While serving as an army corporal, Francis Trung Van Tran, of Phan-Xa, Vietnam, was imprisoned after being accused of cheating during a scholastic exam. When subsequently the Vietnamese emperor Tu Duc granted a general amnesty to prisoners, all were ordered to trample upon a cross in renunciation of Christianity if they wanted to be set free. Having converted to the Catholic faith, Francis refused to comply with this command. When questioned about this, he admitted to being a Christian, adding, “Never will I desert my religion.” He was thereafter beaten repeatedly and sentenced to death for his faith. When two mandarins of the imperial court petitioned Tu Duc to pardon the condemned man, the emperor not only refused their request, but he also ordered the mandarins themselves to be punished for trying to save the prisoner. At his execution, Francis asked for a bit of limestone paste, which he then used to draw a cross upon the back of his neck. He was put to death by beheading.
St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of Genoa, January 3, 1694. His infancy and youth were spent in great innocence and piety. He was inspired from on high to found a congregation; ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Born in 1245 in Sant'Angelo, St. Nicholas of Tolentino took his name from St. Nicholas of Myra, at whose shrine his parents prayed to have a child. Nicholas became a monk at 18, and seven years ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes