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Fr Urban Stein

Fr Urban Stein was born in Cologne on the Rhine, called German Rome on August 21, 1845, of John Stein and Anna Elizabeth Durst. Right in his early years his pious parents left an indelible impression on him of their own simple piety and profound faith. At the devotional level his Christian life was built on a double foundation: a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and a singularly personal love for the Saviour in the Eucharist. The boy Urban did his early studies at the Gymnasium of St Marcellus, formerly a Jesuit high School and at the age of 17 decided to join the Society of Jesus. On September 30, 1862 he joined the novitiate on the Friedrichsburg near Munster, Westphalia. His affability and refinement endeared him to all. Those who knew him well could also find in him a singleness of purpose, an unquestioning submission of himself to the demands of obedience and a burning zeal for the ’salvation of souls’. He pronounced his first vows on October 10, 1864 which was followed by further studies.

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St Ursula

One of the legends pictures Ursula as the daughter of a king of Britain. The king desired for a son, God gave him instead a baby-girl, but with the heart of a man. The child was called Ursula, because one day she would strangle the devil, as David had done once with the bear. In Latin ’Ursus’ means bear. Raised according to her state, yet detached from the riches of the world, Ursula longed for spiritual things and meditated day and night on the law of God.

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St Angela Merici

Angela was born around the year 1474, at Desenzano of Garda (Brescia), a prosperous fish-port and a rich grain-market. Her father, John Merici, was an agriculturist. Her mother, Catherine hailed from Salo. The family atmosphere was healthy and honest, Christian, uncontaminated by corruption and the worldly spirit of the times. Angela spent her childhood at Grezze in a farm-house a few kilometers away from the city if Desezano.

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St Francis Of Assisi

At the end of the 11th Century one might have asked whether any good could come out of Assisi torn as it was by factions within and rivalry without, especially against near by Perugia. But at the end of the 13th Century people of many nations could but wonder at the change God had worked not only in that town but throughout Europe through St Francis and his followers.

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