On July 31 we celebrate the feast day of Ignatius of Loyola, who was born into a family of Basque nobility in the family castle of Azpeitia. He was the youngest of the 13 children of Beltran de Loyola and Marina Saenz de Licona.
On the date of his nativity, we honor Saint John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother’s womb, was chosen by God to herald His Son, lived a model life of holiness and was martyred for his faith.
Aside from the Twelve, few others receive the designation of apostle in the New Testament. Chief among them is the apostle Paul. Among the others is his one-time collaborator Barnabas, whose memorial is celebrated by the Church on June 11. Legend recalls Barnabas as one of the 70 disciples of Christ in the Gospel, but few details about him were recorded in the New Testament. Find out more in today’s post.
Marcellin Joseph Benoit Champagnat was a French priest and founder of the Society of Mary. He is the patron of education and teachers. Brothers of Mary, or Marist Brothers, founded in poverty, humility, and total trust in God under Mary’s protection and with the purpose of having its members serve as teachers, catechists, and educators of young people. Watch a video about him in today’s post.
We pray it as part of the Liturgy of Hours, and we hear it proclaimed in the Gospel reading on the feast of the Visitation — May 31 — but I’m not sure most Catholics stop often enough to think about what a beautiful gift we have in Mary’s Magnificat. This post by Our Sunday Visitor editorial director for periodicals Gretchen Crowe reminds us of its importance.