Ordinary Time: July 5th
Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Zaccaria, priest; St. Elizabeth of Portugal
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was the founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, later called the Barnabites from the name of their principal church in Rome. He also founded a congregation of nuns which now no longer exists. He was a great admirer of St. Paul and was himself imbued with the teaching of the great Apostle, whom he gave to his followers as a model and a patron. He was a zealous and untiring preacher and completely wore himself out at this work; he died at the age of thirty-six on July 5, 1539.St. Elizabeth of Portugal was the daughter of Peter III of Aragon and was named after her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, whose virtues she also inherited. In her married life with King Denis of Portugal she had to undergo a series of heavy trials which she endured with heroism. On more than one occasion she went to considerable pains to bring about peace between her children and their father. After her husband's death she became a Franciscan Tertiary and showed unfailing charity towards the poor. She died in 1336; her body has remained incorrupt. Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar St. Elizabeth's feast was celebrated on July 8.
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born of a noble family at Cremona in Lombardy, and even in childhood gave signs of his future sanctity. Very early he was distinguished for his virtues, piety towards God, devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and especially mercy towards the poor, who he more than once gave his own rich clothing for their relief. He studied the humanities at home, and then went to Pavia for philosophy and Padua for medicine, and easily surpassed his contemporaries both in purity of life and in mental ability. After gaining his degree in medicine, he returned home, where he understood that God had called him to the healing rather of souls than of bodies. He immediately gave himself to sacred studies. Meanwhile he never ceased to visit the sick, instruct children in Christian doctrine, and exhort the young to piety and the elders to reformation of their lives. While saying his first Mass after his ordination, he is said to have been seen by the amazed congregation in a blaze of heavenly light and surrounded by angels. He then made it his chief care to labor for the salvation of souls and the reformation of manners. He received strangers, the poor and afflicted, with paternal charity, and consoled them with holy words and material assistance, so that his house was known as the refuge of the afflicted and he himself was called by his fellow-citizens an angel and the father of his country.
- St. Anthony had great devotion to Our Lord crucified. He institued the practice of tolling the church bells at 3 p.m. every Friday in remembrance of Christ's death on the cross. You could gather the family together at 3 p.m. to say the Prayer Before a Crucifix and ask St. Anthony to increase your love for our suffering Lord.
- St. Anthony promoted devotion to the Eucharistic Christ in the form of the Forty Hours devotion, public and solemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Find a church that has adoration and make a visit today.
- St. Anthony was a doctor of medicine as well as a priest, today would be a good time to offer a special prayer for the sick.
- Learn more about and read some of St. Anthony's Letters.
- Learn more about the Barnabites founded by St. Anthony.
- Try cooking Vegetable Soup with Rice today in honor of St. Anthony.
- Read St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria’s Spirituality.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal
Elizabeth of Portugal was married young: she was only twelve years old when she became the wife of King Denis of Portugal. She was the daughter of King Peter III of Aragon and at her baptism in 1271 received the name of her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Even at that early age, she had a well-disciplined character and, like her namesake, looked after the poor and pilgrims, with the consent of her husband.
- Our own circle of personal influence is usually where we can do the most good. It is useless to dream of going to faraway places to accomplish great deeds, when there is much to be done in our own backyard. We can influence those around us and, like St. Elizabeth of Portugal, we can accomplish wonders.
- See the statue and information about St. Elizabeth in St. Peter's Colonnade.
- Read Elizabeth of Portugal: 'For, In Her Is A Spirit Intelligent, Holy, Unique'
by Maria J. Cirurgiao and Michael D. Hull.
- St. Elizabeth's relics lie in Portugal. This semi-official site has beautiful photos of the convent church and relics. St. Elizabeth lived as a Poor Clare nun in the final years of her life, which is why she is honored as a Franciscan saint.
- Read the book St. Elizabeth of Portugal by Vincent McNabb.