Saints of the Day Saints and biographies from the Catholic calendar. This site is copyright © 2017 Universalis Publishing Limited. Universalis Publishing Ltd http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml http://universalis.com/static/bin/icon80.png 2018-01-18T19:00:00Z http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20180116.0 2018-01-15T19:00:00Z 2018-01-17T11:40:59Z Saint Fursa (- c.650)
Celebrated: 16 Jan (Ireland)
He was an Irish monk who did much to establish Christianity throughout the British Isles and particularly in East Anglia, at a time when a high Christian civilisation existed in Ireland but had been largely wiped out elsewhere. See the article in Wikipedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20180116.1 2018-01-15T19:00:00Z 2018-01-17T11:40:59Z Saint Joseph Vaz (1651 - 1711)
Celebrated: 16 Jan (India)
Joseph Vaz was a missionary born on 21 April 1651 in Goa, India. He died on 16 January 1711 in Kandy, present day Sri Lanka. He was an Oratorian missionary priest. He arrived in Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) during the Dutch occupation.
The Dutch had expelled the Portuguese who had introduced Catholicism to Sri Lankan. The Dutch then went on to impose Calvinism as the official religion in Sri Lanka. Father Vaz travelled throughout Sri Lanka, bringing the Eucharist and Sacraments to clandestine groups of Catholics. He would sometimes disguise himself as a beggar in order to facilitate his mission. Later, he founded a shelter in the Kingdom of Kandy where he intensified his missionary work of ministering to both the minority Tamil and Sinhalese ethnic groups. By the time of his death, he had managed to rebuild the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. He was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II on 21 January 1995, in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, and canonized there by Pope Francis on 14 January 2015.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20180117.0 2018-01-16T19:00:00Z 2018-01-17T11:40:59Z St Antony, Abbot (251 - 356)
Celebrated: 17 Jan (worldwide)
St Antony is the originator of the monastic life. He was born in Egypt: when his parents died, he listened to the words of the Gospel and gave all his belongings to the poor. He went out into the wilderness to begin a life of penitence, living in absolute poverty, praying, meditating, and supporting himself by manual work. He suffered many temptations, both physical and spiritual, but he overcame them. Disciples gathered round him, attracted by his wisdom, moderation, and holiness. He gave support to the victims of the persecutions of Diocletian, and helping St Athanasius in his fight against the Arians. He lived to be over a hundred years old, and died in 356.
The Gospels are full of wise sayings of Jesus that seem to be ignored, and one of the most poignant of these was in his meeting with that young man who asked over and over again, insistently, “What must I do to have eternal life?”. When, in the end, Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect he would have to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor, the young man went away, sorrowing; because he was very rich. What could be more of a waste than that? You tell someone what he has to do, and he is afraid to do it. And yet... 250 years later, St Antony hears the story, and does give away all that he has, and becomes the founder of monasticism. And then again, over 1,000 years later, St Francis of Assisi hears the story, and gives away his possessions (and some of his father’s) and revolutionises Christianity again.
Not all the words that we speak are forgotten, even though we cannot see their effects ourselves. Let us pray that those unknown effects may always be good ones.