Accessible Sainthood

What comes to mind when you think of the word saint? For me, this word brings to mind people who lived a long time ago, wore long robes, and walked around with their eyes raised toward the heavens and their hands clasped in prayer. They never sinned or lost their tempers. Oh, and there’s a good chance they left this life without their heads. I also think of more modern saints like Teresa of Calcutta […]

Remembering Alphonsus Rodriguez 400 Years Later

This month marks 400 years since the death of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. A Jesuit brother, he served as a humble doorkeeper in Majorca, Spain, for 45 years. As Bert Ghezzi explains in Voices of the Saints, Rodriguez found joy even in hardship and wrote: Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before […]

Finding God at the Shrine of St. Gianna

A key concept of Ignatian spirituality is finding God in all things. Learning to find God in the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the uplifting and the painful is indeed an important part of deepening our relationship with Jesus. However, every once in a while, it seems like God flashes a spotlight on his presence, painting the most glorious picture right before our eyes such that we simply couldn’t miss God […]

Easter Comes Late

Sometimes in our lives Easter comes when we are still very much in the desert of Lent. Maybe we have lost a loved one, are living through a personal struggle, or are caring for someone who is ill. Whatever the case, we can find ourselves in the desert much longer than 40 days. In such times, Easter Day becomes but a date on the calendar, and we find ourselves still kneeling at the foot of […]

Mama Antula Beatified

Maria Antonia de Paz Figueroa, better known as “Mama Antula,” was beatified in Argentina August 27, 2016. The 18th-century laywoman spread the Spiritual Exercises after the Jesuits were expelled from Argentina in 1767. As reported in the Boston Pilot: Her mission took her to Buenos Aires where thousands attended the retreats, ultimately leading her to establish the Holy House of Spiritual Exercises in 1796; today, the building is one of Argentina’s most notable historical monuments. […]

Gratitude for All Who Came Before Us

In Hebrews 11:1–40, there is a litany of thanksgiving to the “faith of the ancients,” all those who went before us: Abel and Cain, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Moses, etc. This letter captures the faith of these people who “died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.” They passed on the faith in the promise of the Messiah, who they never met in person, […]

An Extraordinary Saintly Team

We know that St. Ignatius was inspired by the stories of the saints. We’ve heard stories of him lying in bed during his recovery, recognizing the glorious battles and victories of the saints reaching out to him from the pages of the books he read. He began to feel inspired by those stories, and indeed it was these saints’ stories that gently pushed him on to follow God’s will. As many others do, I pray […]

Peter Faber Soon to Be Canonized

Earlier this month, Paul Campbell, SJ, wrote about a favorite Jesuit of his who may not be familiar to some readers: Bl. Pierre Favre. Now the Vatican Insider reports that Pope Francis will likely canonize Favre (also known as Peter Faber) in December, so it’s a good time to learn more about this companion of St. Ignatius, sometimes called the “second Jesuit.” Biographical Information Words of Faber Prayer for Detachment Doing Good and Praying Well […]

Movies about Saints

November is movie month. Hollywood starts releasing its best, Oscar-worthy films, and the end of Daylight Savings time means it’s time for indoor entertainment. Since we just celebrated All Saints Day, I though I’d highlight movies about saints. Fr. Jim Martin, author of My Life with the Saints, has a top-ten list of saint movies on the Loyola Press site. You’ll also find some good films on this list of movies about “religious innovators.” I’ll add […]

A Big Weekend for Saints

It’s a weekend for old saints and new saints–especially Jesuit saints and one with a Jesuit connection. Today is the feast of the North American Martyrs–eight Jesuits who were martyred in the mid-17th century in Canada and upstate New York. I remember squirming  in religion class when I was a kid when the nuns described their exceptionally gruesome sufferings.  Later I came to admire them greatly.  One of my favorite novels is Black Robe by Brian Moore, […]

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