*** *** *** Born in Madrid, St. Isidore (1070–1130) was a farm laborer for most of his life, employed by a wealthy landowner in Spain. He is remembered for his piety, his love for the poor, and also how he cared for animals. In his humble life, St. Isidore was not a scholar, nor a religious. Yet, he is revered among the greatest of saints. In 1622, Pope Gregory XV canonized St. Isidore along with Francis Xavier, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and Philip Neri.

~ “Lord God, to whom belongs all creation, and who call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us, inspire us by the example of Saint Isidore to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of all people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ from the […]

*** *** *** “Then they prayed, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.’ Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:24-26) ~ from the Didache Bible

~ We honor St. Matthias, the disciple who replaced Judas. After the Ascension of Christ, St. Peter proposed that an apostle be chosen to fill the place of Judas. St. Peter had a requirement in choosing the new apostle: someone that followed Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry and witnessed the Resurrection firsthand. […]

*** *** *** On May 13, 1917, Our Lady first appeared to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima. The Blessed Virgin would appear six times to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta with a message to pray for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world, and repentance from sin. The final apparition took place on October 13, 1917, with a crowd of thousands witnessing the Miracle of the Sun. In 1930, the local bishop formally approved the apparitions.

~ “O God, who chose the Mother of your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day the reign of Christ.” – from the Proper of Saints, Daily Roman Missal

*** *** *** “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.” (Lk 24:50-53)

— The Ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia continue to celebrate the Solemnity of The Ascension of the Lord on Thursday (May 13). — All other U.S. Ecclesiastical Provinces celebrate The Ascension on May 16, the following Sunday.

*** *** *** From a young age, St. Damien’s true desire was that of religious life; when he was old enough, he entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In 1864, St. Damien was sent to Hawaii and would serve there for nine years before his request to go to the leper colony at Molokai. St. Damien found the colony poorly maintained, but under his devoted care and leadership, the colony would build houses, schools, and a church. He asked to remain there permanently and eventually contracted leprosy himself. Despite his illness, St. Damian continued his mission work.

~ “Father of mercy, who gave us in Saint Damien a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned, grant that, by his intercession, as faithful witnesses of the heart of your Son Jesus, we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ from the […]

*** *** *** These two Apostles are celebrated on the same date as their relics were brought to Rome together and kept in the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles.

— St. Philip was born in the town of Bethsaida in Galilee, and according to tradition he was martyred at Hierapolis, the Greek city where he had been preaching. St. Philip was one of the first apostles called by Christ himself and then Philip brought Nathaniel to the Lord: “Philip found Nathanael and told him, […]

*** *** *** The Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker was instituted in 1955 by Pope Pius XII and is celebrated on May 1, which corresponds to the day labor is honored in many countries.

~ Saint Joseph, carpenter and foster father of Jesus, is an exemplary model for us. All human labor can be sanctified, which in turn can sanctify oneself and others, making each of the faithful a participant in Christ’s work of redemption. ~ “O God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race […]

*** *** *** Saint Pius V (1504– 1572) was one of the most notable popes of the sixteenth century. A principal leader of the Catholic Reformation, he enforced the decrees of the historic Council of Trent.

~ The pontiff lived an ascetic lifestyle, and expected others in the papal court to also live a simpler life, which did not gain him favor. Instead of partaking in extravagant luxuries, which were the norm, he used resources to help provide food for the hungry. Saint Pius V published the Roman Catechism, revised the […]