Converted to Christianity through a vision, she denounced Maxentius for persecuting Christians. Fifty of her converts were then burned to death by Maxentius.
Maxentius offered Catherine a royal marriage if she would deny the Faith. Her refusal landed her in prison. While in prison, and while Maxentius was away, Catherine converted Maxentius’ wife and two hundred of his soldiers. He had them all put to death.
Catherine was likewise condemned to death. She was put on a spiked wheel, and when the wheel broke, she was beheaded
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Through the missionary efforts of various religious families beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing until 1866, the Vietnamese people heard the message of the gospel, and many accepted it despite persecution and even death.
On June 19, 1988, Pope John Paul II canonized 117 persons martyred in the eighteenth century. Among these were ninety-six Vietnamese, eleven missionaries born in Spain and belonging to the Order of Preachers, and ten French missionaries belonging to the Paris Foreign Mission Society.
Among these saints are eight Spanish and French bishops, fifty priests (thirteen European and thirty-seven Vietnamese), and fifty-nine lay people. These martyrs gave their lives not only for the Church but for their country as well. They showed that they wanted the gospel of Christ to take root in their people and contribute to the good of their homeland. On June 1, 1989, these holy martyrs were inscribed in the liturgical calendar of the Universal Church on November 24th.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
This patroness of music lived in early times. What we know about her goes back to the fourth century. Cecilia was a Roman noblewoman who had given her heart to Christ. Beneath the rich clothes worn by women of her class, Cecilia wore a rough shirt that caused her suffering. She wanted to be able to offer this sacrifice to Jesus, whose bride she intended to be. But Cecilia’s father gave her in marriage to a young pagan noble. It is said that during the wedding celebration, the lovely bride sat apart. She was singing to God in her heart and praying for his help.
When she and Valerian, her husband, were alone, she gathered up courage and said to him: “I have a secret to tell you. You must know that I have an angel of God watching over me. If you let me keep my promise to be Christ’s bride only, my angel will love you as he loves me.”
Valerian was surprised and said kindly, “Show me this angel. If he comes from God, I will do as you wish.” Valerian went to Bishop Urban and was received with joy. After he had professed his belief in the Christian religion, he was baptized and returned to St. Cecilia. There by the saint’s side, the young man saw the splendid angel.
Valerian’s brother, Tiburtius, learned of the Christian faith from Cecilia. She spoke so beautifully of Jesus that before long, he too was baptized. Together the two brothers performed many works of charity. When they were arrested for being Christians, they went bravely to death rather than give up their new faith in Jesus. St. Cecilia lovingly buried their bodies, before she too was arrested.
She converted the very officers who tried to make her sacrifice to false gods. When she was put into a fire, it did not harm her. At last, a man was sent to behead her. He struck her neck three times, but Cecilia did not die right away. She lay on the floor of her own home unable to move. Yet by holding out three fingers of one hand, and one of the other, she still professed her belief in the Blessed Trinity.
Christ Jesus, we acknowledge You King of the universe.
Make full use of Your rights over us.
We renew the promises we made in Baptism,
when we renounced Satan and all his pomps and works,
and we promise to live a good Christian life
and to do all in our power
to procure the triumph of the rights of God
and Your Church.
Divine Heart of Jesus,
we offer you our efforts
in order to obtain that all hearts
may acknowledge your Sacred Royalty,
and that thus the Kingdom of Your peace
may be established throughout the universe