Feast Day Hagiography Martyrs

The Saints Who Were Removed from the Liturgical Calendar

Why these Saints are removed from the Liturgical Calendar? 

During the Vatican II under the reign of Pope Paul VI in 1969, these saints were removed because of lack of documents about their life and treat them as a myth. Except for St. Cecilia, who was not removed from the Calendar because of popular devotion to her. The Vatican II was influenced by the protestants who rely only in the scriptures and not in the Sacred Oral Tradition. Though this saint has lack of documents about their life, their story lives in Sacred Oral Tradition. 

Is it true that these Saints never existed? 

No. They really exist. One of the proofs of their existence is their tombs like the tombs of St. Nicholas, St. George and St. Philomena. Another proof is the apparition of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in Bavaria Germany, where the Saints removed from the Liturgical Calendar are a member of the Holy Helpers such as St. Christopher, St. George and St. Barbara. 

Are these Saints not Saints anymore? 

No. They still venerate as Saints but the celebration of their feast day is now optional. It doesn’t mean that they were removed to the liturgical calendar means they are no saints anymore. 

Jesus said to St. Peter, the first Pope “And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Does it mean that the Pope has a power to remove the Saints in Heaven? 

No. The Pope is just a man and not a God. He cannot remove saints from Heaven if he removes them from the Liturgical Calendar or from the list of the venerate saints. God is the only person who makes a person a Saint and His knows us very well, even the Saints so He knows who are worthy to be with Him in Heaven. 

Are there Catholic Churches that still celebrate the feats day of the Saints that were removed from the Liturgical Calendar?

 Yes, there are. Most of them is the Traditional Catholic Societies and churches who have this saint as their Patron. 



Hagiography Marian Apparition

The Faith of Bernadette

These are the words of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the humble seer of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Indeed, she reminded us of how important love is and embrace life including its trials. Love in order to reach heaven where Jesus and Mary awaits in our true home.

In February 11, 1858, a woman appeared in a grotto in Massabielle in Lourdes, France to a 14-year old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous. The apparition now known as Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the recognizable image of the Virgin Mary. In this apparition she introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception. Lourdes had become a popular pilgrim site of spirituality and faith as many miracles are attributed to the devotion and to the water of Lourdes, from the spring that flows from the Grotto of Massabielle.

Bernadette was born in January 7, 1844 in Lourdes from a poverty-stricken family. She was the eldest of the nine children of Francois and Louise Soubirous, a miller and laundress respectively. She had a weak health having asthma and other ailments.

The vision in Massabielle started when Bernadette with her sister and a friend gathered wood near the grotto. It was the start of series of visions that happened 18 times from February 11 to July 16, 1858. During these occasions she was asked to drink water from a spring near the grotto, the need of prayer and penance, and to have a chapel built and a procession be done. On the seventeenth apparition the lady revealed herself as the Immaculate Concepcion.

Bernadette describes the lady “dressed in a flowing white robe, with a blue sash around her waist with a yellow rose on each foot.”

The phenomenal event was trying times for young Bernadette since her family were initially embarrassed with the attention and forbade her to go. The incident was too much for a young girl telling her vision was indeed true. However, Bernadette with her innocence and simplicity was resolute and showed courage. The townspeople where divided as usual in any community. Some believed she saw the Blessed Virgin although she never said it was her. Some thinks she was suffering from some mental illness and imagining things.

She boarded a local school and eventually admitted as a novitiate at Nevers. Her superior gave her the name Marie-Bernard, which suits her having devotion to Saint Bernard.

She was questioned multiple times and many inquiries were made. Bernadette was firm as to the truth and genuiness of her visions. She was investigated thoroughly by both the Catholic church and government officials. These ordeal continued even until her last days of suffering from illness. Her suffering of tuberculosis of the lungs and bones lead to her death in April 16, 1879 at Nevers. Her last words were,

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a poor sinner, a poor sinner”.

There were several challenges, penances and sacrifices were endured by the humble saint. Heaven and Mary had divine plans for her:

“I do not promise you happiness in this world but in the next.”, the words of Our Lady of Lourdes to Bernadette. For someone who knows her and the beauty of her faith, her courage and simplicity, the virtues of Bernadette is worthy of emulation.

December 8, 1933, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the humble saint of Lourdes, St. Bernadette Soubirous, was canonized by Pope Pius XI. Her body was also found to be incorrupt, and was placed on a glass casket in St Gildard Convent in Never for veneration.

The faith of Bernadette was pure and holy. She completely offered her will, life and soul to God. She trusted the beautiful lady in Massabielle. It was no surprise that her simple virtues had chosen her to bring Our Lady’s message to the world and people of Lourdes. Her words sum it up, to inspire us how we should offer or faith and trust to Mary and Jesus;

“Oh my Mother, to you I sacrifice all other attachments so that my heart may belong entirely to you and to my Jesus.”


Feast Day Hagiography

The Angelic Doctor – St. Thomas Aquinas

At the age of 19, he decided to join the Dominicans but his family was not happy about it. The Dominicans helped him go to Rome from Paris. But, during their journey, while he was drinking from a spring, he was kidnapped by his brothers and returned him to their home by the order of their mother. He was imprisoned in his own home for one year while teaching his sisters. His family was desperate to stop the saint from joining the Dominicans, they hired a prostitute to tempt him. Saint Thomas, drive them away using a burning wood and draw a Cross on the wall until he passed out and experience a mystical joy, and then two angels suddenly appeared. While he was asleep, the Angels said:

“Behold we gird thee by the command of God with girdle of chastity, which henceforth will never be imperiled. What human strenght can not be obtain, is now bestowed upon thee as a celestial gift.”

After that event, Saint Thomas received a grace of perfect Chastity of God and he wore the girdle until his death. His mother cannot convince his son, she plots a secret escape plan for his son. After his escape, he went to Rome and joined the Dominicans. In 1245, He was sent to the Faculty of the Arts for the University of Paris to study, where he met a Dominican Scholar, Albertus Magnus, or Saint Albert the Great. After he finished his education, he went to Cologne as an apprentice professor and also start to write three books. In 1256, he became a Regent Master of Theology in Paris. He also started to write his popular book, Summa Contra Gentiles. And when Pope Urban IV instituted the “Feast of Corpus Christi”, the Pope asked him to write a manuscript where the “Tantum Ergo” and “O Salutaris Hostia” were formed.

In 1269, Saint Thomas went to the Convent in Santa Sabina to teach where he started to write his famous book, the “Summa Theologica”. Which he believed can help the students who just started to learn. But in 1273, an altar server saw him floating, crying and praying at the front of the Crucifix of the Convent. Here, our Lord Jesus Christ asked him if what reward does the Saint wants because he wrote good about Him. But the Saint only want is our Lord as his reward. Then in December 6, 1273, he experienced an extasy while celebrating the mass. After mass, he discontinued his book and when someone asked him to finish his book, he replied:
“The end of my labors has come. All I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.
After that, the Summa Theologica remained unfinished. In March 7, 1274, Saint Thomas Aquinas died.


St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of students, philosophers, publishers, booksellers, academics, theologians, apologists, universities, and schools. He also has significant patronage in the Philippines, especially as the patron saint of the two towns of Santo Tomas and Mangaldan, and the University of Santo Tomas.

Dogma Eucharist Hagiography Marian Apparition Mariology

St. Bernadette and the Immaculate Conception

Saint Bernadette’s story is popular when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on her on February 11, 1858, when she went to collect woods near the Grotto of Massabielle. Her companions went to the woods first while Saint Bernadette started to remove her socks and shoes. Then she heard two gusts of wind but the trees and bushes did not move except for the wild rose in the niche of the Grotto. There was beautiful lady who appeared to her wearing a white gown with blue girdle with a golden rosary on her hands and colored gold roses on each feet. The lady smiled on her and then they start to pray the rosary. The Lady is silent while praying the rosary, but start to speak in the “Glory be” part. After the rosary, the Lady disappeared.

In the next day, Saint Bernadette want to see the beautiful lady so she returned to grotto which the beautiful lady appeared again. The Lady wishes that Saint Bernadette to visit the grotto in 15 days which the saint agreed. During those 15 days, Saint Bernadette followed the wishes of the lady including the praying for the sinners, asking the priest to build a chapel and have a procession. The Lady also told her “I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next”. One of the popular wishes of the Lady to done by Saint Bernadette is eating the grass, digging on the ground and drinking from the spring of water. Many people thought that she is crazy the miraculous spring appeared on the next day on the ground where she dug. Here many people from different places went to the miraculous spring and believed that the Blessed Virgin is the beautiful lady, but at that time, Saint Bernadette never told anyone that the Blessed Mother is the one who appeared to her, only a Beautiful Lady. Saint Bernadette always asked the Lady what is her name, but the Lady always response in a smile. Until March 25, the Lady finally revealed her name , “I am the Immaculate Conception”. The young saint did not understand what the Lady means, but the people of the church does. Because the “Immaculate Conception” title for the Blessed Virgin Mary is still on debated at that time before it becomes an official dogma of the Church.

Saint Bernadette become popular but she don’t want this kind of attention so she and her family decided that she will go to the Sisters of Charity of Nevers to stay and to study. Then she became a nun on July 29, 1866 and named “Sister Marie Bernard”. Because of her unhealthy body, she had a tuberculosis on lungs and bones. Her fellow Nuns advised her to take the water from the miraculous spring in Lourdes, but she declined and replied that the spring is not for her.

On April 16, 1879, Saint Bernadette died in the age of 35 while holding her rosary. She was canonized as a saint on December 8, 1933 by Pope Pius XI. Saint Bernadette is one of the saints that has an incorruptible body after death.

Eucharist Hagiography Sacrament

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Holy Eucharist

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is the daughter of a surgeon. She grew up from a protestant family, the Episcopal Church. She was married to William Seton, a businessman and together, they had five children. Saint Elizabeth always help the sick and near dead people. When a war on the sea broke between America and the Republic of France, many ships was destroyed which affected the business of her husband. They lost their house and started to move to the house of her father in New York. Then her husband was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which daughters advised Saint Elizabeth to move her husband to Italy which has a warm weather. As they arrived in Italy, Saint Elizabeth, together with her husband and daughter, they were quarantined for one month because of the threat of the yellow fever that spread in New York. Then after a few days, her husband died. Saint Elizabeth and her daughter were welcomed by her husband’s business partners in Italy. Here, she was introduced to Catholicism.

Saint Elizabeth gained an interest to Catholicism including the Holy Eucharist. One day, when there’s a Eucharistic Procession, as Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton saw the Holy Eucharist, she immediately knelt without thinking, cried that she was blessed if as God is in the Eucharist, and God is her only desire. When Saint Elizabeth Ann went home to New York, she was decided to convert to Catholicism because if God is in the Eucharist, she must receive God. But her family did everything they can to convince Saint Elizabeth not to convert which created a doubt on her until she attended the Episcopalian Communion Service where she realized that these communion service is just a pantomime that why she finally decided to convert to Catholicism even though there is still a Anti-Catholic law in America.

Saint Elizabeth Ann went to the Catholic Church in New York to be baptized. Before her first communion, she cannot sleep because of her desire to receive our Lord in Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. On the day of her first communion, according to her diary, while she walked fast to the church, it seems that her feet was not touching the ground. When she received the sacrament, she said on her mind “At last, God is Mine! and I am His!

To support her family, Saint Elizabeth Ann instituted a school for the young ladies. When the parents of her students received a news that she was converted to Catholicism, they removed their children from her school. Then Saint Elizabeth Ann decide to go to Canada with her children, until she was invited by the Sulpician Priest and President of St. Mary’s College Baltimore to built a religious school in the small catholic community in Emmitsburg, Maryland which she accept.

In 1809, Saint Elizabeth Institute the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph and built the Saint Joseph’s Academy and Free School. Here, she was known as “Mother Seton”. Saint Elizabeth had a tuberculosis, but even though she was sick, she still continued to teach the children.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton died in January 4, 1821 in the age of 46. She was beatified on March 17, 1963 then canonized as a saint on September 14, 1975. She was the first native born American to be canonized as a Saint. Her daughter, Catherine Seton is on the process of Canonization.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!


Saint Francis Borgia – From Duke to Priesthood

In 1528, while travelling to Valladolid, he met a poor man with the Servant of Inquisitions who will be imprisoned. They exchanged glances and wished that he will meet this poor man again in the future. This poor man is Saint Ignatius of Loyola. In 1529, Saint Francis married a Portuguese Noblewoman named Leonora, and they had eight children. Then in 1539, he become the Viceroy of Catalonia at the age of 29.

In 1543, Saint Francis’ father died he became the Fourth Duke of Gandia. When his wife died in 1546, he decided to improve his faith and enter the newly formed religious order, the Society of Jesus. In 1551, He renounce his title and give it his eldest son. Then he joined the Society of Jesus and meet the person that he wished to see again, the founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Saint Francis become popular because of his decisions and inspired many nobles to enter priesthood.

Because he came from the noble family, his superiors commanded him to cook, to gather wood, cleaning the kitchen and things that he never did when he was a Duke, when he serve the food of his fellow Jesuits, he bends his knee to them and ask for forgiveness because he is clumsy. And he never complaint about his works. When he came from a mission in Peru, Pope Julius III wants Saint Francis to become a Cardinal. To avoid the wish of the pope, he seeks help to Saint Ignatius and he secretly leave to Basque.

In 1554, he was assigned by Saint Ignatius, as commisary in Spain where he built 12 colleges and one novitiate. Then in 1565, he became the Superior General of the Jesuits. In September 30, 1572, Saint Francis Borgia died at the age of 61.

Hagiography Martyrs

Who Are The Saints?

Who are the Saints?

The Saints are ordinary people who lived holy, obedient to God and who are now in Heaven with our Lord. The word saint is from the Latin word “Sanctus” which means Holy. Even though the Saints are now in Heaven, they still care for the people who still struggle here on earth. They pray for us to God.

Does the Bible say anything about the Saints?

Yes, the Saints are often mentioned in the New Testament, including the Acts and the Epistles.

Is the Blessed Virgin Mary a Saint?

Yes, she is not only a saint but also the Queen of all Saints.

Are the Saints dead?

The earthly body of the Saints died, but their souls lives in heaven. This becomes an argument by the protestants and some other Christian sects because according to them. we cannot pray to the saints because they are dead. We cannot Ignore the fact that the saints are alive in heaven. Remember, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mark 12:27).

Is there a Saint Living on Earth?

Yes, maybe they are not proclaimed yet but the Church is a loving church which have living saints. These saints are living their life in holy, like the apostles and the evangelists. And living saints who performed miracles during their time like Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Joseph of Cupertino, Saint Pius X and Saint Padre Pio.

Can one become a Saint if he or she was Canonized by the Catholic Church?

A Saint will never call himself a saint if he or she is a living saint. But once his work is done on earth, that is the time to evaluate him or her as one. The Catholic Church beatify and canonize a person in order to recognize him as a saint, so the church will declare an official intercession to this saint. Take note that the Catholic Church does not make or create a saint. This become a argument by the other Christian religion because the Christians who are living on earth are saints, not the ones who died. Yes living person can become a saint but, they become holier in heaven.

If a person was not canonized by the Church as a saint, does it mean that this person is not in heaven?

No, there are many saints that only God knows. The church recognizes some individuals as being saints after thorough study and investigation. But it doesn’t mean that a saintly person who is not yet recognized by the church is not a saint. God’s recognition is utmost.

Does the Saints go through the Purgatory?

Yes. The saints also go through the purgatory. The souls in purgatory can go to heaven but need to be purged because only the holy can see God. That is why the souls in purgatory are often called the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Who can become a Saint?

Everyone is called to become a Saint. It is up to us to answer that call and try to live this world in holiness. A Saint is not necessary a priest, a nun, an altar server or a pope. He can be a soldier like Saint George, a lawyer like Saint Thomas More, a doctor like Saint Joseph Moscati, a parent like the parents of Saint Therese, Saint Loius and Zelie Martin. Anyone can become a saint, even the criminals. Sinners can become saints. So while we are living in this world, we must push ourselves to be holy. If it is difficult for us to follow our Lord Jesus Christ, let’s ask the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other saints to help us, so we become the Saints for our Lord.

Angels Hagiography

God Heals Through St. Raphael

In this time of crisis , many people have experienced numerous restraints and challenges in their lives, resulting in considerable effects on their mental and physical well-being. To name a few, COVID-19, natural calamities and recurring disasters, and tremendous amounts of human sickness and at death’s door are some of the reasons behind the undesired state of several people throughout this pandemic. These situations contribute to the burden of other fellow men and various industries in our country which alters the superb position of our economy to a predicament. In addition to that, the conditions of folks globally who are experiencing similar problems are affected, too. To support such a claim, the issues faced by our citizens also influenced the entire society’s wholeness. Consequences upon consequences. How will the world heal from all these misfortune occurrences?

In trials and desperate times, people turn to existing and fast ways to solve their daily dilemmas. Relevantly, the public seeks antidotes to cure illnesses brought by different infectious diseases and viruses present nowadays. With that , the commonality instantly proceeds to their mobiles, spending hours and hours on sundry search engines and social media platforms to find the right solution to the problems they are encountering. Fortunately, they arrive with multiple answers to their queries. But the real question is, are these the right solutions to the problem and the right things to do?

Many citizens at present forget countless things. As Catholics, the only thing we either fail to remember or do not do regularly is prayer. Prayers are acts of religious belief to call God and other heavenly beings for guidance, protection, and other matters of high importance (religiously speaking). Prayers serve as our armor and shield against all possible events, whether good or bad, which may transpire in our lives.

Since we are experiencing a global pandemic, the majority of sick people lack such an act. Even basic prayers like the Hail Mary and Our Father could make a difference in you and your physical and spiritual life. Do not just use your devices to look for solutions with lifelong effects for your everyday needs. Ask for help from God and His servants above without hesitation! If you are afraid to communicate to God directly through prayers, ask angels and saints to bring your prayers to God. They will also shower you with grace and blessing upon calling them. One saint that you may call during times like this is Saint Raphael the Archangel.

Saint Raphael the Archangel is one of the seven archangels who lead God’s celestial army and His servants in heaven. His name Raphael means God heals (In Hebrew, Rafael means God has healed me). He, together with the other archangels, guards and protects people who inhabit the earth. He is one of the only three archangels in the Bible mentioned by name (Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael).

Saint Raphael the Archangel has roles assigned to him by God, just like the rest of the seven archangels. His mission is to heal the world which the angels have defiled. In other words, he is the one who spreads healing to people worldwide, tarnished by the angels who have fallen, and aids the needs of God’s creations globally.

He is stated in the Bible in the Old Testament, particularly in the Book of Tobit. Here, it says that he camouflaged in the human flesh. As a human, Saint Raphael the Archangel is recognized as Azarias. As stated in the Bible, Azarias is the son of the great Ananias. He journeyed earth with Tobit’s son, Tobias, which means God is good (some sources refer to him as Tobiah or by the diminutive Tobiel).
Before knowing Saint Raphael the Archangel (disguised as Azarias), Tobias left his place to travel to Media. He did this not only to collect an old debt from a distant relative but to utilize this money as a source of funding to treat his father, Tobit, who became blind. But before going on his trip, Tobias met Azarias outside their house.

Azarias and Tobit continued to travel. Upon arriving at the river Tigris, they resided there. As Tobias went to the river to bathe himself, a fish jumped toward him, which would have eaten him. Azarias commanded him to get the fish. Tobias did such and took it to land. Azarias then told him to open the fish. He asked Tobias to take the heart, liver, and gall of the fish. After such, he asked him to raise these safely afterward. This scene shows how God loves, guides, and protects each one of us through His angels or heavenly servants. Moreover, Saint Raphael the Archangel, camouflaged as Azarias, depicts a metaphor in life that guardian angels are always there to join and accompany us whenever or wherever possible. They carried on back to Tobias’ house. After reaching home, Azarias told Tobias to anoint his father’s eyes. With the gall obtained from the fish, he cured Tobit’s blindness through Saint Raphael the Archangel, still disguised as Azarias. Upon seeing everything, including his son, Tobit became grateful to the Lord, fell into tears, and rejoiced in the glory of God and the angels. In another story, through Saint Rafael, the Archangel, the demon Asmodeus found in Tobias’ wife, Sarah, is immediately cast away.

Upon revealing his true power of healing, he declared that his name was Saint Raphael the Archangel, one of the seven archangels of the kingdom of God. Delivered by God to fulfill his earthly duties. Everyone kneeled before him in awe. They offered him earthly gifts, but he quickly refused. According to him, no amount of riches can repay the grace given by God. For such a reason, real people blessed with the gift of healing should not accept any form of gratitude from the least (such as a thank you) to the most (like money and other material things.) Because their reward awaits in the kingdom of God. After this, Saint Rafael the Archangel commanded them to thank God, for he will return to him. Upon going back to heaven, they arose and saw him no more. This scene tells us that we can only achieve God’s favor through sincere prayers and having good conduct here on earth.
In iconographic imagery, Saint Raphael the Archangel, as Azarias, carries a small box with medicaments. In some cases, there is a dog following both of them as they journey on. Some artworks also showcase the beauty of God’s creations wherein trees, plants, and other animals are present.

He is the patron saint of blind, physically sick patients, travelers, joyous meetings, physicians, nurses, and medical workers. He celebrates his feast together with Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel (September 29). He helps the sick through his prayer of healing, which is as follows:

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.<
I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray to you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body.

I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.

So why don’t we trust the Lord’s power instead? In the hardships we encounter, we must not only rely on the things we see on the internet, especially when it comes to cures for the sick. We should use the technologies we have today to seek guidance in finding the exact prayers for our petitions. Like the prayer above, several patients suffering will surely be well in no time upon praying to Saint Raphael the Archangel. Never lose hope ,we can be kind, we can take care of each other. In times of crisis, all we need is love, trust, and faith with the Lord and His heavenly subjects above. There is nothing wrong with offering everything to Him. If you feel broken inside and out, physically and emotionally, remember; GOD HEALS through an Archangel known as ST. RAPHAEL!


Our Beloved Padre Pio: A Heart full of love

Born from a humble peasant family in Pietrelcina, south of Italy. He was given the name Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887. He served as an altar boy during his childhood and was certain to offer his life to God. The Forgione was a religious family, they attended mass and recited the holy rosary daily.

Padre Pio joined the Capuchins when he was 15 and took the name Pio. For health reasons in 1917, he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni, Rotondo. A year after, he received a stigmata, wounds the same as Christ’s passion on the hand, feet and side, after a vision of Jesus on September 20, 1918. The gift as we all know was God-sent for holy Pio. However, things happen differently that time for the authenticity of his stigmata were in question and things became complicated for him. There were accusations that challenged the humble priest’s reputation and he accepted these in all humility. Because of complicated reasons, he was not allowed to say Mass publicly and hear confession, and he followed out of obedience. It was trying times for Padre Pio since he was known to be close and helped a lot of people who’s fond of him. But he once said, “In all the events of life, you must recognize the Divine will. Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you.” “Accept every pain and inconvenience that comes from Heaven. Thus, you will attain perfection and sanctification.”

He was known in all the monasteries in Italy for his miracles and ability to see the forthcoming events of people’s life and fate . There were so many testimonies and witnesses to his holiness and miracles that many flock to his masses and line for confession. Many can attest to Padre Pio’s ability to know certain details in their lives, and even read their intentions and future. For whatever reasons, bus loads of people visit the place, it is undeniable that many can attest to Padre Pio’s holiness and gift to bring many souls closer to God.

For over fifty years, Padre Pio bore the stigmata in pain and complete submission, accepting the will of God while he faced the adversities in his monastic life.. Some people question the authenticity of his’ stigmata wounds. The stigmata was seen and checked by medical and church authorities. However, weeks before he died the wounds start to heal and disappear with no trace or scar on his skin. Padre Pio once said, “Do not let your heart become troubled by the sad spectacle of human injustice. Even this has its value in the face with all ease. And it is from this that one day you will see the justice of God rising with unfailing triumph.”

Saint Padre Pio is also a firm believer of the importance of the Holy Mass. He is known to have a very solemn and devout celebration of the mass. It is fortunate for all of us that one of his last mass was recorded and can be seen on Youtube. He stressed that, “Every Holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know…It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!” This generation has been lucky that technology was able to capture Padre Pio’s activities in videos. Seldom can we actually experience and see a beloved saint say mass and do many other things.

He was able to say his last mass on September 22, 1968, though his health was weak and failing, with the help of his Capuchin brothers. Padre Pio died in the morning of 23rd of September in his cell in San Giovanni Rotondo. It is said that before he died, he was saying the names “Gesu, Maria” (Jesus, Mary).

Many books and documentaries were written on the life of this beloved saint. Miracles happened during his lifetime and continued even after his death. There were accounts wherein he was seen to have appeared to sick people in their deathbeds long after his death. Padre Pio keeps on healing the sick and the needy just as he promised.  “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.” 

Today, San Giovanni Rotondo has become a popular pilgrimage site as many devotees around the world would like to pay homage to the saint. To experience the place where Padre Pio lived many days of his priestly life. There stands the church-shrine of the saint, a hospital built on his leadership to help the sick and suffering, and his incorrupt body enclosed in a glass coffin.

Padre Pio is a saint of the 21st century. His popularity grew all over the world in an overwhelming manner. It was evident when his incorruptible heart was brought to the Philippines in 2018, even his Capuchin brothers were surprised by the love shown by the Filipinos. Even the devotees from the different parts of the country were amazed at how people endure long lines to be able to touch the glass enclosure with Padre Pio’s heart relic. But the excitement and love was worth it not minding the weariness and the long wait. That’s the work of God, the Holy Spirit that brings fire to the people.

The gift of Saint Padre Pio to bring people closer to God, to love Mother Mary, the value of the Holy Mass continues more than fifty years after. His heart full of love and holiness carries the energy and spiritual joy to his devotees. And he made that promise until it’s time he said, “I will stand at the gates of Heaven and I will not enter until all of my spiritual children are with me.”

Saint Padre Pio, pray for us.

Hagiography Martyrs

St. Andrew Kim Taegon

St. Andrew Kim Taegon
(21 August 1821- 16 September 1846)

St. Andrew Kim Taegon is the first Korean-born Catholic priest and also the patron saint of Korea. He came from Catholic parents who were martyred for practicing Christianity, which was prohibited during Joson Dynasty. Andrew Kim studied at a seminary in Macau. He went to Philippines to study at Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan, where the Shrine of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon was built in his honor. After being ordained as a priest in 1844 he returned to Korea to preach and evangelize.

He was accused of being a traitor to his country and the leader of sacrilegious cult, he was then sentenced to death and beheaded on Sept1 6, 1846 in Seoul. On 6 May 1984, Kim was canonized by Pope John Paul II  along with 102 other Korean Martyrs.

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