The great Lebanese miracle worker and hermit Saint Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898) was the fifth child of two peasants, who named him Youssef Antoun (Joseph Anthony). His father died when he was only three years old. His mother remarried two years later to a very pious man who directed him in daily prayer....
On 1 October 1999, she was proclaimed by John Paul II Co-Patroness of Europe, for good reason. Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) is in fact one of those models of holiness capable of containing multiple vocations, which make her one of the richest and most luminous figures of the 14th century as well as a constant spur towards Christian perfection.
“They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him” (John 20:13). Together with her tears, these words that Mary Magdalene, the first to run to the tomb on the day of the Resurrection, uttered before the two angels in white robes remind us what a conversion this extraordinary saint lived through.
Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi (1559-1619) was together an ambassador of peace, a man of action, and a great theologian, proclaimed Doctor of the Church by John XXIII. He did not shirk the challenges of his time. He even went to the battlefield, where he spiritually led Christian troops to the liberation of the Hungarian city of Albareale (Szekesfehervar), then occupied by Muslims.
Saint Macrina the Younger (c. 324-380) is so called to distinguish her from her paternal grandmother Macrina the Elder, also a saint. She grew up in that family extremely rich in blessed souls, of which her brothers Basil the Great (c. 329-379) and Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-395), both Fathers of the Church, are the two best known members.
The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, linked to the very unusual history of the Carmelite Order, is one of the dearest to Christian piety. Considering the wealth of biblical and mystical references attached to it, one could also say that it manifests in a special way the beauty of God's saving plan.
“No one can attain bliss unless he transcends himself, not with the body, but with the spirit. But we cannot rise by ourselves except through a higher virtue. Whatever the inner dispositions, these have no power without the help of Divine Grace. But this is granted only to those who ask for it [...] with fervent prayer. Prayer is the beginning and the source of our elevation”. So wrote saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (c. 1217-1274) in one of his masterpieces.
mperor of the Holy Roman Empire and king of Italy, Saint Henry II (c. 973-1024) was a great political actor of his time. Together with his wife, Saint Cunigunde (c. 978-1039), he promoted the building of churches and monasteries and contributed to the renewal of the Church.