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Brief Biographies of Sponsored Canonized Priests - Page 1

Saint Anthony of Padua (15 August 1195- 13 June1231) - Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, of wealthy parents, Fernando Martins de Bulhœs joined the Augustinian friars at the age of fifteen. Transferred at his request, to a monastery in Coimbra, Fernando had been ordained a priest when he joined the Franciscan Order and was given the name Anthony after Saint Anthony of the Desert. Humble and self-effacing, Anthony's talent at preaching was eventually discovered, and he was sent throughout France and Italy to preach the Catholic faith against the heresy of the Cathar persuasion.

A promoter of frequent confession, Anthony was sought for his compassionate manner and practical guidance. He advocated for reformed wayward women and for clemency to debtors. Because of his purity and faith, Anthony is often depicted holding the Infant Christ who appeared to him. He is frequently prayed to for finding lost objects. 

Saint Charles Borromeo (2 October 1538 - 3 November 1584) -- Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests

Charles was born into a noble family of Milan, Italy. In 1559, his uncle Pope Pius IV made  Charles cardinal-deacon and administrator of the Archdiocese of Milan. At the time Charles was still a layman and a young student. Because of his intellectual qualities, Charles was entrusted with several important offices connected with the Vatican, and later appointed secretary of state with responsibility for the papal states. Soon after being ordained a priest at age 25, Charles was consecrated bishop of Milan.

Working behind the scenes, Charles kept the Council of Trent in session when it was on the verge of breaking up. In his Archdiocese, he initiated reform among both clergy and laity. He allotted most of his income to charity, forbade himself all luxury, and imposed severe penances upon himself. During a plague and famine of 1576, Charles borrowed large sums of money to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people daily. He himself ministered to the sick and the dying. Burdened by work, he died at the age of 46. 

Venerable Nelson Henry Baker (16 February 1842 - 29 July 1936) -- Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests

Born in Buffalo, New York (USA), Nelson became a Catholic at age 10. While helping in his family's grocery, he was drafted into the Union Army during the  United States' Civil War. When the war ended, he opened a business with a friend. Generous to an orphanage with both time and money, Nelson entered the seminary in 1869. In 1874, he visited Our Lady of Victories shrine in Paris, wishing thereafter to honor Our Lady under that title. On 19 March 1876, Nelson was ordained. His assignment to a boy's orphanage in Lackawanna NY became his life's work. To pay off the institution's huge debts, Father Baker formed the Association of Our Lady of Victory. Nightly, he hand wrote hundreds of letters to postmasters, requesting names of charitable Catholic women to whom he wrote, asking for 25c per year in dues to help his boys. He founded a home for unwed mothers, a  hospital, and Our Lady of Victory Church, today a minor basilica. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, his institutions served more than 450,000 meals. He was dubbed "Padre of the Poor."

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 - 23 September 1968) -- Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests

Born Francesco Forgione, Padre Pio received his religious name (Pio, meaning Pius) when he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order at the age of 15. He spent most of his life at the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia, Italy. In 1918, he received the stigmata which he bore until a few days before his death. Because of the stigmata and other mystical phenomena (ability to read thoughts, bilocation, gift of healing, visions, physical spiritual attacks by demons), Padre Pio was subject to years of Church investigations, some of which led to sanctions. Nevertheless, his fame spread and many pilgrims came to visit. Padre Pio spent hours in the confessional, frequently telling penitents their sins before they confessed them. Multitudes owed their conversion to his letters, prayers, and counsel. His advice, "Pray, hope, and don't worry" is indicative of his faith and trust in God.

Pope Saint Peter the Apostle (Died 64 - 68 A.D.) -- Saint Peter Is Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests

Jesus changed the name of one of his first disciples from Simon to Peter (Cephas which means 'rock'), stating, ". . . you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death [hell] shall not prevail against it.. . .I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Thus, the fisherman which Jesus called in Galilee became the first Pope. A born leader, Peter learned to corral his impulsiveness and shore up his courage. Peter was with Jesus for most of the major events of Christ's life. His witness is recorded by John Mark in Mark's Gospel. Peter also wrote or dictated two Epistles which are contained in Scripture. Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero. 

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Saint Peter Julian Eymard, S.S.S. (4 February 1811 - 1 August 1868) Saint Peter Julian Eymard Is Sponsored in Chapel of 1000 Priests.

Born in the French Alps, Peter Julian always had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. Ordained a priest in 1854, he joined the Marist Order in 1839, then went on to found the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1856. In 1859, along with Marguerite Guillot, he founded the women's Congregation of Servants of the Blessed Sacrament Peter Julian's devotion to the Blessed Sacrament began to increase when, as a Marist, he preached the Forty Hours Eucharistic devotion in many parishes. Men in his community alternated between an active apostolic life and contemplation of the Blessed Sacrament Peter Julian preached and wrote extensively on the Eucharist, producing meditations, articles, and books. His devotion and insights aptly earned him the title "Apostle of the Eucharist."

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