Young martyr a symbol of hope for Mexico’s priests

A man held an image of St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was martyred at the age of 14 in 1928, before the canonization Mass for him and six others, celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 16. The other saints canonized Oct. 16 were St. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, St. Salomone Leclerq, St. Elizabeth of the Holy Trinity, St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia, St. Ludovico Pavoni and St. Alfonso Maria Fusco.

ROME — The heroism of Mexico's newest saint, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, should embolden the nation's priests to continue their ministry with trust in God, said the vice postulator of the young saint's cause.

For priests in Mexico, especially those who denounce the activity of drug traffickers and find themselves targeted for attacks, the life of St. Jose is a call to place their "full trust in God," Antonio Berumen, the vice postulator, said.

DEAR FATHER | Saints serve as foundation of Church’s witness to holiness

Saints are primarily mentioned in two Eucharistic Prayers.

The first is the First Eucharistic Prayer, or the Roman Canon. It's the oldest Eucharistic Prayer, because it was developed by St. Peter while he was in Rome. After him, popes have added to the prayer and changed it until Pope St. Gregory the Great (who died in 604) put it into its final form. Since then, it has rarely changed, for the Church holds this prayer as part of our tradition.

St. Luke, Evangelist

St. Luke, Evangelist

Early historians said this author of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles was born to a pagan family in Antioch (Turkey) and converted to Christianity. According to Paul's letters and Acts, he was a doctor and Paul's companion during his later journeys and imprisonment in Rome. Luke's New Testament writings in Greek were for gentiles, extending to them the salvation promised to Israel. He is the patron of physicians and surgeons and, because of a legend that he painted a Marian icon, of painters. 

Feast Day: Oct. 18

Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

St Ignatius

This Syrian-born martyr, who gave himself the nickname "God-bearer" because of his certainty of God's presence within him and who may have been a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, became bishop of Antioch about 69. Eventually he was arrested and sent to Rome, where his strong desire for martyrdom was fulfilled when he was thrown to the lions in the Colosseum. In seven letters written to Christians in Asia Minor and Rome, he stressed the need to heal church conflicts, the authority of local bishops and the Eucharist as a source of unity.

Feast Day: Oct. 17

‘Do small things with great love’ | Mother Teresa, who served the ‘poorest of the poor’ in Kolkata, will be canonized Sept. 4

Blessed Teresa of Kolkata cares for a sick man in an undated photo.


A favorite motto of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was: "Do small things with great love."

But the "small things" she did so captivated the world that she was showered with honorary degrees and other awards, almost universally praised by the media and sought out by popes, presidents, philanthropists and other figures of wealth and influence.

DEAR FATHER | Mary: A light of faith to early Christians and to us

A statue of Mary from the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

What happened to Mary after Jesus' resurrection? 

As we consider this question, I would like to examine it as we did with the life of St. Joseph: That is, limiting to details contained in the Bible and other places that are objectively verifiable. For greater detail as to how these events unfolded, I heartily encourage reading an account as recounted by one of the mystics approved by the Church.

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