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: 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: 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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Faithful Friday: St. Monica

Perhaps one of the most significant mothers in the history of the church, besides Mary herself, St. Monica is remembered as the mother of one of the greatest theologians in Western Christianity: Augustine of Hippo. 
Monica was a very pious and charitable woman who lived in the North African town of Tagaste.

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Faithful Friday: Alexander Henderson

Alexander Henderson was born in Creich, County Fife, Scotland in 1583. After graduating with honors from St. Andrew’s College, he went right to work as a churchman, at first staunchly on the side of the Episcopate. At that time, the Church of Scotland was debating the form of church governance they wanted: the Anglican model where the church was governed by bishops, or the Presbyterian model where the church would be governed by members of the congregation. This was more than just a debate within the church; to defy the episcopate was also to defy the King. 

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Faithful Friday: George Abbot

George Abbot, historically known as Archbishop of Canterbury, was born in 1562 in the humble town of Guildford, England. Abbot studied at Oxford, where he demonstrated academic excellence in intense theological study…

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