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Saint of the Day—available on the iPhone!

Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

October 10
St. Daniel and Companions
(d. 1227)


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Daniel, Franciscan provincial of Calabria, Italy, led a contingent of Franciscan friars who were inspired by the example of St. Berard to preach the gospel in North Africa in 1227. The six other friars were Angelo, Domnus, Hugolino, Leo, Nicholas and Samuel. They came to Ceuta, Morocco, where the Christian merchants warned them against preaching.

The friars, however, were so enthusiastic they preached openly, but were immediately imprisoned. Unpersuaded by bribes and threats, they refused to renounce their faith. Like the early Christians in the Colosseum, Daniel and his companions went to their deaths singing. Their bodies were taken to Spain following their beheadings.

They were canonized in 1516.



Comment:

Martyrs remind us of the high price Jesus paid for spreading the Good News. We are not free to choose the exact conditions of our witness to Jesus and the Good News. Remembering the martyrs of another era helps us persevere in living out the gospel that we, like Francis, are called to observe.

Quote:

"By martyrdom a disciple is transformed into an image of his Master, who freely accepted death on behalf of the world's salvation; he perfects that image even to the shedding of blood. Though few are presented with such an opportunity, nevertheless all must be prepared to confess Christ before men, and to follow him along the way of the cross through the persecutions which the Church will never fail to suffer" (Constitution on the Church, #71).


Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.



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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).

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