasteries in different parts of Ireland. He was forced to leave Ireland because of a personal feud that turned into a war. Bishops and abbots exiled him from Ireland, and twelve companions from his monasteries went with him.


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In the Mass on St. Philip Neri’s feast day, we pray, “Lord, keep us always cheerful in our work for the glory of your name and the good of our neighbor” (Sacramentary, page 638). Philip was known for his cheerfulness and sense of humor. He used these gifts to serve God and to help others to grow in their faith.


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Cristóbal Magallanes was born in 1869 in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. His parents, Rafael Magallanes and Clara Jara, were poor farmers and devout Catholics. Growing up on a farm, young Cristóbal worked as a shepherd but felt called to look after human “sheep.” At the age of 19 he entered the seminary and was ordained a priest when he was 30.


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Damien was born Joseph de Veuster in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840. When he was only 13 he had to quit school to work on the family farm. At age 19, he joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. As a member of this religious community, he took the name Damien. He chose this name after a fourth-century physician and martyr.


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John Baptist is responsible for many changes in education, things that we take for granted today. But education was not his first choice for a career.


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