September 8. Affirming the humanity of Jesus, the Church celebrates the birth of Mary, his mother. While Scripture does not record the birth of Mary, the apocryphal Protoevengelium of James notes the development of Christian piety around Mary's parents and her birth.
September 9. A native of Spain, young Jesuit Peter Claver left his homeland forever in 1610, to be a missionary in the colonies of the New World. He sailed into Cartagena, and began a ministry to the slaves brought there from West Africa, as well as becoming a moral force in the city of Cartegena.
September 10. Saint Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, he became prior and then provincial of the friars. He sent the first Augustinian friars to the New World.
September 11. Saint Cyprian played an important role in the development of Christian thought and practice in the early Church. He was a noted speaker who became a Christian as an adult. He was ordained a priest within two years of his conversion and was then chosen the Bishop of Carthage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.