The special feastdays of November, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day remind us of the communion of saints. We express belief in this everytime we pray the Apostles’ Creed. What is the communion of saints? There are three parts:
- the Church Triumphant – Those who have departed from the life into glory, beholding the beauty of the Divine Presence. These people are known as saints. When a person are canonized, this means that the Church has very carefully, over a long period of time, researched the life of this person and his or her writings. The Spirit of holiness has been clearly seen within him or her, and therefore that person is proposed as a model and intercessor. Our newest Canadian saint is Brother Andre from Montreal. Taken from CCC#954,828
- the Church Suffering – These souls have died and are still being purified so that they may be in heaven soon. We pray that they may be loosed from their sins which not only helps them, but also makes their intercession for us effective. The Church also recommends almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance on their behalf. Taken from CCC#1032, 954
- the Church Militant – We, the pilgrims still on earth, can pray with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ. These are like our older brothers and sisters in the faith. This union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods. As St. Dominic said to his brothers as he lay dying, ” Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you them more effectively than during my life.” St. Therese also said,” I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.” Taken from CCC#955-956
These three parts are constantly interacting, praying for one another. The saints in heaven have no power of themselves, but because of their holiness and heroic virtue while on earth, intercede most powerfully for us. Many of them are considered to be patron saints. Because of an event that possibly happened in their lives, or a situation, they are considered to be the patron of those who find themselves in a similar situation. For example, St. Therese is known as the patron saint of missions, although she never left Carmel as a nun. Why? She prayed most ardently for missionaries, and was very successful in helping them.
St. Joseph, of course, is known as the patron saint of carpenters, because he worked as one to support the Holy Family of Our Lady and the child Jesus.
The following saints and Blesseds are from Canada. A Blessed or Venerable are those in the process of being researched for canonization. As part of the process, a documented miracle is required for each stage. It is important to pray for them as well, to help them to be canonized. Canada has been tremendously blessed with these faithful servants who helped to settle and care for God’s people in each age. Our newest one of course, is Saint Andre, the Wonder Worker from Montreal. The efforts of a simple, frail door-keeper resulted in the building of the largest shrine to Saint Joseph in the world. Contained in the basilica are thousands of crutches left by those who were healed there. This is proof of the love of God working through this humble man.
THE SAINTS OF CANADA
The eight Canadian Martyrs. Their feastday is September 26th.
- Saint Isaac Jogues, Jesuit priest, born 1608, martyred 1646
- Saint Jean de Brébeuf, Jesuit priest, born 1593, martyred 1649
- Saint Charles Garnier, Jesuit priest, born 1606, martyred 1649
- Saint Antoine Daniel, Jesuit priest, born 1600, martyred 1648
- Saint Gabriel Lalemant, Jesuit priest, born 1610, martyred 1649
- Saint Noel Chabanel, Jesuit priest, born 1613, martyred 1649
- Saint René Goupil, Jesuit Novice, born 1608, martyred 1642
- Saint Jean de La Lande, layperson, martyred in 1646
Other Canadian Saints who aided in settling the fledgling Canada
- Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys , born 1620, died 1700 Co-founded Montréal and was the Founder of the Congregation of Notre-Dame. Feast celebrated on January 12.
- Saint Marguerite d’Youville, born 1701, died 1771 Founder of the Sisters of Charity, known as the “Grey Nuns.” Feast celebrated on October 16.
- Saint André, born 1845, died 1937 Brother of the religious Order of the Holy Cross. Built the Saint-Joseph Oratory of Mont-Royal at Montréal. Canonized October 17,2010. Feast celebrated on January 6.
The Canadian Blessed
- Blessed André Grasset, Sulpician, born 1758, died 1792 Feast celebrated on September 2.
- Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, native layperson, born 1656, died 1680 Feast celebrated on April 17.
- Blessed Marie de l’Incarnation, born 1599, died 1672 Founder of the Urselines Sisters in Québec. Feast celebrated on April 30.
- Blessed François de Laval, born 1623, died 1708 First Bishop of Québec. Feast celebrated on May 6.
- Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, born 1811, died 1849 Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Feast celebrated on October 6.
- Blessed Marie-Léonie Paradis, born 1840, died 1912 Founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family. Feast celebrated on May 4.
- Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau, born 1824, died 1901 Fourth Bishop of Saint Hyacinthe. Feast celebrated on May 24.
- Blessed Frédéric Janssoone, Franciscan, born 1838, died 1916 Feast celebrated on August 5.
- Blessed Catherine de Saint-Augustin, born 1632, died 1668 Founder of the “Hôtel-Dieu” of Québec. Feast celebrated on May 8.
- Blessed Dina Bélanger, born 1897, died in 1929 Sister of Jesus-Mary, Sillery. Feast celebrated on September 4.
- Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin, born 1809, died 1890 Founder of the Sisters of Saint Anne. Feast celebrated on April 18.
- Blessed Émilie Tavernier-Gamelin, born 1800, died 1851 Founder of the Sisters of Providence Feast celebrated on September 23.
- Blessed Bishop Vasyl Velychkovsky, C.Ss.R., Bishop and Martyr (Ukrainian) born 1903, died 1973). Appointed as bishop of this underground church in Lviv, Ukraine. Secretly ordained as Bishop in 1963. Beatified on June 27, 2001.
- Blessed Bishop Nykyta Budka (Greek-Ukrainian) born 1877 Poland, died 1949 in a Soviet concentration camp First bishop for Ukrainian Catholics on July 15, 1912 in Canada. Beatified June 27, 2001 in Ukraine.