• A Stranger Passes By - A Christmas Story

    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


    Hotel owners, Paul and Maureen, trying to make a living and promote their business in tough times, try to figure out the best way to increase holiday bookings. A husband in wife who is expecting a baby need a room at the last second, and what ensues give the Innkeepers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

  • 00:29

    St. Fidelis

    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. Fidelis - A former lawyer who left his profession to become a Capuchin Franciscan priest, Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen has his liturgical memorial on April 24.


    Leaving his legal practice behind, Mark decided to give his life directly to the service of Christ and the Church. In short order he received ordination as a priest, and joined the Capuchin Franciscans in Freiburg.


    During 1614 a Swiss Catholic bishop had sought help from the Capuchins, to restore the faith and counteract the spread of Calvinist Protestantism. In 1621, Fidelis was sent on the mission. He brought just four items: a Bible, a prayer book, a crucifix and a copy of the Capuchin rule.


    The winter of 1621-22 was a busy period of preaching, instruction and theological disputation for the Franciscan priest. He preached not only in the pulpits of Catholic churches, but also in public places, and even in the meeting-places of the Calvinists themselves. Some Swiss Protestants responded with hostility, but many others were also brought back to the Church.


    Like many cases of religious persecution during this time, Fidelis’ treatment at the hands of the Calvinists did not stem exclusively from doctrinal disagreement. National and cultural tensions also contributed, with many Swiss Protestants suspecting that the Catholic mission was part of an Austrian plot against their nation.


    Fidelis' life bridged the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a time of religious conflict in Western Europe. He died at the hands of a mob while preaching in Switzerland, where he had gone to combat the Calvinist heresy.

  • 00:29

    St. Emma of Austria

    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. Emma of Austria - Hemma, also called Emma of Gurk, was born Countess of Zeltschach to a noble family called Peilenstein in present-day Pilštanj, Slovenia. They were related to the Liutpoldings of Bavaria and thus to Emperor Henry II. She was brought up at the Imperial court in Bamberg by the Empress Saint Cunigunde. She married Count Wilhelm of Friesach and of the Sanngau, by whom she had two sons, Hartwig and Wilhelm. Both of her sons and her husband were murdered, the latest of them probably in 1036. Hemma became wealthy through inheritance upon the death of her husband and sons.


    Countess Hemma used her great wealth for the benefit of the poor and was already venerated as a saint during her lifetime. In addition, she founded ten churches throughout present-day Carinthia, Austria. In 1043 she founded the Benedictine double monastery of Gurk Abbey, where she withdrew during the last years of her life.


    After her death, Gurk Abbey was dissolved by the Archbishop of Salzburg, Gebhard, who instead used the funds to set up the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt in 1072. Admont Abbey, another Benedictine foundation in Austria, was founded in 1074 by the same Gebhard, and also owes its existence to Hemma's wealth.


    Since 1174 Hemma has been buried in the crypt of Gurk Cathedral, of which she is accounted the founder. She was beatified on 21 November 1287 and canonised on 5 January 1938 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is 27 June.[2]


    Hemma is the patron saint of the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt as well as of the Austrian state of Carinthia, and her intercession is sought for childbirth and diseases of the eye.

  • 00:28

    St. Columbanis of Bobbio

    in Religion

    St. Columbanis of Bobbio


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


    St. Columbanis - Columbanus of Bobbio The founder of several European monasteries, St. Columbanus was born c. 543 in Leinster, Ireland, and was educated at Bangor. Late in life (c. 590), he left Ireland to establish, at the invitation of King Childebert of Burgandy, a monastery at Annegray. He founded monasteries at Luxovium (Luxeuil) and at Fountaines as well. In 603, a synod accused him of keeping Easter by the Celtic date, although the real charge seems to have been criticizing the lax morals of the Burgundian court. Columbanus appealed to Gregory the Great, but nothing is known of the outcome of this act. Seven years later, Columbanus left Burgandy to preach to the Allemani of Switzerland; when Burgandy captured Switzerland, he fled to northern Italy, where he established a monastery at Bobbio in 613. His monasteries were known for the strictness of their rules (which the Benedictines later ameliorated) and their emphasis on corporal punishment. In addition to his rule for monks, Columbanus wrote a peneteniary and poems.

  • 00:29

    St. Sabinus

    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 Sabinus of Spoleto (died c. 300) was a Bishop in the Christian church who resisted the persecutions of Diocletian and was martyred.


    According to legend, Venustian, governor of Etruria and Umbria, had Sabinus and his deacons arrested in Assisi. Diocletian's ordered all Christians to sacrifice to the gods or be put to death, and their estates were to be seized for the state. Venustian mocked Sabinus's faith, accusing him of leading the people to the worship of a dead man. When Sabinus said that Christ rose on the third day, Venustian invited him to do the same thing. He had Sabinus's hands cut off. The deacons were in great fear, but Sabinus encouraged them to hold to their faith, and they died after being torn apart by iron hooks. 


    In prison after the martyrdom of his deacons, he was tended by a woman named Serena. While in prison, he healed a man born blind. Venustian heard of the cure and sought a cure for his own eyes from Sabinus. Sabinus healed the governor and converted him to Christianity. Venustian then sheltered Sabinus. Maximianus Herculius, hearing of this, ordered the tribune Lucius to address the matter. Lucius had Venustian, his wife, and his two sons beheaded at Assisi, and he had Sabinus beaten to death at Spoleto in the year 300.

  • 00:29

    Bl. John of Parma

    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


    Bl. John of Parma - The seventh general minister of the Franciscan Order, John was known for his attempts to bring back the earlier spirit of the Order after the death of St. Francis of Assisi. He was born in Parma, Italy, in 1209. It was when he was a young philosophy professor known for his piety and learning that God called him to bid good-bye to the world he was used to and enter the new world of the Franciscan Order. 


    In 1245, Pope Innocent IV called a general council in the city of Lyons, France. Crescentius, the Franciscan minister general at the time, was ailing and unable to attend. In his place he sent Father John, who made a deep impression on the Church leaders gathered there. 


    And so, in 1247, John of Parma was elected to be minister general. The surviving disciples of St. Francis rejoiced in his election, expecting a return to the spirit of poverty and humility of the early days of the Order. And they were not disappointed. As general of the Order John traveled on foot, accompanied by one or two companions, to practically all of the Franciscan convents in existence. Sometimes he would arrive and not be recognized, remaining there for a number of days to test the true spirit of the brothers.


    The pope called on John to serve as legate to Constantinople, where he was most successful in winning back the schismatic Greeks. Many years later, John learned that the Greeks, who had been reconciled with the Church for a time, had relapsed into schism. Though 80 years old by then, John received permission from Pope Nicholas IV to return to the East in an effort to restore unity once again. On his way, John fell sick and died.


    He was beatified in 1781.

  • 00:29

    Bl Anne Mary Javouhey

    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


    Bl Anne Mary Javouhey - Foundress and missionary, the daughter of a wealthy farmer in Jallanges, France. Anne entered several convents but left each time, wanting to devote her life to educating the poor. In 1800, she had a vision of black children and decided to adapt her vocation to their needs. In 1807, Anne and eight other young women were given the veil in Autun, France, and the Congregation of St. Joseph of Cluny was founded. Anne founded houses in Europe, South America, and Africa. In 1828, she went to French Guyana to educate six hundred slaves who were about to be liberated. Anne Javouhey also founded houses in Tahiti and Madagascar. She died in Paris on July 15, 1851.

  • 00:28

    Father Juan de Padilla

    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 Andalusia, Juan de Padilla, was a soldier before he came a Franciscan friar. He held several positions of authority in Mexico. Padilla was one of four Franciscans to accompany Francisco Vasquez de Coronado on his expedition to colonize New Mexico in 1540. The expedition was encouraged by reports of riches from Cabeza de Vaca and his companions, the survivors of the ill fated Navarez expedition.


    Padilla was guardian of a convent at Jalisco at the time the expedition began. He gave up his high position in the church in order to become a missionary to the native people to the north. It was his hope to educate and convert the people to the religion he taught.


    Father Padilla was known to be kind and gentle yet full of energy. He punished those who caused unpleasantness in Coronado's camp. At first he worked with the Moqui Pueblos. He spent winter quarters with Coronado on the Rio Grande river, where the army rested before continuing the historic journey to the fabled Quivira. 

  • 00:29

    St. Lawrence O'Toole

    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. Lawrence O'Toole - Augustinian archbishop of Dublin, Ireland. He was born at Leinster, the Son of Murtagh, chief of the Murrays, in Castledermot, Kildare. Taken hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh of Leinster in a raid, Lawrence was surrendered to the bishop of Glendalough. Lawrence became a monk, and in 1161 was named archbishop of Dublin. He was involved in negotiating with the English following their invasion of Ireland, and in 1172 convened a synod at Cashel. He also attended the General Lateran Council in Rome in 1179, and was named papal legate to Ireland. While on a mission to King Henry II of England, Lawrence died at Eu, Normandy, France. He was canonized in 1225.

  • 00:29

    St. Leocretia

    in Religion

    St. Leocretia


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


    St. Leocretia - Virgin martyr of Spain, also listed as Lucretia. She lived in Cordoba, Spain, with her Muslim Moorish parents until her conversion. St. Eulogius sheltered her. They were both scourged and beheaded, as were a total of  forty-eight Christian martyrs living in the 9th century Muslim-ruled Al-Andalus, in what is now southern Spain.

  • 00:29

    St. Mathilda

    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. Mathilda - St. Mathilda von Ringelheim was a noblewoman in early 10th century Germany. Raised and educated by her grandmother in the older woman’s monastery, her beauty and virtue caught the notice of Duke Otto I of Saxony, who thereafter arranged for her to marry his son Duke Henry “the Fowler” of Saxony. Upon the death of both his father and the heirless King Conrad I, Henry succeeded Otto and became king of East Francia, with Mathilda thus becoming his queen. They had five children, including St. Bruno the Great, Otto the Great, who became Holy Roman Emperor, and Duke Henry of Bavaria. It was these two latter siblings who took up much of Mathilda’s attention for the rest of her life, for they were always fighting wars against one another, with Henry usually being the instigator. She also spent much of her time depleting both sons’ treasuries, as she was always funding some charitable effort. Indeed, this is what accounted for her reputation as a saint. When she wasn’t feeding or clothing the poor, she was building huge monasteries, convents, and abbeys. She endowed the canonries of many cathedrals, churches, and such, and she helped advance the cause of education and the arts by providing financing for these endeavors, as well. Queen Mathilda was also someone dedicated to prayer, often spending much of her free time in this fashion. Indeed, when she was finally able to retire from public life, she laid aside her crown and entered Quedlinburg Abbey as a simple nun with no special privileges or considerations given to her.

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