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  • 00:27

    St. Ferdinand III of Castile

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Ferdinand III of Castile was the son of Alfonso IX, King of Leon, and Berengaria, daughter of Alfonso III, King of Castile (Spain). He was declared king of Castile at age eighteen. Ferdinand was born near Salamanca; proclaimed king of Palencia, Valladolid, and Burgos; his mother advised and assisted him during his young reign. He married Princess Beatrice, daughter of Philip of Suabia, King of Germany and they had seven sons and three daughters. His father (the king of Leon) turned against him and tried to take over his rule. The two reconciled later, and fought successfully against the Moors. In 1225, he held back Islamic invaders; prayed and fasted to prepare for the war; extremely devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Between 1234-36, Ferdinand conquered the city of Cordoba from the Moors. Queen Beatrice died in 1236, and he overtook Seville shortly thereafter. He founded the Cathedral of Burgos and the University of Salamanca; married Joan of Ponthieu after the death of Beatrice. He died on May 30th after a prolonged illness, and buried in the habit of his secular Franciscan Order. His remains are preserved in the Cathedral of Seville and was canonized by Pope Clement X in 1671. Ferdinand was a great administrator and a man of deep faith. He founded hospitals and bishoprics, monasteries, chuches, and cathedrals during his reign. Her also compiled and reformed a code of laws which were used until the modern era. Ferdinand rebuilt the Cathedral of Burgos and changed the mosque in Seville into a Cathedral. He was a just ruler, frequently pardoning former offenders to his throne. His feast day is May 30th.She was canonized in 1949 by Pope Pius XII.

  • 00:29

    St. Catherine of Bologna

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    St. Catherine of Bologna, Virgin (Patroness of Artists) Feast - March 9th Born in 1413, Catherine de Vigri was the daughter of a diplomatic agent of the Marquis of Ferrara. At the age of eleven, she was appointed maid of honor to the daughter of the Marquis and shared her training and education. When the daughter eventually married, she wanted Catherine to remain in her service, but Catherine left the court and became a Franciscan Tertiary at the age of fourteen.


    Catherine had determined to live a life of perfection, and was admired by her companions for her holiness. Eventually her Community became part of the Poor Clares. She soon began to experience visions of Christ and Satan, and wrote of her experiences, one of which occurred one Christmas. Through her efforts with Pope Nicholas V, the Poor Clare convent at Ferrara erected an enclosure, and Catherine was appointed Superioress. The reputation of the Community for its holiness and austerity became widespread. She then was appointed Superioress of a new convent in Bologna.


    In Lent of 1463, Catherine became seriously ill, and she died on March 9th. Buried without a coffin, her body was exhumed eighteen days later because of cures attributed to her and also because of the sweet scent coming from her grave. Her body was found to be incorrupt and remains so today in the Church of the Poor Clare convent in Bologna. She was canonized in 1712.


    St. Catherine eagerly responded to her call to lead the religious life. Her piety, charity, and kindness attracted many to follow her along the road to perfection. The beauty of her life and death encourages us to resolve to live in perfect charity as a Lenten goal.

  • 00:29

    St. Isabel of Portugal

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Born in 1271, Queen Isabel was married to King Diniz (or Dinis). Like her great-aunt Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, for whom she was named, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal dedicated her life to the poor. She established orphanages and provided shelter for the homeless. She also founded a convent in Coimbra.


    There are many versions of the story of Queen Isabel's miracle of turning bread into roses, but they are all fundamentally the same. She is said to have been forbidden by her unfaithful husband to give to the poor. Having hid bread to give away in her apron, she encountered King Diniz, who asked her what she was carrying. Not wanting to let on that the contents of her apron were meant for the poor, she responded that they were roses. The bread was transformed into roses, and King Dinis, who could not understand how she could have possession of fresh roses in January, did not punish his wife.


    Known for settling disputes, Queen Isabel was called the Peacemaker. When her son Affonso (or Afonso) declared war on his father, jealous of the attention being paid by Diniz to his illegitimate sons, she rode between the armies, reconciling the two sides. On another occasion, she rode to Estremoz despite being ill to keep the army of Affonso, by then Affonso IV, from fighting that of Castile. Affonso, angry at the mistreatment his daughter Maria was suffering at the hands of her husband, the king of Castile, had ordered an attack. Isabel stopped the fighting, but the exertion proved to be too much for her and she fell ill, dying shortly thereafter.


    Isabel was buried in Coimbra. She was canonized in 1625 by Urban VIII, and her feast day is July 4. Many Portuguese and Portuguese-American organizations bear her name.

  • 00:30

    St. Justin de Jacobis

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    St. Justin de Jacobis -- Born at San Fele, Italy. At 18 he was ordained. After helping found a Vincentian house at Monopoly, he served as superior at Lecce and in 1839 was sent as the first prefect and vicar apostolic to the new Catholic mission at Adua, Ethiopia. His efforts to evangelize met with great opposition., but in 1841 he was included in a delegation of Ethiopian prelates to Cairo to request the Coptic patriarch of Alexandria to appoint one of his monks Abuna (patriarch) of the Ethiopian church. In Cairo, the patriarch denounced the presence of Father de Jacobis on the delegation and intrigued to a point one Salama as Abuna. Some of the delegation then accompanied Father de Jacobis to meet the Pope in Rome. On his return, Father de Jacobis founded a college and seminary at Guala, and in 1846 a vicariate apostolic of the Galla was established, with William Massaia as its first bishop. These developments caused Salama to launch an anti-Catholic campaign. The college was closed, Catholicism was proscribed, and bishop Massaia was forced to return to Aidan. In 1848, he secretly consecrated Father de Jacobis, now a fugitive, bishop at Massawa, with authority to administer the sacraments in the Ethiopian rite. By 1853, the new bishop had ordained some twenty Ethiopians, was ministering to 5000 Catholics, and was able to reopen the college. In 1860, Kedaref Kassa became king as Theodore II and in return for the backing he had received from Abuna Salama, launched a persecution of the Catholics. Bishop de Jacobis was arrested and improsoned. After release he managed to find his way to Halai in southern Eritrea. He spent the rest of his life in missionary work along the Red Sea coast and died in the valley of Alghedien.

  • 00:30

    Three White Veils for Sandra - Alessandra di Rudini

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Alessandra di Rudini - The Marchesa Alessandra di Rudini, known in Carmel as Mother Marie of Jesus, came of an old Neapolitan family. Her privileged childhood was marred by her mother's ill-health and her father's womanizing. Perhaps it was the problems between her parents that led her to question her faith, a crisis which was reinforced by an atheistic teacher when she was thirteen. As Alessandra di Rudini became a young lady she moved in the highest circles of European society. A Russian Grand Duke wanted to marry her but Alessandra would not renounce her Catholic faith as would have been required, showing that her convictions may have been deeper than her doubts.

  • 00:29

    St. Joan de Lestonnac

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    St. Joan de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She married at the age of seventeen. The happy marriage produced four children, but her husband died suddenly in 1597. After her children were raised, she entered the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. Joan was forced to leave the Cistercians when she became afflicted with poor health. She returned to Bordeaux with the idea of forming a new congregation, and several young girls joined her as novices. They ministered to victims of a plague that struck Bordeaux, and they were determined to counteract the evils of heresy promulgated by Calvinism. Thus was formed the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux. In 1608, Joan and her companions received the religious habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Joan was elected superior in 1610, and many miracles occurred at her tomb. She was canonized in 1949 by Pope Pius XII.

  • 00:30

    The Day of the Lord

    in Religion

    The Day of the Lord


    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    First broadcasted in the 1950's, this episode is set in the future ... a story of the future ... when the great events depicted will happen, no man can foretell. But the fact of their happening is foretold in the Bible. This is the story of The Day of the Lord.

  • 00:31

    St. Lorenzo Giustiniani

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Born to the Venetian nobility; his ancestors had fled Constantinople for political reasons. Against his widowed mother‘s wishes, he chose against marriage and for the religious life. Augustinian canon regular at San Giorgio, Alga, Italy in 1400. Spent his days wandering the island, begging for the poor. Ordained in 1406. Noted preacher and teacher of the faith. Held assorted administrative positions within his Order. Reluctant bishop of Castello, Italy in 1433. General of the canons regular. Bishop of Grado, Italy in 1451; the see was then moved to Venice, Italy, and Laurence was named archbishop and patriarch by Pope Nicholas V. Noted writer on mystical contemplation. Had the gift of prophecy. Miracle worker.

  • 00:29

    Olaf Tryggvesson

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Olaf Tryggvesson - (born c. 964—died c. 1000), Viking king of Norway (995–c. 1000), much celebrated in Scandinavian literature, who made the first effective effort to Christianize Norway.


    Already a Christian, Olaf was confirmed at Andover (in modern Hampshire) in 994, with Ethelred, with whom he had been reconciled, as his godfather. Learning of the growing revolt against the Norwegian king Haakon the Great, Olaf returned to Norway and was accepted as king on Haakon’s death in 995. He forcefully imposed Christianity on the areas under his control, the coast and the western islands, but had little influence elsewhere. By commissioning missionaries and baptizing visiting dignitaries, Olaf was able to introduce Christianity to the Shetland, Faroe, and Orkney islands and to Iceland and Greenland. (Christianity was adopted by the Icelandic parliament [Althing] about 1000). 


    Olaf met his death in the Battle of Svolder (c. 1000) at the hands of the Danish king Sweyn I, the Swedish king Olaf Skötkonung, and Eric the Norwegian, earl of Lade. 

  • 00:26

    Saint Valentine

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    Saint Valentine -- Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their goddess Februata Juno, on the fifteenth of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.

  • 00:30

    St. Peregrine - Patron Saint of Cancer Patients

    in Religion

    Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org


    St. Peregrine - St. Peregrine was born in Forli, Italy, around 1265. At that time, Forli was governed by the Pope as part of the Papal States, and Peregrine grew up in a family that was actively involved in the opposition, or anti-papal party. Because of anti-papal activity, the city was under the church penalty of interdict, meaning that Mass and the Sacraments could not be celebrated there. St. Philip Benizi, Prior General of the Servants of Mary, went to Forli to preach reconciliation. Young Peregrine, very intense in his political fervor, not only heckled Philip during his preaching, but, in fact, struck him. Philip, instead of responding with anger and violence to the attack, turned and forgave Peregrine.


    This encounter with Philip is said to have dramatically changed Peregrine. He began channeling his energy into good works and eventually joined the Servants of Mary in Siena, Italy. He returned to Forli, where he spent the rest of his life, dedicating himself to the sick, the poor, and those on the fringes of society. He also imposed on himself the penance of standing whenever it was not necessary to sit. This led to varicose veins, which later deteriorated into an open sore on his leg, and was eventually diagnosed as cancer.


    Peregrine's leg wound became so serious that the local surgeon decided to amputate the leg. The night before the surgery, Peregrine prayed before the image of the crucified Christ, and when he awoke, the wound was healed and his leg saved. He lived another 20 years, dying on May 1, 1345, and the age of about 80. Peregrine was canonized on December 27, 1726, and has been named the Patron Saint of those suffering from cancer.

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