ALL POSTS TAGGED: YEAR OF MERCY



In 1873, Thérèse was born in the small French town of Alencon and was raised in a loving family with her four sisters. Like any child, Thérèse enjoyed playing with her cousins and siblings. When Thérèse was four her mother died, and her father moved the family to Lisieux, a town about 50 miles away, so that he and his daughters could live with his brother. Thérese's older sister, Pauline, became like a second mother to her.


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Helenka Kowalska was born in 1905 in a small Polish town, one of 10 children born into a poor family. She left school after third grade and never learned to write or read very well. She dreamed of becoming a nun and was very disappointed when her parents would not give their permission. They needed the money she earned as a housekeeper for other families. She was obedient to her parents, but her desire to enter religious life never left her.


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From her very beginning, the Church has had leaders who have helped us in our search for God. Pope John XXIII was one of those leaders. Pope John XXIII was pope from 1958 until he died in 1963.


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Many people who knew young Karol Wojtyla in Poland thought he might someday be an actor or a writer. Instead, he became pope. Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in the town of Wadowice in Poland in 1920. He was the youngest of three children, and his mother died when he was only nine. When he graduated from high school and went to college, he studied drama. But as World War II approached, the university was closed, and Karol went to work in a quarry and then a factory to earn money and avoid being sent to Germany to serve in the army.


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Catherine Elizabeth McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1778. From the time she was a young child, Catherine saw her parents living their Catholic faith through service to the poor. After her parents died, Catherine lived with Protestant relatives who wanted her to become a member of their church. Catherine remained true to the Catholic faith.


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Throughout his life, Martin faced many dilemmas. At the age of 12, he began to place each one before God.


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Margaret was an English princess who was born around the year 1045. When her country was invaded, her family escaped by boat. They were headed for Hungary, but a storm crashed their ship on the rocky shore of Scotland. The Scottish king, Malcolm III, invited the family to stay at his castle until their boat could be repaired.


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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 twelve 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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On Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The next day we celebrate the birth of Stephen. But Stephen's is a different kind of birth; it is his birth into eternal life. Death brought life for him. He is the first martyr of the Christian Church.


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