Saint Stories

Good Fruit: St. Hilda of Whitby and the First English Hymn

“Every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles” (Lk 6:44). So Jesus said. The Church is built by saints who labor slowly, growing communities or institutions bit by bit like saplings inching skyward over the years. Many of God’s humble gardeners and arborists will likely go to their rest unrecognized by the outside word though receiving the full ticker-tape parade in heaven. Saints like that live among us today. Today’s saint falls into that type. We, however, do remember her almost fourteen centuries later thanks to two holy men nourished by the fruit that St. Hilda of Whitby cultivated.

God’s Grouch vs. the Lion: The Compassion of St. Jerome

Lots of saints had unusual animal companions. Jerome, as one can see in many paintings of him, had a lion. I’m not sure if the point of the story of Jerome and the lion is that exotic pets are good, but there is a moral in it about compassion and judgment worth hearing.

The Korean Martyrs: The Most Remarkable Conversion

It’s no secret that Christianity and its role in society is shrinking in Europe and much of the Western world. How our faith adapts and grows again remains to be seen. The answer may come from Africa and Asia. The story of the Korean Martyrs offers hope.

The Murderer-Saint: Moses the Black and God’s Patient, Generous Forgiveness

I’m blessed to be where I am. Even a few years ago, I would not have guessed that I’d be sitting here in a region that I love, in a house I just bought, with a wonderful and wise wife downstairs, and our son in her womb. God has been generous to me. He’s given me all these gifts at a point when I thought too many years had gone to hope for these blessings. It isn’t that my life is free of challenges now or that it lacked blessings before, but I am grateful for what I have now and feel awe at how my Father works in His own time to show His love.

Today’s saint is a reminder that God lavishes his patience and generosity on everyone. Some of these are temporal gifts, like my home. Some have eternal worth, like forgiveness. One of those whom God loved with such gifts lived in fourth-century Egypt as a robber, a murderer, and a fornicator. His name is Moses, nicknamed “the Black” on account of his skin, and he is a great saint.