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St. Philip Benizi

AUGUST 23 is the traditional memorial of ST. PHILIP BENIZI (+1285). Philip was a precocious genius and his education moved to the University of Paris at 13. Later, he attended the University of Padua, where he studied medicine. After completing his course, he practiced as a doctor in Florence for a year, working among the poor. His heart was ide...

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux

AUGUST 20 is the traditional memorial of ST. BERNARD (+1153). Bernard is known as one of the preeminent Doctors of the Church. In the early Middle Ages, Christianity was almost exclusively the sacraments. Bernard, as a young student, studied literature and grew to see Jesus, and His mother Mary, as people who led model lives that should be i...

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St. Stephen of Hungary

AUGUST 16 is the traditional memorial of St. Stephen of Hungary (+1038). Stephen was of the new generation of Magyars who were baptized as children. The Magyars were rather newly arrived from the Urals of middle Russia. His father, a duke of an area around the Danube, converted to Christianity along with his ten-year old son. Stephen married ...

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St Clare

August 12 is the traditional memorial of St. Clare (+1253). It was changed to August 11, the day of her death, in 1970. Clare was the daughter of Favorino Sciffi, the Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife, Ortolana. Ortolana was a very devout woman who went on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Spain and Rome. Clare was brought up to be a devout c...

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St. Peter Faber (Favre)

Peter Favre was a born into a small farming community in the Duchy of Savoy, the French Alps. He was a shepherd from a young age, and had no early formal education but he had a remarkable memory, being able to repeat verbatim what he heard, hours later. Eventually, he was entrusted to a priest in a nearby village for his primary education a...

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Pope Boniface IV, Admirer of Discipline

Boniface was born around 550 AD. He was the son of a man named Johannes, a physician, from the area of Maria and town of Valeria. It is assumed that he was a student of Pope Gregory I. Around 591, Boniface was ordained a Cardinal-deacon. Under that office, he served Gregory as treasurer or dispenator. In other words, he was the first official in...

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POPE BONIFACE III

The story of Pope Boniface III is as much the history of the Byzantine Empire, at the time, as it is the story of a man who became pope. Boniface was the son of a Greek man, John Catadioce, but was born in the environs of Rome somewhere between 540 and 550 AD. He was ordained a deacon at some point and became known to Pope Gregory the Great. ...

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ST. JEAN BAPTISTE DE LA SALLE

One can say that evangelizers teach. They teach, in the context we are using, God, religion, the Holy Scriptures. It can also be said that teachers evangelize. They teach thinking processes, the bigger picture, how to coordinate one set of facts with another. Today’s evangelizer was a priest who evangelized people by teaching people. Jean Bap...

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Pope Sabinian, The Despised Pope

Sabinian was born in Biera, near Viterbo, in the central part of Italy, about 530 AD. His father’s name was Bonus, but other than that nothing is known of his youth. The first decade of his life was the beginning of a complex weather pattern which dictated Sabinian, the Church and, indeed, most of the northern hemisphere for several centuries. I...

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POPE ST. GREGORY I, THE FIRST MEDIEVAL POPE

Another man born in disastrous times who went on to be a pope is our subject today. Roman senator named Gordanius and a wealthy woman named Silvia were Gregory’s parents. Silvia’s great grandfather was Pope Felix III; her three aunts entered the convent; thus, the family home was very politically and religiously involved. The family lived on Ca...

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