Here’s the saint’s calendar for March 31, 2019, and some versions, each focusing on individual saints, all wonderful; for they are the Church Triumphant.
The Catholic Church has many saints and reading about their lives has been a spiritual journey Catholics have been on since the publication of the Golden Legend, http://sourcebooks.web.fordham.edu/basis/goldenlegend/
From Butler’s Calendar of the Saints listing all of the saints of today. https://web.archive.org/web/20060920180348/http://www.catholic-forum.com/SAINTS/day0331.htm
From Butler’s Lives of the Saints, St. BENJAMIN, Deacon, Martyr. “ISDEGERDES, Son of Sapor III., put a stop to the cruel persecutions against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II., and the Church had enjoyed twelve years’ peace in that kingdom, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyræum, or Temple of Fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes thereupon demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the Church, which continued forty years with great fury. Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very recital of the cruelties he exercised on the Christian strikes us with horror. Among the glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned. He had lain a year in the dungeon, when an ambassador from the emperor obtained his release on condition that he should never speak to any of the courtiers about religion. The ambassador passed his word in his behalf that he would not; but Benjamin, who was a minister of the Gospel, declared that he should miss no opportunity of announcing Christ. The king, being informed that he still preached the Faith in his kingdom, ordered him to be apprehended, caused reeds to be run in between the nails and the flesh, both of his hands and feet, and to be thrust into other most tender parts, and drawn out again, and this to be frequently repeated with violence. Lastly, a knotty stake was thrust into his bowels, to rend and tear them, in which torment he expired in the year 424.” http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots106.htm
From Franciscan Media, St. Stephen of Mar Saba, (725 – 794), “A “do not disturb” sign helped today’s saint find holiness and peace.
“Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of Saint John Damascene, who introduced the young boy to monastic life beginning at age 10. When he reached 24, Stephen served the community in a variety of ways, including guest master. After some time he asked permission to live a hermit’s life. The answer from the abbot was yes and no: Stephen could follow his preferred lifestyle during the week, but on weekends he was to offer his skills as a counselor. Stephen placed a note on the door of his cell: “Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays.”
“Despite his calling to prayer and quiet, Stephen displayed uncanny skills with people and was a valued spiritual guide.
“His biographer and disciple wrote about Stephen: “Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things.”
“Stephen died in 794.” https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-stephen-of-mar-saba/
From a most lovely site, really a daily devotional site offering much more than just saint of the day, Anastpaul https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/
Pius XII and the Holocaust
An excellent article about the pope I consider the greatest in my lifetime, from Catholic World Report.
In his exhaustive history The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914 to 1958 (Oxford University Press, 2014), Cambridge University historian John Pollard expresses doubt whether the argument over Pope Pius XII’s response to the Holocaust is “a genuine historiographical controversy”—that is, whether it concerns matters of demonstrable historical fact—and concludes instead that it is “a highly political dispute.” Coming from Pollard, no great fan of Pius, that is a telling comment.
It would be unrealistic, then, to suppose next year’s opening of the Vatican archives for the pontificate of Pius XII will finally settle the argument about Pius XII and the Jews. Too many people have too much reputation invested in criticizing the Pope for that to happen.
But the news that the “secret” archives for 1939 to 1958 will finally be available to scholars is welcome just the same. This will move the dispute from the realm of “What if…” and “Suppose that…” at least partly toward matters of documented fact: what was actually said and done.
In announcing the forthcoming opening of the archives last month on the 80th anniversary of Pius XII’s election, Pope Francis undoubtedly got it right when he said the mass of documentation would provide grounds for praising Pius together with evidence of “tormented decisions…human and Christian prudence, which to some could look like reticence.”
The public claim that the Pope failed to oppose the Holocaust traces its beginning to a 1963 play, The Deputy, by a left-wing German writer named Rolf Hochhuth depicting Pius as a greedy hypocrite. Since then, the same sort of criticism has been repeated by many others.
Some hold that the anti-Pius efforts in part reflected a Soviet disinformation effort undertaken as payback for his successful efforts to prevent a communist takeover in the Italian elections of 1948 and 1950. Still, there are legitimate questions here. Pius XII’s most substantial wartime public comment about the agony of the Jews came in his radio message to the world at Christmas 1942. There he spoke on behalf of “the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death.”
The anti-Pius response is that he should have said more and said it more often. But the Nazis knew they had been targeted. Hitler said he would “deal with” the Pope, and there was even talk of having him kidnapped. The bishops of Holland, taking their cue from Pius, strongly denounced the Nazis. The result was a step-up in Nazi persecution of Dutch Jews….
Pius XII did what he believed was right, and Jewish leaders after the war praised him lavishly for it, while the chief rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, upon converting to Catholicism in February, 1945, took the baptismal name Eugenio.
That was in honor of Eugenio Pacelli, Pius XII’s name before he was pope.