We shall never know how many souls owe their salvation to the gifts communicated by God through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), propagator of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the practice of the First Fridays of the month.
“Either Nigritia or death”, either Africa or death, was the motto of Saint Daniel Comboni (1831-1881). He was born near Brescia to poor parents who worked as farmhands, and trained at the school of Don Nicola Mazza in Verona, who had passed on to him his love for the Black Continent together with the idea of “saving Africa with Africa”, the true heart of his project.
The liturgical memorial of St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) is celebrated today for a very special reason. Unlike most of the other saints, the great English theologian and cardinal is celebrated by the Church not on his dies natalis (the day of his birth into Heaven, i.e. his earthly death) but on the day of his conversion to Catholicism, which took place on 9 October 1845.
On 7 October 1571, in the Greek waters of Lepanto, the Muslim fleet of the Ottoman Empire clashed with the Christian fleet of the Holy League, which brought together the republics of Venice and Genoa, the Papal State, the Spanish Empire, the major Italian duchies and the Knights of Malta.
The hermit life was his heaven on earth. It allowed him to meditate on God and enjoy “a peace that the world does not know, favourable to the joy of the Holy Spirit”. Before detaching himself from the world, Saint Bruno of Cologne (c. 1030-1101), a doctor of theology and philosophy, had directed the school in Reims for twenty years...
“Your great trust in Me compels Me to grant you continuous graces”, she heard Jesus say. He called her “Secretary of My Mercy”. She had visions, hidden stigmata, continuous contact with her guardian angel, Our Lady, the saints and the souls in Purgatory, and the very rare gift of a mystical marriage with God.