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.
August 9. The story of Edith Stein begins with her life as a noted philosopher raised in the Jewish faith. Edith ended her life story as a Catholic Carmelite nun with the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942. A complicated story involving two faiths and many political events which swirled around her. She who was born Edith Stein is now known as Saint Teresa Benedicta.