Blessed George Napier, Priest and Martyr, Pray For Us

On November 8, 1610, a British cleric by the name of George Napier was executed in Oxford, England, for the crime of being a priest.George Napier [alternate spelling: George Napper] was born at Holywell Manor in Oxford and studied at Corpus Christi College; but he was expelled from the school in 1568 as a "recusant"--someone who refused to attend Anglican services.  In 1580 he was imprisoned in the Wood Street Counter, a small prison in London, but was freed in 1589 when he acknowledged t … [Read more...]

Sts. Cosmas and Damien: Did They Perform the First Successful Medical Transplant?

Who are Cosmas and Damien? Their names are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).   A church was erected on their burial place, and  a famous basilica was built in their honor in Constantinople.  The Church in the West celebrates their memorial on September 26. But little is known about these twin brothers who lived and died during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. According to legend, the twins lived in Arabia and became skilled doctors.  In the East, they are vene … [Read more...]

This Is Romance? St. Valentine’s Story

He was a priest in Rome.No, he was a bishop in Interamna (now the region of Terni, Italy).No, he was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.  *     *     *     * There’s a lot of confusion, actually, about St. Valentine, whose feast we celebrate today.The most popular legend places Valentine near Rome in the third century, during the reign of the Emperor Claudius III (nicknamed Claudius the Cruel).  According to the story, Claudius sought to expand the Roman Empire, and so needed … [Read more...]