Saints’ of the Week

Saints celebrated this week

S.Thomas – 3rd July

Very little is known for certain about the life of St. Thomas except for the Gospel account. Syrian tradition has it that his full name was Jude Thomas and it is also believed that he preached the Gospel in India. He is said to have been killed in or around 78 AD and in 232 his relics are supposed to have been returned to the city of Edessa by an Indian King. They now rest in Ortona, Italy.

S. Elizabeth of Portugal – 4th July

S. Elizabeth was born in 1271 into the royal family of Aragon. She married the King of Portugal at the age of twelve and gave birth to two children, Constance and Alfonso. However, it was an unhappy marriage leading to many family disputes. Elizabeth herself quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood and lived a life of penance, prayer and fasting. She was devoted to the poor and sick and, after the death of her husband renounced the world and lived in poverty as a member of the Third Order of S. Francis. However, when war broke out between her son and grandson, and in spite of her age and weakness, she managed to stop the fighting and arranged terms of peace. Nevertheless the related stress brought about her final illness and she died of fever in 1336.

S. Anthony Mary Zaccaria – 5th July

Born in 1502 at Cremona in Lombardy, he was an Italian Saint. He was brought up as an only child by his mother and practised as a Doctor for three years before beginning studies for the priesthood in 1527. He was ordained a year later and worked for the reform of the clergy and the evangelisation of the people. He founded the order of Clerics Regular of St Paul (commonly known as the Barnabites), in 1530, and made it possible for clergy who were not monks or mendicant friars to live by a rule and to take vows. He died from a fever in 1539 aged 37.

S Maria Goretti – 6th July

Born Maria Teresa Goretti in 1890, she came from a poor Italian family. She was very pious and sweet-tempered since childhood, helping as much as she could to raise her younger siblings. She was stabbed to death by a youth who was attempting to rape her, but forgave him on her hospital bed as she lay dying. She was canonised in 1950.

S. Ethelburga – 7th July

Ethelburga was Abbess of Barking and the sister of S. Erconwald – Bishop of London. She died in about 676.

S. Augustine Zhao Rong and his Companions – 9th July

Augustine Zhao Rong was a diocesan priest from China who, along with 119 of his Companions, was martyred in 1815. He was canonised in 2000.

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