Faithful Friday: John Chrysostom

Saint John Chrysostom is a figure in ecclesial history with a stunning breadth of influence. As a writer, preacher, and archbishop, his life was scored with a generative fervor in bolstering and guiding the church.

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Faithful Friday: Pope Fabian

Little is known about Pope Fabian, including when he was born. He became Pope in 236AD, following the death of Pope Anterus. The early Church historian Eusebius relates that Fabian was not one of the original candidates for the office, but a dove descended upon him during the election process and those present decided this was a sign from the Holy Spirit and thus duly elected him.

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Faithful Friday: St. Mungo

St. Mungo was born Kentigern, son of Princess Teneu of Lothian. He was the result of his mother being attacked by Owain mab Urien, for which her father, King Lot (also called Lleuddun) had Teneu thrown from a cliff. She miraculously survived and came to an area inhabited by a man called Saint Serf, and was cared for by him.

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Faithful Friday: St. Andre Bessette 

Through trials, rigors and the initial skepticism of the brethren, Alfred persevered, joining the religious order known as the Congregation of the Holy Cross. As a novice, he learned to read (a skill he had not learned as a child) and memorized many portions of Scripture and of the writings of the saints. He received Holy Orders on August 22, 1872, taking the name Brother Andre. He was then assigned to serve as a porter at the College of Notre Dame, which he served admirably, despite ill-treatment by his superior. Once again, he persevered without the slightest complaint as he always had before.

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Faithful Friday: Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus (also called Gregory Nazianzen) was born around 330 AD in Cappadocia, now modern Turkey. Gregory was given a classical education in the cities of Caesarea, Alexandria, and Athens. Among his schoolmates were St. Basil the Great and future Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.

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Faithful Friday: St. John Cantius

In many ways, St. John Cantius lived an unassuming life. As a young man, he applied himself to academics, with a particular focus on philosophy and theology.

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Faithful Friday: Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was born in Mexico in 1474. At that time, the Spanish governed Mexico, and often looked down on their native citizens, not least because the natives largely still worshiped their old gods rather than the Christian God.

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Faithful Friday: Channing Moore Williams

Reverend Channing Moore Williams, Episcopal missionary and bishop, was born in Richmand, Virginia on July 18, 1829 to Mary and John Green Williams, who named him after the zealous second Episcopal bishop of Virginia, Richard Channing Moore. When Channing Moore Williams was only three years old, his father died, leaving Mary to raise their six children alone, which she proved quite capable of doing, raising her children in the Episcopal church.

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Faithful Friday: Catherine of Alexandria

The mysterious legend of St. Catherine of Alexandria begins during the persecutions of Emperor Maximinus. Catherine was of the noble classes, either the daughter of the governor or a princess, and a great scholar on top of it.

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Faithful Friday: Thomas Burgess

Thomas Burgess was an accomplished Anglican Bishop, theologian, linguist, and abolitionist. He was born on November 18, 1756 in Hampshire to a grocer. He was educated at Odiham Grammar School, before moving on to Winchester and finally to Corpus Christi College at Oxford. 

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Faithful Friday: St. Martin of Tours

St. Martin of Tours was born in 316 in what is now Hungary. He became a Christian at the age of ten and was forced into the Roman army a few years later. However, believing firmly that Christians should not fight, Martin petitioned Emperor Julian the Apostate to be released, saying, “I am Christ’s soldier: I am not allowed to fight.”

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Faithful Friday: St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles Borromeo was born in 1538 near Milan in the castle of Arona. His family was one of good socioeconomic standing and were themselves immersed in religious duty.

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Faithful Friday: Saints Simon & Jude

Little is known about these two disciples of Christ. They are only mentioned very briefly in the Gospels, and are celebrated together due to their close association in Christian tradition. 

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Faithful Friday: Pope John Paul II

Hailed as a great peacemaker and one of the greatest popes in history, Saint Pope John Paul II had very humble beginnings. He was born Karol Wojtyła in Poland in 1920. His early life was marked by tragedy. His baby sister, his mother, and his elder brother all died before he reached his teens. He was a lively boy, a good student, and perhaps most surprising for a future pope, a gifted actor, co-founding a theater troupe.

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Faithful Friday: Pope Callixtus I

Callixtus was first appointed to be a deacon by Pope Zephrynus, who counted him as trustworthy and often sought his counsel in regards to decision-making and theology. Even in his time as deacon, it became evident that Callixtus valued repentance and subsequent forgiveness most highly. As he began to influence Zephrynus toward this end, there were those who viewed this as an unfaithful expression of lawful theology.

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Faithful Friday: Padre Pio

Pio of Pietrelcina, more commonly known as Padre Pio, was born in Pietrelcina (Benevento), Italy in 1887 to Maria Giuseppa DeNunzio and Grazio Maria Forgione. He was their fourth child of eight. As a child, he would interact with his guardian angel, reacting in surprise when realizing other children could not see their heavenly guardians.

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Faithful Friday: St. Jerome

St. Jerome was born Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus in what is now Croatia or Slovenia in the year 342 AD. Despite his good upbringing, young Jerome did as he pleased.

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Faithful Friday: John Jewel

John Jewel was one of the most important theologians of the English Reformation and was instrumental in establishing the Anglican church as a lasting institution. Indeed, in many ways Anglicans owe their continued existence to John Jewel.

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Faithful Friday: Peter Claver

When followers of Jesus Christ pursue lives of self-sacrificial ministry, the gospel comes to life
in a truly palpable way. St. Peter, self-proclaimed “slave of the Negroes forever,” embodied this
with particular fervor and impact.

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Faithful Friday: Gregory the Great

Gregory the Great (Gregory I), pope and saint, was born dur the 500s AD (the exact date is unknown). He came from a very prestigious family, being the great-great-grandson of Pope Felix the Third (who lived before celibacy was required of clergy) and the son of a senator.

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