The Saints of September

As September comes to a close, John Morales welcomed author Annabelle Moseley onto Morning Air to discuss the different saints of September and what insights we can take from their lives as we celebrate(d) their feast days.

The first saint that Annabelle discussed was St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary who was known for preaching the Faith to enslaved peoples brought to South America from Africa. St. Peter used to refer to himself as a “slave” for Our Lord. He didn’t mean in the sense that we should be subject to unjust punishment, torture, or subjugation without dignity. Rather, he called himself a slave in a way synonymous with our Christian persona as joyful servants of God.

These slaves who had been imprisoned and forced into labor had not been treated with love since their capture. St. Peter was the first experience of God’s goodness for many of these people. He showed them that there was more to this suffering that they were undergoing.

St. Peter became known for his iconic cloak and the ways he would use it to shelter others against the elements, provide a pillow for the injured, or a blanket for the sick. He was also known to sleep in the slave quarters with the slaves. It’s no wonder he was able to catechize and baptize some 300,000 people in his lifetime. He was a living example of the corporal works of mercy.

The next saint Annabelle and John discussed was Pope St. Cornelius. While only pope for two years before his martyrdom in 253 A.D., Pope St. Cornelius made a tremendous impact on the Church. Back in those days, excommunication and ostracization from the Church were much more common occurrences. The faithful were up against many enemies and keeping the lay organized and in line was a much more difficult process in the face of such adversity. But while excommunication is sometimes a necessary measure, Pope Cornelius made it possible for people to return.

“He said let’s find a way, if those sinners do solid penance and truly have that firm purpose of amendment, let’s allow them back in. Let’s bring them back to the Church.”

Ironically, it was Pope St. Cornelius who was shown no mercy and he ended up being exiled for his merciful views. He was cast out and ended up dying a martyr. Only too late did his enemies recognize that he was correct in saying that anybody should be allowed to return to the Church if they do reparations for their sins.

The most recent saint John and Annabelle covered was St. Pio of Pietrelcina, otherwise known as Padre Pio. St. Pio was known for many things, including his passion and intense respect for the Holy Eucharist during the Mass, his miraculous knowledge of one’s sins in the confessional, and the fact that he was blessed with the stigmata, the wounds of Christ.

St. Pio had such reverence for the Holy Mass that he once said, “It would be easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy sacrifice of the Mass.” Shia Labeouf, the actor portraying the saint in the recent film Padre Pio, found such meaning in the life of the saint that he ended up converting to Catholicism!

The fourth and final saint that Annabelle discussed was St. Jerome, the man famous for his Latin vulgate translation of the Holy Bible. Like Augustine, St. Jerome led a wild and unkempt lifestyle in his younger years. He struggled with vice and following God’s will. But, just as all saints heeded the call to obedience, Jerome found his calling and left that all behind. St. Jerome is now a Father and Doctor of the Church for his brilliant, scholarly work on the Bible. Even though he was born in the 4th century, we’re still benefiting from his dedication to the Word of God.

All of these great saints have several things in common, including reverence, obedience, perseverance, and humility. In this month of September and beyond, let us use these great role models as examples for the pursuance of our virtuous goals.

Tune in to Morning Air weekdays at 5am CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.