Died in 1680 at age 24. Led a life of great austerity and love in spite of ridicule and abuse. She is called the “Lily of the Mohawks” and is the first Native American to be declared “Blessed.” Pope Benedict XVI canonized her on October 21, 2012.
Benedict left the world for the life of a monk. After trying various forms of monastic life, he founded a colony of monks and wrote a rule named after him which became the basis of monastic life in the Western Church. His motto was “Pray and Work.” The idea was to strike a balance between the contemplative and active life. I recently did a retreat at St. Meinrad in Indiana, which is a Benedictine Archabbey and seminary.
Justin was a well-studied philosopher who came to Christianity. Because of his belief in Jesus and his background, he became an apologist, and is, in fact, the patron of apologists. We have a 2nd century description of the Sacrament of Baptism and the Mass from St. Justin. The word “martyr” that he took meant “witness.” It has come to mean one who witnessed to his faith by giving his life just as St. Justin did.
“God is inexpressible. It is easier for us to say what He is not than what He is… Nothing is comparable to Him… If you could conceive Him, you would conceive something other than God.” St. Augustine of Hippo
This Feast is placed between Ascension and Pentecost because the Acts of the Apostles says that Matthias was chosen by lot to take the place of Judas during that period of time. Matthias was “chosen” to be one of the 12, we hope to be “chosen” to be with the Ascended Lord in heaven.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” This is where the Discourse turns from Jesus’ teaching being a way to feed the people to His promise to give us His very self as food. The Jews didn’t think He was talking figuratively. They knew He meant what he said.
St. Stanislaus, Bishop and martyr, is the patron of Poland. He had a special concern for the poor. The king of Poland at the time was very corrupt. St Stanislaus rebuked him much like John the Baptist did with Herod Antipas with the same results (the king did the deed himself). First, official Polish martyr.