martyrdom

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

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Polycarp

“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 […]

Turn the Other Cheek?

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Matthew 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who allow ourselves to be taken advantage […]

From Silent Night to Silence

"Christian Martyrs Of Nagasaki" (detail) by unknown Japanese painter

The most abrupt and shocking transition in the Church’s liturgical calendar occurs from December 25th to 26th, when the Church pivots from celebrating the birth of Jesus and with it “joy to the world” and “peace on earth to those of good will” to marking the brutal stoning of St. Stephen and, at least at first glance, the ugly and unsettling […]

St. Cyprian and Perspective from Persecution

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

September 16 is the feast of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, two friends from the early Church who were martyred for the faith.  St. Cornelius was elected Pope after the papacy was vacant for almost a year due to Emperor Decius’ persecution of the Christians.  After this time, during a lull in the persecutions, a disagreement arose regarding admitting back to the […]

The Battle is Not Out There

Martyrdom of Bl. Miguel Pro

Twenty years goes by quickly. This past week, my sisters and I met up with other members of our high school youth group for a reunion. The youth group had been a saving grace for all of us during those turbulent high school years. We supported each other, learned about the saints together, went on crazy trips together, and most […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

“It takes a deep faith to ‘swim against the tide,’ as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day. Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — 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) August 28 is the Memorial of St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354 – […]

Encountering the Word — Acts 7:55-60

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “But he [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out in […]