12 episodes

CCTN is proud to present this series of short informational videos about our Catholic Saints and the lives they lived.

CCTN Presents: Discovering Our Saints CCTN

    • Christianity
    • 5.0, 3 Ratings

CCTN is proud to present this series of short informational videos about our Catholic Saints and the lives they lived.

    • video
    Saints Simon and Jude

    Saints Simon and Jude

    • 2 min
    • video
    St. Theresa of Jesus

    St. Theresa of Jesus

    Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent.
    The gift of God to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

    As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man's world of her time. She was "her own woman," entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

    Teresa was a woman "for God," a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

    Teresa was a woman "for others." Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

    Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.

    In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

    • 2 min
    • video
    St. Francis of Assisi

    St. Francis of Assisi

    Francis of Assisi was a poor little man who astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally—not in a narrow fundamentalist sense, but by actually following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance.
    Serious illness brought the young Francis to see the emptiness of his frolicking life as leader of Assisi's youth. Prayer—lengthy and difficult—led him to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: "Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy."

    From the cross in the neglected field-chapel of San Damiano, Christ told him, "Francis, go out and build up my house, for it is nearly falling down." Francis became the totally poor and humble workman.

    He must have suspected a deeper meaning to "build up my house." But he would have been content to be for the rest of his life the poor "nothing" man actually putting brick on brick in abandoned chapels. He gave up all his possessions, piling even his clothes before his earthly father (who was demanding restitution for Francis' "gifts" to the poor) so that he would be totally free to say, "Our Father in heaven." He was, for a time, considered to be a religious fanatic, begging from door to door when he could not get money for his work, evokng sadness or disgust to the hearts of his former friends, ridicule from the unthinking.

    But genuineness will tell. A few people began to realize that this man was actually trying to be Christian. He really believed what Jesus said: "Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff" (see Luke 9:1-3).

    Francis' first rule for his followers was a collection of texts from the Gospels. He had no idea of founding an order, but once it began he protected it and accepted all the legal structures needed to support it. His devotion and loyalty to the Church were absolute and highly exemplary at a time when various movements of reform tended to break the Church's unity.

    He was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News. He decided in favor of the latter, but always returned to solitude when he could. He wanted to be a missionary in Syria or in Africa, but was prevented by shipwreck and illness in both cases. He did try to convert the sultan of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade.

    During the last years of his relatively short life (he died at 44), he was half blind and seriously ill. Two years before his death, he received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.

    On his deathbed, he said over and over again the last addition to his Canticle of the Sun, "Be praised, O Lord, for our Sister Death." He sang Psalm 141, and at the end asked his superior to have his clothes removed when the last hour came and for permission to expire lying naked on the earth, in imitation of his Lord.

    • 2 min
    • video
    Saint Matthew the Apostle

    Saint Matthew the Apostle

    Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers.

    Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important.

    • 2 min
    • video
    Saint Gregory the Great

    Saint Gregory the Great

    Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome.
    Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal representative in Constantinople. He was recalled to become abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.

    He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of "Gregorian" chant is disputed.

    Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, he interviewed the Lombard king.

    An Anglican historian has written: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great."

    His book, Pastoral Care, on the duties and qualities of a bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called "the Great," Gregory has been given a place with Augustine, Ambrose and Jerome as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.

    • 2 min
    • video
    Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

    Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

    “Can anything good ever come out of Nazareth?”
    This is certainly a question for the ages and St. Bartholomew the Apostle asked it in the first century; when he heard his friend, St. Philip, speak about the Messiah from Nazareth.

    There is not much known of St. Bartholomew, he only appears in the gospel occasionally. We do know that he was born, in the first century of Hebrew descent, the son of Tolmai, in the Province of Iudaca.

    Although a non-believer, St. Bartholomew often known as Nathaniel accepted the invitation of St. Philip to meet Jesus of Nazareth.

    Jesus immediately recognized St. Bartholomew “as a man in whom there is no deception.” Jesus told Bartholomew that before Philip had introduced them, he had seen him under the fig tree, apparently a Jewish term for studying the Torah. St. Bartholomew was said to have been very well liked among the apostles and very inquisitive. He constantly barraged Jesus with questions about God, angels and mysteries.

    Jesus promised him “Amen, Amen, I say to you, you will see the heavens open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

    St. Bartholomew finally recognized Jesus as the King of Israel and accepted him as the Son of God. He joined the chosen ones as the sixth apostle.

    Bartholomew and the eleven others were together in Bethany at Mount Olive, forty days after the resurrection to witness the Ascension.

    After the Ascension, Bartholomew traveled to Ethiopia, India, Persia and Armenia. He is reputed to have spread Christianity to the East, leaving copies of the gospel of Matthew as he went.

    Among his hundreds of converts, were the King of Armenia, Polymius, and many of his subjects. This met with disapproval of the King’s brother, Astyages, who immediately sentenced Bartholomew to death. He died a martyr’s death, as did so many of the apostles, by being flayed alive and beheaded. This is why we see him represented in Michelangelo’s painting of “The Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. He is holding a knife in one hand and the skin of his body in the other.

    St. Bartholomew is the Patron Saint of tanners and we celebrate his Feast Day on August 24th.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

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The Tony Show ,

Wonderful!

These are great podcasts. Not overly long and very nicely produced. Father John's narration is the icing on the cake. I look forward to more in this series.

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