Christopher Bales, of Coniscliffe, England, journeyed to the continent to study for the priesthood, and was ordained around the age of twenty-three. In 1588 he returned to England, but was soon captured by the Elizabethan authorities. Under the direction of the murderous government agent Richard Topcliffe, Father Bales was tortured on a rack, and at one point was hung up by his wrists for a span of twenty-four hours. At his trial he was condemned to death for having been ordained overseas and for having come back to England to exercise his priestly ministry. In response to these charges, Father Bales asked the judge whether the great missionary to England, Saint Augustine of Canterbury (+c. 605), who was also ordained overseas and came to England to exercise his priesthood, was likewise a traitor. The judge offered the absurd answer that since the time of Saint Augustine, the law had been changed to make these actions illegal. Just before suffering execution by drawing and quartering, Father Bales declared to the bystanders that he was being put to death only because he was a priest.
The massacre of the martyrs of Lyons with their bishop, St. Pothinus, took place during the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius in the year 177. Marcellus, a priest, we are told, by Divine intervention, ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances of ... 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
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes