There are six houses associated with the following saints. You can read their stories below.
- Green: St Bernadette
- Red: St Kolbe
- Yellow: Oscar Romero
- Blue: Mother Teresa of Calcutta
- Purple: St Peter
- Orange: St Catherine of Siena
Bernadette was born into a poor family living in the country area in the South of France not too far from the border with Spain. One day when she was out collecting wood for a fire in her poor family home, she became aware of a vision of a lady standing in an opening to a cave on the banks of the River Gave.
Bernadette’s parents had run a small business as millers but they fell on hard times. As a child Bernadette described herself as naughty and was said to have a poor memory and difficulty learning and suffered from asthma.
On 11 February 1858 Bernadette along with other members of her family were out collecting wood for a fire. When they came to a stream Bernadette could not cross so she remained alone on the bank. It was as she waited alone, looking at the cold water and wondering how she would catch up with the others that Bernadette became aware of a rustling in the trees and a bright light against the rock face of a cave. It was an indescribable light like a golden cloud. She became aware of the light forming a shape of a cross and then from the midst of this supernatural light a young lady appeared. Bernadette describes this young lady as looking small and young maybe 17 years old and dressed in white. To start with the lady does not speak. Bernadette in fear and awe takes out her rosary and prays. The lady seems to pray too. Over the following days Bernadette returned to this part of the riverbank and witnessed further apparitions of the lady she knew to be Our Lady the Mother of Jesus. Over the days that followed Bernadette visited the grotto and prayed. As weeks passed, many people came to the grotto and were cured of ailments and sickness. The authorities were suspicious of Bernadette and gave her a hard time but she always remained true to her account.
Bernadette listened to her heart and knew that her vocation in life was to pray. She entered a convent and dedicated her life to prayer – prayer for the world and prayer for God’s Kingdom to come on earth.
She died in Nevers on April 16, 1879, still giving the same account of her visions. Bernadette died at a young age.
Lourdes is one of the major pilgrimage destinations in the world and every year staff and students from this school participate in the Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Maximilian was born in 1894 in Poland. The time of his youth was one of political division and unrest across Europe. He was a teenager during the years of the First World War. As a young adult he felt God was calling him to a life of service and prayer to help those around him and to pray for peace and well being. He became a Franciscan Priest and set up a religious movement with special devotion to Our Lady. During the 1930’s he set up monasteries in Japan and India. In 1936 he returned to his homeland of Poland. By that time Europe was again heading towards war and the Nazi regime in Germany, spreading hate and division, invaded Poland in 1939.
Maximilian was one of thousands imprisoned in the notorious death camp of Auschwitz. The harsh regime in these death camps caused hopeless despair. One day a prisoner escaped. The Guard took revenge by selecting 10 people to be sentenced to a long slow painful death of starvation in a bunker. One of the 10 was a family man who begged to be saved so he could see his family. The Guards felt no compassion but Maximilian offered to swap places with the man. Maximilian joined the other 9 condemned men in the bunker and died after 2 painful weeks. Guards later reported that he was the last to die and had led the men in prayer during their time of agony.
Maximillian Kolbe was able to show true selfishness in his acts. His deeds remind of us many important traits: thinking of others; self-sacrifice; faith and belief; personal strength.
Oscar Romero was born on August 15, 1917. He was born into a large family of five other brothers and sisters. Oscar’s father was a carpenter. When he left school, his father had planned for him to be a carpenter. Oscar had other ideas. Oscar wanted to continue to go to higher levels of education. As a little boy Oscar felt God was calling him to live his life in the service of others so eventually he went to a seminary, a college for training priests. His father tried to convince Oscar to stay with him but he eventually let Oscar go to fulfil his own dreams.
As a priest Oscar served his parish community which had both rich and poor people in it. His country El Salvador was ruled by a military government who used violence to keep the poor, poor and the very wealthy, wealthy.
Oscar spoke out on behalf of the poor. He ignored the death threats from the military in his fight for justice. Then on 24 March 1980, whilst saying Mass in his church, he was assassinated.
To the citizens of El Salvador, Oscar Romero was a martyr.
Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. She always felt that God was calling her to be a missionary amongst her people. She wanted to teach people about the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months of training in Dublin she was sent to India, where on May 24, 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.
On October 7, 1950, Mother Teresa set up her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those nobody was prepared to look after. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Today the Sisters give witness to God’s love by working in poor communities across the globe.
“We ourselves believe that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean but if that drop was not there the ocean would be less” -Mother Teresa.
Saint Peter, who died in AD 64, also known as Simon Peter, was an early Christian leader, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was with Jesus through all the major events recorded in the Gospel.
He was an ordinary fisherman from Galilee. He and his brother Andrew were two of the first followers of Jesus. Jesus called them both to come and follow Him and to be fishers of men.
Often Peter did not fully understand all that Jesus wanted from him. Consequently Peter often got things wrong and rushed into situations and was rebuked by Jesus.
When Jesus was arrested Peter cut off the ear of one of the soldiers. Jesus rebuked him for this violence and healed the soldier.
Later peter denied Jesus when he was arrested and when the cock crew three times, Peter cried because he had let Jesus down. Yet Jesus had great hopes for him and relied on him.
Jesus asked him to be the first leader of His church on earth.
Peter’s name comes from the Greek – Petra: it means rock.
Jesus said to Peter
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
After the Resurrection and Pentecost Peter worked hard to tell the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of the Roman Empire.
He was imprisoned and persecuted for his faith and eventually crucified.
His feast day is 29th June. His brave leadership is an important inspiration to Christians today.
Saint Catherine of Siena
She was the child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful, and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace, and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.
She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer, and austerity. Gradually, a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the Pope.
She was canonized in 1461 and over time many were moved by her ability to work tirelessly for others and do it with love and compassion. Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1939, she and Francis of Assisi were declared co-patrons of Italy. Pope Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila doctors of the Church in 1970.
Most famously she said:
“Be who God wants you to be and you will set the world on fire.”