Saint of the Day

St. Dominic Saint of the Day August 8, 2020

St. Dominic Saint of the Day August 8, 2020

What caught my eye about the story of St Dominic was that when he was young he gave away his money and sold his possessions in order to feed the hungry. In 1194, around age twenty-five, Dominic joined the Canons Regular in the Cathedral of Osma following the rule of Saint Augustine.

On a journey through France with his bishop, Dominic came face to face with the then virulent Albigensian heresy at Languedoc and had an urge to fight this heresy in the church.  The preachers currently trying to combat the heresy were groups of nicely dressed priests traveling with servants and stayed in nice inns.  These priests didn't connect with the common people.  In 1215, Dominic established himself, with six followers, in a house in Toulouse.  Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization to address the spiritual needs of the people and He subjected himself and his companions to the monastic rules of prayer and penance.  The local Bishop gave them permission to preach in Toulouse.


Dominic was finally granted written authority in December 1216 and January 1217 by the pope for an order to be named "The Order of Preachers" ("Ordo Praedicatorum", or "O.P.," popularly known as the Dominicans. 

Although he traveled extensively to maintain contact with his growing brotherhood of friars, Dominic took up residence in Rome.  


It was written that Dominic traveled barefoot and abstained from meat and didn't use a bed.  All through everything all he ever said was Glory to God.  

Dominic died at the age of fifty-one after a long life of service to God and to his fellow friars.  

I enjoy the story of St. Dominic because he realized that the church at his time wasn't preaching to the common people very effectively.  He saw that and immediately went about correcting it.  Dominicans were one of the strongest supporters of the Rosary as well and bringing the Word of God to the people by speaking only to God or about God. 

What is funny is that I wonder if he didn't travel with his bishop as an early priest would he have seen the heresy and been determined to fix it.  I believe that God called him to travel with his Bishop and was set on his path.  I hope that I will hear God if I ever am called to set up my path.  

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Saint of the Day July 31, 2020 - St. Ignatius of Loyola

Saint of the Day July 31, 2020 - St. Ignatius of Loyola

Saint Ignatius just wanted to be a great and famous soldier and when is life long dream was shattered when he was injured in battle, he became lost.  He underwent multiple surgeries and was even told at one point to prepare for death.  The only books he could read while he was recovering was books about the Saints and the Bible.  He underwent conversion and laid down his sword and went out into the world to convert non-believers.  He begged for his food and helped out at a hospital.  He would spend his alone time working on his spiritual exercises.  He doubted himself and even went through some depression. 

He started recording his spiritual exercises in a journal which would later become the basis for his published Spiritual Exercises.  He then started studying and traveling and while he was traveling he would talk to others about spiritual matters.  The Church at the time took notice of St. Ignatius and was accused during the Inquisition three times of preaching without formal training.  He was exonerated each time.  He then enrolled in school and went on to obtain his masters degree but was passed over for his doctorate because of his age. 

He met Peter Faber and Francis Xavier while attending school.  They decided to journey to Rome and present themselves to the Pope to serve at the Pope's discretion.  The Pope declared them an official religious order "Society of Jesus" and the Jesuits were born.  St. Ignatius turned down the role of its first leader because he felt he wasn't worthy or experienced enough but the group convinced him to become their first leader.  They were labeled "Jesuits" actually to disparage them but the name stuck.  The order grew and focused on education.  Before Ignatius passed away they had established 35 schools and had over 1,000 members.  

Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609 and canonized on March 12, 1622. His feast day is July 31. He is the patron saint of the Society of Jesus, soldiers, educators and education.

When I think of St. Ignatius I always think of a soldier for Christ.  He couldn't become a great soldier in the secular world because of his injuries to his legs but God was able to use him to be a great spiritual soldier.  I feel sometimes that I make plans to do something but they don't work out the way I wanted them to.  Later I realize that the plans I made didn't include God in them.  When God got involved the plans were much better than I could ever make by myself.  We must make sure we involve God in our planning process.  We need to pray and listen to His will when we need to plan anything.  God will point you in the right direction.

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Saint of the Day July 28, 2020 - Blessed Stanley Rother

Saint of the Day July 28, 2020 - Blessed Stanley Rother

Taken from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City's webpage:

Stanley Francis Rother was born March 27, 1935, in Okarche, Oklahoma. The oldest of the children born to Franz and Gertrude Rother, he grew up on a farm and attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School. He worked hard doing required chores, attended school, played sports, was an altar server and enjoyed the activities associated with growing up in a small town.

While in high school, he began to discern the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. He was accepted as a seminarian and was sent to Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas. He completed his studies at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1963. Father Rother served as an associate pastor for five years in Oklahoma.

He sought and received permission to join the staff at the Oklahoma diocese's mission in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. He served the native tribe of the Tz’utujil, who are decedents of the Mayans. Although he struggled with Latin in the seminary, Father Rother learned Spanish and the Tz’utujil language in Guatemala. He celebrated Mass in their language and helped translate the New Testament.

Father Rother was surrounded by extreme poverty among the Tz’utujil, who were living in one-room huts growing what they could on their small plots of land. He ministered to his parishioners in their homes; eating with them, visiting the sick and aiding them with medical issues. He even put his farming skills to use by helping them in the fields, bringing in different crops, and building an irrigation system.

While he served in Guatemala, a civil war raged between the militarist government forces and the guerrillas. The Catholic Church was caught in the middle due to its insistence on catechizing and educating the people. During this conflict, thousands of Catholics were killed. Eventually, Father Rother’s name appeared on a death list. For his safety and that of his associate, Father Rother returned home to Oklahoma. He didn’t stay long, though, as he was determined to give his life completely to his people, stating that “the shepherd cannot run.” He returned to Santiago Atitlan to continue the work of the mission.

Within a few months, three men entered the rectory around 1 a.m. on July 28, 1981, fought with Father Rother and then executed him. His death shocked the Catholic world. No one was ever held responsible. The people of Santiago Atitlan mourned the loss of their leader and friend. They requested that Father Rother’s heart be kept in Guatemala where it remains enshrined today.

 In 2007, his Cause for Canonization was opened. In June 2015, the Vatican in Rome voted to formally recognize Oklahoma’s Father Stanley Rother a martyr. The determination of martyrdom was a critical step in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s Cause to have Father Rother beatified, the final stage before canonization as a saint.

On Dec. 1, 2016, Pope Francis officially recognized Father Rother as a martyr for the faith. He is the first martyr from the United States and the first U.S.-born priest to be beatified. The Rite of Beatification was held on Sept. 23, 2017, in downtown Oklahoma City – an event attended by more than 20,000 people from around the world.


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