June 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during June.  Chock full of links (all the blue words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.

  • 6/1 St. Justin Martyr – (c.100-165) 2nd century Philosopher, Martyr, Father of the Church.  First layman apologist.  Patron of apologists, lecturers, orators, philosophers and speakers.  Scroll down to his name on this list to read his writings.
  • 6/1 St. Gwen (aka Whyte or Candida)
  • 6/2 Corpus Christi
  • 6/2 St. Blandina – (d.177) Slave, Martyr
  • 6/2 St. Elmo (aka Erasmus) – (d.c.303) Bishop, Martyr, rolled in pitch and set on fire
  • 6/3 St. Charles Lwanga & Companions – (d.1886) Martyrs of Uganda in 1886. “You can burn our bodies, but you cannot harm our souls.”
  • 6/3 St. Morand – (d.c.1115) Monk, fasted on grapes one Lent
  • 6/5 St. Boniface – (d.754) Originally named Wynfrith (almost as cool as St. Patrick’s [fellow Englishman] original name, Maewyn Succat).  English Benedictine monk known as the “Apostle of Germany”.
  • 6/6 St. Philip the Deacon – (d.c.58) Mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, converted Simon Magus, the Ethiopian eunuch of Queen Candice, and many more.
  • 6/7 Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • 6/8 Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • 6/9 St. Columba (aka Columbkille) – (521-597) Irish poet
  • 6/11 St. Barnabas – (d.c.61) Apostle, Martyr.  Early missionary and leader of the Church.  Introduced Paul to Peter and the other Apostles (Acts 9:27).  Cousin to the Mark who wrote the Gospel.  He’s mentioned often in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, especially chapters 11-15.
  • 6/12 St. Onophrius – (d.c.400) Hermit.  Naked for 60 years
  • 6/13 St. Anthony of Paudua – (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church, Franciscan priest, gifted speaker, miracle worker.  St. Francis himself directed Anthony to teach theology because he was so good at it.  Known as patron for lost items, he has many other patronages including pregnant women, travelers, against starvation, against sterility…  and on and on… check the list here.
  • 6/15 St. Alice – (d.1250) – Cistercian Nun, Leper, Visionary, Healer
  • 6/15 St. Vitus – (d.c.303) Martyr. Boiled in oil.
  • 6/16 Father’s Day
  • 6/16 St. John Francis Regis – (1597-1640) Confessor. Jesuit.  Missionary.  Popular catechist, gifted preacher.  Also helped prostitutes get out of the trade be establishing them in lacemaking and embroidery.
  • 6/17 St. Harvey – (d.c.556-575) blind minstrel
  • 6/19 Venerable Matt Talbot – (1856-1925) Patron of Alcoholics. Secular Franciscan. Alcoholic from Dublin for 15 years, then led a life of heroic penance and prayer.
  • 6/20 St. Osana – (1449-1505) Dominican Stigmatist
  • 6/21 St. Aloysius Ganzaga – (1568-1591) Patron of teenagers. Jesuit. Italian noble and son of a compulsive gambler, his dad wanted him to be a military hero.  Instead he gave his life to prayer and serving the poor.  Received first Communion from St. Charles Borromeo and last rites (Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick) from St. Robert Bellarmine.  Died from the plague caught while helping the sick at the age of 23.
  • 6/21 St. Alban – (d.c303) Martyr
  • 6/21 St. Leufredis
  • 6/22 St. Thomas More – (1478-1535) Martyr, Husband, father, devoted family man, lawyer, Lord Chancellor of England (2nd to the King).  Fought any form of heresy, which eventually got him beheaded by Henry VIII.  Patron of lawyers, civil servants, politicians, adopted children, widowers and more.
  • 6/22 St. John Fisher – (1459-1535) Martyr, Priest, Bishop, Cardinal.  Tutor of young Henry VII, eventually beheaded for opposing Henry’s claim to be head of the Church of England.
  • 6/23 St. Agrippina – (d.c.262) Martyr
  • 6/23 St. Joseph Cafasso – (1811-1860) Priest, precursor to Bosco
  • 6/24 St. John the Baptist – (d.c.30) His birth was announced by the angel Gabriel.  He prepared the way for the Messiah, and was eventually beheaded.  Read about him in Mt 3; Mk 1; Lk 1 & 3; Jn 1 & 3.
  • 6/25 St. Molaug – (c.530-592) Irish noble and founder of monasteries
  • 6/26 St. Josemaria Escriva – (1902-1975) Founder of Opus Dei, priest during religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War.  Check out his writings.
  • 6/25 St. Pelayo (aka Pelagius) – (c.912-925) Martyr
  • 6/27 Our Lady of Perpetual Help – You’ve probably seen this miraculous image, the devotion to which is now spread by the Redemptorists. Discover the story and the message.
  • 6/27 St. Cyril of Alexandria – (376-444) Doctor of the ChurchFather of the Church, monk, priest, bishop. Was the Pope’s representative at the Council of Ephesus, emphasizing that Mary was mother of the one Person who is both truly God and truly human.  Scroll down to his name on this list to read his writings.
  • 6/27 St. Lazlo – (1040-1095) King of Hungary, not the guy in the closet in “Weird Science”
  • 6/28 St. Irenaeus – (c.130-202) Bishop, Martyr, Father of the Church, disciple of St. Polycarp, writer, theologian. Scroll down to his name on this list to read his writings.
  • 6/28 St. Basildes
  • 6/29 Sts. Peter & Paul – (d.c.64, Peter; c.3-c.65, Paul) Apostles, Martyrs. First Pope & mega-missionary. Read the whole New Testament to learn more.  There’s some interesting at-a-glance info on the links listed above, or reflect on them together here.


May 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during May.  Chock full of links (all the blue words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.


  • 5/1 St. Jospeh the Worker – (1st century, before the Passion)  Carpenter, Foster father, Patron of the Universal Church.  St. Joseph got a feast day in March, but May 1st is dedicated to his patronage of workers. His name means “whom the Lord adds”.
  • 5/1 St. Marculf – (d.558)  Priest, Missionary, Hermit.  A successful missionary to the Gauls, then chose the life of a hermit.  His relics were apparently very effective in the cure of skin disease.  Patron against skin disease.
  • 5/2 St. Athanasius – (c.295-373)  Early Church Father, Bishop of Alexandria, defender of Truth against Arianism, Doctor of the Church.
  • 5/2 St. Zoe – (d.c.127)  Martyr.  Married to a saint, and mother of two saints, all martyrs.  They were a family of slaves to pagan masters.  St. Zoe’s job was to keep the house dogs from biting visitors.
  • 5/3 Sts. Philip & James – (James d.c.62, Philip d.c.80)  Apostles, Martyrs – Philip gets more mention in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.  Can you find where (hint: multiplication of the loaves; another time in Acts 8)?  Why is this James  called “the Lesser”?
  • 5/3 St. Philip of Zell – (d.c.770)  Benedictine hermit, Anglo-Saxon pilgrim, friend and advisor to King Pepin the Short.  Patron of babies.
  • 5/4 St. Florian – (d.c.304)  Martyr, Roman army officer.  Patron of firefighters, brewers, and soap-boilers, and against drowning and floods.
  • 5/5 Bl. Edmund Ignatius Rice – (1762-1844)  Founder of Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers, married, widowed, and father of one daughter – Edmund left a wealthy business to dedicate his life to serving the poor and uneducated.
  • 5/5 St. Hilary of Arles –(c.400-449)  Bishop, had a reputation for learning and eloquence
  • 5/7 St. John of Beverley – (d.721)  Benedictine Monk, Bishop.  Ordained St. Bede (see below, 5/25).  Known for his miracles
  • 5/7 St. Duje – (d.304)  Bishop, Martyr.  If you know anyone who has been looking for an excuse to name a child “Duje”, here it is.
  • 5/9 Feast of the Ascension – 40 days after Easter.  Holy Day of Obligation.  Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, Acts 1:2.
  • 5/10 St. John of Avila – (1499-1569) Priest, itinerant preacher, recently made Doctor of the Church, and model of the New Evangelization.  Wanted to be a missionary to the West Indies and Mexico, but instead became a traveling preacher in Andalusia (part of Spain previously ruled by the Moors).  Spiritual advisor to St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis Borgia, St. Peter of Alcanatara and St. John of God!! Click here to check one of the letters he wrote to St. Teresa.
  • 5/10 St. Damien Joseph de Vesteur of Moloka’i – (1840-1889)  “The Leper Priest”, Cared for lepers in present day Hawaii – During the beatification homily, Pope John Paul II said: “Holiness is not perfection according to human criteria; it is not reserved for a small number of exceptional persons. It is for everyone; it is the Lord who brings us to holiness, when we are willing to collaborate in the salvation of the world for the glory of God, despite our sin and our sometimes rebellious temperament.”
  • 5/11 St. Gengulphus – (d.760)  Knight.  Had an unfaithful wife whose lover murdered him in bed.  Patron of difficult marriages and victims of unfaithfulness.
  • 5/12 Mothers’ Day – Don’t forget!  In the US it is always the second Sunday in May.  Check out some of the articles on this link.
  • 5/12 Bl. Francis Patrizzi – (1266-1328)  Servite (Order of Friar Servants of Mary) Priest.  He was an extemely popular confessor, he had a special skill for mediation, and his sermons inspired even bitter enemies reconcile.  Patron of reconciliations.
  • 5/13 Our Lady of Fatima – On May 13, 1917 Mary appeared for the first time to three shepherd children bringing a message of personal conversion, praying the Rosary, praying for the conversion of sinners, and praying for the conversion of Russia.  Two of the visionaries, Bl. Jacinta & Francisco Marto died young and have been beatified.  Sr. Lucia, the third visionary, died only a few years ago, in 2005, and is on the fast track to canonization.  Pope John Paul II attributed his surviving an assassination attempt on May 13 to the intercession of Our Lady.  Explore some of the “External links” at the bottom of the Wikipedia article linked above on Our Lady.  Also check out our SaintMakers link Fuel up on Fatima.
  • 5/14 St. Matthias – (d.80)  Apostle, Martyr.  Replaced Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve Apostles.  Read about him in Acts 1:15-26.  Patron of carpenters and against alcoholism.
  • 5/15 St. Dymphna – (7th century)  Martyr, Patron of those suffering for nervous and mental afflictions
  • 5/15 St. Isidore the Farmer – (c.1070-1130)  Patron of farmers, rural communities, and Madrid, Spain.  Hard worker who had an intense love for the poor and had an extremely devout prayer life.
  • 5/16 St. Brendan the Navigator – (460-c.577)  Irish monk renown for his semi-legendary  quest to find the Isle of the Blessed.  He and 60 other Irishmen may have been the first Europeans to discover America (even before Leif Erickson, another Catholic who sailed to America around the turn of the last millennium).  Patron of sailors and travelers.
  • 5/16 St. Simon Stock – (c.1165-1265)  Lived as a hermit on a hollow trunk of an oak tree and founded many Carmelite communities.  Mary appeared to him and gave us the tradition of the brown scapular.
  • 5/17 St. Pascal Baylon – (1540-1592)  Spanish Franciscan known for his humility, generosity to the poor, and intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.  He is patron of Eucharistic congresses and societies.
  • 5/18 St. Venantius – (d.c.250)  Teenage Martyr.  Refusing to deny his faith, he was scourged, burned, hung upside-down, teeth knocked out, thrown to lions, and thrown off a cliff.  All of this was unable to effect his death, so he was beheaded.  Patron of leaping and against danger of falling.
  • 5/18 St. Pope John I – (d.526)  53rd Pope, Martyr.
  • 5/19 Pentecost – “The 50th day”. Catechism of the Catholic Church 731-747.  Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:1-31). 10 days after the Ascension (see 5/17 above).  Same day as the ancient Jewish festival of the feast of weeks, or Pentecost (Ex 34:22, Deut 16:10). After the Ascension, the disciples prayed for 9 days, then the Holy Spirit descended on them.  That’s why a novena is 9 days.
  • 5/19 St. Pope Celestine V – (1210-1296)  One of twelve siblings, he became a hermit at 20 and spent his days praying and reading the Bible.  He was 84 when he was made the 192nd Pope.  He was known for his humility and simplicity.
  • 5/20 St. Bernardine of Sienna – (1380-1444)  Great Franciscan Preacher.  Pope Pius II called him a second Paul.  Also known for his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, he popularized a version of the “IHS” symbol we see often in churches.
  • Jesus’ Monogram – Have you ever seen “IHS” on something in the church and wondered what it stood for?  It’s derived from the first three letters of the name of “Jesus” in Greek.  (His middle initial is not H.)  It was greatly popularized in the middle ages by St. Bernardine of SiennaSt. Ignatius of Loyola later adopted it as part of the emblem for the Jesuits.
  • 5/20 St. Ethelbert – (552-616)  King of Kent, England.  His example of conversion led to the baptism of 10,000 more.
  • 5/21 St. Eugene de Mazenod – (1782-1861)  Patron of dysfunctional families and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, an incredible missionary order.
  • 5/22 St. Rita of Cascia – (1386-1457)  Patron of Impossible Causes.  Wanted to be a nun, but was forced to marry a harsh, cruel man.  She was a good wife and mother, and after her husband was killed in a brawl and her two boys died,  she became an Augustinan nun. Rita bore a deep wound on the forehead that many associated with the crown of thorns.
  • 5/25 St. “Venerable” Bede – (672-735)  Bible scholar, theologian, scientist, and historian (“father” of English history).  The only English Doctor of the Church.  (I like to think of him as “the Catholic Dr. Who” – the English Doctor and master of history.)
  • 5/26 St. Philip Neri – (1515-1595)  One of my personal favorites! At catholic.org, they start the biography saying “If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would be Philip Neri.”
  • 5/28 St. Bernard of Montjoux – (c.923-1008)  French Priest.  Established hospices for travelers and pilgrims in the Alps.  The large dogs trained to find lost people in the mountains are named after this St. Bernard.  Patron of mountain climbers and skiers.
  • 5/29 St. Bona – (c.1156-c.1207)  Mystic, Pilgrim.  Patron of pilgrims and flight attendants.
  • 5/30 St. Joan of Arc – (1412-1431)  Patroness of soldiers and of France.  Burned at the stake at 19 years old on May 30, 1431.  You’ve heard of her… how much do you really know about her?


5 Favorite Things 4/17/13



Okay, so its a day late…but won’t be one “Favorite Thing” short…


My newfound 15 minutes of prayer time in the EARLY morning.  ‘Nuff said.


My lovely girl.

My lovely girl.

This little lady.  She completes our family in ways that I cannot and probably will never be able to express.  She consistently surprises me with her incredible faith.  For Christmas, I bought my husband The Brick Bible – Old Testament.  Girl took it over and read it cover to cover.  Started asking me questions like, “Why did people die when they touched the Ark of the Covenant?”  And when we would answer she would say “But why?”  So this week she brought her Lenten Prayer Book home.  Basically, scriptures her class read once a week and then their own reflection on that verse.  This was one of her many cool responses:

Ava's Lenten Journal


Sigur Ros Live

Sigur Ros Live

Sigur Ros…

I actually went to a real live grown up concert last weekend.  My sister, her husband, my husband and I spent a lot of money on tickets to stand on a concrete floor, get beer spilled on us*, get a secondhand high from the legal pot (thanks again Colorado), watch the opening act guy sit in a chair and flip knobs to make weird music (our theory was that he was checking Facebook) and lose count of all the following: plaid shirts, thick framed glasses, skinny jeans on men, beards,  – all in an attempt to watch one of my favorite all-time bands sing in a language I couldn’t understand. (literally.  they are Icelandic)  But when they began, really, NOTHING they did disappointed.  They are amazing.  If you haven’t yet, check them out.



Maybe a bit negative, but one of my favorite things is that I am NOT into CrossFit…

I’m sorry to all those Crossfitters, I know y’all love it and rock it and burpee the nights away, but its just not for me.  Speaking of my awesome sister, her hubs and her are doing the CrossFit thang, and while they were in town last weekend, we decided that on Saturday morning, we would go try out their friend’s CrossFit gym on Field Day.  My husband and I were – in all of our newfound workout cockiness – ready to do this.  Then it happened.  Basically, 3 rounds of partner competition (which included running 400 meters, rowing machine, endless pushups, jumprope, counter-intuitively lifting a 25 pound weight over my head, and 18″ box jumps) and I realized that though I can hang with the CrossFit people…I don’t wanna.  My legs and strange muscles in my feet I didn’t know existed told me so the next day and I’m pretty sure though the other women look awesome doing it, I look like the sad TRex above.  In fact, while searching for Mr. TRex, I entered “CrossFit” into my Pinterest search engine, and saw too many women who looked like they wanted to hurt me.  For those of you who love it, God speed…or make you do box jumps…or whatev.




CrockPot Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

In our quest to eat healthier and NOT have to make 2 meals for dinner so that our kids will stay alive, I came across this recipe.  It is hands-down one of my faves.  The kids love it…I love it…  They get whole wheat spaghetti, we get spaghetti squash…. which is awesome, as long as I get my sprinkle of parmesan.  If you like it, then I better put a link on it.

*Okay, so I spilled it on my sister’s leg and foot. Because, as usual, I was trying to multitask holding a cup in between my lips, while holding my phone in the other and switching my why-did-I-bring-all-this-crap purse onto my other shoulder)

April 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during April.  Chock full of links (all the blue words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.


  • 4/2 St. Francis of Paola, aka Francis the Firehandler –  (1416-1507) Hermit, Prophet, Miracle Worker, Mind Reader.  Founded the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, renamed the Franciscan Order of Minim Friars. Patron of sailors and travelers, patron against fire and sterility.
  • 4/3 St. Irene of Thessalonica – (d.304) Martyr.  After her sisters were martyred and she refused to deny the faith, she was sent to a brothel, chained and naked.  When no one bothered her, her execution was ordered.  Patron of peace.
  • 4/4 St. Isidore of Seville – (c.560-636) Archbishop, Doctor of the Church, “Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages”, wrote an encyclopedia, dictionary, history books, and much more.  Because of this incredible amount of writing and amazing knowledge, Isidore is proposed as the patron of the internet.
  • 4/5 St. Vincent Ferrer – (1350-1419) Dominican priest, patron of builders, excellent preacher, famous missionary, miracle worker.
  • 4/6 Bl. Notker Balbulus – (c.840-912)  Benedictine Monk, Priest, Teacher, Poet, & Author. Patron against stammering.
  • 4/7 Divine Mercy Sunday – The first Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. What is the Divine Mercy message and devotion?   Who was St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the person Jesus revealed this devotion to?
  • 4/7 St. John Baptist de la Salle – (1651-1719) Priest, Patron of teachers, founder of the Christian Brothers.  Known for his work with the poor as well as in education. Patron of school principals and educators.
  • 4/8 St. Walter of Pontnoise – (1030-1099)  Benedictine Abbot.  Kept trying to leave his position for a life of solitude, but was forced back each time, eventually by order of the pope.  Spoke out against simony and corruption of the clergy, resulting in his being beaten and imprisoned.  Patron of prisoners, vintners, and against job-related stress.
  • 4/11 St. Gemma Galgani – (1878-1903) Experienced mystical phenomena and special graces throughout her life (including the stigmata – the wounds of the Crucifxion).  Died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. Patron of pharmacists, students, and against temptations.
  • 4/11 St. Stanislaus – (1030-1079) Bishop, Very important figure in Polish nationhood, patron of Cracow, and very significant in the spiritual heritage of Pope John Paul II.
  • 4/11 Pope St. Martin I – (d.655) He convened the Lateran Council to settle the theological debate that Jesus had both a human will and a divine will.  Jesus has two natures, He is fully human and fully God.
  • 4/12 St. Zeno of Verona – (c.300-371)  Bishop, Confessor, possibly Martyr.   Theologian and opponent of Arianism.  The stories of his being stolen at birth and replaced with a demonic changeling are likely legend.  Patron of anglers, fishermen, and newborns.
  • 4/14 St. Lydwina – (1380-1433)  An ice-skating accident at age 16 led to gangrene, paralysis, and decades of suffering.  Mystic, had the gift of inedia (lived for years with no food but the Eucharist).  Her biography was written by Thomas a Kempis (author of “The Imitation of Christ”).  Patron of skaters and prolonged suffering.
  • 4/15 St. Hunna – (d.679) “The Holy Washerwoman”.  Noblewoman who donated he property to build monasteries and churches and devoted her life to assisting the poor.  Patron of laundry workers.
  • 4/16 St. Bernadette – (1844-1879) Our Lady of Lourdes, the “Immaculate Conception” appeared to a French peasant girl, St. Bernadette, exactly 150 years ago on February 11th.  She appeared a total of 18 times to Bernadette and a miraculous spring still flows at this place, one of the most famous of pilgrimage destinations today. Thousands of miracles are claimed, at least 67 are thoroughly documented!
  • 4/16 St. Benedict Joseph Labre – (1748-1783) Tried to join several orders, but rejected by them all.  Lived his life in poverty and adoration.  Patron of hoboes, homeless, pilgrims, bachelors and the mentally ill.
  • 4/16 St. Drogo – (1105-1186) Pilgrim, Hermit.  Became a penitential pilgrim when he learned his mother died during his birth.  Got a disfiguring affliction during a pilgrimage that made his appearance frightening to others, so he became a hermit.  Reported to bilocate.  Patron of unattractive people, coffee house keepers, and against insanity.
  • 4/18 St. Apollonius the Apologist – (d.185) Second Century Martyr whose defense of Christianity is “one of the most priceless documents of the early Church.”
  • 4/19 St. Expeditus – (d.303) Possibly only legendary patron of prompt solutions and against procrastination, of emergencies, programmers and hackers.
  • 4/21 St. Anselm – (1033-1109) Benedictine monk, Philosopher, Theologian, Archbishop, Doctor of the Church.
  • 4/22 St. Theodore of Sykeon – (d.c.613)  Bishop, Miracle-Worker.  Had the gift of healing.  His father abandoned him and his mother was likely a prostitute.  Patron of difficult marriages and for or against rain.
  • 4/22 Earth Day.  It comes as no surprise to us that St. Francis of Assisi is the Patron Saint of Ecology.  Check out this page: Earth Day for Catholics
  • 4/23 Bl. Giles of Assisi – (d.1262) Friend of St. Francis of Assisi (one of the very first Franciscans ever!)
  • 4/23 St. George – (d.c.304) Yep, the dragon-slayer, Patron of England, Martyr. Patron of soldiers, knights, horses, riders, and against herpes, leprosy and skin disease.
  • 4/23 St. Adalbert – (939-997)  “Apostle of Prussia”, Benedictine Monk, Bishop, Missionary, Martyr.  Born as Wojtech, he took the name of St. Adalbert of Magdeburg (“Apostle of the Slavs”), since that was the man who converted, healed, and educated him.  Very successful evangelist.
  • 4/24 St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen – (1577-1622)  Martyr.  Born as Mark Rey, this lawyer (known as “the poor man’s lawyer”) and philosophy teacher took the name Fidelis when he joined the Capuchin Franciscans with his brother.  Preached against Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland where he was martyred.
  • 4/25 St. Mark – (d.68) Evangelist, Missionary, Martyr. Missionary partner with St. Paul and friend of St. Peter, cousin of Barnabas the Apostle.  Author of one of the four Gospels, can you guess which one? (hint: the earliest one)  Patron of prisoners, lawyers, and notaries.
  • 4/26 Our Lady of Good Counsel – title given to Our Lady from a miraculous painting in Italy.  “Although much of the church was destroyed during World War II, the image has remained intact — and continues to be suspended miraculously.”
  • 4/27 St. Zita – (c.1212-1272) Dometsic servant to a wealthy family.  Often gave away her own food and that of her master.  Eventually placed in charge of the whole house and entrusted with its keys.  Her body was found to be incorrupt 300 years after her death.  Patron of lost keys, maids, and domestic workers.
  • 4/28 St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort – (1673-1716) Only one of my absolute favorites.  A short biography never does this great Saint justice.  Go buy one of his books!  Ever wonder where the motto “Totus Tuus” came from?
  • 4/28 St. Peter Mary Chanel  Marist priest. Patron of Oceania
  • 4/29 St. Catherine of Sienna – (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church, Mystic, Third Order Dominican… Same as St. Louis, a short bio can’t give you the appreciation this spiritual giant deserves. Patron of nurses, firefighter the sick, and against sexual temptation, fire, illness and miscarriage.
  • 4/29 St. Peter of Verona (aka St. Peter Martyr) – (1206-1252)  1st generation Domincan priest, General Inquisitor, Miracle-Worker, Martyr.  Preached against Catharism, a form of Manichaeism.  Always attracted a crowd and effected many conversions.
  • 4/29 St. Ava – (d.c.845)  Benedictine Nun, niece of King Pepin the Short.  Born blind and miraculously healed by St. Rainfredis
  • 4/30 Pope St. Pius V – (1504-1572) Implement the Council of Trent, worked hard to reform the Church.  Check out what happened through his efforts and the Rosary at the Battle of Lepanto!  (in an interesting article about Our Lady, and in a poem by GK Chesterton, one of my favorite authors)
  • 4/30 St. Adjutor – (d.1131)  Norman knight in the First Crusade, was captured by Muslims and apparently escaped by swimming back to France.  Patron of swimmers, sailors, and against drowning.



Proof that pre-Beachbody I ran a 5K... once.  I was thankful to be alive...

Proof that pre-Beachbody I ran a 5K… once. As you can see from the finish line, I was thankful to be alive.

I was one of those annoying people.  You probably know those people.  Weird people who don’t have to do anything to stay thin.  They eat what they want – with their speed-of-light metabolism – and seem to burn calories while using the remote control or knitting needles. You ask them how they seem to manage their svelte figure and they just giggle, wave a hand in your direction and say “Genetics” or something equally as puzzling to the average human.  I say “was” because my speed-of-light metabolism has slowed to an excruciating crawl… or maybe, a metabolism with a walker.  Somewhere between my 3rd pregnancy and now, I seem to have to watch what I eat… and –  wait for it  – work out!   Whaaaa?!?

To the above-referenced average human, I suppose you couldn’t really tell that I had packed on a few pounds in the past few years.  (Thank you, fashion industry, for all those flowy tops and empire wasted dresses that hide my fluffiness so chic-ly!)  But the fluff has slowly been accumulating – my jeans becoming harder to button… and  I ignored it.  Until January.

Conversion.  The root word – Latin – meaning “to turn.”  God is consistently surprising me with His twists and turns for my life.  And really, He can and does turn people on a dime…a million conversions happening to change the course of our lives.    He turns us more towards Himself – more fully of who we are made to be – with each one.  Maybe its a job, an idea, a school, a new friend – or an illness, heartache, loneliness or suffering – something happens that unexpectedly wakes us.  We go to bed one way, and wake up another.   That’s how my conversion happened in January.

For me, it was a professional disappointment.  Something happened that felt unfair and unsettling.  Because I had this overwhelming feeling of injustice, I felt rejected and invisible.  It seemed as though no one was there to fight for me.  I said a lot of little prayers that day.  With my self esteem seemingly at an all-time low, I prayed that I would see clearly who I really was and would hold my head up – to a higher purpose.  And so, I went to bed that night… and woke up to a new day… different.  I was ready to fight for myself.  I got out of bed that next morning and had the strange and unsettling urge to put in a workout DVD for the first time in months.  The DVD primarily consisted of kickboxing.  Kicking…punching… oh, sweet baby Moses, it felt good.  Don’t get me wrong… the good feeling was slightly outweighed by the fact that I couldn’t suck in enough oxygen and I lost a liter of water in sweat.  But, with each physical kick, I felt myself kicking the old beliefs away.  A slow realization came to me that I could – with God’s help – restore healing to myself.

I started looking into other workout programs and found P90X by Beachbody.  I inquired on Facebook whether anyone had a copy I could borrow…and lo and behold, found my coach.  This outstanding woman gave me a lot of direction and insight.  She had been where I was.  She knew the struggle of creeping towards 40 and not feeling right and feeling as though something was lacking.  She is a mom to 6 and was still able to lose weight, change her lifestyle and eventually become a certified TurboKick instructor.  With her help, I joined a 60 day challenge group with 16 other women from around the country.  We all dove in together… changed our diets, got up at the crack of dawn, had our children make fun of us, some dragged their husbands in on the adventure (such as my lucky hubs)… but we all had the ultimate goal in mind.  To convert the old way of thinking to the new.

We just finished the 60 day challenge.  I am back into those jeans… 16 pounds down… definition I’ve never had…. you’ll see more posts on this subject in the weeks to come.  I’m a believer!!  So much so that I signed on to help others as an independent Beachbody coach and will be seeking my own TurboKick certification in April.  I would’ve laughed at myself doing this 6 months ago.  My motto 6 months ago was “I only run when chased.”  Today, it feels right.  On good days, I feel discipline and strength seeping out of my pores.  On bad ones, its really not as glowingly awesome.  Some days it hurts… like that time I inadvertently punched myself in the face during a workout.  But oh the reward of knowing that God has made this way for me… turned me down this road… and given me the strength to fight for myself.

“Tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless.” C.S. Lewis

Fitness products we used:

TurboJam by Chaleane Johnson




March 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during March.  Chock full of links (all the blue words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.


  • 3/3 St. Katherine Drexel – (1858-1955) Nun. A U.S. Saint whose relics you can visitin Pennsylvania!   Born to a wealthy family, she devoted her life to the poor and gave away millions of dollars in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries.  She asked Pope Leo XIII to send more missionaries to WY, he replied, “Why don’t you become a missionary?”  Founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • 3/6 St. Fridolin – (d.c.540) Irish Missionary, Benedictine Monk.  Discovered the relics of St. Hiary of Potiers in response to a vision.  Chased away as a missionary because people thought he was a cattle thief.  Sometimes represented in art as an abbot leading a skeleton.  Patron of good weather and optometrists.
  • 3/7 Sts. Perpetua & Felicity – (d.203) Converts, Martyrs.  Perpertua was only 22 and still nursing a baby son, and Felicity, a young slave, was 8 months pregnant when arrested.  They were thrown into the arena to face wild beasts and still wouldn’t back down from their intense faith.
  • 3/7 St. Drausinus – (d.c.674) Bishop.  Helped build the church.  “Medieval legend says that to spend the night at Drausinus’ tomb made one invincible”. (saints.sqpn.com)  Patron of invincible people and champions and against enemy plots.
  • 3/8 St. John of God – (1495-1550) After a wild youth, he had a vision of the Infant Jesus while in his 40’s.  Spent the rest of his life caring for the sick, poor, homeless, and unwanted.  Founded the Order of Charity and the Order of Hospitallers of Saint John of God.  Friend of St. John of Avila, the newest Doctor of the Church.  Patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, firefighters, and against alcoholism.
  • 3/9 St. Catherine of Bologna – (1413-1463)  Poor Clare nun, Virgin, Mystic, Miracle worker, Painter.  Patron of Artists.  Died in 1463, but her body is still incorrupt.  “The beauty of her life and death encourages us to resolve to live in perfect charity as a Lenten goal.” (catholic.org)
  • 3/9 St. Frances of Rome – (1384-1440)  Wife, mother, noblewoman, widow, and servant of the poor, sick and orphaned. Guided by an angel only she could see.  She had several visions of the pains of hell.  Patron of motorists.  (Click here to find out why priests bless cars on her feast day.)
  • 3/9 St. Gregory of Nyssa – (c.333-c.398)  Priest, Theologian, Early Church Father, brother of St. Basil the Great and St. Macrina.  Best known for his theology on the Trinity.  Called “Father of the Fathers” at the Council of Nicea for his orthodoxy and opposition to ArianismClick here and scroll down for some of his writings.
  • 3/9 St. Dominic Savio – (1842-1857)  Fourteen year old Saint (the youngest non-martyr to be canonized) and friend of St. John Bosco (patron saint of youth… and a juggler!).  Patron of boys, the falsely accused, and juvenile delinquents.
  • 3/12 St. Seraphina – (1238-1253)  Hermit, Orphan.  Born very beautiful, Seraphina suffered a mysterious illness that left her unattractive and eventually paralyzed.  Her parents both died when she was young.  Devoted to St. Gregory the Great, he appeared to her in a vision predicting the day of her death.  Patron of handicapped and physically challenged people.
  • 3/13 St. Ansovinus – (d.840)  Preist, Hermit, Bishop, Miracle Worker.  His prayers once refilled an empty granary.  Patron of gardeners and protection of crops.
  • 3/15 St Longinus – (1st Century)  Soldier, Convert, Martyr.  The soldier that pierced Jesus’ side after he died at the crucifixion (Jn 19:34).  He converted and was martyred for being a follower of Christ.  “His Lance is contained in one of the four pillars over the altar in the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome.” (catholic.org)
  • 3/15 St. Louise de Marillac – (1591-1660)  Widow, Foundress, Spiritual Director.  Spiritual student of St. Vincent de Paul, she helped him found the Daughters of Charity.  Later she founded the Sisters of Charity.  Patron of disappointing children, loss of parents, widows, and people rejected by religious orders.
  • 3/17 St. Patrick – ( b.387-390, d.461-464)  Born as Maewyn Succat.  Patron of a particular country with a love of green, and invoked against snakes.  Want to go past legend and parades?  Read the Confession of St. Patrick that he wrote himself. And check out this prayer!  It’s a powerful prayer for spiritual battle.  And Patrick faced powerful druids and pagans, much as we are confronted with a new paganism and a modern love of nature religions.  Read the whole prayer out loud.  It’s not long and very powerful!  The Breastplate of St. Patrick (aka Cry of the Deer or Saint Patrick’s Lorica).
  • 3/17 St. Joseph of Arimathea – (1st century)  Disciple of Jesus that requested His Body from Pilate, and along with St. Nicodemus, wrapped Jesus and laid him in the tomb, which St. Joseph provided. (Mark 15:43-46)
  • 3/18 St. Cyril of Jerusalem – (315-386)  Early Church Father, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Jerusalem, fought the Arian heresy, attended the First Council of Constantinople, which formally approved the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.  You can click here to read some of his writings.
  • 3/19 St. Joseph – (1st Century)  Foster father of Jesus, husband of Mary, and patron of the Universal Church, families, workers, carpenters, a happy death, and much more. Click here for a really cool novena to St. Joseph.  This day is a Solemnity, and a holy day of obligation for most of the universal Church (but not the U.S.)
  • 3/20 St. Cuthbert – (634-687)  aka Thaumaturgus (or Wonder-Worker) of England.  Orphan, Shepherd, Benedictine Monk.  Had gifts of healing and prophecy.  Patron of England, shepherds, sailors, and against plague.  Care to read more, here is St. Bede’s Life of St. Cuthbert.
  • 3/21 St. Nicholas von Flue – (1417-1487)  After being a successful soldier, husband and father of ten, with his family’s blessing, he became a hermit.  Reported to have the gift of prophecy and once survived 19 years on nothing but Holy Communion.  Mediated a potential civil war in Switzerland.  Patron of difficult marriages, large families, Switzerland and Pontifical Swiss Guards.
  • 3/23 St. Toribio Alfonso Mongrovejo – (1538-1606)  Archbishop of Lima, Peru.  Founded the first seminary in the Western hemisphere, fought for the rights of natives against Spanish masters.  Baptized and confirmed hundreds of thousands, including St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres.  Patron of native rights and Latin American bishops.
  • 3/24 St. Catherine of Sweden – (1331-1381)  Daughter of St. Bridget of Sweden.   Catherine and her mother spent their time in prayer, working with the poor, and instructing them in religion.  Patron against abortions and miscarriages.
  • 3/25 Annunciation of the Lord – When the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1:26-38).  Think about it.  Exactly nine months before December 25th
  • 3/25 St. Dismas (aka The Good Thief) – (d.c.30)  One of the thieves crucified with Jesus.  He rebuked the other and asked for Christ’s blessing.  (Luke 23:32-43)
  • 3/28 Holy Thursday – Lent ends at the start of Mass tonight.  Stay awake and pray with Jesus one hour if you can.
  • 3/29 Good Friday – Start your Divine Mercy Novena today! (Click here for more on Divine Mercy.)
  • 3/30 St. John Climacus – (d.c.605-649)  aka Scholasticus or Sinaita. Confessor, Hermit, Abbot.  Lived at the foot of Mount Sinai.  Most known for his spiritual classic, The Climax: The Ladder of Divine Ascent.
  • 3/31 EASTER!!! After fasting 40 days we are supposed to party for 50.

February 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during February.  Chock full of links (all the blue words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.

[Read more…]

January 2013 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during January.  Chock full of links (all the underlined words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start. [Read more…]

December 2012 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during December.  Chock full of links (all the underlined words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start. [Read more…]

November 2012 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during November.  Chock full of links (all the underlined words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start. [Read more…]