Happy Sunday! This week we celebrated Mary’s Assumption, reminding us that death for Christians is not the end of life but the beginning of a new and better life. There are many saints this week whose faith in that promise of Heaven carried them through severe hardships and even martyrdom.
St. Isidore Bakanja (Aug. 15) was a martyr from the Congo, killed by a Belgian atheist colonizer.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (Aug. 20), “born of noble Burgundian parents, was a monk of the Cistercian Order, a branch of the Benedictine Order. He became Abbot of the famous monastery of Clairvaux…The writings, sermons, and letters of this great Doctor rendered invaluable services to the Church.”
St. Joachim (Aug. 16, Latin Mass calendar) was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandfather of Jesus Christ.
St. Maximilian Kolbe (Aug. 14) is perhaps the most famous martyr of World War II, a Polish Franciscan priest martyred in Auschwitz.
Samuel the Prophet (Aug. 20) is one of the most famous Old Testament sages, whose reply to God as a young boy is a good model for the rest of us to adopt; “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam./1 Kings 3:10).
St. Helena (Aug. 18) was the mother of Constantine. Helena worked for good her whole life, but she is most famous for leading an expedition to find the True Cross on which Jesus was killed.
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