Tag Archives: patron saint

today’s holiday: Festival of El Salvador del Mundo (the Savior of the World)


Festival of El Salvador del Mundo

The patron saint and namesake of El Salvador—El Salvador del Mundo (the Savior of the World)—is honored with a national festival. Festival proceedings commence the week of the saint’s day, on August 6. The main events of the festival are a religious procession, a large fair, various sporting events and a riotous party featuring street floats and dancers. The religious ceremony features an old wooden image of Christ that is lowered inside a wooden shell; it emerges from the shell appareled in gleaming white robes, a symbolic representation of Christ’s transfiguration. More… Discuss

Advertisements

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: St. Vincent’s Day (2015)


St. Vincent’s Day (2015)

São Vicente (St. Vincent of Saragossa) is the patron saint of Lisbon, Portugal. In Lisbon, people celebrate his feast day with processions and prayers. But in the surrounding rural areas, there are a number of folk traditions associated with this day. Farmers believe that by carrying a resin torch to the top of a high hill on January 22, they can predict what the coming harvest will be like. If the wind extinguishes the flame, the crops will be abundant; if the torch continues to burn, a poor growing season lies ahead. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, and on December 12, thousands of pilgrims flock to her shrine at the famous Church of Guadalupe outside Mexico City. On the evening of December 11, crowds gather for singing and special ceremonies at midnight, which are carried on national television. This great religious festival commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill, north of present-day Mexico City. The story is reenacted in a puppet show each year, and relics of Our Lady of Guadalupe are sold in the streets. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: St. Médardus’s Day


St. Médardus’s Day

St. Médardus, or Médard, who lived from about 470 to 560 CE, was the bishop of Vermandois, Noyon, and Tournai in France. Because he was the patron saint of farmers and good weather, he has come to play a role in weather lore similar to that of the English St. Swithin. In Belgium he is known as the rain saint, and there is an old folk rhyme that says, “If it rains on St. Médard‘s Day, it will rain for 40 days.” More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

today’s holiday: St. Elmo’s Day


St. Elmo’s Day

The day known as St. Elmo’s Day is actually St. Erasmus‘s Day, in honor of a third-century Italian bishop who is thought to have suffered martyrdom around the year 304. Erasmus was a patron saint of sailors and was especially popular in the 13th century. Sometimes at sea on stormy nights, sailors will see a pale, brushlike spray of electricity at the top of the mast. In the Middle Ages, they believed that these fires were the souls of the departed, rising to glory through the intercession of St. Elmo. Such an electrical display is still referred to as “St. Elmo’s Fire.” More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: Carabao Festival


Carabao Festival

The Carabao Festival is a feast in honor of San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore the Farmer), the patron saint of Filipino farmers, held in Pulilan, Bulacan province, the Philippines. The feast also honors the carabao, or water buffalo, the universal beast of burden of the Philippines. Farmers decorate their carabao with flowers to parade with the image of San Isidro. The festival is also marked by exploding firecrackers and the performance of the Bamboo Dance, where dancers represent the tinikling bird, a menace to the rice crop. More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: FEAST OF ST. PAUL’S SHIPWRECK


Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck

This feast is a commemoration in Malta of the shipwreck of St. Paul on the island in 60 CE, an event told about in the New Testament. When storms drove the ship aground, Paul was welcomed by the “barbarous people” (meaning they were not Greco-Romans). According to legend, he got their attention when a snake bit him on the hand but did him no harm, and he then healed people of diseases. Paul is the patron saint of Malta and snakebite victims. The day is a public holiday, and is observed with family gatherings and religious ceremonies and processions. More…

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: FIESTA OF SAN BLAS


Fiesta of San Blas

San Blas (Saint Blaise) is the patron saint of Paraguay, and his feast day, February 3, is observed throughout the country. Asunción and other large cities host religious processions, and the smaller villages often have bullfights on this day. Flowers, ribbons, and paper money (attached to the tail) adorn the bull. Because this event is a humorous commentary onbullfighting, rather than a real bullfight, the goal is not to kill the bull. Instead, bullfighters try to grab hold of the bull and remove the money from its tail without getting hurt. More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Francis de Sales


St. Francis de Sales

 
St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

    Feastday: January 24
    Patron Saint of Journalists, Writers
    1567 – 1622
    Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mentalprayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout hislife he waited for God’s will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!

    God finally made God’s will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointedprovost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.

    Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn’t a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.

    Then Francis had a bad idea — at least that’s what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland — Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and thediocese was too poor to support him.

    For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.

    Francis’ unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.

    The parents wouldn’t come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.

    By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

    In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice — once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin’s successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.

    It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.

    In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon — a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. “I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it.” Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.

    Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, “God will be with us if he approves.” Finally the man offered Francis the convent.

    Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction — even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, “So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me.” For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. “I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, i would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished.”

    At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns — not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own lifethat people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn’t others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe — though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!

    For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, “The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can’t pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind.”

    The key to love of God was prayer. “By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God.”

    For busy people of the world, he advised “Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God.”

    The test of prayer was a person’s actions: “To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one’s relations with people is to go lame on both legs.”

    He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we’re still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.

    As he became older and more ill he said, “I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go.” He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. “Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot…” He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: “Humility.”

    He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote. 

    from Wikipedia

     

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ST. GUDULA’S DAY


    St. Gudula’s Day

    St. Gudula (or Gudule) is the patron saint of Brussels, Belgium. According to legend, Satan was so envious of her piety and influence among the people that he often tried to extinguish her lantern as she returned from midnight mass. But as she prayed for help, an angel would re-light the candle. Her relics were moved to Brussels in 978. Since 1047 they have remained in the church of St. Michael, thereafter called the Cathedral of St. Gudula. Her feast day is observed with great solemnity in Brussels, particularly at the cathedral that bears her name. More… Discuss

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Today’s Birthday: SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL (1858)


    Saint Katharine Drexel (1858)

    The niece of a wealthy Philadelphia banker, Drexel inherited a vast fortune and used it to address racial injustice and educational inequality in the US. She established mission schools across the American West and founded Xavier University, the only historically black, Catholic university in the US. In 1891, after becoming a Roman Catholic nun, she founded a society of nuns to aid Native Americans and African Americans. The second US-born saint, Drexel is known as the patron saint of what? More… Discuss