By Arkansas Catholic Staff | OSV News
One would guess that most saints would have a devotion to the Eucharist, but here are 10 saints to learn more about and ask to intercede for us during the National Eucharistic Revival.
–Blessed Carlo Acutis
Born in 1991, Blessed Carlo Acutis was a young Italian boy who had a great love for Jesus in the Eucharist. This millennial is most known for his devotion to the Eucharist, for he documented all known Eucharistic miracles and even created a website containing information on each miracle. Though he died when he was 15, his devotion to the Eucharist inspired all those around him and enabled him to leave behind a beautiful testimony of his love for the Eucharist: his Eucharistic miracle website. Today all people throughout the world have access to his website to deepen their knowledge and love for the Blessed Sacrament.
Feast day: Oct. 12
–Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon
After her parents died, Juliana was brought up in an Augustinian monastery at Mount Cornillon, Belgium. She joined the community, which ran a hospital for leprosy patients. Elected prioress about 1225, she made known earlier visions in which Jesus told her he desired a special feast for the Blessed Sacrament. This became her mission, despite opposition; even some of her nuns doubted her and accused her of misusing funds. She was forced to leave her monastery in 1246 and died a hermit. Her work led to the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi.
Feast day: April 5
–St. Hesychius of Jerusalem
St. Hesychius was a priest who wrote about the Bible in the liturgy. He viewed Scripture as “perfect wisdom, the point of departure and the point of arrival to which the whole of our existence should be conformed.” Hesychius preached on Easter at the place of the crucifixion, exalting the cross and Christ’s victory. Like St. Cyril of Jerusalem, he taught a realistic doctrine of the Eucharist, which he regarded as a sacrifice identical with that of the cross. Hesychius taught that Christ was present to transform us through our inner absorption of his whole being. “Keep yourselves free from sin so that every day you may share in the mystic meal; by doing so our bodies become the body of Christ.”
Feast day: March 28
–St. Ignatius of Antioch
This Syrian-born martyr, who gave himself the nickname “God-bearer” because of his certainty of God’s presence within him and who may have been a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, became bishop of Antioch about 69. Eventually he was arrested and sent to Rome, where his strong desire for martyrdom was fulfilled when he was thrown to the lions in the Colosseum. In seven letters written to Christians in Asia Minor and Rome, he stressed the need to heal Church conflicts, the authority of local bishops and the Eucharist as a source of unity.
Feast day: Oct. 17
–St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
This French saint, who increased devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, spent her life in Burgundy. A pious child, Margaret was bedridden from ages 9 to 15 with a rheumatic illness. She gradually understood a call to religious life, and already had a mature prayer life when she entered a Visitation convent near Lyon in 1671. Between 1673 and 1675, she received four visions of Christ’s heart in flames, burning with love for humanity, with instructions to promote a special feast and First Friday devotions. Margaret, aided by a Jesuit priest, overcame disbelief and jealousy within her own convent and saw the feast celebrated there and in other French Visitation convents in her lifetime. She was canonized in 1920.
Feast day: Oct. 16
–St. Paschal Baylon
Born to a Spanish shepherd family, Paschal was said to have taught himself to read while tending sheep. At age 21 he joined an austere group of Franciscans, devoting himself to prayer and charity. He was sent on a dangerous mission to French Franciscans, and a shoulder wound he received caused him pain for the rest of his life. Long hours of prayer on his knees before the Eucharist earned this lay brother the honor of being patron of Catholic eucharistic congresses. His emblem in art is a monstrance.
Feast day: May 17
–St. Peter Julian Eymard
The patron saint of eucharistic devotion, Peter Julian began adult life, like his father, as a cutler. But he became a priest of the French Alpine Diocese of Grenoble in 1834. In 1839, he left diocesan service to become a Marist priest and eventually became provincial of his congregation at Lyon. But, after making a pilgrimage in 1851, he understood that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to whom he was utterly devoted, had no specific religious institute. Subsequently, he founded the Congregation of the Priests of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, an order of sisters, both devoted to perpetual adoration. He was canonized in 1962.
Feast day: Aug. 2
–St. Pius X
Known as the “pope of the Eucharist,” Pius X was born Joseph Melchior Sarto in northern Italy. After being ordained for the Treviso Diocese in 1858, he served in small parishes before being named diocesan chancellor and spiritual director of the seminary. Pope Leo XIII named him bishop of Mantua in 1884 and a cardinal and patriarch of Venice in 1893. He was elected pope in 1903. During his pontificate, he lowered the age for receiving first Communion, encouraged daily Communion and daily Bible reading and promoted biblical study.
Feast day: Aug. 21
Tarsicius was likely an acolyte, a deacon or even a layman in Rome during the time of Emperor Valerian’s persecution. He was martyred while taking the Eucharist to Christian prisoners — beaten to death with sticks and stones by a mob of pagans on the Appian Way when he would not surrender the Communion he was carrying. One tradition claims he was buried in the cemetery of St. Callistus. Pope St. Damasus I suggested an early cult by describing his martyrdom in a fourth-century poem. His legend was further embellished in the 19th-century novel “Fabiola.” Tarsicius is the patron saint of first communicants, altar servers and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.
Feast day: Aug. 26
–St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas so shocked his noble Italian family when he entered the Dominicans about 1244 that his brothers imprisoned him for a year. But he would not yield and studied under St. Albert the Great, becoming a master of theology in 1256. For the rest of his brief life, the “dumb ox,” as he was dubbed, taught, preached and wrote, producing the monumental “Summa Theologica,” highlighting the theology of the Eucharist. His thinking became enormously influential in later centuries, and he was named a Doctor of the Church in 1567.
Feast day: Jan. 28
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Arkansas Catholic is the newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock.