Saints (May 10-17)
St. Antoninus, Bishop and Confessor – May 10
At the age of 16 he entered the Order of St. Dominic. Having become the Archbishop of Florence, St Antoninus excelled in his pastoral office by the austerity of his life, his charity, and his sacerdotal zeal. His prudence earned for him the title of “Antoninus of Counsel.” He died rich in merits in 1459.
SS. Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancras, Martyrs * May 12
Nereus and Achilleus were officers in the Roman army, beheaded for their faith under Diocletian in 304. They were buried in the Flavian cemetery on the Ardeatine Way, and at the end of the fourth century, under Pope Siricius, a first basilica was raised in their honor above their tomb. Later another was built within the city, and their relics were transferred there. * The St. Domitilla celebrated today was probably the granddaughter of Flavia Domitilla; she was exiled under Domitian and martyred towards the end of the first century. * St. Pancras was about fourteen years of age when he was arrested and put to death in 304 for refusing to sacrifice to the gods in Rome.
St. Robert Bellermine, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor * May 13
St. Robert Bellermine, a member of the Society of Jesus, was a professor of theology and preacher at Louvain (1569-76), he taught controversial theology at Rome, where he was St. Aloysius Gonzaga*s confessor. Sixtus V sent him on a diplomatic mission to France; he became provincial of the Jesuits at Naples, and was made a cardinal in 1599, rendering great service to the popes. His controversial books against Protestantism were very effective, and his catechism, translated into many languages, did much to spread the knowledge of Christian doctrine. St. Robert died at Rome on September 17, 1621. He was canonized by Pius XI, June 29, 1930, and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church, August 15, 1931.
St. Boniface, Martyr – May 14
St. Boniface was converted by the sight of the sufferings of some Christians at Tarsus and declared himself a believer; he was immediately arrested, and martyred with them, May 14, 307. He was a native of Rome, and his body was brought back there to a church on the Aventine, which took his name, but was later known as St. Alexis. – After rising from the dead and ascending into heaven, Christ continues to triumph in the members of His mystical Body, who are joined to Him like branches to the vine and bear abundant fruit in Him.
St. John Baptist de la Salle, Confessor – May 15
St. John Baptist De La Salle belonged to a great family at Reims. He became a priest and canon of the diocese of Paris, but renounced his canonry to devote himself to educating poor children. He founded a new religious congregation, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, which soon spread throughout the world. The Brothers have inherited his spirit and carry on his work, consecrating themselves to the Christian education of children and youths. St. John Baptist De La Salle died on Good Friday, April 7, 1719.
St. Ubaldus, Bishop and Confessor – May 16
St. Ubaldus, a Canon Regular of St. Augustine, was compelled by Pope Honorius II to become bishop of Gubbio, his native city. He died on Whitsunday, 1160. God gave him a special power over Satan, and so in the Collect we ask to be saved from all the deceits of the devil.
St. Paschal Baylon, Confessor – May 17
St. Paschal was born in the kingdom of Aragon in Spain, and as a boy he worked as a shepherd. When twenty-four, he joined the Friars Minor of the Observance, and becamea model austerity, perfect obedience and Franciscan poverty. His profoundcontemplation caused him ecstatic raptures of love, and gave him such knowledge of the things of God that he could discourse of the most obscure mysteries of the Faith. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and passed hours in prayer before the tabernacle. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed him patron of Eucharist congresses and confraternities. He died at the time he had foretold on Whitsunday, May 17, 1592, his birthday.