St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day – March 31) The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.
As Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas himself was put to death, and a general persecution began which lasted forty years. Isdegerd died in 421, but his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with great fury. The Christians were submitted to the most cruel tortures.
Among those who suffered was St. Benjamin, a Deacon, who had been imprisoned a year for his Faith. At the end of this period, an ambassador of the Emperor of Constantinople obtained his release on condition that he would never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.
St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching. He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him. The martyr expired in the most terrible agony about the year 424.
Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades.
During this time he had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine.
Some accounts hold that in 1185 he came to Mount Carmel, built a small chapel there, and gathered a community of hermits who would live at his side in imitation of the prophet Elijah.
This community has been thought to have given rise to the Order of Carmelites, but this is not supported by evidence and is discounted by historians of the Order. Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death in 1195
Source: Catholic.org, Wikipedia
St. Margaret Clitherow, a woman of great beauty and zeal was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, to protestant parents. She married a well to do grazer John Clitherow, with whom she had 2 children. Her charming personality and cleaver mind led her to harbor fugitive priests. Due to this she was imprisoned by hostile authorities.
She was constantly tested and forced to denounce her faith however Margaret was relentless and stood firm in what she believed in. After multiple attempts to make her deny God, she was finally sentenced to death on March 25 1856. Her death sentence was to be carried out in a gruesome manner by getting her pressed top death.
The extent of her holiness and faith in God can be seen when she writes a letter to her friend saying “The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise.” Her feast day is celebrated on March 26th.
One of my favorite verses from the Holy Bible. So often in life we focus on the pursuit of money and neglect God. We may not do it on purpose but it is a reality that we cannot ignore. Our thoughts and actions might revolve around the pursuit of materialistic things and at the end of the day, there is a feeling of emptiness.
While it is important to work on your business or daily needs in life, we should always remember who our creator is. Jesus so rightly says that ” No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”.
The need of the hour is to give your best at what you do but always be focused on God and not get lost in the material temptations of the world.
Legend has him an Irishman noted for his military feats who was convinced by his sister St. Fanchea to renounce his warring activities and marry. When he found his fiancee dead, he decided to become a monk and went on pilgrimage to Rome, where he was ordained.
He returned to Ireland, built churches at Drogheda, and then secured from his brother-in-law King Oengus of Munster the island of Aran, where he built the monastery of Killeaney, from which ten other foundations on the island developed.
With St. Finnian of Clonard, Enda is considered the founder on monasticism in Ireland. His feast day is March 21
The bible is the most important source of knowledge that helps us follow the will of God. While it is very easy for us adults to read the text and scriptures, children need something more visually exciting that will engage them in an interactive manner.
Keeping this in mind, the bible for children is prepared come with over 200 action packed illustrations that make all your favorite Bible characters spring to life. This simplified and condensed version of the Bible enables children to read and grasp the biblical message better.
Even as an adult, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant images and simple words used, which took me on a nostalgic trip to my childhood days. Do you get the same feeling when you come across a children’s Bible ? Do share your experiences in the comments below
Saint Abban was son of King Cormac of Leinster. There is very less information about Abban’s early life however sources state that he was supposed to succeed his father in Leinster. His devotion to God and miracles that he performed was testimony that he was destined for a career in the church.
Keeping in mind his dedication to God, he was sent to stay with his uncle, Bishop Ibar, who took him on his travels across Rome. While in Italy, Abban perfomed numerous miracles and protected himself and his uncle from men, monsters and supernatural forces. It is also said that he exercised authority over rivers and seas.
Saint Abban founded string of churches after returning from a second visit to Rome. A few notable names include Cel Aibe and Camross, as well as monasteries at Nurney, County Carlow of which an early high cross survives.