Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saints that have influenced me: Augustine of Hippo

This is the fourth and last article about certain saints that have influenced my life


No other saint has shown that God stays with us throughout our life, and that conversion can happen at any day, than Augustine of Hippo. Augustine used to live a loose life of partying, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. He later converted to be one of the most well known saints of all time, through his preaching, philosophy, theology, and life of penance for his past sins.


Augustine was born in November 13, 354 in Thagaste. ( present day Algeria) His parents were Particius a pagan, and Saint Monica a devout Christian. Monica prayed daily for the conversions of her husband and son. Particius converted to Christianity shortly before his death, Austine would convert later in his life.


Augustine moved to Carthage to study rhetoric. It was on Carthage that Augustine fell for immorality, which he would later describe in his book "The Confessions".

Augustine was influenced by Manichaeism. ( A Gnostic sect of Christianity) During the same time he began an affair with the woman whom he was to live with for 13 years. Augustine would bear a son with her, Adeodatus.


Augustine eventually moved away from Manichaeism and would terminate his relationship with the woman who he lived with. He would devoted his life to God.Augustine would sell his patrimony and give the money to the poor. Augustine was ordained a priest and became a great preacher. Augustine became one of the best theologians would become a doctor of the church.

Augustine had influenced my life a great deal, because I can relate to him in many ways. Augustine was not always close to his Christian faith, as was I. Augustine was side tracked by many false beliefs before being converted to Catholicism. I too had wrong beliefs, as for a while I believed in the New Age movement before being brought to the True Faith. At the same time Augustine lived 13 years in fornication and lust. I myself had an addiction to lust for quite some time. Converting to the Catholic church and leaving behind both false teachings, and lust made me admire Augustine as those were problems that I myself faced.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Saints that have influenced me: Pier Giorgio Frassati

This is the third article of certain saints that have influenced my life

This is one of my favorite saints and have been greatly influenced by him, his compassion for the poor, his sense of humor, and his piety and devotion to God. Pier Giorgio Frassati has shown me how all of us can be devoted to God, and have good old fun at the same time.


Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in Turin, Italy in 1901 to a well to do family. His family owned a newspaper called La Stampa, his father was an atheist but Pier dedicated his life to God. He belonged to the apostleship of prayer, Catholic action, and was a Third Order Dominican. He established a newspaper Momento. Pier was also part of the ST Vincent De Paul society.


Pier Giorgio Frassati gave most of his money to people he saw as more needy than he was. He would often give to the poor part of his cloth. Many times he came back home without his coat. Most of the time he would give his fare money to those who needed it, coming home late in the day.  Pier Giorgio Frassati never took a vow of poverty, nor lived in a poor area. Yet he showed that you can have compassion for the poor, regardless of your social class, or where you live.

He once said "charity is not enough: we need social reform" It is something that he showed through his merits and deeds. At another time someone asked  him why he rode third class he replied with a smile " because there is not a fourth class." Yet still another time during graduation, was given the choice of choosing between getting money or a car. He chose money and gave it to  the poor.
There has not been many who I have met nor heard about that has done such great charities as he did. He did not only do these charities, but would often keep them to himself not telling anyone. Because of him I have learned the value of charity and social activism.


Sense of Humor

Pier Giorgio Frassati was known for having a good sense of humor, and evangelized with his constant laughing, as well as his pranks. Pier Giorgio once placed a donkey on a student who was being   unstudius. He was giving him a sign that he was being an ass. Pier Giorgio was ordinary, he hanged out with ordinary people, went to school and hiked.

He taught me that you can be ordinary and be a saint. It is through devotion to the Rosary, to the holy Eucharist, by serving God, and helping thy neighbor that we become so. Doing so does not need to be impossible, but it does require wanting to. Pier Giorgio showed me that you can find joy and gladness in serving God.

Saints that have influenced me: Therese of Lisieux

This is the second article of certain saints that have influenced my life

There has not been another saint that has made me see simplicity and the art of sacrifice than Therese of Lisieux. She not only taught me humility, but the simplicity in her daily and humble sacrifices and offerings to God. Trusting in God that he would not give us something that we could not handle. Therese has been a big influence in my life.


Therese of Lisieux was born January 2, 1873. Born to devout Catholics, They set good Christian characteristics. Her mom died when she was small, and was raised mostly by her Dad.
Saint Therese of Lisieux was often sick and suffered various tremors. She also suffered from what is known as Scruples. Throughout these, Therese of Lisieux was greatly influenced by " The Imitation of Christ". Because of her scrupulosity Therese often thought that someone was criticizing her or didn't appreciate her. She burst into tears, and cried because she had cried.

As a sufferer of scruples myself, Therese has inspired me by knowing that God leads you everyday of your life. Everything that happens to us can be offered up to God. Instead of getting frustrated by these things, we should find joy in being able to offer to God our good and our bad.

The little way

Therese knew that it was on her littleness that she must learn to ask God's help. The limits of Therese became grounds for joy, more than discouragement. Therese wanted to do great deeds but because of being a Carmelite, this was not allowed.  Therese picked flowers as a sign of love, and made a lot of sacrifices, no matter how small. Some of the sacrifices and offerings that she made were that she smiled at the sisters she didn't like, and she ate everything without complaining. These small sacrifices were often harder than bigger once. succeed. Once she was accused of breaking a vase, instead of arguing she apologized although not at fault.

Most days it is the small sacrifices that are the hardest to make. It is offering our headaches, being stuck in traffic, it means smiling at annoying clients, and not complaining for food we don't like.I learned humility, littleness, and sacrificing from Therese of Lisieux.