Wednesday  Saint of the Day April 01  Kaléndis Aprílis  
Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас! (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

The saints are a “cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

Pray for Pope Francis and his  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  April
  • Universal.  That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.
  • Evangelization.  That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary.

550 B.C. The Departure of the Great Prophet Daniel.  Daniel"s_tomb_Susa_Iran >
"After finishing my bread, I lived on herbs and the things one finds in the desert. The clothes I had when I crossed over the Jordan became torn and fell apart.
I suffered both from the summer heat, when the blazing heat fell upon me, and from the winter cold, when I shivered from the frost.
Many times I fell down upon the earth, as though dead. I struggled with various afflictions and temptations.
But from that time until the present day, the power of God has guarded my sinful soul and humble body.
I was fed and clothed by the all-powerful word of God, since man does not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God (Dt 8:3, Mt.4:4, Luke 4:4), and those who have put off the old man (Col 3:9) have no refuge, hiding themselves in the clefts of the rocks (Job 24:8, Heb 11:38).
When I remember from what evil and from what sins the Lord delivered me, I have imperishible food for salvation."
"I however," says St Sophronius of Jerusalem  "wrote down the Life of St Mary of Egypt as I heard it from the holy Fathers.
I have recorded everything, putting the truth above all else."

When tempted, invoke your angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped!
Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your guardian angel.
-- St. John Bosco

Our Lady in Bosnia-Herzegovina (I)  April 2 - Our Lady of the Highest Grace (Dominican Republic, 1506)
 - John Paul II
In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been recorded throughout the ages. The most famous being Guadalupe (Mexico), La Salette, and Lourdes (France), Knock (Ireland) and Fatima (Portugal). But never in recorded Marian history has Our Lady appeared daily for so long a period of time, to so many chosen seers, with such a profound impact worldwide.
For more than 25 years, the "Gospa" has appeared daily in the quiet, rural village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This unprecedented series of apparitions to six youths (two boys and four girls), and later by inner locution to two more young girls, began in June 1981. It continues to this day, with one overriding objective: to bring the world back to God. The messages are poignant and elevated in urgency as Mary reveals that these will be her final apparitions on earth, because, as she adds, "It will no longer be necessary."
April 1 - Our Lady of Tears (Sicily, 1953)   Akathistos Saturday
On the Saturday of the fifth week of Lent, the Eastern Church sings the majestic "Akathist Hymn" in honor of the Mother of God and most pure Virgin Mary. During Matins service of this Saturday the entire Akathistos (Akathist Hymn) of the Annunciation of the most Holy Mother of God is sung. This hymn can be called the symbol and crown of the sublime cult of the Mother of God in the Eastern Church.

By these endless hymns the Blessed Virgin is thanked for her ever-present protection, in memory of the attacks on Constantinople at the time of Heraclius. At that time, Sassanian king Chosroes II, with the help of Persia's Avar allies, raided Constantinople from the west, crying out blasphemies against God. The sea was covered with ships, the countryside filled with infantry and horsemen. The Patriarch of Constantinople urged the people not to be discouraged, but to trust wholeheartedly in God and His divine and All-Immaculate Mother. The Patriarch and the people carried the icon of the Mother of God in procession, on the ramparts of the city, to ask for the strength to resist, along with the icon of Christ not-painted-by-a-human-hand, the precious, vivifying Cross, and the tunic of the Mother of God.

Boats full of soldiers were heading towards the Church of Our Lady of Blacherna, when a violent storm suddenly stirred up the sea, wrecking the fleet and destroying the enemy. From the shore of Blacherna, the Mother of God repelled the attackers. The Greeks fought the Scythians one against ten, with great courage and exultant joy, led by their invincible general; they opened the gates of the city and fought against their enemies, using only the small number of soldiers that were positioned near a temple called the Source. They wiped out their multitude and the city was saved. Full of gratitude, the people of Constantinople gave thanks to the Mother of God, singing hymns all night long without sitting down (Akathistos, a Greek word meaning not sitting), since she herself had not stopped watching over them for one moment and she had won the victory over their enemies with a supernatural power.

Since then, the Eastern Church traditionally devotes this Saturday to the Mother of God in memory of the great miracle performed by her.  Adapted from the Santa Barbara Byzantine Catholic Church Bulletin, March 1997.
April 1 - Our Lady of Tenderness (Smolensk, Russia)
Where could we find a better model?
The Mother of God, glory of mankind, first in line, first deified woman, pride and model of women—perfectly accomplished, in herself, the union of masculine and feminine, of the earth and heaven, and of the divine and the human. (…).

Summarizing in her person the qualities of the quintessential woman, which are interiority, gentleness and the merciful love of a mother, the Virgin Mary shows in her person how femininity finds its fulfillment in holiness. (…) Her major work was to welcome the Spirit, something that Seraphim of Sarov says is the goal of Christian life.

(…) Humility, which the Virgin Mary exemplifies, constitutes the best antidote to the temptation of power that poisons human relationships and impedes problem solving in the Church and secular society. Where could we find a better model for today's woman who is searching for her place in society and the Church?

Father Michel Quenot,
Excerpt from the book La Mère de Dieu, Joyau terrestre, Icône de l’humanité nouvelle, (The Mother of God, Earthy Jewel, Icon of the New Humanity), Éd. Saint-Augustin, Saint-Maurice CH, 2006.

          St Mary of EgypSt Zosimas monk at a certain Palestinian monastery on the outskirts of Caesarea
120 -132 St. Theodora Roman martyr sister of  Saint Hermes aid and care to her brother in prison
180 St. Melito Bishop of Sardis in Lydia, Asia Minor powerful gift of prophecy as attested by Saint Jerome and Eusebius
180 St. Philip of Gortyna authorship of a now lost treatise against the Gnostics
255 St. Venantius Bishop martyr prelate serving Dalmatia, Croatia
Sts. Victor and Stephen Two martyrs executed in Egypt probably Alexandria
3rd v. The Martyrs Gerontius and Basilides suffered martyrdom for Christ
     St. Quintian and Irenaeus 2 Armenian martyrs whose Acts are no longer extant
Constantinópoli sancti Macárii Confessóris, qui, sub Leóne Imperatóre, pro assertióne sanctárum Imáginum
5thv  to 6th v Saint Tewdric prince of Glamorgan is discussed in the Book of Llan Dav, written much later, Hermit
622 St. (Valery) Walericus Benedictine founder missionary abbot under St. Columbanus His time was entirely occupied
       with preaching, prayer, reading, and manual labor
644 Berhard B  Berhard saintly bishop who had a great affection for Saint Valéry
666 Saint  Leuconus 18th bishop of Troyes, who founded Notre-Dame-des-Nonnains
7th v.  St. Dodolinus bishop of Vienne, in Dauphine, France
7th v. St. Caidoc & Fricor Irish missionaries in northern France  convert  was Saint  Ricarius
9th v. St. Cellach abbot of lona, Scotland  archbishop of Armagh, Ireland
Ardpatrícii, in Momónia Hibérniæ província, sancti Celsi Epíscopi, qui beátum Malachíam in Episcopátu

Marcella  A little shepherdess of the Auvergne
830 St. Macarius the Wonder-Worker monk known for miracles
1053 VENERABLE PROCOPIUS, THE CZECH establishing the Monastery of St. John the Forerunner by Sazava river
1129 St. Cellach Last hereditary archbishop of Armagh, Ireland named St. Malachy
1132 St. Hugh of Grenoble Benedictine bishop amazing modesty took upon himself all sins of others the cross he carried was heavy laden holy and redemptive great reputation for miracles
Apud Ambiánum, in Gállia, sancti Waleríci Abbátis, cujus sepúlcrum crebris miráculis illustrátur.
1194 Hugh of Bonnevaux possessed singular powers of discernment and exorcism OSB Cistercian, Abbot (AC)
1220 Jacqueline V Hermit recluse in Sicily reprimanded Pope Innocent III
1220 Blessed Nicholas of Neti Cistercian monk of the community of Santa Maria dell'Arcu near Neti, Sicily, OSB Cist.
1245 ST GILBERT, BISHOP OF CAITHNESS “Three maxims which I have always tried to observe I now commend to you: first, never to hurt anyone and, if injured, never to seek revenge secondly, to bear patiently whatever suffering God may inflict, remembering that He chastises every son whom He receives; and finally to obey those in authority so as not to be a stumbling-block to others.”
1229 The Holy Martyr Abraham the Bulgar, Vladimir Wonderworker convert from Islam martyred for his faith
XII (XIII) Century The Monk John Shauteli -- was a distinguished Gruzinian (Georgian) poet, philosopher and

1367 Blessed Gerard of Sassoferrato received the Camaldolese habit OSB Cam. (AC)
1404 Saint Euthymius of Suzdal tonsure Nizhegorod Caves under St Dionysius:  founded Savior-Euthymius monastery strict ascetic great man of prayer incorrupt relics 100 yrs
1574 Catherine Tomás strange phenomena mystical experiences both consoling /alarming,
         including gift of prophecy  last years of life continually in ecstasy

1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina (Paul I. Plikhanov) a colonel, to be a general, but became a priest gifts of clairvoyance healing read souls
St Barsanuphius loved spiritual books, especially the Lives of the Saints. He often told people that those who read these Lives with faith benefit greatly from doing so. The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints, he said. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious
"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him
(Psalm 21:28)

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!
   (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)

The Rosary html Mary Mother of GOD -- Her Rosary Here
Mary Mother of GOD Mary's Divine Motherhood: FEASTS OF OUR LADY
     of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the gates of heaven.

If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways:
either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.
Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently, because when he suffered he did not threaten;
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.-- St. Thomas Aquinas

We begin our day by seeing Christ in the consecrated bread, and throughout the day we continue to see Him in the torn bodies of our poor. We pray, that is, through our work, performing it with Jesus, for Jesus and upon Jesus.
The poor are our prayer. They carry God in them. Prayer means praying everything, praying the work.
We meet the Lord who hungers and thirsts, in the poor.....and the poor could be you or I or any person kind enough to show us his or her love and to come to our place.
Because we cannot see Christ, we cannot express our love to Him in person.
But our neighbor we can see, and we can do for him or her what we would love to do for Jesus if He were visible.
-- Mother Teresa
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee.  I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not love Thee.  O most Holy trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.
 I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world,  in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended,
and by the infite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I beg the conversion of poor sinners,  Amen Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace
Mary's Divine Motherhood
Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI { 2013 } Catholic Church In China { article here}
1648 to1930 St. Augustine Zhao Rong and 120 Companions Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria -- 600s.
        Depending on China's relations with outside world,
Christianity for centuries was free to grow or forced to operate secretly.

How do I start the Five First Saturdays? 
Called in the Gospel “the Mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the Mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos). 
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
“The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ.”
The voice of the Father is heard, the Son enters the water, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove.
   THE spirit and example of the world imperceptibly instil the error into the minds of many that there is a kind of middle way of going to Heaven; and so, because the world does not live up to the gospel, they bring the gospel down to the level of the world. It is not by this example that we are to measure the Christian rule, but words and life of Christ. All His followers are commanded to labour to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, and to bear His image in our hearts that we may be His children. We are obliged by the gospel to die to ourselves by fighting self-love in our hearts, by the mastery of our passions, by taking on the spirit of our Lord.
   These are the conditions under which Christ makes His promises and numbers us among His children, as is manifest from His words which the apostles have left us in their inspired writings. Here is no distinction made or foreseen between the apostles or clergy or religious and secular persons. The former, indeed, take upon themselves certain stricter obligations, as a means of accomplishing these ends more perfectly; but the law of holiness and of disengagement of the heart from the world is geeral and binds all the followers of Christ.

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There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:


The Five Reasons
From the above, it is easy to see that each of the Five Saturdays can correspond to a specific offence. By offering the graces received during each First Saturday as reparation for the offence being prayed for, the participant can hope to help remove the thorns from Our Lady's Heart.
What Do I Have To Do?
The devotion of First Saturdays, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, carries with it the assurance of salvation. However, to derive profit from such a great promise of Our Lady, the devotion must be properly understood and duly performed.
The requirements as stipulated by Our Lady are as follows:
(1) CONFESSION: A reparative confession means that the confession should not only be good (valid and licit), but also be offered in the spirit of reparation, in this case, to Mary's Immaculate Heart. This confession may be made on the First Saturday itself or some days before or after the First Saturday within the preceding octave would suffice.
(2) COMMUNION: The communion of reparation must be sacramental duly received with the intention of making reparation. This offering, like the confession, is an interior act and so no external action to express the intention is needed.
(3) THE ROSARY: The Rosary mentioned here was indicated by the Portuguese word 'terco' which is commonly employed to denote a Rosary of five decades, since it forms a fourth of the full Rosary of 20 decades. This too must recited in a spirit of reparation.
(4) MEDITATION FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES: Here the meditation on one mystery or more is to be made without simultaneous recitation of the Rosary decade. As indicated, the meditation may be either on one mystery alone for 15 minutes, or on all 20 mysteries, spending about one minute on each mystery, or again, on two or more mysteries during the period. This can also be made before each decade spending three minutes or more in considering the mystery of the particular decade. This meditation has likewise to be made in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.
(5) THE SPIRIT OF REPARATION: All these acts, as said above, have to be done with the intention of offering reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the offences committed against Her. Everyone who offends Her commits, so to speak, a two-fold offence, for these sins also offend her Divine Son, Christ, and so endanger our salvation. They give bad example to others and weaken the strength of society to withstand immoral onslaughts. Such devotions therefore make us consider not only the enormity of the offence against God, but also the effect of sins on human society as well as the need for undoing these social effects even when the offender repents and is converted. Further, this reparation emphasises our responsibility towards sinners who, themselves, will not pray and make reparation for their sins.
(6) FIVE CONSECUTIVE FIRST SATURDAYS: The idea of the Five First Saturdays is obviously to make us persevere in the devotional acts for these Saturdays and overcome initial difficulties. Once this is done, Our Lady knows that the person would become devoted to Her immaculate Heart and persist in practising such devotion on all First Saturdays, working thereby for personal self-reform and for the salvation of others.

Unless Russia is converted, the movement against God and for sin will continue to spread, promoting wars and persecutions, and making the attainment for peace and justice impossible for this world. One means of obtaining Russia's conversion is to practise the Fatima Message. The stakes are so great that to encourage Catholics to practise the devotion of the First Saturdays, Our Lady has assured us that She will obtain salvation for all those who observe the first Saturdays for five consecutive months in accordance with Her conditions.
At the supreme moment the departing person will be either in the state of grace or not. In either case Our Lady will be by his side. If in the state of grace, She will console and help him to resist whatever temptations the devil might put before him in his last attempt to take the person with him to hell. If not in the state of grace, Our Lady will help the person to repent in a manner agreeable to God and so benefit by the fruits of redemption and be saved.

God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique, for each is the result of a new idea.  As the liturgy says: Non est inventus similis illis--there are no two exactly alike. It is we with our lack of imagination, who paint the same haloes on all the saints. Dear Lord, grant us a spirit that is not bound by our own ideas and preferences.  Grant that we may be able to appreciate in others what we lack in ourselves. O Lord, grant that we may understand that every saint must be a unique praise of Your glory. Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives.  Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts.   God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heavenonly saints are allowed into heaven. The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

Patron_Saints.html  Widowed_Saints htmIndulgences The Catholic Church in China
LINKS: Marian Shrines  
India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes 1858  China Marian shrines 1995
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Pius IX 1846--1878 • Leo XIII 1878-1903 • Pius X 1903-1914• Benedict XV 1914-1922 • Pius XI 1922-1939 • Pius XII 1939-1958 • John XXIII 1958-1963 • Paul VI 1963 to 1978 • John Paul • John Paul II 10/16/1975-4/2/2005 Benedict XVI

Pope St. Clement:  Since all things lie open to His eyes and ears, let us hold Him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by His mercy from the judgement that is to come.
Which of us can escape His mighty hand? 

"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis
God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today
  440 Pope St. Sixtus III approved Acts of the Council of Ephesus endeavoured to restore peace between Cyril of
       Alexandria and John of Antioch
prominent among the Roman clergy and in correspondence with St. Augustine

Hail, Holy Mother of God -- Pope Francis
Jesus Christ is the blessing for every man and woman ... The Church, in giving us Jesus, offers us the fullness of the Lord’s blessing. This is precisely the mission of the people of God: to spread to all peoples God’s blessing made flesh in Jesus Christ. And Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus, the first and most perfect believer, the model of the pilgrim Church, is the one who opens the way to the Church’s motherhood and constantly sustains her maternal mission to all mankind. Mary’s tactful maternal witness has accompanied the Church from the beginning. She, the Mother of God, is also the Mother of the Church, and through the Church, the mother of all men and women, and of every people. …

Let us look to Mary, let us contemplate the Holy Mother of God. I suggest that you all greet her together, just like those courageous people of Ephesus, who cried out before their pastors when they entered Church: “Hail, Holy Mother of God!” What a beautiful greeting for our Mother. There is a story – I do not know if it is true – that some among those people had clubs in their hands, perhaps to make the Bishops understand what would happen if they did not have the courage to proclaim Mary “Mother of God”! I invite all of you, without clubs, to stand up and to greet her three times with this greeting of the early Church: “Hail, Holy Mother of God!”  Pope Francis; Homily, Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Vatican Basilica, January 1, 2015
 Pope’s Prayer in Pompeii
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Virgin of the Holy Rosary, Mother of the Redeemer, our earthly Lady raised above the heavens, humble servant of the Lord, proclaimed Queen of the world, from the depth of our miseries we turn to you. With the faithfulness of children we look to your sweet gaze.

Crowned with twelve stars, you bring us to the mystery of the Father, you shine the splendor of the Holy Spirit, you give us our Divine Child, Jesus, our hope, our only salvation in the world. Comforted by your Rosary, you invite us to be fixed to his gaze. You open to us His heart, abyss of joy and sorry, of light and glory, mystery of the son of God, made man for us. At your feet in the footsteps of the saints, we feel as God’s family.

Mother and model of the Church, you are our guide and secure support. Make us one heart and one mind, a strong people on the way towards the heavenly homeland. We entrust our miseries, the many streets of hate and blood, the thousands of ancient and new poverties and above all, our sins. To you we entrust ourselves, Mother of Mercy: grant us the forgiveness of God, help us to build a world according to your heart.

O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain that ties us to God, chain of love that makes us brothers, we will not leave you again. You will be in our hands a weapon of peace and forgiveness, star that guides our path. And the kiss to you with our last breath, we plunge into a wave of light, in the vision of the beloved Mother and the Son of God, the desire and joy of our heart, with the Father and the Holy Spirit.


  Popes Html link here: 
 “Where there is no honor for the elderly, there is no future for young people.” Pope Francis:
It Is a Mortal Sin When Children Don't Visit Their Elderly Parents.
By Deborah Castellano Lubov VATICAN CITY, March 04, 2015 ( –

“Where there is no honor for the elderly, there is no future for young people.”
During his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis made this strong statement while continuing his catechesis on the family, with this and next week focusing on the elderly.  Confining this week’s address to their problematic current condition, the Holy Father said the elderly are ignored and that a society that does this is perverse.
While noting that life has been lengthened thanks to advances in medicine, he lamented that while the number of older people has multiplied, "our societies are not organized enough to make room for them, with proper respect and concrete consideration for their fragility and their dignity.”

“As long as we are young, we are led to ignore old age, as if it were a disease to be taken away. Then when we become older, especially if we are poor, sick and alone, we experience the shortcomings of a society planned on efficiency, which consequently ignores the elderly.”

He went on to quote his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who, when visiting a nursing home in November 2012, “used clear and prophetic words: ‘The quality of a society, I would say of a civilization, is judged also on how the elderly are treated and the place reserved for them in the common life.’"  Without a space for them, Francis highlighted, society dies.

Cultures, he decried, see the elderly as a burden who do not produce and should be discarded.
“You do not say it openly, but you do it!” he exclaimed. "Out of our fear of weakness and vulnerability, we do not tolerate and abandon the elderly," he said. “It’s sickening to see the elderly discarded. It is ugly. It’s a sin. Abandoning the elderly is a mortal sin.”
“Children who do not visit their elderly and ill parents have mortally sinned. Understand?”

The Pope expressed his dismay at children who go months without seeing a parent, or how elderly are confined to little tables in their kitchens alone, without anyone caring for them.  He noted that he observed this reality during his ministry in Buenos Aires.  Unwilling to accept limits, society, he noted, doesn’t allow elderly to participate and gives into the mentality that only the young can be useful and enjoy life.
The whole society must realize, the Pope said, the elderly contain the wisdom of the people.
The tradition of the Church, Pope Francis reaffirmed, has always supported a culture of closeness to the elderly, involving affectionately and supportively accompanying them in this final part of life.  The Church cannot, and does not want to, Francis underscored, comply with a mentality of impatience, and even less of indifference and contempt towards old age.
Sooner or later, we will all be old, he said. If we do not treat the elderly well, he stressed we will not be treated well either.
“We must awaken the collective sense of gratitude, of appreciation, of hospitality, which make them feel the elderly living part of his community.”

Concluding his address, Pope Francis noted how old age will come to all one day and reminded the faithful how much they have received from their elders. He also challenged them to not take a step back and abandon them to their fate.

The Church without Mary is an orphanage
Pope Francis:
“It is  very different to try and grow in the faith without Mary's help. It is something else. It is like growing in the faith, yes, but in a Church that is an orphanage. A Church without Mary is an orphanage. With Mary—she educates us, she makes us grow, she accompanies us, she touches consciences. She knows how to touch consciences, for repentance.”
Pope Francis Speech of October 25, 2014, to the Schönstatt Apostolic Movement
on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding

 "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall come to you. St. Mark 11:24"

Nazareth is the School of the Gospel (II)
It is first a lesson of silence.
May the esteem of silence be born in us anew, this admirable and indispensable condition of the spirit, in us who are assailed by so much clamor, noise and shouting in our modern life, so noisy and hyper sensitized. O silence of Nazareth, teach us recollection, interiority, disposition to listen to the good inspirations and words of the true masters; teach us the need and value of preparation, study, meditation, personal and interior life, and prayer that God alone sees in secret.

It is a lesson of family life.
May Nazareth teach us what a family is, with its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, its sacred and inviolable character; let us learn from Nazareth how sweet and irreplaceable is the formation one receives within it; let us learn how primordial its role is on the social level.

It is a lesson of work. Nazareth, the house of the carpenter's son; it is there that we would like to understand and celebrate the severe and redeeming law of human labor; there, to reestablish the conscience of work's nobility; to remind people that working cannot be an end in itself, but that its freedom and nobility come, in addition to its economic value, from the value that finalize it; how we wish to salute here all the workers of the world and show them their great model, their divine brother, the prophet of all their just causes, Christ Our Lord.
Homily of Paul VI in Nazareth January 5, 1964

  Pope Francis: The Kingdom of God is found in silence, not in causing a spectacle (Video)
He explained that it can also be found in day to day life By Staff

ROME, November 13, 2014 (Rome Reports) - To view the video click here.
At the end of its Constitution on the Church, the Second Vatican Council left us a very beautiful meditation on Mary Most Holy.
Let me (Pope Francis) just recall the words referring to the mystery we celebrate today: “The immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things” (no. 59).
Then towards the end, there is: “The Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and the beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come” (no. 68). Pope Francis
   Pope's Morning Homily: The Kingdom of God Is Hidden in Everyday Holiness
Says God Also Manifests Himself in Ordinary Life.  
By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, November 13, 2014 ( -

The Kingdom of God is a humble seed that grows in greatness by the power of the Holy Spirit. This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily today at Casa Santa Marta.  As reported by Vatican Radio, Pope Francis reflected on today’s Gospel from St. Luke, which recounted Jesus' response to the Pharisees' questions on the coming of the Kingdom of God.
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you,” Jesus says in the Gospel.
"A spectacle! The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a spectacle,” the Pope noted. “It is a celebration! But that is different. Certainly it is a beautiful celebration. A great celebration. And Heaven will be a celebration, but not a spectacle. However, our human weakness prefers the spectacle.”
The Pope said that the Kingdom will show its power at the end of time at the coming of Christ. However, he also said that the Kingdom of God also manifests itself in ordinary life.
“When one thinks of the perseverance of many Christians, who struggle to raise their family - men, women - who care for children, care for grandparents and arrive at the end of the month with only half a euro, but who pray,” he said,
“There is the Kingdom of God, hidden, in the holiness of daily life, everyday holiness. Because the Kingdom of God is not far from us, it is near! This is one of its features: it is close to us everyday.”
Concluding his homily, the Pope reflected on Jesus’ words that before the coming of the Kingdom, the Son of Man “must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” Pope Francis said that like a seed, the Kingdom is humble yet “becomes great by the power of the Holy Spirit."
"It is up to us to to let it grow in us, without boasting about it,” he said. “Let the Spirit come, change our soul and carry us forward in silence, in peace, in tranquility, in closeness to God, to others, in worship of God, without spectacle.”

  Excerpts from Pope Francis' Post-Lunch Address to Seminar Participants: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
"What you do is very important,” the Pontiff told the participants. “Reflecting on reality, but reflecting without fear, reflecting with intelligence. Without fear and with intelligence. And this is a service.”
Referring to the themes considered during the seminar, he went on to offer a brief discourse on anthropological reductionism. “I believe that this is the strongest moment for anthropological reductionism," he said.
"What is happening to humanity at the moment is what happens when wine becomes brandy: it passes through a phase of distillation, in organizational terms. It is no longer wine, but it is something else: perhaps more useful, more qualified, but it is not wine!"
He said that for mankind, it is the same: "man passes through this transformational phase and ends up – and I am serious – losing his humanity and becoming a tool of the system, a social and economic system, a system where imbalance reigns. When mankind loses his humanity, what happens to us? What occurs is what I would describe in simple terms as a throwaway policy or sociology: what is no longer useful is discarded, because man is not at the centre. And when man is not at the centre, there is something else in his place and man is at the service of this other thing."
"The idea, therefore, is to save mankind, in the sense of restoring him to the centre: to the centre of society, of thought, of reflection. Restoring mankind to the centre. You do good work. You study, reflect, hold conferences for this reason – so that mankind is not discarded."

"Children are discarded – we all know about today's birth rates, at least in Europe; the elderly are discarded, because they are not 'useful'. And now? An entire generation of young people is discarded, and this is very serious! I have seen a figure: 75 million young people, under the age of 25, without work. The 'neither-nor' young: those who neither work nor study. They do not study because they do not have the opportunity, and the do not work because there is no work."

"Who will be the next to be discarded? Let us stop this in time, please!”

The Pope thanked those present for their work and their initiatives “to restore balance to this imbalanced situation and to recover mankind, restoring him to the centre of reflection and the centre of life. He is the king of the universe!” he exclaimed. “And this is not theology, it is philosophy and human reality."

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall come to you. St. Mark 11:24"

January 5 – Our Lady of Good Counsel (Bergamo, Italy)  
Pope Francis: "Place your vocation in her hands"
At the opening of the seminarians’ pilgrimage in France, which was held at Lourdes through Monday, November 10, 2014, Pope Francis sent a special message in the form of three pieces of advice:
"Mary accompanied Jesus in his mission. She was present at Pentecost when the disciples received the Holy Spirit. She accompanied the first steps of the Church in a maternal way. During these days in Lourdes, confide in her, place your vocation in her hands, and ask her to make you pastors according to God’s own heart.  Let her strengthen you on these three key points that I mentioned: brotherhood, prayer, and mission.
I wholeheartedly give you my Apostolic Blessing and I ask you to pray for me. Thank you."

Pope Gives 9 Tips to Vatican Employees Francis Urges Them to Devote Time to Their Children
By Deborah Castellano Lubov  VATICAN CITY, December 22, 2014

Recalling St. Paul saying that in the Body of Christ, "the eye cannot say to the hand:'I have no need of you'; nor again the head to the feet, 'I do not need you,'" he noted, "this shows that all parts of the Body of the Curia are needed for it to be living and dynamic."  From this, he asked them make this Christmas a real opportunity to "cure" every wound.  He then encouraged them to examine nine areas.

"Care for your spiritual life, your relationship with God," he said was the first, because "this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are."  “A Christian who is not nourished by prayer, the sacraments and the Word of God, inevitably fades and withers,” he added.
Second, care for your family life, "giving to your children and your loved ones not only money, but above all time, attention and love."
Third, heal your relationships with others, transforming faith in life and words into good works, especially for those most in need.
The fourth suggestion of the Pope was to watch how you speak. He stressed the importance of “purifying the language from the offensive words, vulgarity and phraseology of worldly decadence.”
The fifth requires “healing the wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness,” which means forgiving people who have hurt us and medicating wounds we have caused in others.
The sixth exhortation relates to work, he said, which involves doing it "with enthusiasm, humility, skill, passion, and with a soul that knows how to thank the Lord.”
The seventh appeal was to avoid envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings “that devour our inner peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
Eighth, he continued, requires the faithful to let go of “the bitterness that brings us to revenge,” “the laziness that leads to euthanasia,” “the finger-pointing that leads to pride,” and “the complaining that constantly leads us to despair.”
He added: “I know that a few times, to keep your job, you quarrel with someone, to defend yourselves. I understand these situations, but the road does not end well."

“Rather,” he suggested, “ask the Lord for wisdom to bite one's tongue" and "not to say insulting words that afterward leave your mouth bitter."
Ninth, he stressed, is to reach out to the weak, elderly, sick, hungry, homeless and foreigners. For this will determine how we will be judged.
In addition, he called on them to never treat Christmas as “a celebration of consumerism” and useless, extravagant gift-giving, but rather as the "festival of joy to welcome the Lord in the crib and heart.”
Acknowledging he had spoken of various areas on which to reflect carefully, the Holy Father called on the Vatican employees to ponder which area they need to address the most.
Here, he stressed taking care of the family, as, “The family is a treasure. Children are a treasure.”
He said young parents should never be too busy to find time to play with their children, for such playing is such a beautiful moment, and helps “sow the future.”
"Imagine how it would change our world if everyone started immediately, and here, to heal and treat generously their relationship with God and with others," he said.
"Think of all the good," he said, "if we looked at each other, especially the most needy, with eyes of goodness and tenderness, as God looks at us, waiting for us and forgiving us; if we found humility, our strength, and our treasure!"
Gestures of tenderness, he noted, "can warm the icy heart, to encourage the disheartened souls and brighten dull eyes with the light of Jesus' face!"
"With this peace in my heart I would like to greet you and all your family," he said, "I want to say thank you to them and give a hug, especially your children and especially smaller ones!"

Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall come to you. St. Mark 11:24"
Pope St. Clement:  Since all things lie open to His eyes and ears, let us hold Him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by His mercy from the judgement that is to come.
Which of us can escape His mighty hand? 
Cross Not Optional, Says Benedict XVI
Reflects on Peter's "Immature" Faith CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (
Taking up one's cross isn't an option, it's a mission all Christians are called to, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
Referring to the Gospel reading for today's Mass, the Holy Father reflected on the faith of Peter, which is shown to be "still immature and too much influenced by the 'mentality of this world.'”  He explained that when Christ spoke openly about how he was to "suffer much, be killed and rise again, Peter protests, saying: 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.'"
"It is evident that the Master and the disciple follow two opposed ways of thinking," continued the Pontiff. "Peter, according to a human logic, is convinced that God would never allow his Son to end his mission dying on the cross.  "Jesus, on the contrary, knows that the Father, in his great love for men, sent him to give his life for them, and if this means the passion and the cross, it is right that such should happen."
Christ also knew that "the resurrection would be the last word," Benedict XVI added.
Serious illness
The Pope continued, "If to save us the Son of God had to suffer and die crucified, it certainly was not because of a cruel design of the heavenly Father.  "The cause of it is the gravity of the sickness of which he must cure us: an evil so serious and deadly that it will require all of his blood. 
"In fact, it is with his death and resurrection that Jesus defeated sin and death, reestablishing the lordship of God."

God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis