Catholic Fire Blog

7 Quick Takes: Saints, Feasts, Books, and Prayer

1. August 4th is the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. He is such a special saint and a dear friend to me that one post hardly seems enough to describe the many virtues of this holy man. He was a gentle, charitable, humble, faithful and obedient French country priest. John Vianney was born May 8, 1786 in the...

Saint Lydia Purpuraria: Businesswoman and Convert

The saint of the day for August 3 is Saint Lydia Purpuraria, the first Christian convert in Europe, a businesswoman who dealt in luxury goods. She is the patron saint of cloth dyers. Saint Lydia was born during the first century in Thyatira, a town famous for its dye works in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name which means purple seller)....

Saint Peter Julian Eymard: Apostle of the Eucharist

  By Jean M. Heimann Today’s saint is Saint Peter Julian Eymard, who is known as the “Apostle of the Eucharist” for his strong devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and for leading both clergy and laypeople to recognize and rediscover the significance of the Eucharist in their daily lives. He shared with others his own belief that the Eucharist is the chief means of progress...

Praying the Angelus by Jared Dees: A Book Review

  When I first picked up Praying the Angelus, I was not excited about it. I learned the Angelus many years ago as a child and have prayed it occasionally as an adult. The Angelus is a traditional and repetitive prayer that is centuries old. Although I am devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I could not understand why anyone would want to write an...

St. Alphonsus Liguori: Five Favorite Quotes

St. Alphonsus Liguori, the saint of the day for August 1, is a Doctor of the Church, known for his contribution to moral theology and his great kindness. He was born in Naples, Italy, in 1696 to noble parents. He was well-educated and excelled in his studies. At the early age of sixteen, he became a lawyer and was very successful and renowned in his chosen...

St. Ignatius of Loyola: Valiant Soldier for Christ

July 31 is the memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, priest, and founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). St. Ignatius of Loyola (Iñigo) was born in 1491 in the Basque Country of northern Spain to parents of distinguished families in that area. He was the youngest of 13 children and was called was called Iñigo. At the age of 15, he served as...

7 QT: Fatima, Saints, and Prayers

1. Pete Socks at Patheos recently reviewed my book, Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World:  This year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady appearing to three shepherd children in the small town of Fatima Portugal. As such a number of books are being released to mark the occasion. A few of them I will review here. Today we will take a look at...

Saints Joachim and Anne: Parents of Mary

El abrazo de San Joaquin y Santa Ana ante la puerta dorada July 26 is the memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. Tradition has it they first lived in Galilee and later settled in Jerusalem where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born and raised. Saints Joachim and Anne were a wealthy and pious...

St. James the Greater: Son of Thunder

St. James the Greater July 25 is the feast day of St. James the Greater. St. James is known as the Greater, in order to distinguish him from the other apostle James, our Lord’s cousin. St. James the Greater was one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, the son of Zebedee and Salome, the brother of John the Evangelist, and, like him, a fisherman. James...

Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Monk and Miracle-Worker

Today, July 24, is the feast day of Saint Sharbel Makhluf, a Maronite Catholic monk from Lebanon. Sharbel is known for his great devotion to contemplative prayer and has been called “the hermit of Lebanon” and “the Wonder Worker of the East.” Saint Sharbel was born in 1828 in the small mountain village of Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His family was poor, but pious and had a...