Catholic Financial Life Blog

November 12: Feast of St. Josaphat

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Nov 12, 2015 6:00:00 PM

The Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, Wis., was built in 1896. Named after St. Josaphat to honor the Polish bishop and martyr, the basilica, at the time of its completion, was the building with the largest dome in the country, second only to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. 

The Story of St. Josaphat, the Saint at the front lines as a voice of peace and communion during one of the most tumultuous times of our Church's history.

Josaphat was born in 1580 in current-day Ukraine. Events that took place centuries before his brith, however, impacted the religious mission to which he would dedicate, and ulitamtely, sacrifice, his life.

In 1054, the Eastern Church centered in Constantinople split from the Western Church centered in Rome due to conflicts of culture, politics, and theology itself. Five centuries later, from 1595 to 1596 when Josaphat was just a teenager, bishops of the Eastern Church held the Synod of Brest Litovsk where they decided to rejoin the Church of Rome.

Many Eastern Christians did not approve of this decision, and both sides revolted violently against each other in disagreement. As people on both sides lost their lives to the conflicts, Josaphat emerged as a voice of Christian peace. Having joined the monastery in 1604, Josaphat supported the Eastern Christian bishops' decision to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church and worked tirelessly making plans for reform to carry out this idea successfully and peacefully.

By 1617, Josaphat was bishop of Polotsk, a place where the Church was suffering severely. Not only were clergy members slacking on their duties to be models of Christian living, Church buildings were literally falling apart. With determination and hard work, Josaphat rebuilt Polotsk within three years. He held synods, published a catechism, enforced rules of conduct for priests, and perhaps most importantly, visited the needy of the towns preaching and spreading the faith.

Despite all Josaphat's work, the Eastern Orthodox separatists set up their own Church, complete with a bishop, in nearby cities. They gained popularity in their opposition to Josaphat, and even some of his Catholic followers left to join the Orthodox Church.

In attempt to reconcile differences but fully aware of the dangers, Josaphat travelled to Vitebsk, the city where the separatists ruled. They saw this as a chance to kill Josaphat, and tensions grew as neither side wanted to incite the violence. As conflicts of speech grew and grew, both sides finally lashed out against each other resulting in mob violence, and Josaphat was killed November 12, 1623. 

In 1867, Josaphat was officially canonized as a saint by Rome, becoming the first saint of the Eastern church.

 

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Topics: Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day

Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, Grandparents of Jesus: July 26

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jul 24, 2015 12:40:00 PM

 

Joachim and Anne were the father and mother of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus.

Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, traditions and stories about them lead Catholics to celebrate this couple's significant impact on our faith.

Joachim and Anne serve as great examples of faith for all married couples, parents, and grandparents. Like several Biblical couples, they had difficulty conceiving a child. As time was running out, they desperately prayed to God to grant them a child. By strong faith and patience, God granted them their daughter, Mary.

St. Anne and St. Joachim are the patron saints of grandparents and infertile couples.

St-Anne-Mary-Jesus

A Prayer to St. Joachim and St. Anne:
Dear parents of the Virgin Mary, grandparents of our Savior Jesus Christ,

Bless all parents and grandparents and help them teach their children Christian values of faith and compassion.

Bestow courage and hope upon couples
who struggle to start their families. 

Guide new parents and bless parents of growing children with strength and understanding,

And bless grandparents with wisdom and kindness.

We thank you for the example you set for us with your daughter Mary and grandson Jesus, and we strive to show the same love to our children and grandchildren. 
May the strong foundation of faith you laid for Mary and her son Jesus always inspire us to guide our children and all future generations in their faith journeys with love and support. 
In God’s name we pray, 
Amen.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Parenting, Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day

Saint Catherine of Siena

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Apr 29, 2015 6:56:00 PM

Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church was born March, 25, 1347 and died April 29, 1380 in Siena, Italy. April 29 is now celebrated by the Church as her feast day. Catherine was canonized in 1461 by Pope Pius II and is one of two patron saints of Italy, along with Saint Francis of Assisi. StCatherine

Catherine's Story

When Catherine was six years old, she began to have visions of angels and Jesus when she prayed to God, and at only seven years old she made a vow of virginity. At the age of 16, after having refused her parent’s plan for an arranged marriage, she was admitted to the Third Order of St. Dominic, the Mantellate, where she served the needs of the poor and sick and remained faithfully devoted to God.

Around 1368, Catherine, 21 began to experience what she described in her letters as a “Mystical Marriage” with Jesus, and after three years of solitary life in her order she began to lead a more active life serving others and God.

Catherine the Peacemaker

As social and political tensions began to arise in Florence, Catherine soon found herself entering into the political arena, using her gift of grace to bring back peace to the Italian city states, obtaining one of her appropriate titles as “peacemaker for the Church.” Her greatest achievement before her death was her work to bring the Papacy back to Rome from its displacement in France.

In 1380, at the age of 33, Saint Catherine died suddenly of a stroke and her body is now buried in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, Italy. On October 3, 1970 Pope Paul VI named Saint Catherine a Doctor of the Church (one of the first women to receive this honor) and on October 1, 1999 Pope John Paul II named her a patron saint of Europe, making her one of the six patron saints of Europe.

We are awed by Saint Catherine's seflessness and devotion to her faith. Her social and political work is the true meaning of serving God by serving others,honoring her boldness and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the Church.
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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Catholic Values in Action, Our Catholic Faith, Feast Day