*** *** *** “Open wide the doors for Christ.” (St. John Paul II)

— A strong defender of the family, St. John Paul II began the tradition of World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families. He developed many themes during his papacy including, “The Culture of Life,” “The Universal Call to Holiness,” “Christian Marriage and Family Life as the domestic church,” and “Theology of the Body.”

*** *** *** “Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones; let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.” (St. Ignatius to the Romans, Ch. 5)

— St. Ignatius (d. 107) was consecrated Bishop of Antioch and later martyred in Rome under Trajan. Considered one of the great Apostolic Fathers, he wrote a series of letters pertaining to Christology, ecclesiology, and the Sacraments. His name is mentioned in the Roman Canon.

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— Born in Avila, St. Teresa (1515-1582) was one of the great Spanish mystics and a major figure in the Counter-Reformation. She reformed the Carmelite Order with the help of her friend, St. John of the Cross. Her popular works include The Interior Castle and The Way of Perfection.

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*** *** *** St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226), the mystic friar and stigmatist who founded the Franciscans, and along with his friend St. Clare, also founded the Order of Poor Clares.

— Part of Franciscan history involves the San Damiano Cross. According to tradition, it was while praying in the chapel of San Damiano that Francis received a message from Christ Crucified to rebuild the Church. This cross now hangs in the Basilica of Saint Clare and remains a popular site for pilgrims.

*** *** *** These messengers from God protect, guide, and do battle for us. Scripture has revealed accounts of angels and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote at length about angels in the Summa Theologica.

– “For he will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.” (Ps 91:11) – “‘Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” (Lk 22:42-43) – “For the Son […]