July 30. Blessed Solanus Casey became one of Detroit’s best-known priests, even though he was not allowed to preach formally or to hear confessions. Difficulties with studies led to his being limited in some areas of ministry, but he certainly shone in others. This well-beloved friar is a modern day example of humility and perseverance.
July 31. Founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, like Francis of Assisi, had a conversion experience while recuperating from a serious illness. Being a military man, the Rule of Life that Saint Ignatius wrote for his followers shows the discipline and rigor of a soldier, but a soldier of faith with the mercy and compassion of the Gospel.
August 1. Saint Alphonsus Liguori was a great moral theologian as well as the founder of the Redemptorists. He wrote in the areas of spirituality and doctrine to the edification of his diocese and others. He also suffered at the hands of some Redemptorists who betrayed his dream. Even the saints have difficulties in this life.
August 2. Today’s saint, Eusebius of Vercelli, spent most of his episcopal life defending the Church against the Arians. Also a defender of Saint Athanasius, whom the emperor wanted to punish, Saint Eusebius suffered death threats and harassment. But Saint Eusebius continued to remain faithful and hopeful.
August 3. Saint Peter Julian Eymard began his priestly life in the Diocese of Grenoble. His faith journey led him to the Marists, and finally to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Peter had a deep devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, and his community members alternated between active ministry and contemplation of the Blessed Sacrament. He also co-founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women.
August 4. Saint John Vianney is best known as the Curé d’Ars, the little French town where he was pastor. Saint John had great trouble with his studies and almost did not get ordained. After he became the pastor in Ars however, he gained great fame as a confessor, hearing confessions sometimes 12 hours a day. He is the patron saint of parish priests.
August 5. Saint Mary Major is one of the four major churches in Rome known as patriarchal cathedrals. It is the largest church in the world honoring Mary. This day is also known as the feast of Our Lady of Snows. By whatever title, it is a day of celebrating the Mother of God.
August 6. Whatever happened on Mount Tabor within the hearts of Peter, James and John, we will never know. The experience was more than words can describe. But certainly, the three Apostles had an experience of the glory of Jesus, the Son of God. In the Gospels, this event follows shortly after Jesus’ description of his human suffering, which will come before the glory of the resurrection. Suffering and glory are inextricably link in the mind of Jesus.
August 7. Saint Cajetan was a lawyer who became a priest working in the Roman Curia. He came to realize that the Church needed reform, so he and three friends founded the Theatines, a small congregation dedicated to addressing the very issues that were at the heart of the Protestant Reformation. They however, worked for reform within the Church rather than breaking from it.
August 8. Saint Dominic became aware that the preacher had to practice what he preached and connect with the people of God. He and a few Cistercians formed what was the beginning of the Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. Living a life of simplicity, the Dominicans were committed to active contemplation, or contemplative action—whichever way it is said, it is the combination of two ways of life.