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AmericanCatholic.org, home of the online editions of St. Anthony Messenger and other Catholic features, is a service of Franciscan Media (formerly known as St. Anthony Messenger Press), in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first issue of St. Anthony Messenger magazine was published by the Franciscan friars of Cincinnati on June 1, 1893. Over the decades it grew into one of the principal Catholic family magazines in the United States. In 1970, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the magazine expanded into Franciscan Media, which has become one of America's largest publishers of popular, inspirational and educational Roman Catholic spirituality resources. These include books, audiobooks, and e-books.

In 1994, still under the operation of the Franciscan friars, St. Anthony Messenger Press acquired Franciscan Communications, the well-known Franciscan media enterprise located up to that time in Los Angeles.

AmericanCatholic.org took its place on the Internet in June 1996. On this site you will find reliable information on the Catholic and Christian faith. Much of this comes through the online edition of our family magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, and through our catalog of books, videos, and subscription products. Our sister site, CatholicSAMPler.com, offers free samples of Franciscan Media products. A variety of features, like Saint of the Day and Minute Meditations, appear exclusively on AmericanCatholic.org. CatholicGreetings.org offers attractive Catholic e-cards for all occasions. In September of 2003 St. Anthony Messenger Press continued its efforts to reach a broader audience when it acquired Servant Publications, which had published books for many years in the Catholic market under the Charis Books imprint. Franciscan Media continues to publish a broad variety of popular, Catholic books under both the Servant Books and the Franciscan Media Books imprints.

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A Short Illustrated History
Credits


Pedro de San José Betancur: Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. 
<p>Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change. </p><p>“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy. </p><p>Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established. </p><p>Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent. </p><p>Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion. </p><p>He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve <i>posadas</i> procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries. </p><p>Pedro was canonized in 2002.</p> American Catholic Blog We sometimes try to do everything on our own, forgetting that the Lord wants to help us. Let's never be afraid to admit that we are weak and can't do things on our own. St. Paul gives us a great example: "On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses" (2 Corinthians 12:5).


 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Good Shepherd Sunday
Ask our Good Shepherd to bless us with religious vocations from healthy and holy men and women.

Fourth Sunday of Easter
Follow the Good Shepherd and listen to his words.

Thinking of You - Love
Send someone an e-card today just because you love them.

First Communion
Surprise your favorite first communicant with their own Catholic Greetings e-card!

Earth Day
God’s love extends to all his creation—not just to humans.




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