Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923)

The namesake of our house, Blessed Columba Marmion was an Irish abbot known for his clarity and fervor in preaching and writing. His many books including Christ, The Ideal of the Priest and Christ, the Life of the Soul are still on bookshelves today and are considered spiritual classics. Our local connection to Blessed Columba Marmion is his intercession in the healing of a woman here in Saint Cloud who would have otherwise died of cancer at a relatively young age. This miracle was examined and later approved by the church and thus allowed for Marmion’s beatification. Blessed Columba Marmion’s motto as an abbot was “to serve rather than rule.” This coincidently was also the episcopal motto of Bishop Jerome Hanus, a former bishop of Saint Cloud.



Pope Saint John Paul II (1920-2005)

Reigning over twenty-five as supreme pontiff, Pope Saint John Paul II touched countless souls on their spiritual journey. Having lost much of his immediate family at a young age, Saint John Paul II had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom he said at one point: “you will be my mother now.” An athlete and a scholar, Saint John Paul II excelled not only at writing in-depth encyclicals, but also at activities in the sporting world, in particular skiing. His joyful witness of faithfulness to Christ and the teachings of the church, inspired many men to become priests for the church. One of the many highlights of his pontificate is the establishment of World Youth Day, an international gathering of young Catholics coming together to pray, learn, and live their faith.



Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

 

Perhaps the great thinker in the history of the church, Saint Thomas Aquinas is a pillar of the Catholic intellectual tradition. His writings, of course, are referenced not only by Catholics, but are used by many religious and non-religious groups alike. It is recorded that he would sometimes simultaneous dictate several different books on several different subjects using several scribes and never lose his train of thought. His most well known work is the Summa Theologica which is a staple of Catholic philosophical and theological studies. He also is the author of a number of beautiful Eucharistic hymns still used in the church today.



Saint John Vianney (1786-1859)

Born to French peasants during the French Revolution, Saint John Vianney knew from a young age that God was calling him to be a priest. After immense struggles with seminary studies, his bishop reluctantly ordained him a priest and sent him off to Ars, a village in the far extremity of his diocese. Through his constant prayer, preaching, and offering of the sacraments, he brought about the conversion of his village and reached thousands more beyond Ars. He often survived on one hour of sleep a night, maintained a daily diet of one potato and spent as many as sixteen hours a day hearing confessions. Saint John Vianney is the patron saint of parish preists.



Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

Known to the world as Mother Theresa, Saint Theresa of Calcutta founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious order of women dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor. This mission took her to live among the sick and dying in India. Though short in stature, Saint Theresa’s zeal for the poor was larger than life. Every day she and her sisters prayed before the Blessed Sacrament for a prolonged period before going out to serve the poor. On a visit to the United States, she spoke boldly against the evils of abortion and mentioned also the spiritual poverty she witnessed here. Among her many memorable quotes is this piece of wisdom: “We are not called to be successful; we are called to be faithful.”