martyrdom

Receiving the Food that Makes Martyrs

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

We are now at the time of year in which, in many parts of the country and globe, young people are receiving their first Holy Communion. As pastors and catechists are well aware, the spiritual significance of this event is sometimes obscured by an excessive focus on suits and dresses, parties and photos. This year, however, the world has received […]

Five Ways to Escape from Apathy-ville

St. Michael the Archangel

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

Remembering the Holy Innocents

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

The Witness of Peter and Paul

"The Martyrdom of St. Peter" (detail) by Caravaggio

One of the most remarkable places to experience while visiting Rome is a small dark room under Vatican hill.  Very few tourists even know its existence, and access is limited to 250 people a day.   In a city filled with art, this room is bare.  A tour guide shepherds you into the room, and then points through a large […]

Daily Quote — From St. Charles Lwanga

St. Charles Lwanga (#13) and Companions (partial cropped)

“It is as if you are pouring water on me. Please repent and become a Christian like me.” (St. Charles Lwanga, said to the Guardian of the Flame as he—Charles—was being burnt.) June 3 is the Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs. Please share on social media. Print this entry

Daily Quote — from St. Polycarp

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

“You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will.” (St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr; The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Chapter XI; St. Polycarp responds […]

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as ‘infant martyr flowers’; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.” (St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of Grace) The Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, is December 28. The Memorial of […]

Following the Brave Shepherd All the Way

(Fr.) Blessed Stanley Rother

The beatification of Father Stanley Rother on September 23 in Oklahoma City, which I was privileged to attend, was unforgettably moving. I feel a little like Saints Peter and John in the Acts of the Apostles when they said, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard!” (Acts 4:20). So I would like to share with you […]

A religion of love or hate?

"Triumph of faith - christian martyrs in the time of Nero" by Eugene Thirion [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Each year after celebrating the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, we follow up their celebration the day after with the feast of the First Martyrs of Rome. This feast honors all those unknown men and women who gave their life in witness to the Christian faith in the first days of the Church. The first martyr of the West […]

Daily Catholic Quote — From St. Charles Lwanga

St. Charles Lwanga (#13) and Companions (partial cropped)

“It is as if you are pouring water on me. Please repent and become a Christian like me.” (St. Charles Lwanga, said to the Guardian of the Flame as he—Charles—was being burnt.) June 3 is the Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs. Please share on social media. Print this entry