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Vladimir_Theotokos_Saving_Moscow_from_Khan_Achmed
June 23 1480 Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God Today the church celebrates the miracle which led to the saving of Moscow from the invasion of Khan Achmed in 1480.
The Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is also commemorated on May 21 and August 26.

Commemoration of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God (June 23) SerbianOrthodoxChurch.net
    When the Tartar king, Ahmet, lay siege to Moscow, Prince Ivan Vasillievitch came with troops to defend the city. Although this prince's forces were smaller in number and weaker than the Tartar army, they yet emerged victorious, for an indescribable terror fell on the Tartars and they ran off in confusion in all directions. All attributed this unexpected success to the icon of the most holy Mother of God, for the whole people had begged her aid for deliverance from the Tartars. This day, June 23rd, is set aside in the land of Russia for the commemoration of this miracle.

1400 July 21 Blessed Oddino Barrotti, parish priest at the church of Saint John the Baptist at Fossano and a
        Franciscan tertiary. Later resigned from his pastoral duties and turned his house into a hospital OFM
Tert. (AC)
1409 BD JAMES STREPAR, oct 21 ARCHBISHOP OF Galich; joined Franciscans; became guardian of their friary at Lvov; zealous defender of the mendicant friars; the miracles at his tomb showed that he was still mindful of his people
1409 Venerable Sava the Abbot of Zvenigorod model of simplicity and humility e miraculous curative power issuing
        from the grave numerous appearances  Disciple of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh

1410 Saint Sava of Moscow succeeded St Andronicus as the igumen of the monastery of the Savior, dedicated to the Icon of Christ Not-Made-By Hands (August 16) in 1395. He died in 1410. Saint James acquired the gift of discernment, learned the straight and narrow path of God, and became a great wonderworker
1410 April 07 Bl. Ursulina mystic accustomed to visions and ecstasies tried to end the scandals of the "Babylonian
        Captivity"

1419 April 05 St. Vincent Ferrer Patron of Builders Dominican at 19 simply "going through the world preaching
      Christ," eloquent and fiery preacher St Vincent declared himself to be the angel of the Judgement foretold by St
       John (Apoc. xiv 6).

1420 November 17 Blessed Elisabeth the Good, OFM Tert.  mystical experiences including the stigmata V (AC)    
1423 May 13 Bl. Juliana of Norwich Benedictine English mystic anchorite 1373 experienced 16 revelations. Book,
        Revelations of Divine Love-work on the love of God, Incarnation, redemption, divine consolation
greateest
       
English mystic.
1426 May 05 The holy New Martyr wonderworker Ephraim priest 27 years imitated life of the great Fathers/ascetics of the desert; Turkes tortued him to death but after 500 years he is quick to answer the prayers of those who call upon him Ephraim was born in Greece on September 14, 1384. His father died when the saint was young, his pious mother left to care for 7 children by herself.
1433 April 14 St. Lydwine heroically accepted plight as will of God offered sufferings for humanity's sins Jesus Christ
        confided in her mystical gifts, supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, stigmata.
1435 June 17 BD PETER OF PISA Many miracles were ascribed to him;
1440 March 09 St. Frances of Rome  widow, renowned for her noble family, holy life, and the gift of miracles.
Romæ sanctæ Francíscæ Víduæ, nobilitáte géneris, vitæ sanctitáte et miraculórum dono célebris.
             At Rome, St. Frances, widow, renowned for her noble family, holy life, and the gift of miracles.
1444 Saint Macarius of Zheltovod and Unzha; At 12 he left his parents and accepted monastic tonsure at the Nizhni-Novgorod Caves monastery under St Dionysius; extreme strict fast, precise fulfillment of monastic rule; at Yellow Lake organized a monastery for them in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, there preached Christianity to surrounding Cheremis and Chuvash peoples, baptizing both Mohammedans and pagans in the lake; on the shores of Lake Unzha he founded a new monastery; granted gift healing, more than 50 people received healing from his relics
1444 July 24 Bd Felicia of Milan; life of chastity; direct service of God'; Poor Clare convent of St Ursula at Milan 25
       years; her sister
and brother followed example; remarkable for faultless observance of the rule; perseverance in
      prayer and  penance in spite of diabolical influences active against her; overcame these fierce trials; many miracles.
1444 St. Bernardine of Siena He was called the "People's Preacher" because his sermons were filled with lively and realistic depictions of everything from a bachelor's household to women's fashions  throughout his life he was noted for his unfailing affability, patience and courtesy; It is impossible to follow him on his missionary journeys, for in them he covered nearly the whole of Italy; His tomb at Aquila was honoured by many miracles
Aquilæ, in Vestínis, sancti Bernardíni Senénsis, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, qui verbo et exémplo Itáliam illustrávit.
    At Aquila in Abruzzi, St. Bernardin of Siena, priest of the Order of Friars Minor, who added to the glory of Italy by his preaching and his example.
1445 BD PETER OF TIFERNO; Dominican;  the friary of Cortona, where he spent the greater part of his life
1447 March 06 St. Colette distributed her inheritance to poor holiness spiritual wisdom Superior of all Poor Clare
        convents; sanctity, ecstacies visions of the Passion, prophesied
1447 BD THOMAS OF FLORENCE; a Franciscan lay brother; the gift of miracles; Many urged that Bd Thomas should be canonized with St Bernardino of Siena, whose cause was then in process. To prevent the delay that would have resulted, St John of Capistrano, it is said, went to Thomas’s tomb at Rieti and commanded him in the name of holy obedience to cease his miracles until the canonization of Bernardino should be achieved. They stopped for three years, but Bd Thomas has never been canonized. His cultus was approved in 1771.
1450 June 12 Bd Stephen Bandelli; doctor of canon law, University of Pavia professorship, honoured as a saint and a wonder-worker;
1452 March 10 Blessed Peter de Geremia; heard a knock at the window; no church large enough to hold crowds; countless miracles: fish, stopped Aetna w/veil of Saint Agatha, raised dead etc. OP (AC)
Born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, in 1381; cultus approved in 1784.  God has a mission for each of us and has given us the gifts to successfully complete the purpose for which He created us. Our job is to discern our role in His creation. The gifts He has given us can be the instrument of our damnation when used against His purposes; when we discern correctly through prayer and spiritual direction these same talents and abilities can sanctify us and those around us. It's not too late to seek God's will for your life--in fact, we should attempt to understand His will for our every action, each day, using all the gifts his has given us.
15th Oct 20 Catholic, July 15 Orthodox v. Saint Matrona; she founded a small monastery for women. Soon other nuns joined her in her ascetical struggles; worked many miracles both during her life and after her death, and was revered throughout Chios for her virtuous life and holiness. She showed charity to the poor, and was able to heal the sick.
1456 Mar 30 St. Peter Regulatus noble family Franciscan reformer severe asceticism levitate ecstasies
1456 Oct 23 tansferred to arch 28 St. John of Capistrano “Initiative, Organization, Activity.
Apud Villáckum, in Pannónia, natális sancti Joánnis de Capistráno, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, vitæ sanctitáte ac fídei cathólicæ propagándæ zelo illústris; qui Taurunénsem arcem, validíssimo Turcárum exércitu profligáto, suis précibus et miráculis ab obsidióne liberávit.  Ejus tamen festívitas quinto Kaléndas Aprílis recólitur.
    At Vilak in Hungary, the birthday of St. John Capistran, priest and confessor of the Order of Friars Minor, illustrious for the sanctity of his life and his zeal for the propagation of the Catholic faith.  By his prayers and miracles, he routed a powerful army of Turks, and forced them to quit the siege of Tornau.  His feastday, however, is celebrated on the 28th of March.

1457 May 22 St. Rita of Cascia wife mother widow religious community member legendary austerity prayerfulness charity
1458 July 15 Blessed Bernard of Baden renounced his worldly power and possessions in order to organize a Crusade to
        the Holy Land died without having met his goal  (AC)

1459 May 02 Antoninus of Florence great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness miracles after death body was found uncorrupted in 1559 OP B (RM)
Sancti Antoníni, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Epíscopi Florentíni et Confessóris, cujus dies natális sexto Nonas mensis hujus recensétur.
 St. Antoninus of the Order of Preachers, confessor and archbishop of Florence, whose birthday is the 2nd of May.
1459 July 28 Bl. Anthony della Chiesa Dominican superior; companion of St. Bernardino of Siena; one of the leaders opposing the last of the antipopes, Felix V; known miracle worker with an ability to read the consciences of men and women;  he conversed with Saint Mary, in ecstasy, several times
1459 Bl. Anthony della Chiesa Dominican superior companion of St. Bernardino of Siena; one of the leaders opposing the last of the antipopes, Felix V; known miracle worker with an ability to read the consciences of men and women;  he conversed with Saint Mary, in ecstasy, several times
1460 July 30 Bd Archangelo Of Calatafimi; from childhood a religious retiring disposition; withdrew to a cave, to live in solitude; many people invaded his retreat to seek advice and conversation, when miracles take place, great numbers came; moved to Alcamo to revive /organize decayed hospice for poor; once more returned to solitary life; Pope Martin V ordered all hermits in Sicily, to return to the world or religious order; Obedient, he received the habit of the Friars Minor of the Observance from Bd Matthew of Girgenti
1461 March 31 Saint Jonah Metropolitan of Moscow Wonderworker of All Russia miraculous healings at his grave  incorrupt relics first Metropolitan consecrated by Russian bishops Isidore the Bulgarian was Metropolitan but became Catholic after attending the Council of Florence (1438) and ousted by Russian heirarchs.
1463 April 10 Commemoration of Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesbos (also April 9). miracles,
1463 St. Didacus several miracles restoring patients eremite kind gentle
1463 June 12 1479 St. John of Sahagun Benedictine monk Fagondez monastery;  miracles, gift of reading men's  souls
1463 March 09 St. Catherine of Bologna  experience visions of Christ and Satan, incorrupt healing miracles
 Bonóniæ sanctæ Catharínæ Vírginis, e secúndo Ordine sancti Francísci, quæ vitæ sanctitáte fuit illústris.  Ipsíus autem corpus magno cum honóre ibídem cólitur.
      At Bologna, St. Catherine, virgin, of the Second Order of St. Francis, illustrious for the holiness of her life.  Her body is greatly honoured in that city.
1464 December 23 BD MARGARET OF SAVOY, WIDOW; took the habit of the third order of St Dominic and with other ladies formed a community at Alba. This retired life of prayer, study and charitable works lasted for some twenty-five years; Pope Eugenius IV gave permission for the tertiary sisters to become nuns, in the same place and under the rule of Bd Margaret. During the last sixteen years of her life ecstasies and miracles are alleged in abundance, among them a vision of our Lord offering her three arrows, labelled respectively Sickness, Slander and Persecution.
1468 Feb 20 Blessed Elisabeth Bartholomea Picenardi, many miracles were said worked at her tomb; OSM V (AC) 
Born in Mantua, Italy, in 1428; beatified in 1804. After her mother's death, Elisabeth joined the Third Order of Servites. Several young noblewomen of Mantua banded together to live in community under Elisabeth's direction (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1469 February 16 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF PADUA, VIRGIN Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture.
1473 Oct 20 St John Of Kanti; he persevered for some years, and by the time he was recalled to Cracow had so far won his people’s hearts that they accompanied him on part of the road with such grief that he said to them, “This sadness does not please God. If I have done any good for you in all these years, sing a song of joy.” “Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause.” Miracles attributed
Sancti Joánnis Cántii, Presbyteri et Confessóris, qui nono Kaléndas Januárii obdormívit in Dómino.
    St. John Cantius, priest and confessor, who fell asleep in the Lord on the 24th of December.
Lived:  1403 - 1473 Canonized:  1767 Memorial:  October 20
1478 April 06 Blessed Catherine of Pallanza hermit commune under Augustinian Rule, fought epidemics, endowed with the gift of prophecy OSA V (AC)

1480 Ss Moines Marc, Jona et Vassa qui ont fondé le monastère de Pskovo-Pechersk réaparaissait miraculeusement.
1480 April 12 BD ANDREW OF MONTEREAL Augustinian roll of honour describes him as “remarkable for his patience in suffering, for his extraordinary austerity of life, for his great learning and especially for his success in preaching the word of God” numerous were the miracles wrought beside the bier
1481 February 25 Bl. Constantius a boy of extraordinary goodness gift of prophecy or second sight miracles
1482 December 01 Blessed Antony Bonfadini  sent to the mission in the Holy Land miracles were reported at his tomb  OFM (AC)
1482 July 30 Bd Simon Of Lipnicza born at Lipnicza, in Poland, not far from Cracow; Friars Minor; fostering devotion to the holy name of Jesus, at the end of every sermon asking the people to pronounce it three times aloud.  That which he preached in public he practised in private, and his virtues were recognized by his superiors and brethren, who made him in turn novicemaster, guardian and provincial; Miracles were multiplied at his tomb
1483 Saint Macarius of Kalyazin repeatedly healed the paralyzed and the demon-possessed; incorrupt relics
1483 St. Casimir born of kings slept little, spending his nights in prayer Miracles were reported at his tomb
1484 Blessed Damian dei Fulcheri Hundreds of sinners repented by force of preaching: miracles worked at his tomb
1484  March 01 Bd Christopher Of Milan the apostle of Liguria great success in evangelizing that part of Italy,
         Dominican endowed with the gift of prophecy
.
1485 April 27 Blessed James of Bitetto heroic humility levitate during prayer accurately predict the future incorrupted
        body remains many miracles
  OFM (AC)
1485 May 04 Blessed Michael Gedroye famous for prophecy/miracles:  cell adjoining church of the Augustinian canons Cracow
1485 March 11 BD CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI , miracles after death
1486 February 16 Blessed Bernard Scammacca  gift of prophecy miracles spend his time in work of the confessional OP (AC)
1487 March 22 Nicholas of Flüe, Hermit fighting "with a sword in one hand, and a rosary in the other!" often rapt in ecstatic prayer, experiencing visions and revelations as a hermit in almost perpetual prayer for 21.5 yrs, he took no food for the body; patron saint of Switzerland. (RM)
1491 Mar 31 BD BONAVENTURE OF FORLI His relics were ultimately conveyed to Venice, where a cultus grew up
         marked by many miraculous cures.

1492 Saint Tikhon of Medin and Kaluga lived in asceticism in a deep dense forest, on the bank of the River Vepreika,
        in the hollow of an ancient giant oak wonder worker built a monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Most
        Holy Theotokos
1492 May 06 Blessed Prudentia Castori abbess-founder; her fame rests on miracles reported wrought after her death; Her zeal was displayed not only amongst her nuns, whom she ruled with great prudence, but also in  bringing about the restoration of the church of the Visitation at Como OSA V (PC)
1493 July 22 Blessed Augustine Fangi; Miracles during life; raised dead, removed devils, mended broken jar and refilled it;  and Miracles around the tomb of Augustine of Biella led to his beatification in 1878, after forgotten by everyone, except residents of the little town at the foot of the Alps where he lived; His life noted for piety and regularity, but quite unremarkable for unusual events or venturesome projects, OP (AC)
1494 Bl. Archangela Girlani Carmelite mystic ecstasies and levitation miracles.
1495 Dec 05 BD BARTHOLOMEW OF MANTUA; he showed himself a preacher of great power, with a burning devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament: it was by anointing with oil taken from the lamp burning before the Most Holy that Bd Bartholomew brought about several among his miracles of healing; Bd Baptist Spagnuolo; Baptist speaks of him as a “most holy guide and spiritual master”.
1496 December 16 BD SEBASTIAN OF BRESCIA all Genoa came to his tomb, whereat many miracles were reported.
1497 Blessed Veronica of Binasco (b. 1445) known as a great contemplative who also gave loving care to sick sisters in
        her community and ministered to the people of Milan. She had the gifts of prophecy, discernment and miracles.

15th v. December 10 Saint John of Serbia incorrupt relics his parents Saint Stephen glorified by many miracles & St Angelina

1400 Blessed Oddino Barrotti, parish priest at the church of Saint John the Baptist at Fossano and a Franciscan tertiary. Later he resigned from his pastoral duties and turned his house into a hospital OFM Tert. (AC)
  Born in Fossano, Piedmont, Italy, in 1324; died there in 1400; cultus approved in 1808. Oddino became a parish priest at the church of Saint John the Baptist at Fossano and a Franciscan tertiary. Later he resigned from his pastoral duties and turned his house into a hospital. He is still highly venerated in Fossano (Benedictines).

The life of a secular priest in a parish gives infinite scope for sanctity, but rarely any opportunity for spectacular achievements.  Things were no different in the middle ages, when numerous priests of heroic virtue lived and died in the obscurity of their own parishes and their names died with them; except that now and again a local cultus has kept them in memory, though generally with no reliable particulars of what sort of men they were or what they did, beyond a common-form catalogue of miracles and virtues.  Of these Bd Oddino Barrotti stands out as rather remarkable because of the variety of activities that he engaged in, despite the fact that he was a humble parroco, never called upon to rule a great diocese or to counsel kings in the intricacies of politics, ecclesiastical and secular.  He was in about 1360 appointed to the cure of the parish of St John Baptist in his native town of Fossarto in Piedmont. He was so devoted to the needs of his flock that before long the bishop of Turin had to order him to take some flesh-meat at his meals, notwithstanding any vow he might have made to the contrary, and to retain from the tithes paid over to him whatever was necessary for his own proper support-for the good man was handing over everything to the poor and making himself unfit for his work.  In 1374 he was appointed provost of the collegiate-chapter of Fossano (it has since become cathedral) and rector of the parish served by the canons, but after four years he resigned the double benefice in order to put himself at the disposal of a religious confraternity, of which he had been asked to become director.
   Then he became a Franciscan tertiary, turned his house into a shelter for the destitute, and in 1381 made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return home he was made governor of the Guild of the Cross, an association for the care of the sick and to give hospitality to pilgrims; by his efforts a free hospital was built, with a hospice attached from which neither poor nor pilgrims were to be turned away: this shelter existed on into the nineteenth century.
   Bd Oddino showed such capacity as organizer and builder that his successor in the provostship of the chapter asked him to take on the contract of building their new church. This he did, and in the course of the work made use of more than natural means to forward it. The wonders recorded are already familiar in the lives of other saints: an ox-drawn wagon, loaded with a huge beam, got stuck in a bog and nothing would move it; the saint seized hold of the draught-pole, exclaimed, "In the name of God and of St Juvenal, come out!" and out it came (St Juvenal was the patron of Fossano). Another time he was praying in the church when a mason fell from the tower where he was working, and lay apparently dead.  Bd Oddino took him by the hand, saying, "Getup and go back to work", and the man at once recovered, none the worse for the accident.
  In 1396 the canons asked Oddino again to become their provost, and he for the second time accepted that office and the care of the parish wherein he was so well known and loved.  But four years afterwards it was visited by a plague which made awful ravages among the people; Bd Oddino was day and night at the beds of the sick and dying, he was himself infected, and on July 7, 1400, he died-a fitting end in this world for one who had given the whole of his life to the pastoral care of others.
His memory has never gone out of mind in Fossano; the local cultus was confirmed in 1808.
A short account of Bd Oddino, with a translation of an Italian panegyric, and a copy of a rude engraving of the good priest, will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. v.

1409 BD JAMES STREPAR, ARCHBISHOP OF Galich; joined the Franciscans and became guardian of their friary at Lvov; a zealous defender of the mendicant friars; the miracles at his tomb showed that he was still mindful of his people.
     THE Friars Minor entered Poland not many years after their foundation and when they were well established extended their preaching to the reconciliation of dissident Orthodox and the conversion of pagans in Lithuania. Thus was inaugurated the Latin church in Galician Ukraine, which was organized into dioceses during the fourteenth century. Bd James Strepar was a member of a noble Polish family settled in Galicia. He joined the Franciscans and became guardian of their friary at Lvov, where he played a conspicuous part in very troubled ecclesiastical affairs, the city having been laid under an interdict.
   He was a zealous defender of the mendicant friars, who were bitterly attacked by the secular clergy, and at the same time keenly concerned about the dissident Orthodox. He worked among these for over ten years, making great use of the Company of Christ’s Itinerants, a sort of missionary society of Franciscan and Dominican friars, and put at the head of the Franciscan “mission“ in western Russia.  As a missionary preacher and organizer Bd James had great success, and in 1392 called to govern the see of Galich. He had himself evangelized a considerable part of his diocese, and was now in a position to consolidate his work.
  He built churches in remote districts and obtained experienced priests from Poland to take charge of them, founded religious houses, and established hospitals and schools. Though a senator of the realm as well as archbishop he sometimes carried out visitations on foot, and always wore the modest habit of his order at a time when prelates not infrequently copied the ostentatious clothes of lay lords. Bd James governed his large diocese till his death at Lvov on June 1, in 1409 or 1411. During his life he had been called “protector of the kingdom“ and the miracles at his tomb showed that he was still mindful of his people. His cultus was confirmed in 1791.

There is more than one life in Polish, but only summaries seem to be available in languages more generally known. See, however, Scrobiszewski, Vitae episcoporum Halicensium (1628) Stadler, Heiligen Lexikon, vol. iii, pp. 111 seq.; Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 312—315. 

1409 Venerable Sava the Abbot of Zvenigorod model of simplicity and humility e miraculous curative power issuing from the grave numerous appearances  Disciple of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh
1490 Sava appeared to Dionysius (4th igumen of St Sava monastery and said to him: "Dionysius! Wake up and paint my icon."
Saint Sava Storozhevsky of Zvenigorod left the world in his early youth, and received the monastic tonsure from St Sergius of Radonezh, whose disciple and fellow-ascetic he was.
St Sava loved solitude, and avoided conversing with people. He lived in constant toil, lamenting the poverty of his soul, and trembling before the judgment of God. He was a model of simplicity and humility, and he attained to such a depth of spiritual wisdom that "in the monastery of St Sergius he was a spiritual confessor to all the brethren, a venerable and exceedingly learned Elder."
When Great Prince Demetrius of the Don built the monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God at the River Dubenka, in gratitude for the victory over Mamai, Sava became its Igumen, with the blessing of St Sergius. Preserving the simple manner of his ascetic lifestyle, he ate plants, wore coarse clothing and slept on the ground.
In 1392 the brethren of the Sergiev Lavra, with the departure of its Igumen Nikon into the wilderness, asked St Sava to be the igumen of the monastery. Here he "shepherded well the flock entrusted to him to the best of his ability, helped by the prayers of his spiritual Father, St Sergius." According to Tradition, the great well outside the Lavra walls was built when he was igumen.
Prince Yuri Dimitrievich Zvenigorodsky, a godson of St Sergius, regarded St Sava with great love and esteem. He chose St Sava as his spiritual Father and begged him to come and bestow his blessing upon all his household. The saint had hoped to return to his monastery, but the prince begged him to remain and establish a new monastery, "in his fatherland, near Zvenigorod, at a place called Storozhi."
St Sava accepted the request of Prince Yuri Dimitrievich, and praying with tears before an icon of the Mother of God, he entreated Her protection for the wilderness place. On Storozhi Hill, he built a small wooden church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, and a small cell for himself nearby. Here in the year 1399 the monk established a monastery, lovingly accepting all who came seeking a life of silence and seclusion.
St Sava toiled much at the building up of his monastery. He dug a well at the foot of the hill, from which he carried water on his own shoulders; he encircled the monastery with a wooden palisade, and in a hollow above it, he dug out a cell where he could dwell in solitude.
In 1399 St Sava blessed his spiritual son, Prince Yuri, to go on a military campaign, and he predicted victory over the enemy. Through the prayers of the holy Elder, the forces of the prince won a speedy victory. Through the efforts of St Sava, a stone church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos was also built to replace the wooden one.
St Sava died at an advanced age on December 3, 1406. He appointed his disciple, also named Sava, to succeed him.
Veneration of the God-pleaser by the local people began immediately after his death. The miraculous curative power issuing from the grave of the monk, and his numerous appearances, convinced everyone that Igumen Sava "is truly an unsetting sun of divine light, illumining all with its miraculous rays." In a letter of 1539 St Sava is called a wonderworker. Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich had a special veneration for him, repeatedly going to the monastery of St Sava on foot. Tradition has preserved for us a remarkable account of how St Sava once saved him from a ferocious bear.
The Life of St Sava, compiled in the sixteenth century, relates how at the end of the fifteenth century (1480-1490), the saint appeared to Dionysius, the fourth igumen of the St Sava monastery and said to him: "Dionysius! Wake up and paint my icon." When Dionysius asked who he was, he replied, "I am Sava, the founder of this place."
Now Dionysius had not known the saint personally, so he summoned Elder Habakkuk, who had known St Sava in his youth, hoping to convince himself of the truth of the dream. He described the outward appearance of the saint, and Habakkuk assured him that the saint looked exactly as the igumen had seen him in his dream. Then Dionysius fulfilled the command and painted the icon of St Sava.
The feastday of St Sava was established at the Moscow Council of 1547. The incorrupt relics of the saint were uncovered on January 19, 1652.
1410 Saint Sava of Moscow succeeded St Andronicus as the igumen of the monastery of the Savior, dedicated to the Icon of Christ Not-Made-By Hands (August 16) in 1395. He died in 1410.

Saint James acquired the gift of discernment, learned the straight and narrow path of God, and became a great wonderworker
had such love for Christ, and so little regard for the things of this world, that he liquidated his entire estate and gave the proceeds to the poor without spending any of the money on himself. Later, he fell into a demonic temptation and became very proud. He would say, "Who knows better than I do, concerning my own salvation?" Following his own self will and personal preferences, he lived in solitude and undertook difficult struggles without first seeking the advice of wise and experienced ascetics.

Once a demon appeared to him in the guise of an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He told James that Christ was very pleased by his labors, and would come that night to reward him. "Clean your cell," he said, "and make ready by lighting the lamps and burning incense."  The foolish James, in his delusion, accepted all of this without question. When the Antichrist came at midnight, James opened his door and fell down in worship before him. The devil struck him on the head, then vanished.

James awoke at dawn and went to visit a certain Elder to tell him what had happened. Before James could speak a single word, the Elder said, "You must leave this place, for you have been deceived by Satan."  James was heartbroken and wept bitter tears. The Elder also advised him to go to a cenobitic monastery, which he did. There he fulfilled his obedience in the trapeza with great humility. Then for seven years he sat in his cell working at some handicraft, and fulfilling his Rule of prayer.
St James acquired the gift of discernment, learned the straight and narrow path of God, and became a great wonderworker. He completed the course of his life in peace.
1410 Bl. Ursulina mystic accustomed to visions and ecstasies tried to end the scandals of the "Babylonian Captivity"
1410 BD URSULINA, VIRGIN enjoyed heavenly visions / mystical experiences, at fifteen a supernatural voice several times bade her go to Avignon urge Clement VII renunciation of  the papacy
OF the intrepid women who made noble efforts to end the scandals of the “Babylonish Captivity” of Avignon and of the Great Schism which ensued, not the least courageous, though certainly the youngest, was Bd Ursulina of Parma. From her tenth year she had enjoyed heavenly visions and mystical experiences, and when she was fifteen a supernatural voice several times bade her go to Avignon to urge upon Clement VII the renunciation of his claim to the papacy. A vision which was vouchsafed to her on Easter day decided her purpose. With two companions, besides her mother who accompanied her on all her subsequent travels, the girl made the toilsome journey over the Alps and succeeded in obtaining an audience with Clement more than once. Her efforts to persuade him proving fruitless, she went back to Parma, but almost immediately proceeded to Rome where she delivered a similar message to the true pope, Boniface IX. He received her graciously and appears to have encouraged her to make another attempt to win over his rival. Thereupon she undertook a second expedition to Avignon, with no better success than before. Indeed this time she was separated from her mother, was accused of sorcery, and narrowly escaped a trial. Another journey to Rome was followed by a somewhat perilous pilgrimage to the Holy Land. If she and her mother had hoped to settle down in Parma on their return they were doomed to disappointment, for civil war broke out in the city and they were expelled. They made their way to Bologna and then to Verona, which Bd Ursulina seems to have made her home until her death at the age of thirty-five.

Our information comes almost entirely from the Latin life by Simon Zanachi, a Carthusian of Parma. It is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. i. A popular adaptation was published by H. M. Garofani in 1897, Vita e Viaggi della B. Orsolina di Parma.
Virgin and visionary. A young woman of Parma, Italy, she received visions and experienced ecstasies. At the age of fifteen she was told by the visions to go to Avignon, France, to convince the antipope there, Clement VII (1378-1394), to step down and so end the Great Western Schism which had troubled the Church since 1378. Failing in this, she journeyed to Rome and pleaded with Pope Boniface IX (r. 1389-1404) to resign. The pontiff refused, so she made one more unsuccessful attempt to beg Clement to give up his claim. Ursulina then went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and then returned home to Parma. She was soon expelled from the city during some civil conflict, going to Bologna and then Verona, where she died.

Blessed Ursulina of Bologna V (AC) Born in Parma, Italy, in 1375; died in Verona, Italy, in 1410. Ursulina was much like Saint Catherine of Siena
(Born in Siena, Italy, March 25, 1347, in Florence, Italy; died there on April 29, 1380). She was a mystic accustomed to visions and ecstasies. At age 15, in response to a supernatural voice, Ursulina tried to end the scandals of the "Babylonian Captivity" of Avignon by visiting the antipope Clement VII to persuade him to give up the throne. Unsuccessful, she next went to Rome to ask Pope Boniface IX to resign, and then back again to petition Clement. After a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land, she returned home and narrowly escaped being burned as a sorceress during a civil war in Parma. She fled to Bologna, where she lived for a time before retiring to Verona (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

1419 St. Vincent Ferrer Patron of Builders Dominican at 19 simply "going through the world preaching Christ," eloquent and fiery preacher St Vincent declared himself to be the angel of the Judgement foretold by St John (Apoc. xiv 6). As some of his hearers began to protest, he summoned the bearers who were carrying a dead woman to her burial and adjured the corpse to testify to the truth of his words. The body was seen to revive for a moment to give the confirmation required, and then to close its eyes once more in death. It is almost unnecessary to add that the saint laid no claim to the nature of a celestial being, but only to the angelic office of a messenger or herald—believing, as he did, that he was the instrument chosen by God to announce the impending end of the world.
 Venétiæ, in Británnia minóre, sancti Vincéntii, cognoménto Ferrérii, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Confessóris, qui, potens ópere et sermóne, multa míllia infidélium convértit ad Christum.
      At Vannes in Brittany, St. Vincent Ferrer, of the Order of Preachers, and confessor.  He was mighty in word and deed, and converted many thousands of infidels to Christ.
b. 1350? 

1419 ST VINCENT FERRER

THE descendant of an Englishman or a Scotsman settled in Spain, St Vincent Ferrer was born at Valencia, probably in the year 1350. Inspired by pro­phecies of his future greatness, his parents instilled into him an intense devo­tion to our Lord and His blessed Mother and a great love for the poor. Moreover they made him the dispenser of their bountiful alms, and from them also he learnt the rigorous Wednesday and Saturday fast which he continued to practise all his life. On the intellectual side he was almost equally precocious. He entered the Dominican priory of Valencia, where he received the habit in 1367, and before he was twenty-one he was appointed reader in philosophy at Lerida, the most famous university in Catalonia. Whilst still occupying that chair he published two treatises, both of which were considered of great merit. At Barcelona, whither he was afterwards transferred, he was set to preach, although he was still only a deacon. The city was suffering from famine: corn which had been despatched by sea had not arrived and the people were nearly desperate. St Vincent, in the course of a sermon in the open air, foretold that the ships would come in that day before night­fall. His prior censured him severely for making predictions, but the ships duly appeared—to the joy of the people who rushed to the priory to acclaim the prophet. His superiors, however, deemed it wise to transfer him to Toulouse, where he remained for a year. He was then recalled to his own country, and his lectures and sermons met with extraordinary success. Nevertheless it was to him a time of trial. Not only was he assailed by temptations from the hidden powers of darkness, but he was also exposed to the blandishments of certain women who became attached to him—his good looks were exceptional—and strove first to beguile him and then to blacken his name. From these trials the saint emerged braced for the strenuous life which lay before him, as well as for the priestly office which was conferred upon him. He soon became famous as a preacher, whose eloquence roused to penitence and fervour multitudes of careless Catholics, besides converting to the Christian faith a number of Jews, notably the Rabbi Paul of Burgos, who died bishop of Cartagena in 1435.

That terrible scandal had begun in 1378 when, upon the death of Gregory XI, sixteen of the twenty-three cardinals had hastily elected Urban VI in deference to the popular cry for an Italian pope. Under the plea that they had been terrorized, they then, with the other cardinals, held a conclave at which they elected Cardinal Robert of Geneva, a Frenchman. He took the name of Clement VII and ruled at Avignon, whilst Urban reigned in Rome. St Vincent Ferrer, who had been amongst those who recognized Clement, naturally upon his death accepted as pope his successor, Peter de Luna or Benedict XIII as he was called, who summoned the Dominican to his side. [* Because of their anomalous position this Clement VII and Benedict XIII are not referred to as antipopes but as “called popes in their obedience”.]

St Vincent duly arrived in Avignon where he had great favour shown him, including the offer of a bishopric, which he refused; but he found his position very difficult. He soon realized that Benedict by his obstinacy was hindering all efforts that were being made towards unity. In vain did Vincent urge him to come to some sort of understanding with his rival in Rome. Even when a council of theologians in Paris declared against his claim, the Avignon pontiff would not stir an inch. The strain upon the saint as his confessor and adviser was so great that he fell ill. Upon his recovery he with great difficulty obtained permission to leave the court and devote himself to missionary work. His object was not primarily to escape from the intrigues and worries of the papal court, but to obey a direct call, for it is said that during his illness our Lord had appeared to him in a vision with St Dominic and St Francis and, after making him understand that he was to go and preach penance as those two had done, had then instantaneously restored him to health.
He set forth from Avignon in 1399 and preached to enormous congregations in Carpentras, Arles, Aix, Marseilles. Besides the inhabitants of the districts he visited, his audience consisted of a number of men, women and even children who followed him from place to place. These people, at first a heterogeneous crowd, were gradually weeded out, organized and brought under rule until, as “Penitents of Master Vincent”, they became valuable helpers, when necessary staying behind in places where the mission had been held to consolidate the good work begun. It is worthy of note that, in a lax age, no breath of suspicion appears to have attached to any member of that mixed company. Several priests travelled with the party, forming a choir and hearing confessions.
Between 1401 and 1403 the saint was preaching in the Dauphiné, in Savoy and in the Alpine valleys: he then went on to Lucerne, Lausanne, Tarentaise, Grenoble and Turin. Everywhere crowds flocked to hear him; everywhere innumerable conversions and remarkable miracles were reported. Vincent preached mainly on sin, death, hell, eternity, and especially the speedy approach of the day of judgement; he spoke with such energy that some of his hearers fainted with fear, whilst the sobs of his congregation often compelled him to pause, but his teaching penetrated beyond the emotions and bore fruit in many cases of genuine conversion and amendment of life. At the Grande Chartreuse, which he visited several times, his brother Boniface being prior, the Carthusian Annals record that “God worked wonders by means of these two brothers. Those who were converted by the preaching of the one, received the religious habit at the hands of the other.”
In 1405 St Vincent was in Genoa, from whence he reached a port from which he could sail for Flanders. Amongst other reforms he induced the Ligurian ladies to modify their fantastic head-dress—“the greatest of all his marvellous deeds”, as one of his biographers avers. In the Netherlands he wrought so many miracles that an hour was set apart every day for the healing of the sick. It has also been supposed that he visited England, Scotland and Ireland, but of this there is no shadow of proof. Although we know from the saint himself that beyond his native language he had learnt only some Latin and a little Hebrew, yet he would seem to have possessed the gift of tongues, for we have it on the authority of reliable writers that all his hearers, French, Germans, Italians and the rest, understood every word he spoke, and that his voice carried so well that it could be clearly heard at enormous distances. It is impossible here to follow him in all his wanderings. In fact he pursued no definite order, but visited and revisited places as the spirit moved him or as he was requested. In 1407 he returned to Spain.

Grenada was then under Moorish rule, but Vincent preached there, with the result that 8000 Moors are said to have asked to be baptized. In Seville and Cordova the missions had to be conducted in the open air, because no church could accommodate the congregations. At Valencia, which he revisited after fifteen years, he preached, worked many miracles, and healed the dissensions which were rending the town.
According to a letter from the magistrates of Orihuela, the effects of his sermons were marvellous: gambling, blasphemy and vice were banished, whilst on all hands enemies were being reconciled. In Salamanca he converted many Jews, and it was here that, in the course of an impassioned open-air sermon on his favourite topic, St Vincent declared himself to be the angel of the Judgement foretold by St John (Apoc. xiv 6). As some of his hearers began to protest, he summoned the bearers who were carrying a dead woman to her burial and adjured the corpse to testify to the truth of his words. The body was seen to revive for a moment to give the confirmation required, and then to close its eyes once more in death. It is almost unnecessary to add that the saint laid no claim to the nature of a celestial being, but only to the angelic office of a messenger or herald—believing, as he did, that he was the instrument chosen by God to announce the impending end of the world.
St Vincent of course had never ceased being deeply concerned at the disunity within the Church, especially since after 1409 there had been no less than three claimants to the papacy, to the great scandal of Christendom. At last the Council of Constance met in 1414 to deal with the matter and proceeded to depose one of them, John XXIII, and to demand the resignation of the other two with a view to a new election. Gregory XII expressed his willingness, but Benedict XIII still held out. St Vincent went to Perpignan to entreat him to abdicate, but in vain. Thereupon, being asked by King Ferdinand of Castile and Aragon to give his own judgement in the matter, the saint declared that because Benedict was hindering the union which was vital to the Church, the faithful were justified in withdrawing their allegiance. Ferdinand acted accordingly, and at length Benedict, Peter de Luna, found himself deposed. “But for you”, wrote Gerson to St Vincent, “this union could never have been achieved.”
The last three years of the saint’s life were spent in France. Brittany and Normandy were the scene of the last labours of this “legate from the side of Christ”. He was so worn and weak that he could scarcely walk without help, but in the pulpit he spoke with as much vigour and eloquence as though he were in the prime of life. When, early in 1419, he returned to Vannes after a course of sermons in Nantes, it was clear that he was dying, and on the Wednesday in Passion Week 1419 he passed away, being then in his seventieth year. His death was greeted by an outburst of popular veneration, and in 1455 St Vincent Ferrer was canonized.
Amid all the honours and applause which were lavished upon him, St Vincent was remarkable for his humility. It seemed to him that his whole life had been evil. “I am a plague-spot in soul and body; everything in me reeks of corruption through the abomination of my sins and injustice”, he laments in his treatise on the spiritual life. It is ever thus with the great saints. The nearer they are to God, the baser do they appear in their own eyes.

According to Dr H. Finke, a most competent historian of this period, no satisfactory life of St Vincent Ferrer has yet been written. His story even now is overlaid with legend; Peter Razzano, who compiled the first biography thirty-six years after the saint’s death, set a very bad example of credulity, which was followed by too many of those who came after him. A collection of the depositions taken in 1453 and 1454 for the process of canoniza­tion has been printed by Fr H. Fages (1904) and other documents (1905), as well as his works (1909), but the French life by the same friar (1901) by no means corresponds to the requirements of modem criticism. Other materials have been studied by R. Chabas in the Revista de Archivos…, 1902—1903. A short English life, based on that of Fages, was published by Fr S. Hogan (1911). More recent accounts are those of R. Johannet (1930), of M. M. Gorce (1924 and 1925) “Les Saints” series), and S. Brettle (1924)—on which see the Analecta Bollandiana, xliv (1926), pp. 216—218-—and there is a valuable note by H. Finke in the Gustav Schnürer Festschrift (1930) on St Vincent’s sermons in 1413. St Vincent also figures largely in Mortier’s Histoire des Maîtres Généraux O.P., vol. iv. A characteristic study by H. Ghéon has been translated into English.
This was the time of the “great schism”, when rival popes were reigning at Rome and Avignon and when even great saints were divided in their allegiance.

The polarization in the Church today is a mild breeze compared with the tornado that ripped the Church apart during the lifetime of this saint. If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.

Despite parental opposition, he entered the Dominican Order in his native Spain at 19. After brilliant studies, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna—who would figure tragically in his life.
Of a very ardent nature, Vincent practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy. He was chosen prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his ordination.

The Western Schism divided Christianity first between two, then three, popes. Clement VII lived at Avignon in France, Urban VI in Rome. Vincent was convinced the election of Urban was invalid (though Catherine of Siena was just as devoted a supporter of the Roman pope). In the service of Cardinal de Luna, he worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement.
When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected at Avignon and became Benedict XIII.

Vincent worked for him as apostolic penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace. But the new pope did not resign as all candidates in the conclave had sworn to do. He remained stubborn despite being deserted by the French king and nearly all of the cardinals.
Vincent became disillusioned and very ill, but finally took up the work of simply "going through the world preaching Christ," though he felt that any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism. An eloquent and fiery preacher, he spent the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News in Spain, France, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Lombardy, stressing the need of repentance and the fear of coming judgment. (He became known as the "Angel of the Judgment.")
He tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and 1415, to persuade his former friend to resign. He finally concluded that Benedict was not the true pope. Though very ill, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had ordained him a priest. Benedict fled for his life, abandoned by those who had formerly supported him.
Strangely, Vincent had no part in the Council of Constance, which ended the schism.
Comment:  The split in the Church at the time of Vincent Ferrer should have been fatal—36 long years of having two "heads." We cannot imagine what condition the Church today would be in if, for that length of time, half the world had followed a succession of popes in Rome, and half, an equally "official" number of popes in, say, Rio de Janeiro. It is an ongoing miracle that the Church has not long since been shipwrecked on the rocks of pride and ignorance, greed and ambition. Contrary to Lowell's words, "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne," we believe that "truth is mighty, and it shall prevail"—but it sometimes takes a long time.
Quote: “Precious stone of virginity...Flaming torch of charity...Mirror of penance...Trumpet of eternal salvation...Flower of heavenly wisdom...Vanquisher of demons.” (From the litanies of St. Vincent)

St. Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of builders because of his fame for "building up" and strengthening the Church: through his preaching, missionary work, in his teachings, as confessor and adviser.  At Valencia in Spain, this illustrious son of St. Dominic came into the world on January 23, 1357. In the year 1374, he entered the Order of St. Dominic in a monastery near his native city. Soon after his profession he was commissioned to deliver lectures on philosophy. On being sent to Barcelona, he continued his scholastic duties and at the same time devoted himself to preaching. At Lerida, the famous university city of Catalonia, he received his doctorate. After this he labored six years in Valencia, during which time he perfected himself in the Christian life. In 1390, he was obliged to accompany Cardinal Pedro de Luna to France, but he soon returned home. When, in 1394, de Luna himself had become Pope at Avignon he summoned St. Vincent and made him Master of the sacred palace. In this capacity St. Vincent made unsuccessful efforts to put an end to the great schism. He refused all ecclesiastical dignities, even the cardinal's hat, and only craved to be appointed apostolical missionary. Now began those labors that made him the famous missionary of the fourteenth century. He evangelized nearly every province of Spain, and preached in France, Italy, Germany, Flanders, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Numerous conversions followed his preaching, which God Himself assisted by the gift of miracles. Though the Church was then divided by the great schism, the saint was honorably received in the districts subject to the two claimants to the Papacy. He was even invited to Mohammedan Granada, where he preached the gospel with much success.
He lived to behold the end of the great schism and the election of Pope Martin V. Finally, crowned with labors, he died April 5, 1419.
Vincent Ferrer, OP Priest (RM)
Born in Valencia, Spain, January 23, c. 1350; died in Vannes, Brittany, France, April 5, 1418; canonized in 1455 by Pope Callistus III; formal bull issued in 1458 by Pius II authorizing his feast on April 6, but it has always been celebrated on April 5.
    "Whatever you do, think not of yourselves but of God."  --Saint Vincent Ferrer.
Born into a noble, pious family headed by the Englishman William Ferrer and the Spanish woman Constantia Miguel, Saint Vincent's career of miracle-working began early. Prodigies attended his birth and baptism on the same day at Valencia, and, at age 5, he cured a neighbor child of a serious illness. These gifts and his natural beauty of person and character made him the center of attention very early in life.
His parents instilled into Vincent an intense devotion to our Lord and His Mother and a great love of the poor. He fasted regularly each Wednesday and Friday on bread and water from early childhood, abstained from meat, and learned to deny himself extravagances in order to provide alms for necessities. When his parents saw that Vincent looked upon the poor as the members of Christ and that he treated them with the greatest affection and charity, they made him the dispenser of their bountiful alms. They gave him for his portion a third part of their possessions, all of which he distributed among the poor in four days.
Vincent began his classical studies at the age of 8, philosophy at 12, and his theological studies at age 14. As everyone expected, he entered the Dominican priory of Valencia and received the habit on February 5, 1367. So angelic was his appearance and so holy his actions, that no other course seemed possible to him than to dedicate his life to God.
No sooner had he made his choice of vocation than the devil attacked him with the most dreadful temptations. Even his parents, who had encouraged his vocation, pleaded with him to leave the monastery and become a secular priest. By prayer and faith, especially prayer to Our Lady and his guardian angel, Vincent triumphed over his difficulties and finished his novitiate.
He was sent to Barcelona to study and was appointed reader in philosophy at Lerida, the most famous university in Catalonia, before he was 21. While there he published two treatises (Dialectic suppositions was one) that were well received.
In 1373, he was sent to Barcelona to preach, despite the fact that he held only deacon's orders. The city, laid low by a famine, was desperately awaiting overdue shipments of corn. Vincent foretold in a sermon that the ships would come before night, and although he was rebuked by his superior for making such a prediction, the ships arrived that day. The joyful people rushed to the priory to acclaim Vincent a prophet. The prior, however, thought it would be wise to transfer him away from such adulation.
Another story tells us that some street urchins drew his attention to one of their gang who was stretched out in the dust, pretending to be dead, near the port of Grao: "He's dead, bring him back to life!" they cried.  "Ah," replied Vincent, "he was playing dead but the, look, he did die." This is how one definitely nails a lie: by regarding it as a truth. And it turned out to be true, the boy was quite dead.
Everyone was gripped with fear. They implored Vincent to do something. God did. He raised him up.
In 1376, Vincent was transferred to Toulouse for a year, and continued his education. Having made a particular study of Scripture and Hebrew, Vincent was well-equipped to preach to the Jews. He was ordained a priest at Barcelona in 1379, and became a member of Pedro (Peter) Cardinal de Luna's court--the beginning of a long friendship that was to end in grief for both of them. (Cardinal de Luna had voted for Pope Urban VI in 1378, but convinced that the election had been invalid, joined a group of cardinals who elected Robert of Geneva as Pope Clement VII later in the same year; thus, creating a schism and the line of Avignon popes.)
After being recalled to his own country, Vincent preached very successfully at the cathedral in Valencia from 1385-1390, and became famed for his eloquence and effectiveness at converting Jews--Rabbi Paul of Burgos, the future bishop of Cartagena was one of Vincent's 30,000 Jewish and Moorish converts--and reviving the faith of those who had lapsed. His numerous miracles, the strength and beauty of his voice, the purity and clarity of his doctrine, combined to make his preaching effective, based as it was on a firm foundation of prayer.
Of course, Vincent's success as a preacher drew the envy of others and earned him slander and calumny. His colleagues believed that they could make amends for the calumny by making him prior of their monastery in Valencia. He did withdraw for a time into obscurity. But he was recalled to preach the Lenten sermons of 1381 in Valencia, and he could not refuse to employ the gift of speech which drew to him the good and simple people as well as the captious pastors, the canons, and the skeptical savants of the Church.
Peter de Luna, a stubborn and ambitious cardinal, made Vincent part of his baggage, so to speak; because from 1390 on, Vincent preached wherever Peter de Luna happened to be, including the court of Avignon, where Vincent enjoyed the advantage of being confessor to the pope, when Peter de Luna became the antipope Benedict XIII in 1394.
Two evils cried out for remedy in Saint Vincent's day: the moral laxity left by the great plague, and the scandal of the papal schism. In regard to the first, he preached tirelessly against the evils of the time. That he espoused the cause of the wrong man in the papal disagreement is no argument against Vincent's sanctity; at the time, and in the midst of such confusion, it was almost impossible to tell who was right and who was wrong. The memorable thing is that he labored, with all the strength he could muster, to bring order out of chaos. Eventually, Vincent came to believe that his friend's claims were false and urged de Luna to reconcile himself to Urban VI.
He acted as confessor to Queen Yolanda of Aragon from 1391 to 1395. He was accused to the Inquisition of heresy because he taught that Judas had performed penance, but the charge was dismissed by the antipope Benedict XIII, who burned the Inquisition's dossier on Vincent and made him his confessor.
Benedict offered Vincent a bishopric, but refused it. Distressed by the great schism and by Benedict's unyielding position, he advised him to confer with his Roman rival. Benedict refused. Reluctantly, Vincent was obliged to abandon de Luna in 1398. The strain of this conflict between friendship and truth caused Vincent to become dangerously ill in 1398. During his illness, he experienced a vision in which Christ and Saints Dominic and Francis instructed him to preach penance whenever and wherever he was needed, and he was miraculously cured.
After recovering, he pleaded to be allowed to devote himself to missionary work. He preached in Carpetras, Arles, Aix, and Marseilles, with huge crowds in attendance. Between 1401 and 1403, the saint was preaching in the Dauphiné, in Savoy, and in the Alpine valleys: he continued on to Lucerne, Lausanne, Tarentaise, Grenoble, and Turin. He was such an effective speaker that, although he spoke only Spanish, he was thought by many to be multilingual (the gift of tongues?). His brother Boniface was the prior of the Grande Chartreuse, and as a result of Vincent's preaching, several notable subjects entered the monastery.
Miracles were attributed to him. In 1405, Vincent was in Genoa and preached against the fantastic head-dresses worn by the Ligurian ladies, and they were modified--"the greatest of all his marvelous deeds, reports one of his biographers. From Genoa, he caught a ship to Flanders. Later, in the Netherlands, an hour each day was scheduled for his cures. In Catalonia, his prayer restored the withered limbs of a crippled boy, deemed incurable by his physicians, named John Soler, who later became the bishop of Barcelona. In Salamanca in 1412, he raised a dead man to life. Perhaps the greatest miracle occurred in the Dauphiné, in an area called Vaupute, or Valley of Corruption. The natives there were so savage that no minister would visit them. Vincent, ever ready to suffer all things to gain souls, joyfully risked his life among these abandoned wretches, converted them all from their errors and vices. Thereafter, the name of the valley was changed to Valpure, or Valley of Purity, a name that it has retained.
He preached indefatigably, supplementing his natural gifts with the supernatural power of God, obtained through his fasting, prayers, and penance. Such was the fame of Vincent's missions, that King Henry IV of England sent a courtier to him with a letter entreating him to preach in his dominions. The king sent one of his own ships to fetch him from the coast of France, and received him with the greatest honors. The saint having employed some time in giving the king wholesome advice both for himself and his subjects, preached in the chief towns of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Returning to France, he did the same, from Gascony to Picardy.
The preaching of Saint Vincent became a strange but marvelously effective process. He attracted to himself hundreds of people--at one time, more than 10,000--who followed him from place to place in the garb of pilgrims. The priests of the company sang Mass daily, chanted the Divine Office, and dispensed the sacraments to those converted by Vincent's preaching. Men and women travelled in separate companies, chanting litanies and prayers as they went barefoot along the road from city to city. They taught catechism where needed, founded hospitals, and revived a faith that had all but perished in the time of the plague.
The message of his preaching was penance, the Last Judgment, and eternity. Like another John the Baptist--who was also likened to an angel, as Saint Vincent is in popular art--he went through the wilderness crying out to the people to make straight the paths of the Lord. Fearing the judgment, if for no other reason, sinners listened to his startling sermons, and the most obstinate were led by him to cast off sin and love God. He worked countless miracles, some of which are remembered today in the proverbs of Spain. Among his converts were Saint Bernardine of Siena and Margaret of Savoy.
He returned to Spain in 1407. Despite the fact that Granada was under Moorish rule, he preached successfully, and thousands of Jews and Moors were said to have been converted and requested baptism. His sermons were often held in the open air because the churches were too small for all those who wished to hear him.
In 1414 the Council of Constance attempted the end the Great Schism, which had grown since 1409 with three claimants to the papal throne. The council deposed John XXIII, and demanded the resignation of Benedict XIII and Gregory XII so that a new election could be held. Gregory was willing, but Benedict was stubborn. Again, Vincent tried to persuade Benedict to abdicate. Again, he failed. But Vincent, who acted as a judge in the Compromise of Caspe to resolve the royal succession, influenced the election of Ferdinand as king of Castile. Still a friend of Benedict (Peter de Luna), King Ferdinand, basing his actions on Vincent's opinion on the issue, engineered Benedict's deposition in 1416, which ended the Western Schism.
(It is interesting to note that the edicts of the Council of Constance were thrown out by the succeeding pope. The council had mandated councils every ten years and claimed that such convocations had precedence over the pope.)
His book, Treatise on the Spiritual Life is still of value to earnest souls. In it he writes: "Do you desire to study to your advantage? Let devotion accompany all your studies, and study less to make yourself learned than to become a saint. Consult God more than your books, and ask him, with humility, to make you understand what you read. Study fatigues and drains the mind and heart. Go from time to time to refresh them at the feet of Jesus Christ under his cross. Some moments of repose in his sacred wounds give fresh vigor and new lights. Interrupt your application by short, but fervent and ejaculatory prayers: never begin or end your study but by prayer. Science is a gift of the Father of lights; do not therefore consider it as barely the work of your own mind or industry."
It seems that Vincent practiced what he preached. He always composed his sermons at the foot of a crucifix, both to beg light from Christ crucified, and to draw from that object sentiments with which to animate his listeners to penance and the love of God.
Saint Vincent also preached to Saint Colette and her nuns, and it was she who told him that he would die in France. Indeed, Vincent spent his last three years in France, mainly in Normandy and Brittany, and he died on the Wednesday of Holy Week in Vannes, Brittany, after returning from a preaching trip to Nantes. The day of his burial was a great popular feast with a procession, music, sermons, songs, miracles, and even minor brawls (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gheon, Husenbeth, Walsh, White).

Note: I highly recommend reading the entry for Vincent Ferrer in Butler's Lives of the Saints.
It's more accurate than many of his biographies and much more detailed about the saints travels and miracles than presented here.
Saint Vincent is the patron of orphanages in Spain. And Breton fishermen still invoke his aid in storms (Dorcy). He is also the patron of lead founders and invoked against epilepsy, fever, and headache (Roeder).
In art, Saint Vincent is a Dominican with a book, Christ is above with the Instruments of His Passion. Sometimes Vincent is shown (1) pointing to Christ, with a lily and crucifix; (2) ditto, Christ above, shrouded corpses under his feet; (3) surrounded by cherubim, flame in one hand, book in the other; (4) with symbolic wings on his shoulder, trumpet in his hand; (5) with flame, IHS and a radiant face; (6) with Blessed Peter Cerdan (Roeder, Tabor); (7) with a cardinal's hat; or with Jewish and Saracen converts around him (White).
1420 Blessed Elisabeth the Good, OFM Tert.  mystical experiences including the stigmata V (AC)
Born in Waldsee, W&uouml;rtemberg, Germany, 1386; died there, ; cultus confirmed in 1766. Elisabeth lived her whole life in a small community of Franciscan tertiaries near Waldsee. She was subject to mystical experiences including the stigmata, and went for long periods without any natural food (Benedictines).
1423  Bl. Juliana of Norwich Benedictine English mystic anchorite In 1373 experienced sixteen revelations. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love - a work on the love of God, the Incarnation, redemption, and divine consolation Among English mystics none is greater
sometimes called Julian. She was a recluse of Norwich, living outside the walls of Saint Julian’s Church., she is one of the most important writers of England. She wrote on sin, penance, and other aspects of the spiritual life, attracting people from all across Europe. She is called Blessed, although she was never formally beatified.
Blessed Juliana of Norwich, OSB Hermit (PC) Born c. 1342; died in Norwich, England, c. 1423; she has never actually been beatified.
Among the English mystics none is greater than the Lady Julian, who lived near Norwich, England, in a three-roomed hermitage in the churchyard of Conisford. Absolutely nothing is known of her life before becoming an anchorite. In fact, we do not even know her name; she has been given the name of the church where she had her cell. An old English historian writes: "In 1393, Lady Julian, the anchoress here was a strict recluse, and had two servants to attend her in her old age. This woman was in these days esteemed one of the greatest holiness."
She lived in an age of startling and confusing contrasts. It was the time of the Black Death, the Peasants' Revolt, Piers Plowman and Wat Tyler, when the old social patterns were breaking down. But none of this is reflected in her quiet and retired life or in the pages of her spiritual autobiography, Revelations of Divine Love, which is the most sublime of all expositions of its kind in English. Her masterpiece encompasses the love of God, the Incarnation, redemption, sin, penance, and divine consolation.
"These revelations," she writes, "were shown to a simple creature unlettered, the year of our Lord 1373, the eighth day of May." She desired above all to know the suffering of our Lord--what she called "the mind of His Passion"--and that nothing might stand between herself and God. She tells us that when at the age of 30 she was at the point of death and the curate was sent for to administer the last rites, "he set the Cross before my face and said: 'I have brought you the Image of thy Maker and Savior: Look thereupon and comfort yourself with it.'"
She spent the next 20 years meditating upon the 16 revelations that followed in a state of ecstasy, of Christ's Passion and the Trinity. She saw the red blood flow from under the Crown of Thorns; she saw the Virgin, a young and simple maid; she saw our Lord a 'homely loving.' Then God showed her a little thing--a hazel nut in the palm of her hand. She thought: what may this be? and was answered: "It is all that is made. God shaped it. God gave it life. God maintains it."
Thus, she learned the goodness of God, in which is our highest prayer and which "comes down to our lowest need." And still regarding the Crucifix, she saw the stream of God's mercy falling like showers of rain, and looked upon the tokens of His Passion. She saw our Lord dying and underwent the torments and agony of His suffering. "And thus I saw Him, and sought Him; I had Him and I wanted Him." It seemed, she said, as if He were seven nights dying, so outdrawn was His anguish, suffering the last pain, seven nights dead, continually dying, in a cold dry wind. "Thus was I taught to choose Jesus for my Heaven, whom I saw only in pain at that time . . . to choose only Jesus in good times and bad. . . He shall make all well that is not well. . . . Prayer unites the soul to God."
In this way, this remarkable book pursues its course, full of deep insight and feeling: "In Christ our two natures are united." "Our soul can never have rest in things that are beneath itself." "God can do all that we need." "I knew well that while I beheld in the Cross I was surely safe." And its last word is: "Love was our Lord's meaning." At the time of her death she had a far-spread reputation for sanctity, which attracted visitors from all over England to her cell (Benedictines, Delaney, Gill).
1426 The holy New Martyr wonderworker Ephraim priest 27 years imitated life of the great Fathers/ascetics of the desert; Turkes tortued him to death but after 500 years he is quick to answer the prayers of those who call upon him Ephraim was born in Greece on September 14, 1384. His father died when the saint was young, his pious mother left to care for 7 children by herself.
When Ephraim reached the age of fourteen, the all-good God directed his steps to a monastery on the mountain of Amoman near Nea Makri in Attica. The monastery was dedicated to the Annunciation and also to St Paraskeva. Here he took on his shoulders the Cross of Christ, which all His followers must bear (Matt. 16:24). Being enflamed with love for God, St Ephraim eagerly placed himself under the monastic discipline. For nearly twenty-seven years he imitated the life of the great Fathers and ascetics of the desert. With divine zeal, he followed Christ and turned away from the attractions of this world. By the grace of God, he purified himself from soul-destroying passions and became an abode of the All-Holy Spirit. He was also found worthy to receive the grace of the priesthood, and served at the altar with great reverence and compunction.
  On September 14, 1425, the barbarous Turks launched an invasion by sea, destroying the monastery and and looting the surrounding area. St Ephraim was one of the victims of their frenzied hatred. Many of the monks had been tortured and beheaded, but St Ephraim remained calm. This infuriated the Turks, so they imprisoned him in order to torture him and force him to deny Christ.6
  They locked him in a small cell without food or water, and they beat him every day, hoping to convince him to become a Moslem. For several months, he endured horrible torments. When the Turks realized that the saint remained faithful to Christ, they decided to put him to death. On Tuesday May 5, 1426, they led him from his cell. They turned him upside down and tied him to a mulberry tree, then they beat him and mocked him. "Where is your God," they asked, "and why doesn't he help you?" The saint did not lose courage, but prayed,
"O God, do not listen to the words of these men, but may Thy will be done as Thou hast ordained."
The barbarians pulled the saint's beard and tortured him until his strength ebbed. His blood flowed, and his clothes were in tatters. His body was almost naked and covered with many wounds. Still the Hagarenes were not satisfied, but wished to torture him even more. One of them took a flaming stick and plunged it violently into the saint's navel. His screams were heart-rending, so great was his pain. The blood flowed from his stomach, but the Turks did not stop. They repeated the same painful torments many times. His body writhed, and all his limbs were convulsed. Soon, the saint grew too weak to speak, so he prayed silently asking God to forgive his sins. Blood and saliva ran from his mouth, and the ground was soaked with his blood. Then he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Thinking that he had died, the Turks cut the ropes which bound him to the tree, and the saint's body fell to the ground. Their rage was still not diminished, so they continued to kick and beat him. After a while, the saint opened his eyes and prayed, "Lord, I give up my spirit to Thee." About nine o'clock in the morning, the martyr's soul was separated from his body.

These things remained forgotten for nearly 500 years, hidden in the depths of silence and oblivion until January 3, 1950. By then a women's monastery had sprung up on the site of the old monastery. Abbess Makaria (+ April 23, 1999) was wandering through the ruins of the monastery, thinking of the martyrs whose bones had been scattered over that ground, and whose blood had watered the tree of Orthodoxy.

 
 She realized that this was a holy place, and she prayed that God would permit her to behold one of the Fathers who had lived there. After some time, she seemed to sense an inner voice telling her to dig in a certain spot. She indicated the place to a workman whom she had hired to make repairs at the old monastery. The man was unwilling to dig there, for he wanted to dig somewhere else. Because the man was so insistent, Mother Makaria let him go where he wished. She prayed that the man would not be able to dig there, and so he struck rock. Although he tried to dig in three or four places, he met with the same results. Finally, he agreed to dig where the abbess had first indicated.
In the ruins of an old cell, he cleared away the rubble and began to dig in an angry manner. The abbess told him to slow down, for she did not want him to damage the body that she expected to find there. He mocked her because she expected to find the relics of a saint. When he reached the depth of six feet, however, he unearthed the head of the man of God. At that moment an ineffable fragrance filled the air. The workman turned pale and was unable to speak. Mother Makaria told him to go and leave her there by herself. She knelt and reverently kissed the body. As she cleared away more earth, she saw the sleeves of the saint's rasson. The cloth was thick appeared to have been woven on the loom of an earlier time. She uncovered the rest of the body and began to remove the bones, which appeared to be those of a martyr.
Mother Makaria was still in that holy place when evening fell, so she read the service of Vespers. Suddenly she heard footsteps coming from the grave, moving across the courtyard toward the door of the church. The footsteps were strong and steady, like those of a man of strong character. The nun was afraid to turn around and look, but then she heard a voice say, "How long are you going to leave me here?"
She saw a tall monk with small, round eyes, whose beard reached his chest. In his left hand was a bright light, and he gave a blessing with his right hand. Mother Makaria was filled with joy and her fear disappeared. "Forgive me," she said, "I will take care of you tomorrow as soon as God makes the day dawn." The saint disappeared, and the abbess continued to read Vespers.
In the morning after Matins, Mother Makaria cleaned the bones and placed them in a niche in the altar area of the church, lighting a candle before them. That night St Ephraim appeared to her in a dream. He thanked her for caring for his relics, then he said, "My name is St Ephraim." From his own lips, she heard the story of his life and martyrdom.
Since St Ephraim glorified God in his life and by his death, the Lord granted him the grace of working miracles. Those who venerate his holy relics with faith and love have been healed of all kinds of illnesses and infirmities, and he is quick to answer the prayers of those who call upon him.
1433 St. Lydwine heroically accepted plight as will of God offered her sufferings for humanity's sins Jesus Christ confided in her She experienced mystical gifts, including supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, and the stigmata.  Patron of sickness & skaters
St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness Lydwine of Schiedam was born at Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man. After an injury in her youth, she became bedridden and suffered the rest of her life from various illnesses and diseases. She experienced mystical gifts, including supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, and the stigmata. Thomas a Kempis wrote a biography of her. She was canonized Pope Leo XIII in 1890. Lydwine suffered a fall while ice skating in 1396, when a friend collided with her and caused her to break a rib on the right side. From this injury, she never recovered. An abscess formed inside her body which later burst and caused Lydwine extreme suffering. Eventually, she was to suffer a series of mysterious illnesses which in retrospect seemed to be from the hands of God. Lydwine heroically accepted her plight as the will of God and offered up her sufferings for the sins of humanity. Some of the illnesses which affected Lydwine were headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, spasms of the muscles, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata.
Blessed Lidwina of Schiedam V (AC) (also known as Lydwina, Lydwid, Lidwyna) Born in Schiedam, the Netherlands, in 1380; cultus approved in 1890. Lidwina, one of nine children of a laborer, developed a devotion to the Blessed Virgin in her childhood. When her mother would send her on any errand, Lidwina would visit the church to greet her Lady with a Hail Mary. At the age of 12, she pledged her virginity to Christ.
She was injured in 1396 while ice skating and became a life-long invalid. She was cruelly wed to agonizing bodily pains, ulcers, the Black Plague and other maladies, without counting the familial and spiritual complications. Lidwina bore the pain patiently as reparation for the sins of others.
For 30 years she received no explanation of incredible sufferings except through Jesus Christ who confided in her and promised the consolation of a heavenly life. Upon the advice of her confessor, Jan Pot, Lidwina meditated night and day on our Lord's passion, which she divided into seven parts, to correspond to the seven canonical hours of prayer. Through this practice Lidwina soon found all her bitterness and affliction converted into sweetness and consolation, and her soul so much changed, that she prayed to God to increase her pains and patience. Beginning in 1407, Lidwina began to experience supernatural gifts--ecstasies and visions in which she participated in the Passion of Christ, saw purgatory and heaven and visited with saints.
Though her family was poor, Lidwina gave away the major portion of the alms given to her by others. Upon the death of her parents, she bequeathed to the poor all the goods that they left to her.
The last 19 years of her life she partook of no food except the Holy Eucharist, slept little if at all during the last seven years of her life, and became almost completely blind and was unable to move any part of her body except her head and left arm.
Her extraordinary sufferings attracted widespread attention. When a new parish priest accused her of hypocrisy, the people of the town threatened to drive him away. An ecclesiastical commission appointed to investigate declared her experiences to be valid.
She died on Easter Tuesday in 1433. Thomas a Kempis, author of Imitation of Christ and an eyewitness of some of her miracles, wrote her biography. The chapel in which her body lay in a marble tomb was renamed for her the following year, and her father's house was converted into a monastery of Gray Sisters of the third order of St. Francis.
Calvinists demolished the chapel and changed the monastery into a hospital for orphans.
Her relics were translated to Brussels, and enshrined in the collegiate church of St. Gudula. Isabella obtained a portion of her relics and enshrined them in the church of the Carmelite convent which she founded.
Lidwina was never formally beatified; however, a Mass was sung in her chapel at Schiedham on her festival, with a panegyric on the holy virgin. Her vita was compiled by John Gerlac, her cousin, and John Walter, her confessor: and by John Brugman, provincial of the Franciscans, who were all personally acquainted with her (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Lidwina is portrayed in art as a cripple holding a crucifix and receiving a branch of roses from an angel. Sometimes she may be shown (1) receiving a lily from the angel; (2) with a cross and rosary; (3) as a girl falling on ice while skating; or (4) working on embroidery (Roeder). She is the patron of skaters.
1435 BD PETER OF PISA Many miracles were ascribed to him;
THE founder of the Hermits, or Poor Brothers, of St Jerome was born in 1355 at Pisa, while his father, Peter Gambacorta, whose name he bore, was ruling that republic. At the age of twenty-five he secretly left the court in the disguise of a penitent, and retired to the Umbrian solitude of Monte Bello. There he subsisted on alms, which he collected in the nearest village. In 1380 he found means to build an oratory and cells for a dozen companions who had joined him (according to popular tradition they were highwaymen whom he had converted). He prescribed for his community a rule supplemented by certain constitutions gathered from the works of St Jerome, whom he chose as patron of the new congregation. His monks kept four Lents in the year, fasted on all Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and continued in prayer every night for two hours after Matins. As for himself, his whole time was spent in prayer or in penitential exercises. Many miracles were ascribed to him.
When his father and brothers were assassinated in 1393 by Giacomo Appiano, he was sorely tempted to leave his retreat to punish the perpetrator of the outrage; but he overcame the temptation and, following the example of his sister, Bd Clare Gambacorta (April 17) he freely forgave the murderer. His congregation, approved by Pope Martin V in 1421, soon established itself elsewhere in Italy. Bd Peter survived until 1435, dying in Venice at the age of eighty, and was beatified in 1693. At one time there were forty-six houses of Poor Brothers in the provinces of Ancona and Treviso. Small groups of hermits and tertiaries became affiliated to them, and in 1668 Pope Clement IX united the community of St Jerome of Fiesole, which had been founded by Charles Montegranelli, to Bd Peter's order. But by 1933 its members had become so few that it was suppressed by the Holy See.
An account, founded on rather late materials, is given in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iv; but see further the Kirchenlexikon, vol. v, cc. 2016-2017; SajaneIlo, Hist. Mon. Ord. S. Hieron. Congo S. Petri de Pisis, vol. i, pp. 100 seq.; and Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen, vol. i, pp. 592-596. The brief of suppression is in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xxv (1933), pp. 147-149
1440 St. Frances of Rome  widow, renowned for her noble family, holy life, and the gift of miracles.
Romæ sanctæ Francíscæ Víduæ, nobilitáte géneris, vitæ sanctitáte et miraculórum dono célebris.
              At Rome, St. Frances, widow, renowned for her noble family, holy life, and the gift of miracles.

Frances was born in the city of Rome in 1384 to a wealthy, noble family. From her mother she inherited a quiet manner and a pious devotion to God. From her father, however, she inherited a strong will. She decided at eleven that she knew what God wanted for her -- she was going to be a nun. And that's where her will ran right up against her father's. He told Frances she was far too young to know her mind -- but not too young to be married. He had already promised her in marriage to the son of another wealthy family. In Rome at that time a father's word was law; a father could even sell his children into slavery or order them killed.
1440 ST FRANCES OF ROME, WIDOW
THE gentle saint who was known first to her fellow-citizens and then to the Church at large as Santa Francesca Romana, St Frances the Roman, possessed to an extraordinary degree the power of attracting the love and admiration of those who came in contact with her. Nor has her charm ended with her death, for she is still honoured by countless souls who seek her intercession and pray before her tomb in Santa Maria Nuova. On her feast day and within its octave, crowds flock to visit Tor de’ Specchi and the Casa degli Esercizi Pu (the successor of the old Palazzo Ponziano), the rooms of which are annually thrown open to the public and every memorial and relic of the saint exhibited.
She was born in the Trastevere district of Rome in 1384, at the beginning of the Great Schism of the West, which was to cause het much grief as well as adversely to affect the fortunes of her family. She did not live to see harmony completely restored. Her parents, Paul Busso and Jacobella dei Roffredeschi, were of noble birth and ample means, and the child was brought up in the midst of luxury but in a pious household. Frances was a precocious little girl, and when she was eleven she asked her parents to allow her to become a nun, only to be met by a point-blank refusal. Her parents, who were excellent people and much attached to her, had quite different plans for their attractive little daughter. Within a year they announced to her that they had arranged to betroth her to young Lorenzo Ponziano, whose position, character and wealth made him a suitable match. After a time Frances withdrew her objections, and the marriage was solemnized when she was barely thirteen. At first she found the new life very trying, although she did her best to please her husband as well as her parents-in-law, and Vannozza, the young wife of Lorenzo’s brother Paluzzo, discovered her one day weeping bitterly. Frances told her of her frustrated hopes, and learnt to her surprise that this new sister of hers would also have preferred a life of retirement and prayer. This was the beginning of a close friendship which lasted till death, and the two young wives strove together henceforth to live a perfect life under a common rule. Plainly dressed they sallied out to visit the poor of Rome, ministering to their wants and relieving their distress, and their husbands, who were devoted to them, raised no objection to their charities and austerities. This life was for a time interrupted by a severe and somewhat mysterious illness to which Frances fell a victim, and whichh er relatives sought to remedy by the aid of magic. We are told that after a year St Alexis appeared to her in a vision. He inquired if she was prepared to die or if she wished to recover. She replied that she had no will but the will of God. The saint then informed her that it was God’s will that she should recover and work for His greater glory, and, after throwing his cloak over her, he disappeared. Her infirmity had disappeared also.

After this the lives of the sisterly pair became even stricter than before, and daily they went to the hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia to nurse the patients, singling out more particularly those suffering from the most repellent diseases. Their mother-in-law, Donna Cecilia, not unnaturally, was afraid lest they might injure their health, and thought that their avoidance of banquets and entertainments might be misconstrued in society and bring discredit on the family, but her Sons, to whom she appealed, refused to interfere in any way. In 1400 a son was born to Frances, and for a time she modified her way of life to devote herself to the care of little John Baptist (Battista). The following year Donna Cecilia died, and Frances was bidden by her father-in-law take her place at the head of the household. In vain she pleaded that Vannozza was the wife of the elder brother: Don Andrew and Vannozza insisted that she was the more suitable, and she was obliged to consent. She proved herself worthy of this position, discharging her duties efficiently whilst treating her household not as servants but as younger brothers and sisters, and trying to induce them to labour for their own salvation, in all the forty years that she lived with her husband there was never the slightest dispute or misunderstand­ing between them. When she was at her prayers, if summoned by Lorenzo or asked to give orders about the house, she laid all aside to respond to the call of that duty. “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout”, she was wonton say, “but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping.” Her biographers relate that once when she was reading our Lady’s office a page was sent to fetch her. “Madonna, my master begs you to come to him”, said the lad. She immediately closed the book and went. Three more times this interruption happened; but when at last she opened the book for the fifth time she found the words of the antiphon were written in letters of gold. In addition to the eldest, two other children of Frances are known, a younger boy, Evangelist, and a girl, Agnes; and she allowed no one but herself to look after them during childhood.

Although, like so many other interior souls, Frances was sorely tried all her life by violent, temptations, which in her case sometimes took the form of hideous or enticing visions, and sometimes resembled bodily assaults, still for several years outward prosperity seemed to smile upon her and her family. The first indication of the clouds that were gathering came in the form of a famine and pestilence, mainly the result of the civil wars which were then convulsing Italy. Plague-stricken people were dying in the streets, and disease and starvation decimated Rome. Frances was unremitting in her efforts to relieve the sufferers and, with the help of Vannozza, tried to succour all she came across. Even the plentiful stock of provisions at the Palazzo Ponziano was exhausted at last and the two women went from door to door begging for food for the poor in spite of rebuffs and insults. It was then that she received her father-in-law’s consent to sell her jewels, and she never from that time forth wore any but the plainest dresses.

In 1408 the troops of Ladislaus of Naples, the ally of the antipope, had entered Rome and a soldier of fortune, Count Troja, had been appointed governor. The Ponziani had always supported the legitimate pope, and in one of the frequent conflicts Lorenzo was stabbed and carried home to Frances, to whose devoted nursing he owed his restoration to health. Troja resolved to leave the city after having wreaked his vengeance on the principal papal supporters. Amongst these were the Ponziani, and he not only arrested Vannozza’s husband Paluzzo, but also demanded as a hostage little. Battista but whilst his mother Frances was praying in the church of Ara Coeli the boy was released in circumstances that seemed to be miraculous. Then, in 1410 when the cardinals were assembled at Bologna for the election of a new pope, Ladislaus again seized Rome. Lorenzo Ponziano, who as one of the heads of the papal party went in danger of his life, managed to escape, but it was impossible for his wife and family to follow him. His palace was plun­dered and Battista was taken captive by the soldiers of Ladislaus, though he after­wards got away and was able to join his father. The family possessions in the Campagna were destroyed, farms being burnt or pillaged and flocks slaughtered whilst many of the peasants were murdered. Frances lived in a corner of her ruined home with Evangelist, Agnes and Vannozza, whose husband was still, a prisoner, and the two women devoted themselves to the care of the children and to relieving as far as their means would allow the sufferings of their still poorer neighbours. During another pestilence three years later, Evangelist died. Frances then turned part of the house into a hospital, and God rewarded her labours and prayers by bestowing on her the gift of healing.

Twelve months after the death of Evangelist, as his mother was praying one day, a bright light suddenly shone into the room and Evangelist appeared accom­panied by an archangel. After telling her of his happiness in Heaven he said that he had come to warn her of the impending death of Agnes. A consolation was, however, to be vouchsafed to the bereaved mother. The archangel who accompanied Evangelist was henceforth to be her guide for twenty-three years. He was to be succeeded in the last epoch of her life by an angel of still higher dignity. Very soon Agnes began to fail, and a year later she passed away at the age of sixteen. From that moment, as Evangelist had promised, the angel was always visible to St Frances, though unseen by others. Only when she committed a fault did he fade away for a time, to return as soon as she felt compunction and made confession. The form he took was that of a child of about eight years old. But, weakened by what she had gone through, Frances herself fell a victim to the plague. So ill was she that every hope of recovery was abandoned, but the disease suddenly left her, and she began to regain her health. It was at this time that she had a vision of Hell so terrible that she could never allude to it without tears.

After many delays Pope John XXIII summoned the Council of Constance which was to prepare the healing of the Great Schism, and in that same year 1414 the Ponziani regained their property after being recalled from banishment. Lorenzo was now a broken man and lived in retirement, being tended with the utmost devotion by his faithful wife. It was his great wish to see his son Battista married and settled before his death, and he chose for him a beautiful girl called Mobilia, who proved to have a violent and overbearing temper. She conceived a great contempt for Frances, of whom she complained to her husband and his father, and whom she ridiculed in public. In the midst of a bitter speech she was struck down by a sudden illness, through which she was nursed by the saint. Won by her kindness Mobilia found her contempt turned to love, and thenceforward she sought to imitate her saintly mother-in-law. By this time the fame of the virtues and miracles of St Frances had spread over Rome, and she was appealed to from all quarters, not only to cure the sick but also to settle disputes and heal feuds. Lorenzo, whose love and reverence for her only increased with age, offered to release her from all the obligations of married life provided only that she would continue to live under his roof.

She was now able to carry out a project which had been taking shape in her mind of forming a society of women living in the world and bound by no vows, but pledged to make a simple offering of themselves to God and to serve the poor. The plan was approved by her confessor Dom Antonio, who obtained the affiliation of the congregation to the Benedictines of Monte Oliveto, to which he himself belonged. Known at first as the Oblates of Mary, they were afterwards called the Oblates of Tor de’ Specchi. The society had lasted seven years when it was thought desirable to take a house adapted for a community, and the old building known as Tor de’ Specchi was acquired. Whatever time she could spare from her home duties St Frances spent with the oblates, sharing in their daily life and duties. She never allowed them to refer to her as the foundress, but insisted that all should be subject to Agnes de Lellis who was chosen superioress. Three years later Lorenzo died and was laid beside Evangelist and Agnes; and St Frances announced her intention of retiring to Tor de’ Specchi. On the feast of St Benedict she entered her founda­tion as a humble suppliant and was eagerly welcomed. Agnes de Lellis immediately insisted upon resigning office and Frances had to take her place in spite of her protestations.

Her life was now lived closer than ever to God. Her austerities indeed she could not well increase, for she had long subsisted on dry bread with occasionally some vegetables; she had scourged herself and made use of horsehair girdles and chains with sharp points. But now visions and ecstasies became more frequent, and she sometimes spent whole nights in prayer. One evening in the spring of 1440, though feeling very ill she tried to get back home after visiting Battista and Mobilia. On the way she met her director, Dom John Matteotti, who, shocked at her appearance, ordered her to return at once to her son’s house. It was soon evident that she was dying, but she lingered on for seven days. On the evening of March 9 her face was seen to shine with a strange light: “The angel has finished his task: he beckons me to follow him”, were her last words. As soon as it was known that she was dead, the Ponziani Palace was thronged by mourners and by those who brought their sick to be healed. Her body was removed to Santa Maria Nuova, where the crowds became even greater as the report of miracles wrought there was spread abroad. She was buried in the chapel of the church reserved for her oblates. Her congregation still survives at Tor de’ Specchi, where the oblates carry on educational work; their dress remains that of the Roman noble ladies of the period. St Frances was canonized in it 1608, and Santa Maria Nuova is now known as the church of Santa Francesca Romana.

By far the most important source for the Life of St Frances of Rome is the collection of visions, miracles and biographical details compiled first of all in Italian by John Matteotti and afterwards, with omissions and additions, translated by him into Latin. Matteotti had been the saint’s confessor during the last ten years of her life, but there is no evidence that he had been acquainted with her at an earlier date. The seventeenth-century biography which has been printed under the name of Mary Magdalen Anguillaria, superioress of Tor de’ Specchi, adds little to the materials provided by Matteotti, though it may have incor­porated some new facts from the processes which preceded the canonization. All these sources in a Latin version will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. There is a short but very sympathetic life of St Frances in English by Lady Georgians Fullerton published in 1853; and lives in French by Rabory (1884), Rambuteau (1900) and Mrs Berthem-Bontoux (1931), the last a solid but rather prolix work. The Italian text of Matte­otti has been edited by Armellini, but cf M. Pelaez in the Archivio Soc. Pomona di Storia patria, vols. xiv and xv (1891—1892).

Frances probably felt that's what he was doing by forcing her to marry. But just as he wouldn't listen to her, Frances wouldn't listen to him. She stubbornly prayed to God to prevent the marriage until her confessor pointed out, "Are you crying because you want to do God's will or because you want God to do your will?"
She gave in to the marriage -- reluctantly. It was difficult for people to understand her objection. Her future husband Lorenzo Ponziani was noble, wealthy, a good person and he really cared for her. An ideal match -- except for someone who was determined to be a bride of Christ.  Then her nightmare began. This quiet, shy thirteen year old was thrust into the whirl of parties and banquets that accompanied a wedding. Her mother-in-law Cecilia loved to entertain and expected her new daughter-in-law to enjoy the revelry of her social life too. Fasting and scourging were far easier than this torture God now asked her to face.
Frances collapsed from the strain. For months she lay close to death, unable to eat or move or speak.

At her worst, she had a vision of St. Alexis. The son of a noble family, Alexis had run away to beg rather than marry. After years of begging he was so unrecognizable that when he returned home his own father thought he was just another beggar and made him sleep under the stairs. In her own way, Frances must have felt unrecognized by her family -- they couldn't see how she wanted to give up everything for Jesus. St. Alexis told her God was giving her an important choice: Did she want to recover or not?

It's hard for us to understand why a thirteen-year-old would want to die but Frances was miserable. Finally, she whispered, "God's will is mine." The hardest words she could have said -- but the right words to set her on the road to sanctity.
St. Alexis replied, "Then you will live to glorify His Name."
Her recovery was immediate and complete. Lorenzo became even more devoted to her after this -- he was even a little in awe of her because of what she'd been through.
But her problems did not disappear. Her mother-in-law still expected her to entertain and go on visits with her. Look at Frances' sister-in-law Vannozza --happily going through the rounds of parties, dressing up, playing cards. Why couldn't Frances be more like Vannozza?
In a house where she lived with her husband, his parents, his brother and his brother's family, she felt all alone. And that's why Vannozza found her crying bitterly in the garden one day. When Frances poured out her heart to Vannozza and it turned out that this sister-in-law had wanted to live a life devoted to the Lord too. What Frances had written off as frivolity was just Vannozza's natural easy-going and joyful manner. They became close friends and worked out a program of devout practices and services to work together.
They decided their obligations to their family came first. For Frances that meant dressing up to her rank, making visits and receiving visits -- and most importantly doing it gladly.
The two spiritual friends went to mass together, visited prisons, served in hospitals and set up a secret chapel in an abandoned tower of their palace where they prayed together.

It wasn't fashionable for noblewomen to help the poor and people gossiped about two girls out alone on the streets. Cecilia suffered under the laughter of her friends and yelled at her daughters-in-law to stop theirs spiritual practices. When that didn't work Cecilia then appealed to her sons, but Lorenzo refused to interfere with Frances' charity.

The beginning of the fifteenth century brought the birth of her first son, Battista, after John the Baptist. We might expect that the grief of losing her mother-in-law soon after might have been mixed with relief -- no more pressure to live in society. But a household as large as the Ponziani's needed someone to run it. Everyone thought that sixteen-year-old Frances was best qualified to take her mother-in-law's place. She was thrust even more deeply into society and worldly duties. Her family was right, though -- she was an excellent administrator and a fair and pleasant employer.

After two more children were born to her -- a boy, Giovanni Evangelista, and a girl, Agnes -- a flood brought disease and famine to Rome. Frances gave orders that no one asking for alms would be turned away and she and Vannozza went out to the poor with corn, wine, oil and clothing. Her father-in-law, furious that she was giving away their supplies during a famine, took the keys of the granary and wine cellar away from her.  Then just to make sure she wouldn't have a chance to give away more, he sold off their extra corn, leaving just enough for the family, and all but a cask of one. The two noblewomen went out to the streets to beg instead.
Finally Frances was so desperate for food to give to the poor she went to the now empty corn loft and sifted through the straw searching for a few leftover kernels of corn. After she left Lorenzo came in and was stunned to find the previously empty granary filled with yellow corn. Frances drew wine out of their one cask until one day her father in law went down and found it empty. Everyone screamed at Frances. After saying a prayer, she led them to cellar, turned the spigot on the empty cask, and out flowed the most wonderful wine. These incidents completely converted Lorenzo and her father-in-law.
Having her husband and father-in-law completely on her side meant she could do what she always wanted. She immediately sold her jewels and clothes and distributed money to needy. She started wearing a dress of coarse green cloth.
Civil war came to Rome -- this was a time of popes and antipopes and Rome became a battleground. At one point there were three men claiming to be pope. One of them sent a cruel governor, Count Troja, to conquer Rome. Lorenzo was seriously wounded and his brother was arrested. Troja sent word that Lorenzo's brother would be executed unless he had Battista, Frances's son and heir of the family, as a hostage. As long as Troja had Battista he knew the Ponzianis would stop fighting.  When Frances heard this she grabbed Battista by the hand and fled. On the street, she ran into her spiritual adviser Don Andrew who told her she was choosing the wrong way and ordered her to trust God. Slowly she turned around and made her way to Capitol Hill where Count Troja was waiting. As she and Battista walked the streets, crowds of people tried to block her way or grab Battista from her to save him. After giving him up, Frances ran to a church to weep and pray.

As soon as she left, Troja had put Battista on a soldier's horse -- but every horse they tried refused to move. Finally the governor gave in to God's wishes. Frances was still kneeling before the altar when she felt Battista's little arms around her.
Troubles were not over. Frances was left alone against the attackers when she sent Lorenzo out of Rome to avoid capture. Drunken invaders broke into her house, tortured and killed the servants, demolished the palace, literally tore it apart and smashed everything. And this time God did not intervene -- Battista was taken to Naples. Yet this kidnapping probably saved Battista's life because soon a plague hit -- a plague that took the lives of many including Frances' nine-year-old son Evangelista.  At this point, her house in ruins, her husband gone, one son dead, one son a hostage, she could have given up.
She looked around, cleared out the wreckage of the house and turned it into a makeshift hospital and a shelter for the homeless.

One year after his death Evangelista came to her in a vision and told her that Agnes was going to die too. In return God was granting her a special grace by sending an archangel to be her guardian angel for the rest of her life. She would always been able to see him. A constant companion and spiritual adviser, he once commanded her to stop her severe penances (eating only bread and water and wearing a hair shirt). "You should understand by now," the angel told her, "that the God who made your body and gave it to your soul as a servant never intended that the spirit should ruin the flesh and return it to him despoiled."

Finally the wars were over and Battista and her husband returned home. But though her son came back a charming young man her husband returned broken in mind and body. Probably the hardest work of healing Frances had to do in her life was to restore Lorenzo back to his old self.
When Battista married a pretty young woman named Mabilia Frances expected to find someone to share in the management of the household. But Mabilia wanted none of it. She was as opposite of Frances and Frances had been of her mother-in- law. Mabilia wanted to party and ridiculed Frances in public for her shabby green dress, her habits, and her standards. One day in the middle of yelling at her, Mabilia suddenly turned pale and fainted, crying, "Oh my pride, my dreadful pride." Frances nursed her back to health and healed their differences as well. A converted Mabilia did her best to imitate Frances after that.
With Lorenzo's support and respect, Frances started a lay order of women attached to the Benedictines called the Oblates of Mary. The women lived in the world but pledged to offer themselves to God and serve the poor. Eventually they bought a house where the widowed members could live in community.
Frances nursed Lorenzo until he died. His last words to her were, "I feel as if my whole life has been one beautiful dream of purest happiness. God has given me so much in your love." After his death, Frances moved into the house with the other Oblates and was made superior. At 52 she had the life she dreamed of when she was eleven. She had been right in discerning her original vocation -- she just had the timing wrong. God had had other plans for her in between.
Frances died four years later. Her last words were "The angel has finished his task -- he beckons me to follow him."

In Her Footsteps:  Do you have a spiritual friend who helps you on your journey, someone to pray with and serve with? If you don't have one now, ask God to send you such a companion. Then look around you. This friend, like Frances' Vannozza, may be near you already. Try sharing some of your spiritual hopes and desires with those closest to you. You may be surprised at their reaction. (But don't force your opinions on others or get discouraged by lack of interest. Just keep asking God to lead you.)
Prayer:  Saint Frances of Rome, help us to see the difference between what we want to do and what God wants. Help us to discern what comes from our will and what comes from God's desire. Amen

Frances of Rome, Widow (RM) Born in Rome, Italy, 1384; died there, March 9, 1440; canonized 1608 by Pope Paul V; named patroness of motorists by Pope Pius XI.
How can any woman not love Frances of Rome, who taught, "A married woman, even when praising God at the altar, must when needed by her husband or the smallest member of her family, quit God at the altar and find him again in her household affairs."

Saint Frances of Rome has to be my all-time favorite. I love her implicit trust in God: giving away the last food in the family's storeroom to the poor of Rome, trusting God with the life of her son whom He immediately returned to her, never wavering from her faith though society mocked her. She was a loving wife and mother who best exemplifies for me the balance of an active life, prayer, and works of mercy (spiritual and corporal), including the founding of the first home in Rome for abandoned children. She also shows us how to live out the message of Ash Wednesday.
That you can be a saint, In quite a rich home, Is shown by the case Of Saint Frances of Rome.  She had plenty of children, A husband, a cook, A household to manage, A housekeeping book--And they kept her so busy Both up and downstairs She couldn't think when To get on with her prayers.  She no sooner was kneeling Than someone would call-- She thought she would never Get finished at all.  First her husband must see her, Then up came the cook, Then a little boy shouting To please come and look--Then a friend with a very Long story to tell, And a dozen poor people With troubles as well.  And she never lost patience, Or said, "Not at home," And that's why we call her Saint Frances of Rome.

Poem by Marigold Hunt quoted in More Saints for Six O'Clock by Joan Windham (London: Sheed and Ward).
Francesca di Bussi di Broffedeschi lived in the then-aristocratic Trastevere section of Rome in the great Ponziani family palazzo on the via dei Vascellari, now known as the Pia Casa di Ponterotto (Pious House of the Broken Bridge). Today it is a retreat house called the Casa dei SS Spirituali Esercizi (House of Spiritual Exercises) run by 12 fathers for up to 60 male retreatants weekly.
Her father Paolo di Bussi married Giacobella di Broffedeschi. Both were connected to several other great families of wealth, stability, and strong Christian principles. Frances, their first and for a long time only child, was born in their middle years. (She had a younger sister Perna, who lived with her after the death of their parents.) Frances, a beautiful girl, was baptized the day she was born and confirmed at age six in the Church of Saint Agnes in the Piazza Navona. She had a life-long devotion to Saint Agnes. She was close to her doting mother, who breastfed and taught Frances herself contrary to custom.
Frances was a gentle and thoughtful child, naturally devout, happy in a quiet way, but grave rather than gay, undemonstrative, silent under circumstances when most little girls are prone to chatter, and given to self-denial from a very early age. Her mother was pious and purposeful; her father stern. There was little socializing, partly because the prevalent corruption of society was repugnant to their tastes and principles.
The Church of Saint Agnes was their parish, but they more frequently attended the Benedictine Santa Maria Nuovo. Dom Antonio di Monte Savello was both Frances's and Giacobella's confessor and an intimate friend. He restrained Frances's impulse to severe acts of penance in emulation of the martyrdom of Saint Agnes.
From her earliest years, she ate only bread and vegetables and drank only water. Like many pious little girls, she begged to be a nun, but Dom Antonio reminded her that she would need her father's permission. Her father said she was too young to consider a vocation, and bluntly said that he had already promised her hand to Lorenzo di Ponziano, the son of his old friend Andreazzo Ponziano and Cecilia Mellini. She had to accept her father's decision as God's will. She notes that, "Married life is indeed a sacrifice for one who aspires to solitude, contemplation and frequent acts of piety, just as religious life is a sacrifice for those whose natural disposition inclines them to marriage."
In 1396 at age 12, the beautiful Frances married him in the spirit of sacrifice, unprepared for the rounds of festivities surrounding their marriage. She got through the festivities, but collapsed completely almost immediately afterward and nearly died. She was paralyzed and unable to speak.
Frances was ill in bed for a full year--she could not walk or speak and was in constant pain. The Ponzani family thought she was under a diabolical influence and admitted a witch to her room. She recognized the depraved character of her guest and regained her power of speech to oust the witch. Thereupon, she fell into a stupor. In the middle of the night, a bright light shone around her bed and Saint Alexis--a noble Roman whose feast day it was--appeared to Frances in a vision. He asked whether she wanted to live or to die. She eventually responded, "God's will is mine." Saint Alexis then replied, "Then you will live to glorify His Name" and she recovered immediately and completely.
Thereafter, she was reconciled to married life, for she had learned that "marriage need not diminish one's interior grace and that Almighty God is not to be categorically limited in the distribution of His favors to any class or station in life." She also wanted children to give saints to Heaven.
Lorenzo was personable, pleasant, and of unreproachable character. It is said that Frances and Lorenzo lived together for forty years with never a quarrel. Frances was warmly welcomed and lapped in luxury by the Ponziano family, especially by Lorenzo's older brother Paolo (a.k.a. Paluzzo), who was married to Giovanna (a.k.a. Vannozza) di Santa Croce. Frances, however, was baffled by their candid delights in worldly pleasures. Nevertheless, Lorenzo really loved her and would not consciously, much less willfully, have failed to treat her with tenderness.
During her illness, Vannozza nursed her devotedly and they became fast friends. Frances had mistaken Vannozza's natural joyousness for frivolity; now she recognized it not as an impediment to spirituality, but as a quality that gave luster to good deeds and great faith. When Frances learned that Vannozza also had cherished hopes to live as a religious, the two sisters-in-law planned a program of devout practices. Duty to family was their first obligation, including dressing appropriately for their rank, receiving visitors graciously, and assisting in running the household with happy hearts and smiling faces. In free moments they would attend Mass together, pray together in a secluded garden oratory, visit prisons, and serve in the hospitals.
Soon these beautiful, gentle, kind ladies were regarded by the common people as saints. "In their own social circle they quickly acquired imitators."

Almost daily they nursed the sick in the Hospital of Santo Spirito, an 8th century hospice built by Anglo-Saxon kings for Saxon pilgrims. About 1200, Pope Innocent III (who became pope at age 36) converted it into a foundling hospital when some fishermen presented him with dead babies who had been caught in their nets. A turntable installed in the hospital walls provided an alternative to the Tiber River for abandoning unwanted babies. The babies were treated with musical therapy as the foster mothers breastfed them. The hospital, run by Guido of Montepellier's Hospital Brethren, was enlarged to also care for all who needed it.
Frances continued to go to Dom Antonio every Wednesday for confession and communion at the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. On Saturdays she went to the Church of San Clemente for a conference with Fra Michele, a Dominican monk who was an intimate friend of her father-in-law.
Because she loved to entertain, Cecilia Ponziano resented her daughter-in-law for spending so much time in prayer and refusing to dance or play cards. Many of Cecilia's friends began to laugh at Frances, and to turn her piety into ridicule. Lorenzo found his wife too perfect to interfere with her activities as he was advised to do. Both he and her brother-in-law were supportive, though neither appears to have participated with their respective spouses.
Both Frances and Vannozza wore haircloth under their beautiful brocades and velvets, and starved and scourged themselves. Whenever possible Frances slipped into nearby Saint Cecilia's Church for prayer and meditation. Silence, habitual to her since her childhood, became a more and more distinctive trait; she was courteous in conversation, gracious in manner to all she met, but, in so far as she properly could, she avoided chatter with associates which seemed to her purposeless.
Frances was able to see, hear, and feel her guardian angel after her marriage. "At the least imperfection in her conduct . . . she felt the blow of a mysterious hand . . . and every day her virtues and piety increased" (Fullerton). At an early age Frances was aware of the nearness of demonic temptation and danger. The devil was very real to her: he had attacked her physically and spiritually. Her viewpoint concerning a personal devil was one shared with many other great saints, Teresa of Avila among them.
In 1400, Giovanni Battista was born and baptized on his birthday in Saint Cecilia's. Frances insisted on nursing her son herself. Shortly thereafter Paolo di Bussi died and was buried in the Church of Saint Agnes (later his body moved to the Tor di Specchi). Her mother-in-law followed soon after and Frances was asked to assume the duties of lady-of-the-house.
She was a good administrator and a fair employer. She carefully arranged her servants schedules to allow them time to attend Mass, family prayers, and parochial instruction on Sundays and holidays. Mourning was followed by famine and pestilence, so there was no need for entertaining. Frances opened the doors to the poor and needy; no one asking for alms was to be turned away. She also went out among the nearby poor to offer corn, wine, oil, and clothing. Andreazzo, her father-in-law, then took from her the keys to the granary and wine cellar. Fearing that he would give in to her entreaties for additional food for the poor, he sold all the wine and corn the family would not need.
So, she and Vannozza begged door to door for supplies without much luck. She, Vannozza, and a faithful old servant Clara went to the granary to search for stray kernels, and collected a measure after several hours. They were carrying off their cache when Lorenzo entered the granary and found the straw had turned into 40 measures of corn.
Daily she drew wine from the one large cask left in the family cellar until it ran dry. Andreazzo hurled angry, bitter reproaches at her, joined by Lorenzo and Paluzzo. She prayed and said, "Do not be angry; let us go to the cellar; may be through God's mercy, that the cask may be full by this time." And so it was. Thereafter Lorenzo venerated her and encouraged her to follow in every respect the divine inspirations she received.
Earlier miracles included quince falling at her feet out of season; and a particular fish desired by the ill Vannozza miraculously appearing on the bedcover that immediately restored Vannozza to health.
After consulting her spiritual director and receiving permission from her father-in-law, Frances sold all her jewels and clothing, and distributed the money to the poor. From then on she dressed in coarse green cloth and increased her good works and prayer. She was joined by Vannozza, Rita Celli--a devout young friend, and their servant Clara. Even with severe fasts and a stringent schedule, she retained her health. They were later joined by Lucia degli Aspalli, a young matron and kinswoman.
When Giovanni Battista was four years old (Frances, 20), Giovanni Evangelista, "a child of grace and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven," was born. Evangelista was old in sense, small in body, great in soul, resplendent in beauty, angel-like in all his ways. At age three he was endowed with the gift of prophecy, and the faculty of reading the unuttered thoughts of men's hearts. Frances's third child was named Agnes after her favorite saint.
Politically this was a turbulent period of two popes (Rome and Avignon) and the virtual rule of Rome by Ladislas of Naples. The Ponziani and Orsini families were engaged in a battle to end the schism without result. Lorenzo and the rest of the family supported Alexander V, a second anti-Pope, and Louis of France's quest to conquer Naples. Lorenzo was gravely wounded in a street fight and restored to health by the ministrations of his wife.
Soon thereafter, Paluzzo was arrested, then the family was informed that they must surrender nine-year-old Battista to Ladislas' governor or Paluzzo would be killed. She fled into the streets with Battista and ran into Dom Antonio, who told her to go to the Church of Santa Maria d'Aracoeli, which she did. The Count of Traja was awaiting them and she convinced the tearful Battista to go to him. Turning away, she entered the church to weep bitterly before the altar of the Merciful Mother. As soon as she had left, the count had ordered Battista taken away on a horse, but all five that were tried refused to move. So, they took him back to his mother who was still praying.
Political troubles continued when Balthazar Cossa (John XXIII) was elected anti-Pope and Louis d'Anjou succeeded in getting a foothold in Rome. Ladislas attacked and pillaged Rome. The Ponziani palace was marked for demolition. They were about to escape to one of their country estates when their terrified vintners, shepherds, and cattlemen poured into the palace with tales of death and destruction in the countryside. Lorenzo, in convalescent condition, was finally persuaded to flee to a distant province. Soon after his departure their home was invaded, servants tortured and killed, the palace and all its contents demolished, and 13- year-old Battista carried off to Naples. The wreckage was cleared and the family continued to live there.
Famine and pestilence followed. The beautiful child Evangelista died happily convinced that angels had come to accompany him to heaven. Thereafter Frances increased her good works. She and Vannozza turned the destroyed inner banqueting hall into a hospital for the homeless. They were joined by Rita and Lucia, plus two others: Margherita di Montellucci and Giacobella di Biunemonti.
Occasionally Frances went to the family vineyard near the Church of Saint Paul's-Outside-the-Walls to gather grapes and dry vines to supplement the meager supply of firewood and distribute among the poor who were without fuel.
Her nursing skills were supplemented by the gift of healing and skill in making ointments. She brought a dead, unbaptized baby back to life. Many miracles are attributed to her, including a vision of the dead Evangelista, who said:  My abode is with God; my companions are the angels; our sole occupation the contemplation of the Divine perfections,-- the endless source of all happiness. Eternally united with God, we have no will except His; and our peace is as complete as His Being is infinite. He is Himself our joy, and that joy knows no limits. There are nine choirs of angels in heaven, and the higher orders of angelic spirits instruct in the Divine mysteries the less exalted intelligences. If you wish to know my place amongst them, my mother, learn that God, in His great goodness, has appointed it in the second choir of angels, and the first hierarchy of archangels.
While he was speaking, Frances saw that he was not alone; a second celestial figure stood beside him, very like him in build and height, but even more beautiful. Evangelista turned in his direction and said,
This my companion is higher than I am in rank, as he is more bright and fair in aspect. The Divine Majesty has assigned him to you as a guardian during the remainder of your earthly pilgrimage. Night and day by your side, he will assist you in every way. Never amidst the joys of Paradise have I for an instant forgotten you, or any of my loved ones on earth. I knew you were resigned; but I also knew that your heart would rejoice at beholding me once more, and God has permitted that I should thus gladden your eyes.
I have a message for you, Mother--a message from God. He is asking for Agnes. So, before long, she will leave you, too. But the archangel will remain. To the moment of your death he will be ever present in your sight.

The light surrounding her guardian archangel was so bright that she could read and write at night by it. She described him as full of sweetness and majesty, long curly golden hair that fell over his shoulders, eyes turned heavenward, wearing a luminous long robe covered with a tunic of white, red, or sky blue.
Frances collapsed after burying her daughter and was gravely ill for months and had frequent visions of hell. She was only 29.

With Ladislas poisoned by his mistress, and his sister and heir Joanna too preoccupied with a succession of scandalous affairs, Battista was returned to his mother. He had acquired the social and cultural graces of court without losing his piety. Lorenzo, too, returned but was a broken man. He tacitly blamed her for the death of Evangelista and Agnes. When he had left she was strikingly beautiful; now wan and wasted. Through tenderness and patience Frances succeeded in restoring him to normalcy from deep melancholia.
On November 11, 1417, the Western schism ended with the deposition of the two schismatic popes, abdication of Gregory XII, and election of Ottone Colonna as Pope Martin V. Now unmolested the vineyards and stock farms of the Ponziani prospered and their houses restored. Frances began to spend more time with those of her own social class, tending to their problems--perhaps because of her visions of hell.
A former detractor, frivolous Gentilezza, was restored to health by Frances after promising to reform her life. Doctors had given up on her. She persuaded Giovanni Antonio Lorenzi to abandon murderous designs on an erstwhile friend and helped Angelo Savelli to forgive the one who mortally wounded him in a duel. She helped the Benedictine Dom Ippolito to rightly consider his vocation and position, which led him to conversion, confession, and humble service, and eventually to being named prior.
Frances believed her obligations to her family came first and must never be slighted in order to spend more time in prayer or acts of charity. Once while attempting to recite Morning Prayer, she was interrupted four times to handle domestic chores and each time responded cheerfully. When she returned the fourth time, the antiphon was inscribed in gold and remained that way until her death.
Now the miracles associated with her began to have a more mystical character--she received the stigmata in her side, which was known only to Vannozza who dressed it and Dom Antonio, her confessor.
The wound was healed after a vision in which she was transported to Bethlehem and cleansed by the BVM.

Battista married 12-year-old Mabilia Papazunni, also of noble family. Frances had hoped that Mabilia would take on the responsibilities of the household, but she preferred entertaining. Mabilia criticized and ridiculed Frances in public. She dressed immodestly and opulently, and found Frances's green dress obnoxious. Discord entered the family with Mabilia. Frances continued tranquilly to hope for a change in Mabilia's attitude. Mabilia collapsed while railing against her mother-in-law's habits, dress, and standards. When she recovered she acknowledged her sinful pride and was reconciled with Frances. Eventfully, she bore children: Girolamo and Vannozza.
Sensing the deep holiness of his wife, Lorenzo promised Frances complete liberty if she would only agree to always inhabit his house, and, naturally, she agreed. Mabilia took on more responsibilities and freed Frances further to participate in the activities of the Jubilee of 1423 and listen to the great Franciscan preacher Bernardine of Siena.
Frances and her friends approached Dom Antonio regarding establishing an Oblate of Saint Benedict, since its rule did not permit third orders. He went to Dom Ippolito, who was helped by Frances and who obtained approval for the establishment of the Oblates of Mary. The friends prepared for their consecration on the Feast of the Assumption, 1425, with prayer, fasting, and penance. They included Frances, Vannozza, Rita Celli, Agnes Selli, and probably Anastasia di Clarelli, Perna Colluzzi, Caterina Manetti, Frances di Veroli, Giacobella di Brumemonti, Agostina di Viterbo, and Lella Maioli. This was not a solemn vow but an affiliation.
Frances left Rome only once to receive the "Great Pardon" at the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. She walked there and back accompanied by Vannozza and Rita. Lorenzo and the released Paluzzo objected to this. They miraculously encountered Saint Francis along the way (long dead).
While they were gone Dom Antonio Savelli died. She chose the 33- year-old Dom Giovanni Matteotti as her new confessor. He ordered her to relate her visions to him in minute detail and kept a daily record of all she told him. He became her biographer.  Some of the Benedictines questioned the legitimacy of attaching a secular order to the monastery. So, Frances sought formal recognition from the pope, but there were new political troubles.
Lorenzo was growing feeble. Battista, as a brigadier general, was in constant danger. Vannozza, mortally ill, was tended by Frances and their friends until a soft white mist enveloped her as she breathed her last and a shaft of light slanted toward heaven. She wasn't buried in the Ponziani chapel, but in the Santa Croce family chapel in the Church of Aracoeli.
Frances's ecstasies and prophetic visions came more and more frequently.

She was extremely affected by meditating on our Savior's passion, which she had always present to her mind. At Mass she was so absorbed in God as to seem immoveable, especially after holy communion: she often fell into ecstasies of love and devotion. She had a particular devotion to John the Evangelist, and above all to our Lady.
Seven years after their consecration, Frances invited her friends to dine in her home during Lorenzo's absence and said that they needed to be united in outward as well as interior life. Christ had commanded her to build a spiritual edifice. They selected a house under the spiritual guidance of Dom Ippolito, Dom Giovanni, and Fra Bartolommeo Biondii, a Franciscan monk who was brother-in- law to Agnes Selli and a theologian and orator of exceptional talent.
She refused to use the monies of her family but later accepted the deeds to the vineyard near Saint Paul's-Outside-the- Wall and another known as Porta Portere.
Only the unwed or widowed were to live together, but it still alarmed their parents. The married would visit. The choice fell to the site of the Tor di Specchi (Tower of Mirrors). When the papal bull was finally issued, the congregation was described as that of the Oblates of Tor di Spechhi. The rules were revealed to Frances in a series of visions. These divided the day into periods of work, rest, and prayer, prescribed the manner of dress that was symbolic, etc. Ten oblates moved into the Tor di Specchi on the Feast of the Annunciation and Agnes Selli was chosen as their first superior.
When Lorenzo died peacefully, Frances arranged for Masses to be said for him and settled his estate. She tried to train Battista to take over the management of the agricultural estates. She then applied for admission to the community at Tor di Specchi. Agnes wanted to resign as superior, Frances objected but was overruled by the oblates and Dom Giovanni who commanded her to take charge. On March 25, 1436, she was duly elected Superior.
That night her guardian angel left her and presented the one to take his place, who was even higher in the angelic hierarchy. The newcomer also wore a dalmatic but of more precious tissue; the light surrounding him was more dazzling, and his very glance was sufficient to put demons to flight (while the other had to shake his locks).
He carried three golden boughs from which came golden threads that he wound around his neck or into balls to provide for a mysterious tissue that would be used later on.

When in March 1440 Battista succumbed to a fever, Frances instantly responded. During the day it became apparent that she, too, was ill, nevertheless she insisted on returning on foot and stopping to ask her spiritual director's blessing. He commanded her to return to the palace. In a vision Jesus, surrounded by angels and saints, announced that she would die in seven days. For the next days she resumed her normal prayers. Her deathbed was marred only by an incident wherein she accused her son of wrong dealings and he admitted his guilt.
She died as she finished her vespers. Her last words were: "The Angel has finished his task; he calls me to follow him." The cause for her canonization was introduced almost immediately, but it was not much advanced until the accession of Clement VIII, who had a great devotion to the saint, but he and his successor died before this was accomplished. Paul V (Borghese) decreed her canonisation.

Her husband and children are entombed beneath the pavement of the Ponziani family chapel (now the sacristy) of the Church of Saint Cecilia. The walls have scenes from her life. Her skeletal remains, clad in the habit of the Oblates of the Congregation of Mount Olivet, which she founded, lie exposed in a glass casket in the church with her name, coupled with its original designation of Santa Maria Nuovo. Once every hundred years it is opened to reclothe her body in a fresh habit. This is her father Paolo di Bussi's church.

On her feast day, the priest blesses cars parked outside because she is La Padrona degli Automobilisti, which is odd because she may have left Rome only once to go to Assisi and generally travelled by foot.

She did not live in the Tor di Specchi on the via Teatro di Marcello near the Orsini Palace until after the death of her husband. The chapel of the Tor di Specchi has 20 frescoes, plus the altarpiece, all in perfect condition, depicting the miracles of Saint Frances (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Berthem-Bontoux, Cecchetti, Delaney, Delany, Encyclopedia, Farrow, Fullerton, Gill, Grandi, Husenbeth, Keyes, Martindale, Morton, White, Windham).

In art, Saint Frances is portrayed as a nun with her guardian angel dressed as a deacon by her side. At times the icon may include (1) a monstrance and arrow; (2) a book; or (3) an angel with a branch of oranges near her; or she may be shown (4) receiving the veil from the Christ Child in the arms of the Blessed Virgin (Roeder). She is the patroness of Roman housewives (Roeder) and motorists and automobiles (Farmer).

1440 Franziska von Rome
Katholische Kirche: 9. März
Franziska de Bussi wurde 1384 in Rom geboren. Sie wollte Nonne werden, ihre adligen Eltern verheirateten sie aber 1395 mit dem Adligen Lorenzo de Ponziani. Franziska wurde Mutter von 6 (nach anderen Quellen 4) Kindern. Sie hatte tiefe mystische Erfahrungen (die bekanntesten sind ihre Gesichte von Hölle und Fegefeuer und der drei Himmel), führte zahlreiche Gespräche mit ihrem Schutzengel, war aber auch karitativ tätig. Nachdem ihr Ehemann und ihr Sohn verbannt wurden und ihre anderen Kinder an der Pest starben, gründete sie 1425 die "Compania delle Oblate del Monastero Olivetano di S. Maria Nova", einen Zweig der Benediktineroblaten, die ab 1433 gemeinsam lebten. Nach dem Tod ihres Mannes 1436 trat Franziska in ihre Gemeinschaft ein und wurde nach kurzer Zeit zur Vorsteherin gewählt. Nachdem sie 1433 die Torre de Specchi als Sitz der Gemeinschaft erworben hatte, nannte sie ihr Werk "Nobili Oblati di Tor de' Specchi" (Gemeinschaft der Spiegelturmoblatinnen). Sie starb 1440 und wurde in der Kirche S. Maria Nuova (seit dem 17. Jahrhundert S. Francesca Romana) bestattet. In Italien wird sie Cecolella (Kosename - kleine Franziska) genannt . Sie ist Schutzpatronin der Frauen und der Autofahrer.
1444 St. Bernardine of Siena He was called the "People's Preacher" because his sermons were filled with lively and realistic depictions of everything from a bachelor's household to women's fashions  throughout his life he was noted for his unfailing affability, patience and courtesy; It is impossible to follow him on his missionary journeys, for in them he covered nearly the whole of Italy; His tomb at Aquila was honoured by many miracles
Aquilæ, in Vestínis, sancti Bernardíni Senénsis, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, qui verbo et exémplo Itáliam illustrávit.
    At Aquila in Abruzzi, St. Bernardin of Siena, priest of the Order of Friars Minor, who added to the glory of Italy by his preaching and his example.
1444 ST BERNARDINO OF SIENA ,

ST BERNARDINO was born in the Tuscan town of Massa Marittima, in which his father, a member of the noble Sienese family of the Albizeschi, occupied the post of governor. The little boy lost both his parents before he was seven and was entrusted to the care of a maternal aunt and her daughter— both excellent women, who gave him a religious training and loved him as though he had been their own child. Upon reaching the age of eleven or twelve he was placed by his uncles at school in Siena, where he passed with great credit through the course of studies deemed requisite for a boy of his rank. He grew up a good-looking lad, so merry and entertaining that it was impossible to be dull in his company; but a coarse or blasphemous remark would always bring a blush to his cheek and generally a remonstrance to his lips. Once when a man of position sought to lead him into vice, Bernardino struck him in the face with his fists, and on a second and similar occasion he incited his comrades to join him in pelting the tempter with mud and stones. Except when thus moved by righteous indignation, Bernardino was singularly sweet-tempered; indeed, throughout his life he was noted for his unfailing affability, patience and courtesy.
At the age of seventeen he enrolled himself in a confraternity of our Lady, the members of which pledged themselves to certain devotional practices as well as to the relief of the sick; and he at once embarked upon a course of severe bodily mortification. In 1400 Siena was visited by the plague in a virulent form, So serious was its toll that from twelve to twenty persons died daily in the famous hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, which found itself bereft of almost all who tended the sick. In this extremity Bernardino offered to take entire charge of the establishment, with the help of some other young men whom he had fired with the determination to sacrifice their lives if necessary to aid the sufferers. Their services were accepted, and for four months the noble band worked tirelessly, day and night, under the direction of Bernardino, who, besides nursing the patients and preparing them for death, saw to everything and brought order as well as cleanliness into the hospital. Though several of his companions died, Bernardino escaped the contagion and returned home after the epidemic was over, lhe was, however, so exhausted by his labours that he fell an easy prey to a fever which laid him low for several months.
Upon his recovery he found that his immediate duty lay close at hand. An aunt named Bartolomea, to whom he was much attached, had become blind as well as bedridden, and to her he devoted himself as he had done to the plague-stricken in the hospital. When, fourteen months later, God called the invalid to Himself, it was in the arms of her nephew that she breathed her last. Free now from all earthly ties, Bernardino set himself by prayer and fasting to learn God’s will as to his future. By this means he was led to enter the Franciscan Order, the habit of which he received shortly afterwards in Siena. The house, however, proved too accessible to the novice’s many friends and relations, and with the consent of his superiors he retired to the convent of Colombaio outside the city, where the rule of St Francis was strictly observed. Here in 1403 he was professed and here he was ordained priest—exactly a year later, on the feast of the Birthday of our Lady which was his birthday and the anniversary of his baptism and of his clothing.
History has little to tell us about the saint during the next twelve years: he preached occasionally, but his life was mainly spent in retirement. Gradually he was being prepared by God for the twofold mission of apostle and reformer. When at last his hour had come, the way was made clear in a singular manner. A novice in the convent at Fiesole in which the saint was staying startled the community on three consecutive nights after Matins by exclaiming, “Brother Bernardino! Hide no longer the gift that is in you. Go to Lombardy, for all are awaiting you there!” Reprimanded and questioned as to why he had thus spoken, he replied, “Because I could not help it!” To Bernardino and his superiors this seemed to be a call from on high, and he obeyed. He opened his apostolic career at Milan to which he went as a complete stranger towards the end of 1417, but soon his eloquence and zeal began to attract enormous congregations. At the close of a course of Lenten sermons, before he was allowed to leave the city to preach elsewhere in Lombardy, he was obliged to promise that he would return the following year. At first he was hampered in his delivery by hoarseness and inability to make himself heard, but afterwards, as the result, he firmly believed, of fervent prayer to our Lady, his voice became singularly clear and penetrating.
It is impossible to follow him on his missionary journeys, for in them he covered nearly the whole of Italy with the exception of the kingdom of Naples. He travelled always on foot, preached sometimes for three or four consecutive hours and often delivered several sermons on the same day. In large cities he frequently had to speak from an open-air pulpit because no church could contain the multitudes who crowded to hear him. Everywhere he preached penance, denounced the prevalent vices and kindled popular fervour by spreading devotion to the Holy Name. At the end of every sermon he would hold up for veneration a tablet upon which he had written the letters I.H.S., surrounded by rays, and after telling the people to implore God’s mercy and to live in peace he would give them a blessing with the Holy Name. In cities torn by faction he would heal deadly feuds and would persuade men to substitute the sacred monogram for the Guelf or Ghibelline emblems that too often surmounted their front doors. In Bologna, which was overmuch addicted to games of hazard, he preached with such effect that the citizens gave up gambling and brought their cards and dice to be burnt in a public bonfire. A card-manufacturer who complained that he was deprived of his only means of livelihood was told by St Bernardino to manufacture tablets inscribed with the I.H.S., and so great was the demand for them that they brought in more money than the playing-cards had ever done. All over Italy men spoke of the wonderful fruit of St Bernardino’s missions—the numerous conversions, the restoration of ill-gotten goods, the reparation of injuries and the reform of morals. Nevertheless there were some who took exception to his teaching and accused him of encouraging superstitious practices. They went so far as to denounce him to Pope Martin V, who for a time commanded him to keep silence. However, an examination of his doctrine and conduct led to a complete vindication and he received permission to preach wherever he liked. The same pope, in 1427, urged him to accept the bishopric of Siena, but he refused it, as he afterwards declined the sees of Ferrara and of Urbino. His excuse was that if he were confined to one diocese he could no longer minister to so many souls.
In 1430, nevertheless, he was obliged to give up missionary work to become vicar general of the friars of the Strict Observance. This movement within the Franciscan Order had originated about the middle of the fourteenth century in the convent of Brogliano between Camerino and Assisi and had only maintained a struggling existence until the coming of St Bernardino, who became its organizer and its second founder. When he received the habit there were only three hundred friars of the Observance in all Italy; when he died there were four thousand. Wherever he went on his missionary tours, fervent young men were drawn to the order with which he was identified, and pious persons desirous of founding convents offered to bestow them upon the Observants. It was therefore right and fitting that he should be officially empowered to consolidate and regulate the reform. He accomplished this task with so much wisdom and tact that many convents passed voluntarily and without friction from the Conventual to the Observant rule. The original Observants had shunned scholarship as they had shunned riches, but St Bernardino was aware of the danger of ignorance, especially in face of the ever-increasing demand for Observant friars to act as confessors. He therefore insisted upon instruction in theology and Canon law as part of the regular curriculum. He was himself a learned man, as may be judged from a series of Latin sermons which he wrote at Capriola and which are still extant, and also by the fact that at the Council of Florence, St Bernardino was able to address the Greek delegates in their own tongue.
Important as was the work with which he was now entrusted, the saint longed to return to his apostolic labours which he regarded as his only vocation, and in 1442 he obtained permission from the pope to resign his office as vicar general. He then resumed his missionary journeys, which led him through the Romagna, Ferrara and Lombardy. He was by this time in failing health, and so emaciated that he looked like a skeleton, but the only concession he would allow himself was the use of a donkey to convey him from one place to another. At Massa Marittima in iw he preached on fifty consecutive days a course of Lenten sermons, which he wound up by exhorting the inhabitants to preserve harmony among themselves and by bidding a pathetic farewell to his native town. Though obviously dying, he still continued his apostolic work and set out for Naples, preaching as he went. He succeeded in reaching Aquila, but there his strength gave out and he died on the eve of the Ascension, May 20, 1444, in the monastery of the Conventuals. He had almost reached the age of sixty-four years, forty-two of which he had spent as a religious. His tomb at Aquila was honoured by many miracles and he was canonized within six years of his death.

The number of early Latin biographies of St Bernardino is considerable, and it must suffice to note that a detailed enumeration is supplied in BHL, nn 188—201. Some are given in full and extracts made from others in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. v. Excellent modern studies of the life and apostolate of the saint are numerous. The first edition of that by P. Thureau-Dangin was published in 1896 (Eng. trans., 1911). Others which deserve special notice were written by Dr K. Hefele, in German (1912) by A. G. Ferrers Howell, in English (1913) by Father V. Facchinetti (1933) and by Piero Bargellini (1933) both in Italian, but the number of such works is great. A considerable amount of fresh material has been brought to light and printed in modem times, for most of which see the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, more especially vols. vi, viii, xi, xii, xv, etc. For a fuller bibliography consult B. Stasiewski, Der hl. Bernardin von Elena (1931), and V. Facchinetti, Bollettino Bibliografico (1930). A very pleasant English sketch is that of M. Ward, St Ber­nardino, the People’s Preacher (1914)  The fifth centenary of the saint’s death (1944) produced a number of new books, mostly in Italian. See the life printed in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxi (1953), pp. 282—322.

In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital alone. And many of the people who died were those who were needed to tend the ill. It was a desperate situation -- more and more people were falling ill and fewer and fewer people were there to help them.

The twenty-year-old man who stood there had not come because he was ill but because he wanted to help. And he brought not new patients but young men like himself willing to tend the dying. For four months Bernardine and his companions worked day and night not only to comfort the patients but to organize and clean the hospital. Only at the end of the plague did Bernardine himself fall ill -- of exhaustion.

But that was Bernardine's way -- whatever he did, he put his whole self into it. Immediately after he recovered he was back caring for the sick -- but this time, he was responsible not for a whole hospital but one person -- an invalid aunt. Yet for fourteen months she got his full attention. Throughout his life, he put as much energy into caring for one person as for hundreds,  as much commitment into converting one citizen as to preaching to a whole city.

After his aunt died, Bernardine started to think about where his life should be going. The son of a noble family, he had been orphaned at seven and raised by an aunt. We are told as a young person that he hated indecent talk so much that he would blush when he heard it. Even his schoolmates hesitated to make him so uncomfortable but apparently one adult citizen thought it would be a great joke to needle Bernardine. In a public marketplace he stopped Bernardine and started to talk to him in a shameful way. But if he had thought to get away with his cruel trick, he was surprised when Bernardine slapped him in the face. The man slunk away, shamed in front of the very crowd he'd b een trying to impress.

Bernardine, who had come to Siena to study, threw himself into prayer and fasting to discover what God wanted him to do. One might have expected him to continue his work with the sick but in 1403 he joined the Franciscans and in 1404 he was ordained a priest.
The Franciscans were known as missionary preachers, but Bernardine did very little preaching with because of a voice that was weak and hoarse. For twelve years he remained in the background, his energies going to prayer or to his own spiritual conversion and preparation.
At the end of that time, he went to Milan on a mission. When he got up to preach his voice was strong and commanding and his words so convincing that the crowd would not let him leave unless he promised to come back.

Bernardino of Siena, OFM Priest (RM) Born in Massa Marittima (near Siena), Tuscany, Italy, on September 8, 1380; died in Aquila, Italy, May 20, 1444; canonized in 1450 by Pope Nicholas V.

    "Jesus, crucified for me, with the nails of Your love fasten my whole self to You."--Berardino of Siena.

Son of the governor of Massa Marittima (near Siena), Bernardino degli Albizzeschi was placed in the care of an aunt when he was seven after the death of his parents in 1386. She provided him with his religious education. At 17, he joined a confraternity of Our Lady.

When the plague came to Siena in 1400, Bernardino offered to take charge of the hospital, recalling the gentleness and virtue his pious aunt had taught him. He also gathered round him twelve young friends who were willing to risk their lives to share this duty. For the four months of the pestilence, they worked tirelessly. Bernardino also organized an effective service of welfare and relief. Although several of his companions died, he did not contract the disease (one source said he did and came close to death).

He then cared for his blind, bedridden 90-year-old aunt, Bartholomea. After her death, he set himself to prayer and fasting to learn God's will for his future. While praying before his crucifix, he was impressed and reproached, like Saint Francis, by the suffering of Our Lord, who seemed to step down from the Cross and appear before him in His nakedness and sorrow. He could not resist the pleading in his Savior's eyes and surrendered all he had.

He took the habit on September 8, 1402, entered the Franciscan monastery of strict observance at Colombaio outside Siena in 1403. He was ordained on September 8, 1404--the Feast of the Birth of Our Lady and his birthday as well. Later he moved to Fiesole near Florence.

Over the next 12 years he preached only occasionally, preferring to live as a solitary. He went to Milan and on September 8, 1417, he preached his first sermon as a missioner. Despite being a stranger to the city, his eloquence and fiery sermons soon attracted huge congregations. The people made him promise to return the following year before they allowed him to leave to preach in Lombardy. He covered nearly all of Italy, usually on foot, preaching for two and three hours at a time, and often giving several speeches in a day-- generally at a pulpit in the open air because the crowds were so huge.

He attacked usury relentlessly, and denounced the party strife of the Italian cities as a fundamental evil of the age and place. On the other hand, he did not rise above such contemporary characteristics as hostility toward Jews and belief in widespread witchcraft.

He would castigate vice and then hold up a placard with the sign of the name of Jesus, "IHS," written on it, urging the congregation to turn to the one symbolized by those letters. People became so enthused that they even had IHS painted on houses. Throughout Italy people spoke of the wonderful benefits of his preaching. Once a man whose livelihood came from making playing cards complained that Bernardino had so successfully fought against gambling that the trade was ruined. Bernardino gave him a new, even more profitable trade, printing cards with the sign IHS.

Some of his preaching was criticized by the University of Bologna, but this controversy, which troubled him for eight years, ended in his favor. His detractors accused him of encouraging superstitious practices. They said that he carried on his person a piece of paper on which the Name of Jesus was written, that when he pleaded with sinners he showed it to them and it gave out rays of light, and denounced him to Pope Martin V. He was cleared of the charges after an examination of his doctrine and conduct. It may well be that the light symbolized that which flowed from his devoted spirit and the grace and passion of his eager witness.

Pope Martin V offered him the bishopric in Siena in 1427, but he declined, as he later declined the bishoprics of Ferrara and Urbino. In 1430, the "Apostle of the Holy Name" became vicar general of the Friars of the Strict Observance. He reformed the rule to involve the friars more as preachers and teachers and many convents passed easily from the Conventual to the Observant rule. In fact, the number of friars under the rule grew from 300 to over 4,000. The original Observants had shunned scholarship (as riches), but Bernardino insisted upon instruction in theology and canon law as part of the regular curriculum.

From 1430, he wrote theological works in both Latin and Italian. These covered the principal doctrinal and moral elements of Christianity, as well as treatises on the Blessed Mother. He established theological schools at Perugia and Monteripido.

In 1442, he obtained permission from the pope to resign his office, although Bernardino assisted at the Council of Florence. His health was failing, but Bernardino was insistent upon a final missionary journey. He began it at Massa Marittima in 1444 where he preached on fifty consecutive days. Although dying, he continued his apostolic travels, setting out for Naples and preaching as he went. He got as far as Aquila in the Abruzzi, where he died.

His tomb at Aquila was said to be the site of miracles. He was the most prominent missioner of the 15th century, and he was canonized within six years of his death.

It has been said that the 'People's Preacher' inaugurated in Italy 'one of those rare periods in history when the rule of Jesus made visible progress in society.' He was called the "People's Preacher" because his sermons were filled with lively and realistic depictions of everything from a bachelor's household to women's fashions (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Origo, White).

Bernardino is represented in art as an old, toothless Franciscan holding up a sign bearing the legend "IHS," from which rays shine forth. Medieval and Renaissance painters depicted him as small and emaciated, with deep burning eyes. He may also be seen (1) preaching before the Palazzo Communale in Siena with IHS held before him; (2) with a banner bearing IHS and a star over his head; (3) with three mounds surmounted by a banner with a cross (possibly these mounds may really represent the three miters he refused-- Siena, Urbino, and Ferrara); with a trumpet as a sign of his power as a preacher, or (5) in a painting by El Greco, bearded and habited, or four mitres at his feet, IHS on his staff (Farmer, Gill, Roeder, White).

Bernardino was made the patron saint of advertisers and advertising in 1956 by Pope Pius XII because of his ability to illuminate the Catholic faith to audiences by the use of simple language and telling symbols. He is invoked against hoarseness, which he suffered in his early days of preaching, and is believed to have been cured by a prayer to the Blessed Virgin (White). He is also the patron of wool-weavers and invoked against diseases of the chest and lungs (Roeder).
1444 Saint Macarius of Zheltovod and Unzha; At 12 he left his parents and accepted monastic tonsure at the Nizhni-Novgorod Caves monastery under St Dionysius; extreme strict fast, precise fulfillment of monastic rule; at Yellow Lake organized a monastery for them in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, there preached Christianity to surrounding Cheremis and Chuvash peoples, baptizing both Mohammedans and pagans in the lake; on the shores of Lake Unzha he founded a new monastery; granted gift healing, more than 50 people received healing from his relics
Born in the year 1349 at Nizhni-Novgorod into a pious family. At twelve he secretly left his parents and accepted monastic tonsure at the Nizhni-Novgorod Caves monastery under St Dionysius (June 26). With all the intensity of his youthful soul he gave himself over to the work of salvation. He stood out among among the brethren for his extremely strict fasting and precise fulfillment of the monastic rule.
The parents of St Macarius only learned three years later where he had gone. His father went to him and tearfully besought his son merely that he would come forth and show himself. St Macarius spoke with his father through a wall, saying that he would see him in the future life. "Extend your hand, at least," implored the father. The son fulfilled this small request and the father, having kissed his son's hand, returned home.
Burdened by fame, the humble Macarius set off for the shores of the River Volga, and here he pursued asceticism near the waters of Yellow Lake. Here by firm determination and patience he overcame the abuse of the Enemy of salvation. Lovers of solitude gathered to St Macarius, and in 1435 he organized a monastery for them in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity.  Here also he began to preach Christianity to the surrounding Cheremis and Chuvash peoples, and he baptized both Mohammedans and pagans in the lake, which received its name from the saint. When the Kazan Tatars destroyed the monastery in 1439, they took St Macarius captive.
Out of respect for his piety and charitable love, the Khan released the saint from captivity and freed nearly 400 Christians with him. But in return, St Macarius promised not to settle by Yellow Lake.
St Macarius reverently buried those killed at his monastery, and he went 200 versts to the Galich border. During the time of this resettlement all those on the way were fed in miraculous manner through the prayers of the saint. Having arrived at the city of Unzha, St Macarius set up a cross 15 versts from the city, and built a cell on the shores of Lake Unzha. Here he founded a new monastery. During the fifth year of his life at Lake Unzha, St Macarius took sick and reposed at age 95.
While yet alive, St Macarius was granted a gift: he healed a blind and demon-afflicted girl. After the death of the monk, many received healing from his relics. The monks built a temple over his grave, and established a cenobitic rule at the monastery.
In 1522, Tatars fell upon Unzha and wanted to destroy the silver reliquary in the Makariev monastery, but they fell blind. In a panic, they took to flight. Many of them drowned in the Unzha. In 1532, through the prayers of St Macarius, the city of Soligalich was saved from the Tatars. In gratitude, the inhabitants built a chapel in the cathedral church in honor of the saint. More than 50 people received healing from grievous infirmities through the prayers of St Macarius. This was certified by a commission sent by Patriarch Philaret in 1619.
1444 Bd Felicia of Milan; life of chastity and direct service of God'; a Poor Clare convent of St Ursula at Milan 25 years; her sister followed her example and her brother became a Friar Minor; remarkable in the community for her faultless observance of the rule; perseverance in prayer and penance in spite of the diabolical influences that were active against her.  The gentle nun overcame these fierce trials; many miracles
Felicia Meda was born at Milan in 1378, the eldest of three children of good family.  The sudden death of both her parents when she was a child disposed her mind to serious things, and soon after she was twelve she bound herself to a life of chastity and direct service of God, which she followed in the world for ten years. Then she became a Poor Clare in the convent of St Ursula at Milan; shortly afterwards her sister followed her example and her brother became a Friar Minor.   For twenty-five years Bd Felicia led the hidden and austere life of her order, remarkable in the community for her faultless observance of the rule; perseverance in prayer and penance in spite of the diabolical influences that were active against her.  The gentle nun overcame these fierce trials, and her experience and tempered character caused her to be elected abbess.
Under her loving and skilful direction the devotion and virtue of the nuns of St Ursula's became famous, and when, some fourteen years later, in 1439, the wife of Galeazzo Malatesta, Duke of Pesaro, wished to found a Poor Clare convent in that city she asked for an affiliation from Milan.  The Franciscan minister general sent Felicia herself to make the new foundation. The sadness with which the Milanese nuns parted from their abbess was equalled by the rejoicing with which she was received at Pesaro, whither her reputation preceded her.  The wife of Galeazzo, accompanied by townspeople, came out to meet her and her seven nuns, but could not persuade them to get into the ducal carriages and drive in in state, so they made their entry into the city altogether on foot.   Bd Felicia presided over the new convent for only four years, in which time she filled it with devoted religious, and died on September 30, 1444.  The people of Pesaro, who had attributed their deliverance from war and plague to her prayers, flocked to venerate her tomb and were rewarded by many miracles.     This cultus was approved in 1812.
In the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. viii, a tolerably full account, based mainly on Mark of Lisbon, is given of this beata.  An article, however, in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, vol. xx (1927), pp. 241-259, supplies a more thorough discussion of the sources, and points out with reference to the sending of Bd Felicia to Pesaro that the minister general's, Guglielmo da Casale, letter imposing this obedience is still preserved. A life of the beata by Fra Agostino Gallucci was printed in 1637.

1445 BD PETER OF TIFERNO; Dominican;  the friary of Cortona, where he spent the greater part of his life.

VERY few particulars of the life of this confessor have been preserved, in part no doubt owing to the destruction by fire of the archives of the friary of Cortona, where he spent the greater part of his life. He belonged to the family of the Cappucci and was born at Tiferno (Citta di Castello) in 1390. When he was fifteen he received the Dominican habit and was sent to Cortona, where he was trained under the direction of Bd Laurence of Ripafratta and in company of many other famous friars, including St Antoninus and Fra Angelico.
   Bd Laurence recommended him to devote himself to contemplation rather than to activity, but the lessons of his office note that he was as ready to minister to those who required
his services outside his monastery as within it. Several miracles are remembered of Bd Peter. He once met a young man of bad character in the street, stopped him, and said, “What wickedness are you up to now? How much longer are you going on adding sin to sin ? You have just twenty-four hours to live, and at this time tomorrow you’ll have to give God an account of yourself.” The man was frightened but took not more notice, till that night he had a bad accident; Peter was sent for, and he received the sinner’s humble penitence before he died. The cultus of Bd Peter, who used to hold a skull in his hands while preaching, was confirmed by Pope Pius VII.
Information regarding Bd Peter was certainly not widely disseminated. In the, vast collection of names which figure in the book of G. Michele Pio, printed at Bologna in 1607, Delle vite degli huomini illustri di S. Domenico, there is no mention of him. We have to fall back upon the lessons of the Dominican breviary, the Année Dominicaine, and such summaries as Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints, pp. 294—297. Consult, however, Taurisano. Catalogus hagiographicus OP.
1447 St. Colette distributed her inheritance to poor holiness spiritual wisdom Superior of all  Poor Clare convents sanctity, ecstacies visions of the Passion, prophesied
Apud Gandávum, in Flándria, sanctæ Colétæ Vírginis, quæ, primum tértii Ordinis Franciscális régulam proféssa, deínde, divíno Spíritu affláta, quamplúra Moniálium secúndi ejúsdem Ordinis monastéria primævæ restítuit disciplínæ; atque, divínis exornáta virtútibus et innúmeris clara miráculis, a Pio Séptimo, Pontífice Máximo, in albo Sanctórum adscrípta est.
At Ghent in Flanders, St. Collette, virgin, who at first professed the rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, and afterwards, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, restored the pristine discipline to a great number of monasteries of Nuns of the Second Order.   Because she was graced with heavenly virtues, and performed innumerable miracles, she was inscribed on the roll of saints by Pope Pius VII.
Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby Abbey in Picardy, France. She was born on January 13, christened Nicolette, and called Colette. Orphaned at seventeen, she distributed her inheritance to the poor. She became a Franciscan tertiary, and lived at Corby as a solitary. She soon became well known for her holiness and spiritual wisdom, but left her cell in 1406 in response to a dream directing her to reform the Poor Clares. She received the Poor Clares habit from Peter de Luna, whom the French recognized as Pope under the name of Benedict XIII, with orders to reform the Order and appointing her Superior of all convents she reformed. Despite great opposition, she persisted in her efforts. She founded seventeen convents with the reformed rule and reformed several older convents. She was reknowned for her sanctity, ecstacies, and visions of the Passion, and prophesied her own death in her convent at Ghent, Belgium. A branch of the Poor Clares is still known as the Collettines. She was canonized in 1807.
Colette (Coleta, Niolette), Poor Clare V (RM) Born at Calcye, Picardy, France, on January 13, 1381; died in Ghent, Flanders, 1447; canonized in 1807.
Born to De Boilet (or Boylet), a carpenter at Corbie Abbey in Picardy, her parents named her Nicolette in honor of Saint Nicholas of Myra. They died when she was 17, leaving her in the care of the abbot.
Colette was said to be petite and very beautiful. She tried her religious vocation with the Beguines and Benedictines but failed. She distributed her possessions to the poor and entered the third order of Saint Francis.
When she was 21, the abbot gave Colette a small hermitage beside the church of Corbie, where she lived a life of such austerity that her fame spread and people came seeking her advice. Colette had dreams and visions in which Saint Francis appeared and charged her to restore the first rule of Saint Clare in its original severity. She hesitated to act upon this but was struck blind for three days and dumb for three more, which she saw as a sign.
Encouraged by her spiritual director, Father Henry de Baume, she left her hermitage in 1406. After trying to explain her mission to two convents, she realized that she must have better authority to accomplish her mission. She set out for Nice, barefoot and clothed in a habit of patches, to meet with Peter de Luna, acknowledged by the French during the great schism as pope under the name Benedict XIII.
He welcomed her and professed her as a Poor Clare. He was so impressed with her that he made her superioress of all the convents of Minoresses that she might reform or found and a missioner to the friars and tertiaries of Saint Francis.
She travelled from convent to convent through Picardy and Savoy. At first she was met with rude opposition and treated as a fanatic, and even accused of sorcery. She met rebuffs and curses patiently, however, and eventually began to make inroads, especially in Savoy, where her reform gained sympathizers and recruits. This reform passed to Burgundy, France, Flanders, and Spain.
With the support of Henry de Baume, the first house of Poor Clares to receive the reformed rule did so in 1410. She aided Saint Vincent Ferrer in the work of healing the papal schism. Colette also founded 17 new convents, in addition to reforming many, including several houses of Franciscan friars. Her most famous convent is Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire), which has sustained an unbroken continuity, even through the French Revolution.
Saint Colette was untrained and unprepared for the work for which she had been commissioned; she achieved it by the power of faith and holiness, and a determination that no opposition could discourage. Impressed by her simple goodness, many people of high rank were greatly influenced by her, including James of Bourbon and Philip the Good of Burgundy.
Like Saint Francis, Colette had a deep devotion to Christ's Passion with an appreciation and care for animals. She fasted on Fridays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., meditating on the Passion. Almost always after receiving Holy Communion she would fall into an hours-long ecstasy.
It is said that Colette met Saint Joan of Arc on her way with an army to besiege La Charite-sur-Loire in 1429, but there is no evidence.
In Flanders, where she had established several houses, Colette was seized with a last illness. She foretold her own death, received the last rites, and died in her convent in Ghent at age 67. Her body was removed by Poor Clares when Emperor Joseph II was suppressing religious houses in Flanders; it was taken to her convent at Poligny, 32 miles from Besancon. A branch of Poor Clares is still known as the Colettines (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, Perrin, White).
In art, Saint Colette is often depicted as a Poor Clare visited by Saint Anne, Saint Francis, or Saint Clare in a vision; sometimes holding a crucifix and a hook. She may also be shown miraculously walking on a stream (Roeder, White). She is venerated in Ghent and Corbie (Picardy) (Roeder).

1447 BD THOMAS OF FLORENCE; a Franciscan lay brother; the gift of miracles; Many urged that Bd Thomas should be canonized with St Bernardino of Siena, whose cause was then in process. To prevent the delay that would have resulted, St John of Capistrano, it is said, went to Thomas’s tomb at Rieti and commanded him in the name of holy obedience to cease his miracles until the canonization of Bernardino should be achieved. They stopped for three years, but Bd Thomas has never been canonized. His cultus was approved in 1771.

THOMAS BELLACCI, a native of Florence, was a Franciscan lay brother, who as a young man had led a wild and disorderly life. Realization of the futility of it all and the wise words of a friend wrought a change in him and he was accepted—with some trepidation, for his excesses were notorious—by the friars of the Observance at Fiesole. But his penitence equaled his former sinfulness, and in time, for all he was a lay brother, he was made master of novices, whom he trained in the strictest ways of the Observance.

When in 1414 Friar John of Stroncone went to spread the reform in the kingdom of Naples he took Bd Thomas with him. He laboured there for some six years, strengthened with the gift of miracles, and then, authorized by Pope Martin V, he undertook, in company with Bd Antony of Stron­cone, to oppose the heretical Fraticelli in Tuscany. While engaged in this cam­paign he made a number of new foundations, over which St Bernardino gave him authority, his own headquarters being at the friary of Scarlino. Here he established a custom of going in procession after the night office to a neighbouring wood, where each friar had a little shelter of boughs and shrubs wherein they remained for a time in prayer.

As a result of the “reunion council” at Florence in 1439, Friar Albert of Sarzana was sent as papal legate to the Syrian Jacobites and other dissidents of the East, and he took Thomas with him, although he was in his seventieth year. From Persia Albert commissioned him to go with three other friars into Ethiopia. Three times on their way the Turks, who treated them with great cruelty, seized them. But Bd Thomas insisted on preaching to the Mohammedans, and eventually they had to be ransomed by Pope Eugenius IV, just before their captors were going to put them to death. Bd Thomas could not get over that God had refused the proffered sacrifice of his life, and in 1447, aged as he was, he set out for Rome to ask permission to go again to the East. But at Rieti he was taken ill, and died there on October 31.  Many urged that Bd Thomas should be canonized with St Bernardino of Siena, whose cause was then in process. To prevent the delay that would have resulted, St John of Capistrano, it is said, went to Thomas’s tomb at Rieti and commanded him in the name of holy obedience to cease his miracles until the canonization of Bernardino should be achieved. They stopped for three years, but Bd Thomas has never been canonized. His cultus was approved in 1771.

See Wadding, Annales Minorum; Mazzara, Leggendario francescano and the summary in Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), Vol. iv.
1452 Blessed Peter de Geremia; heard a knock at the window; no church large enough to hold crowds; countless miracles: fish, stopped Aetna w/veil of Saint Agatha, raised dead etc. OP (AC)
Born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, in 1381; cultus approved in 1784.  God has a mission for each of us and has given us the gifts to successfully complete the purpose for which He created us. Our job is to discern our role in His creation. The gifts He has given us can be the instrument of our damnation when used against His purposes; when we discern correctly through prayer and spiritual direction these same talents and abilities can sanctify us and those around us. It's not too late to seek God's will for your life--in fact, we should attempt to understand His will for our every action, each day, using all the gifts his has given us.
1452 BD PETER GEREMIA
THE life of this holy man was written by one of his brethren who knew him well and had lived with him in the same friary. Born in Palermo, Peter was the son of a jurist and fiscal agent to King Alfonso I and at the age of eighteen was sent to the University of Bologna to study law with a view to succeeding to his father’s office. There he made such progress that he was often called upon to take the chair of the professor when the latter was prevented from delivering his lectures. Peter was on the eve of taking his degree when he had a strange experience which he ever afterwards looked upon as a supernatural interposition. He was sitting one evening in his room, buried in study, when he was disturbed by loud and persistent rapping on his window—which was on the third storey. Startled, he inquired who the unseen visitor could be and what he wanted. “I am your cousin”, replied a voice.  “After I had taken my degree, I also was called to the bar where, as you know, I gained honour and distinction. Blind and miserable wretch that I was, I spent my whole time in defence of others, and I even, against my conscience, undertook unjust cases in order to obtain money and fame. I found no one to plead my own case before the judgement-seat of God, and I am now condemned to ever­lasting torment. But before I am cast into Hell I am sent to warn you to flee from the courts of men if you wish to be acquitted before the judgement-seat of God.”

Peter lost no time in acting upon the warning. Then and there he took a vow of perpetual chastity, and the next morning he bought an iron chain which he wound three times round his body and riveted there, This was found embedded in his flesh fifty-one years later when his body was being prepared for burial. He then obtained admission into the Dominican convent at Bologna. When news of this reached the ears of his father he was greatly incensed and travelled to Bologna, intending to remove the novice by force and compel him to complete his legal studies. Peter refused to see his parent, but sent a message saying that he was welt and needed nothing that his relations could give him except their prayers. Whilst the father raged and threatened, the young man was asking as a special grace that he might neither be unfaithful to his vocation nor forfeit the love of his parents, to whom he was greatly attached. When an interview was at last arranged, the father was completely softened and gave Peter his blessing.

After he was raised to the priesthood he became a celebrated preacher and brought many to repentance and newness of life. St Vincent Ferrer when he visited Bologna sought him out to congratulate him on the work he was doing and to urge him to continue labours which God had so wonderfully blessed. Summoned as a theologian to the Council of Florence, Bd Peter found his learning and eloquence greatly extolled by Pope Eugenius IV, who wished to raise him to high ecclesiastical honours. He declined all preferment, but was obliged to accept the post of apostolic visitor in Sicily, though he stipulated that his powers should be limited to the restoration of regular observance in religious houses where irregu­larities had crept in during the Great Schism. In this delicate task he was entirely successful, and his preaching to the people was no less popular than in Italy. He died at Palermo in 1452, and his cultus was confirmed in 1784.

A picturesque story is told of Bd Peter when he was prior of Palermo. One day the procurator told him that there was no food in the house. It was a Friday, and the prior, knowing that a fisherman in the neighbourhood had had a good haul of tunny, took boat and went to beg a few of the fish for his brethren. The man refused roughly. Peter said nothing and started back in his boat, when lo! all the fish broke through the nets and were escaping out to sea. The fisher­man, aghast, followed in pursuit of Peter and besought pardon. He made the sign of the cross over the sea, and thereupon the fish again became entangled in the nets, and the man eagerly bestowed on the prior as much fish as he needed.

See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i; Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus O.P. p. 38; Mortier, Maîtres Généraux O.P., vol. iv, pp. 152—212 and M. A. Coniglione, Pietro Geremia (1952).

Peter Geremia was unusually gifted. He was sent early to the University of Bologna, where he passed his studies brilliantly, and attracted the attention and praise of all. On the brink of a successful career as a lawyer, he experienced a sudden and total conversion.  Having retired one night, he was pleasantly dreaming of the honors that would soon come to him in his work, when he heard a knock at the window. As his room was on the third floor, and there was nothing for a human to stand on outside his window, he sat up, in understandable fright, and asked who was there. A hollow voice responded that he was a relative who had just died, a successful lawyer who had wanted human praise so badly that he had lied to win it, and now was eternally lost because of his pride. Peter was terrified, and acted at once upon the suggestion to turn, while there was still time, from the vanity of public acclaim. He went the next day to a locksmith and bought an iron chain, which he riveted tightly about him. He began praying seriously to know his vocation.  Soon thereafter, God made known to him that he should enter the Dominican Order. He did so as soon as possible. His new choice of vocation was a bitter blow to his father, who had gloried in his son's achievements, hoping to see him become the most famous lawyer in Europe. He angrily journeyed to Bologna to see his son and demanded that he come home. The prior, trying to calm the excited man, finally agreed to call Peter. As the young man approached them, radiantly happy in his new life, the father's heart was touched, and he gladly gave his blessing to the new undertaking.
Peter's brilliant mind and great spiritual gifts found room for development in the order, and he became known as one of the finest preachers in Sicily. He was so well known that Saint Vincent Ferrer asked to see him, and they conversed happily on spiritual matters. He always preached in the open air, because there was no church large enough to hold the crowds that flocked to hear him.
Being prior of the abbey, Peter was consulted one day when there was no food for the community. He went down to the shore and asked a fisherman for a donation. He was rudely refused. Getting into a boat, he rowed out from the shore and made a sign to the fish; they broke the nets and followed him. Repenting of his bad manners, the fisherman apologized, whereupon Peter made another sign to the fish, sending them back into the nets again. The records say that the monastery was ever afterwards supplied with fish.
Peter was sent as visitator to establish regular observance in the monasteries of Sicily. He was called to Florence by the pope to try healing the Greek schism. A union of the opposing groups was affected, though it did not last. Peter was offered a bishopric (and refused it) for his work in this matter.
At one time, when Peter was preaching at Catania, Mount Etna erupted and torrents of flame and lava flowed down on the city. The people cast themselves at his feet, begging him to save them. After preaching a brief and pointed sermon on repentance, Peter went into the nearby shrine of Saint Agatha, removed the veil of the saint, which was there honored as a relic, and held it towards the approaching tide of destruction. The eruption ceased and the town was saved.
This and countless other miracles he performed caused him to be revered as a saint. He raised the dead to life, healed the crippled and the blind, and brought obstinate sinners to the feet of God. Only after his death was it known how severely he had punished his own body in memory of his youthful pride (Benedictines, Dorcy).
1457 St. Rita of Cascia wife mother widow religious community member legendary austerity prayerfulness charity
Cássiæ, in Umbria, sanctæ Ritæ Víduæ, Moniális ex Ordine Eremitárum sancti Augustíni; quæ, post sæculi núptias, ætérnum sponsum Christum únice diléxit.
    At Cascia in Umbria, St. Rita, a widow and nun of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine, who, after being disengaged from her earthly marriage, loved only her eternal spouse Christ.

1457 ST RITA OF CASCIA, WIDOW
IN the year 1381 there was born in a peasant home at Roccaporena in the central Apennines a little girl who, as an exemplary daughter, wife and religious, was destined to attain to great heights of holiness in this life, and afterwards to merit from countless grateful souls by her intercession in Heaven the title of “the saint of the impossible and the advocate of desperate cases”.
The child of her parents’ old age, Rita—as she was named—showed from her earliest years extraordinary piety and love of prayer. She had set her heart upon dedicating herself to God in the Augustinian convent at Cascia, but when her father and mother decreed that she should marry, she sorrowfully submitted, deeming that in obeying them she was fulfilling God’s will. Her parents’ choice was an unfortunate one. Her husband proved to be brutal, dissolute and so violent that his temper was the terror of the neighbourhood. For eighteen years with unflinching patience and gentleness Rita bore with his insults and infidelities. As with a breaking heart she watched her two Sons fall more and more under their father’s evil influence, she shed many tears in secret and prayed for them without ceasing. Eventually there came a day when her husband’s conscience was touched, so that he begged her forgiveness for all the suffering he had caused her: but shortly afterwards he was carried home dead, covered with wounds. Whether he had been the aggressor or the victim of a vendetta she never knew. Poignancy was added to her grief by the discovery that her sons had vowed to avenge their father’s death, and in an agony of sorrow she prayed that they might die rather than commit murder. Her prayer was answered. Before they had carried out their purpose they contracted an illness which proved fatal. Their mother nursed them tenderly and succeeded in bringing them to a better mind, so that they died forgiving and forgiven.
Left alone in the world, Rita’s longing for the religious life returned, and she tried to enter the convent at Cascia. She was informed, however, to her dismay that the constitutions forbade the reception of any but virgins. Three times she made application, begging to be admitted in any capacity, and three times the prioress reluctantly refused her. Nevertheless her persistence triumphed: the rules were relaxed in her favour and she received the habit in the year 1413.
In the convent St Rita displayed the same submission to authority which she had shown as a daughter and wife. No fault could be found with her observance of the rule, and when her superior, to try her, bade her water a dead vine in the garden, she not only complied without a word, but continued day after day to tend the old stump. On the other hand, where latitude was allowed by the rule—as in the matter of extra austerities—she was pitiless to herself. Her charity to her neighbour expressed itself especially in her care for her fellow religious during illness and for the conversion of negligent Christians, many of whom were brought to repentance by her prayers and persuasion. All that she said or did was prompted primarily by her fervent love of God, the ruling passion of her life. From childhood she had had a special devotion to the sufferings of our Lord, the contemplation of which would sometimes send her into an ecstasy, and when in 1441 she heard an eloquent sermon on the crown of thorns from St James della Marca, a strange physical reaction seems to have followed. While she knelt, absorbed in prayer, she became acutely conscious of pain—as of a thorn which had detached itself from the crucifix and embedded itself in her forehead. It developed into an open wound which suppurated and became so offensive that she had to be secluded from the rest. We read that the wound was healed for a season, in answer to her prayers, to enable her to accompany her sisters on a pilgrimage to Rome during the year of the jubilee, 1450, but it was renewed after her return and remained with her until her death, obliging her to live practically as a recluse.
During her later years St Rita was afflicted also by a wasting disease, which she bore with perfect resignation. She would never relax any of her austerities or sleep on anything softer than rough straw. She died on May 22, 1457, and her body has remained incorrupt until modern times. The roses which are St Rita’s emblem and which are blessed in Augustinian churches on her festival refer to an old tradition. It is said that when the saint was nearing her death she asked a visitor from Roccaporena to go to her old garden and bring her a rose. It was early in the season and the friend had little expectation of being able to gratify what she took to be a sick woman’s fancy. To her great surprise, on entering the garden, she saw on a bush a rose in full bloom. Having given it to St Rita she asked if she could do anything more for her. “Yes”, was the reply. “Bring me two figs from the garden.” The visitor hastened back and discovered two ripe figs on a leafless tree.
The evidence upon which rests the story of St Rita as it is popularly presented cannot be described as altogether satisfactory. The saint died in 1457, but the first biography of which anything is known, written by John George de Amicis, only saw the light in 1600 and we can learn little or nothing of the sources from which it was compiled. A considerable number of lives have appeared in modern times, but in spite of the diligence of their various authors they add hardly anything in the way of historical fact to the slender sketch which may be read in the Acta Sanctorum (May, vol. v), which is derived mainly from the seventeenth century life by Cavallucci. There are also many chronological problems, which, pace Father Vannutelli, still remain unsettled. In English we have a Life of St Rita of Cascia, by H. Conolly (1903), and Our Own Saint Rita, by M. J. Corcoran (1919). Of the numerous Italian biographies those by P. Marabottini (1923) and by L. Vannutelli (1925) seem most in favour.

b. 1381 Like Elizabeth Ann Seton, Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow and member of a religious community. Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life.

Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. After her husband was killed in a brawl and her sons had died, Rita tried to join the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Unsuccessful at first because she was a widow, Rita eventually succeeded.
Over the years, her austerity, prayerfulness and charity became legendary. When she developed wounds on her forehead, people quickly associated them with the wounds from Christ's crown of thorns. She meditated frequently on Christ's passion. Her care for the sick nuns was especially loving. She also counseled lay people who came to her monastery.
Beatified in 1626, Rita was not canonized until 1900. She has acquired the reputation, together with St. Jude, as a saint of impossible cases. Many people visit her tomb each year.
She died on May 22 at Cascia, and many miracles were reported instantly. She is honored in Spain as La Santa de los Impossibles and elsewhere as a patron saint of hopeless causes.
Comment:  Although we can easily imagine an ideal world in which to live out our baptismal vocation, such a world does not exist. An “If only ….” approach to holiness never quite gets underway, never produces the fruit that God has a right to expect.
Rita became holy because she made choices that reflected her Baptism and her growth as a disciple of Jesus. Her overarching, lifelong choice was to cooperate generously with God's grace, but many small choices were needed to make that happen. Few of those choices were made in ideal circumstances—not even when Rita became an Augustinian nun.
Quote:  For the Baptism of adults and for all the baptized at the Easter Vigil, three questions are asked: “Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God's children? Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?”

Rita (Margarita) of Cascia, OSA Widow (RM) Born in Roccaporena in the Apennines near Spoleto, Italy, in 1381; died at Cascia, Umbria, Italy, May 22, 1457; canonized in 1900. Rita was born to elderly parents and showed an early vocation for religious life. She wanted to enter an Augustinian convent, but she gave into her parents' wishes and married at the age of 12.

Her husband was a cruel and brutal man, well known in the neighborhood for his rude manners and violent temper. For 18 years she lived patiently with her contemptuous and philandering husband, forced to watch her sons becoming tainted by his influence. There came a point where he repented, however, and begged her to forgive him for his ill treatment; he was murdered shortly afterward in a vendetta. When her sons vowed to avenge their father's death, Rita prayed that they might die rather than commit murder. Both fell ill, and she nursed them and brought to them a spirit of forgiveness before they died.

Rita applied three times to the Augustinian convent at Cascia but was turned away because its rule permitted only virgins. But in 1413, as a result of her persistence and strong faith, an exception was made, and she took the habit. I much prefer the version of the story that I learned in my youth: When the convent repeatedly denied her entry into the convent, Rita continued to pray until one night her prayer was answered. Miraculously, she was transported into the convent at night despite the locked doors. When the sisters found her inside they decided that it must be God's will for Rita to be accepted.

Once professed Rita enforced hard austerities upon herself, becoming known for her penances and concern for others. She cared for the other nuns when they were ill and worked to return Christians who had neglected the faith back to observance.

In 1441, she heard a sermon by Saint James della Marca on the Crown of Thorns. Soon afterward, as she prayed, she became conscious of pain, as if a thorn had become embedded in her forehead. The location developed into an open wound, and it became so unattractive that she was separated from her sisters. The wound healed enough for her to attend a pilgrimage to Rome in 1450, but it reappeared after her return and remained with her until her death of tuberculosis, necessitating that she live in seclusion.

Several miracles were attributed to her after her death. In fact, her body is said to have remained incorrupt until recent times. The earliest biography of Saint Rita was not written until nearly 150 years after her death; thus, it should be recognized that the details of her story are not well attested (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, White).

In art, Saint Rita is depicted as an Augustinian nun praying before a crucifix, a thorn from the crown wounds her brow. She may also be shown receiving a crown of roses from the Virgin and a crown of thorns from the saints (Roeder). Rita's emblem in art is roses, which are blessed on her feast day (White).

She is patron of those in desperate situations (perhaps an allusion to her own life), of parenthood, and against infertility. In Spain Rita is known as "La Abogada de Imposibles", the patron saint of desperate cases, particularly matrimonial difficulties. An Italian poll showed that her popularity is greater than that of the Madonna (White). Rita is especially venerated in Cascia and Spoleto (Roeder).
15th v. Saint Matrona; she founded a small monastery for women. Soon other nuns joined her in her ascetical struggles; worked many miracles both during her life and after her death, and was revered throughout Chios for her virtuous life and holiness. She showed charity to the poor, and was able to heal the sick.
Born in the village of Volissos on Chios of wealthy and pious parents, Leon and Anna sometime in the fourteenth century. From her youth she showed an inclination for monasticism. One day she left her parents and went to live in an unpopulated area, where she founded a small monastery for women. Soon other nuns joined her in her ascetical struggles.
St Matrona worked many miracles both during her life and after her death, and was revered throughout Chios for her virtuous life and holiness. She showed charity to the poor, and was able to heal the sick.
The service to St Matrona was composed by Metropolitan Niketas of Rhodes. It was found in a codex from 1455, which would indicate that she died sometime before this date.  St Matrona is also commemorated on July 15 (the finding of her head).

1450 Bd Stephen Bandelli; doctor of canon law, University of Pavia professorship, honoured as a saint and a wonder-worker;

One of the most successful preachers of the Dominican Order in the first half of the fifteenth century was Friar Stephen Bandelli. He was born in 1369 in northern Italy, and received the Dominican habit at Piacenza. His piety and obedience were an inspiration to his brethren, while his learning obtained for him the degree of doctor of canon law and a professorship in the University of Pavia. But it was in the pulpit and in the confessional that he specially shone. Wherever he preached, in Liguria and elsewhere, crowds assembled to hear him, and innumerable sinners were converted from the error of their ways. He died at the age of eighty-one at Saluzzo, in the diocese of Turin, and was honoured as a saint and a wonder-worker. Thirty-seven years after his death, when Saluzzo was surrounded by a hostile force, strange forms appeared in the sky, which were held to be those of our Lady and Bd Stephen; the enemy withdrew without laying siege to the town, and the people of Saluzzo, in gratitude to Bd Stephen, instituted an annual procession in his honour. Pope Pius IX. confirmed his ancient cultus in 1856.

See Seeböck, Die Herrlichkeit der Katholischen Kirche, pp. 127 seq. Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 174-175; Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus O.P.

1456 St. John of Capistrano “Initiative, Organization, Activity.
Apud Villáckum, in Pannónia, natális sancti Joánnis de Capistráno, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, vitæ sanctitáte ac fídei cathólicæ propagándæ zelo illústris; qui Taurunénsem arcem, validíssimo Turcárum exércitu profligáto, suis précibus et miráculis ab obsidióne liberávit.  Ejus tamen festívitas quinto Kaléndas Aprílis recólitur.
    At Vilak in Hungary, the birthday of St. John Capistran, priest and confessor of the Order of Friars Minor, illustrious for the sanctity of his life and his zeal for the propagation of the Catholic faith.  By his prayers and miracles, he routed a powerful army of Turks, and forced them to quit the siege of Tornau.  His feastday, however, is celebrated on the 28th of March.
 
Sancti Joánnis de Capistráno, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, cujus memória recólitur décimo Kaléndas Novémbris.
    St. John Capistrano, confessor, a priest of the Order of Friars Minor, who is mentioned on the 23rd of October, formerly March 28.

ST JOHN OF CAPISTRANO
CAPISTRANO is a little town in the Abruzzi, which of old formed part of the kingdom of Naples.

Here in the fourteenth century a certain free-lance —whether he was of French or of German origin is disputed—had settled down after military service under Louis I and had married an Italian wife. A son, named John, was born to him in 1386 who was destined to become famous as one of the great lights of the Franciscan Order.

From early youth the boy’s talents made him conspicuous. He studied law at Perugia with such success that in 1412 he was appointed governor of that city and married the daughter of one of the principal inhabitants. During hostilities between Perugia and the Malatestas he — was imprisoned, and this was the occasion of his resolution to change his way of life and become a religious.

How he got over the difficulty of his marriage is not altogether clear. But it is said that he rode through Perugia on a donkey with his face to the tail and with a huge paper hat on his head upon which all his worst sins were plainly written. He was pelted by the children and covered with filth, and in this guise presented himself to ask admission into the noviceship of the Friars Minor. At that date, 1416, he was thirty years old, and his novice-master seems to have thought that for a man of such strength of will who had been accustomed to have his own way, a very severe training was necessary to test the genuineness of his vocation. (He had not yet even made his first communion.) The trials to which he was subjected were most humiliating and were apparently sometimes attended with supernatural manifestations. But Brother John persevered, and in after years often expressed his gratitude to the relentless instructor who had made it clear to him that self-conquest was the only sure road to perfection.

In 1420 John was raised to the priesthood. Meanwhile he made extraordinary progress in his theological studies, leading at the same time a life of extreme austerity, in which he tramped the roads barefoot without sandals, gave only three or four hours to sleep and wore a hair-shirt continually.

In his studies he had St James of the Marches as a fellow learner, and for a master St Bernardino of Siena, for whom he conceived the deepest veneration and affection.

Very soon John’s exceptional gifts of oratory made themselves perceptible. The whole of Italy at that period was passing through a terrible crisis of political unrest and relaxation of morals, troubles which were largely caused, and in any case accentuated, by the fact that there were three rival claimants for the papacy and that the bitter antagonisms between Guelfs and Ghibellines had not yet been healed.

Still, in preaching throughout the length and breadth of the peninsula St John met with wonderful response. There is undoubtedly a note of exaggeration in the terms in which Fathers Christopher of Varese and Nicholas of Fara describe the effect produced by his discourses. They speak of a hundred thousand or even a hundred and fifty thousand auditors being present at a single sermon. That was certainly not possible in a country depopulated by wars, pestilence and famine, and in view of the limited means of locomotion then available. But there was good evidence to justify the enthusiasm of the latter writer when he tells us: “No one was more anxious than John Capistran for the conversion of heretics, schismatics and Jews. No one was more anxious that religion should flourish, or had more power in working wonders; no one was so ardently desirous of martyrdom, no one was more famous for his holiness. And so he was welcomed with honour in all the provinces of Italy. The throng of people at his sermons was so great that it might be thought that the apostolic times were revived. On his arrival in a pro­vince, the towns and villages were in commotion and flocked in crowds to hear him. The towns invited him to visit them, either by pressing letters, or by deputations, or by an appeal to the Sovereign Pontiff through the medium of influential persons.”

But the work of preaching and the conversion of souls by no means absorbed all the saint’s attention. There is no occasion to make reference here in any detail to the domestic embarrassments which had beset the Order of St Francis since the death Of their Seraphic Founder. It is sufficient to say that the party known as the “Spirituals” held by no means the same views of religious observance as were entertained by those whom they termed the “Relaxed”.

The Observant reform which had been initiated in the middle of the fourteenth century still found itself hampered in many ways by the administration of superiors general who held a different standard of perfection, and on the other hand there had also been exaggerations in the direction of much greater austerity culminating eventually in the heretical teachings of the Fraticelli. All these difficulties required adjustment, and Capistran, working in harmony with St Bernardino of Siena, was called upon to bear a large share in this burden. After the general chapter held at Assisi in 1430, St John was appointed to draft the conclusions at which the assembly arrived, and these “Martinian statutes”, as they were called, in virtue of their confirmation by Pope Martin V, are among the most important in the history of the order.

So again John was on several occasions entrusted with inquisitorial powers by the Holy See, as for example to take proceedings against the Fraticelli and to inquire into the grave allegations which had been made against the Order of Gesuats founded by Bd John Colombini. Further, he was keenly interested in that reform of the Franciscan nuns which owed its chief inspiration to St Colette, and in the tertiaries of the order. In the Council of Ferrara, later removed to Florence, he was heard with attention, but between the early and the final sessions he had been compelled to visit Jerusalem as apostolic commissary, and incidentally had done much to help on the inclusion of the Armenians with the Greeks in the accommodation, unfor­tunately only short-lived, which was arrived at in Florence.

When the Emperor Frederick III, finding that the religious faith of the countries under his suzerainty was suffering grievously from the activities of the Hussites and other heretical sectariès, appealed to Pope Nicholas V for help, St John Capistran was sent as commissary and inquisitor general, and he set out for Vienna in 1451 with twelve of his Franciscan brethren to assist him. It is beyond doubt that his coming produced a great sensation. Aeneas Sylvius (the future Pope Pius II) tells us how, when he entered Austrian territory, “priests and people came out to meet him, carrying the sacred relics. They received him as a legate of the Apostolic See, as a preacher of truth, as some great prophet sent by God. They came down from the mountains to greet John, as though Peter or Paul or one of the other apostles were journeying there. They eagerly kissed the hem of his garment, brought their sick and afflicted to his feet, and it is reported that very many were cured...The elders of the city met him and conducted him to Vienna. No square in the city could contain the crowds. They looked on him as an angel of God.”

John’s work as inquisitor and his dealings with the Hussites and other Bohemian heretics have been severely criticized, but this is not the place to attempt any justification. His zeal was of the kind that sears and consumes, though he was merciful to the submissive and repentant, and he was before his time in his attitude to witchcraft and the use of torture. The miracles which attended his progress wherever he went, and which he attributed to the relics of St Bernardino of Siena, were sedulously recorded by his companions, and a certain prejudice was afterwards created against the saint by the accounts which were published of these marvels. He went from place to place, preaching in Bavaria, Saxony and Poland, and his efforts were everywhere accompanied by a great revival of faith and devotion.

Cochlaeus of Nuremberg tells us how “those who saw him there describe him as a man small of body, withered, emaciated, nothing but skin and bone, but cheerful, strong and strenuous in labour...He slept in his habit, rose before dawn, recited his office and then celebrated Mass. After that he preached, in Latin, which was afterwards explained to the people by an interpreter.” He also made a round of the sick who awaited his coming, laying his hands upon each, praying, and touching them with one of the relics of St Bernardino.
It was the capture of Constantinople by the Turks which brought this spiritual campaign to an end. Capistran was called upon to rally the defenders of the West and to preach a crusade against the infidel. His earlier efforts in Bavaria, and even in Austria, met with little response, and early in 1456 the situation became desperate. The Turks were advancing to lay siege to Belgrade, and the saint, who by this time had made his way into Hungary, taking counsel with the great general Hunyady, saw clearly that they would have to depend in the main upon local effort. St John wore himself out in preaching and exhorting the Hungarian people in order to raise an army that could meet the threatened danger, and himself led to Belgrade the troops he had been able to recruit. Very soon the Turks were in position and the siege began. Animated by the prayers and the heroic example in the field of Capistran, and wisely guided by the military experience of Hunyady, the garrison in the end gained an overwhelming victory. The siege was abandoned, and western Europe for the time was saved. But the infection bred by thousands of corpses which lay unburied round the city cost the life first of all of Hunyady, and then a month or two later of Capistran himself, worn out by years of toil and of austerities and by the strain of the siege. He died most peacefully at Villach on October 23, 1456, and was canonized in 1724. His feast was in 1890 made general for all the Western church, and was then transferred to March 28.

The more important biographical materials for the history of St John of Capistrano are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. x. See BHL., nn. 4360—4368. But in addition to these there is a considerable amount of new information concerning St John’s writings, letters, reforms and other activities which has been printed during the present century in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum edited at Quaracchi; attention may be called in particular to the papers on St John and the Hussites in vols. xv and xvi of the same periodical. This and other material has been used by J. Hofer in his St John Capistran, Reformer (1943), a work of much erudition and value. English readers may also be referred to a short life by Fr V. Fitzgerald, and to Leon, Auréole Séraphique  (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 388—420.
It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events.
Imagine being born in the fourteenth century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times.
John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later.
His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion.
The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the “Spirituals were freed from interference in their stricter observance.
He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Junyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to the infection bred by the refuse of battle. He died October 23, 1456.

St. John of Capistrano, priest At Ilok in Hungary
of the Order of Friars Minor. He was illustrious for holiness Of life and zeal in extending the Catholic faith. By his prayers and miracles, he delivered from a siege the fortress of Zemun, a suburb of Belgrade, when it was beleaguered by a powerful Turkish army.
Comment: John Hofer, a biographer of John Capistrano, recalls a Brussels organization named after the saint. Seeking to solve life problems in a fully Christian spirit, its motto was: Initiative, Organization, Activity. These three words characterized John's life. He was not one to sit around, ever. His deep Christian optimism drove him to battle problems at all levels with the confidence engendered by a deep faith in Christ.
Quote:  On the saint's tomb in the Austrian town of Villach, the governor had this message inscribed: This tomb holds John, by birth of Capistrano, a man worthy of all praise, defender and promoter of the faith, guardian of the Church, zealous protector of his Order, an ornament to all the world, lover of truth and religious justice, mirror of life, surest guide in doctrine; praised by countless tongues, he reigns blessed in heaven. That is a fitting epitaph for a real and successful optimist.
St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456) 
It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events.
Imagine being born in the fourteenth century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times.
John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later.
His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion.
The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance.
He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement.
When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Junyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to the infection bred by the refuse of battle. He died October 23, 1456.
1456 St. Peter Regulatus noble family Franciscan reformer severe asceticism levitate ecstasies
 Aquilériæ, in Hispánia, sancti Petri Regaláti, in urbe Vallisoletána orti, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, reguláris disciplínæ in Hispániæ cœnóbiis restitutóris; quem Benedíctus Décimus quartus, Póntifex Máximus, Sanctórum fastis adscrípsit.
       At Aquileria in Spain, the confessor St. Peter Regulatus, priest of the Order of Friars Minor.  He was born in Valladolid, and restored the regular discipline in the Spanish monasteries.  Pope Benedict XIV placed him on the roll of saints.

b. 1390
Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at Valladolid, Spain, to a noble family, and entered the Franciscan Order in his native city at the age of thirteen. After several years, he transferred to a far more austere monastery at Tribulos, where he became known for his severe asceticism as well as his abilities to levitate and enter into ecstasies. A success as abbot, he gave himself over to bringing needed reforms to the monastery and to promoting reforms in other Franciscan houses. For his zeal in adhering to the rules of the community he was designated Regulatus.
St. Peter Regaldo (1390-1456) 
Peter lived at a very busy time. The Great Western Schism (1378 - 1417) was settled at the Council of Constance (1414-1418). France and England were fighting the Hundred Years’ War, and in 1453 the Byzantine Empire was completely wiped out by the loss of Constantinople to the Turks. At Peter’s death the age of printing had just begun in Germany, and Columbus's arrival in the New World was less than 40 years away.
Peter came from a wealthy and pious family in Valladolid, Spain. At the age of 13, he was allowed to enter the Conventual Franciscans. Shortly after his ordination, he was made superior of the friary in Aguilar. He became part of a group of friars who wanted to lead a life of greater poverty and penance. In 1442 he was appointed head of all the Spanish Franciscans in his reform group.
Peter led the friars by his example. A special love of the poor and the sick characterized Peter. Miraculous stories are told about his charity to the poor. For example, the bread never seemed to run out as long as Peter had hungry people to feed. Throughout most of his life, Peter went hungry; he lived only on bread and water.
Immediately after his death on March 31, 1456, his grave became a place of pilgrimage. Peter was canonized in 1746.
Comment: Peter was an effective leader of the friars because he did not become ensnared in anger over the sins of others. Peter helped sinning friars rearrange the priorities in their lives and dedicate themselves to living the gospel of Jesus Christ as they had vowed. This patient correction is an act of charity available to all Franciscans, not just to superiors.
Quote: "And let all the brothers, both the ministers and servants as well as the others, take care not to be disturbed or angered at the sin or the evil of another, because the devil wishes to destroy many through the fault of one; but they should spiritually help [the brother] who has sinned as best they can, because it is not the healthy who are in need of the physician, but those who are sick (cf. Mt 9:12; Mk 2:17)" (Rule of 1221, Chapter 5).

1458 Blessed Bernard of Baden renounced his worldly power and possessions in order to organize a Crusade to the Holy Land died without having met his goal  (AC)
Born in 1428; cultus confirmed in 1481 and again in 1769. Bernard was the margrave of Baden, who renounced his worldly power and possessions in order to organize a Crusade to the Holy Land. While his brother took on Bernard's former secular rule, God's man offered himself to several European courts to undertake a crusade against the Turks. He died without having met his goal (Benedictines).
Amoung the descendants of Herman von Zahringen, who gave up the margravate of Baden to become a Cluniac monk, was the Margrave James I, who was known in his day as "the Solomon of Germany";    he married Catherine, the daughter of Charles II of Lorraine and Margaret of Bavaria, and to them was born a son Bernard, about the year 1429.   He turned out a brilliant young man, with a taste both for letters and for soldiering, but he refused to betroth himself to the daughter of the King of France; and when his father died in 1453 he turned his responsibilities and rights as margrave over to his brother Charles and went from court to court of Europe trying to stir up their sovereigns to a crusade against the Turks, who on May 29, 1453 had captured Constantinople.  Bernard set out for Rome to get the support of Pope Callistus III, but just after leaving Turin he was attacked by the plague and died in the Franciscan monastery at Moncalieri, being less than thirty years old,   On account of his great reputation for sanctity, supported by miracles reported at his tomb, he was beatified in 1479 by Pope Sixtus IV, in the presence of his mother and brothers.
There is some account in the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. iv; and a fuller biography by 0. Ringholz (1892), who prints the contemporary attestations of a number of miracles submitted in the process of beatification; an abridgement of this appeared in 1907.  Two, more popular, small lives by J. Franck and H. Mohr were published in 1929, the fifth centenary of Bernard's birth 
1459 Bl. Anthony della Chiesa Dominican superior companion of St. Bernardino of Siena; one of the leaders opposing the last of the antipopes, Felix V; known miracle worker with an ability to read the consciences of men and women;  he conversed with Saint Mary, in ecstasy, several times
Anthony was born in 1394, the son of the Marquis della Chiesa, in San Germano, Italy. At twenty, despite his family's objections, Anthony became a Dominican, gaining recognition as a preacher and confessor. He accompanied St. Bernardine on missions and served in various capacities in the Dominican monasteries. Anthony was also one of the leaders opposing the last of the antipopes, Felix V While journeying from Savona to Genoa, Italy, Anthony was captured by pirates but was released unharmed. He was a known miracle worker with an ability to read the consciences of men and women.
Blessed Antony della Chiesa, OP (AC)  Born in San Germano, near Vercelli, the Piedmont, Italy, in 1395; died Como, Italy, January 22, 1459; beatified 1819. Antony was born into the nobility, the family of the Marquis della Chiesa, and a collateral ancestor of Pope Benedict XV. He was well educated. Showing a taste early in life for he things of God, he grew up with the hope of becoming a religious. His father, who was a man of some importance, opposed this wish. Not until Antony was 22 was he able to make the break with his family and enter the monastery at Vercelli.
Here he distinguished himself for both sanctity and learning. Being a good preacher, he was for some years the companion of Saint Bernardine of Siena, in his missionary journeys through Italy. Antony was prior at the friaries of Como, Savona, Florence, and Bologna.   Antony gives us a picture of one who followed the Dominican life perfectly, managing, most of the time, to escape public notice. There is in his life very little of the glamorous or the unusual. He kept the rule, was a good superior, and a just administrator. Shunning applause, he was always serene.
The legends mention that he was particularly devoted to Our Lady, which is something one takes for granted in a Dominican, and that he conversed with her, in ecstasy, several times. He had the gift of reading hearts and was a sought-after director of souls. He also healed many sick people with his blessing. However, if any miracles are ordinary ones, these may be so described; they could be given as typical of most of early Dominicans.  At one time, Antony was on a ship that was captured by pirates, but at his prayer, the pirates spared the passengers and brought them safely to land.
One of the very few things of unusual nature that in Antony's life is a legend told of him when he was prior of Savona. It makes a lovely ghost story, and it also provides food for thought.  According to the story, Antony was praying one night in the church. Disturbed by the sound of horses hooves clattering on the flagstones outside, he went to see who could possibly be there at such a late hour. There were several horsemen, all mounted on black horses. He addressed them, but received no answer. Thinking that they might be foreigners, he tried several languages, and still there was no response .
Aware, then, that something was wrong, he commanded them in the name of the Lord to tell him who they were and where they were going. They said that they were devils, and that they were on their way to meet the soul of a dying sinner, a usurer, and escort him to hell. "I will pray for him," said Antony. The demons laughed and told him he was too late. "Then at least come back and tell me whether you succeed or not," said the prior.  A short while later, the group returned, and they had succeeded. They held the unhappy usurer captive, and, while the prior watched in horror, they bore him off. The man was screaming. The next day, the usurer's relatives came to arrange an elaborate funeral. "You would do much better to have Masses said for yourselves and other poor sinners," he said.
Antony died at Como and was buried there in the Dominican church Miracles at his tomb led to his beatification (Benedictines, Dorcy).
 1459 Bl. Anthony della Chiesa Dominican born 1395 at San Germano, near Vercelli, of the noble family of della Chiesa di Roddi, which was afterwards to give to the Church Pope Benedict XV (Giacomo della Chiesa).  Bd Antony received the gift of miracles and of discernment of spirits, and predicted the day of his own death, which was at Como on January 28, 1459.

His religious vocation was opposed by his parents, and he was already twenty-two when he took the habit of the Friars Preachers at Vercelli.  He was a very successful preacher and director of souls, and for some years accompanied the Franciscan St Bernardino of Siena on his missions.  While prior at Como he completely reformed the life and morals of that town, and was sent successively to govern The friaries at Savona, Florence and Bologna, where he insisted on a rigorous observance of their rule.  Each time he relinquished office with joy and had soon to take it again, saying sadly that he who could not even manage an oar was entrusted with the tiller.    From 1440 to 1449 the Church was troubled by an antipope, Amadeus of Savoy, calling himself Felix V, who had a large following in Savoy and Switzerland. Bd Antony stoutly opposed himself to this man and succeeded in winning over a number of his adherents to lawful authority.  He also preached with great energy against usury, using as a terrible warning the story of a usurer who at his death had lost not only his soul but even his body, which had been carried off by a troop of diabolic horsemen, so that his relatives had to bury an empty coffin.  Stories of this sort, some entertaining, some touching, some to our ideas merely silly, were part of the stock-in-trade of every medieval preacher.  While going by sea from Savona to Genoa with a fellow friar, the ship in which they were was captured by corsairs ; they had no reason to look for anything but death or slavery, but the pirates were so impressed by the demeanour of the two religious that they set them free without ransom.  Bd Antony received the gift of miracles and of discernment of spirits, and predicted the day of his own death, which was at Como on January 28, 1459.  His cultus was approved in 1819, his feast being kept on July 28, the date of the translation of his relics to his birthplace in 1810.

  An account of Bd Antony is furnished in Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints, pp. 210-213.  See further V. Pellazza, Elogio storico del B. Antonio (1863) Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus O.P., p. 40; and L. Ferretti, Vita del B. Antonio (1919).
1459 Antoninus of Florence great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness miracles after death body was found uncorrupted in 1559 OP B (RM)
Sancti Antoníni, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Epíscopi Florentíni et Confessóris, cujus dies natális sexto Nonas mensis hujus recensétur.
 St. Antoninus of the Order of Preachers, confessor and archbishop of Florence, whose birthday is the 2nd of May.
Born in Florence, Italy, in 1389 (or 1384?); died there on May 2, 1459; canonized in 1523.
The story of Antonino Pierozzi is that of a great soul in a frail body, and of the triumph of virtue over vast and organized wickedness. His father, Niccolo Pierozzi, had been a noted lawyer, notary to the Republic of Florence. He and his wife Thomassina had their only child baptized as Antonio, but because the saint was both small and gentle people called him by the affectionate diminutive 'Antonino' all his life.
The world in which he lived was engrossed in the Renaissance; it was a time of violent political upheaval, of plague, wars, and injustice. The effects of the Great Schism of the West, over which Saint Catherine (Born in Siena, Italy, March 25, 1347, in Florence, Italy; died there on April 29, 1380; canonized in 1461; declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970) had wept and prayed a generation before, were still tearing Christendom apart when Antoninus was born--in the same year as Cosimo de'Medici. The fortunes of Florence were largely to rest in the hands of these two men.
There are only a few known details about the early life of Antoninus, but they are revealing ones. He was a delicate and lovable child. His stepmother, worried over his frailty, often gave him extra meat at table. The little boy, determined to harden himself for the religious life, would slip the meat under the table to the cats. Kids!
From the cradle his inclination was to piety. His only pleasure was to read the lives of saints and other good books, converse with pious persons, or employ himself in prayer. Accordingly, if he was not at home or at school, he was always to be found at Saint Michael's Church before a crucifix or in our Lady's chapel there. He had a passion for learning, but an even greater ardor to perfect himself in the science of salvation. In prayer, he begged nothing of God but His grace to avoid sin, and to do His holy will in all things.
Antoninus hitched his wagon to the star of great austerity and, at 14, discovered the answer to all his questions in the preaching of Blessed John Dominici (Born in Florence, Italy, 1376 (or 1350?); died in Hungary 1419), who was then the prior of Santa Maria Novella and later became cardinal-archbishop of Ragusa and papal legate. Antoninus went to speak with the preacher and begged to be admitted to the order.
At the time, Blessed John was reforming the Dominican priories of the area according to the wishes of Blessed Raymond of Capua(Born 1330 at Capua, Italy as Raymond delle Vigne Died 5 Oct 1399 at Nuremberg Germany of natural causes). John planned to build a new and reformed house at Fiesole (near Florence), which he hoped to start again with young and fervent subjects who would revivify the order. It declined under the plague and effects of the schism. As yet, he had no building in which to house the new recruits.
Even were the monastery completed, it was to be a house of rigorous observance, and Antoninus looked far too small and frail for such an austere community. John Dominici, not wishing to quench the wick of youthful eagerness, had not the heart to explain all this. He told Antoninus to go home and memorize the large and forbidding book called Decretum Gratiani, supposing that its very bulk would discourage the lad.
{It was about 1150 that the Camaldolese monk, Gratian, professor of theology at the University of Bologna, to obviate the difficulties which beset the study of practical, external theology (theologia practica externa), i. e. canon law, composed the work entitled by himself "Concordia discordantium canonum", but called by others "Nova collectio", "Decreta", "Corpus juris canonici", also "Decretum Gratiani", the latter being now the commonly accepted name.
In spite of its great reputation the "Decretum" has never been recognized by the Church as an official collection. It is divided into three parts (ministeria, negotia, sacramenta).
The first part is divided into 101 distinctions (distinctiones), the first 20 of which form an introduction to the general principles of canon Law (tractatus decretalium); the remainder constitutes a tractatus ordinandorum, relative to ecclesiastical persons and function.
The second part contains 36 causes (causœ), divided into questions (quœstiones), and treat of ecclesiastical administration and marriage; the third question of the 33rd causa treats of the Sacrament of Penance and is divided into 7 distinctions.
The third part, entitled "De consecratione", treats of the sacraments and other sacred things and contains 5 distinctions. Each distinction or question contains dicta Gratiani, or maxims of Gratian, and canones. Gratian himself raises questions and brings forward difficulties, which he answers by quoting auctoritates, i. e. canons of councils, decretals of the popes, texts of the Scripture or of the Fathers. These are the canones; the entire remaining portion, even the summaries of the canons and the chronological indications, are called the maxims or dicta Gratiani. It is to be noted that many auctoritates have been inserted in the "Decretum" by authors of a later date. These are the Paleœ, so called from Paucapalea, the name of the principal commentator on the "Decretum". The Roman revisers of the sixteenth century (1566-82) corrected the text of the "Decree" and added many critical notes designated by the words Correctores Romani.}
Antoninus, however, was possessed of an iron will. He went home and began to read the book straight through. By the end of the year, he had finished the nearly impossible task set before him, and returned to Blessed John to recite it as requested. There was now no further way to delay his reception into the order, so he was received into the Dominican Order "for the future priory of Fiesole" in 1405 by Blessed John.
Due to the unsettled state of the Church, the order, and Italian politics, the training of the young aspirants was conducted at several different locations, including Cortona, and, for a time, the regular course of studies could not be pursued. Antoninus, nothing daunted, studied by himself. He was happily associated during these years with several future Dominican saints and beati, including Lawrence of Ripafratta, the novice master; Blessed Constantius of Fabriano(Born in Fabriano, Marches of Ancona, Italy, 1410; died at Ascoli, Italy, 1481;); Peter Capucci(Born at Città di Castello (the ancient Tifernum), in 1390; died 1445;) and his great friend, the artist, Saint Fra Angelico (Born in Mugello near Florence, Italy, in 1386 or 1387; died in Rome, Italy, in 1455).
Ordained and set to preaching, Antoninus soon won his place in the hearts of the Florentines. Each time he said Mass, he was moved to tears by the mercy of God, and his own devotion moved other hearts. He was given consecutively several positions in the order. While still very young, he was made prior of the Minerva in Rome (1430). He served the friars in various priories in Italy (including Cortona, Fiesole (1418-28), Naples, Gaeta, Siena, and Florence). As superior of the reformed Tuscan and Neapolitan congregations, and also as prior provincial of the whole Roman province, Antoninus zealously enforced the reforms initiated by John Dominici with a view to restoring the primitive rule. Antoninus became a distinguished master of canon law and assisted popes at their councils. There is evidence that at some point he served as a judge on the Rota. Pope Eugenius IV summoned him to attend the general Council of Florence (1439), and he assisted at all its sessions.
In 1436, he founded the famous priory of San Marco in Florence with the financial aid of Cosimo de'Medici in buildings abandoned by the Silvestrines. Under his guidance and encouragement, the San Marco's monastery became the center of Christian art. He called upon his old companion, Saint Fra Angelico, and on the miniaturist, Fra Benedetto (Angelico's natural brother), to do the frescoes and the choir books which are still preserved there. He also ensured that an outstanding library was collected.
Antoninus is still remembered today in the exquisite 'Cloister of Saint Antoninus' with its wide arches and beautiful ionic capitals, designed in the saint's lifetime by Michelozzo for San Marco. In the lunettes of the cloister Bernardino Poccetti and others painted scenes from Antoninus's life. (When Giambologna restored and altered the church of San Marco in 1588, he built for the saint's body a superb chapel.)
To his horror, Antoninus's wisdom and pastoral zeal made him a natural choice by Pope Eugenius IV for archbishop of Florence in 1446. Although Tabor reports that the pope had first chosen Fra Angelico, whose purity and wisdom had become known when he was painting in Rome. The artist entreated the holy father to choose Fra Antoninus instead, who had done great service by his unworldliness and gentle but irresistible power.
Antoninus's appointment as bishop was a genuine heartbreak to a scholar who could never find enough time to study; in fact, he had been in Naples for two years reforming the houses of the province when he received word of the nomination and confirmation by the Florentines. For a time he tried to escape accepting the dignity by hiding himself on the island of Sardinia. That did not work. So he tried begging the holy father to excuse him because of his weak physical constitution. The pope would accept no excuses; he commanded Antoninus to proceed immediately to Fiesole under the pain of excommunication for disobedience.
While he obeyed with trepidation, it was a blessing for the people of Florence that he was consecrated bishop in March 1446; they were not slow in demonstrating their appreciation of their good fortune. He was the 'people's prelate' and the 'protector of the poor' for he discharged his office with inflexible justice and overflowing charity. His love extended to the rich, too. The next year, the dying Pope Eugenius summoned Antoninus to Rome in order to receive the last sacraments from the holy bishop before dying in his arms on February 23, 1447.
For the remainder of his life, Antoninus combined an amazing amount of active work with constant prayer. He allowed himself very little sleep. In addition to the church office, he recited daily the office of our Lady, and the seven penitential psalms; the office of the dead twice a week; and the whole psalter on every festival. His prayer life allowed him to exhibit an exterior of serenity regardless of the situation.
Francis Castillo, his secretary, once said to him, bishops were to be pitied if they were to be eternally besieged with hurry as he was. The saint made him this answer, which the author of his vita wished to see written in letters of gold:
"To enjoy interior peace, we must always reserve in our hearts amidst all affairs, as it were, a secret closet, where we are to keep retired within ourselves, and where no business of the world can over enter."
Because of his reputation for wisdom and ability, Antoninus was often called upon to help in public affairs civil & ecclesiastical. Pope Nicholas V sought his advice on matters of church and state, forbade any appeal to be made to Rome from the archbishop's judgements, and declared that Antonino in his lifetime was as worthy of canonization as the dead Bernardino of Siena (Born in Massa Marittima (near Siena), Tuscany, Italy, on September 8, 1380; died in Aquila, Italy, May 20, 1444;), whom he was about to raise to the altars.
Pius II nominated him to a commission charged with reforming the Roman court. The Florentine government gave him important embassies on behalf of the republic and would have sent him as their representative to the emperor if illness had not prevented him from leaving Florence. Yet he also busied himself with the beauty of the chant, and personally attended the Divine Office at his cathedral.
A distinguished writer on international law and moral theology, his best known work is Summa moralis, which is generally thought to have laid the groundwork for modern moral theology. He was conscious of the new problems presented by social and economic development, and taught that the state had a duty to intervene in mercantile affairs for the common good, and to give help to the unfortunate and needy. He was among the first Christian moralists to teach that money invested in commerce and industry was true capital; therefore, it was lawful and not usury to claim interest on it (combine this information with the fact that he was a staunch opponent of usury). All his many books were of a practical nature, including guidance for confessors (Summa confessionis) and a chronicle of the history of the world.
His first concern, however, was always for the people of his diocese, to whom he set an example of simple living and inflexible integrity. He preached regularly, made a yearly visitation of all the parishes in the diocese on foot, put down gambling, opposed both usury and magic, reformed abuses of all kinds, and served as the example of Christian charity. Each day he held an audience for anyone who wished to speak with him. No one appealed for his help, material or spiritual, in vain.
Antoninus was probably best known for his kindness to the poor, and there were many in the rich city of Florence. He pulled up his own flower garden and planted vegetables for the poor. He drove his housekeeper to distraction by giving away even his own tableware, food, clothing, and furniture. He never possessed any small precious objects, such as plates or jewels. His stable generally housed one mule, which he often sold to relieve some poor person. When that happened, some wealthy citizen would buy the animal and offer it as a present to the charitable archbishop. He kept in personal contact with the poor of the city, particularly with those who had fallen from wealth and were ashamed to beg. For their care he founded a society called the "Goodmen of Saint Martin of Tours," who went about quietly doing much-needed charitable work--much in the fashion of our modern Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. His particular establishment now provides for about 600 families.
His charity did not end with the poor, but also extended to his enemies. A criminal, named Ciardi, who was called before the bishop to answer accusations, attempted to assassinate the archbishop. The saint narrowly escaped the thrust of his poniard, which pierced the back of his chair. Yet Antoninus freely forgave the potential assassin and prayed for his conversion. God answered his prayers so that he had the comfort of seeing Ciardi become a sincere Franciscan penitent.
When the plague again came to Florence in 1448, it was the saintly archbishop who took the lead in almsgiving and care of the sick. Many Dominicans died of the plague as they went about their priestly duties in the stricken city; sad but undaunted, Antoninus continued to go about on foot among the people, giving both material and spiritual aid. During the earthquakes of 1453-1455, he was similarly self-giving. The example of his own charity led many rich persons to likewise provide for the afflicted.
Antoninus's was a role model in other ways, too. When he learned that two blind beggars had amassed a fortune, he took the money from them and distributed it to others in dire necessity. Was this an injustice? No, he provided for all the needs of the two for the rest of their lives. The bishop tried to hide his virtue from others and himself, until he would see reflections of them in his flock. By accident he discovered one such flame that he had sparked in a poor, obscure handicraftsman who continually practiced penance. The man spent Sundays and holidays in the churches, secretly distributed to the poor all he earned beyond that needed for subsistence, and kept a poor leper in his home, joyfully serving the ungrateful beggar and dressing his ulcers with his own hands. The leper, increasingly morose and imperious, carried complaints against his benefactor to the archbishop, who, discovering this hidden treasure of sanctity in the handicraftsman, secretly honored it, while he punished the insolence of the leper.
Cosimo de'Medici, who did not always have compliments for Dominicans, admitted frankly, "Our city has experienced all sorts of misfortunes: fire, earthquake, drought, plague, seditions, plots. I believe it would today be nothing but a mass of ruins without the prayers of our holy archbishop."
After 13 years as bishop, Antoninus died surrounded by his religious brothers from San Marco and mourned by the whole city. His whole life was mirrored in his last words, "to serve God is to reign." Pope Pius II assisted at his funeral, when he was buried in San Marco's church. Pius eulogized Antoninus as one who "conquered avarice and pride, was outstandingly temperate in every way, was a brilliant theologian, and popular preacher."
His hairshirt and other relics were the vehicle for many miracles. It is significant that the canonization of Saint Antoninus was decreed by the short-lived Pope Adrian VI (August 31, 1522, to September 14, 1523), whose ideas for church reform were radical and drastic. His body was found uncorrupted in 1559, when it was translated with pomp and solemnity into a chapel richly adorned by the two brothers Salviati (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Dominicans, Dorcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Jarrett, Tabor, Walsh).
Antonius of Florence is generally portrayed in art as a Dominican bishop with scales. He might be shown (1) weighing false merchandise against the word of God; (2) as a Dominican with a pallium; (3) as a young man giving alms; (4) drifting down a river in a boat; or (5) holding a book in a bag (Roeder). The likeness of the archbishop was recorded by contemporary artists, as in the bust at Santa Maria Novella and a statue at the nearby Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Antonio del Pollaiuolo's painting of him at the foot of the Cross survives at San Marco, as does a series of scenes from his life in its cloister of San Antonino (Farmer) and a portrait by Fra Bartolomeo (Tabor).
1460 Bd Archangelo Of Calatafimi;  from childhood a religious and retiring disposition; withdrew himself to a cave, there to live in solitude many people invaded his retreat to seek his advice and conversation, and when miracles take place, they came in greater numbers; removed to Alcamo asked to revive and organize a decayed hospice for the poor, which he undertook; once more returned to the solitary life; Pope Martin V saw fit to order all the hermits in Sicily, of which there were many, to return to the world or religious order;Obedient received the habit of the Friars Minor of the Observance from Bd Matthew of Girgenti
Archangelo was born, a member of the family of Placentini, in Sicily, about the year 1390.  From his childhood he was of a religious and retiring disposition and it caused no surprise when in his early manhood he withdrew himself to a cave, there to live in solitude.  As so often happens, many people invaded his retreat to seek his advice and conversation, and when it was said that miracles had taken place there, they came in greater numbers.
   This distressed Archangelo; his charity was evoked by the needs of his visitors, but his humility represented him to himself as ill-equipped to help them. So he removed to Alcamo; here he was asked to revive and organize a decayed hospice for the poor, which he undertook, but when it was firmly re-established he once more returned to the solitary life.
 It happened that Pope Martin V saw fit to order all the hermits in Sicily, of which there were many, to return to the world or to accept the religious life in an approved order. Obedient to this decree, Bd Archangelo went to Palermo and there received the habit of the Friars Minor of the Observance from Bd Matthew of Girgenti. After profession he was sent to the hospital at Alcamo to establish it as a house of the order, which was done. Archangelo accepted the Rule of St Francis in all its primitive austerity, and he was withdrawn from Alcamo to be minister provincial of the Sicilian Observants. In that office he was able to come to the help of Bd Matthew when, after resigning the see of Girgenti, he was shown the door by the father guardian who had succeeded Archangelo at Alcamo. Worn out with penance and work for souls, Archangelo died on April io, 1460, and Pope Gregory XVI confirmed his cultus in 1836.
The fullest source of information is the volume of Fr A. Gioia, Il beato Arcangelo Placenza da Calatafimi (1926).  The author has been able to use the materials submitted for the confirmatio cultus, and also a rare biography of the beatus by P. Longo printed in 1804.  See also Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng, trans.), vol. ii, pp. 59-64
1461 Saint Jonah Metropolitan of Moscow Wonderworker of All Russia miraculous healings at his grave  incorrupt relics first Metropolitan consecrated by Russian bishops Isidore the Bulgarian was Metropolitan but became Catholic after attending the Council of Florence (1438) and ousted by Russian heirarchs.
Born in the city of Galich into a pious Christian family. The father of the future saint was named Theodore. The youth received monastic tonsure in one of the Galich monasteries when he was only twelve years old. From there, he transferred to the Moscow Simonov monastery, where he fulfilled various obediences for many years.

Once, St Photius, Metropolitan of Moscow (May 27 and July 2), visited the Simonov monastery. After the Molieben[Molieben (from Church Slavonic Mol'ba - prayer, supplication) is a short liturgical service usually centered on a particular need or occasion: the new year, a journey, an illness, an act of thanksgiving, etc. It may be addressed to Christ, the Mother of God, or to saints. Its general structure is that of Matins, and it can be served either by request of the faithful or by decision of the parish Priest. The Church asks us to "pray without ceasing" - Prayer is the life of the Church and the life of each one of us, members of the Church. And because Christ came to redeem and to sanctify the totality of our life, no part of that life, no human need, no occasion is excluded from the Church's prayer. The Molieben, thus, is the extension of the Church's prayer, of Christ's redeeming grace to all aspects and realities of our life. "...knock and it will be opened to you." --we are called constantly to knock at the doors of God's mercy and our faith assures us that God hears us and is with us.] , he blessed the archimandrite and brethren, and also wished to bless those monks who were fulfilling their obediences in the monastery.

When he came to the bakery, he saw St Jonah sleeping, exhausted from his work. The fingers of the saint's right hand were positioned in a gesture of blessing. St Photius said not to wake him. He blessed the sleeping monk and predicted to those present that this monk would be a great hierarch of the Russian Church, and would guide many on the way to salvation.
The prediction of St Photius was fulfilled. Several years later, St Jonah was made Bishop of Ryazan and Murom.
St Photius died in 1431.
Five years after his death, St Jonah was chosen Metropolitan of All Russia for his virtuous and holy life. The newly-elected Metropolitan journeyed to Constantinople in order to be confirmed as Metropolitan by Patriarch Joseph II (1416-1439). Shortly before this the nefarious Isidore, a Bulgarian, had already been established as Metropolitan. Spending a short time at Kiev and Moscow, Isidore journeyed to the Council of Florence (1438), where he embraced Catholicism.

A Council of Russian hierarchs and clergy deposed Metropolitan Isidore, and he was compelled to flee secretly to Rome (where he died in 1462). St Jonah was unanimously chosen Metropolitan of All Russia. He was consecrated by Russian hierarchs in Moscow, with the blessing of Patriarch Gregory III (1445-1450) of Constantinople.
This was the first time that Russian bishops consecrated their own Metropolitan.
St Jonah became Metropolitan on December 15, 1448. With archpastoral zeal he led his flock to virtue and piety, spreading the Orthodox Faith by word and by deed. Despite his lofty position, he continued with his monastic struggles as before.

In 1451 the Tatars unexpectedly advanced on Moscow; they burned the surrounding area and prepared for an assault on the city. Metropolitan Jonah led a procession along the walls of the city, tearfully entreating God to save the city and the people. Seeing the dying monk Anthony of the Chudov monastery, who was noted for his virtuous life, St Jonah said, "My son and brother Anthony! Pray to the Merciful God and the All-Pure Mother of God for the deliverance of the city and for all Orthodox Christians."
The humble Anthony replied, "Great hierarch! We give thanks to God and to His All-Pure Mother. She has heard your prayer and has prayed to Her Son. The city and all Orthodox Christians will be saved through your prayers. The enemy will soon take flight. The Lord has ordained that I alone am to be killed by the enemy." Just as the Elder said this, an enemy arrow struck him.
The prediction of Elder Anthony was made on July 2, on the Feast of the Placing of the Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos. Confusion broke out among the Tatars, and they fled in fear and terror. In his courtyard, St Jonah built a church in honor of the Placing of the Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos, to commemorate the deliverance of Moscow from the enemy.

In old age, he desired to experience such illness that he would suffer greatly, and would by his sufferings be completely purified before his departure to the other world. At his prayer, God gave him wounds in his feet, which were foreseen in a vision by a priest, James. The saint died of these wounds and went to join the citizens of heaven on March 31st, 1461. Many miracles were performed through his relics. A dumb man, John, was brought to the saint's relics. John kissed Jonah's hand and, as he related afterwards, the hand grabbed hold of his tongue and he felt a sharp pain. When it let his tongue go, he went back to his friends - and spoke as if he had never been dumb.
St Jonah reposed in the year 1461, and miraculous healings began to take place at his grave.
In 1472 the incorrupt relics of Metropolitan Jonah were uncovered and placed in the Dormition Cathedral of the Kremlin (Transfer of the holy Relics celebrated May 27). A Council of the Russian Church in 1547 established the commemoration of St Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow.
In 1596, Patriarch Job added St Jonah to the Synaxis of the Moscow Hierarchs (October 5).
1463 Commemoration of Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesbos (also April 9). miracles,
Newly-Appeared Martyrs of Lesbos, Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene These saints were martyred by the Turks on Bright Tuesday (April 9, 1463) ten years after the Fall of Constantinople. For nearly 500 years, they were forgotten by the people of Lesbos, but "the righteous Judge... opened the things that were hid" (2 Macc. 12:41).

For centuries the people of Lesbos would go on Bright Tuesday to the ruins of a monastery near Thermi, a village northwest of the capital, Mytilene. As time passed, however, no one could remember the reason for the annual pilgrimage. There was a vague recollection that once there had been a monastery on that spot, and that the monks had been killed by the Turks.

In 1959, a pious man named Angelos Rallis decided to build a chapel near the ruins of the monastery. On July 3 of that year, workmen discovered the relics of St Raphael while clearing the ground. Soon, the saints began appearing to various inhabitants of Lesbos and revealed the details of their lives and martyrdom. These accounts form the basis of Photios Kontoglou's 1962 book A GREAT SIGN (in Greek).

St Raphael was born on the island of Ithaka around 1410, and was raised by pious parents. His baptismal name was George, but he was named Raphael when he became a monk. He was ordained to the holy priesthood, and later attained the offices of Archimandrite and Chancellor.  In 1453, St Raphael was living in Macedonia with his fellow monastic, the deacon Nicholas, a native of Thessalonica. In 1454, the Turks invaded Thrace, so the two monks fled to the island of Lesbos. They settled in the Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos near Thermi, where St Raphael became the igumen.

In the spring of 1463, the Turks raided the monastery and captured the monks. They were tortured from Holy Thursday until Bright Tuesday. St Raphael was tied to a tree, and the ferocious Turks sawed through his jaw, killing him. St Nicholas was also tortured, and he died while witnessing his Elder's martyrdom. He appeared to people and indicated the spot where his relics were uncovered on June 13, 1960.

St Irene was the twelve-year-old daughter of the village mayor, Basil. She and her family had come to the monastery to warn the monks of the invasion. The cruel Hagarenes cut off one of her arms and threw it down in front of her parents. Then the pure virgin was placed in a large earthen cask and a fire was lit under it, suffocating her within. These torments took place before the eyes of her parents, who were also put to death.
Her grave and the earthen cask were found on May 12, 1961 after Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene had appeared to people and told them where to look.

Others who received the crown of martyrdom on that day were Basil and Maria, the parents of St Irene; Theodore, the village teacher; and Eleni, the fifteen-year-old cousin of St Irene.

The saints appeared separately and together, telling people that they wished to be remembered. They asked that their icon be painted, that a church service be composed for them, and they indicated the place where their holy relics could be found. Based on the descriptions of those who had seen the saints, the master iconographer Photios Kontoglou painted their icon. The ever-memorable Father Gerasimos of Little St Anne Skete on Mt. Athos composed their church service.
Many miracles have taken place on Lesbos, and throughout the world.
The saints hasten to help those who invoke them, healing the sick, consoling the sorrowful, granting relief from pain, and bringing many unbelievers and impious individuals back to the Church.
St Raphael is tall, middle-aged, and has a beard of moderate length. His hair is black with some grey in it. His face is majestic, expressive, and filled with heavenly grace. St Nicholas is short and thin, with a small blond beard. He stands before St Raphael with great respect. St Irene usually appears with a long yellow dress reaching to her feet. Her blonde hair is divided into two braids which rest on either side of her chest.
Sts Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene (and those with them) are also commemorated on Bright Tuesday. Dr. Constantine Cavarnos has given a detailed account of their life, miracles, and spiritual counsels in Volume 10 of his inspirational series MODERN ORTHODOX SAINTS (Belmont, MA, 1990).
The Appearance of the Iveron (Portaitissa) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on Mt. Athos.
This icon was the property of a pious widow who lived in the area of Nicea in Asia Minor during the time of the iconoclastic emperor Theophilus (829-842). When the emperor's men arrived there to find and destroy every holy icon, this faithful widow threw the wonderworking icon of the Theotokos into the sea. Then she beheld a strange wonder. The icon stood upright on the water and traveled westward across the waves in this position.   After a time the icon arrived in front of the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. A certain holy hermit named Gabriel received it in his arms from the water, and he gave it to the monks. They built a little church for the icon near the gate of the monastery, and they placed the icon there. From that time it was called the Portaitissa.
Since then the Most Holy Theotokos has worked many miracles through her holy icon. She has cured those who were possessed by demons, healed those who were lame, and given sight to the blind. At the same time, she has protected the monastery from every danger and saved it from invasions of foreigners.
Among those who received benefit from the Portaitissa was a Russian princess, the daughter of Tsar Alexei Michailovitch (1651).
The icon arrived at the Holy Mountain on Bright Tuesday 1004. Therefore, the Iveron Monastery celebrates this bright festival even to the present day. The Divine Liturgy takes place in the church by the sea, where holy water gushed up when the monk Gabriel took the icon from the sea.
The Iveron (Portaitissa) Icon is also commemorated on March 31.
Vimatarissa Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, Vatopedi Monastery Mt. Athos.
The Martyrs of St David of Garesja Monastery in Georgia in 1616 (also April 4).
The Venerable Patapius, Nikon and Hypomone.
These saints struggled in a cave where the monastery of St Patapius was built (in the metropolis of Corinth). There the skulls of St Patapius the New and St Hypomone are treasured, and also the jaw of St Nikon the New. These holy relics were placed in silver reliquaries by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Panteleimon (Karanikola).
St Patapius is also commemorated on December 8.  St Sava, deacon of Vatopedi Monastery (tenth century).
1463 St. Didacus several miracles restoring patients eremite kind gentle
Complúti, in Hispánia, natális sancti Dídaci Confessóris, ex Ordine Minórum, humilitáte célebris; quem Xystus Quintus, Póntifex Máximus, Sanctórum catálogo adscrípsit.  Ipsíus autem festum sequénti die celebrátur.
    At Alcala in Spain, the birthday of St. Didacus, confessor, a member of the Order of Friars Minor well known for his humility.  Pope Sixtus V included him in the catalogue of the saints and his feast is celebrated today.
Sancti Dídaci, ex Ordine Minórum, Confessóris; cujus dies natális recólitur prídie hujus diéi.
    St. Didacus, confessor of the Order of Friars Minor, whose birthday occurred on the preceding day.

1463 ST DIDACUS, OR DIEGO
In the United States of America the feast of St Frances Xavier Cabrini is celebrated on this date. See Vol. IV, p. 593ff.

DIDACUS was a native of the little town of San Nicolas del Puerto in the diocese of Seville, and his parents were poor folk. Near that town a holy priest led an eremitical life. Didacus obtained his consent to live with him and, though very young, he imitated the austerities and devotions of his master. They cultivated together a little garden, and also employed themselves in making wooden spoons, trenchers and such-like utensils.

   After having lived thus a recluse for some years he was obliged to return to his home, but he soon after went to a convent of the Observant Friar Minors at Arrizafa, and there took the habit among the lay brothers. After his profession he was sent to the mission of his order in the Canary Islands, where he did a great work in instructing and converting the people. Eventually, in 1445 he, though a lay brother was appointed guardian of the chief convent in those islands, called Fuerteventura. After four years he was recalled to Spain, and lived in several friaries about Seville with great fervour and recollection. In the year 1450 a jubilee was celebrated at Rome and, St Bernardino of Siena being canonized at the same time, very many religious of the Order of St Francis were assembled there. Didacus went thither with Father Alonzo de Castro, and at Rome he had to attend his companion during a dangerous illness. His devotion in this duty attracted the notice of his superiors and he was put in charge of the many sick friars who were accommodated in the infirmary of the convent of Ara Caeli. St Didacus was thus engaged for three months, and is said to have miraculously restored some of his patients. He lived for another thirteen years after his return to Spain, chiefly at the friaries of Salcedo and Alcala in Castile. 

In 1463 he was taken ill at Alcalà, and in his last moments asked for a cord (such as the friars wear); he put it about his neck and, holding a cross in his hands, begged the pardon of all his brethren assembled about his bed. Then, fixing his eyes on the crucifix, he repeated with great tenderness the words of the hymn on the cross, “Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet”, and peacefully died on November 12. Several miracles were attributed to him in his lifetime, and many more through his intercession after his death. King Philip II, out of gratitude for one in favour of his son, solicited the saint’s canonization, which was decreed in 1588.

There is apparently no medieval life of St Didacus, but the various Franciscan chronicles of later date supply copious information. For example, Father Mark of Lisbon (d. 1591) devotes a long section to San Diego see the Italian translation (1501), vol. iii, fol. 155 seq. Among separate biographies may be mentioned Moreno de la Rea, Vida del S. Fray Diego (1602) and two slight sketches in more modern times, by Berguin and Chappuis in French (1901) and by A. Gioia in Italian (1907). The canonization of St Didacus (1588) was an occasion for rejoicing in Spain one or two of the booklets with panegyrics delivered at the time are in the British Museum.  

Didacus was a native of the little town of San Nicolas of del Puerto in the diocese of Seville, and his parents were poor folk. Near that town a holy priest led an eremitical life. Didacus obtained his consent to live with him and, though very young, he imitated the austerities and devotions of his master. They cultivated together a little garden, and also employed themselves in making wooden spoons, trenchers and such like utensils. After having lived thus a recluse for some years he was obliged to return to his home, but he soon after went to a convent of the Observant Friar Minors at Arrizafa, and there took the habit among the lay brothers.
After his profession he was sent to the mission of his Order in the Canary Islands, where he did a great work in instructing and converting the people. Eventually, in 1445, he, though a lay brother, was appointed chief guardian of a chief convent in those islands, called Fuerteventura. After four years he was recalled to Spain, and lived in several friaries about Seville with great fervor and recollection. In the year 1450 a jubilee was celebrated at Rome and, St. Bernardine of Siena being canonized at the same time, very many religious of the Order of St. Francis were assembled there. Didacus went there with FAther Alonzo de Castro, and at Rome he had to attend his companion during a dangerous illness. His devotion in this duty attracted the notice of his superiors and he was put in charge of the many sick friars who were accommodated in the infirmary of the convent of Ara Caeli.
St. Didacus was thus engaged for three months, and is said to have miraculously restored some of his patients. He lived for another thirteen years after his return to Spain, chiefly at the Friaries of Salcedo and Alcala in Castille. In 1463 he was taken ill at Alcala and in his last moments asked for a cord (such as the Friars wear); he put it about his neck and, holding a cross in his hands begged the pardon of all his brethren assembled about his bed. THen, fixing his eyes on the crucifix, he repeated with great tenderness the words of the hymn on the cross, "Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet", and peacefully died on November 12. Several miracles were attributed to him in his lifetime and many more through his intercession after his death.
King Philip II, out of gratitude for one in favor of his son, solicitated the saint's canonization which was decreed in 1588.

Didacus of Alcalà, OFM (RM) (also known as Diego, Diaz) Born near Seville, Spain, c. 1400; died at Alcalà de Henares, 1463; canonized 1588. Born of poor parents, the young Diego lived for a time as a solitary and then joined the Franciscans as a lay brother at Arrizafa.  Although remaining a lay brother, Diego was appointed doorkeeper of Fuerteventura friary in the Canary Islands because of his ability and goodness. Here he did great work among the poor, and earned such a reputation for holiness that in 1445 he was chosen as superior of the house for a term.  Later he was recalled to Spain, and passed the last 13 years of his life in humble duties at various houses of his order in Spain. After a pilgrimage to Rome in 1450, died at the friary of Alcalà in Castile. Diego's chief devotion was to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1463 1479 St. John of Sahagun educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos Augustinian friar  famous for his miracles, and had the gift of reading men's souls
Sancti Joánnis a sancto Facúndo, ex Eremitárum sancti Augustíni Ordine, Confessóris, qui migrávit in cælum prídie hujus diéi. 
St. John of St. Facundus, confessor of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine, who died on the 11th of June.

John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though he already had several benefices. He was ordained in 1445; concerned about the evil of pluralism, he resigned all his benefices except that of St. Agatha in Burgos. He spent the next four years studying at the University of Salamanca and then began to preach. In the next decade he achieved a great reputation as a preacher and spiritual director, but after recovering after a serious operation, became an Augustinian friar in 1463 and was professed the following year. He served as master of novices, definitor, prior at Salamanca, experienced visions, was famous for his miracles, and had the gift of reading men's souls. He denounced evil in high places and several attempts were made on his life. He died at Sahagun on June 11, reportedly poisoned by the mistress of a man he had convinced to leave her. He was canonized in 1690 as St. John of Sahagun.

1479 St John of Sahagun; granted to behold with bodily eyes the human form of our Lord at the moment of consecration; was glorified by many miracles, both before and after his death.
There was an early Spanish martyr named Facundus, and he seems to have been adopted as patron by the abbey of Sahagun or San Fagondez in the kingdom of Leon. This locality was the birthplace of this John, and from it he derives his distinctive surname. His early education he received from the monks in the Benedictine monastery just mentioned. While he was yet a boy, his father, Don Juan Gonzalez de Castrillo, procured for him a small benefice, and when he was twenty the bishop of Burgos gave him a canonry in his cathedral, although the abbot of San Fagondez had already presented him with three other livings. Pluralism was one of the chief abuses of the age, but was leniently regarded in many quarters as being a necessary evil in view of the alleged meagreness of many stipends. John from his early youth led a moral, upright life—exemplary in the eyes of ordinary Christians—but as he grew older he was led by divine grace to see much that was imperfect in his conduct and to set himself seriously to amend.

He had received the priesthood in 1445, and his conscience reproached him for disobeying the Church’s ordinances against pluralities. He accordingly resigned all his benefices except the chapel of St Agatha in Burgos. There he daily cele­brated Mass, frequently catechized the ignorant, and preached, leading the while a very mortified life in evangelical poverty. Realizing the necessity for a sounder knowledge of theology, he then obtained the bishop’s permission to go to Salamanca University, where he studied for four years.

His course completed, he soon won a great reputation as a preacher and director of souls in the parish of St Sebastian, Salamanca, which he seems to have worked while holding one of the chaplaincies in the College of St Bartholomew. Nine years were thus spent, and then St John, faced with the ordeal of a severe operation, vowed that if his life were spared he would receive the religious habit. The operation having proved successful, he made his application to the superior of the local com­munity of Augustinian friars, who admitted him with alacrity, for his merits were known to all. A year later, on August 28, 1464, he was professed. He had already so fully acquired the spirit of his rule that no one in the convent was more mortified, more obedient, more humble or more detached than he. He spoke with such eloquence and fervour that his sermons, coupled with his private exhortations, produced a com­plete reformation of manners in Salamanca. He had a wonderful gift for healing dissensions and succeeded in ending many of the feuds which were the bane of society, especially amongst the young nobles. Not only did he induce his penitents to for­give injuries and to forego revenge, but he led many of them to return good for evil.

Soon after his profession St John was appointed novice-master, an office he discharged with great wisdom. Seven times in succession he was definitor and he also became prior of Salamanca. It was a house which was famous for its discipline, and that discipline St John maintained far more by his example than by severity, for the high opinion everyone had of his sanctity lent the greatest weight to his advice and admonitions. He was, moreover, endowed with a judicious discernment and with a remarkable gift for reading the thoughts of his penitents. He heard the confessions of all who presented themselves, but was rigid in refusing, or at least deferring, absolution in the case of habitual sinners, or of ecclesiastics who did not live in accordance with the spirit of their profession. His fervour in offering the divine sacrifice edified all present, although his superior sometimes reproved him for the length of time he took in celebrating Mass. We are also told that he was one of those to whom it has been granted to behold with bodily eyes the human form of our Lord at the moment of consecration. The graces he received in his prayers and communions also gave him courage and eloquence in the pulpit. Without respect of persons he reproved vice in high places with a vigour which sometimes drew upon him persecution and even physical violence.

A sermon at Alba, in the course of which he sternly denounced rich landlords who oppressed their poor tenants, so enraged the Duke of Alba that he sent two assassins to kill the bold preacher. In the presence of their intended victim, however, the men were struck with remorse, confessed their errand and humbly implored his forgiveness. On another occasion certain women of the city whose loose life he had reproved attempted to stone him, and were only prevented from causing him grievous injury by the appearance of a patrol of archers. A prominent personage whose unblushing association with a woman not his wife was causing grave scandal in Salamanca was induced by St John to sever the connection entirely. The woman vowed vengeance on the holy man and it was generally believed that the disorder of which he died was occasioned by poison administered at her instiga­tion. He passed away on June 11, 1479. He was glorified by many miracles, both before and after his death, and was canonized in 1690.

The most reliable source for the life of St John of Sahagun is an account written by John of Seville in the form of letters addressed to Duke Gonsalvo of Cordova. They have been translated into Latin from the original Spanish, and are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iii. The Bollandists have also collected a certain amount of information from other later writers. There is also a summary written about a hundred years after the death of St John by his fellow Augustinian, the famous preacher, Bd Alphonsus d’Orozco. It will be found printed in M. Vidal, Agustinos de Salamanca, vol. i (1751), pp. 51 seq. The best modern life seems to be that by T. Camara (1891) in Spanish. Seventeenth-century lives in Spanish and French are numerous; several are mentioned in U. Chevalier’s Bio-Bibliographie.
John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though he already had several benefices. He was ordained in 1445; concerned about the evil of pluralism, he resigned all his benefices except that of St. Agatha in Burgos. He spent the next four years studying at the University of Salamanca and then began to preach. In the next decade he achieved a great reputation as a preacher and spiritual director, but after recovering after a serious operation, became an Augustinian friar in 1463 and was professed the following year. He served as master of novices, definitor, prior at Salamanca, experienced visions, was famous for his miracles, and had the gift of reading men's souls. He denounced evil in high places and several attempts were made on his life. He died at Sahagun on June 11, reportedly poisoned by the mistress of a man he had convinced to leave her. He was canonized in 1690 as St. John of Sahagun.
John of Sahagun, OSA (RM) (also known as John of Saint Facundo) Born at Sahagun, León, Spain, c. 1430 (?); died in Salamanca, June 11, 1479; beatified in 1601; canonized in 1690.
Saint John was educated by the Benedictines at the great abbey of his native Sahagun (from Sant'Facun). While he was still a boy, his father, Don Juan Gonzalez de Castrillo, procured for him a small benefice. The bishop of Burgos and the abbot of Sahagun gave him four other benefices by the time he was 20, because his family was influential and these leaders recognized a promise of greatest in John. Thus, when John was ordained in 1453, he held five benefices in Burgos at the same time without holding residence in any of them--two acts of disobedience to Church ordinances. Instead he was majordomo in the household of the bishop.
Repenting of such pluralism upon the bishop's death, he gave up all but the one assigned to the chapel of Saint Agnes in Burgos, where he celebrated the Eucharist daily, catechized the ignorant, and preached. He had converted his life to one of evangelical poverty. With this benefice John financed his theological studies at the University of Salamanca. The education he received there gave him the confidence he need to minister more effectively in the nearby parish of Saint Sebastian, while holding a chaplaincy in the College of Saint Bartholomew.
At that time Salamanca was deeply divided and crime-ridden, which gave John ample opportunity to preach reconciliation and conversion. He followed up his preaching with individual counselling in the confessional. John had a remarkable gift for reading souls, which drew still more to his confessional. He was rigid in refusing or deferring absolution to habitual sinners and ecclesiastics who did not live in accordance with the spirit of their profession. John's fervor in offering the Mass edified all who assisted. In fact, it is related that he was privileged to see the bodily form of Jesus at the moment of consecration. The grace God poured into his soul during his prayers and communions overflowed into his preaching--especially against vice in high places.
After a grave illness in 1463, he requested entry into the Augustinian friary in the same city and was professed on August 28, 1464. Soon after he undertook the office of novice-master, while continuing his public preaching. His work for reconciliation bore fruit: a pact of peace was signed by hostile parties in 1476. About that time he was elected prior by his community.
In 1479, John predicted his own death, which occurred the same year. At Alba de Tormes his life was threatened by two thugs hired by the duke because of his public denunciation of oppressive landlords. In John's presence, however, the would-be assassins were struck with remorse, confessed their errand, and begged his forgiveness. But John's preaching brought further rancor. It is said that John's death was hastened by poisoning, brought about by a woman in Salamanca whose paramour he had reformed.
By his fearless preaching, John effected profound change in the social life of Salamanca; for this he won the popular acclamation of apostle of Salamanca. Soon after his death, miracles and pilgrimages occurred at his tomb. His relics survive in a feretory in the cathedral of his adopted city of which he is patron. In art, he is portrayed with a host in his hand in memory of his devotion to the Eucharist (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh).
1463 St. Catherine of Bologna  experience visions of Christ and Satan, incorrupt healing miracles
 Bonóniæ sanctæ Catharínæ Vírginis, e secúndo Ordine sancti Francísci, quæ vitæ sanctitáte fuit illústris.  Ipsíus autem corpus magno cum honóre ibídem cólitur.
      At Bologna, St. Catherine, virgin, of the Second Order of St. Francis, illustrious for the holiness of her life.  Her body is greatly honoured in that city.
Patron of Artists

1463 ST CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA, VIRGIN
John DE’ VIGRI, the father of St Catherine of Bologna, was a lawyer and diplomatic agent to Nicholas d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara. At the request of his patron, he sent Catherine at the age of eleven as maid of honour to young Margaret d’Este, whose studies she shared and whose most intimate companion she became. Amongst other lessons, the two girls worked at Latin, in which language Catherine afterwards wrote several small works. When a marriage was arranged between Margaret and Robert Malatesta she desired to retain her friend in her service, but Catherine had already felt the call to the religious life. Soon after returning home she lost her father, and almost immediately she joined a company of Franciscan tertiaries at Ferrara, who lived a semi-monastic life under the guidance of a woman called Lucy Mascaroni.

Although only fourteen at the time of her admission, Catherine at once aimed at a perfection so exalted as to win the admiration of her sisters. From this early age she was subject to visions, some of which indeed came from God, whilst others were of Satanic origin, as she was afterwards forced to conclude. In order to help others to distinguish between divine visions and the artifices of Satan, Catherine subsequently declared that she had learnt to recognize when it was our Lord who was really deigning to visit her, by the holy light of humility which, at such times, always preceded the rising sun, for, as she went on to explain, “she used to experi­ence at the approach of the Divine Guest a sentiment of respect which would inwardly bow her spirit, or make her outwardly bow her head; or else she would be aware that the origin of her faults, past, present or future, was in herself: she used to consider herself too as the cause of all the faults of her neighbours, for whom she felt a burning charity. And Jesus would enter into her soul like a radiant sunshine. to establish there the profoundest peace.” The Devil then sought to instil into her mind blasphemous thoughts and doubts, the most grievous of which concerned the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. This caused her intense misery, until at last God revealed the whole doctrine to her, and so com­pletely answered her difficulties that her doubts left her forever. He also assured her that if the conscience is pure the effects of the sacrament are independent of sensible fervour, nor do doubts hinder its efficacy, provided no consent is given to them; and, moreover, that those who are patient under such trials gain more by their communions than if they were favoured with spiritual consolation. Probably as the result of all she had gone through, St Catherine became oppressed by a constant and overpowering inclination to sleep, which she regarded as a diabolic temptation, but which may well have been a merciful dispensation to relieve the bodily and mental strain which had preceded. This too passed away and peace settled upon her soul.

She now began to write down an account of her trials and the favours she had received, thinking that it might help others after her death. Not wishing the sisters to see this diary, she used to sew it up in the cushion of a chair, but the others, suspecting that she was doing something of the sort, searched for and found the manuscript. Their indiscretion was soon discovered by Catherine, and taking the leaves she threw them into the oven furnace. This oven was under her special charge, for she was the baker, and at one time, indeed, finding that the glare was injuring her eyes and fearing lest she might become a burden to the community, she mentioned her apprehensions to the superior, who, however, told her to remain at her post and leave her health to God. When she had been baker for a consider­able period, St Catherine became novice-mistress, and it was about this time that she had a remarkable vision which is often represented in art and which may best be described in her own words.
Writing of herself in the third person she says:  “She asked permission of her mistress to pass the night of Christmas in the church of the monastery and she obtained it. She went there as soon as she could, with the intention of reciting a thousand Ave Marias in honour of our most Blessed Lady:  and this she really did with all the attention and fervour of which she was capable, and she was occupied in this way till midnight, the hour when it is believed our Saviour was born. At this very hour she saw our Blessed Lady appear, holding in her arms the Infant Jesus, swathed in linen bands as new-born infants commonly are. This kind mother came to her and gave her Son to her. I leave you to picture the joy of this poor creature when she found herself holding the Son of the
 
eternal Father in her arms. Trembling with respect, but still more overcome with joy, she took the liberty of caressing Him, of pressing Him against her heart and of bringing His face to her lips. . . . When the poor creature we speak of dared to move her lips towards the Divine Infant’s mouth, He disappeared, leaving her, however, filled with joy.” Two works she wrote about this time consisted of a series of non-metrical verses on the mysteries of the life of our Lord and of His Mother, which she called a “Rosary”, and which was treasured after her death in her monastery at Bologna, and a treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons which was published posthumously and had a great circulation throughout Italy.

Already some years earlier the little community governed by Lucy Mascaroni had embraced the strict Rule of St Clare and had removed to a more suitable building, but it was felt by St Catherine and the more austere sisters that the full regularity of the convent could not be obtained until it should become enclosed. The inhabitants of Ferrara, however, long resisted this innovation, and it was mainly through the prayers and efforts of St Catherine that enclosure was conceded, and finally sanctioned by Pope Nicholas V. Catherine was then appointed superioress of a new convent of strict observance at Bologna, and although she shrank from the office and would have preferred to remain in Ferrara, she received a divine intimation that she was to go and made no further protest. She and the religious who accompanied her were received at Bologna by two cardinals, by the senate and magistrates, and by the entire population, and there they established the convent of Corpus Christi. Despite the strictness of the enclosure, the fame of the sanctity and healing powers of St Catherine, as well as her gifts of prophecy, attracted so many would-be postulants that room could not be found for them all.

After working hard all the week, she would devote the free time she had on Sundays and festivals to copying her breviary, illuminating it with colours. The whole of this breviary, with the figures of our Lord, our Lady and the saints was her work and is still preserved. She also composed a number of hymns and painted several pictures. Three precepts which Catherine practised all her life she was wont to impress upon her daughters. The first was always to speak well of others, the second was to practise constant humility, and the third was never to meddle in matters which were no business of hers. Strict beyond measure with herself, she was most tender to the weaknesses of other people, and when the triennial election of the abbess was pending the only objection that could be urged against her re-election was that the rules lost their force through her kindness. When she was novice-mistress and thought some of the younger sisters were insufficiently fed, she used to beg for eggs (hard-boiled, presumably), which she slipped into their bags after having peeled them and left the shells on her own plate. This caused her to be censured for sensuality at the annual visitation, but she received the reproofs humbly as though they had been deserved.

The saint’s health, which had been failing since before her return to Bologna, ere long broke down altogether. On the first Sunday in Lent of 1463 she was attacked by violent pains, and was obliged to take to her bed, from which she never rose again. On March 9 she rendered up her soul to God, and her passing was so peaceful that the watching sisters did not realize that she was dead until they perceived a sweet fragrance and noticed that her face had become so fresh and beautiful that she looked like a young girl of fifteen who was sleeping. Her body was buried without a coffin and remained in the ground for eighteen days, when it was disinterred, owing to the cures which were reported and to the sweet scent which proceeded from the grave. It was found to be incorrupt, and has ever since been preserved in the chapel of the convent church in Bologna. There the entire body may be seen through glass and behind bars it is in a sitting posture and richly habited, but the face and hands, which are uncovered, are now black with damp and age. St Catherine is honoured as a patron of artists. The miniatures executed by her, which are still preserved in her convent of Corpo di Cristo at Bologna, are said to have been painted with remarkable delicacy. Two pictures of hers are also still in existence. One is in the Pinacoteca at Bologna, the other in the Academy of Fine Arts at Venice. She was canonized in 1712.

The outlines of St Catherine’s history may be learnt from a short memoir published nearly fifty years after her death by a Franciscan friar, Denis Paleotti, but more completely from the biography of Father J. Grassetti who, though he only wrote in 1610, had access at Bologna to such records as existed concerning her. Both these lives, originally composed in Italian, were printed by the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii) in a Latin trans­lation. It seems regrettable that the most valuable source of first-hand information concern­ing Catherine Vigri has apparently never yet been printed. This is the Specchio d’illumin­azione, a memorial of the saint penned by her fellow religious and subject, Sister Illuminata Bembi, whose manuscript is still preserved in the convent. Most modern biographies depend almost entirely on Grassetti. The most imposing of these is that of J. E. Duver, Vie de. sainte Catherine de Bologne (1905) there is another in French by J. Stiénon du PM (1949). A very useful collection of essays bearing on the subject of Catherine appeared at Bologna in 1912 under the title La Santa nella storia, nelle lettere e nell’ arte. See also Léon, Auréole Séraphique  (Eng. trans., vol. i, pp. 394—437) and Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. i, pp. 160—161. An English translation of Grassetti was included in the Oratorian Series.
She soon began to experience visions of Christ and Satan, and wrote of her experiences, one of which occurred one Christmas. Through her efforts with Pope Nicholas V, the Poor Clare convent at Ferrara erected an enclosure, and Catherine was appointed Superioress. The reputation of the Community for its holiness and austerity became widespread. She then was appointed Superioress of a new convent in Bologna.
In Lent of 1463, Catherine became seriously ill, and she died on March 9th. Buried without a coffin, her body was exhumed eighteen days later because of cures attributed to her and also because of the sweet scent coming from her grave.
Her body was found to be incorrupt and remains so today in the Church of the Poor Clare convent in Bologna. She was canonized in 1712.

Despite the opportunity to live a noble life at court, St. Catherine eagerly responded to her call to lead the religious life. Her piety, charity, and kindness attracted many to follow her along the road to perfection. The beauty of her life and death encourages us to resolve to live in perfect charity as a Lenten goal.

Catherine of Bologna, Poor Clare V (RM) (also known as Catherine de'Vigri) Born in Bologna, Italy, September 8, 1413; died there on March 9, 1463; name added to the Roman Martyrology by Clement VIII in 1592; canonized 1712 by Clement XI; bull of canonization published by Benedict XIII in 1724.
At age 11, the patrician Catherine de'Vigri became lady-in-waiting to Margherita d'Este at the ducal court of Nicholas III d'Este at Ferrara, where she was given a good education. After Margherita's wedding, Catherine (age 13) joined a sisterhood of virgins in Ferrara, who lived according to the rule of the Franciscan tertiaries. Largely as a result of her efforts, this company formed itself into a convent of Poor Clares.
In 1432 Catherine took solemn vows and soon became mistress of novices. In 1456, she traveled to Bologna to oversee the building of the Poor Clares' Corpus Christi Convent and became abbess of the new foundation. She was an effective novice mistress and superioress. Catherine's incredible zeal and solitude for the souls of sinners made her pour forth unceasing prayers and tears for their salvation.
From an early age Catherine was subject to visions, some of which from their nature and effects she judged to be diabolical temptations, while others were consolatory and for her good. One Christmas she had a vision of the Blessed Virgin with the infant Jesus in her arms, which is reproduced often in art since.
The learned saint recorded her soul's struggles and mystical experiences in a Latin work entitled Manifestations. She also wrote Latin hymns, and composed and painted--including a self- portrait that is really quite good. The transfiguration of her prematurely aged, plain features often observed in her life was even more remarkable after her death. She also had a talent for calligraphy and miniature painting; a breviary written out and ornamented by her still exists at the Bologna convent.
Her life and the occurrences after her death were described by an eyewitness, Blessed Illuminata Bembi:

"Thereupon the grave was prepared and when they lowered the corpse which was not enshrined in a coffin, it exhaled a scent of surpassing sweetness, filling the air all around. The two sisters, who had descended into the grave, out of compassion for her lovely and radiant face covered it with cloth and placed a rough board some inches above the corpse, so that the clods of earth should not touch it. However they fixed it so awkwardly that when the grave was filled up with earth it covered the face and body nevertheless.
"The sisters came to visit the churchyard often, wept, prayed, and read by the grave and always noticed the sweet odor in the air around it. As there were no flowers or herbs near the grave-- nothing but arid earth--they came to believe that it arose from the grave itself.  "Soon miracles occurred, for some who visited the grave in ill health were cured. Therefore the sisters repented that they had interred her without a coffin, and complained to their father confessor.
He a man of sound judgment asked what they wanted to do about it.

"We replied: 'To take her out again, place her in a wooden coffin and rebury her.' He was taken aback by this request it was 18 days after her death and he thought that by now the corpse must be decomposed. We, however, pointed out the sweet odor, and finally he granted permission to disinter her, provided no smell of putrefaction would make itself felt during the digging.  "When we found the body and laid the face free, we found it crushed and disfigured by the weight of the board placed above it. Also, in digging, three of the sisters had damaged it with the spade. So we placed her in a coffin, and made ready for re- interment, but by some strange impulse were driven to place her for some time under the portal.
"Here the crushed nose and the whole face gradually regained their natural form. The deceased became white of color, lovely, intact, as if still alive, the nails were not blackened, and she exhaled a delicious odor. All the sisters were deeply stirred; the scent spread throughout the church and convent, attaching itself to the hands that had touched her, and there seemed to be no explanation for it.
"Now after having been quite pale, she began to change color and to flush, while a most deliciously scented sweat began to pour from her body. Changing from paleness to the color of glowing ember, she shed an aromatic liquid which appeared sometime like clear water and then like a mixture of water and blood.
"Full of wonder and perplexity we called our confessor; the rumor had already spread to the town and he hurried to us accompanied by a learned physician, Maestro Giovanni Marcanova, and they closely observed and touched the body. Others joined them: priests, physicians, laymen." The whole of Italy converged to see her, and her body was placed on a chair in a special chapel behind bars and glass, and to this day is kept there in a mummified condition (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Schamoni).
In art, Saint Catherine is a Poor Clare carrying the Christ Child. Sometimes she is shown enthroned with a cross, book, a cross on her breast and bare feet (Roeder). Catherine is the patron of artists (Attwater).
1464 BD MARGARET OF SAVOY, WIDOW; took the habit of the third order of St Dominic and with other ladies formed a community at Alba. This retired life of prayer, study and charitable works lasted for some twenty-five years; Pope Eugenius IV gave permission for the tertiary sisters to become nuns, in the same place and under the rule of Bd Margaret. During the last sixteen years of her life ecstasies and miracles are alleged in abundance, among them a vision of our Lord offering her three arrows, labelled respectively Sickness, Slander and Persecution
BD MARGARET was allied in blood to the principal royal houses of Europe, her father being Amadeus of Savoy and her mother a sister of the Clement VII who claimed to be pope at Avignon during the “great schism”. In 1403 she made a marriage befitting this high rank, with Theodore Palaeologus, Marquis of Montferrat, a widower with two children, a headstrong soldier but a good Christian at heart. Margaret herself had no children but was devoted to those of her husband, and soon endeared herself on all hands, working selflessly for the people during a plague and the famine that followed it in Genoa.
In 1418 the Marquis of Montferrat died. Margaret, after endeavouring for a time to bring the unhappy marital affairs of her stepdaughter to a successful issue, went to live on her estate at Alba in Piedmont, where she bound herself by vow to widowhood and a life of good works. But she was still young, thirty-six at the most, and politically a most desirable match, and Philip Visconti of Milan wanted to marry her. He was an old enemy of the Montferrats, a man of deplorable character, and Margaret refused him, pleading her vow. So Visconti went off to Pope Martin V and came back with a dispensation for her, but she remained firm in her determination not again to change her state.
In her youth she had been friendly with St Vincent Ferrer, and to strengthen her position she took the habit of the third order of St Dominic and with other ladies formed a community at Alba. This retired life of prayer, study and charitable works lasted for some twenty-five years. There is in the royal library at Turin a volume of the letters of St Catherine of Siena and other matters copied and bound “by order of the illustrious lady, Margaret of Savoy, Marchioness of Montferrat” during this time.
Then Pope Eugenius IV gave permission for the tertiary sisters to become nuns, in the same place and under the rule of Bd Margaret. During the last sixteen years of her life ecstasies and miracles are alleged in abundance,
among them a vision of our Lord offering her three arrows, labelled respectively Sickness, Slander and Persecution. Certainly Margaret suffered from all three. She was accused of hypocrisy, of tyrannizing over her nuns, and her ill-health was attributed to self-indulgence, and Philip Visconti spread the rumour that the convent was a centre of the Waldensian heresy. This was a peculiarly shocking charge to bring against children of St Dominic, and the innocent friar who was their confessor and director found himself in prison. Margaret went to demand his release, but only had her hand brutally crushed between the heavy doors of the castle for her pains, and it was some time before the man was vindicated from the malicious accusation of having corrupted both the faith and morals of his charges.

Bd Margaret of Savoy died on November 23, 1464, strengthened by a vision, seen by others besides herself, of St Catherine of Siena. Her cultus was confirmed in 1669.
Four or five lives of Bd Margaret seem to have been published in the seventeenth century, that by G. Baresiano appearing in 1638. In more modern times we have an Italian biography by F. G. Allaria (1877), another without the author’s name (Torino, 1883), and a shorter notice included in M. C. de Ganay’s book, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines (1914), pp. 251—277. See also Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 334—337.
1468 Blessed Elisabeth Bartholomea Picenardi, many miracles were said worked at her tomb; OSM V (AC).
Born in Mantua, Italy, in 1428; beatified in 1804. After her mother's death, Elisabeth joined the Third Order of Servites. Several young noblewomen of Mantua banded together to live in community under Elisabeth's direction (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1468 BD ELIZABETH OF MANTUA, VIRGIN

VERY little incident marks the career of Bd Elizabeth Picenardi. Her parents were people of consideration in Mantua, and she received a very religious education. Her father taught her Latin so that she was able to read daily the Little Office of our Lady, and her mother encouraged her in the practice of meditation. She would not contemplate the idea of marriage, and after her mother’s death both she and one of her sisters obtained permission to enter the third order of the Servites. We are told, but the authority for the statement does not seem very reliable, that Elizabeth made a practice of confessing and communicating daily, a thing almost unheard of in the fifteenth century. The example of her humility and gentleness, together with the supernatural gifts with which she was credited, made a deep impression upon several young girls of her own age, and they banded themselves together to form a community of the Servite third order under Elizabeth’s direction. She is said to have prophesied her own death a year before it happened. At the age of forty, worn out by a painful internal complaint, “she rested in the Lord so the Servite Martyrology states, “while sweetly contemplating Jesus and his Mother amid the choirs of angels”. Extraordinary crowds attended her funeral and many miracles were said to have been worked at her tomb. She was beatified in 1804.

See Bianchi, Memorie storiche intorno alla Vita di Elizabetta Picenardi (1803) and J. E. Stadler, Heiligen-Lexikon.
1469 BD EUSTOCHIUM OF PADUA, VIRGIN Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture.
THERE are few stories in the records of hagiography more curious than that of Bd Eustochium. It should be said at the outset that her cultus seems never to have received the formal approbation of the Holy See, though her Life has more than once been written and she is to this day liturgically honoured at Padua. Her very birth forms a sad memorial of a period at which terrible scandals were rife in the cloister as well as in the outside world. She was the daughter of a nun who had been seduced by a profligate, and she was actually born within the convent in which she eventually died. The community which connived at such irregularities was afterwards dispersed by the bishop’s orders and was replaced by sisters from a more observant foundation. The little Lucrezia, to use the name by which she was christened, showed in her childhood signs of being beset by certain influences of a strongly poltergeist type, and she was believed to be possessed. She was, however, sent to school at San Prosdocimo, the convent in which she had been born, but her conduct was in every way edifying, and when she was somewhat older she sought to be received there as a novice. The majority of the new community were much opposed to her admission among them, for the story of her birth was well known. However, with the bishop’s approval, the habit was eventually given her, and she took the name of Eustochium. Hardly had her noviceship begun when the strangest symptoms manifested themselves. Normally she was the most gentle, obedient and kindly of beings, full of fervour and observant of every rule, but now at not infrequent intervals her character seemed to undergo a complete transforma­tion. She became stubborn, rude and subject to violent outbursts of temper. Whether this was due to one of those strange dissociations of personality with which modern psychological studies have made us familiar it would be difficult to say, but it was attributed then to diabolical possession.

In any case the treatment of the afflicted girl was probably not very judicious. It terminated in a blood-curdling scene in which the novice was seized with the most horrible convulsions, shrieking, howling and eventually snatching up a knife when an attempt was made to restrain her. She was treated as mad people were commonly treated in that age, and for several days she was kept tied up to a pillar. During these paroxysms, which recurred from time to time, she seems sometimes to have inflicted severe injuries upon herself which were said to have been caused by the devil which possessed her. Though a period of calm succeeded, Eustochium was still regarded with hostility and suspicion, and when the abbess fell ill of a malady for which the doctors were unable to account, Eustochium was believed to have poisoned her by diabolical or magical practices in revenge for having been kept tied up. The story of what was happening got abroad in the town, and a mob gathered round the convent who clamoured that she should be surrendered to them that they might burn her for a witch. The bishop decided that she must be kept prisoner in one of the cells and that she should be allowed nothing but bread and water, passing the alternate days without any food at all. This treatment seems to have continued for three months. Fortunately the abbess recovered, but in spite of the efforts of her confessor, who declared Eustochium to be perfectly inno­cent, the feeling of the community against her was so strong that she was treated as an outcast. No one would speak to her or have anything to do with her. Efforts were made to persuade her to leave the convent of her own accord, for she had as yet taken no vows. Friendly help was promised and a marriage portion offered if she would accept a husband, but Eustochium, when quite herself, believed that God had called her to serve Him in religion and refused to consent.

For a long time the paroxysms continued to return at intervals. Under their influence, to the horror of the sisters, Eustochium clambered or was transported to a beam high up in the roof where a false step would have meant instant destruc­tion; she was lifted into the air and then let fall like a stone she was found in her cell divested of all her garments, with marks of violence on her throat and on her limbs she took a knife and gashed herself with cuts from which she lost great quantities of blood; but none the less as soon as these spasms passed, she became the same gentle, obedient unresentful creature, ready to sacrifice herself in any work of charity for those who treated her so harshly. Eventually, at the end of four years, she was allowed to take her vows, and by degrees she gained the good will and in fact the reverence of all her fellow nuns. She spent her last days bedridden, in much physical suffering, and died at the age of twenty-six on February 13, 1469. In preparing the body for burial the name of Jesus was found cauterized, it would seem, upon her breast. Apparitions and many miracles are said to have followed and a celestial fragrance proceeded from the place of sepulture. Three and a half years later, by order of the very bishop who had been instrumental in her cruel imprisonment, her body was transferred to a more honourable resting-place. Though buried without a coffin, it was found perfectly incorrupt, as if it had just been borne to the grave.

Fantastic as this story may appear, it rests upon good contemporary evidence. A short sketch was compiled and made public by Peter Barozzi, who in 1487 became bishop of Padua, where Eustochium eighteen years earlier had ended her days. Fuller biographies were later on printed by G. M. Giberti (1672) and C. Salio (1734) but the most reliable is un­doubtedly that of the well-known Jesuit historian Giulio Cordara, which first appeared in 1765. Cordara explains that he based his whole narrative upon a manuscript relation, drawn up by the priest Jerome Salicario, who was confessor to the community during all the period of Eustochium’s residence as a nun and who had himself taken a leading part in the proceedings. This relation was still preserved at San Prosdocimo and was entrusted to Fr Cordara for the purpose of his biography. A somewhat fuller account than that here printed may be found in The Month for February, 1926, entitled A Cinderella of the Cloister by Fr Thurston.
1473 St John Of Kanti; he persevered for some years, and by the time he was recalled to Cracow had so far won his people’s hearts that they accompanied him on part of the road with such grief that he said to them, “This sadness does not please God. If I have done any good for you in all these years, sing a song of joy.” “Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause.” Miracles attributed
Sancti Joánnis Cántii, Presbyteri et Confessóris, qui nono Kaléndas Januárii obdormívit in Dómino.
    St. John Cantius, priest and confessor, who fell asleep in the Lord on the 24th of December.
Lived:  1403 - 1473 Canonized:  1767 Memorial:  October 20
   John Cantius receives his name from his birthplace, Kanti, near Oswiecim in Poland. His parents were country folk of respectable position and, seeing that their son was as quick and intelligent as he was good, they sent him in due course to the University of Cracow. He took good degrees, was ordained priest, and appointed to a lectureship or chair in the university. He was known to lead a very strict life, and when he was warned to look after his health he replied by pointing out that the fathers of the desert were notably long-lived. There is a story told that once he was dining in hall, when a famished-looking beggar passed the door. John jumped up and carried out all his commons to the man; when he returned to his seat he found his plate again full—miraculously. This, it is said, was long commemorated in the university by setting aside a special meal for a poor man every day; when dinner was ready the vice-president would cry out in Latin, “A poor man is coming”, to which the president replied, “Jesus Christ is coming”, and the man was then served. But while he was yet alive John’s success as a preacher and teacher raised up envy against him, and his rivals managed to get him removed and sent as parish priest to Olkusz. St John turned to his new work with single-hearted energy, but his parishioners did not like him and he himself was afraid of the responsibilities of his position. Nevertheless he persevered for some years, and by the time he was recalled to Cracow had so far won his people’s hearts that they accompanied him on part of the road with such grief that he said to them, “This sadness does not please God. If I have done any good for you in all these years, sing a song of joy.”

   St John’s second appointment at the university was as professor of Sacred Scripture, and he held it to the end of his life. He left such a reputation that his doctoral gown was for long used to vest each candidate at the conferring of degrees, but his fame was not at all confined to academic circles. He was a welcome guest at the tables of the nobility (once his shabby cassock caused the servants to refuse him admission, so he went away and changed it. During the meal a dish was upset over the new one. “No matter,” he said, “my clothes deserve some dinner because to them I owe the pleasure of being here at all”).  All the poor in Cracow knew him. His goods and money were always at their disposition, and time and again they literally “cleared him out”. But his own needs were few he slept on the floor, never ate meat, and when he went to Rome he walked all the way and carried his luggage on his back. He was never weary of telling his pupils to “fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause.” Several miracles were reported of St John, and when news got round the city that he was dying there was an outburst of sorrow. “Never mind about this prison which is decaying”, he said to those who were looking after him, “but think of the soul that is going to leave it.” He died on Christmas Eve, 1473, at the age of eighty-three. St John Cantius was canonized in 1767, and his feast extended to the whole Western church. He is the only confessor not a bishop who has different hymns for Matins, Lauds and Vespers in the Roman Breviary.

The Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, were unable to discover any satisfactory medieval account of St John Cantius, and they reproduced a biography published in 1628 by Adam of Opatow. This writer claims to have had access to materials preserved at Cracow, and in particular to have used notes compiled by a contemporary, Matthias of Miechow, who certainly drew up a record of miracles attributed to St John after his death. The latter document is also printed by the Bollandists. A note upon the place and date of birth of St John will be found in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. viii (1889), pp. 382—388. A French life by E. Benoit was published in 1862. Lives in Polish are numerous.
Priest Saint John was born at Kenty in Poland in 1403. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Cracow with great intelligence, industry, and success, while his modesty and virtue drew all hearts to him. After earning his degrees, he was appointed to the Chair of Theology at the university. He inflamed his hearers with the desire of every kind of piety, no less by his deeds than by his words. He was ordained a priest and was for a short time in charge of a parish, where he manifested great concern for the poor, at his own expense. At the University's request, he resumed the professor's Chair and taught there until his holy death.
He found a poor man on the snow one day, dying of hunger and cold; he clothed him in his own frock and took him to the rectory, to eat at his table. Afterwards, for many years, every professor of the College of Varsovie was obliged, once every year, to invite a poor man to dine with him.
   He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, preaching along the way to the Turks, and hoping for the grace of martyrdom. He went four times to Rome to visit the tombs of the Apostles and pay honor to the Holy See, desiring thereby to be spared the pains of purgatory. He always traveled on foot, carrying his own effects.
   Robbed one day by bandits, he forgot he had a few gold pieces sewn into his cloak; he soon remembered and called them back to give them to his benefactors. They were so astonished they refused to accept the offering, and even returned to him what they had taken.
   Saint John Cantius wrote on the walls of his residence some verses which showed the horror he had for the vice of backbiting or detraction, talking without cause of our neighbor's faults. He slept very little and often spent entire nights praying before a crucifix. After his classes he went to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in a church.
  Before his death, he gave absolutely everything he still had to the poor. He died in 1473, at the age of seventy-six years. The purple robe which he had worn as a Doctor was religiously conserved and always given to the venerable Head of the School of Philosophy on the day of his reception; and a promise was required of the teachers there, to imitate the virtues of this beloved Saint.
  He is a patron of both Poland and Lithuania; Clement XIII canonized him in 1767.
Reflection: He who orders all his doings according to the Will of God may often be spoken of by the world as simple, even stupid; but in the end he wins the esteem and confidence even of the world itself.
Source: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12.

1478 Blessed Catherine of Pallanza hermit commune under Augustinian Rule, fought epidemics, endowed with the gift of prophecy OSA V (AC)

1478 BD CATHERINE OF PALLANZA, VIRGIN During her life Blessed Catherine was endowed with the gift of prophecy
MORE destructive than the many wars which devastated medieval Europe was the dread disease called plague which, with varying severity, was of constant recurrence, sometimes sweeping away entire populations. During one of these epidemics there perished near Pallanza in the diocese of Novara a whole family except one little child of the name of Catherine. She was rescued by the local lord, who entrusted her to a Milanese lady who adopted and educated her.
When Catherine was in her fifteenth year she was so profoundly touched by a sermon on the sufferings of our Lord that she then and there resolved to consecrate her life to His service. Her benefactress was now dead and there was no one to hinder her, so she withdrew to the mountain district above Varese, where the great St Ambrose, it was said, had once erected an altar in honour of the Mother of God. From time to time men had lived there as hermits, but she was the first woman to settle in that wilderness, and for the next fifteen years she led a life of the utmost austerity. She fasted for ten months of the year, living even at less penitential seasons on presents of fish which were brought to her, for she seldom left her retreat. Hidden as she strove to be, other women collected round Catherine to imitate her example and to become her disciples. Eventually she gathered them into a community which adopted the Augustinian rule and was known as the convent of Santa Maria di Monte. She died at the age of forty, after being prioress for four years. During her life Blessed Catherine was endowed with the gift of prophecy, and her cultus was approved in 1769.

See the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. i, where a life of the beata written in Italian by Cesare Tettamanzi has been translated into Latin. Cf. also Sevesi in Studi Francescani, vol. xxv (1928), pp. 389—449.

Born in Pallanza, Novara, Italy, c. 1437; died 1478; cultus confirmed in 1769. At age 14, Catherine began to live the life of a hermit in the mountain district above Varese, near Milan. Disciples gathered around her, whom she gathered into a community under the Augustinian Rule. She fought epidemics, which wiped out her entire family, and against wicked tongues that spread slander about her little convent of Santa Maria di Monte (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1480 Saints moines Marc, Jona et Vassa qui ont fondé le monastère de Pskovo-Pechersk réaparaissait miraculeusement.
Les moines Marc, Jonas et Vassa sont vénérés comme étant parmi les Pères qui ont fondé le monastère de Pskovo-Pechersk.
On ne sait pas avec précision quand les premiers ermites se sont installés près des ruisseaux de Kamenets dans les cavernes naturelles de la colline, que les habitants locaux ont appelé "la colline sainte." La chronique du monastère présente un compte-rendu d'un témoin oculaire, le chasseur-trappeur de Izborsk surnommé Selishi: "Un jour par hasard, nous avons abouti avec notre père sur la colline extérieure, où se trouve maintenant l'église de la Mère de Dieu, et a entendu ce qui ressemblait à des chants d'église; ils chantaient harmonieusement et respectueusement, mais on n'arrivait pas à voir ceux qui chantaient, et l'air était rempli d'un parfum d'encens."
Des premiers Anciens du monastère de Pskovo-Pechersk, seul Marc est connu par son nom. De lui il témoigne: "Au début, un premier Ancien habitait près de la crue du Kamenets dans la caverne, certains pêcheurs l'ont aperçu aux trois rochers, se couchant par-dessus la caverne de l'église de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu; mais nous n'avons pas pu découvrir quoique ce soit à son égard -- qui était-il et son origine familliale, ni comment et d'où il était venu à cet endroit, ni combien de temps il était demeuré ici, ni comment il était mort."
Le deuxième higoumène du monastère de Pechersk portait le nom de Starets [Ancien] Marc dans le Synodikon du monastère. Le moine Kornilii (commémoré 20 février), comme higoumène a douté de la véracité de cette inscription et il a ordonné que le nom soit effacé du Synodikon. Soudain il est tombé gravement malade et a reçu une révélation, comme quoi ceci était une punition pour son ordre de rayer le nom du moine Marc du diptyque du monastère. Implorant le pardon avec larmes et prières sur la tombe du staretz Marc, l'higoumène Kornilii réinscrit le nom du saint. Quand l'église souterraine de l'Uspenie [Dormition] de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu a été réinstallée à l'air libre et les tombes excavées, l'higoumène Dorophei a trouvé la tombe du moine Marc en délabrement, mais ses reliques et vêtements intacts.
En 1472, le paysan Ivan Dement'ev a abattu la forêt sur la colline escarpée. Un des arbres abattus a roulé en bas, déracinant par ses racines un autre arbre. La chute a mis à nu l'entrée d'une caverne, au-dessus de laquelle il était écrit: "Une caverne construite par Dieu." Il existe une tradition à cet égard qui rapporte qu'un certain moine Fol-en-Christ Varlaam, à chaque fois qu'il venait à la caverne, il effaçait cette inscription, mais qu'à chaque fois elle réaparaissait miraculeusement.
En ce saint lieu de prière fréquenté par les premiers ascètes, est venu d'ailleurs le prêtre Jean, surnommé "Shestnik." Il était natif de Moscovie et avait servi comm prêtre à Iur'ev (maintenant Tartu) dans "une église de vrais croyants, établie par les gens de Pskov" et dédiée à saint Nicolas et au saint mégalomartyr George, et ensemble avec le prêtre Isidor, ils avaient nourri spirituellement les Russes habitant là-bas. En 1470 le Père Jean a été obligé de fuir avec sa famille à Pskov, à cause de la persécution des Allemand-Catholiques [note jmd : il s'agit des "Chevaliers Teutoniques", cfr saint Alexandre Nevski]. Ayant appris que son ami avait péri en martyr (on commémore le prêtre et martyr Isidor le 8 janvier), Jean a décidé de se retirer dans cette récemment-apparue "caverne construite par Dieu," afin que là-bas, sur la frontière même avec les Livoniens, il puisse trouver un un monastère comme un poste avancé de l'Orthodoxie.
Peu après sa femme tomba malade et, ayant prononcé ses voeux monastiques sous le nom de Vassa, elle mourrut. Sa vertu éclata immédiatement après sa mort. Son mari et son père spirituel ont enterré le religieuse Vassa dans le mur de "la caverne construite par Dieu," mais de nuit son cercueil "s'enleva du sol par le pouvoir invisible de Dieu." Le Père Jean et le prêtre-confesseur de la religieuse Vassa, perturbés, pensaient que cela venait du fait qu'ils auraient oublié de chanter une partie de l'office de défunts, alors ils ont recélébré l'office funèbre, puis réenterré le corps, mais au matin il était à nouveau "au dessus du sol." Alors tout s'éclairci : c'était un signe de Dieu. Ils ont bâtit une tombe pour la religieuse Vassa dans la caverne, sur le côté gauche. Bouleversés par le miracle, Jean a prononcé ses voeux monastiques sous le nom de Jonas et commencé à devenir un fervent ascète.
Ayant mis à l'air libre, à la main, l'église de caverne et deux cellules, placées sur des piliers, il a commencé à adresser des requêtes au clergé de la cathédrale de la Trinité de Pskovsk pour le consacrer, mais ils n'ont pas voulu le faire directement "à cause de l'emplacement insolite." Alors le Moine Jonas sollicita la bénédiction de l'archévêque Theophile de Novgorod.
Et le 15 août 1473, l'église de caverne a été consacrée en l'honneur de l'Uspenie [Dormition] de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu. Pendant la consécration, un miracle a eu lieu, venant d'une icône d'Uspenie de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu,  "envoyé par le Dieu clément qui commence Ses grands dons à Sa Toute-Pure Mère" -- une aveugle a recouvert la vue. (Cette icône, qu'ils appellent "l'ancienne" -- pour faire la distinction avec une autre icône miraculeuse de la Dormtion de la Très-Sainte Mère de Dieu bordée de scènes de Sa vie -- a été écrite en 1421 par l'iconographe Aleksei de Pskov, et est conservée à présent dans l'autel du temple d'Uspensk, dans le batiment sur la colline. L'icône a bordé avec la vie -- est la client-icône de temple de l'église de caverne.)
La date de consécration de l'église de caverne est reprise comme date officielle de la fondation du monastère de Pskovo-Pechersk. Le Moine Jonas vécut en ascète au monastère de caverne jusqu'en 1480 et s'endormit paisiblement dans le Seigneur. A sa mort, on découvrit sur son corps une cotte de mailles en fer, qui a été accrochée ai-dessus de  sa tombe en témoignage des actes ascétiques secrets du moine, mais elle fut volée durant une incursion des Allemands.
Les reliques du moine Jonas reposent dans les cavernes à côté de celles de l'Ancien Marc et de la religieuse Vassa. Une fois durant une invasion du monastère par les chevaliers de Livonian, se moquant des saintes reliques, ont voulu ouvrir d'un coup d'épée le cercueil de la religieuse Vassa, mais une flamme jailli du cercueil de la sainte ascète. Les traces de ce feu punitif sont visibles de nos jours sur le cercueil de la religieuse Vassa.
Saints monks Marc, Jona and Vassa (1480) The monks Marc, Jonas and Vassa are venerated as being among the Fathers who founded the monastery of Pskovo-Pechersk.
One does not know with precision when the first hermits settled close to the brooks of Kamenets in the natural caves of the hill, that the local inhabitants called “the holy hill.” The chronicle of the monastery presents a report of an eyewitness, the hunter-trapper of Izborsk called Selishi: “One day by chance, we ended with our father on the external hill, where now the church of the Mother of God is, and heard what resembled hymns; they sang harmoniously and respectfully, but one did not manage to see those who sang, and the air was filled with an incense perfume.”
The first Old ones of the monastery of Pskovo-Pechersk, only Marc is known by his name. To him it testifies: “At the beginning, first Old lived close to raw to Kamenets in the cave, certain fishermen saw it with the three rocks, lying down over the cave of the church of the Very-Holy Mother of God; but we could not discover though it is in its connection -- who was it and his origin familliale, neither how and from where it had come to this place, neither how long it was remained here, nor how it had died.”
The second higoumene of the monastery of Pechersk bore the name of Starets [Old] Marc in Synodikon of the monastery. The Kornilii monk (commemorated February 20), like higoumene doubted the veracity of this inscription and it ordered that the name is unobtrusive of Synodikon. Suddenly it fell seriously sick and received a revelation, as what this was a punishment for its order to stripe the name of the Marc monk of the diptych of the monastery. Beseeching forgiveness with tears and prayers on the tomb of the staretz Marc, the higoumene Kornilii re-registers the name of the saint. When the underground church of Uspenie [Dormition] of the Very-Holy Mother of God was reinstalled with the free air and the excavated tombs, the higoumene Dorophei found fall it from the Marc monk in dilapidation, but its relics and clothing intact.
In 1472, the peasant Ivan Dement' ev cut down the forest on the escarpée hill. One of the cut down trees rolled in bottom, uprooting by its roots another tree. The fall exposed the entry of a cave, above which he was written: “A cave built by God.” There is a tradition in this respect which reports that a certain monk Varlaam Fol-in-Christ, to each time he came to the cave, he erased this inscription, but that each time it réaparaissait miraculeusement.
In this holy place of prayer attended by the first ascetics, came besides the Jean priest, called “Shestnik.” He was native of Moscovie and had been used comm priest for Iur' ev (now Tartu) in “a church of truths believing, established by people of Pskov” and dedicated to Nicolas saint and to the saint mégalomartyr George, and together with the Isidor priest, they had nourished the Russians spiritually living over there. In 1470 the Jean Father was obliged to flee with his family with Pskov, because of the persecution of the German-Catholics [note jmd: they are the “Knights Teutoniques”, cfr holy Alexandre Nevski]. Having learned that his/her friend had perished as a martyr (one commemorates the priest and martyr Isidor on January 8), Jean decided to withdraw oneself in this recently-appeared “cave built by God,” so that over there, on the border even with Livoniens, it can find a monastery like a advanced station of Orthodoxy.
Shortly after his wife fell sick and, having pronounced her monastic vows under the name of Vassa, it mourrut. Its virtue burst immediately after its death. Her husband and his spiritual father buried to it religious Vassa in the wall of “the cave built by God,” but from night its coffin “was removed ground by the invisible capacity of God.” The Jean Father and the priest-confessor of the Vassa chocolate éclair, disturbed, thought that that came owing to the fact that they would have forgotten to sing part of the office the late ones, then they recélébré the funeral office, then réenterré the body, but in the morning it was again “with the top of the ground.” Then very cleared up: it was a sign of God. They have builds a tomb for the Vassa chocolate éclair in the cave, on the left side. Upset by the miracle, Jean pronounced his monastic vows under the name of Jonas and started to become an enthusiastic ascetic.
Having put at the free air, with the hand, the church of cave and two cells, having placed on pillars, it started to address requests to the clergy of the cathedral of the Trinity of Pskovsk to devote it, but they did not want to directly do it “because of the strange site.” Then the Jonas Monk requested the blessing of archévêque Theophilus de Novgorod.
And on August 15, 1473, the church of cave was devoted in the honor of Uspenie [Dormition] of the Very-Holy Mother of God. During the dedication, a miracle took place, coming from an icon of Uspenie of the Very-Holy Mother of God, “sent by lenient God who begins His great gifts with His All-Pure Mother” -- a blind man covered the sight. (This icon, which they call “the old one” -- to make the distinction with another miraculous icon of Dormtion of the Very-Holy Mother of God bordered of scenes of His life -- was written in 1421 by the iconographe Aleksei de Pskov, and is preserved now in the furnace bridge of the temple of Uspensk, in the building on the hill. The icon bordered with the life -- is the customer-icon of temple of the church of cave.)
The date of dedication of the church of cave is taken again like dates official from the foundation of the monastery of Pskovo-Pechersk. The Jonas Monk lived as an ascetic with the monastery of cave until 1480 and fell asleep peacefully in the Lord. With his death, one discovered on his body a coat of mail out of iron, which was hung have-top of its tomb in testimony of the secret ascetic acts of the monk, but it was stolen during an incursion of the Germans.
The relics of the Jonas monk rest in the caves beside those of the Former Marc and the Vassa nun. Once during an invasion of the monastery by the knights of Livonian, making fun of the holy relics, wanted to open of a blow of sword the coffin of the Vassa chocolate éclair, but a flame spouted out of the coffin of the holy ascetic. The traces of this punitive fire are visible nowadays on the coffin of the Vassa chocolate éclair.
1480 BD ANDREW OF MONTEREAL Augustinian roll of honour describes him as “remarkable for his patience in suffering, for his extraordinary austerity of life, for his great learning and especially for his success in preaching the word of God” numerous were the miracles wrought beside the bier
ANDREW of Montereale was born at Mascioni in the diocese of Rieti and joined the Hermits of St Augustine when he was only fourteen. For fifty years he preached the gospel in Italy and in France. The Augustinian roll of honour describes him as “remarkable for his patience in suffering, for his extraordinary austerity of life, for his great learning and especially for his success in preaching the word of God”. It is recorded of him that he never went to see any public show or spectacle, and that he never laughed. We are also told that when he died the church bells began to toll of their own accord and continued sounding at intervals for twenty-four hours. The Augustinian Joseph Pamphili, who in 1570 was consecrated bishop of Segni, states in his Chronica O.F.E.A. that in his day, a hundred years after Andrew’s death, the body of the holy man, with the cloak that covered it, remained as immune from decay as it was at the moment when he expired. So great was the desire of those who had known Bd Andrew to visit his remains, and so numerous were the miracles wrought beside the bier, that a whole month elapsed before the interment actually took place. His cultus was confirmed in 1764.
In the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, a brief account of Bd Andrew, published in Italian by S. Ricetelli (1614), has been translated into Latin. See also L. Torelli, Ristretto dells Vite degli Huomini . . . O.F.E.A. (1647), pp. 380—382.
 1481 Bl. Constantius a boy of extraordinary goodness gift of prophecy or second sight miracles.
Early in the fifteenth century, there lived at Fabriano a boy of such extraordinary goodness that even his parents would sometimes wonder whether he were not rather an angel than a human child. Once, when his little sister was suffering from a disease which the doctors pronounced incurable, Constantius Bernocchi asked his father and mother to join him in prayer by her bedside that she might recover. They did so, and she was immediately cured. At the age of fifteen he was admitted to the Dominican convent of Santa Lucia and he seemed to have received the habit from the hands of Blessed Laurence of Ripafratta, at that time prior of this house of strict observance. Constantius was one of those concerned with the reform of San Marco in Florence, and it was while he was teaching in that city that it was discovered that he had the gift of prophecy or second sight.
Among other examples, the death of St. Antoninus was made known to him at the moment it took place, and this is mentioned by Pope Clement VII in his Bull for the canonization of that saint.
He was also credited with the power of working miracles, and besides the care of his office, he acted as peacemaker outside the convent and quelled popular tumults. He was esteemed so holy that it was reckoned a great favor to speak to him or even to touch his habit. Upon the news of his death, the senate and council assembled, "considering his death a public calamity", and resolved to defray the cost of a public funeral. The cultus of Blessed Constantius was confirmed in 1821.
Blessed Constantius of Fabriano, OP (AC) Born in Fabriano, Marches of Ancona, Italy, 1410; died at Ascoli, Italy, 1481; equivalently beatified in 1821 (or 1811). Constantius Bernocchi is as close to a 'sad saint' as it's possible for a Dominican to get; he is said to have had the gift of tears. However, that is not his only claim to fame.  Constantius had an remarkable childhood, not only for the usual signs of precocious piety, but also for a miracle that he worked when he was a little boy. Constantius had a sister who had been bedridden most of her nine years of life. One day, the little boy brought his parents in to her bedside and made them pray with him. The little girl rose up, cured, and she remained well for a long and happy life. Naturally, the parents were amazed, and they were quite sure it had not been their prayers that effected the cure, but those of their little son.
Constantius entered the Dominicans at age 15, and had as his masters Blessed Conradin and Saint Antoninus. He did well in his studies and wrote a commentary on Aristotle. His special forte was Scripture, and he studied it avidly. After his ordination, he was sent to teach in various schools in Italy, arriving eventually at the convent of San Marco in Florence, which had been erected as a house of strict observance. Constantius was eventually appointed prior of this friary that was a leading light in the reform movement. This was a work dear to his heart, and he himself became closely identified with the movement.
Several miracles and prophecies are related about Constantius during his stay in Florence. He one day told a student not to go swimming, because he would surely drown if he did. The student, of course, dismissed the warning and drowned. One day, Constantius came upon a man lying in the middle of the road. The man had been thrown by his horse and was badly injured; he had a broken leg and a broken arm. All he asked was to be taken to some place where care could be given him, but Constantius did better than that--he cured the man and left him, healed and astonished.
Constantius was made prior of Perugia, where he lived a strictly penitential life. Perhaps the things that he saw in visions were responsible for his perpetual sadness, for he foresaw many of the terrible things that would befall Italy in the next few years. He predicted the sack of Fabriano, which occurred in 1517. At the death of Saint Antoninus, he saw the saint going up to heaven, a vision which was recounted in the canonization process.
Blessed Constantius is said to have recited the Office of the Dead every day, and often the whole 150 Psalms, which he knew by heart, and used for examples on every occasion. He also said that he had never been refused any favor for which he had recited the whole psalter. He wrote a number of books; these, for the most part, were sermon material, and some were the lives of the blesseds of the order.
On the day of Constantius's death, little children of the town ran through the streets crying out, "The holy prior is dead! The holy prior is dead!" On hearing of his death, the city council met and stated that it was a public calamity.  The relics of Blessed Constantius have suffered from war and invasion. After the Dominicans were driven from the convent where he was buried, his tomb was all but forgotten for a long time. Then one of the fathers put the relics in the keeping of Camaldolese monks in a nearby monastery, where they still remain (Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia).
1482 Blessed Antony Bonfadini  sent to the mission in the Holy Land miracles were reported at his tomb  OFM (AC).
1482 Bd ANTONY BONFADINI
THE Bonfadini were a good family of Ferrara, where Antony was born in the year 1400. When he was thirty-nine, he became a friar minor of the Observance at the friary of the Holy Ghost in his native town, and soon distinguished himself as a teacher and preacher. He was sent on the Franciscan mission in the Holy Land, and on a journey from there, in his old age, he died and was buried at the village of Cotignola in the Romagna. A year later his body was found to be still incorrupt, and miracles were reported at his tomb. Accordingly, when some years later the Friars Minor made a foundation at Cotignola, they were given permission to translate the body to their church. The cultus of Bd Antony was approved in 1901.

Although the continued cultus is well attested, we know little detail of the life of this holy friar. Some account is furnished by such chroniclers as Mazzara in Leggendario Francescano, vol. iii (1680), pp. 601-602. See also the Acta Ord. Fratrum Minorum, vol. xx (1901), pp. 105 seq. and DHG., vol. iii, c. 763.
Born at Ferrara, Italy, 1400; died at Cotignola, diocese of Faenza, 1482; cultus confirmed in 1901. After becoming an Observant Franciscan, Blessed Antony was sent to the mission in the Holy Land (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
1482 Bd Simon Of Lipnicza born at Lipnicza, in Poland, not far from Cracow; Friars Minor; fostering devotion to the holy name of Jesus, at the end of every sermon asking the people to pronounce it three times aloud.  That which he preached in public he practised in private, and his virtues were recognized by his superiors and brethren, who made him in turn novicemaster, guardian and provincial; Miracles were multiplied at his tomb
He was born at Lipnicza, in Poland, not far from Cracow, in the university of which city he made his studies.  In 1453 St John Capistran began to preach a mission in Cracow, and one of the first-fruits of his heart-searching appeals was young Simon, who had just graduated.  He offered himself to the Friars Minor, who seemed to him the most humble, mortified, and devoted to the cause of Christ and their neighbour; he was accepted, clothed by St John, and after ordination worked in his own city, his preaching and prayers bringing many sinners to repentance within a few years. Like the holy father Francis before him he visited the Holy Land in the hope that there his life might he asked of him, but God did not destine him to martyrdom, and he took up his apostolate at home with renewed energy. Bd Simon lived in an age of great Franciscan preaching, and among so many who were famed he was not the least eminent.  In the face of a certain amount of local opposition he followed St Bernardino in fostering devotion to the holy name of Jesus, at the end of every sermon asking the people to pronounce it three times aloud. That which he preached in public he practised in private, and his virtues were recognized by his superiors and brethren, who made him in turn novicemaster, guardian and provincial. When the plague broke out in Cracow his devotion to our Lord and solicitude for the suffering drove him into the most pestiferous places, where he waited on the sick and dying by day and night. He himself became a victim, and he died in the midst of his labours on July 18 in 1482. Miracles were multiplied at his tomb and he was beatified in 1685.
There is a full account in the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. iv, including a life by L. Strobcowicz which was printed in 1636, but the greater part of the notice devoted to him is a record of posthumous miracles from a contemporary manuscript source.  Sec also Mazzarn, Leggendario Francescano (1679), vol. ii, 122-125; and Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. tran.), vol. ii, pp. 503-506.
1483 St. Casimir born of kings slept little, spending his nights in prayer Miracles were reported at his tomb
Vilnæ, in Lithuánia, beáti Casimíri Confessóris, e Casimíro Rege progéniti; quem Leo Décimus, Románus Póntifex, in Sanctórum númerum rétulit.
At Vilnius in Lithuania, blessed Casimir, confessor, the son of King Casimir, whom Pope Leo X inscribed in the roll of the saints. 
b. 1458

Casimir in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. Even as a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.
 
When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir’s father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their government. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the “enemy”; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home. His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor’s daughter. He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father’s absence. He died of lung trouble at 23 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Comment:  For many years Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ’s peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.
St. Casimir Patron of Poland and Lithuania
Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a prince of Poland, the second son of King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria, his life was scheduled to cement his father's authority and increase Poland's power. Casimir realized from an early age that his life belonged to someone else, but to a much higher King than his father. Despite pressure, humiliation, and rejection, he stood by that loyalty through his whole life. Born the third of thirteen children in 1461, Casimir was committed to God from childhood. Some of that commitment was the result of a tutor, John Dlugosz, whose holiness encouraged Casimir on his own journey.

It may be hard for us to imagine royal luxury as a pressure. But for Casimir, the riches around him were temptations to forget his true loyalties. Rebelling against the rich, fashionable clothes he was expected to enjoy, he wore the plainest of clothes. Rejecting even ordinary comforts, he slept little, spending his nights in prayer. And when he did sleep, he lay on the floor not on a royal bed. Even though he was a prince, many of those around him must have laughed and joked at his choices. Yet, in the face of any pressure, Casimir was always friendly and calm.

Though his father must have wondered about him, he must have seen and admired Casimir's strength. He showed that he misunderstood this strength when he sent Casimir as head of an army to take over the throne of Hungary at the request of some nobles there. Casimir felt the whole expedition was wrong but was convinced to go out of obedience to his father. He could not help but feel at every step that it was disobedient to his other Father. So when soldiers started deserting, he was only too glad to listen to the advice of his officers and turn back home. His feelings were confirmed when he discovered that Pope Sixtus IV had opposed the move.

His father, however, was furious at being deterred from his plans and banished Casimir to a castle in Dobzki, hoping that imprisonment would change Casimir's mind. Casimir's commitment to what he believed was right only grew stronger in his exile and he refused to cooperate with his father's plans any more despite the pressure to give in. He even rejected a marriage alliance his father tried to form. He participated in his true King's plans wholeheartedly by praying, studying, and helping the poor.

He died at the age of 23 in 1484 from lung disease. He was buried with his favorite song, a Latin hymn to Mary called "Omni die dic Mariae" which we know as "Daily, Daily Sing to Mary." Because of his love for the song, it is known as the Hymn of St. Casimir though he didn't write it.

1484 ST CASIMIR OF POLAND
ST CASIMIR, to whom the Poles gave the title of “The Peace-maker”, was the third of the thirteen children of Casimir IV, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Albert II. Casimir was the second son; he and his two brothers, Ladislaus and John, had as their tutor John Dlugosz, the historian, a canon of Cracow and a man of extraordinary learning and piety. All the princes were warmly attached to the holy man, but Casimir profited the most by his teaching and example. Devout from his infancy, the boy gave himself up to devotion and penance, and had a horror of anything approaching softness or self-indulgence. His bed was often the ground, and he was wont to spend a great part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. His clothes were plain, and under them he wore a hair-shirt. Living always in the presence of God he was invariably serene and cheerful, and pleasant to all. The saint’s love of God showed itself in his love of the poor who are Christ’s members, and for the relief of these the young prince gave all he possessed, using in their behalf the influence he had with his father and with his brother Ladislaus when he became king of Bohemia. In honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary Casimir frequently recited the long Latin hymn “Omni die dic Mariae”, a copy of which was by his desire buried with him. This hymn, part of which is familiar to us through Bittleston’s version, “Daily, daily sing to Mary”, is not uncommonly called the Hymn of St Casimir, but it was certainly not composed by him; it is three centuries older than his time.

The nobles of Hungary, dissatisfied with their king, Matthias Corvinus, in 1471 begged the King of Poland to allow them to place his son Casimir on the throne. The saint, at that time not fifteen years old, was very unwilling to consent, but in obedience to his father he went to the frontier at the head of an army. There, hearing that Matthias had himself assembled a large body of troops, and withal finding that his own soldiers were deserting in large numbers because they could not get their pay, he decided upon the advice of his officers to return home. The knowledge that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an embassy to his father to deter him from the expedition made the young prince carry out his resolution with the firmer conviction that he was acting rightly. King Casimir, however, was greatly incensed at the failure of his ambitious projects and would not permit his son to return to Cracow, but relegated him to the castle of Dobzki. The young man obeyed and remained in confinement there for three months. Convinced of the injustice of the war upon which he had so nearly embarked, and determined to have no further part in these internecine conflicts which only facilitated the further progress into Europe of the Turks, St Casimir could never again be persuaded to take up arms, though urged to do so by his father and invited once more by the disaffected Hungarian magnates. He returned to his studies and his prayers, though for a time he was viceroy in Poland during an absence of his father. An attempt was made to induce him to marry a daughter of the Emperor Frederick III, but he refused to relax the celibacy he had imposed on himself.

St Casimir’s austerities did nothing to help the lung trouble from which he suffered, and he died at the age of twenty-three in 1484 and was buried at Vilna, where his relics still rest in the church of St Stanislaus. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and he was canonized in 1521.

A Latin life of St Casimir by Zachary Ferreri was printed at Cracow in 1521 and has been reproduced in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i, and there is also a biography by Prileszky in the Acts Sanctorum Hungariae (1743), vol. i, pp. 125—132. A popular account in German is that of Felix Iózefowicz, Der heilige Kasimir, commending the saint as a patron for young students. In the article devoted to St Casimir in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Prof. L. Abraham gives references to several works in Polish of more modern date. Casimir is sometimes referred to as king of Poland and Hungary, though he never occupied the throne of either country. The fact that he is accorded apparently only one line in the Cambridge History of Poland, vol. (1950) shows perhaps how little impression he made in secular affairs. The so-called Hymn of St Casimir forms one division of the great Mariale, a remarkable rhyming Latin lyric of the twelfth century, which has been attributed both to St Anselm and to St Bernard of Clairvaux. The true author is probably Bernard of Morlaix, or Cluny. Casimir’s love of these verses is a testimony at once to his good literary taste and to his devotion to the Mother of God. At a time when certain enthusiastic sympathizers with Polish aspirations were eager to claim the Omni die dic Manse as a sort of national anthem, a book was brought out which printed the text of the hymn along with translations in various modern languages in the metre of the original. When a second edition was in contemplation, Cardinal Wiseman was invited to contribute an English version of this hymn. His rendering was afterwards published separately, with a musical setting, but it is now little known.

Casimir is patron saint of Poland and Lithuania.
In His Footsteps:  Where do your loyalties lie? Is there a part of your life where you feel your loyalties divided and feel pressure to follow worldly commitment? Today choose the action that best serves Christ the King.
Prayer:  Saint Casimir, help us to remember that our true King is Jesus Christ and always serve him with joy and love. Help us to turn to our true Father for guidance and protection. Amen

March 4, 2007 St. Casimir (1458-1483)  
Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. Even as a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.
When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir’s father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their government. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the “enemy”; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home. His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor’s daughter. He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father’s absence. He died of lung trouble at 23 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Comment:   For many years Poland and Lithuania faded into the gray prison on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Despite repression, the Poles and Lithuanians remained firm in the faith which has become synonymous with their name. Their youthful patron reminds us: Peace is not won by war; sometimes a comfortable peace is not even won by virtue, but Christ’s peace can penetrate every government repression of religion.
1483 Saint Macarius of Kalyazin repeatedly healed the paralyzed and the demon-possessed incorrupt relics
(in the world Matthew) was born in 1400 in the village of Gribkovo (Kozhino), near the city of Kashin, into the family of the boyar Basil Kozha. From youth he yearned for monasticism, but he married at the insistence of his parents.
After a year his parents died, and after three more years his wife Elena also reposed. Having nothing to bind him to his former life, Matthew became a monk at the Nikolaev Klobukov monastery. Desiring solitude, he left the city monastery with the abbot's blessing, and he found a suitable place between two lakes, eighteen versts from Kashin. Here the monk raised a cross and founded a solitary wilderness monastery.
The boyar Ivan Kolyaga, to whom the nearby lands belonged, began to fear that a monastery would grow up there, and that monks would begin to cultivate the wastelands. The Enemy of our salvation planted such spite and enmity in the boyar, that he decided to kill the saint. Suddenly, he was stricken with a grievous illness. Fear of death awakened repentance in the boyar. Ivan Kolyaga was carried to the saint and told him of his evil intent, asking forgiveness.

"God forgive you", the humble ascetic replied. Wishing to expiate his sin and to help the saint, the boyar gave his lands to the growing monastery. The monks built a temple dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity.
Word of the boyar Kolyaga's conversion brought many people to the monk, seeking salvation. St Macarius tonsured Kolyaga and named the monastery Kalyazin for him.

It became necessary to choose an igumen. St Macarius was then fifty-three years of age, but he considered himself unworthy of this dignity and he asked each of the older men coming to him to become the monastery's priest and igumen. Yielding to the common will, the saint was made igumen by Bishop Moses of Tver.*
The new igumen prepared for his first service at the altar of God with long solitary prayer, and then communed all the brethren with the Holy Mysteries.

In the rank of igumen, St Macarius labored to guide the brethren. The monastery had two chalices, a diskos and two plates fashioned by St Macarius on a lathe.
He guided not only the monks, but also laypeople coming to the monastery, dealing with both the educated and the simple.

Despite his noble origin and his position of igumen, the saint wore ragged, frayed and patched clothing. In his conduct and his way of life St Macarius was so simple that the haughty heretic Vassian, sneeringly called him the "peasant of Kalyazin." The saint preferred to hear himself mocked rather than praised. He went to solitary places, delighted to be alone with nature.
Wild animals, sensing his holiness, walked with him like sheep, they submitted to him, and sometimes took food from him.

The spiritual stature of St Macarius was close to the spiritual stature of St Paphnutius of Borov (May 1, 1477). Not by chance did St Paphnutius' disciple, St Joseph of Volokolamsk (September 9, 1515), visit St Macarius in 1478 and write down his impressions of him:
"When I arrived at this place," said St Macarius, "seven Elders came with me from the monastery of Klobukov. They were so excellent in virtues, fasting and monastic life, that all the brethren came to them to receive instruction and benefit. They enlightened all and taught them for their benefit.
They affirmed the virtuous life, and censured those inclined to misconduct, and neither did they seek to do their own will."

Though the humble igumen was silent about his own efforts, they were not hidden from St Joseph. Perceiving the holiness of the igumen, he accounted him blessed and spoke about the life of the monastery:
 "Such piety and decorum were in that monastery, where everything was done in harmony with the patristic and communal traditions, that even the great Elder Metrophanes Byvaltsev was amazed. He had just come from Mount Athos, where he spent nine years, and said to the brethren: "My efforts and my journey to the Holy Mountain were in vain, because one can find salvation in the Kalyazin monastery. Life here is similar to life in the cenobitic monasteries of the Holy Mountain."

From the moment St Macarius settled in the wilderness, his did not abandon his strict Rule because of old age. Even during his lifetime the saint repeatedly healed the paralyzed and the demon-possessed.

The saint reposed on March 17, 1483. At the time of his death they found heavy chains on him, about which no one knew. The incorrupt relics of St Macarius were uncovered on May 26, 1521 when ditches were dug for a new church. A Council of 1547 established his local festal celebration.

* The successor of Bishop Moses was St Macarius' brother, Bishop Gennadius (Kozhin) (1460-1477). The nephew of St Macarius, St Paisius of Uglich (January 8 and June 6) was also famed for his sanctity. The Kalyazin monastery had a collection of the sermons of St Gregory the Theologian, which St Macarius had copied in his own hand.
1484 Blessed Damian dei Fulcheri Hundreds of sinners repented by the force of his preaching miracles worked at his tomb OP (AC) (also known as Damian of Finario)
Born in Finario (Finale or Finarium near Genoa), Liguria, Italy; died near Modena at Reggio d'Emilia, Italy, in 1484; cultus approved in 1848.

Damian was born of rich and noble parents at the end of the 14th century. The only thing we know of his childhood was that as a baby he was kidnapped by a madman. His parents prayed to the Blessed Virgin, and Damian was returned unharmed.

He took the Dominican habit at Savona, where he was a diligent student. Once ordained, Damian became famous for his preaching, which he did in nearly all the cities of Italy. Hundreds of sinners repented and returned to God by the force of his preaching. Almost immediately upon his death he became the object of pious veneration because of the miracles worked at his tomb (Benedictines, Dorcy).
1484  Bd Christopher Of Milan the apostle of Liguria great success in evangelizing that part of Italy, Dominican  endowed with the gift of prophecy
Bd Christopher who is called the apostle of Liguria because of his great success in evangelizing that part of Italy, received the Dominican habit at Milan, early in the fifteenth century. Soon after his ordination he began to be known as a great preacher, and his fame afterwards spread far and wide. His biographers record that his sermons, which brought about conversions and improvement of morals wherever he went, were always based on the Bible, the theology of St Thomas and the writings of the fathers, and that he denounced those preachers who, in their attempts to be popular and up-to-date, aired new-fangled notions and scorned to preach on the gospel for the day. Like a true missionary he wandered fearlessly and untiringly over dangerous passes and difficult country in his labours for souls. At Taggia, where he was particularly successful, the grateful inhabitants built Father Christopher a church and a monastery of which he became prior. He was endowed with the gift of prophecy. One day, as he was watching the people of Castellano dancing in the square, he exclaimed, ."You are now dancing merrily, but your ruin is nigh and your joy will be changed into sorrow" -a forecast which was fulfilled a few years later when the plague carried off most of the inhabitants. He also foresaw the destruction of Trioria by the French, and he warned the population of Taggia that they would flee from their city though not pursued, and that their river would leave its banks and destroy their gardens-prophecies which came true in every particular. When his last illness came upon him, he was preaching the Lent at Pigna. He had himself carried to his beloved Taggia and there breathed his last. His cult was confirmed in 1875.
See L. Brétaudeau, Un Martyr de la Revolution á Vanne, (1908) M. Misermont, Le bx P. R. Rogue (1937), and the decrees in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xxi (1929), pp. 564—567, and vol. xxvi (1934), pp. 304-308 and 292—296, which include a biographical summary.
1485 Blessed James of Bitetto heroic humility levitate during prayer accurately predict the future incorrupted body remains many miracles  OFM (AC)

(also known as James of Sclavonia, of Illyricum, of Zara, of Dalmatia) Born in Sebenico, Dalmatia; died April 27, c. 1485; feast day within the Franciscan order is celebrated on April 20; cultus approved by Innocent XII.

James received the habit of Saint Francis at Zara, but served as a lay brother at Bitetto, near Bari in southern Italy. James possessed heroic humility and reached heights of heaven in his contemplation. During the process of beatification, a fellow friar testified that he had seen James levitate during prayer and heard him accurately predict the future.

While James was the cook of the abbey at Conversano (18 miles from Bari), he would contemplate the cooking fire and see the fires of hell or the spark of God's love that ignites hearts. Often he would be found in the kitchen, motionless, rapt in ecstatic contemplation. This happened one morning as he was fixing beans for that night's dinner. He stood with his hand in the beans, tears streaming down his face into the vessel before him. Thus he was found by the duke on whose estate the monastery was founded. King Ferdinand I's courtier watched in amazement before declaring, "Blessed are the religious brethren whose meals are seasoned with such tears." Later that day James, learning of the duke's presence, went to him and asked what he would like for his dinner. The nobleman replied that he wanted nothing but some of the beans seasoned with James' tears.

Eventually James was sent back to Bitetto where he died and where his incorrupted body remains. Many miracles attributed to James' intercession have been recorded (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
1485 Blessed Michael Gedroye famous for his gifts of prophecy and miracles: his cell adjoining church of the Augustinian canons regular at Cracow OSA (AC)
(also known as Michael Giedroy;)
Born near Vilna, Lithuania; Of noble lineage, Michael was a cripple and a dwarf. He took up his abode in a cell adjoining the church of the Augustinian canons regular at Cracow, Poland, and there he lived his entire life. He was famous for his gifts of prophecy and miracles (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1485 Blessed Michael Gedroye famous for his gifts of prophecy and miracles: his cell adjoining church of the Augustinian canons regular at Cracow OSA (AC)
(also known as Michael Giedroyc)
1485 BD MICHAEL GIEDROYC was endowed with the gifts of prophecy and miracles
THE history of Bd Michael Giedroyc is the story of his infirmities and his austerities. Born at Giedroyc Castle, near Vilna in Lithuania, the only son of noble parents, it soon became evident that he could never bear arms, being a dwarf and very delicate. Moreover, an accident at a very early age deprived him of the use of one of his feet. His father and mother therefore destined him for the Church, and his natural piety pointed in the same direction. His studies being frequently interrupted by ill-health and the lack of good teachers, the boy occupied himself in making sacred vessels for the church when he was not engaged in prayer. Weakly as he was, he had begun almost from childhood to practise mortification, speaking seldom, fasting strictly four days in the week and living as far as possible in retirement.
He joined the canons regular of St Augustine in the monastery of our Lady of Metro at Cracow, but was permitted at his request to take up his abode in a cell adjoining the church, There, in a space so restricted that he could scarcely lie down, he spent the rest of his life, only leaving his cell to go to church, and on very rare occasions to converse with holy men. He never ate meat, living on vegetables, or else on bread and salt. His austerities were extreme and were never relaxed during illness or in his old age. Moreover, he suffered much physical and mental torment from evil spirits. On the other hand, God gave him great consolations: once, it is said, our Lord spoke to him from the crucifix, and he was endowed with the gifts of prophecy and miracles.

An account of this beatus, based on materials which do not seem to be altogether reliable, is given in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i. The canons of our Lady of Metro were members of a penitential order of which a brief description may be found in Hélyot, Ordres religieux, vol. ii (1849), pp. 562—567.
Born near Vilna, Lithuania; Of noble lineage, Michael was a cripple and a dwarf. He took up his abode in a cell adjoining the church of the Augustinian canons regular at Cracow, Poland, and there he lived his entire life. He was famous for his gifts of prophecy and miracles (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1486 Blessed Bernard Scammacca  gift of prophecy miracles spend his time in work of the confessional OP (AC).
Born in Catania, Sicily; cultus approved 1825. Born of wealthy and pious parents, Bernard was given a good education. In spite of this good training, he spent a careless youth. Only after he was badly injured in a duel was he brought back to his senses.

His long convalescence gave him plenty of time to think, and once he was able to go out of the house, he went to the Dominican convent of Catania and begged to be admitted to the order.

Bernard, as a religious, was the exact opposite of what he had been as a young man. Now he made no effort to obtain the things he had valued all his life, but spent his time in prayer, solitude, and continual penance. There is little recorded of his life, except that he kept the rule meticulously, and that he was particularly kind to sinners in the confessional. Apparently, he did not attain fame as a preacher, but was content to spend his time in the work of the confessional and the private direction of souls.

One legend pictures Bernard as having great power over birds and animals. When he walked outside in the gardens, praying, the birds would flutter down around him, singing; but as soon as he went into ecstasy, they kept still, for fear they would disturb him. Once, the porter was sent to Bernard's room to call him, and saw a bright light shining under the door. Peeking through the keyhole, he saw a beautiful child shining with light and holding a book, from which Bernard was reading. He hurried to get the prior to see the marvel.

Bernard had the gift of prophecy, which he used on several occasions to try warning people to amend their lives. He prophesied his own death. Fifteen years after his death, he appeared to the prior, telling his to transfer his remains to the Rosary chapel. During this translation, a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics (Benedictines, Dorcy).
1487 Nicholas of Flüe, Hermit fighting "with a sword in one hand, and a rosary in the other!" often rapt in ecstatic prayer, experiencing visions and revelations as a hermit in almost perpetual prayer for 21.5 yrs, he took no food for the body; patron saint of Switzerland. (RM)
NICHOLAS VON FLUE (“Bruder Klaus”) occupies a unique place in the estimation of his countrymen. Ecclesiastics, patriots, politicians, historians and poets of all creeds have sung his praises, and it may safely be asserted that no religious figure in the history of Switzerland has given rise to so varied and voluminous a body of literature.

The holy man, who was born near Sachseln in Unterwalden in 1417, belonged to a much respected family of small farmers, owners of the Kluster Alp or pasture in the Melchthal and of the estate of Flüeli on the Sachsterberg, from which they derived their surname. His father Henry also held a civil post in the cantonal service, whilst his mother, Emma Robert, was a native of Wolfenschiessen. She was a deeply religious woman who brought up her two sons, Nicholas and Peter, to belong as she did to the brotherhood of the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde). The members of this society were scattered over Germany, Switzerland and the Nether­lands, and were drawn from both sexes and all classes. Adhering loyally to the Catholic Church, they sought by strictness of life as well as by constant meditation on the passion of our Lord and similar devotions, to enter, as their name implied, into specially close relationship with God. Some of them lived in their own families, others formed small communities, and a few retired from the world altogether to lead an eremitic life. Nicholas was specially responsive to the training he received, and was remarkable from childhood for his piety, his love of peace and his sound judgement.

At the age of twenty-two, and in spite of his peace-loving disposition, Nicholas fought in the ranks in the war with Zurich. Fourteen years later, on the occasion of the occupation of the Thurgau, he again took up arms, but this time he was captain of a company. The high esteem in which he was held caused him to be appointed magistrate and judge and to be sent on various occasions as deputy for Obwalden to councils and meetings, where his clear-sighted wisdom carried great weight. He was repeatedly offered the highest post of all, that of landamman, or governor, but he could never be induced to accept it. He had married a religious-minded girl called Dorothea Wissling, and their union had been a happy one. Of their ten children, John, the eldest son, became landamman during his father’s lifetime, and the youngest studied at the University of Bale, and was afterwards for many years parish-priest of Sachseln.

Throughout the years of his married life, Nicholas had continued the devout practices of his youth. To quote the testimony of his eldest son: “My father always retired to rest at the same time as his children and servants; but every night I saw him get up again, and heard him praying in his room until morning. Often too he would go in the silence of the night to the old church of St Nicholas or to other holy places.” In obedience to what seemed to him a supernatural call to contemplation, for he had many visions and revelations, he used at times to withdraw into solitude in the valley of the Melch, but when he was about fifty he felt irresistibly drawn to abandon the world altogether and to spend the rest of his days far from home as a hermit. His wife did not oppose him, for the Friends of God recognized such vocations as sent from on high. Nicholas resigned his offices, took leave of his wife, his father and his children in the early autumn of 1467 and set forth barefoot and bareheaded, clad in a grey-brown habit and carrying his rosary and his staff.

His destination appears to have been Strasbourg, in the neighbourhood of which was a settlement of the brethren, Alsace having been their headquarters. Before crossing the frontier, however, he received hospitality from a peasant whom he discovered to be also a Friend of God, and in the course of conversation his host sought to deter him from leaving the country, assuring him that the Swiss were unpopular in Alsace and elsewhere abroad on account of their rough manners, and that he might fail to find the peaceful retreat he sought. That night there was a terrific thunderstorm, and as Nicholas looked at the little town of Liechstall beyond the frontier, the flashes of lightning made it appear to be in flames. He took this to be a sign which confirmed the advice he had received, and immediately retraced his steps. One evening during the homeward journey, as he lay under a tree, he was seized with such violent gastric spasms that he thought his last hour had come:  the pain passed off, but from that time he lost all desire for ordinary food or drink, and became in fact incapable of taking either. Later that autumn, hunters who had been looking for game in the Melchthal brought home news that they had come across Nicholas on his pasture land of the Klüster, where he had made himself a shelter of boughs under a larch tree. His brother Peter and other friends went to beseech him not to remain there to die of exposure, and he was persuaded to move to Ranft, another part of the valley, where the people of Obwalden soon built him a little cell with a chapel attached.

In this spot, which was situated above a narrow gorge, the loneliness of which was emphasized by the roar of the mountain torrent in the valley below, St Nicholas spent nineteen peaceful years. The hours from midnight to midday were passed in prayer and contemplation, but in the afternoon he would interview those who found their way to his hermitage to seek his advice on spiritual or even on temporal matters. God had given him the spirit of counsel, as he one admitted to his friend Henry Imgrund, and he continued to exercise it as he had done in the past. Strangers also were attracted by the fame of this remarkable man, who was reported to live without eating and drinking. Never very talkative, he was particularly sparing of his words to those who came out of mere curiosity. So also, when questioned as to his abstention from food, he would only reply, “God knows”. That no one brought him provisions the cantonal magistrates proved by having all approaches to his cell watched for a month, and unprejudiced foreigners, such as Archduke Sigismund’s physician and envoys from the Emperor Frederick III, satisfied themselves of the truth of the report and were profoundly impressed by the hermit’s sincerity.

Once a year Nicholas took part in the great Musegger procession in Lucerne, but otherwise he only left his retreat to attend divine service and occasionally to visit Einsiedeln. The gifts of the faithful enabled him in his later years to found a chantry for a priest in connection with his own little chapel, and he was thus able to assist at Mass daily and to communicate often.

At this epoch the Swiss Confederation had just passed through the most glorious phase in its history. Within six years, in the three battles of Grandson, Morat and Nancy, the sturdy mountain folk had vindicated their independence and had routed the hitherto unconquered Charles the Bold, master of the two Burgundies and nearly the whole of Belgium: their reputation was so great that every prince in Europe sought their alliance. The hour of their most signal triumph proved nevertheless to be the hour of their greatest danger, for internal dissensions threatened to undo the success which their arms had won. Quarrels arose over the division of booty and between the country party and the towns. Another source of contention was, the proposal to include Fribourg and Soleure (or Solothurn) in the confederation. At length agreement was reached on most points and was embodied in a document known as the Edict of Stans.

On the subject of the inclusion of Fribourg and Soleure, however, no accommodation could be reached, and feeling ran so high that it seemed that the question would have to be settled by arms. The meeting was breaking up in disorder when the parish-priest of Stans suggested seeking a final opinion from Nicholas von Flue. The deputies gave their consent and he set out to seek the hermit. His suggestion was no casual or sudden inspiration. As we know from the protocols of the Council of Lucerne, that city, which occupied an ambiguous position between the two parties, had, at an early stage of the strife, sent delegates to Brother Nicholas to obtain his advice, and it is quite possible that other districts had done the same. It has been even suggested that the Edict of Stans, a most statesmanlike charter, may have been drafted in the hermit’s cell. In any case, it is greatly to the credit of the deputies that, in the heat of their quarrel, they should have been willing to refer the matter to him. The chronicler Diebold Schilling, who represented his father at the council, tells us that the priest Imgrund arrived back in Stans streaming with perspiration, and that, seeking out the deputies in their lodgings, he besought them with tears to reassemble immediately to hear the message which he must impart to them alone. Schilling does not record the words of that message, but he informs us that within an hour the council had arrived at a unanimous agreement. Fribourg and Soleure were to be admitted into the Swiss Confederation, but upon certain conditions, which were accepted for them by Hans von Stall, the delegate of Soleure. The date was December 22, 1481.

That Christmas was a specially joyful one throughout Switzerland, and the Stans Council expressed in laudatory terms its gratitude to Nicholas for his services. Letters of thanks from Berne and Soleure to the holy man are still extant, as well as a letter written on his behalf by his son John, thanking Berne for a gift which would be expended upon the Church. (He himself could neither read nor write, but used a special seal by way of a signature.) Several of the hermit’s visitors have left accounts of their interviews with him, and that written by Albert von Bon­stetten, dean of the monastery of Einsiedeln, is particularly interesting. He describes the recluse as tall, brown and wrinkled, with thin grizzled locks and a short beard. His eyes were bright, his teeth white and well preserved, and his nose shapely. He adds, “He praises and recommends obedience and peace. As he exhorted the Confederates to maintain peace, so does he exhort all who come to him to do the same.” The dean held him in great veneration, but with regard to the prophetical gifts ascribed to Nicholas in some quarters, he says cautiously that he had received no evidence of them from trustworthy sources. Six years after the Council of Stans, Nicholas was seized with his last illness, which lasted only eight days, but caused him intense suffering. He bore it with perfect resigna­tion and died peacefully in his cell, on his birthday, having attained the age of seventy. Immediately his death became known he was honoured in all Switzerland both as a patriot and as a saint, though it was only in 1669 that his cultus was formally sanctioned: he was canonized in 1947. His skeleton lies in a shrine under a black marble canopied altar which stands close to the entrance to the choir of the present church of Sachseln, and the habit in which he died is preserved in a cupboard in the south apse. The two “Flue houses” at Flüeli date back to the days of St Nicholas, and although they have been greatly modernized one room in his dwelling-house remains intact.

In 1917 the fifth centenary of the birth of “ Bruder Klaus” was celebrated throughout Switzerland with quite remarkable enthusiasm. Perhaps the most valuable result of the interest thus awakened was the publication of a great historical monograph by Robert Durrer, a scholar with an unrivalled knowledge of the archives of his country. In these two quarto volumes, entitled Bruder Klaus, which together total some 1350 pages, will be found all the available material bearing on the life of Nicholas von Flue. The collection includes two early sketches of the career of Bruder Klaus, one by Albrecht von Bonstetten, the other by Heinrich von Gundelfingen, but these are supplemented by a mass of documentary evidence derived from ancient records and other sources. A comprehensive nineteenth century biography is that of J. Ming, Der selige Bruder Nikolaus von Flue, and others have since been written by A. Baumberger, F. X. Wetzel and J. T. de Belloc, in Italian by F. Andina (‘945), and in French by A. Andrey (1941) and C. Journet (i947). See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and the Kirchenlexikon, vol. ix, pp. 316-319.

 (also known as Bruder Klaus)
Born at Flüeli near Sachseln, Obwalden (Unterwalden), Switzerland, March 21, 1417; died at Ranft, Switzerland, March 21, 1487; cultus  approved in 1669; canonized 1947; feast day formerly March 21; feast day in Switzerland is September 25.

"My Lord and my God, remove from me all that may keep me from you. My Lord and my God, give me all that I need to bring me to you. My Lord and my God, take me from myself and give me to yourself." --Nicholas von Flüe.
Nicholas was born into a family of prosperous farmers, who owned the Kluster Alp and the estate of Flüeli on the Sachsterberg (near Lucerne), from which their surname derives. At various times Saint Nicholas was a soldier, peasant, patriot, and judge in Switzerland. His father held a civil post; his mother was very devout and raised her sons to belong to the brotherhood of the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde). The society sought to live a strict life, to meditate on the passion of the Lord, and to seek a close relationship with God. They lived with their families in small communities or as hermits. Thus, Nicholas was pious from childhood. He was also illiterate.
In his youth Nicholas fought in defense of Swiss Confederation liberties, especially against the Hapsburgs. After the siege of Zurich in 1439, he was commissioned in the army. He defended women and children and the Church, fighting "with a sword in one hand, and a rosary in the other!"

He loved solitude and prayer, but, by 1447, he married pious and comely Dorothea Wysling, daughter of one of the chief families of Sachseln. In the 30 years of their marriage, he had 10 children: John, Rudolph, Walter, Henry, Nicholas, Dorothea, Marguerite, Katherine, Veronica, and another girl who died in infancy. John was elected Landmann of Unterwald. Nicholas (the youngest) studied at the University of Basle and became a priest; another became a governor of the province. Dorothea's piety led her to be called "the consolation of the Church."

Nicholas would rise at dawn to tend the flocks, eat at 9:00 a.m. with his family and servants at the same table, and again at the end of the day they would gather for Vesperbrod and end the evening with family prayers. While working in the fields, he was often rapt in ecstatic prayer, experiencing visions and revelations. He continued the devout practices of his youth, fasted frequently, and often spent the night in prayer.

In 1460, Thurgau was invaded by Austria and Nicholas commanded 100 men. During this campaign at Katharinental the Swiss troops were faced with a situation that anticipated in miniature that at Monte Cassino in 1944: When the Swiss succeeded in capturing the village of Diesenhofer, many Austrian soldiers sought refuge in the church of the Dominican Convent of Saint Catherine. The Swiss command was going to burn the church, but Nicholas prayed for divine guidance before the crucifix in the cloister, then he asked the command to revoke its order stressing the moral gravity of the act. The order was canceled. Nicholas was awarded a gold medal when peace was declared, in thanks for his services.

Fellow-citizens wanted him to accept the office of Landmann (governor), but he twice refused. He was appointed magistrate, served as judge for the canton, and was sent as a deputy for Obwalden to councils. When, in 1465, a powerful family appealed his fair decision and was rendered an unjust one against a humble peasant, he resigned. "Later he testified that he could see and feel flames of fire, of a disgusting odor, issuing from the mouths of the judges as they pronounced their unjust sentence; and he knew that they already had a foretaste of hell within themselves." Though the elite turned against him and spoke calumnies of him, Nicholas was still sought out by his neighbors and people from the adjoining cantons to settle disputes.

In 1467 (age 50), fourteen months after the birth of the tenth child, Nicholas heard God's command to live as a hermit and told his wife immediately. He resigned his offices and, with his devout wife's permission, left his family to live for the next 20 years as a hermit in almost perpetual prayer. Dorothea was overcome by the news but put no obstacles in his way because she recognized the call. "She wept as she made the supreme sacrifice" of allowing her husband to leave. His relatives and neighbors, however, were full of indignation, which he disregarded. Nicholas and his wife drew up an agreement and told the family and servants that Dorothea was thenceforth head of the family.

He left barefoot and bareheaded, wearing a drab habit and carrying a rosary and a staff. Thus clad as a pilgrim, Nicholas became known as Brother Klaus. He appears to have been headed for Strasbourg, France, where the headquarters of the Gottesfreunde lay, looking for a hermitage in which to spend his final years. On his way, however, he wandered toward Basle, where he was put up by a peasant who was a Friend of God, who told him that the Swiss were unpopular in Alsace and that he might not find there the life that he sought.

That night during a violent thunderstorm, Nicholas looked at a little town beyond the frontier and saw that lightning made it appear to be in flames. He took this as a divine confirmation of the peasant's advice and turned back. When Brother Klaus decided to follow the peasant's suggestion, he felt a violent pain in his intestines and was surrounded by light. Thereafter, he "never felt the need of human food or drink, and have never used them." Hunters brought back to his family the news that they had seen him living on his pastureland in a shelter of boughs. Family members went to beg him not to stay there and fall prey to exposure.

So, he finally moved to Ranft, where the people of Obwalden built him a cell and a small chapel. He lived many years in this lonely place above a narrow gorge within earshot of the mountain stream spending most of his time in prayer. He prayed and meditated from midnight to midday, attended Mass in Sachseln every Sunday, and paid an annual visit to Lucerne for the Musegger procession. He never ate or drank anything except the Blessed Sacrament.

Abbot Oswald Isner wrote:  "When Nicholas had abstained for 11 days from taking natural food, he sent for me and asked me secretly whether he should take some food or continue to fast. He had always desired to live without eating, the better to separate himself from the world. I touched the parts of his body where little flesh was left; all was dried up; his cheeks were hollow and his lips were very thin.
"When I had seen and understood that it could come only from divine love, I advised brother Nicholas to continue to this test as long as he could stand it without the danger of death. That is what brother Nicholas did; from that moment until his death, that is for about twenty-one and a half years, he continued to take no food for the body.

"Since the holy brother was more familiar with me than with anyone else, I asked him many times how he managed to do it. One day in his cell he told me, in great secrecy, that when the priest celebrated communion he received the strength which alone permitted him to live without eating or drinking."

When those seeking his counsel asked him about eating nothing, Nicholas would reply, "God knows." Cantonal magistrates had his cell watched for a month to ensure themselves of the fact that no one brought him food.
Nevertheless, Nicholas held that "holy obedience is the highest virtue." When Bishop Thomas visited him and commanded him to eat bread and a little wine after 18 months of nothing, Nicholas hesitated to obey. When he did try to eat a tiny fragment of a morsel, he almost choked to death and the bishop finally believed.

Until he had a chaplain, he attended Sunday Mass and Holy Days at the parish church of Sachseln. Nicholas founded a chantry for a priest with donations and thus was enabled to assist at Mass daily. In 1470, Pope Paul II granted the first indulgence to the sanctuary at Ranft and it became a place of pilgrimage. Occasionally Klaus would make a pilgrimage to Engleburg or Einsiedeln.

He received the great (including Emperor Frederick III), the humble, and children. Many pilgrims came for counsel. He could speak with authority to married people and children. His wife and children also attended Mass in his chapel and listened to his spiritual counsel.

In 1481, the Swiss Confederation had gained its independence from Charles the Bold of Burgundy, the rulers of Europe sought its alliance, and it was on the verge of breaking apart over how to divide the spoils gained during the conquests. Internal disputes threatened its solidarity, but an agreement was reached and put forth in the Compromise of Stans. Still unresolved, however, was the issue of the inclusion of Fribourg and Soleure, and it caused such controversy that in 1481 civil war was feared. A parish priest of Stans recommended seeking a final opinion from the 64- year-old Nicholas. This was agreed to, and he went to Nicholas, whose counsel had been sought at various stages of the drafting of the edict, and it has even been said that it was drawn up in his cell. After the priest's return to Stans, the council arrived at a unanimous decision within an hour and maintained the unity of the land.

Despite his lack of education and experience with the world, his mediation led to permanent national unity for Switzerland. He could not even write; he used a special seal as a signature. Letters of thanks to him from Berne and Soleure still survive.

Six years later, he became ill for the last time. He suffered greatly for eight days, received Holy Viaticum, then died peacefully in his cell with his wife and children by his bed. Nicholas was buried at Sachseln and the Flüe family still survives in Switzerland.

His wife and children were probably none the worse for his becoming a hermit. It may be that his prayers and spiritual counsel did more for his family than his remaining with them would have. We do not blame explorers and soldiers for leaving their families, why blame a saint?

His canonization was delayed because a fire destroyed the documents relating to it. Nevertheless, he is the patron saint of Switzerland.

Several accounts survive of visitors' memories of Bruder Klaus: one described him as tall, brown, and wrinkled with then grizzled locks and a short beard, bright eyes, white teeth, and a shapely nose. This corresponds well with a Fribourg portrait of him done in 1492 (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, J. Delaney, S. Delany, Encyclopedia, Farmer, White).

Saint Nicholas is portrayed as a hermit being thrown into a thorn bush by the devil. At other times he may be shown praying in a mountainous landscape or entering a house while carrying a staff tipped with a cross. Nicholas is greatly venerated in Switzerland (Roeder).

1491 BD BONAVENTURE OF FORLI His relics were ultimately conveyed to Venice, where a cultus grew up marked by many miraculous cures.
BD Bonaventure TORNIELLI was born at Forli and was a man of good family. He does not seem to have entered the Order of Servites until 1448, when he was thirty-seven years old, but his fervour and austerity of life rapidly enabled him to make up for lost time. After his ordination he prepared himself for apostolic work by a year of retirement, and then began to preach with wonderful eloquence and success. He was especially commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV to undertake this apostolic mission, and throughout the papal states, Tuscany and the Venetian province his sermons were productive of a notable reformation of life. Towards the close of 1488 he was elected vicar general of his order, an office in which he gave proof of great administrative ability and charity. But he still continued his missionary work, and he had just finished preaching the Lent at Udine when on Maundy Thursday 1491 God called him to Himself, worn out by age and the hardships of the life he had been leading. His relics were ultimately conveyed to Venice, where a cultus grew up marked by many miraculous cures. This cultus was confirmed in 1911.

See the decree of confirmation printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. iii (191 s), pp. 659—660; and F. Cornelius, Ecclesiae Venetae, vol. ii, pp. 34—51.
1492 Blessed Tadhg MacCarthy Many cures have been reported at his under the high altar of the cathedral of Ivrea B (AC) Born 1455; died in Ivrea, Savoy, Italy; beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1895.

Tadhg was born into the ancient royal line of Munster; the MacCarthys were the most prominent family in southern Ireland and inevitably were pitted against the Norman Fitzgeralds who seized Irish lands during the reign of Henry II of England. A bitter enmity existed between the two families that lasted for centuries.

When Pope Sixtus IV consecrated Tadhg MacCarthy as bishop of Ross, the Fitzgeralds reacted by contriving to place a rival claimant in the office. When Tadhg returned from his consecration in Rome he found the see occupied. About that same time Sixtus died and Tadhg's enemies seized the opportunity to vehemently denounce him to the new Pope Innocent VIII. The charges were so outrageous that the holy father immediately excommunicated the lawful bishop. An investigation, however, revealed that Tadhg was innocent of the charges whereupon Innocent issued three bulls that totally exonerated Tadhg and appointed him to the bishopric of Cork and Cloyne.

The Fitzgeralds still opposed him and refused to surrender the property of the see or to allow him to occupy it. Innocent intervened by issuing such a strong decree that the Fitzgeralds finally relented. Tadhg set out from Rome to assume the leadership of his see. He travelled as a humble pilgrim and stayed overnight in the hospice of Ivrea. The next morning he was found dead.
Tradition says that the bishop of Ivrea was unable to sleep that night, disturbed by a vivid dream of a bishop, unknown to him, being taken into heaven. When it was discovered that Tadhg was a bishop, this dream was considered the first of numerous miracles connected with him. Many cures have been reported at his under the high altar of the cathedral of Ivrea, where he continues to be the subject of veneration (Montague).

1455-1492)
You can trace the Irish Clan MacCarthy back to the third century.  They were the royal family of Desmond, the lower half of Munster, the southeast Irish province.  It was Cormac MacCarthy, king and bishop (died 1138), who built the famous chapel on the Rock of “Cashel of the Kings.
MacCarthys ruled over Desmond until 1395.  After that, however, their power was bitterly contested by the Anglo-Norman Fitzgeralds, who represented British encroachment.  Gerald, Earl of Kildare, was their dominant leader during the late fifteenth century. 
Thaddaeus MacCarthy, born in Cork, was educated by the Franciscans of nearby Kilcrea Friary, and ordained a priest by the bishop of Cork, William Roche. The young priest was in Rome in 1482 when Pope Sixtus IV learned of the death of Domnal, Bishop of Ross. The pope, having become acquainted with Thaddaeus and been impressed by him, named him successor to Domnal, despite the fact that he had not yet reached the canonical age for bishops.  MacCarthy was consecrated in Rome.
Unfortunately, the pope, when he appointed MacCarthy, did not know the full situation back in the diocese of Ross. Domnal, before his death, had resigned his see to Odo, whom he delegated to go to Rome to report on the resignation and Odo's succession. When Thaddaeus got back to Ireland, therefore, he found that Odo considered himself rightful bishop of Ross. The death of Pope Sixtus only complicated the question of which claimant really possessed the see.
MacCarthy was strongly supported by Bishop Edmund de Courcy, but the Fitzgeralds stood firmly against Thaddaeus, and he had to take refuge in a Cistercian monastery. It quickly became a political and cultural battle between the native Irish and the Anglo-Normans. The latter denounced Bishop Thaddaeus as an intruder; and the new pope, Innocent VIII, taken in by them, excommunicated MacCarthy.
Bishop MacCarthy, to prevent continuing scandal, appealed to the pope to investigate the case further. As a result, Pope Innocent found that he had been misinformed by the Geraldines. He confirmed Odo as bishop of Ross, but by way of recompense, appointed Thaddaeus bishop of Cork and Cloyne, praising his merits.
Unfortunately, the Anglo-Normans rejected this Roman solution. When Bishop MacCarthy returned to assume his duties at Cork and Cloyne, he found that his enemies had gained control of the diocesan property. For two years thereafter, the bishop went from village to village in his diocesan territory trying to prove his rights by means of the papal documents. Nobody would listen to him, so at length he wearily returned to Rome.
On July 1, 1492, Pope Innocent VIII gave MacCarthy another document. It sternly ordered Gerald, Earl of Kildare, and all others, to protect the episcopal properties of the bishop of Cork and Coyne and to acknowledge his right to those sees.
Bishop MacCarthy set out for Ireland once more.  There was nothing triumphant about his journey.  He traveled north alone, on foot, wearing no signs of his rank, but only the scallop-shell of the pilgrim.  That night the pilgrim retired early.
At dawn, the servants of the hostel, noting a light streaming from his cell, investigated its cause. The weary churchman had died peacefully during the night.  Now the local bishop of Ivrea, who had dreamt he saw a stranger bishop ascending into heaven, came over to investigate. In the dead pilgrim's wallet he found his episcopal cross and ring and the papal document testifying to his rights as bishop of Cork and Cloyne.
If the Irish Geraldines had spurned their bishop, the citizens of Ivrea gave him an honorable burial among them.  When miracles were wrought at his tomb, they hailed him as "blessed," and promptly enshrined him in their cathedral, where his relics are still venerated.  In 1895, Pope Leo XIII confirmed the title Blessed Thaddaeus long since given to him at Ivrea.
For many of us, life is one frustration after another.  But if frustration is our cross, and we bear it with patience and humility, it can gain us heaven as well as any other mortal trial.  That is how blessed Thaddaeus MacCarthy won his crown.
--Father Robert F. McNamara
1492 Saint Tikhon of Medin and Kaluga lived in asceticism in a deep dense forest, on the bank of the River Vepreika, in  the hollow of an ancient giant oak wonder worker built a monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos
1503  St Tikhon of Lukh, and Kostroma copied books with skill, and was a fine lathe turner. Out of humility he did not become a priest
In the world Timothy, was born within the bounds of the Lithuanian princedom and was in military service there. In the year 1482, not wanting to accept Uniatism, he went from Lithuania to Russia. The saint gave away everything that he had, accepted monastic tonsure with the name Tikhon, and settled in the Kostroma diocese in the Lukhov region. The city of Lukh was at that time given to Prince Theodore Belsky, with whom St Tikhon had come from Lithuania. On the banks of the boundary of the Kopitovka St Tikhon built his cell. When two monks, Photius and Gerasimus, came to him in the wilderness, because of them Tikhon moved three versts from the Koptovka to a more satisfactory location.

become a priest. St Tikhon died on June 16, 1503 in such poverty that his disciples did not know how they would bury him. But to their comfort the Archbishop of Suzdal sent a monastic burial shroud, in which to bury him. Soon after his death, at the place of his labors, a monastery was built in honorThe monks earned their living by the work of their hands. St Tikhon copied books with skill, and was a fine lathe turner. Out of humility he did not of St Nicholas the Wonderworker.

In 1569 there were healings of the sick at the grave of St Tikhon, and his relics were found to be incorrupt. But the igumen Constantine, who uncovered the relics, was struck blind. After repenting and then recovering his eyesight, he placed the relics of St Tikhon back into the ground. The veneration of St Tikhon dates from this time. His Life and an account of 70 posthumous miracles was compiled in the year 1649.

1612 St. Kaikhosro the Georgian The life of has been passed down to our century in the works of Archbishop Timote (Gabashvili), a famous Church figure and historian of the 18th century.

In a passage describing the frescoes and commemoration books of the Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem, Bishop Timote writes that an image of St. Kaikhosro the Georgian is among the sacred frescoes.

According to the commemoration books of the Holy Cross Monastery, St. Kaikhosro the Georgian was tortured to death by Shah Abbas I in 1612 for his pious veneration of the holy icons.

1492 Blessed Prudentia Castori abbess-founder; her fame rests on miracles reported wrought after her death; Her zeal was displayed not only amongst her nuns, whom she ruled with great prudence, but also in  bringing about the restoration of the church of the Visitation at Como OSA V (PC)
Blessed Prudentia joined the hermits of Saint Augustine(13 November, 354 28 August, 430) at Milan and later became abbess-founder of a new convent at Como, where she died
(Benedictines).
1492 BD PRUDENCE, VIRGIN her fame rests on miracles reported wrought after her death; Her zeal was displayed not only amongst her nuns, whom she ruled with great prudence, but also in  bringing about the restoration of the church of the Visitation at Como
This life of Bd Prudence seems to have been quite uneventful, and her fame rests entirely upon the miracles she is reported to have wrought after her death. A member of the noble Milanese family of the Casatori, she joined the Hermitesses of St Augustine in her native city. She was promoted to be superior of the convent of St Mark at Como, and succeeded in settling the dissensions which were dividing the two communities. Her zeal was displayed not only amongst her nuns, whom she ruled with great prudence, but also in  bringing about the restoration of the church of the Visitation at Como. Full of years, labours and merits, she passed to her eternal reward after she had governed the house at Como for thirty-eight years.

Here the Bollandists, apparently with good reason, complain of the lack of materials though the Augustinian historiographer, Father A. Torelli, had done his best to help them. Their account is printed in vol. ii for May.

1493 Blessed Augustine Fangi; Miracles during life; raised dead, removed devils, mended broken jar and refilled it;  and Miracles around the tomb of Augustine of Biella led to his beatification in 1878, after forgotten by everyone, except residents of the little town at the foot of the Alps where he lived; His life noted for piety and regularity, but quite unremarkable for unusual events or venturesome projects, OP (AC)

1493 Bd Augustine Of Biella; suffered from a painful illness reputation for miracles earned him publicity most distasteful to him; bore it humbly and patiently; allowed to withdraw to the house of his order at Venice, and there in retirement spent the last ten years of his life
Augustine Fangi was born in 1430 at Biella in Piedmont and became a Dominican at his birth-place.  His life was outwardly uneventful, being passed in a careful observance of his duties as a religious.  For a long time he suffered from a painful illness, which was made more painful by the remedies of the physicians, and his patience was the admiration both of them and his brethren. He was in turn the prior of several friaries, which he governed capably and restored to a stricter observance when it had become lax.  The success of his preaching and a reputation for miracles earned him a publicity that was most distasteful to him; having borne it humbly and patiently for some time he was allowed to withdraw to the house of his order at Venice, and there in retirement spent the last ten years of his life.  With the words, "Praise be to God!  Praise be to the Most High!" on his lips he died on July 22, 1493.  The cultus of Bd Augustine was approved in 1872.
Besides a life by D. Riccardi, Il beato Agostino di Biella (1874), there is also a sketch by M. Cicognani (1873).  See further, Procter, Dominican Saints, pp. 208-210, and cf. Mortier, Maîtres Généraux O.P., vol. iv, p. 648.

Born at Biella, Italy, 1430; died in Venice, 1493; beatified in 1872. Miracles around the tomb of Augustine of Biella led to his beatification in 1878, after he had long been forgotten by everyone, except the residents of the little town at the foot of the Alps where he lived. His is another example of a life noted for piety and regularity, but quite unremarkable for unusual events or venturesome projects.  Augustine's father was a member of the Fangi family, who were wealthy and noble, and, because of this, he had planned a secular career for his son. But when the Dominicans came to Biella, his plans were changed, for Augustine was completely charmed by their way of life and begged to be admitted. He entered, while quite young, the new convent that the Dominicans had built at Biella.
Augustine's had a reputation for penance, even at a time when people were not as squeamish as they are today. Not only did he inflict harsh penances upon himself, he also bore with patience whatever pain and annoyance life granted him gratuitously. At one time he was required to undergo a surgical operation without, of course, any anaesthetic. He did so without making the slightest outcry. In fact, he said afterwards that his mind was so intensely focused on something else that he hardly noticed what was being done to him.

His mind was on that "something else" most of the time, for he prayed continually.
In 1464, Augustine was made prior at Soncino. Several of his best known miracles were performed there. At one time, a deformed child, who had died without baptism, was restored to life, by Augustine's prayer, long enough to be baptized. At another time, when he was passing down the street, he met a little boy who was crying bitterly, because he had broken a jug of wine. Augustine gathered up the shards and put them back together again. Then, with a prayer, he refilled the jug and handed it back to the startled child.
Still another time, through his intercession, a woman was delivered from possession of five devils.
Augustine spent his last ten years in the convent in Venice, and he died there on the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene. He was buried in a damp place. Forty years later, on the occasion of some repairs to the church, his coffin, found floating on water, was opened. His body and habit were still intact. This did much to promote interest in his cause. Nevertheless, it was more than three centuries before he was finally beatified (Benedictines, Dorcy).
1494 Bl. Archangela Girlani Carmelite mystic ecstasies and levitation miracles.
She was born in Trino, in northern Italy, in 1460, baptized Eleanor. Though planning to become a Benedictine nun, she was thwarted in her desire by her horse - the animal refused to carry her to the convent. She then became a Carmelite in Parma, Italy, taking the name Archangela, being professed in 1478. Named prioress of the convent, Archangela founded a new Carmel in Mantua. She was gifted with ecstasies and levitation and was reported to have performed miracles. Archangela died on January 25,1494, and her cult was confirmed in 1864.

Blessed Archangela Girlani, OC V (AC) Born in Trino, Monferrato, Italy, 1461; died 1494; cultus confirmed 1864. Archangela became a Carmelite in Parma and, at the request of the Gonzagas, was sent to found a new Carmel at Mantua. She was its first prioress, a living pattern of perfection (Benedictines).


1494 BD ARCHANGELA GIRLANI, VIRGIN
ELEANOR GIRLANI was born at Trino in northern Italy in the year 1460, and from earliest childhood showed herself intensely serious and devout. She went to the neighbouring Benedictine convent of Rocca delle Donne for her education, but found that her people came to see her too often and that the discipline observed by the nuns was not strict enough. Being bent on consecrating herself to God, and her father refusing his consent, she implored the intervention of the Marquess of Monferrato. In the end her father yielded, but only on condition that she took the veil in the Benedictine house already mentioned. We are told that every preparation had been made for celebrating her entry into religion there with great solemnity. The marquess himself was present in state, and the procession set out, but when the horse which Eleanor was riding had gone but a little way it stood stock still and nothing could make it advance further. In the end the company dispersed, and Eleanor returning home was met soon afterwards by a Carmelite friar who gave her a glowing account of the edifying life led by the nuns of his order at Parma. Taking Archangela as her name in religion, the girl entered there on her seventeenth birthday and took her vows a year later, in 1478.

It is strange to read that very shortly afterwards she was made prioress. How soon exactly we are not told, but since she was sent at the request of the Gonzagas to found a new Carmelite convent at Mantua, where she died, and had raised this new community to a state of great perfection before she was taken from them, the delay in advancing her to the office of superior cannot have been long. We prob­ably must attribute a great deal of this precipitancy to her social position. As appears plainly from the records of the religious houses of women in the early middle ages, a princess or great lady who took the veil and proved herself to be reasonably observant and virtuous was almost always elected abbess as soon as a vacancy occurred. This practice seems to have lingered on through later centuries. In Archangela’s case the deference paid to rank does not seem to have been mis­placed. She was the model of every religious virtue, most austere in her practice of penance, charitable to all and possessed of a marvellous spirit of prayer. Many times, we are told, she was found in her cell rapt in ecstasy and raised several yards from the ground. On one occasion an ecstasy in which she was com­pletely insensible to outward impressions lasted more than twenty-four hours. When, owing to inundations, the convent at Mantua was threatened with absolute starvation, she fell on her knees in prayer and straightway an unknown person came to the gate bringing an adequate supply of provisions.

Certain strange happenings were recorded after her death, which occurred on January 25, 1494, of which the most interesting perhaps is the pear tree tradition. Shortly after her arrival at Mantua Mother Archangela had planted a pear tree in the convent garden. Now it was believed that the tree always produced as many blossoms, and in due course as many pears, as there were sisters in the community. What is more, if a pear fell off, this was a certain indication that one of the community would die within the year. The prioress herself, as long as she was in charge, always, when a pear fell, exhorted her community to make a good preparation for death, seeing that they none of them knew for whom the warning was intended. It is also averred that the same marvel continued for many years, long after Bd Archangela’s death. Her cultus was confirmed in 1864.
It is difficult to form any idea of the value of the evidence upon which these and similar details connected with the life of Bd Archangela are based. They may be read in a tiny booklet written by the Abbe Albarei from notes supplied by a Piedmontese Dominican. It bears the Carmelite device of cross and stars, and is entitled Notice sup la Vie de la bse. Archangela Girt oni (Poitiers, 1865).
1495 BD BARTHOLOMEW OF MANTUA; he showed himself a preacher of great power, with a burning devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament: it was by anointing with oil taken from the lamp burning before the Most Holy that Bd Bartholomew brought about several among his miracles of healing; Bd Baptist Spagnuolo; Baptist speaks of him as a “most holy guide and spiritual master”.
NOT much is known of the life of Bartholomew Fanti, who was one of several notably holy Carmelites who adorned the city of Mantua during the fifteenth century. He was born there in 1443, and joined the order when he was seventeen years old. After his ordination he showed himself a preacher of great power, with a burning devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament: it was by anointing with oil taken from the lamp burning before the Most Holy that Bd Bartholomew brought about several among his miracles of healing. At Mantua he instituted for lay-people the confraternity of our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose statutes and devotional exercises he drew up himself.
  Bartholomew is generally said to have been novice-master of the Carmelite poet, Bd Baptist Spagnuolo; Baptist speaks of him as a “most holy guide and spiritual master”. Bd Bartholomew died on December 5, 1495, and his cultus was confirmed in 1909.
See C. de Villiers, Bibliotheca Carmelitana, vol. i, p. 243 Il Monte Carmelo, vol. i (1915), pp. 362—365; and Il Mosé Novello ossia il B. Bartolomeo Fanti (1909).
1496 BD SEBASTIAN OF BRESCIA all Genoa came to his tomb, whereat many miracles were reported.
DURING the thirteenth century the family of the Maggi was one of the most powerful in Brescia and at the head of the party of the Guelfs; at the time of the birth of Bd Sebastian, early in the fifteenth century, it had declined from its
former estate, but the name was still held in honour.
Sebastian entered the Order of Preachers when he was fifteen, and his ministry was attended with much success: large numbers were brought to repentance, quarrelling families and communes were reconciled, and the work of his order strengthened; but few particulars are known of his busy life. He was a powerful preacher and an admirable superior in the many friaries that he governed. He recognized the genius and virtues of Jerome Savonarola, whose confessor for a time he was, and at the age of twenty-nine, when Father Jerome had been professed only six years, he made him master of the novices at Bologna. Bd Sebastian was a strict upholder of monastic observance, and worked doggedly at the reform of several houses, especially that of Lodi, where he set the example of begging from door to door for the support of the community. As a superior he wished to be treated with the openness of a father, and was then gentle and indulgent; but when his brethren regarded him merely as a master, he was accordingly severe. When suffering from sickness Bd Sebastian insisted on carry­ing out a visitation of his province, but when he reached the priory of Santa Maria di Castello at Genoa he could go no further; this, he said to his companions, was to be the place of his rest for ever. He died there on December 16, 1496, and all Genoa came to his tomb, whereat many miracles were reported. The cultus of Bd Sebastian Maggi was confirmed in 1760.

Mortier in his Histoire des mattres généraux OP., vol. iv, pp. 548—550, speaks in some detail of Bd Sebastian, and he figures in nearly all the lives of Savonarola see, for example, Herbert Lucas, Fra Girolamo Savonarola (1906), pp. 10, 191 seq., etc. A short account is also given by Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 339—342. For a fuller bibliography see Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus OP

1497 Blessed Veronica of Binasco (b. 1445) known as a great contemplative who also gave loving care to sick sisters in her community and ministered to the people of Milan. She had the gifts of prophecy, discernment and miracles.
 Medioláni, in cœnóbio sanctæ Marthæ, Beátæ Verónicæ de Binásco Vírginis, ex Ordine sancti Augustíni.
      At Milan, in the monastery of St. Martha, blessed Veronica of Binasco, virgin, of the Order of St. Augustine.

Although she never learned to read and write, she was known and respected by the secular and ecclesiastical leaders of her day. Several times Christ gave to St. Martha, blessed Veronica of Binasco, virgin, of the Order of St. Augustine.in prayer important messages which she carried to influential persons such as the Duke of Milan and Pope Alexander VI.
Born Giovanna Negroni in Binasco, Milan, Italy in 1445, she was raised in a peasant family. When she was 22 years old, she joined the monastery of Saint Martha in Milan. She took the religious name Veronica, reflecting her devotion to the Passion of Christ.

1497 BD VERONICA OF BINASCO, VIRGIN
ALL states of life furnish abundant means for attaining holiness, and it is only owing to our sloth and tepidity that we neglect to make use of them. Bd Veronica could boast of no worldly advantages either of birth or fortune. Her parents maintained their family by hard work in a village near Milan, and her father never sold a horse, or anything else that he dealt in, without being more careful to acquaint the purchaser with all that was faulty in it than to recommend its good qualities. His consequent poverty prevented his giving his daughter any schooling, so that she never even learned to read; but his own and his wife’s example and simple instructions filled her heart with love of God, and the holy mysteries of religion engrossed her entirely. She was, notwithstanding, a good worker, and so obedient, humble and submissive that she seemed to have no will of her own. When she was weeding, reaping or at any other labour in the fields she strove to work at a distance from her companions, to entertain herself the more freely with her heavenly thoughts. The rest admired her love of solitude, and oncoming to her, often found her countenance bathed in tears, which they sometimes perceived to flow in great abundance, though they did not know the source to be devotion, so carefully did Veronica conceal what passed between her and God.

Veronica conceived a great desire to become a nun in the poor and austere convent of St Martha, of the Order of St Augustine, in Milan. To qualify herself for this she sat up at night to learn to read and write. One day, being in great trouble about her little progress, the Mother of God bade her banish that anxiety, for it was enough if she knew three letters The first, purity of the affections, by setting her whole heart on God; the second, never to murmur or grow impatient at the sins or misbehaviour of others, but to bear them with patience, and humbly to pray for them; the third, to set apart some time every day to meditate on the passion of Christ. After three years preparation, Veronica was admitted to the religious habit in St Martha’s, where her life was no other than a living copy of her rule, which consisted in the practice of evangelical perfection reduced to certain holy exercises. Every moment of her life she studied to accomplish it in the minutest detail, and was no less exact in obeying any indication of the will of a superior.

She for three years suffered from a lingering illness, but she would never be exempted from any part of her work,  or make use of the least indulgence. Though she had leave, her answer always was, “I must work whilst I can, whilst I have time”. It was her delight to help and serve everyone and her silence was a sign of her recollection and continual prayer, of which her extraordinary gift of tears was the outward manifestation. Her biographer declares that after she had been praying long in any place the floor looked as if a jug of water had been upset there. When she was in ecstasy they sometimes held a dish beneath her face and the tears that flowed into it, so it is stated, amounted to nearly a quart (!!).

She always spoke of her own sinful life, as she called it, though, indeed, it was most innocent, with feelings of intense compunction. Veronica was favoured by God with many extraordinary visions and consolations. A detailed account is preserved of the principal incidents of our Lord’s life as they were revealed to her in her ecstasies. By her moving exhortations she softened and converted several obdurate sinners. She died at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, at the age of fifty-two, and her sanctity was confirmed by miracles. Pope Leo X in 1517 permitted her to be honoured in her monastery in the same manner as if she had been beatified according to the usual forms, and the name of Bd Veronica of Binasco is inserted on this day in the Roman Martyrology, an unusual distinction in the case of a servant of God who has not been formally canonized.

See the life by Father Isidore de Isolanis, printed in the Acta Sanctorum, for January 13. This contains a relatively full account of Bd Veronica’s revelations, revelations which, as Father Bollandus warns his readers, must be read with caution, as they include many extravagant statements. Leo X’s bull may be read in the same place. Cf. also P. Moiraghi, La B. Veronica da Binasco (1897).

Her spiritual life was intense. She was particularly devoted to the Eucharist and to the Suffering and Death of Jesus. She experienced physical mistreatment from the devil, but found strength in prayer, remaining at peace and overcoming difficulties through the power of Christ. She cheerfully helped others when help was needed. In spite of her growing reputation for holiness and wisdom, Veronica remained humble.

Veronica died January 13, 1497. So numerous were her admirers who came to pay their respects, her burial was delayed for nearly a week. It is said that many sick persons who touched her body were restored to health. Her remains are preserved at the parish church in Binasco.
Veronica became accustomed to nearly constant apparitions and religious ecstasies. She saw scenes from the life of Christ, yet these never interrupted her work. She joined an Augustinian lay order at the convent of Saint Martha in Milan at the age of 22. This community was very poor; Veronica's job was to beg in the streets of the city for food. After three years into her vocation as a nun she became racked with secret bodily pains, but was notably patient and obedient to her superiors. She received a vision of Christ in 1494, and was given a message for Pope Alexander VI, and traveled to Rome to deliver it. After a six-month illness, Veronica died on the date she had predicted, 13 January 1497.

Veronica is remembered in the Augustinian Order for her obedience and desire for work. Butler records a remark she made to her sister nuns: "I must work while I can, while I have time." Miracles were attributed to her, and in a 1517 bulla, Pope Leo X permitted her veneration in her monastery as though she had been beatified according to the usual form. Veneration was extended to the entire Church by Pope Clement X in 1672, and in 1749 her name was inserted into the Roman Martyrology for 13 January by Pope Benedict XIV, although her name appears in Augustinian records of the same year for 28 January.
15th v. Saint John of Serbia incorrupt relics his parents Saint Stephen glorified by many miracles & St Angelina.
The life of the Serbian ruler Stephen Brankovich and his family was filled with instability and misfortune.
 After Serbia was seized in 1457 by the Turks, the then Serbian ruler's middle son, Stephen (October 9), distinguished by a meek disposition and fine knowledge of Holy Scripture, went to the capital of Turkey after his sister had been given to Sultan Murat in marriage. Learning that the Turks had burned the Mileshevsk monastery with fanatic cruelty, St Stephen rose up to defend Serbia from oppression.

When he married Angelina (July 30), the daughter of the Prince of Albania, the Turks threatened St Stephen and his family with punishment. With his wife and three children he was forced to hide first in Albania, and then in Italy, where he died.

St Angelina transferred the incorrupt relics of her spouse to Kupinovo. At the end of the fifteenth century a son of the Righteous Stephen and Angelina, St John, became ruler of Serbia. The incorrupt relics of St John and his parents were afterwards glorified by many miracles.


Saint_Angelina wife of John