St Matthew and the Angel | Guido Reni

Saint Matthew

September 21. Saint Matthew was a Jew who worked for the Romans as a tax collector. His fellow Jews considered him a traitor, and resented him. The Pharisees viewed him, and all tax collectors, as a sinner. So it was a real shock to hear that Jesus called such a man to be one of his followers. But that’s the kind of thing that Jesus did.

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Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions | CNS Photo

Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions

September 20. The Korean martyrs, including Saints Andrew Kim and Paul Chong Hasang, spread the gospel in their native land under extremely difficult circumstances. The holy companion martyrs include bishops, priests, and laity, some of whom where French missionaries.

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The Martyrdom of Saint Januarius | Neri di Bicci

Saint Januarius

September 19. Little is known about the life of Januarius. Legend has it that he and his companions were thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, but the animals failed to attack them. They were then beheaded, and Januarius' blood ultimately brought to Naples.

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Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Engraving after F.A. Lorenzini | Wellcome Images

Saint Joseph of Cupertino

September 18. Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer. Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventual Franciscans. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. His tendency to levitate during prayer was often times a cross.

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Detail | Stained glass window in Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Dayton, Ohio | photo by Nheyob

Saint Robert Bellarmine

September 17. Saint Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570 during a period when the study of theology was in a weakened state. He dedicated his time and energy to the study of Church history, the Fathers of the Church, and to Scripture, to organize Church teaching and to face the attacks of the Protestant Reformers.

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Stained glass window in Catholic Church of Saint-Corneille | photo by GFreihalter

Saint Cornelius

September 16. Cornelius was elected pope “by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men” after a 14 month vacancy in the papacy. Cornelius served as Pope for only two years, but they were years packed with important happenings in the life of the Church.

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Our Lady of Sorrows statue in Golgotha, Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem | photo by creisor

Our Lady of Sorrows

September 15. The principal biblical references to Mary’s sorrows are Simeon’s prediction about a sword piercing Mary’s soul, and Jesus’ words from the cross to Mary and to the beloved disciple. The two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.

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The Exaltation of the True Cross | anonymous Russian icon painter

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 14. Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, is credited with having found the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The cross quickly became an object of veneration.

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Chrysostemos | Carl Christian Peters

Saint John Chrysostom

September 13. Saint John Chrysostom, the great preacher of Antioch, was the victim of his own success. Called to be a bishop, this simple monk found himself embroiled in the workings of the empire. He, however, managed to stay focused on the needs of the Church.

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The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Rose) | Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio

Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 12. This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus; both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters. Mary encourages us to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice.

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