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In Pursuit of Saints Francis and Clare
Christopher Heffron

A first-time pilgrim in Italy visits some of the places most significant to these two holy radicals.

The Ongoing Legacy of Oscar Romero
Peter Feuerherd

Archbishop Oscar Romero may have been murdered three decades ago, but his presence lives on in El Salvador.

Pope Benedict XVI: Five Years and Counting
Five people who have seen the pope in action offer personal reflections. By King Abdullah II, Shimon Peres, Nancy Wiechec, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap., and Helen Osman

The Prayerfulness of Rain
Rain helps this author slow down and connect with God. By Gerald Schiffhorst

Our Lady of Pilar
A beloved Marian shrine in northeast Spain has been drawing pilgrims for almost 2,000 years. By Lori Erickson

Fiction: All Are Welcome
A tiny baby teaches a huge lesson. By Marjorie Flathers

to St. Anthony Messenger Print Edition

James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

Conversations with a Guardian Angel

First Sunday of Advent
Before dinner this evening gather your family to bless the Advent wreath and light one purple candle.

Remember also to give thanks for departed loved ones with whom you’ll someday be reunited.

Thanksgiving Day (U.S.)
Thanks be to God for our families, our homes, our lives. Happy Thanksgiving from Catholic Greetings and

May this birthday mark the beginning of new and exciting adventures!

St. Andrew Dung-Lac
Our common faith is our greatest treasure. Join Vietnamese Catholics around the world in honoring this 19th-century martyr.

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