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!)
Symeon_of_Persia_St_Makarios_of_Corinth.
Monday in the Octave of Easter
What is comforting to note is that in the Church, if a work is good, the Holy Spirit gets involved in it
and sooner or later, someone always presents himself to support and activate it. -- Stephen Harding


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?

 
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'


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

CAUSES OF SAINTS April 17  2014

"I am going to God as I had never done any good.  
If I have done some good, it was through the help of the grace of God.
But perhaps I have received this grace unworthily, without turning it sufficiently to account."
- - 1134 Stephen Harding one of the founders of the Cistercians


By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability,
truth and excellence, its own order and laws. -- Gaudium et spes


April 17 – Our Lady of Miracles (Italy, 1555)
 
“The Lord sent me to promote a more effective Marian devotion”
On November 24, 1946, Pierina Gilli, a nurse from Montichiari (diocese of Brescia, Italy) saw a beautiful, transparent lady, dressed in purple and wearing a white veil. The lady did not utter a word. Pierina was awe-struck, and also wondered what this apparition meant.
On April 17, 1966, the Virgin appeared to her again, saying: “My Divine Son, who is all Love, sends me to make this spring miraculous, as a sign of purification and penance.” On June 1, 1947, the lady came back, uttering just three words: “Prayer, sacrifice, penance.”
During another apparition, on July 13, 1947, Our Lady said: “I am the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of you. The Lord sent me to promote a more effective Marian devotion in religious institutes and congregations. I promise to all those who honor me, protection, renewal of vocations, and a decrease in apostasy.”
In spite of the bishop’s reservations, the pilgrimage continues to this day, unostentatious and fervent, supported by those who have found grace in this place. Pierina was presented to Pope Pius XII, at the audience of August 9, 1951... The Pope placed his hand on her and said: “Courage my daughter, try to better respond to such a great and wonderful grace.”
Adapted from René Laurentin, Chrétiens Magazine issue #142 – June 2001
 
Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the Fifty Fifth Patriarch commemoration of Wonder took place on his hand  (Coptic)
Tuesday of St Thomas week we remember those Orthodox Christians from all ages who have died in faith, and in the hope of resurrection.
155-166 St. Anicetus pope a Syrian from Emesa actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism
250  St. Mappalicus Martyr of Africa with 17 companions at Carthage
250 The Holy Martyr Adrian the holy martyr scattered the fire and wrecked the sacrifice
344 The Hieromartyr Simeon, Bishop of Persia & 1,150 Martyrs perished because refused to accept Persian religion
350  Innocent of Tortona priest for remaining steadfast to the Christian faith B (RM)
 
       St. Peter deacon and Hermogenes servant Roman martyrs
       
Departure of St. Zosimus (Zocima). On this day in the middle of the fifth century the ascetic father and the struggling monk Abba Zocima the priest, departed (Coptic)
 435 Saint Acacius, Bishop of Melitene support of Orthodoxy wonderworker made rain, checked flood, stopped dome from collapse 3rd Ecumenical Council 431 defended Orthodox teaching of 2 Natures (Divine /Human) of the Savior His seedless Birth from Most Holy Virgin Mother of God
 
536 Saint Agapitus wonderworker healer of the blind and lame defended the Orthodox teaching against the heretic Severus Bishop of Rome
7th v. St. Fortunatus & Marcian Martyrs of Antioch, in Syria, or of an African location.
  540  Pantagathus of Vienne courtier of King Clovis priest bishop B (RM)
 
568  St. Villicus Bishop of Meta, France, from 543
  616-618 Donnan & Companions Irishman monk converted Many to Christianity through efforts Eigg has remained Catholic "as if by special blessing of these martyrs"
        
Saint  Potentienne Christian virgin death in Spain
700-730 St. Landericus Benedictine bishop of Meaux
  756   St. Wando Benedictine abbot of Fontenelle Abbey
  856   St. Elias priest Spanish martyr with Paul and Isidore by the Moors
1067 St. Robert of Chaise Dieu priest canon Benedictine abbot founder love of the poor hospices housed 300 monks under the Benedictine Rule
1117 Blessed Gervinus of Oudenburg monk hermit  governor of the abbey of Aldenbury (Oudenburg) in Flanders OSB
1134 Stephen Harding one of the founders of the Cistercians  OSB Cist. Abbot (RM)
1178 Blessed Eberhard of Marchtal  Premonstratensian monk O.Praem. (PC)
1367 Blessed James of Cerqueto Many miracles occurred at his tomb OSA (AC)
1419 Blessed Clare Gambacorta both devout and penitential Poor Clares OP Widow (AC)
1478 Saint Zosimas, Igumen of Solovki a great luminary of the Russian North founder of cenobitic monasticism on Solovki Island visionary predicted Novogorod nobles death fed by angels
1533 Saint Alexander of Svir died on August 30, 1533 incorrupt relics uncovered in 1641 during reconstruction of the Transfiguration cathedral
1805 Makarios von Korinth  1765 wurde er Erzbischof von Korinth gab neben vielen anderen Werken Dieses fand eine weite Verbreitung und prägt bis heute die Spiritualität der Ostkirche (Notaras)
1944 Max Joseph Metzger  Märtyrer 1911 wurde er zum Priester geweiht und wirkte in Meitingen Er gründete den "Friedensbund deutscher Katholiken", die "Christkönigsgesellschaft vom weißen Kreuz" (1927) und die Bruderschaft "Una Sancta"

April 17 – Holy Thursday. Our Lady of Miracles (Italy, 1555) 
 
Saint Thomas Aquinas explains all the meanings of the name "Maria"
 That an Angel reverence a man was never heard of until the Angel reverently greeted the Blessed Virgin, saying: "Hail."
She is grace-filled, and exceeds the Angels in the plenitude of grace. And for this reason she is fittingly called ‘Maria,’ which interprets ‘enlightened in herself,’ whence Isaiah (58:11) declares, “then shall your light rise.” And again, it means, ‘the enlightener of others’ (cf. Is.60:3: “And the nations shall come to your light”). This is to be understood of the whole world, and therefore she is likened to the sun and to the moon.

(…) This expression “the Lord is with you” is the most noble that can be addressed to anyone. Deservedly, therefore, does the Angel revere the Blessed Virgin, because she is the Mother of the Lord, and hence, (our) Lady. Here again the fittingness of the name ‘Mary’which in Syrian means ‘Lady.’

(…) She was immune from every malediction, and consequently “blessed among women,” since she alone took away the malediction and brought the blessing, and opened the gate of paradise. And again the name, ‘Mary’ befits her, which is (also) interpreted as ‘Star of the Sea,’ for as by this star seafarers are directed to port, so are Christians guided to glory by Mary.
Saint Thomas Aquinas 
Sermon on the "Hail Mary" 
 
April 17 - Our Lady of Miracles (Italy, 1555)     
  Mary is a Woman Who Loves (III)
Finally, Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary remains beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27); later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).
Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est #41 (2005)
April 17 - OUR LADY OF MIRACLES (Italy, 1555) How happy was my soul,
The All-Beautiful
When we look at nature, it seems that Jesus gives it his new commandment too.
I observed two plants and I thought about pollination. Before this happens the plants grow upward, as if they were loving God with all their being. Then they unite, almost as if they were loving one another as the Persons of the Trinity love one another. From two they become one. They love one another to the point of abandonment, to the point of losing their personalities, so to speak, like Jesus in his forsakenness.

Then from the flower that blossoms, a fruit is born and life, therefore, continues. It is like God's eternal Life imprinted in nature. The Old and the New Testaments form a single tree. Its flowering happened in the fullness of time, and its only flower was Mary. The fruit which followed was Jesus. The tree of humanity was also created in the image of God.
Chiara Lubich; Published in Chiara Lubich, Essential Writings, New City Press, New York, 2007, pp. 141-142
"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)

Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the 55th Patriarch The commemoration of the Wonder that took place on his hand
On this day also a great sign was made manifest through our holy father Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the fifty fifth Pope of Alexandria. This Pope went to the desert of Scetis in order to fast the Holy Lent with the fathers the monks. On Palm Sunday many Arabs came to the desert of Scetis to plunder the monasteries. They stood on the rock east of the church of St. Macarius. Their swords were drawn in their hands ready to kill and steal. The bishops and the monks gathered together and decided to leave the desert before the Holy Feast of Resurrection (Easter) and they took counsel with Pope Shenouda who told them; "As for me I will not leave the desert until I complete the Pascal week. On Maundy Thursday the situation became worse.
The Pope took his staff that had the sign of the cross on it and he wanted to go out to meet the Arabs saying: "It is better for me to die with the people of God" but they prevented him from going out, but instead, he strengthened and comforted them. Then he went forth to meet the Arabs with his staff in his hand. When they saw him, they retreated and fled away as if they were pursued by an army of soldiers and from this day onwards they never came back to do any harm.
The prayers of this father be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
               Saint Anastasis
Tuesday of St Thomas week we remember those Orthodox Christians from all ages who have died in faith, and in the hope of resurrection.
Macarius_of_Corinth
There are indications of this commemoration in the sermons of the Fathers of the Church.
St John Chrysostom, for example, mentions it in his homily "On the Cemetery and the Cross."

In pre-Revolutionary Russia bars remained closed and alcoholic beverages were not sold until this Day of Rejoicing so that the joy people felt would be because of the Resurrection, and not an artificial joy brought on by alcohol.

Today the Church remembers its faithful members at Liturgy, and kollyva is offered in remembrance of those who have fallen asleep.

Priests visit cemeteries to bless the graves of Orthodox Christians, and to share the paschal joy with the departed.

It is also customary to give alms to the poor on this day.


155-166 St. Anicetus pope a Syrian from Emesa actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism
Romæ sancti Anicéti, Papæ et Mártyris; qui martyrii palmam in persecutióne Marci Aurélii Antoníni et Lúcii Veri accépit.
    At Rome, St. Anicetus, pope and martyr, who received the palm of martyrdom in the persecution of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus.
165 ST ANICETUS, POPE AND MARTYR
ST ANICETUS was raised to the chair of St Peter in the latter part of the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. He is styled a martyr in the Roman and other martyrologies and, if he did not actually shed his blood for the faith, he at least purchased the title of martyr by the sufferings and trials he endured. His efforts appear to have been specially directed to combating the errors of Valentine and Marcion and to protecting his flock from heresy. It was whilst he was pope that St Polycarp, the great bishop of Smyrna, came to Rome in connection with the controversy about the date of Easter. The conference which took place led to no settlement, but, to quote the words of Eusebius, “the bonds of charity were not broken”. St Anicetus is said to have been a Syrian.
See the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, and the Liber Pontificalis with Mgr Duchesne’s introduction and notes.

Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism. His pontificate saw the appearance of the controversy between East and West over the date of Easter. St. Polycarp, a disciple of John, is reported to have visited him in Rome about the dispute, which was to accelerate and grow more heated over the following centuries.


Anicetus, Pope M (RM) Born in Emesa, Syria. Towards the end of the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius, Anicetus was elected pope (about 152). For about eight years he labored to defend the faith against those who said, first that the physical life of Jesus was really illusory (Gnostics), and secondly, that the Jewish background to Christianity was dangerous and needed to be shed completely (Marcionists).

     Marcion, after having embraced a state of continence (perhaps as a priest), fell into a crime with a young virgin; for which he was excommunicated by his father, the bishop of Pontus. He ran to Rome in the hope of being restored to communion, but was rejected until he had made penitential satisfaction to his own bishop. 
Tertullian and Saint Epiphanius relate that rejected this notion he began his career as a heretic. First he professed himself a Stoic philosopher. Then during the time of Pope Saint Hyginus, he joined the heresiarch Cerdo, who came from Syria to Rome.
According to Marcion, there are two gods: one good, the other evil. The first is the author of the New Testament and opposed to that of the Old Testament and Jewish law. He won many followers to his error in Rome, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Persia, and Cyprus.
Tertullian relates that Marcion eventually repented of this idea and was promised that he would be received again into the Church once he had corrected the error in all those he had perverted.
He died while in the process of satisfying this penance.
During the reign of Anicetus a further anxiety arose because Christians had begun to quarrel about determining the correct date for Easter.

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, a disciple of Saint John the Divine, visited Rome to settle this very question, but the conference was unsuccessful. Anicetus agreed to allow the Asiatics to continue to celebrate Easter on the 14th day after the first moon of the vernal equinox. Unsettled, the controversy was to accelerate and grow more heated in the course of the following centuries.

Anicetus died worn out by these troubles which he had been unable to resolve. (Anicetus also forbade priests to wear long hair, perhaps because the Gnostics did so.) Some say he died a martyr's death, but this seems unlikely. The greater possibility is that he is deemed a martyr because of the suffering he underwent for the faith (Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
250 The Holy Martyr Adrian the holy martyr scattered the fire and wrecked the sacrifice
Suffered during the time of the reign of the emperor Decius (249-251). Like many other Christians at that time, St Adrian was locked up in prison. During a pagan festival they brought out all the Christian prisoners to offer sacrifice to the idols. They ordered St Adrian to throw some incense on the coals, but the holy martyr scattered the fire and wrecked the sacrifice. The pagans fell upon him in a rage, beating him with sticks and iron rods, and striking him with stones. Finally, they threw him into a fire, and he won the crown of martyrdom.

250 St. Mappalicus Martyr of Africa with 17 companions at Carthage.
In Africa natális beáti Mappálici Mártyris, qui (ut scribit sanctus Cypriánus in epístola ad Mártyres et Confessóres), cum áliis plúribus, martyrio coronátus est.
    In Africa, the birthday of blessed Mappalicus, martyr.  St. Cyprian relates in his Epistle to the Martyrs and Confessors that he, along with many others, was crowned with martyrdom.
250 SS. MAPPALICUS AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
THE persecution under Decius was the most systematic and general attack which Christianity had yet experienced. The emperor had determined to exterminate completely a fast-increasing body which he regarded as a menace because it obeyed an authority other than his own. On one specified day every denizen of the empire was ordered to sacrifice to the gods and to the genius of the emperor, suspected persons being specially summoned by name, and severe penalties being decreed for those who refused. As soon as news of the edict arrived in Carthage, St Cyprian, the bishop, knowing that he would be the first to be arrested, withdrew into a hiding-place outside the city from whence he could direct and support his flock. The full rigour of the edict was not experienced until the arrival of the proconsul in April 250. He was not content to remain in the city, but made a tour throughout the province, using such severity that many who had hitherto remained faithful fell away. The protomartyr of this persecution in Carthage was a confessor of the name of Mappalicus, whom St Cyprian in his Epistle to Martyrs and Confessors singles out for special praise. After having undergone the torture of the iron claw he was brought before the tribunal, to whom he announced triumphantly that on the morrow they would witness a contest indeed. The following day he was again tortured and perished under the infliction. He was soon followed by other martyrs who gained their crown in various ways, one under torture, one in the mines, and fifteen who died of starvation and of the filthy conditions they endured when herded in two terrible cells.
We know little of these martyrs beyond what we learn from the correspondence of St Cyprian (ed. Hartel), pp. 492, 534, 541. Their names occur in the Calendarium Cathaginense and in the “Hieronymianum”.

He and his companions were tortured and martyred for refusing to sacrifice to the pagan gods during the persecutions of Emperor Trajanus Decius. They were praised by St. Cyprian.
Mappalicus & Companions MM (RM). Eighteen African martyrs who suffered torture and starvation at Carthage under Decius. They are highly praised by Saint Cyprian (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).
St. Fortunatus & Marcian Martyrs of Antioch, in Syria, or of an African location.
Ibídem sanctórum Mártyrum Fortunáti et Marciáni.    In the same place, the holy martyrs Fortunatus and Marcian.
St. Peter deacon and Hermogenes servant Roman martyrs
Antiochíæ sanctórum Mártyrum Petri Diáconi, et Hermógenis, qui ejúsdem Petri erat miníster.
    At Antioch, the holy martyrs Peter, a deacon, and Hermogenes, who was his servant.
Roman martyrs of an uncertain era who were put to death, probably at Antioch, Syria, during the Christian persecution. Peter was a deacon and Hermogenes his servant.
Peter and Hermogenes MM (RM)Date unknown. Peter, a deacon, and Hermogenes, his servant, were probably martyred at Antioch (Benedictines).
344 The Hieromartyr Simeon, Bishop of Persia & 1,150 Martyrs perished because they refused to accept the Persian religion
Suffered during a persecution against Christians under the Persian emperor Sapor II (310-381). They accused the saint of collaborating with the Roman Empire and of subversive activities against the Persian emperor. In the year 344 the emperor issued an edict which imposed a heavy tax upon Christians. When some of them refused to pay it, this was regarded as an act of rebellion, so the emperor began a fierce persecution against Christians.
St Simeon was brought to trial in iron fetters as a supposed enemy of the Persian realm, together with the two hieromartyrs Habdelai and Ananias. The holy bishop would not even bow to the emperor, who asked why he would not show him the proper respect. The saint answered,
"Formerly, I bowed because of your rank, but now, when you ask me to renounce my God and abandon my faith, it is not proper for me to bow to you."

The emperor urged him to worship the sun, and he threatened to eradicate Christianity in his land if he refused. But neither urgings nor threats could shake the steadfast saint, and they led him off to prison. Along the way the eunuch Usphazanes, a counsellor of the emperor, saw the saint. He stood up and bowed to the bishop, but the saint turned away from him because he, a former Christian, out of fear of the emperor, now worshipped the sun.  The eunuch repented with all his heart, he exchanged his fine attire for coarse garb, and sitting at the doors of the court, he cried out bitterly, "Woe to me, when I stand before my God, from Whom I am cut off. Here was Simeon, and he has turned his back on me!"
The emperor Sapor learned about the grief of his beloved tutor and asked him what had happened.

He told the emperor that he bitterly regretted his apostasy and would no more worship the sun, but only the one true God. The emperor was surprised at the old man's sudden decision, and he urged him not to abjure the gods whom their fathers had reverenced. Usphazanes was unyielding, and they condemned him to death.
St Usphazanes asked that the city heralds report that he died not for crimes against the emperor, but for being a Christian. The emperor granted his request.

St Simeon also learned about the death of Usphazanes, and he gave thanks to the Lord. When they brought him before the emperor a second time, St Simeon again refused to worship the pagan gods and confessed his faith in Christ. The enraged emperor gave orders to behead all the Christians in the prison before the saint's eyes.

Without fear the Christians went to execution, blessed by the holy hierarch, and they bent their heads beneath the sword. St Simeon's companion, the Priest Habdelai, was also beheaded. When they came to the Priest Ananias, he suddenly trembled. Then one of the dignitaries, St Phusicus, a secret Christian, was afraid that Ananias would renounce Christ, and he cried out, "Do not fear the sword, Elder, and you will see the divine light of our Lord Jesus Christ."

St Phusicus betrayed himself by this outburst. The emperor gave orders to pluck out his tongue and to flay the skin off him. Along with St Phusicus, his daughter Askitrea was also martyred. St Simeon was the last to go before the executioner, and he placed his head on the chopping-block (April 13, 344). Executions continued all during Bright Week until April 23.
St Azates the Eunuch, a close official to the emperor, also received the crown of martyrdom.
The sources indicate that 1,150 Martyrs perished because they refused to accept the Persian religion.


Simeon und seine Gefährten Orthodoxe Kirche: Simeon von Persien und seine Gefährten - 17. April Katholische Kirche: Simeon Barsabas - 17. April Evangelische Kirche: Pusei - 9. März
Der persische König Sapor II. (310-381) erließ 344 ein belastendes Steueredikt gegen die Christen. Als einige Christen sich weigerten, die Steuer zu zahlen, begann Sapor, die Christen zu verfolgen. Der Bischof von Persien Simeon wurde mit seinen Priestern Habdelai (Abdechalas) und Ananias angeklagt, mit den Griechen gegen das persische Reich zu arbeiten. Der König verlangte von dem Bischof, dem Zoroaster-Kult beizutreten und die Sonne anzubeten. Als dieser sich weigerte, wurde er ins Gefängnis geworfen. Der Ratgeber des Königs, der Eunuch Usphazanes (Usthazanes), der seinen christlichen Glauben widerrufen hatte, bereute angesichts dieser Standhaftigkeit seinen Abfall und bekannte sich öffentlich als Christ. Er wurde daraufhin hingerichtet.

Als Simeon sich weiterhin weigerte, die Sonne anzubeten, drohte ihm Sapor, alle gefangenen Christen hinzurichten. Simeon blieb aber standhaft und die Christen aus dem Gefängnis wurden nacheinander hingerichtet, unter ihnen auch Habdelai. Als der Priester Ananias hingerichtet werden sollte, schreckte er vor dem Schwert zurück. Da rief einer der Würdenträger, die an der Hinrichtung teilnahmen, Pusei (Fusicus/Pusicius), der Leiter der königlichen Werkstätten, dem Priester Mut zu. Damit offenbarte er sich selbst als Christ und ihm wurde die Zunge herausgerissen und die Haut abgezogen. Seine Tochter Askitrea wurde ebenfalls hingerichtet. Als letzter wurde Simeon hingerichtet. Diese Hinrichtungen geschahen am 13.4.344. Insgesamt wurden an diesem Tag etwa 1.000 Märtyrer getötet. In den nächsten Tagen wurden weitere 100 bis 150 Christen, unter ihnen der Eunuch Azates, ein hoher Würdenträger am königlichen Hof, und die Schwester von Simeon, Pherbutha (Tarbula) hingerichtet.

Die Nachfolger Simeons auf dem Bischofsstuhl, Shahdost und Barbashmin erlitten in den folgenden Jahren ebenfalls den Märtyrertod. Danach war der Bischofssitz fast 40 Jahre vakant. Tausende von Christen wurden hingerichtet, viele andere flohen vor der Verfolgung.
350 Innocent of Tortona priest for remaining steadfast to the Christian faith B (RM)
Dertónæ sancti Innocéntii, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
  At Tortona, St. Innocent, bishop and confessor.
350 ST INNOCENT, BISHOP OF TORTONA
THE parents of St Innocent at Tortona in the north of Italy, although they were Christians living in times of persecution, were by imperial licence exempted from molestation. The exemption granted to the parents did not extend to the children, and after the death of his father and mother Innocent was summoned to appear before the magistrates. As the young man steadfastly refused to sacrifice to the gods, he was tortured and sentenced to perish at the stake. During the night before his execution he had a dream of his father, who bade him go at once to Rome, where he would find safety. He awoke to find his guards fast asleep, and easily succeeded in making his escape. Upon his arrival in Rome he was kindly received by Pope St Miltiades.
Pope St Silvester
raised him to the diaconate, and after the accession of the Emperor Constantine he was sent back to Tortona as bishop. During the twenty-eight years of his episcopate he showed great zeal in spreading the faith, in building churches, and in converting pagan temples into Christian sanctuaries.
We owe these details to a late and quite untrustworthy life of St Innocent which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii. But Father F. Savio has shown in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xv (1896), pp. 377—384, that the saint really existed, and that there are germs of truth in the legend, though the story is a fiction. See on the other hand the brochure of Canon V. Loge (1913) to which Fr Savio subsequently replied.

Born in Tortona, Italy. Tortured with his parents in his hometown for remaining steadfast to the Christian faith, Saint Innocent was sentenced to be burnt to death managed to escape to Rome. After the peace of Constantine, Innocent was ordained a priest and, about 326, returned to Tortona as bishop, sent there by Pope Saint Silvester (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).
The Departure of St. Zosimus (Zocima). On this day in the middle of the fifth century the ascetic father and the struggling monk Abba Zocima the priest, departed (Coptic)
This Saint was born about the middle of the fourth century from Christian and holy parents, who were from Palestine. When he was five years old they handed him to a righteous old monk, who raised him in a Christian manner and taught him the doctrine of the church, and shortly after they ordained him a deacon. He became a righteous monk and grew in virtues.
He was continually praising God and he read the Scriptures day and night and during work also. When he had completed thirty five years in the monastery they ordained him a priest. Then he increased his ascetic labors and struggle. After spending thirteen years in this struggle the enemy sowed in his mind the evil thought that he was superior to all his contemporaries in virtues and righteousness. But the Lord willed to turn him away from this thought. He sent an angel to him and commanded him to go to the monastery which was near the river Jordan. He rose up and went to the monastery and he found therein righteous old men who were more perfect in their contending than him. He realized that he was far from what he thought in himself and he stayed there with them.
The custom of those monks during the Holy Lent, was that after they had fasted the first weak they partook the Holy Communion, then they left the monastery singing the twenty six psalm, and at the end of it, they prayed together. Then the abbot blessed them and they bed farewell to each other. Then they dispersed in the desert of Jordan and each of them carried out his spiritual fight by himself. St. Zosimus used to go out with them each year wondering in the desert asking God to show him who was more perfect than him.
As he was wondering about he met Mary the Egyptian (Coptic). He learned from her about her life history and the reason for her wondering in the desert. She asked him to visit her after one year to give her the Holy Mysteries. He came to her in the next year and gave her the Holy Communion. In the year after he revisited her again but he found her had departed and he buried her and told the monks of the monastery concerning her strife. After he had lived ninety nine years he departed in peace.  May his prayers be with us. Amen.

435 Saint Acacius, Bishop of Melitene firm supporter of Orthodoxy  gift of wonderworking made rain, checked flood, stopped dome from collapse 3rd Ecumenical Council 431 he defended the Orthodox teaching of the Two Natures (Divine and Human) of the Savior, and of His seedless Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mother of God
Born into a pious family in the Armenian city of Melitene. His parents were childless for a long time. They prayed for a son, and vowed to dedicate him to God.

Therefore, Acacius was given to Bishop Ostrychius of Melitene (November 7) to serve the Church. St Ostrychius was a firm supporter of Orthodoxy. When the heresy of Macedonius arose, it was  St Ostrychius set forth Orthodox teaching about the Holy Spirit as 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity One in Essence Undivided at the 2nd Ecumenical Council 381.

The holy hierarch raised Acacius with love, made him a reader, and then ordained him a deacon and then to the holy priesthood. St Acacius devoutly served the Church. He instructed both adults and children in the Holy Scripture, and in the Orthodox Confession of faith.  Among his disciples was St Euthymius the Great (January 20).
After the death of St Ostrychius, St Acacius was elevated to the bishop's throne of Melitene by general acclamation.

He wisely governed his diocese. By his firm faith, humility and deeds, the saint acquired the gift of wonderworking. Once, during a dry summer, the saint celebrated Liturgy in an open field, suddenly the wine in the Holy Chalice was mixed by the falling rain, which fell throughout the land.
He prayed during a flood, and the advancing river turned away and did not rise higher than the stone which he had placed at the riverbank. On one of the islands of the River Azar, despite the opposition of the pagans, the saint built a temple in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos. The builders of the church either through carelessness or through malice, were not careful in building the dome. During the Liturgy the dome was ready to collapse. The people rushed out of the church in terror. But the saint halted their flight saying, "The Lord is the defender of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 26/27:1). The dome remained suspended in the air. Only when the services were ended, and the saint was the last one to emerge from the church, did the dome collapse, causing harm to no one. After this, the church was rebuilt.
St Acacius participated in the Third Ecumenical Council (431) and he defended the Orthodox teaching of the Two Natures (Divine and Human) of the Savior, and of His seedless Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mother of God.
St Acacius peacefully fell asleep in the Lord around the year 435. He should not be confused with St Acacius the Confessor (March 31), who was also a bishop of Melitene.

536 Saint Agapitus wonderworker healer of the blind and lame defended the Orthodox teaching against the heretic Severus Bishop of Rome
A zealous adherent of Orthodoxy. By his pious life he won the general esteem and was elevated to the See of Rome in the year 535.
The Gothic king Theodoric the Great sent Agapitus to Constantinople for peace negotiations.
Along the way, St Agapitus encountered a man who was lame and mute. He healed him of his lameness, and after receiving the Holy Mysteries the mute one spoke.
After arriving in Constantinople, the saint healed a blind beggar.
At that time, a local Council was convened in Constantinople. St Agapitus participated in it and zealously defended the Orthodox teaching against the heretic Severus, who taught that the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ was subject to decay similar to every man's body.
St Agapitus died at Constantinople in the year 536.
Agapitus (I.) von Rom Orthodoxe Kirche: 17. April Katholische Kirche: 20. September
Agapitus, Sohn eines römischen Priesters, wurde 535 zum Bischof von Rom gewählt. Er starb am 10.04.536 nach zehnmonatiger Amtszeit. In dieser Zeit setzte er den Kirchenbann gegen Dioskur (Gegenpapst um 530) außer Kraft und ermöglichte die Umsetzung der Konzilsbeschlüsse von Karthago und Chalcedon (451).
Gotenkönig Theoderich sandte Agapitus zu Friedensverhandlungen mit dem byzantinischen Kaiser Justinian nach Konstantinopel. Auf dem Weg soll Agapitus zwei Kranke geheilt haben. In Konstantinopel soll er den Patriarchen Anthimos als Monophysiten verbannt und abgesetzt und an seiner Stelle Menas (Gedenktag 25.8.) als Patriarchen eingesetzt haben. Er starb in Konstantinopel.

540 Pantagathus of Vienne courtier of King Clovis left to study for the priesthood priest then bishop of Vienne B (RM)
Viénnæ, in Gállia, sancti Pantágathi Epíscopi.
    At Vienne in France, Bishop St. Pantagathus.
Saint Pantagathus, a courtier of King Clovis, left the court in order to study for the priesthood. He was ordained and later raised to be bishop of Vienne (Benedictines).

568 St. Villicus Bishop of Meta, France, from 543
He was mentioned in the writings of Venantius Fortunatus.
616-618 Donnan & Companions Irishman monk converted Many to Christianity through efforts Eigg has remained Catholic "as if by special blessing of these martyrs" MM (AC)
(also known as Dounan) Died in Eigg, c. 616-618.

618  SS. DONNAN AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
ST DONNAN was one of the many Irishmen who followed St Columba to Iona. Afterwards, with fifty-two companions, he founded a monastery on the island of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides. They were all slaughtered by some robbers, who descended on them while the abbot was celebrating the Holy Mysteries on the night of Easter. St Donnan was allowed to finish the sacrifice, and then gathered his brethren into the refectory, which seems to have been set on fire, the robbers slaying with the sword those who tried to escape. A story says that the raid was instigated by a woman who had formerly pastured sheep on the island and resented the loss of it to the monks.
The Félire of Oengus gives April 17 as the date of the massacre, and other old calendars record this date as their feast-day. Several Scottish churches were dedicated in honour of St Donnan and there is a Kildonan and a St Donnan’s well on Eigg; his feast is still observed in the diocese of Argyll and the Isles.

See Forbes, KSS., p. 325; O’Hanlon, LIS., vol. iv, p. 550; and Whitley Stokes, Martyrology of Oengus, pp. 114—117. On the date, see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxiii, pp. 121—122; and for the text, ibid., li, 126.

Saint Donnan was an Irishman monk of whom little is known except that he must have been one of the most active early Scottish saints judging from the trail of place names (usually Kildonan) stretching from Galloway to Perth and Aberdeenshrie in Uig, South Suist, Sutherland, Arran, and Eigg. Many were converted to Christianity through his efforts.

Some say he was a monk of Iona under Saint Columba; others that he was associated with the Pictish Chuch and followed the missionary path of Saint Ninian

He eventually established a community of monks on the island of Eigg at Loch Ewe in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. While he was celebrating Mass on Easter eve, a gang of armed men arrived.
When Mass was over, they herded the 52 monks into the refectory, set fire to it. Those who tried to escape were killed by the sword.

According to D'Arcy, the record of Columba's death in the Martyrology of Aengus prophesies Donnan's end: "Donnan then went with his monastic family to the Western Isle and they took up their abode there in a place where the sheep of the queen of the country were kept. 'Let them be killed,' said she. 'That would not be a religious act," said her people. But they were murderously assailed.
At this time the cleric was at Mass. 'Let us have respite till Mass is ended,' said Donnan. 'Thou shalt have it,' said they. And went it was over they were slain, every one of them."

Thus, it is said that the deed was prompted by the local chieftainess, who resented the monks' presence on the island, or by a local woman who lost grazing rights; but it may simply have been a Viking raid.
The monks, whose names are recorded in the Martyrology of Tallaght compiled c. 792, are viewed as martyrs. His feast is kept at Argyll and the Isles. His staff was venerated at Husterless until its destruction during the Reformation. Eigg has remained Catholic "as if by special blessing of these martyrs" (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Farmer, Gill, Montalembert, Moran, Simpson, Skene).
7th v. Saint  Potentienne Christian virgin death in Spain
Saint Potentienne was a Christian virgin who was known only after her death in Spain (Encyclopedia)
700-730 St. Landericus Benedictine bishop of Meaux in France
The son of Sts. Vincent Madelgarus and Waldetrudis, he resigned his see in 650 to become abbot of Soignies, Belgium.

Landericus of Soignies, OSB B (AC) (also known as Landry of Metz)  Saint Landry was the eldest of the saintly children of SS. Vincent Madelgarus and Waudru. From 641 to 650 he was bishop of Meaux (or Metz?), but on the death of his father, Landry resigned his see in order to undertake the governance of the abbey of Soignies (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Saint Landry is pictured as a bishop with an open razor on a book. He may also be portrayed with his father Saint Vincent Madelgar (Roeder).
756 St. Wando Benedictine  monk and abbot of Fontenelle Abbey France
Sometimes listed as Vando. He was removed as abbot and exiled to Troyes as a result of false accusations. He returned after his innocence was proven.

Wando of Fontenelle, OSB Abbot (AC) also known as Vando. Saint Wando was a monk and abbot of Fontenelle.
As a result of a false accusation, he was exiled to Troyes but reinstated after his innocence had been proved (Benedictines).
856 St. Elias priest Spanish martyr with Paul and Isidore by the Moors
Córdubæ, in Hispánia, sanctórum Mártyrum Elíæ Presbyteri, Pauli et Isidóri Monachórum, qui, in persecutióne Arábica, ob Christiánæ fidei professiónem, interémpti sunt.
    At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyrs Elias, a priest, and the monks Paul and Isidore, who were slain in the Arab persecution for the profession of the Christian faith.
He was a priest of Cordoba, Spain, quite elderly. Isidore and Paul were catechists. They were put to death by the Moors of the city. St. Eulogius gave a vivid account of their martyrdom.
Elias, Paul & Isidore MM (RM). Elias, a priest of Cordova, Spain, was put to death by the Moors in his old age together with Paul and Isidore, two young men under his spiritual direction.
Saint Eulogius, an eye-witness, wrote an account of their martyrdom (Benedictines).
1067 St. Robert of Chaise Dieu priest canon Benedictine abbot founder love of the poor hospices housed 300 monks under the Benedictine Rule;a collection of his miracles.
In monastério Casæ Dei, Claromontánæ diœcésis, in Gállia, sancti Robérti Confessóris, qui ejúsdem monastérii cónditor et primus Abbas éxstitit.
    In the monastery of Chaise-Dieu, in the diocese of Clermont, St. Robert, confessor, the founder and first abbot of the monastery.

1067 ST ROBERT OF CHAISE-DIEU, ABBOT
The founder and first abbot of the monastery of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne was Robert de Turlande, who after a blameless youth was raised to the priesthood, becoming a Canon of the church of St Julian at Brioude. His fervent charity showed itself in his zeal for the public worship of God as well as in his devotion to the sick poor. At one time he contemplated assuming the religious habit at Cluny, but he never seems actually to have taken the step. In order to obtain guidance as to his vocation he made a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles in Rome. Upon his return he was consulted by a knight called Stephen, who was anxious to know what he ought to do to expiate his past sins. When St Robert advised him to leave the world to serve God in the solitary life, Stephen promptly declared himself quite ready to do so, provided Robert would accompany him. This appeared to the saint to be the direct answer to his prayer for light, and he acknowledged that he had for some time been considering the matter.
Stephen set to work enthusiastically, and not only won a second recruit in the person of another knight, but also discovered a suitable place for their settlement in a deserted spot beside a ruined church some five leagues from Brioude. Here they built themselves cells, and embarked on a life of prayer and of manual work, which soon provided for their simple wants and enabled them to assist the poor. Within three years, the fame, of the hermits had attracted so many disciples that it became necessary to organize a monastery. People came forward with donations, and buildings arose which developed into the great abbey of Chaise-Dieu, with 300 monks to whom St Robert gave the Benedictine rule. Chaise-Dieu became the mother-house of other monasteries, but in 1640 the congregation was absorbed in that of Saint-Maur.
The Life of St Robert was written within thirty years of his death by Marbod, bishop of Rennes. It is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. iii (under April 24), and by Mabillon (Acta Sanctorum O.S.B., vol. vi, part 2, pp. 188—197). There is also, ibidem, another sketch of his history by Bernard, a monk of Chaise-Dieu, with a collection of his miracles. Cf. Bulletin Historique a scientifique d’Auvergne, 1906, pp. 47, 72, 82, 116.
Born in Auvergne, France, he was originally known as Robert de Turlande. After becoming a priest and canon of St. Julian’s in Brioude, he founded a hospice, earning distinction for his care of the poor. He then gave himself over to the spiritual direction of St. Odilo at Cluny, France. After making a pilgrimage to Rome, he was moved to give up his life at Cluny and to settle near Brioude, Auvergne, with a fellow hermit, a former knight named Stephen.
There he attracted followers and built the abbey of Casa Dei to house the burgeoning community of three hundred monks.

Robert of Chaise-Dieu, OSB Abbot (RM) (also known as Robert de Turlande) Born in Auvergne, France; died 1087 (or 1067?); canonized in 1095. Saint Robert de Turlande, descended from Saint Gerald of Aurillac, was a canon of Saint Julian's Church at Brioude. He was noted for his love of the poor, for whom he founded a hospice.
After spending many years at Cluny under Saint Odilo and having made a pilgrimage to Rome, Robert retired to the solitude near Brioude in Auvergne where he attracted many followers.

With the help of a penitent knight named Stephen, founded Chaise- Dieu. More buildings soon arose to accommodate all of Saint Robert's disciples. These developed into the great abbey of Casa Dei (House of God) or Chaise-Dieu (Chair of God). At its height Chaise-Dieu housed 300 monks under the Benedictine Rule.
It also became the motherhouse of an important Black Benedictine congregation (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).
1117 Blessed Gervinus of Oudenburg monk hermit  governor of the abbey of Aldenbury (Oudenburg) in Flanders OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Gervais or Geruln) Born in Flanders. Gervinus had the soul of a pilgrim travelling from Rome to Jerusalem; though through obedience he settled first as a monk of Saint-Winnoc, then as a hermit at Munster, and finally, from 1095, as the governor of the abbey of Aldenbury (Oudenburg) in Flanders (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1134 Stephen Harding one of the founders of the Cistercians  OSB Cist. Abbot (RM)
Cistércii, in Gállia, sancti Stéphani Abbátis, qui primus erémum Cisterciénsem incóluit, et sanctum Bernárdum, cum sóciis ad se veniéntem, lætus excépit.
   
At Citeaux in France, St. Stephen, abbot, who was first to live in the Cistercian desert and who joyfully welcomed St. Bernard and his companions when they came to him.
Born probably in Sherborne, Dorsetshire, England; died at Cîteaux, France, March 28; canonized in 1623; his feast is celebrated on July 16 among the Cistercians.
1134 ST STEPHEN HARDING, ABBOT OF CITEAUX, CO- FOUNDER OF THE Cistercian ORDER
ST STEPHEN HARDING, the Englishman who helped to found the monastery of Citeaux, and who actually framed the Cistercian constitution, was educated at the abbey of Sherborne in Dorsetshire. Nothing is known of his parentage or family. He seems to have left the abbey without any very definite idea of becoming a monk, and went first to Scotland and then to Paris, probably to study and to see something of the world. With a friend, he made a journey to Rome which was, in the true sense, a pilgrimage, for we are told that the two young men used every day to recite the whole psalter together. On the way back, as they passed through a forest in Burgundy, they came upon a collection of rough huts, inhabited by monks who were living a life of poverty, their time being divided between prayer and the hard manual work which provided them with vegetables. Their self-abnegation and austerity made an immediate appeal to Stephen, and, leaving his friend to continue his journey alone, he remained at Molesmes and threw in his lot with the monks. In St Robert the abbot and St Alberic the prior he found kindred spirit and all rejoiced in their holy fellowship of prayer and mortification as well as in a poverty which sometimes amounted to absolute want. After some years, however, it seemed to Stephen and to some of the others that the spirit of the place had departed; and in 1098 Abbot Robert accompanied by Alberic, Stephen and four others, went to Lyons and, in an interview with Archbishop Hugh, who was also the papal legate in France, the applied for permission to leave Molesmes. He at once appreciated their aims and gave them the authorization in a document the terms of which have been preserved. St Robert released the brethren from their vows of obedience to him, and he and twenty of the monks left Molesmes.
It is not certain whether they allowed themselves to be led by chance, or whether they had already selected as their future home the loneliest and most uncultivated spot they knew. In any case they found their way to Citeaux, then a gloomy place in the heart of the forest, far removed from any human habitation. Rainald, the lord of Beaune, willingly gave them the site, and Odo, Duke of Burgundy, who had heard of them from Archbishop Hugh, sent some workmen to assist them in building their monastery.

On March 21, 1098, the new abbey was inaugurated, with Robert as abbot, Alberic as prior, and Stephen as sub-prior, but the following year the monks of Molesmes, finding that they fared very badly without their former abbot, petitioned Rome that Robert should be sent back to them. He had never really been a leader in the migration to Citeaux and he seems to have been glad to return to Molesmes, to judge from an allusion in a contemporary letter to Robert’s “wonted fickleness”.
Alberic now became abbot of Citeaux with Stephen as prior, but the troubles of the new foundation were only beginning. It took time to convert the virgin forest into arable land, and the brethren were often reduced to great straits. Nevertheless they kept a good heart and continued to serve God according to the strict rule of St Benedict, reinforced by usages of their own.
In 1109 Bd Alberic died and Stephen was elected abbot in his place. His first act was to decree that magnates should no longer be permitted to hold their courts at Citeaux—thus apparently cutting off the abbey’s greatest earthly support and alienating for a time Odo’s successor, Duke Hugh. His second measure was even more severe. He forbade the use of anything costly in the service of God: there must be nothing which tended to pomp. Chalices where to be silver gilt, chasubles of good common stuff, and so forth. But the immediate result of these regulations was to discourage visitors and to dry up still further the supply of novices—already a source of anxiety. The day came when starvation stared them in the face, but the monks remained loyal. Then the abbot made a great venture of faith. He bade one of the brethren go to the market of Vézelay and there buy three horses and three waggons, which he was to bring back laden with the necessaries of life. When the monk asked for the money required, the abbot replied he had only threepence. The brother obediently started forth, and upon his arrival in Vézelay told his errand to a friend who lived there. The good man immediately rushed to the bedside of a rich neighbour who was dying, and induced him to give a sum which covered all the purchases required.
But their numbers still diminished. A mysterious disease appeased amongst them which carried off one monk after another, until even Stephen’s stout heart quailed before the prospect of the future, and he began to wonder if he were really doing the will of God. Addressing a dying monk the abbot asked him to bring back word from beyond the grave to let him know the divine will—if God would allow it. Soon after his death the monk appeared to Stephen as he was out in the fields, and assured him not only that his way of life was pleasing to God but that recruits would soon come who, “like bees swarming in haste and overflowing the hive, would fly away and spread themselves through many parts of the world.”
Thus assured, Stephen was satisfied to wait for the fulfilment of the prophecy. Certainly no one could have foreseen how dramatically that answer would come.

At the monastery gates appeared one day a troop of thirty men, who announced to the astonished porter that they had come to crave admittance and to offer themselves to the religious life. They were all of noble lineage, mostly also in their early prime, and they had as their leader and spokesman a young man of singular beauty whose name was Bernard. He had been moved to give up the world, but being a youth of keen affections he had no mind to enter the way of perfection himself and leave his friends outside. One after another, he had gained over his brothers, his uncle, and a number of his acquaintances. This was the turning-point from henceforth there was no lack of novices and no fear of starvation, for the new foundation was drawing upon itself the attention and admiration of France. It was also the culminating event in St Stephen’s history: his personality almost disappears in the two great tasks now before him—the training of St Bernard and the constitution of the Cistercian Order.
Increasing numbers soon necessitated a daughter house, and a foundation was made at Pontigny. Two other houses, Morimond and then Clairvaux, followed, and to the general surprise Stephen appointed Bernard abbot of Clairvaux, although he was only twenty-four years of age. To bind these monasteries to CÎteaux, Stephen instituted an annual general chapter which the heads of the affiliated abbeys were bound to attend. In 1119, when nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux and Clairvaux, St Stephen drew up a body of statutes, the Charter of Charity, which both organized the Cistercians as an order and regulated their mode of life.
It was only when he was old and very nearly blind that St Stephen laid down his pastoral staff to prepare for the end. As he lay on his death-bed, he heard some of the monks round him extolling him and saying that he would be able to enter fearlessly into the presence of God. Raising himself, he rebuked them, saying, “Indeed, I assure you that I am going to God as trembling and as anxious as if I had never done any good. For if there has been in me any good at all, and if any fruit has been produced from my littleness, it was through the help of the grace of God: and I fear greatly lest perhaps I have husbanded that grace less jealously and less humbly than I ought to have done.” These were his last words before he went to his reward. As well as by the Cistercians, the feast of St Stephen Harding is kept in the dioceses of Westminster and (on March 28) Plymouth. He was canonized in 1623.

Materials for the study of the early history of the Cistercian Order are tolerably ample. We have the Exordium Parvum, the Exordium Magnum, and the works of such chroniclers as William of Malmesbury and Ordericus Vitalis, as well as a life of St Robert of Molesmes. For English readers Father Dalgairns contributed to the “Lives of English Saints” series an excellent biography of St Stephen Harding this was reprinted separately with additional notes by Fr Herbert Thurston in 1898, and was reissued in U.S.A. in 1946. Several im­portant articles upon the early days of Citeaux have been contributed to the periodical Die Cistercienser-Chronik by P. Gregor Muller, notably that entitled “Citeaux unter dem Abte Alberich”, vol. xxi (1909), nn. 239—243. For the Charter of Charity, see D. Knowles, The Monastic Order in England (1949), pp. 208—216.
Saint Stephen, one of the founders of the Cistercians, was an Englishman of unknown parentage. While he was yet a child, they offered him as an oblate to Sherborne Abbey in Dorsetshire, where he was educated. When he reached maturity, he detested the monastic lifestyle and set out to see the world. He travelled to Scotland, and then on to Paris to study further.
As a Benedictine monk he travelled on pilgrimage to Rome, reciting the Psalms daily as he went, but it was no perfunctory repetition, for he drew from them a strength which refreshed his spirit, and their influence deeply affected the rest of his life.
Some say that he had wandered through Europe seeking a community where the Benedictine Rule was strictly kept and had almost given up hope, when he met Saint Robert of Molesmes, a native of Champagne. On Stephen's return from Rome, he and a friend came across a community of monks living a very austere and solitary life in the forest of Langres in Burgundy. Their life of prayer, hard work, and strict adherence to the austere rule of Saint Benedict attracted Stephen, and he settled there. Among the monks were Saint Robert, the abbot, and Saint Alberic.
Everything went well until the bishop of Troyes took it upon himself to moderate the austerities of these enfants terribles and to give them property so they would not be "devoured" by their zeal.
The community's devotion to poverty was bypassed and little by little the Benedictines of Molesmes became canons.
Disappointed to find that its discipline had become slack and that wealth and worldliness had bred indifference, Robert no longer desired to be the abbot and left. But the monks of Molesmes increasingly deviated from the rule and the other two, each becoming abbot for a time, in turn departed for the diocese of Langres following Robert's example.
The bishop of Troyes ordered all three to return to Molesmes, but they could not rekindle the flame of enthusiasm, so the three left again. In order to escape the jurisdiction of the bishop of Troyes, they sought refuge in another jurisdiction. Stephen accompanied Robert and Alberic to Lyons to ask the Archbishop Hugh, the papal legate to France, for permission to leave Molesmes to create a stricter order.

The legate made known his opinion in 1098: "We have thought that the best thing would be for you to retire to another convent which the Divine Goodness will grant you. We have therefore permitted you who have appeared before us, Abbot Robert, Brothers Alberic and Stephen and all those who are determined to follow you, to execute this good plan and we exhort you to persevere therein."
What is comforting to note is that in the Church, if a work is good, the Holy Spirit gets involved in it
and sooner or later, someone always presents himself to support and activate it.

Thus, the permission was granted, and Saint Robert and 20 others, built a monastery at Cîteaux, diocese of Châlon-sur- Saône, in the heart of the forest. The site was chosen, not for its majestic beauty, but because Rainald, the lord of Beaune, gladly donated the site to them. The monastery opened in 1098 with Robert as abbot, Alberic as prior, and Stephen as subprior.
Saint Robert returned to Molesmes about a year later at the order of Urban II. The other two shifted positions respectively to abbot and prior.

During Alberic's reign, the new order received definitive approval from Pope Pascal II and was placed under the protection of the Holy See.
The Benedictines of Cîteaux received a white habit and made their solemn professions on March 21, 1098, Passion Sunday.

Stephen assisted at the death of Alberic on January 26, 1109. Alberic was the first of the trio to prepare a meeting place for them with God. Stephen missed Alberic, his friend, his "companion in arms," his "general in the battles of the Lord," in the time that they were placed "in the front line of the battle." Stephen's character and temperament are well expressed in this military language.
In the following year, on March 21, 1110, there was a second departure for eternity. Robert died. Stephen was the sole survivor of the three. This vouched-safe, original Cistercian, however, was not to conform in all points with the Benedictine prototype because he was to become the champion of the most absolute poverty with an almost Franciscan insistence.

With the death of Alberic, Stephen found himself elected abbot of Cîteaux against his will.
He was now to induce the others to follow him on the path to poverty that was his preferred route. Stephen decreed that magnates could no longer hold their courts at Cîteaux, and thus cut off feudal sources of income, from which the abbey had derived most of its revenue. Until that time the duke of Burgundy and his court could break the sacred silence of Cîteaux whenever he desired.

At Cîteaux they framed the rule of a new order, that of the Cistercians, the Charter of Charity with its insistence on poverty, solitude, and simplicity, and here for years they lived out their poor and barren life. They passed their days in hard manual labor in the fields and vineyards. They raised their own food. They avoided every form of religious corruption and ostentation, forebearing the use of rich vestments, stained glass, and altar vessels of gold and silver, wearing the simplest dress, and allowing only a crucifix of painted wood. Their church was unadorned, their worship plain and severe, but along with such bare austerity they combined grace and beauty.
During those 15 years nothing remarkable happened. On the contrary, the little company made no headway, attracted no new followers, and it seemed a hopeless enterprise. Stephen's changes discouraged visitors, which had been a source of new recruits. Combined with a disease that killed several monks, this caused the number of monks to dwindle significantly, and Stephen began to doubt his actions.
But they had great faith and patience, pursuing their work with untiring devotion, and in the end their perseverance was rewarded.

One time Stephen sent a friar to the market of Vézelay with three pennies and the instruction to bring back to Cîteaux "all the necessaries of life." The friar actually came back to Cîteaux with three wagons, drawn by three horses, laden with clothes and food because at just the right moment he had found in the market place a man who wanted to bequeath a part of his fortune to the monks.
Stephen's trust in God's providence was warranted again.

Yet, because the order did not flourish, Stephen asked a dying monk to "come back after your death, when God wills and if He will allow it, to tell us if our way of life is pleasing to Him, and if our work is to perish." The response came a few days later when Stephen was working in the fields:
"I say unto you, in truth, dispel all your doubts, consider it certain that your life is holy and agreeable to God."

Then there came a dramatic day in 1112 when a company of 30 men made their way through the forest to Cîteaux to join them and changed the destiny of the order.
The company was of excellent quality, for they belonged to some of the noblest families of Burgundy, and were led by Bernard, afterwards famous as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. They presented themselves as novices and their arrival brought new hope and strength to the community; there followed an era of remarkable expansion, which, in time, infused fresh life into Western Christendom.

From that point, Cistercian communities thrived and spread rapidly, and there were no less than 90 of them--including Pontigny, Morimond, and Clairvaux--when Stephen Harding died. Although Bernard was only 24, Stephen appointed him abbot of Clairvaux. Stephen ruled that the abbots of the monasteries must meet at Clairvaux each year, and that the abbot of the motherhouse must make a visitation of each abbey every year; these rules served to safeguard the original spirit and observance.

In addition to being a Biblical scholar, and perhaps an artist, Stephen was an excellent administrator. In 1119, when there were already ten monasteries, Stephen drew up and presented to the general chapter at Cîteaux a constitution for the Cistercians--the Charter of Charity (Carta caritatis). This charter defined the spirit of the order and provided for the unity of the association of Cistercian abbeys. It is a document of prime importance in Western monastic history because it would influence other orders. The high ideals, the careful organization, the austerity and simplicity of the Cistercian life are an index to the character of Stephen Harding.

He also made emendations to the Vulgate Bible that were designed for the use of Cîteaux. He continued directing the monasteries until 1133, when he was quite old and losing his sight. His last words, uttered on March 28, 1134, were: "I am going to God as I had never done any good. If I have done some good, it was through the help of the grace of God. But perhaps I have received this grace unworthily, without turning it sufficiently to account."
In England, beginning with a thatched barn situated in a wild and narrow glen, there rose their most famous and glorious Cistercian abbey of Fountains. Thus the story of the Cistercians, which is linked for ever with the names of Stephen Harding and Bernard of Clairvaux, is of the reform of the Benedictine Order (for that also resulted) and of a great spiritual awakening. Harding's fellow countryman, William of Malmesbury, wrote of him that he was "approachable, good-looking, always cheerful in the Lord--everyone liked him" (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Dalgairns, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, White).
In art, Saint Stephen Harding is depicted as a Cistercian abbot with the Virgin Mary and the Infant appearing to him (Roeder, White). He may also be pictured with Robert of Molesme (Roeder).
1178 Blessed Eberhard of Marchtal  Premonstratensian monk O.Praem. (PC)
The Premonstratensian monk Eberhard of Roth was provost of Marchtal in Swabia, Germany, when it was handed over to his order in 1166 (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1178 BD EBERHARD OF MARCHTHAL, ABBOT
As early as the year 1100 the counts of Swabia had built or restored a minster at Marchthal on the southern bank of the Danube and installed in it secular canons. In time the foundation languished: canons died and were not replaced, others voluntarily abandoned the house—“preferring fat oxen to lean”, as the old chronicler expresses it. At last it became derelict and entirely deserted. The sight of the ruined buildings in which the praises of God were no longer chanted was a source of grief to Elizabeth, the wife of Hugo, Count of Tubingen; and at her request Hugo rebuilt the monastery, which he handed over to the Premonstratensians of Roth as a thank-offering for his success in battle, The gift was a valuable one, including four churches, large tracts of land, and fishing rights in the Danube. Over the twelve canons who came from Roth was set Eberhard of Wolfegg, a very holy man who had given up great riches and the dignity of archdeacon to enter the Premonstratensian Order. He ruled Marchthal with great success for twelve years and died in the year 1178.
There seems to be no formal biography of Eberhard, nor has there ever been any authori­tative recognition of his claim to be liturgically honoured, but an account of him is given in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii. See also F. Walter, Geschichte des Klosters Ober­marchtal, pp. 5—7, and J. Vochezer, Geschichte des Hauses Waldburg, vol. i, pp. 5—6.
1367 Blessed James of Cerqueto Many miracles occurred at his tomb OSA (AC)
Born in Cerqueto (near Perugia), Italy; cultus approved in 1895. James joined the Augustinian friar hermits in Perugia. Many miracles occurred at his tomb (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1367 BD JAMES OF CERQUETO
HISTORY has little to tell concerning Bd James of Cerqueto, who entered the order of the Hermits of St Augustine at Perugia when still very young and lived until extreme old age a life almost entirely devoted to prayer. It was to his prayers that his brethren attributed the permission they received sometimes to wear white habits in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Like many other saints who have led the eremitic life he had great power over animals. During his open-air preaching it was noticed that the very frogs ceased their croaking at his bidding, to allow his words to be heard by those for whom they were intended. He died in the church of St Augustine at Perugia on April 17, 1367. Owing to the number of miracles reported as having taken place at his tomb, Horatius, bishop of Perugia, caused his body to be enshrined in 1754 and carried in solemn procession through the city.

The cultus of Bd James was confirmed in 1895. The decree, giving a brief sketch of his life, may be found in the Analecta Ecclesiastica for 1895, pp. 253—254. A short account of the beato was printed in the same year by A. Rotelli, Ii beato Giacomo da Cerqueto.
1419 Blessed Clare Gambacorta both devout and penitential Poor Clares OP Widow (AC)
(also known as Thora or Theodora of Pisa) Born in Venice(?), Italy, in 1362; beatified by Pope Pius VIII in 1830.

1419 BD CLARE OF PISA, WIDOW
THIS Bd Clare was the child of Peter Gambacorta, who became virtually head of the Pisan republic, and she was born in 1362; Bd Peter of Pisa (Gambacorta junior; June 17) was her brother, seven years older than herself. To provide for the future of his little daughter, familiarly known as Thora (short for Theodora), her father betrothed her to Simon de Massa, a wealthy youth of good family, although the child was only seven years old. Yet, young as she was, she was wont to slip off her betrothal ring during Mass and murmur; “Lord, thou knowest that I desire no love but thine”. At the age of twelve when she was sent to her husband’s home, she had already begun to practise severe mortifications. Her mother-in-law was kind, but upon discovering that Thora was over-lavish in her gifts to the poor she ceased to allow her access to the household stores. Her charitable instincts thus thwarted in one direction, the young bride joined a band of ladies who ministered to the sick, and she took as her special charge a poor woman afflicted with a distressing form of cancer. Thora’s wedded life was of short duration: she and her husband fell ill of an epidemic disease which cost him his life. As she was only fifteen her relations set about arranging another marriage, but she was old enough to assert herself, and her decision to remain a widow was strengthened by a letter from St Catherine of Siena, whose acquaintance she had made when that holy woman had Visited Pisa.
As a first step, Thora cut off her hair and distributed her fine clothes to the poor—much to the indignation of her mother- and sisters-in-law. Then, secretly, through the intermediary of a servant, she arranged for admission into the Poor Clares. Stealing out of the house she made her way to the convent, where she was immediately clothed with the habit, assuming at the same time the name of Clare, by which she was from thenceforth to be known. The following day her brothers appeared at the gates to demand her return, and the terrified nuns let her down over the wall into the hands of her kinsmen, who took her home in disgrace. Although she was kept a prisoner in her father’s house for five months, neither threats nor starvation could shake her determination.
At last Peter Gambacorta relented, and not only allowed his daughter to enter the Dominican priory of Holy Cross, but promised to build another house of the order. She now became associated with Mary Mancini, also a widow, and destined like herself to be raised to the altars of the Church. The teaching of St Catherine of Siena strongly influenced the two women who, when they were transferred to Gambacorta’s new foundation in 1382, succeeded in inaugurating observance of their rule in its primitive austerity. This house, in which Bd Clare was at first sub-prioress and then prioress, became the training centre for many saintly women who afterwards carried the reform movement to other Italian cities. To this day, enclosed Dominican nuns are often spoken of in Italy as “Sisters of Pisa”. They led a contemplative life of prayer, manual work and study: “Never forget”, said Bd Clare’s director, “that in our order very few have become saints who were not likewise scholars.”
During the rest of her life, the holy prioress was beset by financial difficulties in connection with her convent, which required alterations and extensions. Nevertheless, when a large sum of money came into her hands with the option of using it for the priory, she preferred to give it for the establishment of a foundling hospital. Perhaps, however, her most conspicuous virtues were her sense of duty and her forgiving spirit—both of which she displayed to a heroic degree in exceptional circumstances. Gambacorta, in the midst of his efforts to maintain peace in the city, was treacherously slain by Giacomo Appiano, whose fortune he had made and whom he had refused to mistrust; two of his sons were done to death by the miscreant’s supporters, whilst a third escaped, closely followed by the enemy, to the door of Bd Clare’s convent at which he knocked for admission. Recognizing that her first duty was to protect her daughters from the mob, the prioress refused to break the enclosure. Her brother was hewn down at the threshold, and the shock brought on her a severe illness. But Clare could forgive so completely that she invited Appiano to send her a dish from his table that she might seal her forgiveness by partaking of his bread. In later years, when his widow and daughters were reduced to great straits, she opened the convent doors to receive them.
Bd Clare was a great sufferer towards the close of her life, and as she lay on her death-bed with outstretched arms, she was heard to murmur, “My Jesus, here I am upon the cross”. Just before she died, however, her face was illuminated with a radiant smile and she blessed her daughters absent as well as present. She had reached the age of fifty-seven years. Her cultus was confirmed in 1830.

There is an Italian life by a contemporary, herself a nun, which has been translated into Latin and printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, and there are also a few of Clare’s letters, which have been published. See further M. C. de Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines (1913), pp. 193—238 and Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints, pp. 96—100. A full bibliography will be found in Taurisano, Catalogus hagiographicus O.P., p. 34.
Clare, baptized Victoria, was the only daughter of the pre-eminent family of Pisa, which was in political exile at the time of her birth. When Victoria was seven, the family returned triumphantly to Pisa, and her father, Peter Gambacorta, was installed as chief magistrate of the city, a position full of both glory and uncertainty.

Victoria, a pretty and pious child, used to gather the children together to recite the Rosary. She was both devout and penitential; therefore, she did not relish the marriage her father had arranged for her. Nevertheless, as a dutiful daughter she married and became a dutiful, loving wife. When her young husband died of the plague just three years after their marriage, Victoria was grief-stricken.
She did truly love him. But now that she was free, she determined that no one was going to urge her to marry again.
In the first year of her marriage, when she was 13, Victoria had met the famous and saintly Catherine of Siena, who had come to Pisa to talk to Victoria's father about the league of cities. The saint had advised the lovely young bride to give her heart to God and her husband.

Now that he was dead, Catherine wrote to the 15-year-old widow saying: "Strip yourself of self. Love God with a free and loyal love." Victoria knew that another marriage was being arranged for her, and before the contract could be concluded she fled to the Poor Clares and took the habit and the religious name Sister Clare.
Her brothers forcibly took her home. They locked her up in a dark little room in her own home. For five months she could neither talk to her friends nor receive the sacraments, but she retained the name Clare, and she wore the Franciscan habit.
The pretty, young prisoner was a daughter of her times, and she managed to get errands done by her friends. One by one, her jewels were sent out and sold, and the money was given to the poor. It was the only active charity she could manage from a prison cell. Finally, on Saint Dominic's day, when her father and brothers were away, her mother got her out and took her to Mass. It was the first time in months that she had been able to receive Communion.
Shortly thereafter, a Spanish bishop came to visit the family, and Clare's father asked him to try to talk some sense into the girl. He apparently did not know that the Spaniard had been confessor to Saint Bridget of Sweden, and that he was highly in sympathy with women who wished to dedicate themselves to God. In the end, Clare's family relented and allowed her to make plans to enter a convent. Her contact with Saint Catherine had convinced her that she could be nothing but a Dominican, so she took refuge with the local community until she could build a convent of her own.


Due to the ravages of plague and schism, many convents, including that of the Dominicans of Pisa, were weak in observance and did not live the common life. Clare wanted a strictly religious form of life, and, within four years, with the help of her stepmother, the new convent was built for her and Blessed Mary Mancini. It was first blessed in 1385, and a strict canonical cloister was imposed upon it, forbidding any man but the bishop and the master general from entering.
Eight years later, this strict enclosure was to cost Sister Clare a terrible loss. Her father was betrayed by a man who had always been his friend, and the volatile public turn against him and killed him in the street outside her convent. One of her brothers also fell in the fight, and a second, wounded, begged to be let into the convent. Clare had to tell him, through the window, that she could not open the door to him. While she watched in horror, he was dragged away and killed.
Some time after this, Sister Clare fell seriously ill and was thought to be dying. She made a curious request: some food from the table of the man who had betrayed and killed her father and brothers. The wife of the guilty man sent a basket of bread and fruit; Sister Clare ate the bread and was cured. Shortly afterwards the man who had seized the power unjustly was killed himself, and she offered sanctuary to his widow and daughters.
Clare's brother, Peter, who had fled from the court to become a hermit about the time she went to the Poor Clares, converted a band of highwaymen and began a community of hermits. When his father and brothers were murdered, he wished to go back to secular life and seek revenge, and Clare talked him out of it.
Clare Gamacorta died after a holy life. Many prodigies were reported at her tomb, and there is an interesting little legend to the effect that every time a sister in her house is about to die, the bones of Blessed Clare rattle in her coffin. This gives the sister warning (Attwater2, Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia).
1478 Saint Zosimas, Igumen of Solovki a great luminary of the Russian North founder of cenobitic monasticism on Solovki Island visionary predicted death of Novogorod nobles fed by angels
He was born in Novgorod diocese, in the village of Tolvui near Lake Onega. From his early years he was raised in piety, and after the death of his parents Gabriel and Barbara, he gave away his possessions and received monastic tonsure.

 In search of a solitary place, he journeyed to the shores of the White Sea, and at the mouth of the Suma he met St Herman (July 30), who told him of a desolate sea island, where he had spent six years with St Sabbatius (September 27).

 Around the year 1436, the hermits crossed the sea and landed at the Solovki islands. There St Zosimas had a vision of a beautiful church in the sky. With their own hands the monks built cells and an enclosure, and they began to cultivate and sow the land.

Once, in late autumn, St Herman went to the mainland for provisions. Because of the autumn weather he was not able to return. St Zosimas remained alone on the island all winter. He suffered many temptations in struggles with the demons. Death by starvation threatened him, but miraculously two strangers appeared and left him a supply of bread, flour and oil. In spring St Herman returned to Solovki with the fisherman Mark, and he brought supplies of food and rigging for fishing nets.

When several hermits had gathered on the island, St Zosimas constructed a small wooden church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and a trapeza. At the request of St Zosimas, an igumen was sent from Novgorod to the newly-formed monastery with an antimension for the church. Thus the renowned Solovki monastery had its start. In the severe conditions of the remote island the monks knew how to economize. But the igumens sent from Novgorod to Solovki could not stand life in such harsh conditions, and so the brethren chose St Zosimas as igumen.

St Zosimas occupied himself with building up the inner life of the monastery, and he introduced a strict cenobitic life. In 1465 he transferred the relics of St Sabbatius to Solovki from the River Vyg. The monastery suffered from the Novgorod nobles, who confiscated catches of fish from the monks. The saint was obliged to go to Novgorod and seek the protection of the archbishop.

On the advice of the archbishop, he visited the homes of the nobles and asked them not to permit the ruin of the monastery. The influential and rich Martha Boretskaya impiously gave orders to throw St Zosimas out, but then repented and invited him to a meal. At this meal he suddenly saw that six of the illustrious nobles sat without their heads. St Zosimas told about this vision to his disciple Daniel and predicted an immanent death for the nobles. The prediction was fulfilled in the year 1478, when the boyars were executed during the capture of Novgorod by Ivan III (1462-1505).

Shortly before death, the saint prepared his own grave, in which he was buried beyond the altar of the Transfiguration church (+ April 17, 1478). Later on, a chapel was built over his relics. His relics and the relics of St Sabbatius were transferred to the chapel dedicated to them at the Transfiguration cathedral on August 8, 1566.
Many miracles took place when St Zosimas and St Sabbatius appeared to fishermen who were perishing in the depths of the sea. St Zosimas is also a patron of bee-keeping and preserver of beehives, and he is even called "Bee-keeper."
Those who are sick hasten to St Zosimas, asking to be healed. The many hospital churches dedicated to him attest to the curative
1533 Saint Alexander of Svir died on August 30, 1533 incorrupt relics uncovered in 1641 during reconstruction of the Transfiguration cathedral
Died on August 30, 1533. His incorrupt relics were uncovered in 1641 during the reconstruction of the Transfiguration cathedral.  {below}
The incorrupt relics of the saint were removed from the Svir Monastery by the Bolsheviks on December 20, 1918 after several unsuccessful attempts to confiscate them. There was an infamous campaign to liquidate the relics of the saints which continued from 1919 to 1922. Many relics of Russsian saints were stolen and subjected to "scientific examination" or displayed in antireligious museums. Some were completely destroyed.  Hoping to prove that the relics were fakes, the Soviets conducted many tests. However, the tests only confirmed that the relics were genuine. Finally, the holy relics were sent to Petrograd's Military Medical Academy. There they remained for nearly eighty years.
Probably the most famous place in the White Sea area is the Solovetsky Archipelago, also called Solovki. This cluster of islands covering about 300 square kilometers was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992, as "an outstanding example of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history." The archipelago consists of multiple small islands and six larger islands including the biggest, Greater Solovetsky Island, on which the famous medieval monastery and Kremlin is built.

While the area had prehistoric inhabitants, its beginnings as a religious center date to the mid 15th century. First the local inhabitants told an old Monk, Savvaty, about the island. Later he was joined there in 1436 by a second monk, Zossima who settled there with his followers and established the monastery. Then in 1549 the Monastery came under the leader of Philip whose energy inspired the monks to construct stone churches, roads, canals to connect the numerous lakes. In 1636 a young priest named Nikita came from Moscow and made his home on Anzersky island, the second largest island of the archipelago, a small settled had been established by the monk Eleazar. It was here that Nikita took the new name of Nikon. Later he became Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Later in the 16th century Ivan the Terrible ordered that the monastery fortify itself to defend the northern borders of Russia. Huge boulders were added to the monastery walls and the place became a fortress complete with a military garrison. There were several military actions during the 18th and 19th century. Occasionally, as was common then, the Monastery served as a prison for heretics and criminals.

In 1923, a infamous prison SLON (Solovetsky Camp of Special Purpose) was set up. Hundreds of thousands prisoners were kept on the Island where they were treated poorly, suffered badly and died. The prison was closed in the 1939 and the island became a military school. After WWII it was essentially abandoned until 1965 when restoration of the Solovetsky Kremlin began. In 1974 a small museum was opened, and this has been expanded more recently to a larger museum telling the history of the island and commemorating the prisoners who lived and died there.
1783 St. Benedict Joseph Labré "the Beggar of Rome," a pilgrim recluse devoted to the Blessed Sacrament miracles soaring over the ground, as well as bilocation, is frequently attested in Benedict's case
Romæ natális sancti Benedícti-Joséphi Labre Confessóris, qui contémptu sui et extrémæ voluntáriæ paupertátis laude exstitit insígnis.
    At Rome, the birthday of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, confessor, who was famed for his contempt of self and his great voluntary poverty.
1783 ST BENEDICT JOSEPH LABRE
AMETTES, in the eighteenth century a village in the diocese of Boulogne-sur-Mer, was the birthplace in 1748 of Benedict Joseph Labre, the eldest of the fifteen children of a local shopkeeper of good standing. His parents sent him at the age of twelve to pursue his studies with his uncle, the parish priest of Erin. Here he became so completely absorbed in the Holy Scriptures and the lives of the saints that his uncle had to insist upon the importance of Latin and of secular subjects generally in the education of a candidate for holy orders. The boy, however, had already begun to realize a call to serve God in complete abandonment of the world. The good curé died of cholera, after he and his nephew had spent themselves in assisting other victims of the epidemic in the parish, and Benedict Joseph returned home. His one ambition was now to retire into the most austere religious order he could find. At the age of eighteen, having wrung a reluctant consent from his parents, he started off in mid-winter to walk sixty miles to La Trappe. Here disappointment awaited him: he was too young, he was told, to be admitted. Subsequent attempts to join the Carthusians and the Cistercians were not much more successful. Thrice indeed he was permitted to make trial of his vocation, but he was obviously unsuited to community life: devout indeed he was, but somewhat eccentric the confinement of the cell told on his health as well as on his spirits; he became reduced to a shadow, and his superiors had no option but to dismiss him. “God’s will be done”, he said, as he took a final farewell of the Cistercians of Septfons in 1770.
Benedict now determined to go on pilgrimage to Rome, walking all the way and living on alms. He set out accordingly, staying among other places at Ars, where he met Mr Vianney, father of the future curé. Having crossed the Alps into Italy, he wrote from Piedmont a touching letter to his parents—the last they ever received from him. In it he apologized for the uneasiness he may have caused them and announced his intention of trying to enter an Italian monastery. This he does not appear to have done, for his true vocation began to dawn upon him. Not by shutting himself up in any cloister was he to abandon the world, but by obeying the counsels of perfection without turning his back on the world. Literally and in spirit he must follow the example of our Lord and so many of His saints. With this object in view he embarked upon a life of pilgrimages which led him to the principal shrines in western Europe. Oblivious of wind and weather, he travelled everywhere on foot, carrying neither purse nor scrip nor yet provisions for the way. Often he slept in the open air upon the bare ground; at best he took his rest in a shed or a garret, for he could rarely be induced to accept a bed. He wished to be homeless like his Master. He saluted no man by the way unless specially moved to do so, he seldom opened his lips except to acknowledge or distribute to others the alms which he had received.
As he made his way along the roads absorbed in meditation, or spent whole days of prayer in churches, he was so entirely lost to his surroundings that once, in his later years when he was kneeling before a crucifix, an artist was able to paint the portrait which has preserved his likeness for later generations. His clothing consisted of a ragged old cloak and of broken shoes, whilst his two or three books were carried with his few other possessions in an old sack slung over his back. Was it not written, “Be not solicitous for your body—what you shall put on?” As for that body, Benedict Joseph carried his neglect of it to a degree which provided him with a form of mortification of the flesh more galling than any hairshirt, besides earning the contempt and avoidance which he actually desired.

No one could possibly have a lower opinion of him than he held of himself. He seldom begged if charitable people failed to offer him food, he would pick up orange peel, cabbage stalks, or mouldy fruit from refuse heaps, or would do without. If they gave him money he usually passed it on. A donor of a trifling coin afterwards confessed to having belaboured him with a stick for having, as he thought, shown his contempt at the smallness of the gift by handing it over to another. Benedict bore the beating without a word.
For three years and more the young man wandered about western Europe, not aimlessly, but going from shrine to shrine in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, to Loreto, Assisi, Ban, Einsiedeln, Aix, Compostela. Nor was an undeserved beating an isolated example of ill-treatment. At Moulins he was suspected of theft, and turned out of the church; in Gascony he was arrested for assaulting an injured man whom he had in fact been helping. But he attracted the attention he wished to avoid by an apparently miraculous multiplication of bread for some poor people and by the healing of a confirmed invalid. In the year 1774, after a fifth visit to Einsiedeln, his pilgrimages ceased and he remained in Rome, except for an annual journey to Loreto. His nights were now spent in the ruins of the Colosseum, his days in the various churches of the city. So constantly was he to be seen wherever the Quarant’ Ore was in progress that the Romans nicknamed him “the saint of the Forty Hours”. Many people who knew nothing about him testified after his death to the inspiration they had received from seeing him absorbed in contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament or a crucifix. Increasing infirmities obliged Benedict Joseph to accept the night shelter of a hospice for poor men, and his obedience as well as his true piety greatly impressed those in charge. It was noticed that he always came last to receive his portion of soup, and that often he would give it away to someone he thought more hungry than himself.
At the beginning of Lent 1783, Benedict contracted a chill with a violent cough but he would abandon none of his religious observances. On the Wednesday in Holy Week he managed to attend Mass in his favourite church, Santa Maria dei Monti, but was overcome with faintness. Sympathizers gathered round him as he sat on the steps outside the church, and a butcher who lived near by removed him to his own house. It was quite clear that Benedict was dying. He received the last sacraments and passed away peacefully about eight o’clock in the evening. He was thirty-five years old. Scarcely had he breathed his last when children in the street were heard to raise the cry, “The saint is dead”, and the chorus was taken up all over the city. Within an incredibly short period the name of St Benedict Joseph Labre became known throughout Christendom, and his fame was enhanced by the account of “the beggar of Rome”, which was written by one who had been his confessor during the closing years of his life. He was canonized in 1883, exactly a century later.

Called "the Beggar of Rome," a pilgrim recluse. He was born in Amettes, France, on March 25, 1748, the eldest of eighteen children. Studying under his uncle, a parish priest, at Erin, France, Benedict tried to join the Trappists, Carthusians, and Cistercians but was refused by these orders.

In 1770, he made a pilgrimage to the major shrines of Europe, settling in Rome in 1774. There he lived near the Colosseum and earned fame for his sanctity. Benedict was devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and attended the Forty Hours devotion in the city. He died in Rome on April 16, and was beatified in 1860. He was canonized in 1883.

Benedict Joseph Labre (RM) Born at Amettes (near Boulogne), Arras, France, March 26 (25?), 1748; died in Rome, April 17 (16?), 1783; beatified in 1860; canonized in 1881.
 
Since God leads each of us in our own way, our spiritual life will assume an pattern totally different from that of anyone else. Each of us is one of a kind. Our spirituality then should also be one of a kind. This is shown dramatically in various people's lives.

The story of Saint Benedict caught my eye and my heart. He was born in 18th century France in Amettes, then in the diocese of Boulogne-sur-Mer, to a family of prosperous shopkeepers. His mother claimed to feel his sanctity while she carried him in her womb. Because of his piety he was sent to an uncle who was a parish priest at Erin for his education in Latin, grammar, and mathematics to prepare him for the religious life.  A domestic servant in his uncle's house, probably jealous, used to knock Benedict about when they were alone and forced the youngster to perform chores beyond the strength of his years.
Since Benedict seemed to find this odious treatment amusing, the bully was disarmed.

In freedom from the prying eyes of his preoccupied elders, little Benedict tried his hand at austerities, the recipes for which he found in the dusty library of the presbytery. In addition to almsgiving that gives so much pleasure to the giver, he adopted a minor practice in austerity that was more sane than them all: every night he would replace his pillow with a plank of oakwood. Once upon being surprised while sleeping in this way, he explained, without ostentation: "I do it in order not to sleep too deeply."

He made steady progress in his studies until he was 16. Then, suddenly, he was unable to learn any more. His uncle died of cholera after he and Benedict had ministered to other victims in the parish. Is this the reason he could learn no more? Or was it because Benedict was overcome by the dark night of the soul, as Saint John of the Cross calls this state, in which God forms the soul and prepares it for union with himself?
After his uncle's death, he walked 60 miles to La Trappe to become a monk. He was irresistibly drawn to the very austere order. But he was denied entry. He vainly applied numerous times between 1766 and 1770 for entry into the Trappists, Carthusians, and Cistercians, but each time was sent home. For some of the communities he was too young; others, after admitting him, found him to be suffering such spiritual tortures that they couldn't let him stay; to still others, the failure of his physical health was proof that he could not observe the rule and, therefore, must be rejected.

Finally, Benedict realized that God must have something else in store for him. He went home and told his parents that he felt God was calling him to Rome. Perhaps because he was the eldest of 15 children, they were reluctant but finally gave him their blessing. Off he went on foot to Rome, begging his way.

Those who have never begged say that it's painful only the first time, but this isn't true. One does not knock on all doors in the same way. It is not true that the same words invariably come to mind in front of different faces. Each time is the first time. How tempting then to deprive yourself of a stale piece of bread which even the dogs would forego and to not ask. Begging is not easy. Try stretching out your own hand and you will see how difficult it is to swallow pride and ask for help.

Saint Vincent de Paul understood that the beggar needs us and deprives himself of us because we deprive ourselves of him.
A beggar is a man who is completely at our mercy, and whom we never thank for the opportunity to act in God's Name.

The saint wandered to Italy to seek admission there into a strict monastery or community of hermits. In Italy he experienced inner enlightenment and clearly recognized that it was God's will that, like Saint Alexis, he was to leave his home, his father and mother, and everything that was agreeable in the world, in order to lead a new life, a life of rigorous penance, in the midst of the world, as an eternal pilgrim. From the moment of this recognition, his soul was filled with perfect peace, and all attempts made by confessors to bring him back to an ordered life, with work, failed.

Benedict Joseph wandered. For the next three or four years he wandered about western Europe, going from shrine to shrine. He went to Santiago de Compostella in Spain, to Aix-en-Provence and Paray-le-Monial in France, to Assisi, Loreto, and Bari in Italy. He paid repeated visits to Einsiedeln and to German sanctuaries, made a pilgrimage every year to Loretto, and continued to make Rome his city of perpetual pilgrimage. He always travelled on foot, slept in the open or in some corner, his clothing rags, his body filthy, picking up food where he could, and sharing any money given to him.
As he travelled in his sack-cloth cinched with a rope, he carried with him only his perpetual nourishment: the Imitation of Christ, the New Testament, and a breviary.
His rosary was made from the berries of wild rose bushes, which he would eat when they began to wear out.

He finally settled in Rome in 1774, where he found his vocation as a tramp, wandering the streets with other vagrants. How could this be a vocation? He dressed in rags and wandered from shrine to shrine. Eventually he became widely known as one of the homeless who roamed the streets accepting crumbs of food and clothes that the charitable would give him.

During the day he spent most of his time in churches with perpetual adoration; at night he wandered to the seven major basilicas. He quenched his thirst at the fountains; he lived from remnants of food found in the streets. He slept for a few hours under an arch of the Colosseum at the station of the Cross named "Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross."
As time went on people began to realize that there was something different about this tramp. He became known as the 'beggar of the Colosseum' or the 'beggar of the perpetual adoration.'

It was rumored that he was of high birth but had committed a murder or other heinous crime and now sought atonement. Alms given to him burned in his hand; he passed them on to other who he deemed more needy. He was once beaten by a man who thought Benedict had spurned his offer of money because he gave it away.

His soul hovered constantly over the greatest mysteries of the faith. And, just as all water streams to the sea, so everything carried him on to the mysteries of the Most Holy Trinity.
"When I contemplate the crowning of thorns," he said to the priest who examined him, "I feel myself elevated to the Trinity of God."
"What do you, a man without education, understand about this mystery?" the priest asked.
"I understand nothing about it," Benedict answered, "but I feel myself transported to it." And this transport was sometimes so strong that his soul was carried away and his body lay as though dead.
One day as he was praying at Saint Ignatius' and had fallen into ecstasy, an anxious visitor to the church asked the sacristan in alarm: "What has happened to this beggar?"
Benedict seemed to be swaying in the air. He was in a position that mocked the laws of equilibrium and gravity.
"The saint is in ecstasy," said the sacristan, as though this were the most natural thing in the world, and went on sweeping with his broom.
Such soaring over the ground, as well as bilocation, is frequently attested in Benedict's case. As he worked in painting the interior of the church, Antonio Cavallucci was so impressed by the sight of the saint that he once took him to his studio and painted him. This painting can still be seen at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome, Italy.
 
Image of Saint Benedict Labre courtesy of Saint Charles Borromeo Church 
This painting and his death mask reveal that Benedict was a handsome man with deep-set eyes, strong cheek bones, a perfectly straight and noble nose, high forehead, and gently protruding upper lip. Not only was his soul beautiful, so was his physical body. Perhaps the one transformed the other?
He is reputed to have multiplied bread for the hungry,
and on another occasion to have cured an invalid.
One day some friends found him in a quiet glen on his knees absorbed in prayer. He stayed that way for the longest time. His companions were deeply impressed. They also found out that he had the rare gift of counseling people with the most complex problems and bringing them peace.

His reputation spread throughout Rome and soon strangers from all walks of life came to talk to him: lawyers, doctors, judges, women in society, bishops, cardinals, as well as just ordinary folks. His wisdom and understanding enabled him to bring peace to the most troubled souls. 
He neglected his body and his fragile health finally obliged him to seek refuge in a hospice for poor men. There he was known to give away his portion of the soup.

The man who had spent long hours before the Blessed Sacrament collapsed from exhaustion on the steps of his favorite Roman church, Santa Maria dei Monti, during Holy Week and died, consumed by the inner flame of ceaseless prayer, in the back room of a butcher's shop to which he had been carried.
Since the burial of Saint Philip Neri, there had been no such crowd pressing to see the mortal remains of a servant of God as at the Requiem Mass for Benedict Joseph. The military summoned to the scene had difficulty preserving order.

After his burial, people came from all over Europe to visit his grave and ask his intercession with God. In less than three months after his death, 136 miracles had already been protocoled. The healings and graces people received were so overwhelming that the Vatican was forced to start the process for his canonization as a saint. In record time, in 1883, he was proclaimed a person of rare heroic holiness.

The people of Rome had no doubt about the holiness of this 'new Saint Francis.' He is a late Western example of an ascetical vocation better known in the East, that of the pilgrim or wandering holy man. He also has points of resemblance with the Greek saloi and Russian yurodivy, 'fools for Christ's sake' (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Girzone, de la Gorce, Schamoni, White).

On the day of his canonization Mass, in the crowded Saint Peter's Basilica way above the heads of the congregation was the glorious painting of this sainted tramp dressed in his rags, held up for the veneration and admiration of all the faithful.
"What a strange vocation! And you cannot help but ask why. But it was a time when the whole Christian world had become so materialistic that spiritual things meant little to people. So God called this young man to give up everything and wander the streets of Rome with other homeless people, dressed in the stinking rags of a tramp. "All the while God molded in the depths of his soul a holiness that transcended anything people had ever witnessed, and held up the remarkable spirituality of this lowly beggar for the admiration and example of all. It was no doubt a difficult vocation for one to follow, but Saint Benedict was always a happy man, so he must have found a strange satisfaction in the realization that he was following where God was leading him" (Girzone).
Where is God leading you? Have you heard His voice yet? It's a small voice that cannot be heard except in the stillness of your heart. You, too, are called to be a saint--but how?
And how many of those nameless, faceless souls that we pass on the street are really God's Presence among us? How often do we recognize Him in them? Which one(s) is the saint we have failed to recognize?
In art, Saint Joseph Labre is depicted as a beggar with his bowl and the tricorn hat of a pilgrim sharing his alms with other poor (Roeder, White). He is the patron saint of tramps and the homeless (White).
 Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives.

He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "ou r comfort is not in this world."

On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint.
He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.
Comment: In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows, but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum. These days we ascribe such behavior to mental illness; Benedict’s contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.
1805 Makarios von Korinth  1765 wurde er Erzbischof von Korinth gab neben vielen anderen Werken Dieses fand eine weite Verbreitung und prägt bis heute die Spiritualität der Ostkirche (Notaras)
Orthodoxe Kirche: 17. April  Makarios wurde 1731 in Korinth geboren. 1765 wurde er Erzbischof von Korinth. 1769 mußte er während des russisch-türkischen Krieges auf die Insel Zakynthos fliehen. Die politischen Wirren der Zeit führten dazu, daß Makarios nicht nach Korinth zurückkehren konnte und sich der geistlichen Schriftstellerei zuwandte und mehrere Reisen zum Athos und nach Chios unternahm. Er gab neben vielen anderen Werken 1792 mit dem Athosmönch Nikodemus die Philokalia, eine Sammlung spiritueller Texte zum Herzensgebet, heraus.
Dieses Werk fand eine weite Verbreitung und prägt bis heute die Spiritualität der Ostkirche. Makarios starb am 17.4.1805 auf der Insel Chios.
1944 Max Joseph Metzger Märtyrer 1911 wurde er zum Priester geweiht und wirkte in Meitingen Er gründete den "Friedensbund deutscher Katholiken", die "Christkönigsgesellschaft vom weißen Kreuz" (1927) und die Bruderschaft "Una Sancta"
Katholische und Evangelische Kirche: 17. April
Max Joseph Metzger wurde am 3.2. 1887 in Schopfheim (Schwarzwald) geboren. 1911 wurde er zum Priester geweiht und wirkte in Meitingen. Er gründete den "Friedensbund deutscher Katholiken", die "Christkönigsgesellschaft vom weißen Kreuz" (1927) und die Bruderschaft "Una Sancta". Metzger nannte sich Bruder Paulus und setzte sich unermüdlich für den Frieden unter den Völkern und die Wiedervereinigung der getrennten Kirchen ein. Gemeinsam mit evangelischen Christen verfaßte er ein Friedensmemorandum.
Der Kreis wurde verraten und seine Teilnehmer verhaftet. Metzger wurde zum Tode verurteilt und am 17.4.1944 durch das Fallbeil hingerichtet.
Biographie   André Franik Prophet und Märtyrer Der Priester Max Josef Metzger (1887-1944)
Obwohl nur von 1940 bis 1943 in Berlin wohnhaft, täte die Stadt gut daran, mehr für die Erinnerung an diesen ungewöhnlichen und bis heute noch vielfach unverstandenen Theologen zu tun. Ein eher trostloser Platz an der Müllerstraße im Wedding trägt seit 1994 seinen Namen, bei den Kiezbewohnern heißt der vor rund 120 Jahren von Gartenbaudirektor Meyer angelegte ehemalige Schmuckplatz nach wie vor »Lausepark«. Die Umbenennung der Willdenowstraße - 1940 war Metzger vor der Gestapo aus Meitingen bei Augsburg in das unübersichtliche Berlin hierher in die Berliner Niederlassung seiner Christkönigsgesellschaft in der St.-Josephs- Gemeinde geflohen - scheiterte bis 1994 auch durch die Proteste der Anwohner, die Metzger noch kennengelernt hatten.
     Von hier regelte er seine Geschäfte und Reisen, hier wurde er im Juni 1943 von der Gestapo verhaftet. Ein Friedensmemorandum mit Überlegungen zu einem friedlichen und demokratischen Nachkriegs- Deutschland sollte durch eine als Una-Sancta- Mitarbeiterin getarnte Gestapo- Agentin an den Bischof Eidam von Uppsala im neutralen Schweden gesandt werden, da Metzger seit Herbst 1941 davon überzeugt war, daß der Krieg für Deutschland nur mit einer totalen Niederlage enden könnte. In einem in der Haft im Juli 1943 geschriebenen Brief an einen Reichsminister äußerte er die Befürchtung, Deutschland könnte besetzt und durch fremde Mächte regiert werden, ebenso wie es zu Gebietsabspaltungen und selbständigen deutschen Staaten kommen könnte.
     »Ich habe mein Leben Gott angeboten für den Frieden der Welt und die Einheit der Kirche. Wenn Gott es annimmt, freue ich mich, wenn er mir noch weiter das Leben schenkt, bin ich auch dankbar. Wie Gott will! ...« Worte Metzgers ein halbes Jahr vor seiner Hinrichtung, nachdem er wegen »Hochverrats und Feindbegünstigung« in einem Schauprozeß vor dem Volksgerichtshof unter Roland Freisler zum Tode verurteilt worden war. Diese Worte charakterisieren ihn nicht nur als gottergebenen und standhaften Mann, sondern beschreiben auch deutlich seine Lebensziele. Als drittes Ziel muß noch die Erneuerung der Kirche im Sinne der Bergpredigt genannt werden, das heißt die Schaffung neuer Strukturen in einer innerlich und äußerlich zerbrechenden Kirche.
     Am 3. Februar 1887 wurde Max Josef Metzger in Schopfheim/Baden als erstes von vier Kindern eines Realschullehrers geboren, der seinen Sohn mit Strenge erzog. Die Mutter unterwies ihn im katholischen Glauben und erweckte in ihm das soziale Verhalten, das ihn schon früh auszeichnete. Nach dem Abitur 1905 studierte Metzger zunächst in Freiburg/Breisgau katholische Theologie mit dem Schwerpunkt Kirchengeschichte. Er wollte Priester werden. Seit 1908 setzte er das Studium an der katholischen Universität von Fribourg/ Schweiz fort.
  Als Mitglied der »Akademischen Vinzenzkonferenz« leistete er sonntags im Elendsviertel Fribourgs mit anderen Studenten Hilfe, wobei er erkannte, daß die Not der Menschen durch Alkoholsucht noch verstärkt wurde. Selbst im Laufe des bisherigen Studiums keinem Spaß abgeneigt, wie seine überlieferten Karnevalsaktivitäten oder die regelmäßigen Skat- und Bierabende beweisen, entschied er sich Ostern 1909, in Zukunft ein abstinentes Leben zu führen, völlig auf den Genuß von Tabak, Alkohol und den Fleischverzehr zu verzichten.

     Nach der Promotion an der Universität Freiburg/Breisgau wurde er ein Jahr später, am 4. Juli 1911, im Freiburger Münster zum Priester geweiht. In den folgenden Kaplansstellen zog sich Metzger vielfach den Unmut seiner Vorgesetzten wegen seines starken Engagements in der Abstinenzbewegung und des daraus resultierenden »fehlenden Eifers in der Seelsorge« zu. Hintergrund war seine Bekanntschaft mit Pater Elpidius Weiergans vom »Kreuzbund«, in dem die deutsche Abstinenzbewegung organisiert war; Metzger organisierte dessen Predigtreisen, betreute die verschiedenen Kreuzbundgruppen und verfaßte selbst Texte. Die Abstinenzbewegung war nach Metzgers Verständnis die Grundlage für die allgemeine Erneuerung des Katholizismus hin zu den urchristlichen Idealen.
     »Aus patriotischer Pflichterfüllung« bewarb sich Metzger gleich zu Beginn des im »Kreuzbündnis - Verband abstinenter Katholiken« in Graz/ Österreich. In den nächsten Jahren trat er in Hunderten Vorträgen für die Totalabstinenz ein, die er mit gesundheitlichen und religiösasketischen Argumenten, aber auch in sozialer Hinsicht begründete. Jedoch führte sein Einsatz auch in Österreich wieder zu Spannungen mit Theologen und der Kirchenleitung, weil er unter anderem für eine Neuinterpretation des Neuen Testaments bezüglich der Verwendung des Meßweins beim Heiligen Abendmahl plädierte.
     Durch die Erlebnisse als Militärseelsorger im Krieg geprägt, verschrieb sich Metzger von nun an verstärkt dem unbedingten Einsatz für eine friedliche Welt, wie sein Friedensprogramm in zwölf Punkten an Papst Benedikt XV. im Frühjahr 1917 und seine diversen Friedensappelle beweisen; im 1916 in Graz von Metzger gegründeten Volksheil-Verlag (heute Kyrios-Verlag GmbH Meitingen/ Freising) veröffentlichte er 1918 die Broschüre »Friede auf Erden. Ein Aufruf zur Völkerverständigung«, die Vorschläge für einen dauerhaften Frieden zum Inhalt hatte. Mit der Gründung des »Weltfriedensbundes vom Weißen Kreuz« 1917 (ab 1920 »Weißes Kreuz, Katholische Innere Mission«) bekam seine Friedensinitiative eine Plattform, die er im Laufe der nächsten Jahre auch für die Ökumene- Arbeit nutzte.

Mary's Divine Motherhood
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR APRIL
Young People. 
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider
offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.


ABORTION IS A MORAL OUTRAGE
Marian spirituality: all are invited.
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!)

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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!)
 
                                                                                     
     
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
  Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish -- Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'

"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
It Makes No Sense Not To Believe In GOD 
Every Christian must be a living book
wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel

Jesus brings us many Blessings
 
The more we pray, the more we wish to pray. Like a fish which at first swims on the surface of the water, and afterwards plunges down, and is always going deeper; the soul plunges, dives, and loses itself in the sweetness of conversing with God. -- St. John Vianney

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

May 9 – Our Lady of the Wood (Italy, 1607) 
Months of Dedication
January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus since 1902;

March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;

May, the month of Mary, is the oldest and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;
June is the month of the Sacred Heart since 1873;
July is the month of the Precious Blood since 1850;
August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows since 1857;
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
December is the month of the Immaculate Conception.

In all, five months of the year are dedicated to Mary.
The idea of dedicating months came from Rome and promotion of the month of Mary owes much to the Jesuits.  arras.catholique.fr


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.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 01
120 -132 St. Theodora Roman martyr sister of  Saint Hermes aid and care to her brother in prison.  At Rome, the passion of St. Theodora, sister of the illustrious martyr Hermes.  She underwent martyrdom in the time of Emperor Adrian, under the judge Aurelian, and was buried at the side of her brother, on the Salarian Way, a short distance from the city.
According to the Acta of Pope St. Alexander (r 105-115), she was the sister of  Saint Hermes and was martyred some time after her brother. She had given aid and care to her brother during his difficult time in prison.
The council and the delegates from Grenoble severally and collectively appear to have looked on Canon Hugh as the one man who was capable of dealing with the disorders complained of; but though unanimously elected it was with the greatest reluctance that he consented to accept the office. The legate himself conferred on him holy orders up to the priesthood, and took him to Rome that he might receive consecration from the pope.
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.   The kindness of the reception he met emboldened the young bishop elect to consult St Gregory VII about temptations to blasphemy which sometimes beset him, causing him great distress and, as he considered, rendering him unfit for the high office to which he was called. The pontiff reassured him, explaining that God permitted these trials to purify him and render him a more fitting instrument for the divine purposes. These particular temptations continued to assault him until his last illness, but he never yielded to them in any way.
The Countess Matilda gave the twenty-eight-year-old bishop his crozier and some books, including the De officiis ministrorum of St Ambrose and a psalter to which were appended the commentaries of St Augustine. Immediately after his consecration. St Hugh hurried off to his diocese, but he was appalled by the state of his flock. The gravest sins were committed without shame; simony and usury were rampant; the clergy openly flouted the obligation to celibacy; the people were uninstructed; laymen had seized church property and the see was almost penniless. It was indeed a herculean task that lay before the saint.
  For two years he laboured unremittingly to redress abuses by preaching, by denunciations, by rigorous fasts and by constant prayer. The excellent results he was obtaining were patent to all but to himself: he only saw his failures and blamed his own incompetence. Discouraged, he quietly withdrew to the Cluniac abbey of Chaise-Dieu, where he received the Benedictine habit. He did not remain there long, for Pope Gregory commanded him to resume his pastoral charge and return to Grenoble.
A short time before his death he lost his memory for everything but prayer, and would recite the psalter or the Lord’s Prayer without intermission.
During his 52-year episcopacy, Hugh vainly tendered his resignation to each pope--Gregory VII, Gelasius II, Calixtus II, Honorius II, Innocent II, and others--and they refused him because of his outstanding ability. He never ceased imploring them to release him from the duties of his episcopal office up to the day of his death. During his last, painful illness he was tormented by headaches and stomach disorders that resulted from his long fasts and vigils, yet never complained.
St Hugh died on April 1, 1132, two months before attaining the age of eighty, having been a bishop for fifty-two years.  Pope Innocent II canonized him two years later.
1194 Hugh of Bonnevaux possessed singular powers of discernment and exorcism OSB Cistercian, Abbot (AC).
The Mother of Mercy, with a look of great kindness, addressed him, saying, “Bear yourself like a man and let your heart be comforted in the Lord; rest assured that you will be troubled no more by these temptations.”
IN one of his letters St Bernard of Clairvaux mentions with great praise a novice called Hugh, who had renounced considerable riches and entered the abbey of Mézières at a very early age against the wishes of his relations. He was nephew to St Hugh of Grenoble. Once, when greatly troubled by temptations and longings to return to the world, he entered a church to pray for light and help. As he raised his eyes to the altar, he beheld above it a figure which he recognized to be that of our Lady, and then, beside her, appeared the form of her divine Son. The Mother of Mercy, with a look of great kindness, addressed him, saying, “Bear yourself like a man and let your heart be comforted in the Lord; rest assured that you will be troubled no more by these temptations.” Hugh afterwards gave himself up to such severe penances that his health broke down and he seemed to be losing his memory. He owed his recovery to the wise common-sense of St Bernard, who ordered him off to the infirmary with instructions that he should be properly tended and allowed to speak to anyone he liked.

Not long afterwards he was made abbot of Bonnevaux, and in Hugh’s care the abbey became very flourishing. It was noted that the abbot could read men’s thoughts and was quick to detect any evil spirit which had access to the minds of his brethren. The stories that have come down to us testify to his powers of divination and exorcism. Like so many of the great monastic luminaries, both men and women, Hugh did not confine his interests to his own house or even to his order. Moved by what he felt to be divine inspiration he went to Venice in 1177, there to act as mediator between Pope Alexander III and the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. To him is due the credit of negotiating between them a peace which has become historic. St Hugh died in 1194, and his ancient cultus was approved in 1907.
1220 Jacqueline V Hermit recluse in Sicily reprimanded Pope Innocent III
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.”
1849 BD LUDOVIC PAVONI, FOUNDER OF THE SONS OF MARY IMMACULATE OF BRESCIA.  THIS forerunner of St John Bosco in the education and care of boys, especially the orphaned and neglected, was born at Brescia in Lombardy in 1784. His parents were Alexander Pavoni and Lelia Pontecarali, and the family was of noble descent, with a sufficiency of property to maintain its position. Ludovic while still young showed a serious disposition; his sister Paolina said of him that “Ludovic was always a good religious youngster, while I was always a scamp”; and as a youth he already outlined his vocation when, during summer holidays at Alfianello, he played with the peasants’ children and taught them the catechism. On another occasion he threw his shirt out of the window to a beggar shivering in the street below. He had a taste and some capacity for the fine arts and might have become a painter or an architect, but probably nobody was surprised when he decided to study for the priesthood. This he did under the Dominicans (all the Lombard seminaries were closed in consequence of the revolution), and he was ordained priest in 1807.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 02
 469 St. Abundius Greek priest bishop noted theologian obvious intellect and holiness attended Councils of Chalcedon and Milan.   He became the bishop of Como, Italy, and attended the Council of Constantinople in 450. As a result of his obvious intellect and holiness, he was sent by Pope St. Leo I the Great to the Emperor Theodosius II as an envoy of the Holy See. His mission led to the and to the Council of Chalcedon in 451 Council of Milan in 452. Abundius served as the pope's representative in such councils, clearly stating the Church's role and concerns.
6th v. St. Musa Virgin child of Rome; a great mystic, visions and ecstasies, reported by St. Gregory I the Great

 952 Anba Macarius, the Fifty-Ninth Pope of Alexandria; The Departure of.  On this day also of the year 668 A.M. (May 20th. 952 A.D.) St. Macarius the fifty ninth Pope of Alexandria, departed. He was born in the city of Shoubra. He rejected the world since his youth and he desired the monastic life. He went to the monastery of St. Macarius at the wilderness of Sheahat (Scetis). He lived in virtues and good conduct made him worthy to be chosen a Patriarch, and a successor for Pope Cosma. He was enthroned on the first of Baramouda 648 A.M. (March 27th. 932 A.D.).

When he went forth from Alexandria going to visit the monasteries in the desert of Scetis according to the custom of his predecessors, he passed by his home town to visit his mother who was a righteous woman. When his mother heard that he had arrived she did not go out to meet him. When he had come to the house, he found her sitting down weaving and she did not greet him or paid attention to him. He thought that she did not know him. He told her: "Don't you know that I am your son Macarius who was elevated to a great position and became a head for a great nation?" She answered him with tears in her eyes: "I did not ignore you and I know what became of you, but I would have rather seen you dead than seen you as a Patriarch. Before, you were responsible only for your own soul but now your are responsible about the souls of all your flock: Now remember you are in danger and it is difficult to escape it." She said that and went on weaving as she did before.

The father the Patriarch left her sad, and attended to his office with delegant and care. He instructed his people with preaching and sermons. He did not touch any of the church revenue, and did not lay his hand on any one without people consent. He commanded the bishops and the priests to watch their flock and to protect them with homilies and admonitions. He sat on the throne of St. Mark twenty years in peace and tranquility, then departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen

At Tours in France, St. Francis of Paula, founder of the Order of Minims.  Because he was renowned for virtues and miracles, he was inscribed among the saints by Pope Leo X.   ST FRANCIS was born about the year 1416 at Paola, a small town in Calabria. His parents were humble, industrious people who made it their chief aim to love and to serve God. As they were still childless after several years of married life, they prayed earnestly for a son, and when at last a boy was born to them, they named him after St Francis of Assisi, whose intercession they had specially sought.

In his thirteenth year he was placed in the Franciscan friary at San Marco, where he learnt to read and where he laid the foundation of the austere life which he ever afterwards led; although he had not professed the rule of the order, he seemed even at that tender age to outstrip the religious themselves in a scrupulous observance of its requirements. After spending a year there he accompanied his parents on a pilgrimage which included Assisi and Rome. Upon his return to Paola, with their consent, he retired first to a place about half a mile from the town, and afterwards to a more remote seclusion by the sea, where he occupied a cave. He was scarcely fifteen years old. Before he was twenty, he was joined by two other men. The neighbours built them three cells and a chapel in which they sang the divine praises and in which Mass was offered for them by a priest from the nearest church.

Besides the gift of miracles St Francis was endowed with that of prophecy, and long afterwards, writing to Pope Leo X for the canonization of St Francis, the Bishop of Grenoble (uncle to Bayard, the “Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche”) wrote, “Most holy Father, he revealed to me many things which were known only to God and to myself”. Pope Paul II sent one of his chamberlains into Calabria to inquire about the truth of the wonderful things that were reported of the saint. Upon seeing a visitor approach, St Francis, who was busy with the masons over the construction of his church, left his work to greet him. The envoy attempted to kiss his hand, but this Francis would not allow; he protested that it was for him to kiss the hands which for some thirty years had been sanctified by offering the holy Sacrifice. The chamberlain, surprised that Francis should know how long he, a stranger, had been a priest, did not disclose his mission, but asked to speak with him and was led within the enclosure. Here he expatiated eloquently on the dangers of singularity, and censured Francis’s way of life as too austere for human nature. The saint attempted humbly to vindicate his rule and then, to prove what the grace of God would enable single-minded men to bear, he lifted out of the fire some burning coals and held them for some time in his hands unscathed. It may be noted that there is record of several similar examples of his immunity from the effects of fire. The chamberlain returned full of veneration for the holy man, and the new order received the sanction of the Holy See in 1474. At that time the community was composed of uneducated men, with only one priest. They were then called Hermits of St Francis of Assisi, and it was not until 1492 that their name was changed to that of “Minims”, at the desire of the founder, who wished his followers to be reckoned as the least (minimi) in the household of God.
St Francis passed twenty-five years in France, and died there. On Palm Sunday 1507 he fell ill, and on Maundy Thursday assembled his brethren and exhorted them to the love of God, to charity and to a strict observance of all the duties of their rule. Then he received viaticum barefoot with a rope round his neck, according to the custom of his order. He died on the following day, Good Friday, being then ninety-one years of age. His canonization took place in 1519.  Besides the rule which St Francis drew up for his friars, with a correctorium or method of enjoining penances and a ceremonial, he also composed a rule for nuns, and regulations for a third order of persons living in the world. Today the number of members of the Order of Minims is considerably reduced they are mostly found in Italy.
1815 BD LEOPOLD OF GAICHE founded house for missioners and preachers could retire for their annual retreat other brethren and friends of the order could come for spiritual refreshment; numerous miracles reported at his grave.   When in 1808 Napoleon invaded Rome and imprisoned Pope Pius VII, religious houses were suppressed and their occupants turned out. Bd Leopold, a venerable old man of seventy-seven, was obliged to abandon his beloved convent, and with three of his brethren to live in a miserable hut in Spoleto. While there he acted as assistant to a parish priest, but afterwards he had charge of an entire parish whose pastor had been driven out by the French. Then he was himself imprisoned for refusing to take an oath which he considered unlawful. His imprisonment, however, was of short duration, for we soon find him giving missions once more. His fame was enhanced by his prophetical powers and by strange phenomena which attended him: for example, when he was preaching his head often appeared to his congregation as though it were crowned with thorns.
With the fall of Napoleon, Bd Leopold hurried back to Monte Luco, where he set about trying to establish things as they had been before but he only survived for a few months, dying on April 15, 1815, in his eighty-third year. The numerous miracles reported to have taken place at his grave caused the speedy introduction of the process of his beatification, which reached a favourable conclusion in 1893.

1839 St. Dominic Tuoc 3rd order Dominican martyr native of Vietnam.  Arrested and tortured, he died in prison. Dominic was a native of Vietnam. He was canonized in 1988.  Blessed Dominic Tuoc M, OP Tert. (AC) Born in Tonkin; died 1839; beatified in 1900. Saint Dominic was a priest of the third order of Dominicans, who died of his wounds in prison (Benedictines).
1968 The Apparition of the Pure Lady the Virgin in the church of Zeiton.  On the eve of this day of the year 1684 A.M. which coincide with tuesday the 2nd. of April 1968 A.D., during the papacy of Pope Kyrellos VI, the hundred sixteenth Pope of Alexandria, our Lady and the pride of our faith started to transfigure in luminous spiritual forms in and around the domes of the church dedicated to her immaculate name in Zeiton, a suburb of Cairo.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 03
127 Sixtus I, Pope survived as pope for about 10 years before being killed by the Roman authorities
Tauroménii, in Sicília, sancti Pancrátii Epíscopi
.  At Rome, the birthday of blessed Pope Sixtus the First, martyr, who ruled the Church with distinction during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, and finally in the reign of Antoninus Pius he gladly accepted temporal death in order to gain Christ for himself.  (also known as Xystus)  ST XYSTUS I succeeded Pope St Alexander I about the end of the reign of Trajan, and governed the Church for some ten years at a period when the papal dignity was the common prelude to martyrdom. In all the old martyrologies he is honoured as a martyr, but we have no particulars about his life or death. He was by birth a Roman, his father’s house in the ancient Via Lata having occupied, it is supposed, the site now covered by the church of St Mary-in-Broad-Street. The Liber Pontificalis credits him with having laid down as ordinances that none but the clergy should touch the sacred vessels, and that the people should join in when the priest had intoned the Sanctus at Mass. The Sixtus mentioned in the canon of the Mass was probably not this pope but St Sixtus II, whose martyrdom was more widely famous.
1253 St. Richard of Wyche Ph.D. Priest missionary bishop denounced nepotism, insisted on strict clerical discipline, ever generous to poor and needy Many miracles healing recorded during  lifetime more after death. Richard was deep in the hearts of his people, the sort of saint that anyone can recognize by his simplicity, holiness, and endless charity to the poorRichard Backedine B (RM) (also known as Richard of Wyche, of Droitwich, of Chichester, of Burford)
Born at Droitwich (formerly called Wyche), Worchestershire, England, in 1197; died at Dover, England, 1253; canonized 1262 (Urban IV 1261-64 ).
 
  In 1244 Ralph Neville, bishop of Chichester, died, and Henry III, by putting pressure on the canons, obtained the election of Robert Passelewe, a worthless man who, according to Matthew Paris, “had obtained the king’s favour in a wonderful degree by an unjust inquisition by which he added some thousands of marks to the royal treasury.”
The archbishop refused to confirm the election and called a chapter of his suffragans who declared the previous election invalid, and chose Richard, the primate’s nominee, to fill the vacant see. Upon hearing the news, King Henry was violently enraged: he kept in his own hands all the temporalities and forbade the admission of St Richard to any barony or secular possession attached to his see. In vain did the bishop elect himself approach the monarch on two separate occasions: he could obtain neither the confirmation of his election nor the restoration of the revenues to which he was entitled. At last both he and the king carried the case to Pope Innocent IV, who was presiding over the Council of Lyons, and he decided in favour of St Richard, whom he consecrated himself on March 5, 1245.
Landing once more in England the new bishop was met by the news that the king, far from giving up the temporalities, had forbidden anyone to lend St Richard money or even to give him houseroom. At Chichester he found the palace gates closed against him: those who would gladly have helped him feared the sovereign’s anger, and it seemed as though he would have to wander about his diocese a homeless outcast. However, a good priest, Simon of Tarring, opened his house to him, and Richard, as Bocking informs us, “took shelter under this hospitable roof, sharing the meals of a stranger, warming his feet at another man’s hearth”.

"Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ For all the benefits Thou hast given me, For all the pains and insults Which Thou has borne for me.  O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen." --Saint Richard of Chichester.
1271 Blessed John of Penna priest founding several Franciscan houses  visions gift of prophecywon all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners; aridity and a painful lingering illness; spiritual consolations  assurance that he accomplished his purgatory on earth his cell was illuminated with a celestial light OFM (AC) .   Born at Penna San Giovanni (near Fermo), Ancona, Italy, c. 1193; died at Recanati, Italy, April 3, 1271; cultus approved 1806 by Pope Pius VII. Blessed John joined the Franciscans at Recanati about 1213, was ordained a priest, and was sent to France, where he worked for about 25 years in Provence, founding several Franciscan houses. About 1242, he returned to Italy, where he spent his last 30 years mainly in retirement, although he did serve as guardian several times. He experienced visions and had the gift of prophecy, but was also afflicted with extended periods of spiritual aridity. His life is described in chapter 45 of The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney).  

1271 BD JOHN OF PENNA won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners; aridity and a painful lingering illness; spiritual consolations  assurance that he accomplished his purgatory on earth his cell was illuminated with a celestial light

1589 St. Bendict the Black Franciscan lay brother superior obscure and humble cook holiness reputation for miracles patron of African-Americans in the United States incorrupt.   St. Benedict of San Philadelphio (Or BENEDICT THE MOOR) Born at San Philadelphio or San Fradello, a village of the Diocese of Messina in Sicily, in 1526; d. 4 April, 1589. The parents of St. Benedict were slaves from Ethiopia who were, nevertheless, pious Christians. On account of their faithfulness their master freed Benedict, the first-born child. From his earliest years Benedict was very religious and while still very young he joined a newly formed association of hermits. When Pope Pius IV dissolved the association, Benedict, called from his origin Æthiops or Niger, entered the Reformed Recollects of the Franciscan Order. Owing to his virtues he was made superior of the monastery of Santa Maria de Jesus at Palermo three years after his entrance, although he was only a lay brother. He reformed the monastery and ruled it with great success until his death. He was pronounced Blessed in 1743 and was canonized in 1807. His feast is celebrated 3 April.






Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 04
Thus there began to develop a special bond between this Mother and the Church.
For the infant Church was the fruit of the Cross and Resurrection of her Son.
Mary, who from the beginning had given herself without reserve to the person and work of her Son, could not but pour out upon the Church, from the very beginning, her maternal self-giving. After her Son's departure, her motherhood remains in the Church as maternal mediation: interceding for all her children, the Mother cooperates in the saving work of her Son, the Redeemer of the world.   Holy Father John Paul II    Redemptoris Mater #40

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin  April 4 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (1897) - Francisco of Fatima (d. 1919)
1. The prophecy of Simeon. (Lk 2: 34, 35) 2. The flight into Egypt. (Mt 2:13-14) 3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (Lk 3: 43-45)  4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.  5. The Crucifixion.  6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.  7. The burial of Jesus.
"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: 'Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed" (Lk 2: 34-35).

 636 St. Isidore of Seville Doctor of the Church In a unique move, he made sure that all branches of knowledge including the arts and medicine were taught in the seminaries. At Seville in Spain, St. Isidore, bishop, confessor, and doctor of the Church.  He was conspicuous for sanctity and learning, and had brightened all Spain by his zeal for the Catholic faith and his observance of Church discipline.  Isidore of Seville B, Doctor (RM) Born at Cartagena, Spain, c. 560; died in Seville, Spain, in April 4, 636; canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1598; and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Innocent XIII in 1722. Saint Isidore was born into a noble Hispano-Roman family, which also produced SS. Leander, Fulgentius, and Florentina. Their father was Severian, a Roman from Cartagena, who was closely connected to the Visigothic kings. Though Isidore became one of the most erudite men of his age, as a boy he hated his studies, perhaps because his elder brother, Saint Leander, who taught him, was a strict task master.
The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next;
the more we sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.
- St. Isidore of Seville
 863 Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, "the sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church,".  At that time the Roman bishops were in communion with the Eastern Church, and Pope Leo III, who was not under the dominion of the Byzantine Emperor, was able to render great help to the Orthodox. The Orthodox monks chose St Joseph as a steadfast and eloquent messenger to the Pope. St Gregory blessed him to journey to Rome and to report on the plight of the Church of Constantinople, the atrocities of the iconoclasts, and the dangers threatening Orthodoxy. 

Born in Sicily in 816 into a pious Christian family. His parents, Plotinos and Agatha, moved to the Peloponnesos to save themselves from barbarian invasions. When he was fifteen, St Joseph went to Thessalonica and entered the monastery of Latomos. He was distinguished by his piety, his love for work, his meekness, and he gained the good will of all the brethren of the monastery. He was later ordained as a priest.

1589 St. Bendict the Black Franciscan lay brother superior obscure and humble cook holiness reputation for miracles patron of African-Americans in the United States.   1589 ST BENEDICT THE BLACK His face when he was in chapel often shone with an unearthly light, and food seemed to multiply miraculously under his hands; reputation for sanctity and miracles;   Beatified 15 May 1743 by Pope Benedict XIV
Canonized 24 May 1807 by Pope Pius VIII

  BENEDICT was born in a village near Messina in Sicily. His parents were good Christians, but African slaves of a rich landowner whose name (Manasseri) they bore, according to the prevalent custom. Christopher’s master had made him foreman over his other servants and had promised that his eldest son, Benedict, should be free. The baby grew up such a sweet-tempered, devout child that when he was only ten years old he was called “The Holy Black” (Ii moro santo), a nickname which clung to him all his life. One day, when he was about twenty-one, he was grossly insulted by some neighbours, who taunted him with his colour and the status of his parents. There happened to be passing at the time a young man called Lanzi, who had retired from the world with a few companions to live the life of a hermit in imitation of St Francis of Assisi. He was greatly impressed by the gentleness of Benedict’s replies and, addressing the mockers, he said, “You make fun of this poor black man now; but I can tell you that ere long you will hear great things of him”. Soon afterwards, at Lanzi’s invitation, Benedict sold his few possessions and went to join the solitaries.
1726 The Departure of Pope Peter VI, the One Hundred and Fourth Pope of Alexandria.  On this day also the church commemorates the departure of Pope Peter VI (Petros), the one hundred and fourth Patriarch in the year 1442 A.M. (April 2nd., 1726 A.D.). This blessed father and spiritual angel was the son of pure and Christian parents from the city of Assiut. They raised him well, educated him with ecclesiastic subjects and manners and he excelled in them. His name was Mourgan, but later on he became known by the name Peter El-Assuity. The grace of God was on him since his young age, and when he came to the age of maturity, he forsook the world and what in it, and longed to the monastic life. He went to the monastery of the great St. Antonios in the mount of El-Arabah, he dwelt there, became a monk and put on the monastic garb. He exerted himself in worship, and when he achieved the ascetic life, purity, righteousness, and humility, the fathers the monks chose him to be a priest. They took him against his will to Cairo, and he was ordained a priest, for the monastery of the great Saint Anba Paula the first hermit, among others, by the hand of Pope Yoannis El-Toukhy (103), in the church of the Lady the Virgin in Haret El-Roum. He increased in virtues and he became well known among the people.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 05
 647 Ethelburga of Lyminge founded an abbey at Lyminge abbess.  ST ETHELBURGA was the daughter of St Augustine’s convert, King Ethelbert of Kent and of his wife Bertha. Ethelburga, also called Tata, was given in marriage to Edwin, the pagan king of Northumbria, and St Paulinus, one of St Augustine’s companions, accompanied her as chaplain. Although Edwin was well affected towards Christianity, he hesitated so long before accepting the faith that Pope Boniface V wrote expressly to Ethelburga, urging her to do her utmost to bring about his conversion. But it was not until 627 that Edwin himself received baptism. During the rest of his reign, Christianity made progress throughout Northumbria, encouraged as it was by the royal couple, but when Edwin had been killed at Hatfield Chase, his pagan adversaries overran the land. The queen and St Paulinus found themselves obliged to return to Kent where Ethelburga founded the abbey of Lyminge, which she ruled until her death.
1095 Saint Gerald of Sauve-Majeure monk cellarer of abbey Corbie; founded, directed, Benedictine Abbey of Grande -Sauveabbot  author of a hagiology.  Feeling that all he could do for God was to minister to others, he undertook, in honour of the Holy Trinity, the care of three poor men whom he looked after. His abbot chose him as companion to go with him to Rome, where he hoped the sufferer might be cured. Together they visited the tombs of the Apostles, and at the hands of St Leo IX Gerald was ordained priest. But from time to time the terrible headaches recurred, until one day when—at the intercession, he was convinced, of St Adelard, whose life he had written— the pains left him as suddenly as they had come, never to trouble him again. After this, in thanksgiving he redoubled his prayers and mortifications. In a vision he beheld our Lord come down from the crucifix towards him, he felt Him place His hand on his head, and heard Him say, “Son, be comforted in the Lord and in the power of His might”. A pilgrimage to Jerusalem was another source of inspiration and consolation.
1258 Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon visions in which Jesus pointed out that there was no feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament OSA V (AC).  The years passed and Juliana became a nun at Mount Cornillon; but she was unknown, without influence and in no position to do anything in the matter of the desired feast. Then in 1225 she was elected prioress and began to speak about what she felt to be her mission to some of her friends, notably to Bd Eva, a recluse who lived beside St Martin’s church on the opposite bank of the river, and to a saintly woman, Isabel of Huy, whom she had received into her community. Encouraged no doubt by the support of these two, she opened her heart to a learned canon of St Martin’s, John of Lausanne, asking him to consult theologians as to the propriety of such a feast. James Pantaleon (afterwards Pope Urban IV), Hugh of St Cher, the Dominican prior provincial, Bishop Guy of Cambrai, chancellor of the University of Paris, with other learned men, were approached, and decided that there was no theological or canonical objection to the institution of a festival in honour of the Blessed Sacrament.
Juliana’s great mission was carried on and completed by her old friend Eva, the recluse of St Martin’s. After the elevation to the papacy of Urban IV, who as James Pantaleon had been one of Juliana’s earliest supporters, Eva, through the bishop of Liege, begged him to sanction the new feast of the Blessed Sacrament. He did so; and afterwards, in recognition of the part she had taken, he sent her his bull of authorization together with the beautiful office for Corpus Christi which St Thomas Aquinas had composed at his desire. The bull was confirmed in 1312 by the Council of Vienne under Pope Clement V, and the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi has from that time become of universal obligation throughout the Western church, and most Catholics of the Eastern rite have adopted it too. The observance of a feast in honour of Bd Juliana was allowed by the Holy See in 1869.

1574 St. Catherine Thomas Orphan strange phenomena mystical experiences visits from angels, Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Catherine gifts of visions and prophecy In the monastery at Palma, in the diocese of Majorca, the birthday of St. Catherine Thomas, Canoness Regular of the Order of St. Augustine, whom Pope Pius XI, in the fiftieth year of his priesthood, placed among the number of virgin saints.  Felt a call to the religious life at age 15, but her confessor convinced her to wait a little. Domestic servant in Palma where she learned to read and write. Joined the Canonesses of Saint Augustine at Saint Mary Magdalen convent at Palma. Subjected to many strange phenomena and mystical experiences including visits from angels, Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Catherine. Had the gifts of visions and prophecy. Assaulted spiritually and physically by dark powers, she sometimes went into ecstatic trances for days at a time; her wounds from this abuse were treated by Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian. During her last years she was almost continually in ecstasy. Foretold the date of her death. Born 1 May 1533 at Valldemossa, Mallorca, Spain Died    5 April 1574 at Saint Mary Magdalen convent, Palma, Spain of natural causes
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.
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. 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”.]
1744 Blessed Crescentia Höss, OFM Tert. blessed by celestial visions V (AC).   Her life for the next few years was to be one of humiliations and persecution, for the superioress and the older nuns could not forget that she had come to them penniless. They taunted her with being a beggar, gave her the most disagreeable work, and then called her a hypocrite. At first she had a little cell, but that was taken away to be given to a novice who had brought money. For three years she had to beg first one sister and then another to allow her to sleep on the floor of her cell: then she was allowed a damp dark little corner of her own. Taking all humiliations as her due, Crescentia refused the sympathy of some of the younger nuns when they exclaimed at the treatment meted out to her. In time, however, another superioress was appointed, who had more charity and discrimination. In time the nuns recognized that they had a saint amongst them and eventually chose her as novice mistress and finally as superioress. She had many visions and ecstasies, besides a mystical experience of the sufferings of our Lord which lasted every Friday from nine until three, culminating often in complete unconsciousness. On the other hand she suffered greatly from the assaults of the powers of evil.
Unkindly criticism of others Crescentia always repressed, invariably defending the absent. Stern to herself, she yet said to her daughters, “The practices most pleasing to God are those which He himself imposes—to bear meekly and patiently the adversities which He sends or which our neighbours inflict on us”. Gradually her influence spread beyond the walls of her convent, and people who came to consult her went away impressed by her wisdom and spoke of her to others: leaders in church and state visited the weaver’s daughter or corresponded with her, and to this day her tomb is visited by pilgrims. Pope Leo XIII beatified her in 1900.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 06
432 Celestine I Pope treatise against semi-Pelagianism
Born in Campania, Italy; died at Rome, July 27, 432; feast day formerly on July 27 and/or August 1. Saint Celestine was a deacon in Rome when he was elected pope on September 20, 422, to succeed Saint Boniface. He was a staunch supporter of Saint Germanus of Auxerre in the fight against Pelagianism, and a friend of Saint Augustine with whom he corresponded, and which demonstrates that the bishop of Rome was the central authority even at that early date.
Benedict_XVI_Patriarch_Bartholomew
582 Eutychius of Constantinople worked many miracles; healings; opposed Justinian's interference; vigorously denounced Aphthartodocetism [asartodoketai] or "imperishability" which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and Resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering.  ALTHOUGH the name of this Eutychius is not commemorated in the Roman Martyrology, and although his career belongs more to church history than to hagiography, still he has always been honoured as a saint among the Greeks (and at Venice, which claims his relics), and he set a noble example of resistance to the Emperor Justinian’s pretensions to figure as arbiter in theological matters. Thus, through his prayer the wife of a devout man, Androgenes, who had given birth only to dead infants, now gave birth to two sons who lived to maturity. Two deaf-mutes received the gift of speech; and two grievously ill children were restored to health. The saint healed a cancerous ulcer on the hand of an artist. The saint also healed another artist, anointing his diseased hand with oil and making over it the Sign of the Cross.
The saint healed not only bodily, but also spiritual afflictions: he banished the devil out of a girl that had kept her from Holy Communion; he expelled a demon from a youth who had fled from a monastery (after which the youth returned to his monastery); he healed a drunken leper, who stopped drinking after being cleansed of his leprosy.
During the Persian invasion of Amasea and its widespread devastation, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastery granaries on the saint's orders, and by his prayers, the stores of grain at the monastery were not depleted.
St Eutychius received from God the gift of prophecy. He revealed the names of two of Emperor Justinian's successors: Justin (565-578) and Tiberias (578-582).
885 Saint Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia Life found May 11, when commemorated with Cyril, Teacher of Slavs. In Moravia, the birthday of St. Methodius, bishop and confessor.  Together with his brother, the bishop St. Cyril, whose birthday was the 14th of February, he converted many of the Slav races and their rulers to the faith of Christ.  Their feast is celebrated on the 7th day of July. 
These brothers, natives of Thessalonika, are venerated as the apostles of the Southern Slavs and the fathers of Slavonic literary culture.      The characters now called "cyrillic ", from which are derived the present Russian, Serbian and Bulgarian letters, were invented from the Greek capitals, perhaps by the followers of St Cyril ; the" glagolitic " alphabet, formerly wrongly attributed to St Jerome, in which the Slav-Roman liturgical books of certain Yugoslav Catholics are printed, may be that prepared for this occasion by Cyril himself, or, according to the legend, directly revealed by God.* {* Like so much to do with these brothers, the history of these alphabets is a matter of debate.  The southern Slavonic of SS. Cyril and Methodius is to this day the liturgical language of the Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs and Bulgars, whether Orthodox or Catholic.}

  In 863 the two brothers set out with a number of assistants and came to the court of Rostislav; they were well received and at once got to work.  The position was very difficult. The new missionaries made free use of the vernacular in their preaching and ministrations, and this made immediate appeal to the local people. To the German clergy this was objectionable, and their opposition was strengthened when the Emperor Louis the German forced Rostislav to take an oath of fealty to him.  The Byzantine missionaries, armed with their pericopes from the Scriptures and liturgical hymns in Slavonic, pursued their way with much success, but were soon handicapped by their lack of a bishop to ordain more priests.
The German prelate, the bishop of Passau, would not do it, and Cyril therefore determined to seek help elsewhere, presumably from Constantinople whence he came.

On their way the brothers arrived in Venice. It was at a bad moment. Photius at Constantinople had incurred excommunication; the East was under suspicion the proteges of the Eastern emperor and their liturgical use of a new tongue were vehemently criticized.  One source says that the pope, St Nicholas I, sent for the strangers.  In any case, to Rome they came, bringing with them the alleged relics of Pope St Clement, which St Cyril had recovered when in the Crimea on his way back from the Khazars.
Pope Nicholas in the meantime had died, but his successor, Adrian II, warmly welcomed the bearers of so great a gift.  He examined their cause, and he gave judgement: Cyril and Methodius were to receive episcopal consecration, their neophytes were to be ordained, the use of the liturgy in Slavonic was approved.  Although in the office of the Western church both brothers are referred to as bishops, it is far from certain that Cyril was in fact consecrated.  For while still in Rome he died, on February 14, 869.
1203 St. William of Eskilsoe reforming the canons life of prayer and austere mortification never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, offering himself to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice.   ON this day the Roman Martyrology mentions the death in Denmark of St William, “famous for his life and miracles”. He was born about 1125 at Saint-Germain, Crépy-en-Valois, and became a canon of the collegiate church of St Genevieve in Paris. In 1148 Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, carrying out the wishes of the pope, Bd Eugenius III, established canons regular in this church, and William was one of those who accepted a more austere and regular life with enthusiasm.
Peter was born at Verona, Italy, in 1205. Both of his parents were Catharists, a heresy that denied God created the material world. Even so, Peter was educated at a Catholic school and later at the University of Bologna. While in Bologna, Peter was accepted into the Dominican Order by St. Dominic. He developed into a great preacher, and was well known for his inspiring sermons in the Lombardy region. In addition, around the year 1234, he was appointed by Pope Gregory IX as inquisitor of Northern Italy, where many Catharists lived. Peter's preaching attracted large crowds, but as inquisitor he made many enemies.

1252 St. Peter of Verona inquisitor inspiring sermons martyr accepted into the Dominican Order by St. Dominic
Medioláni pássio sancti Petri, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Mártyris, qui ab hæréticis, ob fidem cathólicam, interémptus est.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas recólitur tértio Kaléndas Maji.
       At Milan, the passion of St. Peter, a martyr belonging to the Order of Preachers, who was slain by the heretics for his Catholic faith.  His feast, however, is kept on the 29th of April.
 1252  St Peter Of Verona, Martyr; Having received the habit from St Dominic himself;  Once, as he knelt before the crucifix, he exclaimed, “Lord, thou knowest that I am not guilty. Why dost thou permit me to be falsely accused?” The reply came, “And I, Peter, what did I do to deserve my passion and death?” Rebuked yet consoled, the friar regained courage.

St Peter Martyr was born at Verona in 1205 of parents who belonged to the sect of the Cathari, a heresy which closely resembled that of the Albigenses and included amongst its tenets a denial that the material world had been created by God. The child was sent to a Catholic school, in spite of the remon­strances of an uncle who discovered by questioning the little boy that he had not only learnt the Apostles’ Creed, but was prepared stoutly to maintain in the orthodox sense the article “Creator of Heaven and earth”.

1744 St. Crescentia Hoess, humble, crippled; wise enough to balance worldly skills with acumen in spiritual matters; heads of State and Church both sought her advice.  Conditions improved four years later when a new superior was elected who realized her virtue. Crescentia herself was appointed mistress of novices. She so won the love and respect of the sisters that, upon the death of the superior, Crescentia herself was unanimously elected to that position. Under her the financial state of the convent improved and her reputation in spiritual matters spread. She was soon being consulted by princes and princesses as well as by bishops and cardinals seeking her advice. And yet, a true daughter of Francis, she remained ever humble.

Bodily afflictions and pain were always with her. First it was headaches and toothaches. Then she lost the ability to walk, her hands and feet gradually becoming so crippled that her body curled up into a fetal position. In the spirit of Francis she cried out, "Oh, you bodily members, praise God that he has given you the capacity to suffer." Despite her sufferings she was filled with peace and joy as she died on Easter Sunday in 1744.
She was beatified in 1900 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2001.  Comment:    Although she grew up in poverty and willingly embraced it in her vocation, Crescentia had a good head for business. Under her able administration, her convent regained financial stability. Too often we think of good money management as, at best, a less-than-holy gift. But Crescentia was wise enough to balance her worldly skills with such acumen in spiritual matters that heads of State and Church both sought her advice.
1857 St. Paul Tinh native Vietnamese priest martyr.   Born in Vietnam, he was converted to the Catholic faith and was ordained a priest. Seized by anti-Catholic forces, Paul was beheaded. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1988.
Blessed Paul Tinh M (AC) Born in Trinh-ha, Tonkin (Vietnam); died 1857; beatified in 1909. Paul became a priest and was beheaded at Son-tay in West Tonkin (Benedictines).

1896 Blessed Zefirino Agostini first priority to develop relationship with God through personal prayer because God was the source of joy and power to do good.   Born in Verona, Italy, September 24, 1813; died there on April 6, 1896; beatified October 24, 1998.
Blessed Zefirino was the elder son of the physician Antonio Agostini and his wife Angela Frattini. Upon the death of the pious Antonio, the two boys were raised by their mother with a gentleness and wisdom that left its mark on the souls of her children and led Zefirino to his priestly vocation. Following his ordination on March 11, 1837, at the hands of Bishop Grasser of Verona, Zefirino was assigned to the poor parish of Saint Nazarius, where he had been baptized on September 28, 1813. The first eight years he had responsibility for teaching the catechism and running the recreational program for boys. In 1845, he was named pastor. Although the parish was large and poor, Father Agostini never allowed his fatherly heart to be overcome by its problems. He knew that his first priority was to develop his relationship with God through personal prayer because God was the source of his joy and power to do good. God filled Father Agostini with apostolic zeal. He established an after-school program for girls and catechetical instruction for their mothers. To inspire women, he held up the ideal of Saint Angela Merici and celebrated her feast. Three young women followed that inspiration and devoted themselves to the neediest in the community.


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 07
180 Saint Hegesippus Father of Church History Jewish convert {Eusebius drew heavily on his writings for  Ecclesiastical History (Book I  through  Book X)}.   IT is as the reputed Father of Church History that St Hegesippus is chiefly remembered to-day. By birth a Jew, and a member of the church of Jerusalem, he travelled to Rome, and there spent nearly twenty years, from the pontificate of St Anicetus to that of St Eleutherius.  At Rome, St. Hegesippus, who lived close to the time of the apostles.  He came to Rome while Anicetus was pope, and remained until the time of Eleutherius.  He wrote a history of the Church, from the Passion of our Lord to his own time, in a simple style, to make clear the character of those whose life he imitated.
In 277 he returned to the East, where he died in extreme old age, probably at Jerusalem. In the course of his travels, he seems to have visited the principal Christian centres in the West as well as in the East, and he noted with satisfaction that, although disturbances had been caused by individual heretics, hitherto no episcopal see or particular church had fallen into error:
everywhere he had found the unity of the faith as it had been delivered by our Lord to the saints. Unfortunately only a few chapters remain of the five books which he wrote on the history of the Church from the passion of our Lord down to his own time, but the work was highly esteemed by Eusebius and others, who drew largely upon it. He was a man filled with the spirit of the apostles and with a love of humility “which”, says St Jerome, “he expressed by the simplicity of his style”. St Hegesippus is named in the Roman Martyrology to-day.

345 Saint Aphraates Persian hermit  convert struggle against Arian heresy oldest extant Church document in Syria; miracles.  In Syria, in the time of Valens, St. Aphraates, an anchoret, who defended the Catholic faith against the Arians by the power of miracles.  Aphraates is sometimes identified as the bishop of the monastery of Mar Mattai, near Mosul Mesopotamia. Possibly a martyr, he is believed to have written a many-volumed defense of the faith called the Demonstrations, which is the oldest extant document of the Church in Syria. Aphraates is often referred to as "the Persian Sage."
According to the Bollandists, followed by Alban Butler, we owe our knowledge of the history of St Aphraates to Theodoret, who recalled how, as a boy, he had been taken by his mother to visit the saint and how Aphraates had opened his door to bless them, promising to intercede with God on their behalf. In his later years Theodoret continued to invoke that intercession, believing that it had become even more potent since the holy man had gone to God.
As the Arians had taken possession of their churches, the faithful were reduced to worshipping beside the river Orontes or in the large open space outside the city which was used for military exercises. One day, as St Aphraates was hurrying along the road which led from the city to this parade-ground, he was stopped by order of the emperor, who happened to be standing in the portico of his palace which overlooked the road. Valens inquired whither he was going: “To pray for the world and the emperor”, replied the recluse. The monarch then asked him how it happened that one dressed as a monk was gadding about far away from his cell. To this Aphraates answered with a parable: “If I were a maiden secluded in my father’s house, and saw it take fire, would you recommend me to sit still and let it burn? It is not I who am to blame, but rather you who have kindled the flames which I am striving to extinguish. We are doing nothing contrary to our profession when we gather together and nourish the adherents of the true faith.”
The emperor made no reply, but one of his servants reviled the venerable man, whom he threatened to kill. Shortly afterwards the same attendant was accidentally scalded to death, which so terrified the superstitious Valens that he refused to listen to the Arians when they tried to persuade him to banish St Aphraates. He was also greatly impressed by the miracles wrought by the hermit, who not only healed men and women but also—or at least so it was reported—cured the emperor’s favourite horse.

1078 Blessed Eberhard of Schaeffhausen protected and built convents OSB Monk (PC).   Born 1018; Pious prince Eberhard III, count of Nellenburg, was the husband of the pious Itta and a relative of both Pope Saint Leo IX and the emperor Saint Henry II.
Eberhard and Itta protected and built convents into which each was to retire later, including the Benedictine abbey of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, in 1050, where Eberhard retired (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1140 St. Aibert Benedictine ascetic monk 23 years then recluse; two Masses each day, one for living, second for dead.   St Aybert’s holiness began to attract visitors, who found themselves greatly helped by his spiritual advice and made him known to others. Bishops and laymen, grand ladies and canonesses, scholars and humble peasants flocked to him in such numbers that Bishop Burchard of Cambrai promoted him to the priesthood, providing him with a chapel beside his cell. Moreover Pope Innocent II granted him leave to absolve reserved cases—a right which he only exercised in exceptional circumstances. God crowned Aybert’s long penance with a happy death in the eightieth year of his age.
One phase of Aybert’s devotional practice is of great interest in its bearing on the controversy concerning the origin of the rosary. It is recorded that the saint used to repeat the Ave Maria fifty times in succession, accompanying each Ave with a prostration. A mention in the same context of his habit of dividing his recitation of the whole psalter into fifties makes the allusion still more significant.

1241 St. Herman Joseph Praemonstratensian and mystic visions of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph  b. 1150 German. Born in Cologne, he demonstrated at an early age a tendency toward mystical experiences, episodes which made him well known and deeply respected through much of Germany. He subsequently entered the Praemonstratensians at Steinfeld, Germany, where he was ordained. Herman experienced visions of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and authored a number of mystical writings. Long considered a saint, he was given an equivalent canonization by Pope Pius XII in 1958. AMONGST the German mystics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, special interest attaches to Bd Herman Joseph, not so much for his writings as for his visions, which were later a source of inspiration even to poets and painters. Herman, to give him his baptismal name, was born in Cologne, and lived from his seventh year until his death in extreme old age apparently in continual intercourse with the denizens of Heaven. As a little boy he would enter a church and converse familiarly with our Lady and the Holy Child, as he knelt before their statue. Once, indeed, when he offered them an apple he had the joy of seeing the hand of the Madonna extended to accept it. Sometimes he was uplifted to another plane and permitted to play with the Infant Saviour and the angels; and on one bitter winter’s day when he came to church barefoot, his parents being very poor, a kindly voice, which he took to be that of the Mother of Mercy, bade him look under a stone near by and he would find money wherewith to buy shoes. He looked, and the coins were there.
At no time robust, Bd Herman Joseph’s health became seriously affected by his fasts and austerities. Severe headaches attacked him, and his digestion became so impaired that he ate nothing and seemed a living skeleton. However, God granted him a reprieve from suffering towards the end, prolonging his life for nine years, and this was the period of his chief literary output. He had been sent in 1241 to the Cistercian nuns at Hoven for Passiontide and Easter when he was taken ill with fever from which he never recovered. The process of Herman’s canonization was introduced but never completed; his cultus, however, has been authoritatively sanctioned.
1410 Bl. Ursulina mystic accustomed to visions and ecstasies tried to end the scandals of the "Babylonian Captivity".  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.
1595 St. Henry Walpole Jesuit missionary 1/40 Martyrs of England and Wales
1595 Bl. Alexander Rawlins Martyr missionary fervent Catholicism

1595 BDs. ALEXANDER RAWLINS and HENRY WALPOLE, MARTYRS
beatified in 1929
ALEXANDER RAWLINS, secular priest, and Henry Walpole, Jesuit, who suffered martyrdom together in 1595, were men of good family, born, the one on the borders of Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and the other in Norfolk. Whereas Rawlins seems to have gone directly to the English College at Rheims to prepare to receive holy orders, Walpole, who was intended for the law, continued his education at Cambridge and then took chambers at Gray’s Inn. Realizing that he was becoming an object of suspicion to the authorities and feeling himself called to the priesthood, he proceeded to Rheims and then to Rome, where he entered the Society of Jesus. After taking his final vows, he was sent on missions, first to Lorraine and then to the Netherlands, where he was captured by Calvinists and imprisoned for a year. Upon being liberated, he asked to be allowed to go to England, but he was sent to teach in English seminaries at Seville and Valladolid. After another mission to Flanders, the long-desired permission was accorded, and he set out for England, landing at Flamborough Head on December 4, 1593. Within twenty-four hours he was arrested and was taken prisoner to York.
1606 Bl. Edward Oldcorne Jesuit & Ralph Ashley Jesuit lay- brother English martyrs alleged involve Gunpowder Plot.  He was born in York, England, and ordained in Rome. In 1587, he became a Jesuit. Returning to England, Edward worked in the Midlands from 1588 to 1606. He was then condemned to death at Worcester for alleged coinplicity in the Gunpowder Plot He was beatified in 1929.
1719 ST JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE, FOUNDER OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS.  At Rouen, the birthday of St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest and confessor.  He was prominent in the education of youth, especially those who were poor, for which he was acclaimed both by religious and civil society.  He was the founder of the Society of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  Pius XII, Supreme Pontiff, declared him patron of all those who teach children and young people.  His feast is celebrated on the 15th of May.
But in 1679 he met a layman, Adrian Nyel, who had come to Rheims with the idea of opening a school for poor boys. Canon de La Salle gave him every encouragement, and, somewhat prematurely, two schools were started. Gradually the young canon became more and more drawn into the work and grew interested in the seven masters who taught in these schools. He rented a house for them, fed them from his own table, and tried to instil into them the high educational ideals which were gradually taking shape in his own mind. In 1681, though their uncouth manners repelled him, he decided to invite them to live in his own home that he might have them under his constant supervision. The result must have been a great disappointment. Not only did two of his brothers indignantly leave his house—a step he may have anticipated, for “ushers” were then ranked with pot-boys and hucksters—but five of the schoolmasters soon took their departure, unable or unwilling to submit to a discipline for which they had never bargained. The reformer waited, and his patience was rewarded. Other men of a better type presented themselves, and these formed the nucleus of what was to prove a new congregation. To house them the saint gave up his paternal home, and moved with them to more suitable premises in the Rue Neuve. As the movement became known, requests began to come in from outside for schoolmasters trained on the new method, and de La Salle found his time fully engrossed. Partly for that reason, and partly because he realized the contrast his disciples drew between his assured official income and their own uncertain position, he decided to give up his canonry. This he did.
Elsewhere the institute had been steadily developing. As early as 1700 Brother Drolin had been sent to found a school in Rome, and in France schools were started at Avignon, at Calais, in Languedoc, in Provence, at Rouen, and at Dijon. In 1705 the novitiate was transferred to St Yon in Rouen. There a boarding-school was opened, and an establishment for troublesome boys, which afterwards developed into a reformatory-school. From these beginnings grew the present world-wide organization, the largest teaching-order of the Church, working from primary schools to university-colleges. In 1717 the founder decided finally to resign; from that moment he would give no orders, and lived like the humblest of the brothers. He taught novices and boarders, for whom he wrote several books, including a method of mental prayer. St John Baptist lived at an important period in the history of spirituality in France, and he came under the influence of Bérulle, Olier and the so-called French “school” of de Rancé and of the Jesuits, his friends Canon Nicholas Roland and the Minim friar Nicholas Barré being specially influential. On the negative side he was distinguished by his strong opposition to Jansenism, illustrated positively by his advocacy of frequent and even daily communion. In Lent, 1719 St John Baptist suffered a good deal from asthma and rheumatism, but would give up none of his habitual austerities. Then he met with an accident, and gradually grew weaker. He passed away on Good Friday, April 7, 1719 in the sixty-eighth year of his age.
The example of St John Baptist de la Salle may well lead everyone of us to ask himself: “What have I done to help and to encourage this most necessary and divine work? What sacrifices am I prepared to make that the Christian education of our children may be carried on in spite of all the hindrances and hostilities which beset it?” The Church has shown her appreciation of the character of this man, a thinker and initiator of the first importance in the history of education, by canonizing him in 1900, and giving his feast to the whole Western church; and in 1950 Pope Pius XII declared him the heavenly patron of all school-teachers.
1919 Blessed Josaphata Micheline Hordashevska .  A native of Lviv in Ukraine, Josaphata Michaelina Hordashevska became a nun at age 18. Co-founder with Father Kyrylo Seletsky of the first female congregation of the Byzantine-Ukrainian rite, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, she devoted herself to caring for the sick, teaching the Catechism, and maintaining impoverished churches. Diagnosed with bone cancer, from which she endured terrible pain, she died at age 49. She was beatified in June 2001 in Lviv by Saint John Paul II.

The Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate lives out its special calling to serve others by following the example of the Virgin Mary—Handmaid of the Lord—Mary is also Servant of all humanity. Our Lady went speedily to assist Elizabeth; she intervened with simplicity at Cana; she courageously stood at the foot of the Cross where she received us as her children from the arms of her Son; with confidence, in union with the Apostles in the Upper Room, she prayed for the Church. As servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate try to answer God’s call, as He invites us to collaborate with him in the work of Salvation by serving other.  nominis.cef.fr

1925 St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow Apostle to America led austere and chaste life; kindest of the Russian hierarchs "May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our own sake." t was extremely painful and hard for the Patriarch's loving, responsive heart to endure all the Church's misfortunes. Upheavals in and outside the church, the Renovationist schism, his primatial labors, his concern for the organization and tranquility of Church life, sleepless nights and heavy thoughts, his confinement that lasted more than a year, the spiteful and wicked baiting of his enemies, and the unrelenting criticism sometimes even from the Orthodox, combined to undermine his strength and health.
In 1924, Patriarch Tikhon began to feel unwell. He checked into a hospital, but would leave it on Sundays and Feast Days in order to conduct services. On Sunday, April 5, 1925, he served his last Liturgy, and died two days later. On March 25/April 7, 1925 the Patriarch received Metropolitan Peter and had a long talk with him. In the evening, the Patriarch slept a little, then he woke up and asked what time it was. When he was told it was 11:45 P.M., he made the Sign of the Cross twice and said, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." He did not have time to cross himself a third time.
Almost a million people came to say farewell to the Patriarch. The large cathedral of the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow could not contain the crowd, which overflowed the monastery property into the square and adjacent streets. St Tikhon, the eleventh Patriarch of Moscow, was primate of the Russian Church for seven and a half years.
On September 26/October 9, 1989, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church glorified Patriarch Tikhon and numbered him among the saints. For nearly seventy years, St Tikhon's relics were believed lost, but in February 1992, they were discovered in a concealed place in the Donskoy Monastery.

It would be difficult to imagine the Russian Orthodox Church without Patriarch Tikhon during those years. He did so much for the Church and for the strengthening of the Faith itself during those difficult years of trial. Perhaps the saint's own words can best sum up his life: "May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our own sake."


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 08
St_Rufus_Apostle_St_Celestine_Pope_of_Rome_St_Agabos
This icon portrays three scenes:
1) The central and main scene is from Matthew 28:2-4: "And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men."
2) The scene in the left bottom corner is from Matthew 28:5-7: "But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. he is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you."
3) The scene in the bottom right corner is from John 20:16-17: "Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
DATE COMPLETED: 1991 DONATED BY: Emile Kouri, brothers & sisters (in memory of their father Abdallah Chahine Kouri)  MELKITES -- Saints Peter & Paul Parish 1161 North River Road Ottawa, Ontario K1K 3W5


The spiritually avaricious are those who can never have enough of embracing and seeking after countless exercises of piety, hoping thereby to attain perfection all that much sooner, they say. They do this as though perfection consisted in the multitude of things we do and not in the perfection with which we do them! I have already said this very often, but it is necessary to repeat it: God has not placed perfection in the multiplicity of acts we perform to please Him, but only in the way we perform them, which is simply to do the little we do according to our vocation, in love, by love, and for love. -- St. Francis de Sales

1st v. TORQUATUS AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS.   THE first Christian missionaries to attempt the evangelization of Spain are said to have been seven holy men who had been specially commissioned by St Peter and St Paul, and sent forth for that purpose.
According to the legend the party kept together until they reached Guadix in Granada, where they encamped in a field whilst their servants went into the town to buy food. The inhabitants, however, came out to attack them, and followed them to the river. A miraculously erected stone bridge enabled the Christians to escape, but it collapsed when their pursuers attempted to cross it. Afterwards the missionaries separated, each one selecting a different district in which he laboured and was made bishop. Torquatus chose Guadix as the field of his labours, and is honoured on this day in association with his companions, all six of whom, however, have also special feasts of their own.
St Torquatus and the other bishops appear to have suffered martyrdom.
  Saints Herodion (Rodion), Agabus, Asyncritus, Rufus, Phlegon and Hermes are among the Seventy Apostles, chosen by Christ and sent out by Him to preach All these disciples for their intrepid service to Christ underwent fierce sufferings and were found worthy of a martyr's crown.   The commemoration of Saints Herodian, Asyncritus, and Phlegon who are mentioned by blessed Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Romans.
The holy Apostle Herodion was a relative of St Paul, and his companion on many journeys. When Christianity had spread to the Balkan Peninsula, the Apostles Peter and Paul established St Herodion as Bishop of Patara. St Herodion zealously preached the Word of God and converted many of the Greek pagans and Jews to Christianity.
Enraged by the preaching of the disciple, the idol-worshippers and Jews with one accord fell upon St Herodion, and they began to beat him with sticks and pelt him with stones.
One of the mob struck him with a knife, and the saint fell down. But when the murderers were gone, the Lord restored him to health unharmed.
After this, St Herodion continued to accompany the Apostle Paul for years afterward.
When the holy Apostle Peter was crucified (+ c. 67),
St Herodion and St Olympos were beheaded by the sword at the same time.
 170 St. Dionysius of Corinth Bishop of Corinth, Greece, famed for his letters commemorated the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul.    At Corinth, Bishop St. Denis, who instructed not only the people of his own city and province by the learning and charm with which he preached the word of God, but also the bishops of other cities and provinces by the letters  he wrote to them.  His devotion to the Roman Pontiffs was such that he was accustomed to read their letters publicly in the church on Sundays. 
He lived in the time of Marcus Antoninus Verus{161-166} [161-180--Marcus Aurelius] and Lucius Aurelius Commodus{180-192}.
432 Saint Celestine Pope of Rome (422-432) zealous champion of Orthodoxy virtuous life theologian authority denounced the Nestorian heresy.   He lived during the reign of the holy Emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450). He received an excellent education, and he knew philosophy well, but most of all he studied the Holy Scripture and pondered over theological questions.
The virtuous life of the saint and his authority as a theologian won him the general esteem and love of the clergy and people.

After the death of St Boniface (418-422), St Celestine was chosen to be the Bishop of Rome.
During this time, the heresy of Nestorius emerged. At a local Council in Rome in 430, St Celestine denounced this heresy and condemned Nestorius as a heretic. After the Council, St Celestine wrote a letter to St Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria (January 18), stating that if Nestorius did not renounce his false teachings after ten days, then he should be deposed and excommunicated.
St Celestine also sent a series of letters to other churches, Constantinople and Antioch, in which he unmasked and denounced the Nestorian heresy.
For two years after the Council, St Celestine proclaimed the true teaching about Christ the God-Man, and he died in peace on April 6, 432.
1095 St. Walter of Pontoise continued to live a life of mortification, spending entire nights in prayer establishing the foundation of a convent in honor of Mary at Bertaucourt.  IN studying the lives of the saints, we not infrequently meet with men and women whose lifelong aspiration it is to serve God in solitude, but who are recalled again and again by the voice of an authority which they dare not gainsay, and are forced to shoulder responsibilities from which they shrink, in a world from which they fain would flee. Such a saint was Walter (Gautier) of Pontoise. A Picard by birth, he received a liberal education at various centres of learning and became a popular professor of philosophy and rhetoric. Then he entered the abbey of Rebais-en-Brie, and was afterwards compelled by King Philip I to become the first abbot of a new monastery near Pontoise. Although, in accordance with the custom of the time, he received his investiture from the sovereign, the new abbot placed his hand not under but over that of the king, and said it is from God, not from your Majesty, that I accept the charge of this church .

His courageous words, far from offending Philip, won his approval; but the very honour in which he was held by persons in high office was a source of anxiety to Walter, and some time later he fled secretly from Pontoise and took refuge at Cluny, then under the rule of St Hugh, hoping there to lead a hidden life. His refuge was, however, discovered by his monks, who fetched him back to Pontoise. From the cares of office he would retire occasionally to a grotto in the abbey grounds, hoping for a little solitude; but his visitors followed him there, and he took to flight once more. This time he buried himself in a hermitage on an island in the Loire, but again he was forced to return.

            Some time later, St Walter went to Rome, where he requested St Gregory VII to relieve him of his burden. Instead of doing so, the pope told him to use the talents God had bestowed upon him, and bade him resume his charge. From that time Walter resigned himself to his fate. The mortifications he would have wished to practise in solitude were more than compensated for by the persecutions he had to undergo in consequence of his fearless opposition to simony and to evil-living
among the secular clergy ; there was even one occasion when he was mobbed, beaten and thrown into prison, but his friends procured his release. In spite of advancing age he never relaxed but rather increased the austerity of his habits ; he rarely sat down in church, but when his aged limbs would no longer support him, he leant upon his pastoral staff. After the other monks had retired at the close of the night offices, he would remain behind, lost in contemplation, until he sank to the ground, where in the morning he would sometimes be found lying helpless.
         His last public effort was to found, in honour of our Lady, a convent for women at Bertaucourt. He succeeded in building a church with a small house, but the community was not actually established there until after his death, which occurred on Good Friday 1095.

1816 St. Julie Billiart vision of crucified Lord with group wearing habits of Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur which she founded great love for Jesus in the Eucharist carried on this mission of teaching throughout her life although occasionally paralyzed and sick most of the time.  THE origin of the Institute of Notre Dame was once described by Cardinal Sterckx as a breath of the apostolic spirit upon the heart of a woman who knew how to believe and how to love” . That woman was Bd Mary Rose Julia Billiart. She came of a family of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers, who also owned a little shop at Cuvilly in Picardy, where she was born in 1751. Reading and writing she learnt from her uncle, the village schoolmaster, but her special delight was in religious instruction and the things of God. By the time she was seven, she was in the habit of explaining the catechism to other children less intelligent than herself. The parish priest encouraged these good instincts, and allowed her to make her first communion at the age of nine-—a rare privilege in those days. He also permitted her to take a vow of chastity when shc was fourteen. Although Julia had to work very hard, especially after heavy losses had impoverished her family, yet she always found time to visit the sick, to teach the ignorant and to pray. Indeed, she had already begun to earn the title by which she was afterwards known, “The Saint of Cuvilly.
      Suddenly a complete change came over her hitherto active existence. As the result of shock caused by the firing of a gun through a window at her father, beside whom she was sitting, there came upon her a mysterious illness, attended with great pain, which gradually deprived her of the use of her limbs. Thus reduced to the condition of an invalid, she lived a life of even closer union with God, continuing on her sick-bed to catechize the children, to give wonderfully wise spiritual advice to visitors, and to urge all to practise frequent communion. “ Qu’il est bon le hon Dieu ! was a saying of hers long remembered and often quoted. In 1790, when the curé of Cuvilly was superseded by a so-called constitutional priest who had taken the oath prescribed by the revolutionary authorities, it was mainly Julia’s influence which induced the people to boycott the schismatic intruder. For that reason and because she was known to have helped to find hiding-places for fugitive priests, she became specially obnoxious to the Jacobins, who went so far as to threaten to burn her alive. She was with difficulty smuggled out of the house, hidden in a haycart, and taken to Compiègne, where she was hunted from one lodging to another until at last one day they heard her exclaim, “Dear Lord, will you not find me a corner in Paradise, since there is no room for me on earth?
In 1815, Mother taxed her ever poor health by nursing the wounded and feeding the starving left from the battle of Waterloo. For the last three months of her life, she again suffered much. She died peacefully on April 8, 1816 at 64 years of age. Julie was beatified on May 13, 1906, and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1969.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 09
1st v. St. Mary Cleophas Mother of St. James the Less and Joseph, wife of Cleophas. She was one of the “Three Marys” who served Jesus and was present at the Crucifixion, accompanied Mary Magdalen to the tomb of Christ.  TO Mary of Cleophas whose name stands first in the Roman Martyrology on this day no general liturgical recognition is accorded, though her feast is kept by the Passionists, and by the Latins in Palestine. She seems to have been the wife of one Cleophas, who may or may not be identical with the Cleophas who is named as one of the two disciples who went to Emmaus on the day of our Lord’s resurrection.
Her identity among the various Marys mentioned by the evangelists is a matter of discussion among biblical commentators. The martyrology contents itself with saying that “Blessed John the Evangelist calls [her] sister of the most holy Mary, Mother of God, and relates that she stood with her by the cross of Jesus”. But it is possible that the sister of the mother of Jesus mentioned (John xix 25) was in fact a fourth, unnamed, woman.
Round the name of Mary of Cleophas all sorts of legendary excrescences gathered in later days. She was said to have travelled to Spain with St James the Greater, to have died at Ciudad Rodrigo, and to have been venerated with great honour at Compostela. On the other hand another extravagant legend connects her with the coming of SS. Lazarus, Mary Magdalen and Martha to Provence, and her body was believed to repose at Saintes-Maries near the mouth of the Rhone.

1st century. Mary of Cleophas, the 'other Mary,' followed our Lord to Calvary (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25) and saw Him after His Resurrection (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10). She was the mother of James the Younger, Joseph (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40), Simon, and Jude; wife of Cleophas (John 19:25); and sister of the Blessed Virgin (John 19:25).
1140 St. Gaucherius hermit in the forest of Limoges with a companion founded St. John’s Monastery at Aureilfor and a convent for women.  St Gaucherius was only eighteen when he abandoned the world to live the solitary life. He was born at Meulan-sur-Seine, where he received a good and religious education. His director sent him to his own master, Humbert, one of the canons of Limoges, who happened to be staying in the neighbourhood. That wise man not only encouraged the youth, but offered to assist him in carrying out his heart’s desire by taking him back to the Limousin district which was suitable for the life of retirement which he was contemplating. After spending a night in prayer at the tomb of St Leonard of Limoges, Gaucherius and a friend called Germond struck out into the wild forest region which stretched away for miles without any human habitation. In a particularly remote and inaccessible spot, they constructed a hermitage, and there they lived for several years unknown and forgotten. But gradually, as knowledge of the hermits’ holy life spread, cells sprang up round about to accommodate disciples and visitors. Many holy men were trained in this community, which became known as Aureil.   Born 1060.  Also known as Walter, abbot founder and friend of St. Stephen of Grandmont. He was born in Meulan sur Seine, France, and became a hermit in the forest of Limoges with a companion, Germond. Attracting disciples even though he was only eighteen, Gaucherius founded St. John’s Monastery at Aureilfor and a convent for women.  Died April 9, 1140; canonized by Pope Celestine III. His spiritual vocation led him to found and govern two monasteries in the Limousin region: Saint John at Aureil for Augustinian canons regular and Saint Stephen of Grandmont at Muret. He fell from a horse and died at the age of 80 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
1322 Bl. Thomas of Tolentino preach in the difficult regions of Armenia and Persia (modern Iran) set out for China beheaded at Thame in Hindustan.   From the time he had entered, the Order of Friars Minor in early youth, Thomas had been known as a truly apostolic man, and when the ruler of Armenia sent to ask the Minorite minister-general for some priests to fortify true religion in his realm, Thomas was chosen for the mission with four of his brethren. Their labours were blessed with success, many schismatics being reconciled and infidels converted. Armenia, however, was being seriously threatened by the Saracens, and Thomas came back to Europe to solicit help from Pope Nicholas IV and the kings of England and France.
Although he duly returned to the Armenian mission with twelve other Franciscans, Thomas subsequently travelled farther afield to Persia. Again he was recalled or sent back to Italy, but this time it was to report to Pope Clement V with a view to a further advance into Tartary and China. His embassy resulted in the nomination of an ecclesiastical hierarchy consisting of John of Monte Corvino as archbishop and papal legate for the East, with seven Franciscans as suffragans. In the meantime Bd Thomas had returned to the field of his labours, full of zeal for the conversion of India and China. He appears to have been making for Ceylon and Cathay, but the ship was driven by contrary winds to Salsette Island, near Bombay. Thomas was seized by the Saracens with several of his brethren and imprisoned. After being scourged and exposed to the burning rays of the sun, the holy man was beheaded. Bd Odoric of Pordenone afterwards recovered his body and translated it to Xaitou. The cultus was approved in 1894.

1331 Blessed John of Vespignano  devoted himself to works of charity among the refugees who flocked to Florence.  Born at Vespignano (diocese of Florence), Italy; cultus approved by Pius VII. During the civil wars, John devoted himself to works of charity among the refugees who flocked to Florence (Benedictines).
1374 Blessed Antony of Pavoni  consistent poverty of Antony's life & example of Christian virtue combatting heresies of Lombards OP.   Born in Savigliano, Italy, in 1326; died in Turino, Italy, in 1374; beatified in 1868. Antony was obviously martyred for the faith, yet it took more than 500 years before he was even beatified. He is still not canonized. Antony grew up to be a pious, intelligent youth. At 15, he was received into the monastery of Savigliano, was ordained in 1351, and almost immediately was engaged in combatting the heresies of the Lombards.
Pope Urban V, in 1360, appointed him inquisitor-general of Lombardy and Genoa, making him one of the youngest men ever to hold that office. It was a difficult and dangerous job for a young priest of 34. Besides being practically a death sentence to any man who held the office, it carried with it the necessity of arguing with the men most learned in a twisted and subtle heresy.  Antony worked untiringly in his native city, and his apostolate lasted 14 years. During this time, he accomplished a great deal by his preaching, and even more by his example of Christian virtue. He was elected prior of Savigliano, in 1368, and given the task of building a new abbey. This he accomplished without any criticism of its luxury--a charge that heretics were always anxious to make against any Catholic builders.
At Rome, the transferring of the body of St. Monica, mother of the bishop St. Augustine.  It was brought from Ostia to Rome, under the Sovereign Pontiff, Martin V, and buried with due honours in the church of St. Augustine.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 10
6th v. BC.  Apud Babylónem sancti Ezechiélis Prophétæ, qui, a Júdice pópuli Israël, quod eum de cultu idolórum argúeret, interféctus, in sepúlcro Sem et Arpháxad, Abrahæ progenitórum.    At Babylon, the prophet Ezechiel, who was put to death by a{n apostatized judge} of the people of Israel because he reproved him for worshipping idols.  He was buried in the sepulchre of Sem and Arphaxad, ancestors of Abraham.  Many people{ early Christians } were in the habit of going to his tomb to pray.
Ezekiel, Prophet (RM) (also known as Ezechiel).  Ezekiel is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament. Tradition says that he was put to death, while in captivity in Babylon, by one of the Jewish judges who had apostatized, and that he was buried there in the tomb of Shem. He grave was a site of pilgrimage for the early Christians (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Raphael painted this Vision of Ezekiel.
VII B.C. The Holy Prophetess Oldama (Huldah) lived in the first half profesied  to Josiah he would not see the Woe
She foretold to the 16 year old king of Judah reigning at Jerusalem, Josiah, that for his humility the Lord would put him with his forefathers and he would be at peace in the grave, and his eyes would not see all the woe, which the Lord would bring upon the land (4 (2) Kings 22: 14-20; 2 Chron. 34: 28).
Martyrdom of St. James the Apostle Brother of St. John the Apostle.   copticchurch.net  On this day, St. James the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. John, the Apostle, was martyred. After he had preached the Gospel in Judea and Samaria, he went to Spain. He preached the Gospel there, and its people believed in the Lord Christ. He returned to Jerusalem and pursued his ministry.
He always advised his flock to give alms to the poor, the needy, and the weak. They accused him before Herod who called him and asked him: "Are you the one that instigating the people not to give the taxes to Caesar but to give it to the poor and the churches?" Then he smote him with the sword, cutting off his head, and St. James received the crown of martyrdom.
Clement of Alexandria, from the fathers of the second century, said: "The soldier that seized the Saint, when he saw his courage, he realized that there must be a better life and asked the Saint for his forgiveness. Then the soldier confessed Christianity and received the crown of martyrdom (Acts 12:1,2) along with the Apostle in the year 44 A.D."
Because Herod saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. (Acts 12:3-4)
So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. (Acts 12:21-23)
As of the body of St. James, the believers took it, shrouded it, and buried it by the Temple. It was said that the body of St. James was translated to Spain, where James the elder considered to be its Apostle.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
115 Martyrs of Rome Saint Alexander while imprisoned he preached to criminals they converted and baptized     At Rome, the birthday of many holy martyrs, whom Pope St. Alexander baptized while he was in prison.  The prefect Aurelian had them all put in an old ship, taken to the deep sea, and drowned with stones tied to their necks
While Pope Saint Alexander was imprisoned in a public jail in Rome, he preached to the criminals he found there. They were converted and baptized. Later, the criminals were taken to Ostia and put on board an old boat which was then sent out to sea and scuttled. (Benedictines).
1028 St. Fulbert Bishop of Chartres France poet scholar aided Cluniac Reform defended monasticism orthodoxy.  WE learn from St Fulbert of Chartres himself that he was of humble extraction, but we know little of his early years beyond the fact that he was born in Italy and spent his boyhood there. He was later on a student in Rheims and must have been one of its most distinguished scholars, for when the celebrated Gerbert, who taught him mathematics and philosophy, was raised to the papacy under the title of Pope Silvester II, he summoned Fulbert to his side. When another pope succeeded, Fulbert returned to France, where Bishop Odo of Chartres bestowed upon him a canonry and appointed him chancellor. Moreover, the cathedral schools of Chartres were placed under his care, and he soon made them the greatest educational centre in France, attracting pupils from Germany, Italy and England.
Like most of the more eminent churchmen of his century he was an outspoken opponent of simony and of bestowing ecclesiastical endowments upon laymen. After an episcopate of nearly twenty-two years, he died on April 10, 1029. The writings of St Fulbert include a number of letters, a brief penitential, nine sermons, a collection of passages from the Bible dealing with the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Eucharist, and also some hymns and proses.
1460 Bl. Anthony Neyrot Dominican martyr in Tunis modem Tunisia.  Disaster followed disaster. He lost all faith in Christianity and began to translate the Koran. He was adopted by the king, married a Turkish lady of high rank, and was given the freedom of the city.  Into the false paradise came the news of the death of Saint Antoninus. Love for his old master stirred in Antony a yearning for the Truth he had abandoned. He resolved to return to the Christian faith, although it meant certain death.  In order that his return might be as public as his denial had been, he waited until the king returning in triumph from a victory over the Christians, had a public procession. Having confessed and made his private reconciliation with God, Antony, clothed in a Dominican habit, at that moment mounted the palace steps where all could see him.  In a loud voice he proclaimed his faith, and his sorrow at having denied it. The king at first disbelieved his ears, then he became angry. Failing to change the mind of the young man, he commanded that he be stoned to death.  Antony died under a shower of stones, proclaiming to the last his faith and his sorrow. It was Holy Thursday, 1460. His body was recovered at great expense from the Islamics and returned to Rivoli, where his tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage. Many miracles were performed there, and, until very recently, an annual procession was held at his shrine. In the procession, all the present-day members of his family, dressed in black, walked proudly behind the statue of Blessed Antony (Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia). ANTONY NEYROT was born at Rivoli in Piedmont, and entered the Dominican priory of San Marco in Florence, then under the direction of St Antoninus. After being professed he was sent to one of the houses of the order in Sicily. Between Naples and Sicily his ship was boarded by pirates, who carried him to Tunis, where he was sold as a slave. He succeeded in obtaining his freedom, but only to fall into a worse captivity, for the study of the Koran led him to abjure his faith and to become a Mohammedan. For several months he had practised the religion of the false prophet when his eyes were suddenly opened, in consequence, it is said, of a vision he had of St Antoninus. Smitten with contrition, he at once sent away his wife, did penance, and resumed the daily recitation of the office. Then he went before the ruler of Tunis in his friar’s habit and, in the presence of a great crowd, openly renounced his heresy and proclaimed the religion of Jesus Christ as the one true faith. Arguments, promises and threats were employed without being able to shake him. Eventually he was condemned to death, and perished by stoning and by sword cuts as he knelt in prayer with hands upraised. His body was given over to the flames, but portions of his relics which remained unconsumed were sold to Genoese merchants, who took them back to Italy. The cultus of Bd Antony was approved in 1767.
1479 Blessed Mark Fantucci preached throughout Italy, Istria, and Dalmatia. He also visited the friars in Austria, Poland, Russia, and the Levant OFM.  AMONGST the Franciscan leaders of the fifteenth century a special place must be assigned to Bd Mark Fantucci of Bologna, to whom was mainly due the preservation of the Observance as a separate body when it seemed on the point of being compulsorily merged into the Conventual branch. After having received an excellent education to fit him for the good position and large fortune to which he was left sole heir, he had given up all his worldly advantages at the age of twenty-six to receive the habit of St Francis. Three years after his profession, he was chosen guardian of Monte Colombo, the spot where St Francis had received the rule of his order. So successful was he in converting sinners that he was given permission to preach outside his province by St John Capistran, then vicar general of the Observants in Italy.
Having served twice as minister provincial, Bd Mark was elected vicar general in succession to Capistran, and showed himself zealous in enforcing strict observance of the rule the various reforms he brought about all tended to revive the spirit of the founder, After the taking of Constantinople so many Franciscans had been enslaved by the Turks, that Mark wrote to all his provincials urging them to appeal for alms to ransom the captives but in answer to a request for instructions how to act in the danger zone, he sent word to, Franciscan missionaries in places threatened by victorious Islam bidding them remain boldly at their posts and to face what might betide.

He was able to execute a long-cherished plan to form a convent of Poor Clares in Bologna.
St Catherine of Bologna came with some of her nuns from Ferrara to establish it, and found in Bd Mark one who could give her all the assistance she needed. He visited as commissary all the friaries in Candia, Rhodes and Palestine, and on his return to Italy he was elected vicar general for the second time. Never sparing himself he undertook long and tiring expeditions to Bosnia, Dalmatia, Austria and Poland, often travelling long distances on foot. Pope Paul II wished to make him a cardinal, but he fled to Sicily to avoid being forced to accept an honour from which he shrank.
The next pope, Sixtus IV, formed a project which was even less acceptable, for he had set his heart upon uniting all Franciscans into one body, without requiring any reform from the Conventuals. At a meeting convened to settle the matter, Bd Mark used all his eloquence to defeat the proposal, but apparently in vain. At last, in tears, throwing down the book of the rule at the pope’s feet, he exclaimed, “Oh my Seraphic Father, defend your own rule, since I, miserable man that I am, cannot defend it”; and thereupon left the hall. The gesture accomplished what argument had failed to do; the assembly broke up without arriving at a decision, and the scheme fell through. In 1479, white delivering a Lenten mission in Piacenza, Bd Mark was taken ill and died at the convent of the Observance outside the city. His cultus was confirmed in 1868.

1625 St. Michael de Sanctis life of exemplary fervor devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament his ecstacies during Mass many miracles After his death at 35.  Michael de los Santos was born in Catalonia, Spain around 1591. At the age of six he informed his parents that he was going to be a monk. Moreover, he imitated St. Francis of Assisi to such a great extent that he had to be restrained. After the death of his parents, Michael served as an apprentice to a merchant. However, he continued to lead a life of exemplary fervor and devotion, and in 1603, he joined the Trinitarian Friars at Barcelona, taking his vows at St. Lambert's monastery in Saragosa in 1607. Shortly thereafter, Michael expressed a desire to join the reformed group of Trinitarians and was given permission to do so. He went to the Novitiate at Madrid and, after studies at Seville and Salamanca, he was ordained a priest and twice served as Superior of the house in Valladolid.
His confreres considered him to be a saint, especially because of his devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and his ecstacies during Mass. After his death at the age of thirty-five on April 10, 1625 many miracles were attributed to him. He was canonized in 1862 by Pope Pius IX. St. Michael de Sanctis is noted in the Roman Martyrology as being "remarkable for innocence of life, wonderful penitence, and love for God." He seemed from his earliest years to have been selected for a life of great holiness, and he never wavered in his great love of God or his vocation.
As our young people look for direction in a world that seems not to care, St. Michael stands out as worthy of imitation as well as of the prayers of both young and old alike.
Michael of Sanctis, O. Trin. (RM) (also known as Michael of the Saints) Born at Vich, Catalonia, Spain, in 1591; died at Valladolid, Spain, in 1625; canonized in 1862. Saint Michael joined the calced Trinitarians at Barcelona in 1603, and took his vows at Saragossa in 1607. That same year he migrated to the discalced branch of the order and renewed his vows at Alcalá. After his ordination he was twice superior at Valladolid. He was one of the greatest apostles of the order in the 17th century,

1835 Saint Madelaine was an orphan taught catechism and nursed the sick in Verona, Venice, Milan, and China Order of the Daughters of Charity.  Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today’s saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor. Nor did the protests of her relatives, concerned that such work was beneath her.
Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire was to serve the needy without restriction. For years she worked among the poor and sick in hospitals and in their homes and among delinquent and abandoned girls.
In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home. In time she opened a school, which offered practical training and religious instruction. As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged. Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy.
Members of the new religious congregation focused on the educational and spiritual needs of women. Magdalen also founded a smaller congregation for priests and brothers. Both groups continue to this day.
She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 11
The history of Our Lady of Pochaev begins in 1198, only about two centuries after Christianity:  became institutionalized following the conversion of St. Vladimir.  In this year a monk ascended Mount Pochaev in order to pray.  After beginning his prayers a pillar of fire appeared to him and to some shepherds that happened to be nearby.  The flames withdrew to reveal the Blessed Virgin.  The apparition of the Virgin Mary left behind a footprint, from which a spring of water flowed.  This first event would lead to many other supernatural events through the special dedication of the Blessed Virgin to this region
Many of these miracles are the result of the veneration of the icon of our Lady of Pochaev [see above].  It first arrived in the region as a gift of Metropolitan Neophit to Anna Hoyska, an important patron of the Church, in 1559.  The icon shows our Lady, wearing a crown, and holding the infant Jesus.  In her other hand “she holds the end of her veil.”  This being a 'tenderness' icon, Jesus and Mary’s face touch, while Jesus gives a blessing with his hand.  To Mary’s right are the prophet Elijah and Saint Myrna, while to her left are St. Stephen and the Reverend Abraymey.  Mary’s face is described as being “beautiful but sad.”   The icon itself is 29 x23 cm, and made out of red pitched cypress.  The origin of the icon remains a mystery.
  63. St. Domnio Possibly first bishop of Salona and one of 72 disciples of Christ sent to Dalmatia, a region in Croatia, by St. Peter.  The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68).   During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of Holy Church.
"And to the angel of the Church of Pergamum write: the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is, and you cleave unto My Name, and have not renounced My faith, even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells" (Rev 2:12-13).
  67 Sts. Processus and Martinian pagans guards at Mamertine prison in Rome  accepted holy Baptism from Peter.  The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome.  State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison.
461 Pope St. Leo I (the Great)     St. Leo the First, pope and confessor, who was surnamed the Great.  His birthday falls on the 10th of November. (Reigned 440-461).
ST LEO THE GREAT, POPE AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
THE sagacity of Leo I, his successful defence of the Catholic faith against heresy, as well as his political intervention with Attila the Hun and Genseric the Vandal, raised the prestige of the Holy See to unprecedented heights and earned for him the title of “the Great”, a distinction accorded by posterity to only two other popes, St Gregory I and St Nicholas I. The Church has honoured St Leo by including him amongst her doctors on the strength of his masterly expositions of Christian doctrine, many extracts from which are incorporated in the Breviary lessons.
St Leo’s family was probably Tuscan, but he seems to have been born in Rome, as he always speaks of it as his “patria”. Of his early years and of the date of his ordination to the priesthood there are no records. It is clear from his writings that he received a good education, although it did not include Greek. We hear of him first as deacon under St Celestine I and then under Sixtus III, occupying a position so important that St Cyril wrote directly to him, and Cassian dedicated to him his treatise against Nestorius. Moreover, in 440, when the quarrels between the two imperial generals, Aetius and Albinus, threatened to leave Gaul at the mercy of the barbarians, Leo was sent to make peace between them.
At the time of the death of Pope Sixtus III he was still in Gaul, whither a deputation was sent to announce to him his election to the chair of St Peter.
Immediately after his consecration on September 29, 440, he began to display his exceptional powers as a pastor and ruler. Preaching was at that time mainly confined to bishops, and he set about it systematically, instructing the faithful of Rome whom he purposed to make a pattern for other churches. In the ninety-six genuine sermons which have come down to us, we find him laying stress on alms-giving and other social aspects of Christian life, as well as expounding Catholic doctrines—especially that of the Incarnation. Some idea of the extraordinary vigilance of the holy pontiff over the Church and its necessities in every part of the empire can be gathered from the 143 letters written by him, and the 30 letters written to him, which have fortunately been preserved. About the period that he was dealing with the Manichaeans in Rome, he was writing to the Bishop of Aquileia advising him how to deal with Pelagianism, which had made a reappearance in his diocese.

1079 St. Stanislaus ordained  at Szczepanow near Cracow noted for preaching sought after spiritual adviser martyred by cruel King.  Stanislaus was born of noble parents on July 26th at Szczepanow near Cracow, Poland. He was educated at Gnesen and was ordained there. He was given a canonry by Bishop Lampert Zula of Cracow, who made him his preacher, and soon he became noted for his preaching. He became a much sought after spiritual adviser. He was successful in his reforming efforts, and in 1072 was named Bishop of Cracow. He incurred the enmity of King Boleslaus the Bold when he denounced the King's cruelties and injustices and especially his kidnapping of the beautiful wife of a nobleman. When Stanislaus excommunicated the King and stopped services at the Cathedral when Boleslaus entered, Boleslaus himself killed Stanislaus while the Bishop was saying Mass in a chapel outside the city on April 11.
Stanislaus has long been the symbol of Polish nationhood. He was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1253 and is the principle patron of Cracow.
1146  The Departure of the holy father Anba Michael, the Seventy First Pope of the See of St. Mark. {Coptic church}.  On this day also of the year 862 A.M. (March 29th. 1146 A.D.) the holy father Pope Michael, the seventy first Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, departed. He longed to the pure life since his young age so he became a monk in the monastery of St. Macarius. He lived in the desert until he was an old man, in a good pleasing life to God.
When Pope Gabriel (70) departed, the bishops, the priests and the lay leaders spent three month searching for who was best suited to succeed him. A monk from the monastery of St. Macarius, called Yoannis Ebn Kedran, came forward nominating himself supported in that by Anba Yacoub, bishop of Lekanah, Anba Christodolus, bishop of Fowa, and Anba Michael, bishop of Tanta.
1771 St. Mary Margaret d'Youville Foundress of the Sisters of Charity directress of Montreal’s General Hospital, operated by her community.  Grey Nuns of Canada.
She was born at Varennes, Quebec, and was baptized Marie Marguerite Dufrost de Ia Jemmerais.
After being educated by the Ursulines, she was married to Francois d’Youville in 1722, becoming a widow eight years later. Mary Margaret worked to support herself and her children, aiding the Confraternity of the Holy Family as well. In 1737, she founded the Sisters of Charity, the Grey Nuns, with three companions. A formal declaration took place in 1745, and two years later she became directress of Montreal’s General Hospital, operated by her community. The Grey Nuns expanded to the United States, Africa, and South America. Mary Margaret died in Montreal on December 23. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1990.
1903 St. Gemma Galgani stigmata many mystical experiences and special graces Gemma was miraculously cured by the Venerable Passionist Gabriel Possenti.   THE short life of this saint, who was born at Camigliano in Tuscany in 1878, and died at Lucca at the age of twenty-five, was in one sense uneventful. It is a story of very fervent piety, charity and continuous suffering. These sufferings were caused partly by ill-health, partly by the poverty into which her family fell, partly by the scoffing of those who took offence at her practices of devotion, ecstasies and other phenomena, partly by what she believed to be the physical assaults of the Devil. But she had the consolation of constant communion with our Lord, who spoke to her as if He were corporeally present, and she also met with much kindness from the Giannini family, who in her last years after her father’s death treated her almost as an adopted daughter.

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 12
336 St. Julius elected Pope to succeed Pope St. Mark on February 6, 337 built several basilicas and churches in Rome declared that Athanasius was the rightful bishop of Alexandria and reinstated him.    THE name of Pope St Julius stands in the Roman Martyrology to-day with the notice that he laboured much for the Catholic faith against the Arians. He was the son of a Roman citizen named Rusticus, and succeeded Pope St Mark in 337. In the following year St Athanasius, who had been exiled at the instance of the Arians, returned to his see of Alexandria, but found himself opposed by an Arian or semi-Arian hierarch whose intrusion had been obtained by Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. In response to the request of the followers of Eusebius, Pope Julius convoked a synod to examine into the matter, but the very people who had asked for the council refrained from attending it. The case of St Athanasius was, however, very carefully examined in their absence and the letter, which the pope subsequently sent to the Eusebian bishops in the East has been characterized by Tillemont as “one of the finest monuments of ecclesiastical’ antiquity”, and by Monsignor Batiffol as “a model of weightiness, wisdom and charity”. Calmly and impartially he meets their accusations one by one and refutes them. Towards the end he states the procedure they ought to have followed. “Are you not aware that it is customary that we should first be written to, that from hence what is just may be defined whereas you expect us to approve condemnations in which we had no part. This is not according to the precepts of Paul or the tradition of the fathers. All this is strange and new. Allow me to speak as I do: I write what I write in the common interest, and what I now signify is what we have received from the blessed apostle Peter.”
The council at Sardica (Sofia) convened in 342 by the emperors of the East and West, vindicated St Athanasius, and endorsed the statement, previously made by St Julius, that any bishop deposed by a synod of his province has a right to appeal to the bishop of Rome. Nevertheless it was not until the year 346 that St Athanasius was able to return to Alexandria. On his way thither he passed through Rome, where he was cordially received by Pope Julius, who wrote a touching letter to the clergy and faithful of Alexandria, congratulating them on the return of their holy bishop, picturing the reception they would give him, and praying for God’s blessing on them and on their children.
St Julius built several churches in Rome, notably the Basilica Julia, now the church of the Twelve Apostles, and the basilica of St Valentine in the Flaminian Way. He died on April 12, 352. His body was buried at first in the cemetery of Calepodius, but was afterwards translated to Santa Maria in Trastevere which he had enlarged and beautified.

 371 St. Zeno Bishop of Verona, Italy, opponent of Arianism promoted discipline among clergy in liturgical life built cathedral founded convent wrote extensively on virgin birth of Christ.   From a panegyric he delivered on St Arcadius, a Mauretanian martyr, it has been conjectured that St Zeno was born in Africa; and from the excellent flowing Latin of his writings and from the quotations he makes from Virgil, it is evident that he received a good classical education. He seems to have been made bishop of Verona in 362. We gather a number of interesting particulars about him and about his people from a collection of his tractatus, short familiar discourses delivered to his flock. We learn that he baptized every year a great number of pagans, and that he exerted himself with zeal and success against the Arians, who had been emboldened by the favours they had enjoyed under the Emperor Constantius. When he had in a great measure purged the church of Verona from heresy and heathenism, his flock increased to an extent which necessitated the building of a large basilica. Contributions flowed in freely from the citizens, whose habitual liberality had become so great that their houses were always open to poor strangers, whilst none of their fellow citizens ever had occasion to apply for relief, so promptly were their wants forestalled. Their bishop congratulated them upon thus laying up for themselves treasure in Heaven.
After the battle of Adrianople in 378, when the Goths defeated Valens with terrible slaughter, the barbarians made numerous captives in the neighbouring provinces of Illyricum and Thrace. It appears to have been on this occasion that, through the bountiful charity of the inhabitants of Verona, many of the prisoners were ransomed from slavery, some rescued from a cruel death, and others freed from hard labour. Though this probably occurred after the death of St Zeno, the self-sacrifice of the townsmen may be traced to his inspiring zeal and example.

 372 St. Sabas & 50 others Goth converted to Christianity lector in Targoviste Romania martyr in the area of modern Romania by pagan Goths.   THE Goth’s in the third century swarmed over the Danube and established themselves in the Roman provinces of Dacia and Moesia, making expeditions from time to time into Asia Minor, especially into Galatia and Cappadocia, from which they brought back Christian slaves, priests and lay people. These prisoners soon began to make converts amongst their conquerors, with the result that Christian churches were founded. In 370 the ruler of one section of the Goths raised a persecution against his Christian subjects, out of revenge, it is supposed, for a declaration of war launched against him by the Roman emperor. The Greeks commemorate fifty-one Gothic martyrs, the most famous of whom were St Sabas and St Nicetas. Sabas, who had been converted to Christianity in early youth, acted as cantor or lector to the priest Sansala. When, at the outset of the persecution, the magistrates ordered the Christians to eat meat sacrificed to idols, certain pagans, who had Christian relations whom they wished to save, persuaded the officials to give them meat which had not been offered to idols. Sabas loudly denounced this ambiguous proceeding:  not only did he himself refuse to eat, but he declared that those who consented to do so had betrayed the faith. Some of the Christians applauded him, but others were so much displeased that they obliged him to withdraw from the town. He was, however, soon allowed to return. The following year, when the persecution broke out again, some of the principal inhabitants offered to swear that there were no Christians in the town. As they were about to take the oath, Sabas presented himself and said, “Let no one swear for me : I am a Christian!” The officer asked the bystanders how much he was worth, and, upon learning that he had nothing but the clothes he wore, contemptuously released him, remarking, “Such a fellow can do us neither good nor harm”.
 560 Isaak der Syrer/Isaak vom Monte Luco Er kam (auf der Flucht vor den Monophysiten?) aus Syrien nach Spoleto (Italien). St Isaac the Syrian lived during the mid-sixth century. He came to the Italian city of Spoleto from Syria. The saint asked permission of the church wardens to remain in the temple, and he prayed in it for two and a half days. One of the church wardens began to reproach him with hypocrisy and struck him on the cheek. Then the punishment of God came upon the church warden. The devil threw him down at the feet of the saint and cried out, "Isaac, cast me out!" Just as the saint bent over the man, the unclean spirit fled.
News of this quickly spread throughout the city. People began to flock to the saint, offering him help and the means to build a monastery. The humble monk refused all this. He left the city and settled in a desolate place, where he built a small cell. Disciples gathered around the ascetic, and so a monastery was formed.
When his disciples asked the Elder why he had declined the gifts, he replied, "A monk who acquires possessions is no longer a monk."
St Isaac was endowed with the gift of clairvoyance. St Gregory Dialogus (March 12) speaks of this in his "Dialogues About the Lives and Miracles of the Italian Fathers." Once, St Isaac bade the monks to leave their spades in the garden for the night, and in the morning he asked them to prepare food for the workers. Some robbers, equal to the number of spades, had come to rob the monastery, but the power of God forced them to abandon their evil intent. They took the spades and began to work. When the monks arrived in the garden, all the ground had been dug up. The saint greeted the toilers and invited them to refresh themselves with food. Then he admonished them to stop their thievery, and gave them permission to come openly and pick the fruits of the monastery garden.
Another time, two almost naked men came to the saint and asked him for clothing. He told them to wait a bit, and sent a monk into the forest. In the hollow of a tree he found the fine clothes the travelers had hidden in order to to deceive the holy igumen. The monk brought back the clothes, and St Isaac gave them to the wanderers. Seeing that their fraud was exposed, they fell into great distress and shame.
It happened that a certain man sent his servant to the saint with two beehives. The servant hid one of these hives along the way. The saint said to the servant, "I accept the gift, but be careful when you go back for the beehive that you hid. Poisonous snakes have entered into it. If you stretch forth your hand, they will bite you."
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Pope Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
 655 Martin I, Pope died in the Crimea great intellect and charity the last pope to die a martyr M (RM).   Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II 45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
11th v. 13th v. SS. ALFERIUS AND OTHERS, ABBOTS OF LA CAVA St Alferius, the founder of the abbey, although his immediate successors, Leo I of Lucca, Peter I of Polycastro and Constabilis of Castelabbate were all saints; whilst eight later abbots, Simeon, Falco, Marinus, Benincasa, Peter II, Balsamus, Leonard and Leo II all received the title of Blessed.  OF the holy abbots of La Cava who are honoured upon April 12, November 16 and other dates a special notice can only be given here of St Alferius, the founder of the abbey, although his immediate successors, Leo I of Lucca, Peter I of Polycastro and Constabilis of Castelabbate were all saints; whilst eight later abbots, Simeon, Falco, Marinus, Benincasa, Peter II, Balsamus, Leonard and Leo II all received the title of Blessed.
Alferius belonged to the Pappacarboni family which was descended from the ancient Lombard princes. Sent by Gisulf, duke of Salerno, as ambassador to the French court, he fell dangerously ill, and vowed that if he should regain his health he would embrace the religious life. Upon his recovery he entered the abbey of Cluny, then under the rule of St Odilo, but was recalled by the duke of Salerno, who wished him to reform the monasteries in the principality. The task appeared beyond his power, and he retired about the year 1011 to a lonely spot, picturesquely situated in the mountainous region about three miles north-west of Salerno, where he was soon joined by disciples. Of these he would only accept twelve—at any rate at first—but they formed the nucleus around which gradually grew the abbey of La Cava which afterwards attained to great celebrity. Alferius is said to have lived to the age of 120 and to have died on Maundy Thursday, alone in his cell, after he had celebrated Mass and washed the feet of his brethren. Only a very few years after his death there were, in south Italy and Sicily, over 30 abbeys and churches dependent upon La Cava and 3000 monks. Amongst his disciples had been Desiderius, who subsequently became Pope Victor III and a beatus.  The cultus of the sainted abbots of La Cava was confirmed in 1893, that of the beati in 1928.

1495 BD ANGELO OF CHIVASSO; He always been humble: even as vicar general he would only wear the cast-off habits of others and delighted in doing the lowliest work. Now he begged to he allowed to go and beg for the poor; Franciscan friary of the Observance at Genoa.   Bd Angelo’s superiors soon realized that they had in him a recruit of exceptional merit as well as of great missionary zeal, and it was not long before he was admitted to the priesthood. At once he embarked upon a strenuous evangelistic campaign. Full of eloquence and zeal, he made his way into remote villages in the Piedmontese mountains and valleys, regardless of weather and of the roughness of the way. The poor he greatly loved: he sought them out, visited them in sickness, and would often beg on their behalf. He helped them in many ways, notably by encouraging the introduction of monti di pietà to save them from the clutches of money-lenders. His penitents, however, were not confined to the poor. St Catherine of Genoa consulted him, and Charles I, Duke of Savoy, chose him to be his confessor. His so-called Summa Angelica, a book of moral theology which he wrote, was much used. Bd Angelo filled a number of offices, and as superior he was extremely zealous in preserving the purity of the rule; his outstanding capabilities caused him to be three times re-elected vicar general.
When, after the taking of Otranto by the fleet of Mohammed II, Pope Sixtus IV appealed for recruits to fight the threatening forces of Islam, the Observants proved themselves specially zealous in rousing the people to meet the crisis, but it was Bd Angelo who always chose the places of greatest danger for his activities. Moreover, when in 1491, at the age of eighty, he had accepted the office of commissary apostolic to evangelize the Waldensians in the Piedmontese valleys, he displayed a fervour and intrepidity which were rewarded by a surprising measure of success. Many heretics as well as lapsed Catholics were brought back to the faith, so that Pope Innocent VIII wished to raise him to the episcopate, but he could not be induced to consent.
At last, in 1493, Bd Angelo was able to lay down office and to prepare his soul for death. He had always been humble: even as vicar general he would only wear the cast-off habits of others and delighted in doing the lowliest work. Now he begged to he allowed to go and beg for the poor. His last two years were spent at the convent of Cuneo in Piedmont where he died at the age of 84. His cultus was approved in 1753.

1920 St. Teresa of Los Andes; Carmelite nun, Chile’s first saint. (1900-1920) 
One needn’t live a long life to leave a deep imprint. Teresa of Los Andes is proof of that.
As a young girl growing up in Santiago, Chile, in the early 1900s, she read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Therese, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. At age 19 she became a Carmelite nun, taking the name of Teresa.

The convent offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely devoted to God. She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am God’s, ” she wrote in her diary. “He created me and is my beginning and my end. ”
Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. At age 20 she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.
Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. She is Chile’s first saint.


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 13
The Prophet Ezekiel ("God is strong") was the son of Buzi and a priest by rank.
He was taken captive and brought to Babylon during the reign of Jechonias.
In the fifth year of this captivity, about 594 or 593 B.C., he began to prophesy.

Having prophesied for about twenty-eight years, he was murdered, it is said, by the tribe of Gad, because he reproached them for their idolatry.

His book of prophecy, divided into forty-eight chapters, is ranked third among the greater Prophets. It is richly filled with mystical imagery and marvelous prophetic visions and allegories, of which the dread Chariot of Cherubim described in the first Chapter is the most famous; in the "gate that was shut," through which the Lord alone entered, he darkly foretold of the Word's Incarnation from the Virgin (44:1-3); through the "dry bones" that came to life again (37:1-14), he prophesied both of the restoration of captive Israel, and the general resurrection of our race.
656 Pope Saint Martin I martyred for defending dual nature of Jesus died at Kherson Crimea last pope die a martyr. Martin I, Pope M (RM) Born in Todi in Umbria, Italy; died in the Crimea, September 16, 655; feast day was previously November 12 (November 10 in York); the Eastern Church celebrates his feast on September 20.

Martin became a deacon in Rome. He displayed a great intellect and charity, was sent by Pope Theodore I as nuncio (apocrisiarius) to Constantinople, and was elected pope in 649 to succeed Theodore I. At once, he convened the council at the Lateran that condemned Monothelitism (the denial that Christ had a human will), the Typos--the edict of the reigning Emperor Constans II, which favored it, and Heraclius's Ekethesis. Although he was supported by the bishops of Africa, England, and Spain, the imperial wrath fell upon the pontiff who was arrested by Constans and taken to Constantinople in 653.
     When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch.

A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice emperors had officially favored this position, Heraclius by publishing a formula of faith and Constans II by silencing the issue of one or two wills in Christ.
Shortly after assuming the office of the papacy (which he did without first being confirmed by the emperor), Martin held a council at the Lateran in which the imperial documents were censured, and in which the patriarch of Constantinople and two of his predecessors were condemned. Constans II, in response, tried first to turn bishops and people against the pope.
Comment:  The real significance of the word martyr comes not from the dying but from the witnessing, which the word means in its derivation. People who are willing to give up everything, their most precious possessions, their very lives, put a supreme value on the cause or belief for which they sacrifice. Martyrdom, dying for the faith, is an incidental extreme to which some have had to go to manifest their belief in Christ. A living faith, a life that exemplifies Christ's teaching throughout, and that in spite of difficulties, is required of all Christians. Martin might have temporized; he might have sought means to ease his lot, to make some accommodations with the civil rulers.
Quote:   The breviary of the Orthodox Church pays tribute to Martin: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith...sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error...true reprover of heresy...foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion.... Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”

Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 14
 190 St. Tiburtius Martyr with Valerian and Maximus     At Rome, on the Appian Way, the birthday of the holy martyrs Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus, who suffered in the time of Emperor Alexander and the prefect Almachius.  The first two were converted to Christ by the exhortations of blessed Cecilia, and baptized by Pope St. Urban.  They were beaten with clubs, then beheaded for the sake of the true faith.  Maximus, who had been the prefect's chamberlain, was touched by their constancy, and confirmed by the vision of an angel, believed in Christ, and was scourged with leaded whips until he died.
   564 St. Abundius Confessor sacrist St. Peter's in Rome humble many graces spiritual gifts   At Rome, St. Abundius, sacristan of the church of St. Peter.
Abundius served in St. Peter's in Rome. Pope St. Gregory I the Great wrote of his life, which was filled with many graces and spiritual gifts.

 655 Saint Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome native of the Tuscany convened Lateran Council at Rome condemn Monothelite heresy last martyred Pope.  He received a fine education and entered into the clergy of the Roman Church. After the death of Pope Theodore I (642-649), Martin was chosen to succeed him.
At this time the peace of the Church was disturbed by the Monothelite heresy (the false doctrine that in Christ there is only one will. He has a divine, and a human will).
"Even if they cripple me, I will not have relations with the Church of Constantinople while it remains in its evil doctrines." The torturers were astonished at the confessor's boldness, and they commuted his death sentence to exile at Cherson in the Crimea.
There the saint died, exhausted by sickness, hunger and deprivations on September 16, 655. He was buried outside the city in the Blachernae church of the Most Holy Theotokos, and later the relics of the holy confessor Martin were transferred to Rome.
The Monothelite heresy was condemned at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680.
1120 BD LANVINUS Carthusian monk, came to Rome and obtained from Pope Paschal a bull to protect the houses of the Carthusians from molestation. IN 1893 Pope Leo XIII confirmed the cultus of a Carthusian monk, Bd Lanvinus, {20 February, 1878; 20 July, 1903; Pope Leo XIII } who though little known to the world at large has always been held high in honour in his own order. He was a Norman by birth who seems to have made his way south to the Grande Chartreuse about the year 1090, and thence accompanied St Bruno to Calabria. When the holy founder died there in 1101, Lanvinus was elected to succeed him in the government of the two charterhouses which the order at that time possessed in the south of Italy. Some little difference of opinion had preceded this election, and we possess more than one letter addressed to the new superior by Pope Paschal II, {Pope Paschal II Succeeded Urban II, and reigned from 13 Aug., 1099, till he died at Rome, 21 Jan., 1118. }congratulating the brethren on this peaceful solution and admonishing them not to presume too much upon the austerity of their rule, but ever to seek perfect concord and union with God.
In 1102 Lanvinus was summoned to Rome to attend a synod. Other letters of the same pontiff were despatched to him in 1104 commending his zeal in carrying out the pope’s injunctions, and entrusting to his care a difficult negotiation which concerned one of the bishops of that province. In 1105 he was further appointed visitor of all monastic houses in Calabria and charged with the duty of restoring strict discipline; while eight years later he again came to Rome and obtained from Pope Paschal a bull to protect the houses of the Carthusians from molestation. He died greatly revered on April 11, 1120, but his feast is kept in the order on this day.

1124 Caradoc of Llandaff Abbot monk musician reputation for holiness miracles quieted wildest beasts healer incorrupt (AC).  As a young man St Caradoc lived at the court of Rhys ap Tewdwr, prince of South Wales, where he occupied the honourable post of harper. One day he fell into disgrace with his master who blamed him for the loss of two favourite greyhounds and threatened to kill him. Thus brought to realize the folly of trusting in the favour of earthly princes, Caradoc resolved from henceforth to give his services only to the King of kings. He accordingly abandoned the court and repaired to Llandaff, where he received the tonsure from the bishop who sent him to serve in the church of St Teilo. Afterwards he spent some years as a hermit near the abandoned church of St Cenydd in Gower and then retired with some companions to the still more remote solitude of an island off the coast of Pembroke. Here they suffered from Norse raiders, and St Caradoc eventually settled in St Ismael’s cell at Haroldston, of which he was given charge. Like so many other solitaries Caradoc had unusual power over the lower animals, illustrated on one occasion by his mastering a pack of hounds “by a gentle movement of his hand”, when they were quite out of the owner’s control.
St Caradoc was buried with great honour in the cathedral church of St David, where the remains of his shrine may be seen.
A still extant letter of Pope Innocent III directs certain abbots to make inquiry into the life and miracles of this Welsh hermit.
1246 St. Peter Gonzalez Dominican evangelized protector of captive Muslims and cared for sailors.   St. Peter Gonzales Peter Gonzales, also known as St. Elmo or St. Telmo, was born to a Castilian family of nobility. He was educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, named canon of the local cathedral, famous for his penances and mortifications, joined the Dominican Order, preached and made chaplain of the court of King St. Ferdinand III. He converted and influenced the soldiers of his country, evangelized, and died on Easter Sunday. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741. Peter evangelized throughout his country and all along the coast. He had a special fondness for sailors. He used to visit them aboard their ships, preaching the Gospel and praying for their needs.
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.  About the year 1407 she began to have ecstasies and mystical visions. While her body lay in prolonged cataleptic trances, her spirit communed with our Lord, with the saints, and with her guardian angel, or it would visit the holy places of Rome and Palestine or else churches near at hand. Now she would help our Lord to carry His cross on Calvary, now she would witness the pains of purgatory and would be given a foretaste of the joys of Heaven.
Two points are emphasized by her biographers: never, in all her raptures, did she lose sight of her vocation, and always those spiritual privileges were followed by increase of suffering. Acclaimed as she was even then as a saint, she was not destined to escape detraction, which came in a very painful form.
 The biography of Bd Lydwina compiled by John Brugman has been printed, both in its first and latest form, by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii; and they have also given extracts from the memoir by Thomas a Kempis. John Gerlac’s narrative is in Dutch and was first printed at Delft in 1487. Full bibliographical details are provided in the excellent little volume Sainte Lydwine contributed by Hubert Meuffels to the series “Les Saints” (1925). This is by far the best popular life, and it corrects in many details the extravagances and inaccuracies of Huysmans’ Saints Lydwine de Schiedam which has gone through so many editions. There are several other lives of less value. That by Thomas a Kempis has been translated into English by Dom Vincent Scully (1912), with a useful introduction. In this introduction may be found a translation of the striking official document drawn up in 1421 by the municipality of Schiedam attesting among other things that “within the seven years last passed she (Lydwina) has used no food or drink at all nor does use any at present”. Although she is quite commonly called Saint Lydwina, she has never been officially canonized, but her cultus was formally confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in 1890.


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 15
The Departure of the Righteous Joachim, The Lord Christ Grandfather.
On this day the righteous Joachim (Yonakhir - Zadok) departed. He was the father of St. Mary, the Theotokos, the mother of God incarnate. He was of the seed of David, and of the tribe of Judah, for he was the son of Jotham, the son of Lazarus, the son of Eldad who ascended up in genealogy to Solomon the king, the son of David whom God promised that his seed should reign over the children of Israel for ever.
The wife of this righteous man, Hannah was barren, and both of them prayed and entreated God continually to give them a child. Having accepted their petition He gave them a good and sweet fruit, which satisfied all the men of the world, and removed from them the bitterness of servitude, and He made Joachim worthy to be called the father of the Lord Christ in regard of His marvelous and wondrous Incarnation. After God had pleased him with the birth of our Lady, his heart was rejoiced and he offered his offerings, and the shame had been removed from him, he departed in peace when the Virgin was three years old.  May his prayers be with us. Amen.

  100 Holy Martyr Sukhios and 16 Gruzian (Georgian) Companions new names: to the eldest -- Sukhios (replacing his old name Bagadras), and  companions Andrew, Anastasias, Talale, Theodorites, Juhirodion, Jordan, Kondrates, Lukian, Mimnenos, Nerangios, Polyeuktos, James, Phoki, Domentian, Victor and Zosima.
The holy remains of the martyrs remained undecayed and unburied until the time of the IV Century, when they were placed in graves and consigned to earth by local Christians (the names of the holy martyrs were found written on a cliff).
The holy PriestMartyr Gregory, Enlightener of Armenia (+ c. 335, Comm. 30 September), built a church on this spot and established a monastery. And afterwards, a curative spring of water was discovered there.( shown a golden base where the cathedral at Vagharshapat (later Etchmiadzin) see map close to Yerevan {Even when Agathangelos describes well-known events, he borrows from the Bible. Diocletian's persecution of the Church is talked about completely in Bible images, with no reference to any actual events. Gregory is nourished in the terrible pit as Elijah was; Drtad's bestial transformation recalls that of Nebuchadnezzar. There are also countless references to liturgical and patristic writings, and it is unfortunate that we modern readers miss so many of these. Agathangelos presumed on the part of his readers an intimate familiarity with the Scriptures, Liturgy, and spiritual writings that most of us today simply do not possess.
Agathangelos had a purpose in mind as he wrote about Gregory. That purpose is reflected in some of the differences in emphasis between Agathangelos' work about the saint and the work of others. For example, Movses Khorenatsi gives us much more detail about Gregory's origins, and tries to tie him to the first enlightener, Thaddeus. In general, he gives more detail about all aspects of Gregory's life than Agathangelos does. But Agathangelos is not interested in establishing an apostolic tie for Gregory, or presenting his life in detail. His purpose is mainly to enhance Gregory's role as the first bishop, first church builder, and first establisher of a hierarchy in the Armenian Church. He wants to show the importance of the hierarchical structure of the Church, and emphasize the authority of the patriarch's position, and this he does by tying both to the great saint so highly venerated in the Church.
Central to this effort is Agathangelos' description of Gregory's vision of the burial place of the martyrs. Gregory is shown a golden base where the cathedral at Vagharshapat (later Etchmiadzin) is to be built. Thus Agathangelos establishes divine foundation for cathedral and for church leaders who reside there ­ so again, he makes a case for the "rightness" of the hierarchs and the hierarchical structure of the Church.}
 679 St. Hunna devoted herself to the poor of Strasbourg.
Called “the Holy Washerwoman,” a noblewoman who devoted herself to the poor of Strasbourg, France. The daughter of a duke and wife of Huno of Hunnaweyer, she even washed the poor's clothes, hence her name. She was canonized in 1520 by Pope Leo X.





Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 16
   460 St. Turibius of Astorga Bishop stern disciplinarian opponent of the heretical Priscillianist  At Paléntia, St. Turibius, bishop of Astorga.  With the aid of Pope St. Leo, he drove out of Spain completely the Priscillian heresy.  He went to rest in the Lord with a great renown for miracles.   St Turibius became bishop of Astorga when the errors of the Priscillianists were gaining many adherents in various parts of Spain. Based on forged apostolic writings, this heresy was a subtle form of Manichaeism which seems to have attracted both laymen and clergy: even Dictinus, the previous bishop of Astorga, is said at one time to have defended its teachings. St Turibius, on the other hand, came forward as an uncompromising champion of the Catholic faith. Not only did he boldly expose and denounce the new doctrines, but he took strong action against the leaders of the movement. He then appealed for support to Pope St Leo the Great, to whom he sent a report of the measures he was adopting. Leo in reply wrote a long epistle in which he categorically condemned the tenets of the Priscillianists. Mainly as a result of the efforts of St Turibius, thus backed by the authority of Rome, the spread of this heresy was checked, and the bishop was able to devote his energies to the enforcement of discipline amongst his clergy and the reform of morals amongst his people. His death occurred about the year 450.
900 St. Lambert of Saragossa servant Martyred by his Saracen master in Spain.   Lambert of Saragossa M (RM); cultus promoted by Pope Hadrian VI. Saint Lambert was a servant who was killed near Saragossa, Spain, by his Saracen master during the Moorish occupation (Benedictines).
1116 Magnus of Orkney Magnus stood against wanton violence and racism against foreigners).  Died on Igilsay Island, Norway, Earl Magnus Erlendsson of Norway, son of Erling, ruled over half the Orkney Islands. He was killed by his cousin Haakon, who ruled over the other half.   Magnus is venerated as the protector of Scotland and a martyr, even though as a young man he participated in the Viking raids on Scotland. .  After King Magnus Barefoot bad been killed in battle against the Irish, his son Sigurd allowed Haakon to return to the Orkneys, of which he wished to be the sole ruler. But Magnus, whose brother Erlend had also been slain, gathered a body of men and proceeded to his native country, where he vindicated his right to share in the government of the islands. Although the two cousins could unite against a common foe, disputes often arose between them. At last Haakon, whose overbearing spirit could no longer brook a rival, invited Magnus to meet him with a few followers on the island of Egilsay, under pretext of cementing a lasting peace. Magnus unsuspectingly complied, but was overpowered by a large band of men brought by Haakon and was treacherously slain, refusing to resist. The cathedral of Kirkwall, where he was buried (and where what seem to have been his bones were found in 1919, and many other churches have been dedicated in honour of St Magnus, who was regarded as a martyr, in spite of the fact that he was murdered on political rather than on religious grounds. He is said to have appeared to Robert Bruce with a promise of victory, on the eve of Bannockburn, and his feast is still observed in the diocese of Aberdeen.
1378 The Nun Theodora of Nizhegorod, in the world Anastasia (Vassa) entered the Nizhegorod Zachat'ev monastery attained the gift of humility and love.   The daughter of the Tver' boyar-noble Ioann and his spouse Anna. She was born in the year 1331. At 12 years of age they gave her in marriage to the Nizhegorod prince Andrei Konstantinovich. after 12 years of childless married life, the prince died, having accepted monasticism (+ 2 June 1365). The holy princess continued to live in the world for another four years, and then she set free her servants, distributed off her substance and entered the Nizhegorod Zachat'ev monastery. She was tonsured by Sainted Dionysii, afterwards the archbishop of Suzdal' (+ 1385, Comm. 15 October and 26 June).
In monastic life the saint often went without food for a day or two, and sometimes even five; her nights she spent in tearful prayers, and on her body she wore an hairshirt. She attained the gift of humility and love and she bore every abuse without malice. The example of the strict life of the Nun Theodora attracted others also: in her common-life monastery were tonsured princesses and boyaresses, and in all there about 100 sisters. The Nun Theodora died in the year 1378.

1783 St. Benedict Joseph Labré "the Beggar of Rome," a pilgrim recluse devoted to the Blessed Sacrament miracles soaring over the ground, as well as bilocation, is frequently attested in Benedict's case.  1783 St. Benedict Joseph Labré "the Beggar of Rome," a pilgrim recluse devoted to the Blessed Sacrament miracles soaring over the ground, as well as bilocation, is frequently attested in Benedict's case
Romæ natális sancti Benedícti-Joséphi Labre Confessóris, qui contémptu sui et extrémæ voluntáriæ paupertátis laude exstitit insígnis.
    At Rome, the birthday of St. Benedict Joseph Labre, confessor, who was famed for his contempt of self and his great voluntary poverty. miraculous multiplication of bread for some poor people and by the healing of a confirmed invalid. “God’s will be done”, he said, as he took a final farewell of the Cistercians of Septfons in 1770.
Benedict now determined to go on pilgrimage to Rome, walking all the way and living on alms. He set out accordingly, staying among other places at Ars, where he met Mr Vianney, father of the future curé. Having crossed the Alps into Italy, he wrote from Piedmont a touching letter to his parents—the last they ever received from him. In it he apologized for the uneasiness he may have caused them and announced his intention of trying to enter an Italian monastery. This he does not appear to have done, for his true vocation began to dawn upon him. Not by shutting himself up in any cloister was he to abandon the world, but by obeying the counsels of perfection without turning his back on the world. Literally and in spirit he must follow the example of our Lord and so many of His saints. With this object in view he embarked upon a life of pilgrimages which led him to the principal shrines in western Europe. Oblivious of wind and weather, he travelled everywhere on foot, carrying neither purse nor scrip nor yet provisions for the way. Often he slept in the open air upon the bare ground; at best he took his rest in a shed or a garret, for he could rarely be induced to accept a bed. He wished to be homeless like his Master. He saluted no man by the way unless specially moved to do so, he seldom opened his lips except to acknowledge or distribute to others the alms which he had received.


1879 St. Bernadette Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times and spoke with her above a rose  bush in a grotto  called Massabielle dressed in blue and white with a rosary of ivory and gold.    In the city of Nevers in France, St. Mary Bernard Soubirous of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, also called the Christian Institute.  She was favoured with frequent apparitions and conversations at Lourdes with Mary Immaculate, the Mother of God.  In 1933 her name was added to the roll of holy virgins by Pope Pius XI.   St. Bernadette Soubirous 1879 Famed visionary of Lourdes, baptized Mary Bernard. She was born in Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844, the daughter of Francis and Louise Soubirous. Bernadette, a severe asthma sufferer, lived in abject poverty. On February 11, 1858, she was granted a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cave on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. She was placed in consider able jeopardy when she reported the vision, and crowds gathered when she had futher visits from the Virgin, from February 18 of that year through March 4.  The civil authorities tried to frighten Bernadette into recanting her accounts, but she remained faithful to the vision.

  On February 25, a spring emerged from the cave and the waters were discovered to be of a miraculous nature, capable of healing the sick and lame. On March 25, Bernadette announced that the vision stated that she was the Immaculate Conception, and that a church should be erected on the site. Thus, she lived out her self-effacing life, dying at the age of 35 as did Saint Benedict Labre. The events of 1858 resulted in Lourdes becoming one of the most important pilgrim shrines in the history of Christendom, ending with the consecration of the basilica in 1876. But Saint Bernadette took no part in these developments; nor was it for her visions that she was canonized, but for the humble simplicity and religious trust that characterized her whole life (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Sandhurst, Schamoni, Trochu, Walsh, White).
Saint Bernadette is the patron saint of shepherds (White).


Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 17
Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the Fifty Fifth Patriarch commemoration of Wonder took place on his hand  (Coptic)
Tuesday of St Thomas week we remember those Orthodox Christians from all ages who have died in faith, and in the hope of resurrection. On this day also a great sign was made manifest through our holy father Pope Sinuthius (Shenouda I) the fifty fifth Pope of Alexandria. This Pope went to the desert of Scetis in order to fast the Holy Lent with the fathers the monks. On Palm Sunday many Arabs came to the desert of Scetis to plunder the monasteries. They stood on the rock east of the church of St. Macarius. Their swords were drawn in their hands ready to kill and steal. The bishops and the monks gathered together and decided to leave the desert before the Holy Feast of Resurrection (Easter) and they took counsel with Pope Shenouda who told them; "As for me I will not leave the desert until I complete the Pascal week. On Maundy Thursday the situation became worse.
The Pope took his staff that had the sign of the cross on it and he wanted to go out to meet the Arabs saying: "It is better for me to die with the people of God" but they prevented him from going out, but instead, he strengthened and comforted them. Then he went forth to meet the Arabs with his staff in his hand. When they saw him, they retreated and fled away as if they were pursued by an army of soldiers and from this day onwards they never came back to do any harm.
The prayers of this father be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
There are indications of this commemoration in the sermons of the Fathers of the Church.
St John Chrysostom, for example, mentions it in his homily "On the Cemetery and the Cross."
In pre-Revolutionary Russia bars remained closed and alcoholic beverages were not sold until this Day of Rejoicing so that the joy people felt would be because of the Resurrection, and not an artificial joy brought on by alcohol.
Today the Church remembers its faithful members at Liturgy, and kollyva is offered in remembrance of those who have fallen asleep.
Priests visit cemeteries to bless the graves of Orthodox Christians, and to share the paschal joy with the departed.
It is also customary to give alms to the poor on this day.

   At Rome, St. Anicetus, pope and martyr, who received the palm of martyrdom in the persecution of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus.
155-166 St. Anicetus pope a Syrian from Emesa actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism.  165 ST ANICETUS, POPE AND MARTYR
ST ANICETUS was raised to the chair of St Peter in the latter part of the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. He is styled a martyr in the Roman and other martyrologies and, if he did not actually shed his blood for the faith, he at least purchased the title of martyr by the sufferings and trials he endured. His efforts appear to have been specially directed to combating the errors of Valentine and Marcion and to protecting his flock from heresy. It was whilst he was pope that St Polycarp, the great bishop of Smyrna, came to Rome in connection with the controversy about the date of Easter. The conference which took place led to no settlement, but, to quote the words of Eusebius, “the bonds of charity were not broken”. St Anicetus is said to have been a Syrian.

350  Innocent of Tortona priest for remaining steadfast to the Christian faith B (RM).   THE parents of St Innocent at Tortona in the north of Italy, although they were Christians living in times of persecution, were by imperial licence exempted from molestation. The exemption granted to the parents did not extend to the children, and after the death of his father and mother Innocent was summoned to appear before the magistrates. As the young man steadfastly refused to sacrifice to the gods, he was tortured and sentenced to perish at the stake. During the night before his execution he had a dream of his father, who bade him go at once to Rome, where he would find safety. He awoke to find his guards fast asleep, and easily succeeded in making his escape. Upon his arrival in Rome he was kindly received by Pope St Miltiades.
Pope St Silvester
raised him to the diaconate, and after the accession of the Emperor Constantine he was sent back to Tortona as bishop. During the twenty-eight years of his episcopate he showed great zeal in spreading the faith, in building churches, and in converting pagan temples into Christian sanctuaries.
We owe these details to a late and quite untrustworthy life of St Innocent which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii. But Father F. Savio has shown in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xv (1896), pp. 377—384, that the saint really existed, and that there are germs of truth in the legend, though the story is a fiction. See on the other hand the brochure of Canon V. Loge (1913) to which Fr Savio subsequently replied.
Departure of St. Zosimus (Zocima). On this day in the middle of the fifth century the ascetic father and the struggling monk Abba Zocima the priest, departed (Coptic).  The custom of those monks during the Holy Lent, was that after they had fasted the first weak they partook the Holy Communion, then they left the monastery singing the twenty six psalm, and at the end of it, they prayed together. Then the abbot blessed them and they bed farewell to each other. Then they dispersed in the desert of Jordan and each of them carried out his spiritual fight by himself. St. Zosimus used to go out with them each year wondering in the desert asking God to show him who was more perfect than him.
As he was wondering about he met Mary the Egyptian (Coptic). He learned from her about her life history and the reason for her wondering in the desert. She asked him to visit her after one year to give her the Holy Mysteries. He came to her in the next year and gave her the Holy Communion. In the year after he revisited her again but he found her had departed and he buried her and told the monks of the monastery concerning her strife. After he had lived ninety nine years he departed in peace.  May his prayers be with us. Amen.

 435 Saint Acacius, Bishop of Melitene support of Orthodoxy wonderworker made rain, checked flood, stopped dome from collapse 3rd Ecumenical Council 431 defended Orthodox teaching of 2 Natures (Divine /Human) of the Savior His seedless Birth from Most Holy Virgin Mother of God.  He wisely governed his diocese. By his firm faith, humility and deeds, the saint acquired the gift of wonderworking. Once, during a dry summer, the saint celebrated Liturgy in an open field, suddenly the wine in the Holy Chalice was mixed by the falling rain, which fell throughout the land.
He prayed during a flood, and the advancing river turned away and did not rise higher than the stone which he had placed at the riverbank. On one of the islands of the River Azar, despite the opposition of the pagans, the saint built a temple in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos. The builders of the church either through carelessness or through malice, were not careful in building the dome. During the Liturgy the dome was ready to collapse. The people rushed out of the church in terror. But the saint halted their flight saying, "The Lord is the defender of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 26/27:1). The dome remained suspended in the air. Only when the services were ended, and the saint was the last one to emerge from the church, did the dome collapse, causing harm to no one. After this, the church was rebuilt.
St Acacius participated in the Third Ecumenical Council (431) and he defended the Orthodox teaching of the Two Natures (Divine and Human) of the Savior, and of His seedless Birth from the Most Holy Virgin Mother of God.
St Acacius peacefully fell asleep in the Lord around the year 435. He should not be confused with St Acacius the Confessor (March 31), who was also a bishop of Melitene.
During Alberic's reign, the new order received definitive approval from Pope Pascal II and was placed under the protection of the Holy See.
The Benedictines of Cîteaux received a white habit and made their solemn professions on March 21, 1098, Passion Sunday.

1134 Stephen Harding one of the founders of the Cistercians  OSB Cist. Abbot (RM).  At Citeaux in France, St. Stephen, abbot, who was first to live in the Cistercian desert and who joyfully welcomed St. Bernard and his companions when they came to him.
Born probably in Sherborne, Dorsetshire, England; died at Cîteaux, France, March 28; canonized in 1623; his feast is celebrated on July 16 among the Cistercians..  Stephen assisted at the death of Alberic on January 26, 1109. Alberic was the first of the trio to prepare a meeting place for them with God. Stephen missed Alberic, his friend, his "companion in arms," his "general in the battles of the Lord," in the time that they were placed "in the front line of the battle." Stephen's character and temperament are well expressed in this military language.
In the following year, on March 21, 1110, there was a second departure for eternity. Robert died. Stephen was the sole survivor of the three. This vouched-safe, original Cistercian, however, was not to conform in all points with the Benedictine prototype because he was to become the champion of the most absolute poverty with an almost Franciscan insistence. With the death of Alberic, Stephen found himself elected abbot of Cîteaux against his will.
1419 Blessed Clare Gambacorta both devout and penitential Poor Clares OP Widow (AC).   (also known as Thora or Theodora of Pisa) Born in Venice(?), Italy, in 1362; beatified by Pope Pius VIII in 1830. At last Peter Gambacorta relented, and not only allowed his daughter to enter the Dominican priory of Holy Cross, but promised to build another house of the order. She now became associated with Mary Mancini, also a widow, and destined like herself to be raised to the altars of the Church. The teaching of St Catherine of Siena strongly influenced the two women who, when they were transferred to Gambacorta’s new foundation in 1382, succeeded in inaugurating observance of their rule in its primitive austerity. This house, in which Bd Clare was at first sub-prioress and then prioress, became the training centre for many saintly women who afterwards carried the reform movement to other Italian cities. To this day, enclosed Dominican nuns are often spoken of in Italy as “Sisters of Pisa”. They led a contemplative life of prayer, manual work and study: “Never forget”, said Bd Clare’s director, “that in our order very few have become saints who were not likewise scholars.”   Bd Clare was a great sufferer towards the close of her life, and as she lay on her death-bed with outstretched arms, she was heard to murmur, “My Jesus, here I am upon the cross”. Just before she died, however, her face was illuminated with a radiant smile and she blessed her daughters absent as well as present. She had reached the age of fifty-seven years. Her cultus was confirmed in 1830.




Popes and other important Saints mentioned in articles of Saints today April 18



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