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St. Julius

Name: St. Julius
Date: 12 April

Saint Julius was by birth a Roman; he was chosen Pope on the 6th of February in 337, and wasremarkable for the sanctity of his life and his zeal in strengthening the Christian faith.

The impious heresy of Arius was progressing dangerously everywhere in the East, and many holybishops were obliged to leave their sees. Saint Julius received them warmly in Rome, SaintAthanasius in particular, and he defended them to the end against their adversaries. Hecondemned the synods which the Arians had assembled in Tyre and in Antioch, with the intentionof abolishing the faith of Nicea. He assembled two councils in Rome, where he heard the exiledbishops and proclaimed their innocence.

By his counsel, the Emperor Constans, the pious prince of the West, influenced his brotherConstantius to recall Saint Athanasius from exile.

Saint Julius rejected a deceptive formula of faith, imagined by the Eusebians, who were partisansof Arius at the second council of Antioch. He assembled the second Council of Sardica,composed of both Western and Oriental bishops. His legates presided there, and he saw to it thatuseful measures for the maintenance of the Catholic faith and the re-establishment of ecclesiasticaldiscipline were drafted and implemented.

He built two basilicas in Rome and adorned them with sacred paintings. He had three cemeteriesconstructed, on the Flaminian and Aurelian ways, and at Porto. He regulated legal questionsconcerning the clergy, ordaining that they would plead nowhere but in ecclesiastical courts.

Saint Julius reigned for fifteen years, and died on the 12th of April, 352.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882),

St. Sabas

Name: St. Sabas
Date: 12 April

Bl. Catherine of St. Augustine

Name: Bl. Catherine of St. Augustine
Date: 12 April

A young future missionary to New France, Catherine de Longpré, in religion Sister Marie-Catherine of Saint Augustine, was a nursing nun in the community of the Hospitaler Sisters ofSaint Augustine in Evreux. Born in France in 1632, she went to Quebec at the age of sixteen. Having offered her life for the sick and the sanctification of souls, she found in Quebec City anewly-established and very poor hospital, where she would labor for twenty years with unfailingdevotion and courage.

Blessed Catherine’s physical and moral sufferings increased to a measure which few Saints havesurpassed; she was chosen as a victim by God for the expiation of sins, in this territory which Hedestined for Himself in a particular way. To sustain her in the terrible obsessions which sheendured, to preserve other souls who could not have withstood hell’s assaults, she was given forher heavenly spiritual director, Saint John de Brebeuf, the North American martyr who had diednot long before, in what is now Ontario. The entire history of her interior life was written by herconfessor, the Jesuit Paul Ragueneau, who had been a friend of the great Martyr and had laboredwith him. Father Ragueneau recognized as authentic his fellow Jesuit’s spiritual role in the life ofthis remarkable religious.

The sale of alcoholic beverages to the Indians in exchange for furs was a grievous abuse which thesaintly first bishop of Quebec, Monsignor Francis Montmorency de Laval, was striving to abolish;sins of the tongue, immodesty and impiety were rampant in the city and surroundings. Monsignorde Laval recognized in Sister Catherine a soul of predilection, and he often asked her intercessionfor particular persons, for the colony and the Indians, whose souls were his great concern, as theywere also of his clergy and missionaries. She, for her part, complied by her prayers and sacrifices,and saw in vision how the demons of hell were working for the ruin of the colony, in variousplaces and in various ways. A spiritual battle of great proportions was underway, to win Canadafor Christ.

Blessed Catherine died at the age of 36, saying shortly before she expired: “My God, I adoreYour divine perfections; I adore Your divine Justice; I abandon myself to it with my whole heart.” One of the great mystics of the Church, her life remains a prodigy of sacrifice and love, a goldmine of doctrine for those who seek understanding of God’s ways with His Saints and His people.

Source: Fr. Paul Ragueneau, S.J., La vie de la Mère Catherine de Saint Augustin, (F. Lambert:

St. Hermenegild

Name: St. Hermenegild
Date: 13 April

Leovigild, Arian King of the Visigoths, had two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, who werereigning conjointly with him. All were Arians, but Hermenegild married a zealous Catholic, thedaughter of Sigebert, King of France, and by her holy example was converted to the faith. Hisfather, on hearing the news, denounced him as a traitor, and marched to seize his person. Hermenegild tried to rally the Catholics of Spain in his defense, but they were too weak to makeany stand; and after a two years’ fruitless struggle, Hermenegild surrendered on the assurance of afree pardon. Once he was safely in the royal camp, the king had him loaded with fetters and castinto a foul dungeon at Seville.

Tortures and bribes were in turn employed to shake his faith, but Hermenegild wrote to his fatherthat he regarded the crown as nothing, and preferred to lose scepter and life rather than betray thetruth of God. At length, on Easter night, an Arian bishop entered his cell, and promised him hisfather’s pardon if he would receive Communion from his hands. Hermenegild indignantly rejectedthe offer, and knelt with joy for his death-stroke, praying for his persecutors. The same night alight streaming from his cell told the Christians keeping vigil nearby that the martyr had won hiscrown and was celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord with the Saints in glory.

King Leovigild, on his death-bed, was changed interiorly. He had been witness to the miraclesthat had occurred after his son’s cruel death, and he told his son and successor Recared to seekout Saint Leander, whom he himself had persecuted. Recared should follow Hermenegild’sexample, said the king, and be received by the bishop into the Church. Recared did so; andalthough his father himself had not had the courage to renounce the false faith publicly, after hisfather’s death the new king labored so earnestly for the extirpation of Arianism that he broughtover the whole nation of the Visigoths to the Church. “Nor is it to be wondered,” says SaintGregory, “that he came thus to be a preacher of the true faith, since he was the brother of amartyr, whose merits helped him to bring so many into the haven of God’s Church.”

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

St. Benezet

Name: St. Benezet
Date: 14 April

Saint Benezet kept his mother’s sheep in the country, and while still a young child was devoted topractices of piety. In his day many persons were being drowned when crossing the Rhone, andBenezet was instructed by God to build a bridge over that rapid river at Avignon. He obtainedthe approbation of the bishop, proving his mission by miracles, and in 1177 began the work,which he directed during seven years. He died when the major difficulties of the undertakingwere over, in 1184.

This remarkable feat of a young boy is attested by public monuments drawn up at that time andstill preserved at Avignon, where the story is still known to all. His body was buried upon thebridge itself, which was not finished until four years after his decease. Its construction wasattended with miracles from the first laying of the foundations until it was completed in 1188. Other miracles wrought afterwards at his tomb induced the city to build, on the bridge itself, achapel, and there his body lay for nearly five hundred years. But in 1669, after the greater part ofthe bridge had fallen through the impetuosity of the waters, the coffin was taken up and opened in1670, in the presence of the Church’s authorities. The body was found entire, without the leastsign of corruption; all was perfectly sound, and the color of the eyes still bright, even though,through the dampness of the surroundings, the iron bars around the coffin were much damagedwith rust.

Saint Benezet’s body was found in the same condition again in 1674, by the Archbishop ofAvignon at the time when, accompanied by the Bishop of Orange and a great concourse ofnobility, he carried out its translation with great pomp into the Church of the Celestines. ThatOrder had obtained from Louis XIV the honor of being entrusted with the custody of his relics,until such time as the bridge and chapel should be rebuilt.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris,

Other Highlights
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»The Circumcision of Our Lord
»St. William Berruyer
»St. Theodosius
»St. Alfred or Aelred
»St. Margaret Bourgeois
»St. Veronica of Milan
»The Baptism of Our Lord
»St. Hilary of Poitiers
»St. Paul the First Hermit
»St. Honoratus
»St. Marcellus, Pope
»Blessed Stephanie Quinzani
»St. Anthony Abbott
»St. Peters' Chair at Rome
»St. Canutus
»St. Fulgentius
»St. Macarius
»St. Fabien
»St. Sebastian
»St. Agnes
»St. Vincent, martyr
»St. Raymond of Pennafort
»St. Timothy
»St. Paul, The Conversion of
»St. Polycarp
»St. John Chrysostom
»St. Peter Nolasco
»St. Francis de Sales
»St. Genevieve
»St. Martina
»St. John Bosco
»St. Gregory, Bishop of Langres
»St. Angela of Foligno
»St. Simeon Stylites
»The Epiphany of Our Lord
»St. Lucian
»St. Claude Apollinaire
»St. Julian the Hospitalarian
»St. Basilissa
»St. Remi or Remigius
»St. Francis Borgia
»St. Tarachus
»The Divine Maternity of Mary
»St. Wilfrid
»Bl. Jane Leber
»St. Edward
»St. Callistus I
»St. Teresa of Avila
»St. Gall

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