Saints of the Month -

May 2017


Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

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St. Godric of Finchale

A man with many trades, Godric was born around 1070 to a peasant family in Walpole. He shied away from being a farmer and instead, at the age of 15 became a peddler in Lincolnshire. Before turning 20, he made his first pilgrimage to Rome. Shortly afterward, he decided to pursue the life of a sailor.

He purchased shares in a number of successful trading vessels and enjoyed the benefits of prosperity. In 1101, he undertook a second pilgrimage, this time to the Holy Land. Godric made two more pilgrimages to Rome and then decided to sell everything and become a hermit. Abandoning his old life, he withdrew to a forest near Carlisle. Later, he joined a hermit at Wulsingham. When his friend died, Godric set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

When Godric returned home he finally settled in Finchale on the river Wear. He adopted the way of life of a hermit in earnest, living off roots and berries and vegetables from his garden. Looking back on his earlier life, Godric felt he had to do penance for the great sins he had committed in his youth. Although his life as a hermit was mostly serene, he once almost drowned when the Wear overflowed its banks and another time he was beaten by soldiers who thought he was hiding valuable treasure.

Godric was a compassionate man who ended up spending nearly 60 years at the priory in Finchale. It was there that he honed his writing skills, setting his religious verse to music. His words were preserved in a 14th-century manuscript now kept in the British Library. Godric was nearly 100 years old when he died after suffering from a long illness.

Feast day: May 21st
Reference: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

Godric spent most of his youth unsure about what to do with his future. Today, Y.E.S. (Youth Entertainment Summer) TO JOBS educates high-school students who are uncertain about their goals and offers them opportunities for experience in the entertainment industry.
At risk students who are improving their grades and taking responsibility for their lives are offered a hands-on internship by industry professionals. Y.E.S. TO JOBS provides full-time summer jobs at:
• Recording companies.
• Television and radio stations.
• Trade publications.
• Film and production companies.
• Public relations and entertainment law firms.

Awarded the NAACP Image Award in 1991, Y.E.S. TO JOBS has made an impact on the entertainment industry as well as the young people it helps.

To find out more about Y.E.S. TO JOBS and the opportunities it offers, you can visit the program’s website at

St. Julia of Corsica

St. Julia’s life and martyrdom are described in the medieval, “Passion.” This work has many features of a legend that proves there is little historical data about St. Julia. She was born in the 6th or 7th century to an aristocratic family in Carthage. This ancient city, founded by the Phoenicians, competed with Rome for domination in the western part of the Mediterranean. However, being more exposed to barbarian attacks, the city was collapsing. When the Vandals invaded, Julia was taken as a slave. She was bought by a pagan merchant named Eusebius and taken to Syria. She was beautiful so he wanted to make her his mistress. Julia did not agree, and withstood his compliments and then later, his threats.

Her resistance, diligence, and intelligence earned Eusebius’ respect. He used her talents at home and also took her along on his trips. During one journey the ship crashed but Julia and her master made it to Corsica.

They were supposed to sacrifice to the gods for their salvation, but Julia refused to join the ceremony. Eusebius respected her decision but the local governor, Felix, demanded she participate in their ceremony. When she refused, he had tortured. She was beaten and her hair was torn from her head. She did not renounce her faith, however, so she was nailed to a cross and thrown into the sea. The cross with the body drifted to the island of Gorgona where a Benedictine abbey was located. And there her adoration began, later to spread over the northwestern part of the Italian Peninsula. According to historians, Julia was probably martyred in Carthage around 250, and her relics were moved to Corsica. But the crucifixion is common to both histories.

Feast day: May 22nd

Patroness of Corsica, the cities of Brescia, Bergamo and Livorno, and the victims of torture

Reference: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

Saint Julia paid with her life for her faith. Her courage, goodness, and intelligence did not protect her from death at the hands of the governor.
In recent years, the world has been shaken by acts of terror committed in the name of faith. Thousands of innocent people, passersby, and tourists die. The war in the Balkans, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the conflict in Palestine, the murders in Algeria and Afghanistan, extermination of the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq, destruction of centuries-old cultural heritage of humanity - this is the face of extremism.

Extremism may have different sources: social, religious, political or economic, but it is born out of a belief that difference in opinions can only be handled by aggression, that people with other viewpoints have to be silenced brutally. Extremists appear in our everyday lives and in every region of the world and they are among the biggest threats to humanity today.


St. Joseph Organizations / Parishioners:

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