Saint Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of Jesus. Thomas' unwillingness to believe what the other Apostles claimed they had seen - (Jesus risen from the dead) gave him the title of "doubting Thomas." Eight days later, on Christ's second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his scepticism and shown the evidence he had demanded - seeing Christ's hands and putting his fingers into the holes left by the nails and his hand into His side.
Today (3 June 2015) is not only the first Friday of the month where we honour the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a special way... it also the feast of St Thomas the Apostle. Poor Thomas is also known as "Doubting Thomas" because he demanded proof when Jesus rose from the dead. But we often forget about his incredible acclamation of faith that followed. Watch this video for more.
Jesuit Father Luis Espinal was a priest from Spain missioned in Bolivia in the 1960’s. He was assassinated by the military dictators on March 22, 1980 in La Paz. That was two days before the same fate befell the prophetic Archbishop, Oscar Romero, in San Salvador. The thirtieth anniversary of their deaths brings back personal memories worth sharing.
The Pope has approved decrees permitting the canonisation of the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux. Francis approved the decrees during an ordinary consistory in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. Louis and Zélie Martin will be the first couple to be canonised together as husband and wife.
St. Peter and St. Paul are two of the most well known saints, and are often spoken of as the two men most responsible for spreading the Christian message in the days of the early church. Because of his Roman citizenship, St. Paul was beheaded. St. Peter was reportedly crucified upside down because he said he was not worthy to be sacrificed in the same manner as Christ.
The Canonization of the Martin spouses, parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face -- and of her four sisters --, might well take place at the heart of the Synod on the Family next October. The date of the canonization will be announced on Saturday, June 27. A little girl was cured in Valencia, in Spain, after invoking their intercession: the “miracle” has been reserved for their process of Canonization.
Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko would not deny his faith under the communist regime in Poland despite threats of torture and punishment.
Why is John's birthday celebrated anyway? It is more usual for saints to be commemorated on the date of their death, which is in fact the day of their birth into eternal life. But John, like Christ and the Blessed Virgin, has a feast day for his earthly birth. His birth was important in itself because it heralded the birth of Christ, but there was another reason that set John apart from other saints.
Today the Catholic Church celebrates two great English saints and martyrs. I am forever grateful to my history master at Ratcliffe College, back in the day, Fr Bill Curran, who explained this great truth to me: “They were martyrs because they were saints, not saints because they were martyrs.” How true that is! Both John Fisher and Thomas More were men of exemplary life, one a bishop, one a lawyer and family man. And it was because they lived such upright lives that they were content to be martyred for the faith.
Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, on July 6, 1535, St Thomas More steadfastly refused to approve Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England. Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a politician, literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England.
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