Wednesday  Saints of this Day April 20 Duodécimo Kaléndas Maii  

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


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

Benedict XVI Deus est caritas # 41

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April 20 – Our Lady of Sorrows (Spain)  
 
I prayed the Rosary awkwardly and without faith
 
In April 2013, the conversion to Catholicism of Fernando Casanova, a Puerto Rican Pentecostal pastor, made the Latin American headlines. Casanova told the story of his slow and painful process of conversion to Catholicism, which took no less than five years! An added difficulty was that his wife, a staunch Protestant, decided to leave him after learning about his conversion…

Casanova is emotional when he recalls the day that he entered a small church to seek strength from God in the midst of his distressful situation. He noticed a Rosary left on a pew, and understood that God was asking him to recite it. Praying the Rosary was still a very difficult thing for him to do because of his evangelical background. He looked at Mary and told her he was willing to do it, but addressed two requests to her: to be reconciled with his wife, and that she and their children would enter into full communion with the Church of her Son.

He says: "I prayed the Rosary awkwardly and without faith, asking God for forgiveness every ten Hail Mary in case my way of praying did not please Him..." But on the very same day, Fernando Casanova saw his family and was reconciled with his wife.

 

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary  .
   
Cyprus_Kiprskaya_Icon_Stromynskaya.jpg
1st v. Apostle Zacchaeus climbed tree to see the Savior pass by accompanied St Peter Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine
 117 Sulpicius and Servilian converted to the faith by the prayers of Saint Flavia Domitilla MM (RM)  
Theodore Trichinas Disciple Zacchaeus
       Departure of St. Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem (Coptic)
 330 St. Theodore Trichinas one of the most revered in the history of Orthodox monasticism; renowned for many miracles, especially for his power over the demons; from his body issues liquid that imparts health to the sick.
  380 Sainted Betranes and Theotimos were bishops of Lesser Skythia, where the mouth of the Dunaj (Danube) flows into Thrace. Their diocesan cathedral was situated in the city of Toma (Kiustendji). They were Skythians.
  392 The Cypriot Icon of the Mother of God written in the year 392 on the island of Cyprus the Mother of God sits upon a throne with the Divine-Infant in Her arms, at Her sides 2 angels, holding branches.
 593 Sainted Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch fervent faith, merciful and compassionate to the fallen, humble and forgiving (573-593), hegumen of the Pharan monastery not far from Mount Sinai
 609 Sainted Anastasias II, Patriarch of Antioch, entered upon the throne after the holy Patriarch Anastasias I the Sinaite (561-572; 593-599).
1317 St. Agnes of Montepulciano Nun foundress in Tuscany noted for visions (of Christ Blessed Virgin angels) levitations miracles for the faithful (1435 - incorrupt)
1584 Bl. James Bell priest and Bl. John Finch Martyr of England yeoman farmer harbored priests
1602 Bl. Francis Page Jesuit martyr of England

1818-1894 St. Conrad of Parzham porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years;  enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

Mary's Divine Motherhood

April 20 – Easter Sunday is The Resurrection of the Lord

– Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (Peru, 1906)
The Virgin Mary knew with certainty that the Resurrection would take place (I)
The Virgin Mary was absolutely certain that her Son would rise from the dead, because he had clearly announced it. But she did not know the exact time, which in fact is never mentioned. So she spent all of Holy Saturday reflecting on the possible time of the Resurrection.
Knowing that David, more than any of the other prophets, spoke of the Passion of the Christ, she read through the Psalter, but she found no indication of a time. However, in Psalm 57, speaking on behalf of the Father to his Son, David said: “Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp,” to which the Son replied: “That I may awake the dawn.”

When the Virgin Mary understood the time of the Resurrection, you can imagine how quickly she got up to see if the dawn was coming. She saw that it had not yet come, so she went back to reading the Psalms. Then she decided to see if other prophets had written about the time of the Resurrection, and found in the sixth chapter of Hosea this passage:
 “He will revive us in two days; on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence…as certain as the dawn is coming.”
 St Vincent Ferrier, O.P., Spanish Priest, also known as the Angel of the Last Judgment
The Resurrection and the Trinity (La résurrection et la trinité) peresdeleglise.free.fr

 
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.


Don't give in to discouragement... If discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people's opinions. Be obedient to truth.
For with humble obedience, you will never be disturbed.  -- Blessed Mother Teresa



April 20 - OUR LADY OF SORROWS (Quito, Spain) sent to LD Mary is a Woman who Loves (I)
Benedict XVI Deus est caritas # 41
Outstanding among the saints is Mary, Mother of the Lord and mirror of all holiness. In the Gospel of Luke we find her engaged in a service of charity to her cousin Elizabeth, with whom she remained for "about three months" (1:56) so as to assist her in the final phase of her pregnancy.
"Magnificat anima mea Dominum", she says on the occasion of that visit, "My soul magnifies the Lord" (Lk 1:46). In these words she expresses her whole programme of life: not setting herself at the center, but leaving space for God, who is encountered both in prayer and in service of neighbour - only then does goodness enter the world.(...)

Mary's greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself. She is lowly: her only desire is to be the handmaid of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:38, 48). She knows that she will only contribute to the salvation of the world if, rather than carrying out her own projects, she places herself completely at the disposal of God's initiatives.
Mary is a woman of hope: only because she believes in God's promises and awaits the salvation of Israel, can the angel visit her and call her to the decisive service of these promises. Mary is a woman of faith:
"Blessed are you who believed", Elizabeth says to her (cf. Lk 1:45).
Benedict XVI Deus est caritas # 41

April 20 - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (Peru, 1906)
Victorious Christopher Columbus came before the King and Queen of Spain (1493)
The Santa Maria Discovered the New World

On April 20, 1493, Christopher Columbus came before the King and Queen of Spain,
Ferdinand and Isabella, at the gates of Barcelona.
Applauded for the success of his expedition, the Genoese navigator knelt down humbly before them.
Unexpectedly, the King and Queen, in a sublime gesture, also fell to their knees.
All three then sang the Te Deum, thanking God for the success of the expedition.
It was said that Our Lady had been the polar star of these explorers and missionaries.

On April 20, 1940, Pope Pius XII fittingly addressed these eloquent words in the city of Genoa for the anniversary of this event: "Genoese, bow down to Columbus, not only to the bold navigator who overcame opposition from scientists and the fury of the ocean, but also to a great servant of Our Lady.   He placed his expedition under Mary's protection and gave his caravel the name of Santa Maria. When he climbed aboard his ship, he said farewell to a surprised and skeptical Europe;  he ventured on the fierce waves and reaching the end of his journey
he kneeled before Jesus, who calmed the storms, and before Mary, the star of the sea."
Encyclopedia Maria Vol. IV - Beauchesne 1956.

1st v. Apostle Zacchaeus climbed tree to see the Savior pass by accompanied St Peter Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine
 117 Sulpicius and Servilian converted to the faith by the prayers of Saint Flavia Domitilla MM (RM)
Theodore_Trichinas_Disciple_Zacchaeus_
       Departure of St. Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem (Coptic)
 303 St. Victor Martyr executed at Nicomedia with others
 330 St. Theodore Trichinas one of the most revered in the history of Orthodox monasticism; renowned for many
       miracles, especially for his power over the demons; from his body issues liquid that imparts health to the sick

  374 Marcellinus African priest of Embrun BM Vincent, & Domninus missionaries MM (RM)
  380 Sainted Betranes and Theotimos were bishops of Lesser Skythia, where the mouth of the Dunaj (Danube) flows
        into Thrace. Their diocesan cathedral was situated in the city of Toma (Kiustendji). They were Skythians.

  392 The Cypriot Icon of the Mother of God appeared in the year 392 on the island of Cyprus the Mother of God sits
        upon a throne with the Divine-Infant in Her arms, and at Her sides are two angels, holding branches.

  407 Bishop Theotimus of Tomi evangelized the tribes of Huns of the Lower Danube B (RM)
  410 Saint Theotimus the Scythian "the Philosopher" Father of the Romanian PHILOKALIA works in the form of
       dialogues reveal training in rhetoric and philosophy

  470-488 St. Marian Abbot Revered for his humility remarkable power over all animals
 593 Sainted Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch fervent faith, merciful and compassionate to the fallen, humble and
       forgiving (573-593), hegumen of the Pharan monastery not far from Mount Sinai
 599 Sainted Anastasias I the Sinaite, Patriarch of Antioch, began his monastic deeds on Mount Sinai, wherefore he
       was called the Sinaite.
 609 Sainted Anastasias II, Patriarch of Antioch, entered upon the throne after the holy Patriarch Anastasias I the
       Sinaite (561-572; 593-599).
 685 Monk Saint Anastasius of Sinai one of the great ascetics who flourished on Mt. Sinai humility received wisdom
       and spiritual discernment from God wrote Lives of several holy Fathers & other spiritually instructive books
 689 Caedwalla of Wales pagan King converted by Saint Wilfrid (AC)
8th v. Gundebert martyred by pagan invaders M (AC)
 811 Blessed Harduin of Fontenelle copied Fathers of the Church writings as a Hermit OSB Monk (AC)
9th v. Heliane neglected young girl of Lauriano lived on herbs and Hail Marys
1158 Blessed Oda of Rivroelles prioress disfigured her face to be able to follow her heart O.Praem. V (PC)
1188 Saint Hildegund died as a novice and her identity was discovered  OSB Cist. V (PC)
1218 Blessed Dominic Vernagalli hospital founder OSB Cam. (AC)
1280 Blessed John of Grace-Dieu abbot OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
1317 St. Agnes of Montepulciano Nun foundress in Tuscany noted for visions (of Christ Blessed Virgin angels)
        levitations miracles for the faithful (1435 - incorrupt)
1322 Blessed Simon Rinalducci famous preacher OSA (AC)
1413 The Koloch Icon of the Mother of God manifest itself in the year during the reign of Vasilii I
1479 Saint Alexander of Oshevensk Oshevensk Dormition Monastery founder enlightener of Kargopol area tonsured
        in White Lake Monastery Appeared in 17th v. incorrupt
1584 Bl. James Bell priest and Bl. John Finch Martyr of England yeoman farmer harbored priests
1602 Bl. Francis Page Jesuit martyr of England
1602 Bl. Robert Watkinson priest English martyr
1666 Blessed Margaret of Amelia Benedictine abbess many mystical gifts OSB V (PC)
1818-1894 St. Conrad of Parzham porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years;  enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic
         Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.



  Icon_Cyprus_w_Maria_Pelagia_small.jpg  
Theodore_Trichinas_Disciple_Zacchaeus_



















Koloch Icon of the Mother of God

Dimitrievich 15 versts from Mozhaisk city vicinity of Koloch in the Smolensk governance

1st v. Holy Apostle Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree in order to see the Savior passing by;
 accompanied St Peter on his travels Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine

The holy Apostle Zacchaeus was a rich publican at Jericho. Since he was short of stature, he climbed a sycamore tree in order to see the Savior passing by. After the Ascension of the Lord, St Zacchaeus accompanied St Peter on his travels. Tradition says he became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, where he died in peace.
The Gospel (Luke 19:1-10) describing Zacchaeus' encounter with Christ is read on the Sunday before the TRIODION begins.
The Departure of St. Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem.

On this day, the holy father Anba Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, departed. This holy father was Bishop of Cappadocia, and he came to the city of Jerusalem to receive the blessing of the holy places and then return to his country.
St. Narcissus, who was the Bishop of Jerusalem at that time (Second century - his departure on the first day of Baramhat), was advanced in age and had reached over 110 years. He often asked his people that he wished to retire from his See, but they refused. When St. Alexander finished his visit and decided to return to his Chair in Cappadocia, the people of Jerusalem heard a voice from heaven saying: "Go to the gate of the city, and the first one to enter it, seize him and make him stay with Narcissus to assist him." When they went to the gate they met the Bishop Alexander, and they pleaded with him to stay with Abba Narcissus to assist him. He refused because he could not leave his flock that the Lord Christ had entrusted him with. They told him about the voice which they had heard from heaven and that it was God's Will. He accepted and wrote to the people of his parish what had happened, apologized, and allowed them to appoint another bishop in his place. He remained in Jerusalem, assisting its bishop Anba Narcissus, for about 5 years.
After the departure of St. Narcissus, he continued to shepherd the people of Jerusalem with the best of care, until Maximianus, the infidel, seized him, inflicted him with severe tortures of every kind, and then imprisoned him. When Gordianus reigned, he released him, and when he died and Philip reigned, he released the rest of the confessors. This father sat in quietness and peace until Decius rose, killed Philip, and reigned in his stead.
Decius afflicted the Christians exceedingly; he seized this holy father and many others, and tortured them, especially this father. He beat him cruelly with sharp pins until he broke his ribs, then commanded to drag him by his feet and throw him in prison. He remained there until he delivered his pure soul in the hand of the Lord, and received the kingdom which is prepared for the saints.  His prayers be with us. Amen.
117 Sulpicius and Servilian converted to the faith by the prayers of Saint Flavia Domitilla MM (RM)
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Sulpícii et Serviliáni, qui, prædicatióne et miráculis beátæ Domitíllæ Vírginis ad Christi fidem convérsi, ambo, cum nollent idólis immoláre, in persecutióne Trajáni, a Præfécto Urbis Aniáno sunt cápite cæsi.
  At Rome, the holy martyrs Sulpicius and Servilian, who were converted to the faith of Christ by the speeches and the miracles of the holy virgin Domitilla.  Because they refused to sacrifice to the idols, they were beheaded by Anian, prefect of the city, in the persecution of Trajan.
 

These early Roman martyrs, beheaded under Trajan (98-117) are said to have been converted to the faith by the prayers of Saint Flavia Domitilla daughter of Emperor Domitian's{81-89} sister) (Benedictines).
(
303 St. Victor Martyr executed at Nicomedia with Victor, Zoticus, Zeno, Acindynus, Caesareus, Severian, Chrysophorus, Theonas, and  Antonine
Nicomedíæ sanctórum Mártyrum Victóris, Zótici, Zenónis, Acíndyni, Cæsárei, Severiáni, Chrysóphori, Theónæ et Antoníni, qui, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre, passióne ac signis beáti Geórgii ad Christum convérsi sunt, et ob intrépidam fídei confessiónem, várie tentáti, martyrium complevérunt.
      At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Victor, Zoticus, Zeno, Acindynus, Caesareus, Severian, Chrysophorus, Theonas, and Antonine.  They were converted to Christ by the miracles and the martyrdom of St. George, and because of their own dauntless confession of the faith, they were tortured in various ways under the Emperor Diocletian, and thus completed their martyrdom.
Group, including Zoticus,Antoninus, Theonas, Chrysophorus, Severian, Acyndius, Zeno, and Caesareus. They were mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of St. George(303).
Victor, Zoticus, Zeno, Acindynus, & Comp. MM (RM) Victor, Zoticus, Zeno, Acindynus, Caesareus, Severian, Chrysophorus, Theonas, and Antoninus were martyred at Nicomedia.
The apocryphal Acta of Saint George connect them with his martyrdom (Benedictines).
330 St. Theodore Trichinas one of the most revered in the history of Orthodox monasticism; renowned for many miracles,  but especially for his power over the demons from his body issues a liquid that imparts health to the sick
Apud Constantinópolim sancti Theodóri Confessóris, ab áspera cilícii veste, qua tegebátur, cognoménto Tríchinas, qui multis virtútibus, præsértim advérsus dæmones, cláruit; ex cujus córpore scatúriens unguéntum ægrótis sanitátem impértit.
     At Constantinople, St. Theodore, confessor, surnamed Trichinas, from the rough garment of hair which he wore.  He was renowned for many miracles, but especially for his power over the demons.  From his body issues a liquid that imparts health to the sick.

Saint Theodore Trichinas was born in Constantinople, the son of wealthy and pious parents. From childhood St Theodore was inclined toward monasticism, so he left his home, family, and former life in order to enter a monastery in Thrace. There he began his arduous ascetic struggles. He dressed in a hair-shirt, from which he derived the name "Trichinas," (or Hair-Shirt Wearer").
He even slept on a stone in order avoid bodily comfort, and to prevent himself from sleeping too much.

His life was adorned with miracles, and he had the power to heal the sick. He reposed at the end of the fourth century, or the beginning of the fifth century. A healing myrrh flows from his relics.
The name of St Theodore Trichinas is one of the most revered in the history of Orthodox monasticism. St Joseph the Hymnographer (April 4) has composed a Canon to the saint.
Hermit, called Trichinas ( or Hair-Shirt Wearer") from his habit of wearing only a coarse hair shirt. He lived as a hermit near Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey).  Theodore Trichinas, Hermit (RM) Born in Constantinople; died after 330.
The hermit Theodore was surnamed Trichinas or "or Hair-Shirt Wearer"" because his only garment was a rough hair-shirt (Benedictines).
374 Marcellinus African priest of Embrun BM Vincent, & Domninus missionaries MM (RM)
Ebredúni, in Gálliis, sancti Marcellíni, qui fuit primus ejúsdem urbis Epíscopus.  Hic, Dei mónitu, cum sanctis Sóciis Vincéntio et Domníno, ex Africa venit, et máximam Alpium maritimárum partem verbo et signis admirándis, quibus usque hódie refúlget, ad Christi fidem convértit.
 At Embrun in France, St. Marcellin, first bishop of that city.  By divine inspiration he came from Africa with his holy companions Vincent and Domninus, and converted the greater portion of the inhabitants of the Maritime Alps by his preaching, and by the wonderful prodigies which he still continues to work.
374 ST MARCELLINUS, Bishop OF EMBRUN
ST MARCELLIINUS, venerated as the first bishop of Embrun, was an African priest who, with two companions, St Vincent and St Domninus, evangelized a considerable part of the district known in later times as the Dauphiné. Marcellinus made Embrun his headquarters, building first an oratory on a cliff above the town and afterwards a large church for the accommodation of the citizens, all of whom were converted from paganism by him and by St Domninus. The church had a baptistery in which many miracles of healing took place. St Gregory of Tours and St Ado of Vienne both state that even in their days the font used to fill spontaneously to overflowing on Holy Saturday and at Christmas with water which had wonderful medicinal properties. In consequence of his sanctity and zeal, St Marcellinus was raised to the episcopate by the exiled St Eusebius of Vercelli. St Marcellinus too, during his later years, suffered persecution from the Arians; ultimately the aged bishop was obliged to escape, and lived for the rest of his life in hiding in the Auvergne Mountains, from whence he made occasional nocturnal visits to Embrun to advise and encourage his faithful clergy and people.

The short life of St Marcellinus, which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum (April, vol. ii), is an early document and trustworthy. See Duchesne, Fasts Épiscopaux, vol. i, pp. 290—291.
Marcellinus crossed over to Europe with fellow missionaries Vincent and Domninus. They preached the Gospel in what was later called the Dauphiné. Marcellinus was consecrated the first bishop of Embrun by Saint Eusebius of Vercelli. Numerous legends tell of cures and other miracles worked by Marcellinus, some of which are reported by Saint Gregory of Tours. Near the end of his life, he was persecuted by the Arians, whom he bitterly opposed, and was forced to live in isolation in the Auvergne hills.
The relics of the three saints are venerated at Digne, in the Alps of Savoy (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).
5_domed_Uspensky_(Assumption)_Cathedral                   Cyprus_(Kiprskaya)_Icon_(Stromynskaya)
392 The Cypriot Icon of the Mother of God appeared in the year 392 on the island of Cyprus the Mother of God sits upon a throne with the Divine-Infant in Her arms, and at Her sides are two angels, holding branches.
It was situated in a monastery built on the place of its appearance. The celebration of this icon is done also on 9 July and on the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.

The Cypriot Icon of the Mother of God appears thus: the Mother of God sits upon a throne with the Divine-Infant in Her arms, and at Her sides are two angels, holding branches.  The holy icon manifest itself in the year 392 on the Island of Cyprus, and is situated there in a monastery.
Reknown venerable copies from it are at the Moscow Uspensky cathedral  And in the Nikolo-Golutvinsk church in the village of Stromyna, Moscow diocese.
The Cyprus Icon of the Mother of God belongs to the Panachrana type.
In this icon the Mother of God is depicted sitting on a throne with the Divine Infant in Her arms.
On either side of Her is an angel.

The prototype of this holy icon manifested itself in the year 392 on the island of Cyprus at the tomb of Righteous Lazarus, the friend of Christ (October 17), and is kept there in a monastery. 
Renowned copies of the Cyprus Icon are at the Moscow's Dormition Cathedral, and in the Nikolo-Golutvin church in the village of Stromyn,
Moscow diocese (Commemorated on the Sunday of Orthodoxy).                 Stromyn,
During the week of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the Greek Synaxarion has an account of an icon which is probably the Cyprus Icon.

On the island of Cyprus a certain Arab was passing by a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos. In order to display his hatred for Christianity, the man shot an arrow at an icon of the Mother of God which hung by the gate. The arrow struck the Virgin's knee, from which blood began to flow.
Overcome with fear, the Arab spurred his horse and rode for home, but was struck dead before he could get there. In this way, he was punished for his impiety.

Other days commemorating the Cyprus Icon are the Day of the Holy Spirit, and April 20.
Some copies of the Cyprus Icon have additional names such as "Cleansing," "Knife," and "Hawk."

Hawk The Cyprus Icon called "Hawk" was so named because of the way it was discovered. One day, the Christian ruler of Cyprus was hunting with his trained hawk. The hawk became tangled in a thicket while diving after another bird, and the ruler ordered the thicket to be cut away so that the hawk could be rescued. His servants rescued the hawk and also discovered an icon of the Mother of God in the thicket.
The ruler later built a monastery on the site.
Cleansing  The "Cleansing" Cyprus Icon was in another monastery on Cyprus, and was famous for healing many people with diseases of the eyes.
Stromyn The "Stromyn" Cyprus Icon became famous in 1841. An eighteen-year-old girl from Stromyn, a village not far from Moscow, was close to death from an illness. In a dream she saw the Cyprus Icon standing over the entrance to the church, and a voice came from the icon: "Take me into your home and have the priest serve a Molieben with the Blessing of Water, and you will be cured." The sick girl was brought to the church and finally located the icon after a long search. The girl obeyed the command of the Most Holy Theotokos, and after the Molieben she felt strong enough to carry the icon back to the church herself. Shortly thereafter, she was completely healed. The "Stromyn" Cyprus Icon continued to work miracles of healing, which the rector of the church reported to the holy Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (November 19).
This Icon is in the village church in Stromyn, in the Moscow Diocese. It depicts the Mother of God with the Divine Infant Jesus Christ, seated on a throne. Flanking her are two Angels holding scrolls. As the result of a vision an ill person had in a dream, the Icon was found above the gates of the church courtyard, and the ill person was healed.
In the Moscow Church of St. Nicholas in Golutvina, on Yakimansky Street, there is another greatly venerated copy of the Cyprus Icon of the Mother of God.
407 Bishop Theotimus of Tomi evangelized the tribes of Huns of the Lower Danube B (RM)
Tomis, in Scythia, sancti Theótimi Epíscopi, quem, ob insígnem ipsíus sanctitátem atque mirácula, étiam infidéles bárbari veneráti sunt.
     At Tomis in Scythia, Bishop St. Theotimus, whose great sanctity and miracles procured him the respect even of unbelieving barbarians

Bishop Theotimus (of Scytha or Tomi on the Black Sea), whose sanctity won the admiration even of the barbarians, defended Origen against Saint Epiphanius of Salamis (315-403). He evangelized the tribes of Huns of the Lower Danube (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
410 Saint Theotimus the Scythian "the Philosopher" Father of the Romanian PHILOKALIA works in the form of dialogues reveal training in rhetoric and philosophy
Bishop of Tomis in Scythia. He was a native of Dacia Pontica, and was part Roman. He is believed to have been the teacher of St John Cassian (February 29) and St Germanus, because he was once living in the same monastery as they were.
Somewhere between 385-390, St Theotimus succeeded St Germanus as Bishop of Tomis.
St Jerome mentions him in his book ON ILLUSTRIUS MEN. He describes St Theotimus as a good pastor, a wise theologian, and a talented writer. He also says that St Theotimus used to write short works in the form of dialogues, which reveal his training in rhetoric and philosophy.
In his writings, St Theotimus speaks of the role of the mind and the heart in prayer. Perhaps because of this he is considered to be the Father of the Romanian PHILOKALIA.

St Theotimus sometimes endured hardships from wandering barbarians, but he impressed them with the holiness of his life and the miracles he performed. He also had close ties with St John Chrysostom, and visited Constantinople at least twice.
Sometime around 410, St Theotimus fell asleep in the Lord. Ancient historians also refer to him as "the Philosopher."
380 Sainted Betranes and Theotimos were bishops of Lesser Skythia, where the mouth of the Dunaj (Danube) flows into Thrace. The impressive miracles, worked by the saint in the Name of Jesus Christ, so astonished the pagans, that they called him a Roman god.Their diocesan cathedral was situated in the city of Toma (Kiustendji). They were Skythians.
The Church historian Sozomenes gives an account about Sainted Betranes. When the emperor Valens (364-378) stayed in Toma, he began in church to urge the saint to enter into communion with Arian heretics. Saint Betranes boldly answered, that he adhered to the teaching of the holy Nicean fathers and, in order to avoid bantering, he went off to another of the city churches. And all the people followed after him. There remained in the deserted church only the emperor with his retinue. For such audacity the emperor condemned the saint to exile, but he feared the grumbling of the crowd and let him go free. The Skyths loved their archpastor and they cared about him as a good and saintly man.
Another historian, Theodorit, writes about the sainted-bishop: "And Betranes, radiant with every virtue and archpastoral power, governing the cities of all the Skythians, was enflamed with zeal of spirit and denounced the heretics for their dogmatic deficiency and their iniquitous attitude towards the saints. He said with the Divine-inspiration of David: "I shall speak Thy testimonies before the king and not be shy" (Ps. 18:46).
Sainted Betranes died, probably soon after the denunciation of emperor Valens. His commemoration in the "Acts of the Saints" indicates 25 January. At the II OEcumenical Council in 381 it mentions already the successor to Sainted Betranes, -- the Toma bishop Gerontios, and after him the cathedra was occupied by Sainted Theotimos.

In the year 392 Sainted Theotimos was already known to Blessed Jerome (Comm. 15 June) as a writer and bishop. Sainted Theotimos participated in the Council of 399, where Sainted John Chrysostom (Comm. 13 November) examined the acts of the bishop of Ephesus. In the year 403, when Sainted Epiphanios of Cyprus (+ 403, Comm. 12 May) insistently demanded of Saint John Chrysostom and the other bishops to carry out a condemnation of Origen, Sainted Theotimos wrote: "It is impious to further offend the dead and to rise up in judgement against the ancients and re-question their sanction". He took out one of the works of Origen, read from it and, pointing out that which was read was of good purpose to the Church, added: "Those who condemn this book, slander also that which it says here".
Sainted Theotimos journeyed much throughout his diocese. His Christian love flowed even upon the Huns, -- then as yet unenlightened by the light of the Gospel. By means of beneficence and gentleness the sainted-bishop strove to win them over to the true faith. The impressive miracles, worked by the saint in the Name of Jesus Christ, so astonished the pagans, that they called him a Roman god.
Once, when during the time of a journey the saint and his companions were under the threat of deadly peril from the Huns, the sainted-bishop began to pray intensely, and all were left invisible to them. Another time, when a certain Hun tried to catch the saint with a rope, his hand froze in the air and only then was it released from its invisible hold, when Sainted Theotimos at the request of other Huns prayed to God for him.
Sainted Theotimos kept to a simple form of life: he partook of nourishment not at this or that time, but only when he experienced hunger or thirst. Blessed Jerome wrote about him: "Theotimos, Skythian bishop of Tomum, produced in dialogues in the form of ancient rhetoric powerfully fine tracts and, as I have heard, he wrote other works". It is known, that Sainted Theotimos wrote: "About the Teachings of the Saviour", "Against Idols", a "Commentary on Genesis", a "Commentary on the Text -- `I shall bear the Gift unto the Altar", "About Fasting" (from the last 4 works the Monk John Damascene makes comparison in several places in his own parallels).
Sainted Theotimos died peacefully in about the year 412. His commemoration in the "Acts of the Saints" is indicated as 20 April.
470-488 St. Marian Abbot; Revered for his humility, remarkable power over all animals
Antisiodóri sancti Marciáni Presbyteri.   At Auxerre, the priest St. Marcian.  (also known as Marian)
488 ST MARCIAN, or MARIAN
WHEN St Mamertinus was abbot of the monastery which St Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian, a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice edified all by his piety and obedience. The abbot, wishing to test him, gave him the lowest possible post—that of cowman and shepherd in the abbey farm at Mérille. Marcian accepted the work cheerfully, and it was noticed that the beasts under his charge throve and multiplied astonishingly. He seemed to have a strange power over all animals. The birds flocked to eat out of his hands, bears and wolves departed at his command; and when a hunted wild boar fled to him for protection, he defended it from its assailants and set it free. After his death the abbey took the name of this humble monk.

A short biography is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii.

When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St. Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice edified all his piety and obedience. The Abbot, wishing to test him, gave him the lowest possible post - that of cowman and shepherd in the Abbey farm at Merille. Marcian accepted the work cheerfully, and it was noticed that the beast under his charge throve and multified astonishingly. He seemed to have a strange power over all animals. The birds flocked to eat out of his hands: bears and wolves departed at his command; and when a hunted wild boar fled to him for protection, he defended it from its assailants and set it free. After his death, the Abbey took the name of the humble monk.

St. Marcian of Auxerre Lay brother of Sts. Cosmas and Damian Monastery of Auxerre, France also listed as Marianus. He fled Bourges to escape an invasion of Visigoths. Under St. Mamertinus, Marcian was put in charge of the abbey’s livestock. Revered for his humility, he was honored by having the monastery named after him.

Marcian of Auxerre (RM) (also known as Marcion, Marian) Born in Bourges, France; died at Auxerre, c. 470-488. Marcion, who was of humble birth, entered Saint-Germain Abbey in Auxerre as a lay brother when he was exiled from Bourges by the invading Visigoths. He "sanctified himself in a lifetime of watching the herds" of the abbey and is said to have possessed a remarkable power over all animals (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Gill).
593 Sainted Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch fervent faith, merciful and compassionate to the fallen, humble and forgiving (573-593), hegumen of the Pharan monastery not far from Mount Sinai
The monk was distinguished for his fervent faith, merciful and compassionate to the fallen, and humble and forgiving.

Once, when Saint Gregory was still an hegumen, he visited a certain wilderness-dweller, who in a cave sought salvation. The wilderness-dweller greeted him with honour and washed his feet. When the saint asked why he was shown such honour, the elder answered, that through Divine-revelation he saw before himself a future Patriarch. In fact, after the banishment of Patriarch Anastasias the Sinaite from the Antiochian throne, Saint Gregory was -- against his own wishes -- raised up upon the Antiochian Patriarchal throne and, yielding to the will of God, until his death (+ 593) he bore with dignity the burden of patriarchal service.
599 Sainted Anastasias I the Sinaite, Patriarch of Antioch, began his monastic deeds on Mount Sinai, wherefore he was called the Sinaite.
He entered upon the Patriarchal throne in the year 562 during the reign of the emperor Justinian (527-565).

The Monophysite heresy was spreading about during this time. The emperor himself inclined towards the side of the heretics. Sainted Anastasias was outspoken against the heresy. He distributed a missive throughout all the churches and daily elucidated in his own temple the Orthodox teaching about the two natures of the Lord Jesus Christ. All those questioning or wavering in the faith awaited with hope the words of the holy Patriarch Anastasias.

Justinian, angering upon learning of this, wanted to depose Sainted Anastasias from the Antioch throne, but suddenly he became grievously ill. Before his death he made Church penance and composed the beautiful prayer "Only-begotten Son Word of God", which has entered into the order of the Divine Liturgy. In it he expressed the Orthodox teaching about the two natures of the Lord Jesus Christ.

After Justinian, there came upon the throne emperor Justin the Younger (565-578), who resumed the persecution against Sainted Anastasias and in 572 sent him into imprisonment. Returning from exile in 593, Sainted Anastasias governed the Church for six years and died peacefully (+ 21 April 599).

In exile, Saint Anastasias wrote several dogmatic and moral works, and even rendered into the Greek language the work of Sainted Gregory Dialogus (+ 604, Comm. 12 March) "About Pastoral Service". Sainted Anastasias II, Patriarch of Antioch, entered upon the throne after the holy Patriarch Anastasias I the Sinaite (561-572; 593-599). He governed the Church for 10 years and was killed in 609 by Jews, -- when emperor Phocas (602-610) issued an edict, forcing all to accept baptism.

609 Sainted Anastasias II, Patriarch of Antioch, entered upon the throne after the holy Patriarch Anastasias I the Sinaite (561-572; 593-599).
He governed the Church for 10 years and was killed in 609 by Jews, -- when emperor Phocas (602-610) issued an edict, forcing all to accept baptism.
685 Monk Saint Anastasius of Sinai, one of the great ascetics who flourished on Mt. Sinai; humility received wisdom and spiritual discernment from God wrote Lives of several holy Fathers & other spiritually instructive books
689 ST CAEDWALLA
ENGLISH-SPEAKING visitors to the crypt of St Peter’s at Rome often have their attention called to the epitaph which eulogizes an English king buried in that hallowed spot.
Caedwalla in 685 began a campaign to obtain and to enlarge the West Saxon kingdom. After several years of savage fighting he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he received baptism at the hands of Pope St Sergius I on Easter eve in the year 689. The king was taken ill almost immediately afterwards, and died— as Bede tells us he had wished to die—while still wearing his white baptismal garment. He was buried in the archbasilica, and his long metrical epitaph (without the prose addition given by Bede) has been preserved from the original stone in old St Peter’s. Caedwalla was the first of several Anglo-Saxon kings who are recorded to have left their kingdoms to go ad limina Apostolorum, but there is no evidence that there was any ancient cultus of him.

Bede in his Ecclesiastical History supplies all our information see Plummer’s edition and notes. The king’s name is found spelt in over twenty different ways. For the epitaph, ef. F. J. E. Raby, History of Secular Latin Poetry in the Middle Ages, vol. i, p. 159.

From his youth, he was raised in great piety and love for God. When he reached manhood, St Anastasius left the world and entered a monastery to take upon himself the yoke of Christ (Mt.11:29).

Wishing to perfect himself in virtue, he went to St Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai, where St John of the Ladder (March 30) was abbot. There he profited from the example of many holy men who were proficient in monasticism. Because of his humility, St Anastasius received wisdom and spiritual discernment from God. He wrote the Lives of several holy Fathers, as well as other spiritually instructive books. In time, he was found worthy of ordination to the holy priesthood.
Following St John and his brother George, St Anastasius became abbot of Sinai. He was most zealous in his opposition to heresy, exposing it, refuting it, and covering its adherants with shame.
He even traveled to Syria, Egypt, and Arabia to uproot heresy and strengthen the Church of Christ.

St Anastasius taught that God gives each Christian an angel to care for him throughout his life. However, we can drive our Guardian Angel away by our sins, just as bees are driven away by smoke. While the demons work to deprive us of the heavenly Kingdom, the holy angels guide us to do good.
Therefore, only the most foolish individuals would drive away their Guardian Angel from themselves.

After a long life of faithfully serving God, St Anastasius fell asleep in the Lord in the year 685.
He and the other ascetics of Mt. Sinai are also commemorated on Bright Wednesday, the Synaxis of the Monastic Fathers of Sinai.
The Monk Anastasias, hegumen of Mount Sinai, was born at the end of the VI Century. He received in his youth a fine secular education, which he completed by the study of theology. In a sermon on Thomas Sunday the Monk Anastasias wrote: "Having beheld Christ in the flesh they reckoned Him for a prophet; and we, although we have not seen him with bodily eyes, but rather from the tips of our fingers, then still when we were small children and lads, we recognised in Him God, and learned to confess Him as Lord of the universe, Creator of the ages, and Radiance of the Glory of the Father. With such a faith do we hear His Holy Gospel, as though we behold Christ Himself. When we only but look at an icon depiction of His Divine likeness, as of Him Himself, we attain to Heaven for ourselves, and we honour, we worship and fall down".
Already in his youth the Monk Anastasias had accepted monasticism, and he later set off to Jerusalem and settled on Mount Sinai. During this period, the hegumen of Mount Sinai was the Monk John of the Ladder (Lestvichnik, Climaticus; Comm. 30 March), and afterwards his brother George. After Saint George, the Monk Anastasias became hegumen, from which they bestowed upon him the title "Sinaite".

The Monk Anastasias put much work into the struggle with the Akephaloi heresy, which was opposed by the decrees of the IV OEcumenical Council at Chalcedon (451), and which defined the dogma about the union in the One Person of the Lord Jesus Christ in two natures -- the Divine and the human. Spreading the Orthodox faith, the Monk Anastasias visited Egypt, Arabia and Syria. For the struggle with the Monophysites he left to his students an epistolary guide in the form of answers to questions under the title "Guide-book" in 24 chapters. The Monk Anastasias also had dialogues with heretics which he also wrote down; -- these have come down to us in his work "Explanation of the Sixth Day" (12 book-chapters), Sermons, Instructions, Vitae of certain ascetics, and Commentaries on many places in Holy Scripture.
   The Monk Anastasias the Sinaite died in deep old age (+ c. 695).
689 Caedwalla of Wales pagan King converted by Saint Wilfrid (AC)

(also known as Cadwallader or Cadwallador)
Died in Rome on April 20, 689. Saint Caedwalla, descendent of King Ceawlin of Wessex, became the King of the West Saxons in 685 or 686 by conquest. He subjugated Sussex, made Surrey and Kent dependencies, and conquered the Isle of Wight, whose pagan inhabitants he annihilated. Nevertheless, while still a pagan, he showed himself to be less cruel than many other conquerors of his time, especially after he came under the influence of Saint Wilfrid to whom he gave 300 hides of the conquered Isle of Wight.

Under Caedwalla, Wessex became a powerful kingdom, but in 688, he was converted by Saint Wilfrid, resigned his throne, and went to Rome for baptism. He was baptized there on Easter Eve, April 10, 689, by Pope Saint Sergius I and took the name Peter.

Caedwalla, aged about 30, died a few days later still wearing the white robe of the neophyte, and was buried in Saint Peter's on April 20. Still to be seen on his tomb in Saint Peter's is his metrical epitaph, ordered by Sergius and written by Archbishop Crispus of Milan, preserved on the original stone. There is no clear evidence of any ancient liturgical cultus for Saint Caedwalla; however, Saint Bede writes of his reputed sanctity--perhaps because of the belief that Baptism remits all sin and, therefore, the individual immediately enters heaven if no further sin is committed. Saint Caedwalla is the first of four Anglo-Saxon kings to die in Rome. Do not confuse with Cadwallador, King, celebrated on November 12 (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer).
8th v. Gundebert martyred by pagan invaders M (AC)
feast day formerly April 29. According to tradition, Saint Gundebert, brother of Bishop Saint Niard of Rheims, left his monastery in order to migrate to Ireland. He was martyred there by pagan invaders (Benedictines).
811 Blessed Harduin of Fontenelle copied Fathers of the Church writings as a Hermit  OSB Monk (AC)
Born near Rouen, France; Harduin began his religious career as a monk at Fontenelle in 749. After a time he asked permission to live as a hermit near the monastery. In his quietude, Harduin copied the writings of the Fathers of the Church (Benedictines).
 9th v. Heliane neglected young girl of Lauriano lived on herbs and Hail Marys .
9th century. Heliane was a young girl of Lauriano, who was neglected by her family. It is said that she lived on herbs and Hail Marys (Encyclopedia).
930 Saint Hugh of Anzy-le-Duc; monk, wisdom, miracles. OSB (AC)
930 BD HUGH OF ANZY
THIS Hugh was educated at the abbey of Saint-Savin in Poitou: there he grew up, received the habit and was ordained priest. An able organizer and administrator, he was sent to assist Abbot Arnulf in reforming the monastery of St Martin at Autun, and afterwards in a similar capacity to accompany Ed Berno to Baume-les-Messieurs in the diocese of Besançon. When Duke William of Aquitaine presented Cluny to Berno, Hugh helped him to organize the new foundation. His last appointment was to be prior of Anzy-le-Duc.
The building of a hospital and other houses is ascribed to Bd Hugh, who obtained a great reputation for his wisdom and miracles. He made war relentlessly upon the idolatrous superstitions which still lingered on amongst the people, especially upon the orgies of the first day of January and on St John’s eve. This holy prior, who lived to a great age, spent his last three years in retirement, preparing for death. The exact date of his passing is uncertain.
This Hugh is sometimes called Hugh of Poitiers from his birthplace, but there is another Hugh of Poitiers. The Bollandists print his life in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii. See also Mabillon in Acta Sanctorum O.S.B., vol. v, pp. 92—104, and F. Cucherat, Le B. Hugues de Poitiers (1862).
Born at Poitiers, France; died at Anzy-le-Duc, c. 930. As a child, Saint Hugh was placed in the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Savin in Poitou. His fervor for monastic life was so great that he became a monk. Hugh's reputation for wisdom and miracles was such that he was sent to reform several other houses. His success in reorganizing other led him to the newly founded Cluny Abbey where he helped Blessed Berno. Hugh's relics were raised in 1001 (Attwater2, Benedictines).

930 St. Hugh of Anzy le Duc Benedictine prior established Cluny and aide to Blessed Berno. A native of Poitiers, France, he helped reform St. Martin’s at Autun and established Cluny.
1158 Blessed Oda of Rivroelles prioress  disfigured her face to be able to follow her heart O.Praem. V (PC)
Born in Brabant; This is another tale of a lovely, young noblewoman who disfigured her face to be able to follow her heart. God was calling her to the consecrated life, while her parents desired a suitable marriage for her. Her only recourse seemed to be to make herself undesirable to human suitor. Thereafter her parents allowed her to follow her religious vocation in the Premonstratensian convent of Rivroelles. Eventually she became its prioress (Benedictines).
1188 Saint Hildegund (also known as Joseph)  died as a novice and her identity was discovered  OSB Cist. V (PC)
1188 ST HILDEGUND, VIRGIN
THE cultus of St Hildegund has never been approved, but on account of its romantic nature her story was popular in the later middle ages. She was the daughter of a knight of Neuss on the Rhine, who after his wife’s death decided to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, accompanied by his little girl, then twelve years old. For her protection he dressed her as a boy and called her Joseph. The knight died on the way home, and the man to whom he commended the child robbed her and deserted her at Tyre. However, by some means or other—the accounts are conflicting—she managed to find her way back to Europe, still posing as a boy. After this, “Joseph” became servant to an old canon of Cologne, starting with him on a visit to the pope, then at Verona, and undergoing extraordinary adventures on the way. She was condemned to death as a supposed robber, *as saved by undergoing the ordeal of red-hot iron, was then actually hanged by the robber’s confederates, but being cut down finally reached Verona. Returning to Germany, she was persuaded to try her vocation at Schönau by a female recluse, or as others say, by an old man who had become a lay-brother in the abbey. She received the Cistercian habit and remained at Schönau until her death, although she made two or three attempts to run away, apparently fearing that her sex would be discovered. She never took vows, but died a novice. Only after her death was it discovered that she was a woman. Her life was written by the monk who had been charged to instruct her because of her ignorance. To him as well as to the prior she had confided her adventures, but not her sex.

Strange as this story is, it cannot be altogether apocryphal. Besides the long narrative printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, we have a metrical life (iii the Neues Archiv, vol. vi, pp; 533—536), another recension in prose (in Catalogue of Brussels MSS., vol. ii, pp. 92-95), and, most important of all, an account by Engelhard, abbot of Ebrach, who wrote in 1188, the very year in which the novice died. This was discovered and edited for the first time by J. Schwartzer in the Neues Archiv, vol. vi, pp. 516—521. See also an article by Father Thurston in The Month for February 1916, pp. 145—155. Caesarius of Heisterbach refers to the story in his Dialogus miraculorum (Eng. trans., 1929).
(also known as Joseph) Died at Schönau, Germany, in 1188. Hildegund's father, a knight of the Rheinland, took her on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land dressed as a boy in order to protect her from some of the dangers of travel. He died on his way home and she, still posing as a boy, experienced a series of extraordinary adventures. At Schönau, Germany, still hiding her sex, she donned the Cistercian habit as Brother Joseph. There she died as a novice and her identity was discovered. While there are several saints with similar stories, e.g., Pelegia and Marina, Hildegund's is one of the few that seems to be based on fact. Her cultus has never been formally approved (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).
In art, Saint Hildegund is a maiden in the habit of a male Cistercian novice. Sometimes she may be shown with an angel on horseback near her or at the moment of her death when her sex is discovered (Roeder).
1218 Blessed Dominic Vernagalli hospital founder OSB Cam. (AC)
(also known as Dominic of Pisa) Born in Pisa, Italy; cultus confirmed in 1854. Dominic was professed a Camaldolese in the abbey of Saint Michael in Pisa, where he founded a hospital for the monastery (Attwater2, Benedictines)
1280 Blessed John of Grace-Dieu abbot OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
John initiated his monastic vocation at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Denis. Later he became a Cistercian and became abbot of Igny, then Clairvaux (1257) and Grace-Dieu (c. 1262) (Benedictines).
1317 St. Agnes of Montepulciano Nun foundress in Tuscany noted for her visions (of Christ the Blessed Virgin and angels) levitations performed miracles for the faithful (1435 - incorrupt)
In Monte Politiáno, in Túscia, sanctæ Agnétis Vírginis, ex Ordine sancti Domínici, miráculis claræ. At Monte Pulciano, St. Agnes, a virgin of the Order of St. Dominic, celebrated for her miracles.
1317 ST AGNES OF MONTEPULCIANO, VIRGIN
IN the little Tuscan village of Gracchiano-Vecchio, some three miles from Montepulciano, there was born about the year 1268 to a well-to-do couple a little girl who was destined to become one of the great women saints of the Order of Preachers. When she was nine years old she induced her parents to place her in a convent at Montepulciano, occupied by a community of austere nuns who were popularly nicknamed Sacchine, from the coarse material of their habits. Her religious formation was entrusted to an experienced old sister called Margaret, and she soon edified the whole house by her exceptional progress. Moreover she was wise beyond her years and was made housekeeper when she was only fourteen.
   One day there arrived at the convent a request from Procena that a nun might be sent to take charge of a new convent in their town. Sister Margaret, who was selected for the purpose, stipulated that she should have Agnes as her assistant, and as soon as it became known that Agnes was at Procena, a number of girls offered themselves to the new foundation, and before long she was elected abbess. A special dispensation had to be obtained from Pope Nicholas IV to authorize the appointment of a girl of fifteen to such a post. From that moment Agnes redoubled her austerities. For fifteen years she lived on bread and water, sleeping on the ground with a stone for a pillow. It was only when she was overtaken by a very severe illness which she bore, with exemplary patience that she consented to mitigate her penances.
   Numerous were the extraordinary graces conferred upon Mother Agnes. Once, in a vision, she was allowed to hold the Infant Saviour in her arms, on several occasions it was reported she received holy communion from an angel, and her nuns declared that they had many times seen her in ecstasy uplifted from the ground. They also bore testimony to the miracles she had wrought, notably the supernatural provision of bread and oil for the convent when food ran short. One of the most curious manifestations recorded of her was that on certain occasions after her raptures her cloak and the place where she was kneeling were covered with white “manna”. She looked, we are told, as if she had been out of doors in a heavy snow-storm.
  In the meantime the inhabitants of Montepulciano were becoming anxious to bring back to their town a fellow citizen whose fame had by now become widespread. It was ascertained that Agnes was favourably disposed towards a proposal to build a convent for her; and as she had by this time realized the lack of permanence inherent in communities like her own attached to no great order though practising the Rule of St Augustine, it was decided at her suggestion that the new convent should be placed wider Dominican patronage. The building was erected on the site previously occupied by several houses of ill fame which had been a disgrace to the town, and as soon as it was completed Agnes bade farewell to Procena.
   Upon her arrival at Montepulciano Agnes was installed as prioress, a post she continued to fill until her death. Several remarkable prophecies and cures attributed to the saint belong to this period of her life, and the priory at Montepulciano flourished greatly under her rule. A painful illness afflicted her later days, but she never allowed it to interfere with her usual occupations. It had been preceded by a vision in which an angel had led her under an olive tree and had offered her a cup, saying, “Drink this chalice, spouse of Christ: the Lord Jesus drank it for you
. In compliance with the entreaties of her anxious daughters she resorted to some medicinal springs in the neighbourhood—the convent was not enclosed—but she derived no benefit from them and returned to Montepulciano to die. To the weeping nuns who surrounded her death-bed she said with a sweet smile, “If you loved me, you would be glad because I am about to enter the glory of my Spouse. Do not grieve over much at my departure: I shall not lose sight of you. You will find that I have not abandoned you and you will possess me for ever.” She had reached the age of forty-nine.
Amongst the countless pilgrims who visited the tomb of St Agnes may be mentioned the Emperor Charles IV and St Catherine of Siena, who held her in great veneration. When St Catherine visited the shrine it is recorded that as she stooped to kiss the foot of the incorrupt body, the foot lifted itself to meet her lips:  the incident has been made famous by several painters.  St Agnes was canonized in 1726.

Owing to the comparatively late date at which St Agnes was canonized, the main docu­ments of the process are accessible in printed form. The principal item is a biography by Bd Raymund of Capua, who some fifty years after her death was confessor to the convent. This is also printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii. There are some lives, mostly Italian, of later date, e.g. that by G. Bartoli, Istoria di S. Agnese di Montepulciano (1779), and one in German by A. Walz (1922). See also Künstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 42—43 and Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 100—103.
She was born circa 1268 and at the age of nine entered the monastery of Montepulciano, near her home in Gracchiano-Vecchio. Four years later she was commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV to assist in the foundation of a new convent in Procena. At fifteen she became the head of the nuns there. About 1300, the people of Montepulciano built a new convent in order to lure Agnes back to them. She established a convent under the Dominican rule and governed there until her death in 1317.
Agnes was noted for her visions. She held the infant Christ in her arms and received Holy Communion from an angel. She experienced levitations and she performed miracles for the faithful of the region. She is still revered in Tuscany.
Agnes of Montepulciano, OP V (RM) Born in Gracchiano-Vecchio, Tuscany, Italy, in 1268; died at Montepulciano, Tuscany, on April 20, 1317; canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726.

Agnes was not a child martyr like her Roman patroness but she exhibited the same simplicity, and some of her best-known legends concern her childhood. Her birth into the wealthy de Segni family was announced by great lights surrounding the house where she was born. From her infancy she was especially marked for dedication to God: she would spend hours reciting Pater Nosters and Ave Marias on her knees in the corner of some room.  By the time Agnes was six, she was already urging her parents to let her enter the convent. When they assured her that she was much too young, she begged them to move to nearby Montepulciano, so she could make frequent visits to the convent.
Because of the local political instability, her father was unwilling to move from his safe haven but did allow his little girl to visit with the sisters occasionally.

On one of these visits an event occurred that all the chroniclers record as being prophetic. Little Agnes was traveling in Montepulciano with her mother and the women of the household, and, as they passed a hill on which stood a bordello, a flock of crows swooped down and attacked the girl. Screaming and plunging, they managed to scratch and frighten her badly before the women drove them away. Upset by the incident, but devoutly sure of themselves, the women said that the birds must have been devils, and that they resented the purity and goodness of little Agnes, who would one day drive them from that hilltop.
Agnes did, in fact, build a convent there in later years.

When she was nine, Agnes insisted that the time had come to enter the convent del Sacco. She was allowed to go to a group of Franciscans in Montepulciano, whose dress was the ultimate in primitive simplicity: they were known, from the cut of the garment, as the Sacchine or 'sisters of the sack.' The high-born daughter of the Segni was not at all appalled at the crude simplicity with which they followed their Father Francis; she rejoiced in it. Her religious formation was entrusted to an experienced older sister named Margaret, and Agnes soon edified the whole house by her exceptional progress. For five years she enjoyed the only complete peace she would ever have; she was appointed bursar at the age of 14, and she never again was without some responsibility to others.
During this time Agnes reached a high degree of contemplative prayer and was favored with many visions. One of the loveliest is the one for which her legend is best known: the occasion of a visit from the Blessed Virgin. Our Lady came with the Holy Infant in her arms, and allowed Agnes to hold Him and caress Him. Unwilling to let Him go, Agnes hung on when Our Lady reached to take Him back. When she awakened from the ecstasy, Our Lady and her Holy Child were gone, but Agnes was still clutching tightly the little gold cross He had worn on a chain about His neck. She kept it as a precious treasure.

Another time, Our Lady gave her three small stones and told her that she should use them to build a convent some day. Agnes was not at the moment even thinking about going elsewhere, and said so, but Our Lady told her to keep the stones--three, in honor of the Blessed Trinity--and one day she would need them.

Some time after this, a new Franciscan convent opened in Procena, near Orvieto, and the sisters there asked the ones of Montepulciano to send them a mother superior. Sister Margaret was selected, but stipulated that Agnes must be allowed to come to help her in the foundation of the new community. There Agnes served as housekeeper -- a highly responsible position for a 14-year-old! Soon many other girls joined the convent at Procena simply became they knew that Agnes was there.

To the distress of young Agnes, she was elected abbess. Since she was only 15, a special dispensation was needed--and provided by Pope Nicholas IV--to allow her to take the office. On the day when she was consecrated abbess, great showers of tiny white crosses fluttered down on the chapel and the people in it. It seemed to show the favor of heaven on this somewhat extraordinary situation.

For 20 years, Agnes lived in Procena, happy in her retreat and privileged to penetrate the secrets of God in her prayer. She was a careful superior, as well as a mystic; several times she worked miracles to increase the house food supply when it was low. The nun's self-discipline was legendary. She lived on bread and water for fifteen years. She slept on the floor with a stone for a pillow. It is said that in her visions angels gave her Holy Communion.

Once her visions of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and angels had become known, the citizens of Montepulciano called her back for a short stay. She went willingly enough, though she hated leaving the peace of her cloister for the confusion of travelling. She had just settled down, on her return, with the hope that she had made her last move and could now stay where she was, when obedience again called her back to Montepulciano--this time to build a new convent. A revelation had told her that she was to leave the Franciscans, among whom she had been very happy, and that she and her future sisters should become Dominicans.


In 1306, Agnes returned to Montepulciano to put the Lord's request into action: she was to build a convent on the former site of the brothels. All she had for the building of the convent were the three little stones given her by the Blessed Virgin, and Agnes--who had been bursar and knew something about money--realized that she was going to have to rely heavily on the support of heaven in her building project.

After a long quarrel with the inhabitants of the hilltop she wanted for her foundation, the land was finally secured, and the Servite prior laid the first stone, leaving her to worry about from where the rest of the stones would come. Agnes saw the project to its completion. The church and convent of Santa Maria Novella were ready for dedication in record time, and a growing collection of aspirants pleaded for admittance to the new convent.

Agnes had become convinced that the community must be anchored in an established Rule in order to attain permanence. She explained that the rule was to be Dominican, not Franciscan. All the necessary arrangements were made, she was established as prioress, the Dominicans agreed to provide chaplains and direction, and the new community settled down. They had barely established the regular life when one of the walls of the new building collapsed. It was discovered that the builders had cheated, and that the whole convent was in danger of falling on top of them. Agnes met the new problem with poise. She had many friends in Montepulciano by this time, and they rallied to rebuild the house.

When the convent was once again completed, and had become, as hoped, a dynamo of prayer and penance, Agnes decided to go to Rome on pilgrimage. It is interesting to note that Second Order convents of the 14th century were so flexible in the matter of enclosure. She made the trip to Rome and visited the shrines of the martyrs. The pope was at Avignon, so she did not have the happiness of talking to him. But she returned to Montepulciano full of happiness for having seen the holy places of Rome.

At the age of 49, Agnes's health began to fail rapidly. She was taken for treatment to the baths at Chianciano--accompanied, as it says in the rule, by 'two or three sisters'--but the baths did her no good. She did perform a miracle while there, restoring to life a child who had fallen into the baths and drowned.

Agnes returned to Montepulciano to die in the night. When she knew she was dying after a long and painful illness, Agnes told her grieving nuns that they should rejoice, for, she said, "You will discover that I have not abandoned you. You will possess me for ever." The children of the city wakened and cried out, "Holy Sister Agnes is dead!" She was buried in Montepulciano, where her tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage.

One of the most famous pilgrims to visit her tomb was Saint Catherine of Siena, who went to venerate the saint and also, probably, to visit her niece, Eugenia, who was a nun in the convent there. As she bent over the body of Saint Agnes to kiss the foot, she was amazed to see Agnes raise her foot so that Catherine did not have to stoop so far!

In 1435, her incorrupt body was translated to the Dominican church at Orvieto, where it remains today. Clement VIII approved her office for the use of the order of St. Dominic, and inserted her name in the Roman Martyrology (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).

In art, Saint Agnes is a Dominican abbess (white habit, black mantle) with a lamb, lily, and book. She might also be portrayed (1) gazing at the Cross, a lily at her feet, (2) with the Virgin and Child appearing to her; (3) with the sick healed at her tomb (Roeder); (4) with Saint Catherine of Siena; or (5) as patroness of Montepulciano, of which she holds a model in her hand. Tiepolo presents Agnes as one of the saints surrounding the Blessed Virgin in the Jesuit church at Venice, Italy (Farmer). She is venerated at Montepulciano (Roeder).
1322 Blessed Simon Rinalducci famous preacher; Bd Simon died at Bologna and many cures took place at his tomb. OSA (AC)
1322 BD SIMON OF TODI
SIMON RINALDUCCI of Todi joined the Hermits of St Augustine in the year 1280. He was a distinguished preacher and became prior of several houses of his order besides being at one time provincial of Umbria. In a general chapter grave accusations were made against him in his absence by some of his brethren. Although he could have cleared himself, he chose rather to suffer in silence than to court an inquiry which would certainly have caused scandal and might have led to dissensions in the order. Bd Simon died at Bologna and many cures took place at his tomb.

See the notice in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, where an account is printed of the miracles alleged to have been worked at his intercession. The confirmatio cultus was accorded in 1833.
Born in Todi, Italy; cultus confirmed in 1833. The Augustinian friar Simon Rinalducci became a famous preacher. For a time he was provincial in Umbria. He kept silence under an unjust accusation rather than cause scandal among his brothers (Benedictines).
Mozhaisk_monastery
1413 The Koloch Icon of the Mother of God manifest itself in the year during the reign of Vasilii I Dimitrievich 15 versts from the city of Mozhaisk, in the vicinity of Koloch in the Smolensk governance.

A peasant of this village named Luke found this holy image > >>
and took it to his home. One of his household suffered from a crippling of the body. The sick one with faith put his forehead to the icon and received complete healing. This became known of through the surroundings, and many of the suffering began to throng to the wonderworking icon for veneration, and they received graced help from the Mother of God. Luke afterwards took the image to Mozhaisk, and from thence to Moscow.
At the capital, Metropolitan Photii, together with an assemblage of clergy and a multitude of the people, met the holy icon. During the carrying of the image through Moscow many of the sick were healed of their infirmities. Later they returned the icon to Mozhaisk.
    At the place of the appearance of the icon was built a church named for the Mother of God, into which was put the holy image.
    With the offerings of the peasant Luke and other Orthodox, prince Andrei Dimitrievich built at this locale a monastery, called the Kolochsk or Mozhaisk. 

1479 Saint Alexander of Oshevensk founder of the Oshevensk Dormition Monastery enlightener of the Kargopol area tonsured in the White Lake Monastery incorrupt
He appeared to St Diodorus of George Hill (November 27) in the seventeenth century when his Holy Trinity Monastery ran out of supplies

The brethren complained because there was nowhere to buy food in the wilderness.
St Alexander reminded Diodorus of how the Lord had fed the five thousand in the wilderness, and ordered him to go fishing. St Diodorus, fearing that the vision was a demonic delusion, ignored it. When St Alexander appeared a third time, Diodorus, wishing to test him, asked him to say a prayer. St Alexander recited "It is Truly Meet," and his face shone with a radiant light. The saint revealed himself as Alexander, the igumen of Oshevensk Dormition Monastery, and repeated his order to go fishing. Obeying this command, the monks went out and caught many fish.

The Monk Alexander of Oshevensk was born on 17 March 1427, 80 versts from Belozersk in the Vysheozersk region, several months before the death of the Monk Kirill of Belozersk (+ 9 July 1427), -- with whom he was bound together by later spiritual connections for his whole life.

Alexei (worldly name of the Monk Alexander of Oshevensk) was the fifth son of the rich landowner Nikifor Osheven and his spouse Fotinia; he was a long-awaited child and was born through the fervent prayers of Fotinia. The Mother of God Herself together with the Monk Kirill of Belozersk appeared to her and promised the birth of a son through the intercession of the Monk Kirill. Although Alexei was the youngest son, his parents hoped to see in him their successor and someone to care for them in their old age. In childhood they taught the boy his letters and spoke of him as an enterprising landowner. At 18 years of age they sought to marry off the youth.
With the permission of his parents, he went off to pray at the Kirillo-Belozersk monastery and remained there.
The hegumen loved the youth for his humility and soon suggested to him to take monastic vows.
But Alexei refused, having decided to test himself. Having studied Holy Scripture, he served the brethren as a novice for six years and only then did he accept monastic vows. During this time his parents settled in the village of Volosovo, -- 30 versts from Kargopol near the River Onega. Soon Nikifor sought of the Novgorod boyar Ioann a place for settling near the River Churiuga, which received the town-name Oshevensk.  The Monk Alexander asked of the hegumen permission to receive from his parents their final blessing and forgiveness, so that afterwards he might go into a solitary life. Not at once did the hegumen give permission to the young monk. He warned him about the dangers of wilderness life. But the Monk Alexander feared the ascetic fame that he had among the brethren, and he requested a second time to be released from the monastery. Finally, the hegumen gave his blessing.

Greeting him with joy, the father suggested to the son that he settle at the River Churiuga and promised to assist in the building of a monastery. The Monk Alexander took a liking to the place. He set up a cross as foundation of the future monastery and gave a vow to dwell there until the end of his life. After this the Monk Alexander returned to the Kirillo-Belozersk monastery and for some time he did obedience in the choir, in the kitchen and in the bakery. They ordained him to the dignity of deacon. Finally, when the Monk Alexander went to the hegumen for the third time and told him, how a miraculous voice had called him to organise a monastery, and how he had vowed to dwell at that place, the hegumen released him, -- blessing him with the icons of the Hodegetria Mother of God and Sainted Nicholas the Wonderworker.

The Monk Alexander dedicated the chosen spot with the icons, and received from his father supervision for building a church, and he himself set off to the Archbishop of Novgorod Jona (1459-1470). Archbishop Jona ordained him to the dignity of presbyter and appointed him hegumen of the monastery. The boyarina Anastasia and her son Yurii were prepared to offer the monastery the whole district, but the Monk Alexander accepted the gramota (deed) for only the necessary ground. The constructed church was dedicated in the name of Sainted Nicholas. With determination and energy the monk began to work at organising the monastery. An elder, who had accompanied him from the Kirillo-Belozersk monastery, was not able to endure the harsh wilderness life and went back. By little by little brethren gathered. The monk enacted a strict ustav (rule) of common life, which required complete silence in temple and at refectory, -- when saint-lives were read, in monk cells there was to be no idleness, and at the time of fulfilling obediences it was necessary to do the Jesus Prayer or read psalms. "Brethren, -- said the monastic hegumen, -- let us not shirk work nor the way of sorrow. Ye know, that the way of sorrow leads to the Heavenly Kingdom. Live in mutual love and humility. God is love, and He loveth the humble".

Many even from the layfolk came to the monk and put themselves under his spiritual guidance. Two nephews of the saint accepted monastic orders at his monastery, who offended one of the brethren, -- the monk Ambrosii. The Monk Alexander gently calmed the religious brother, but the nephews cooled in their zeal for asceticism and they left the monastery. Grief over the salvation of his spiritual children wrecked the health of the monk. He lay down and was not able to life up his hand nor his head, nor even to utter a word. In such a state of exhaustion the Monk Alexander prayed to the Monk Kirill, his patron. The Monk Kirill appeared in a white robe and, signing the sick man with the sign of the cross, he said: "Grieve not, brother! I intercede and thou shalt be well. Only forget not thy vow, nor leave this place. I shall assist thee". Having fallen asleep, the monk regained his strength and in the morning went to church. To encourage the brethren he told about the visit of the Monk Kirill. The monk laboured for 27 years in the monastery founded by him, and died peacefully on 20 April 1479.

After the death of the hegumen, the monastery began quickly to go into decline. But the monk did not cease to care for it. One time, the monastic attendant Mark had a vision in a dream: the monastery was full of people; a grey-haired elder in bishop's garb signed with a cross those working on the building. Another elder, with a long beard, sprinkled with holy-water; and a third, of moderate stature and blond hair, censed. A fourth one, a youth, followed after them at a distance. The third elder, -- this was the Monk Alexander Oshevensk -- explained, that Sainted Nicholas the Wonderworker and the Monk Kirill of Belozersk assisted him, and the youth standing at the distance was the cantor Matfei, who was soon vowed under the name Maxim and chosen hegumen of the monastery, as predicted in the vision of the Monk Alexander. The monk Maxim was established as hegumen by the Archbishop of Novgorod Sergei (1483-1485), and he restored the monastery. He was the monastic head until 1525.

At the time of building of a new temple in the name of Sainted Nicholas, during an appearance of the Monk Alexander and at his command, -- his relics were found undecayed. His image was then painted in accord with how he appeared as a monk and in accord with the accounts of those who knew the elder: the Monk Alexander of Oshevensk was of moderate stature, with parched face and sunken cheeks, with a small thin beard, grizzled with blond hairs. He is thus depicted on icons.

1584 Bl. James Bell priest and Bl. John Finch Martyr of England yeoman farmer harbored priests
1584 BB. JAMES BELL AND JOHN FINCH, MARTYRS
A NATIVE of Warrington, educated at Oxford, James Bell was ordained to the priesthood in the days of Queen Mary. Upon the accession of Elizabeth, he conformed to the state religion, under which he held appointments in several places, but on being reconciled to the Church he was allowed to resume his priestly duties, He had been working zealously for about two years when he was apprehended by a pursuivant who brought him before a magistrate, and he was accordingly sent to Lancaster gaol to await the Lent assizes. At the trial he acknowledged his priesthood and refused to acknowledge Elizabeth’s ecclesiastical supremacy. When the judge sentenced him to death for high treason, Father Bell said, “I beg your Lordship would add to the sentence that my lips and the tops of my fingers be cut off for having sworn and subscribed to the articles of heretics, contrary both to my conscience and to God’s truth “.
Bd John Finch was also a native of Lancashire, but a married layman, a yeoman farmer. He was reconciled to the Church and as zealous in winning converts as well as in helping priests, to whom he acted as clerk and catechist. He was arrested, tried at Lancaster with Bd James Bell, condemned for treason, and executed with him on April 20, 1584.

See Challoner, MMP., pp. 100—102; Burton and Pollen, LEM., col. i, pp. 107—126; and Publications of the Catholic Record Society, vol. v, pp. 74—81, etc.
He was a yeoman farmer of Eccleston, Lancashire, who returned to the Church. He harbored priests and acted as a clerk and catechist. John was arrested and tried with Blessed James Bell. They were executed at Lancaster. Both were beatified in 1929.

Blessed James Bell and John Finch MM (AC) Died Lancaster, England, in 1584; beatified in 1929. This is another pair of martyrs for the faith in England. James was born in Warrington, Lancashire, and educated at Oxford. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest during the reign of Queen Mary, but converted to Anglicanism under her sister. Unable to reconcile his conscience with his actions, he rejoined the Catholic Church and for this he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at age 64. John Finch, a yeoman farmer of Eccleston, Lancashire, was similarly hanged for being reconciled to the Church and harboring priests (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1602 Bl. Francis Page Jesuit martyr of England
1602 BB. ROBERT WATKINSON AND FRANCIS PAGE, MARTYRS
ROBERT WATKINSON and Francis Page suffered martyrdom together at Tyburn on April 20, 1602, for the offence of being Catholic priests who were exercising their ministry in England.
Robert Watkinson (who used the alias of John Wilson) was born at Heming borough in Yorkshire. He was ordained at Arras, and sent upon the English mission in 1602. Always a delicate man, he was under the care of a physician in London when he was arrested. The previous day he had been accosted in the street by a stranger of venerable appearance, who said, “Jesus bless you, sir: you seem to be sick and troubled with many infirmities; but be of good cheer, for within four days you shall be cured of all”—a prophecy which was fulfilled on the following Tuesday, when he received the martyr’s crown.
Francis Page appears to have been born at Antwerp, although his family belonged to Harrow-on-the-Hill. He was intended for the law and was brought up a Protestant, but after he had formed an attachment to a Catholic gentlewoman he was induced to study her religion. He became a Catholic, gave up all his worldly prospects, and went to Douai, where he was ordained and allowed to return to England. He was betrayed by a woman, tried at the sessions, and condemned to death. In prison he was visited first by extraordinary spiritual consolations and then by great desolation. When told to prepare for execution his peace returned, and he died cheerfully after making a profession of faith and a declaration that he had vowed himself to the Society of Jesus.

See Challoner, MMP., pp. 262—268 Publications of the Catholic Record Society, vol. v, pp. 375--381 and 390--391.

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Francis was a member of an English Protestant family of Harrow-on-the-Hill, in England. Reconciled to the Catholic faith, he was ordained in 1600 and sent from Douai, France, to England. He was arrested there two years later. While in prison, Francis entered the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. He was martyred at Tyburn, England, and was beatified in 1929.

1602 Blessed Francis Page convert priest English missionary SJ M (AC)

Born in Antwerp, Belgium; died at Tyburn, England, in 1602; beatified in 1929. The parents of Francis Page were English Protestants from Harrow-on-the-Hill. He converted to Catholicism, studied in the seminary at Douai, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1600. He was sent to the English missions, where he was captured. During his imprisonment prior to his execution, Francis was received into the Jesuits (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1602 Bl. Robert Watkinson priest English martyr

Born 1579 at Hemingborough, Yorkshire, he left England and studied at Douai, France, and then Rome in preparation for his ordination in 1602 in Arras, France. Sent home to work for the reconversion of England, he was arrested almost immediately and executed at Tyburn. Robert was hanged, drawn, and quartered on April 20, with Blessed Francis Page. He was beatified in 1929.

1602 Blessed Robert Watkinson priest died for his vocation M (AC)
Born at Heminbrough, Yorkshire, England; died at Tyburn in 1602; beatified in 1929. After studying for the priesthood at Douai and Rome, Robert was ordained in 1602 at the age of 23. That same year he died for his vocation outside London (Benedictines).
1690 Child Martyr Gabriel of Bialystok killed in Poland when he was only six years old incorrupt
One day when his parents were not home, he was lured out of his house by a man named Schutko, and then killed.
After thirty years, the martyred child's body was found to be incorrupt.
1666 Blessed Margaret of Amelia Benedictine abbess many mystical gifts OSB V (PC)
Margaret, a Benedictine abbess of Saint Catherine Convent at Amelia, possessed many mystical gifts (Benedictines).
 1818-1894 St. Conrad of Parzham porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years;  enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

SEE http://www.lngplants.com/Saint_of_the_DayApril21.html#1894_St._Conrad_of_Parzham_Franciscan

Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.

His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city’s shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.

At first some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad’s patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.

Conrad’s helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.

Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.

Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934.

Comment:    As we can see from his life as well as his words, Conrad of Parzham lived a life that attracted others because of a special quality, something Chesterton alluded to when he wrote, "The moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand" (Orthodoxy, p. 71). If we want to understand Conrad, we have to know where he fixed his heart. Because he was united to God in prayer, everyone felt at ease in Conrad’s presence.

Quote:    "It was God’s will that I should leave everything that was near and dear to me. I thank him for having called me to religious life where I have found such peace and joy as I could never have found in the world. My plan of life is chiefly this: to love and suffer, always meditating upon, adoring and admiring God’s unspeakable love for his lowliest creatures" (Letter of Saint Conrad).




Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Fourth Week in Easter 
Acts 12:24--13:5 ; Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 ;  John 12:44-50 ;

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!)
Listen to the podcast

 40 Days for Life  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'
May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.

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.

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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
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We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Called in the Gospel the Mother of Jesus, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as the Mother of my Lord (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son,  the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly Mother of God (Theotokos).
Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to me, His unworthy slave, if I mistake not:
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.
Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness.
He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.
With regard to this promise it may be remarked: (1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him; (2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive; (3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord; (4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end; (5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and (6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord He promises such great reward, and all Catholics should endeavor to make nine Fridays.
How do I start the Five First Saturdays? by Fr. Tom O'Mahony.
On July 13,1917, Our Lady appeared for the third time to the three children of Fatima an showed them the vision of hell and made the now - famous thirteen prophecies. In this vision Our Lady said that 'GOD WISHES TO ESTABLISH IN THE WORLD DEVOTION to Her Immaculate Heart and that She would come TO ASK FOR THE COMMUNION OF REPARATION ON THE FIRST SATURDAYS...'  Eight years later, on December 10, 1925, Our Lady did indeed come back. She appeared (with the Child Jesus) to Lucia in the convent of the Dorothean Sisters in Pontevedra.
The Child Jesus spoke first:
'HAVE COMPASSION ON THE HEART OF YOUR MOST HOLY MOTHER WHICH IS COVERED WITH THORNS WITH WHICH UNGRATEFUL MEN PIERCE IT AT EVERY MOMENT, WHILE THERE IS NO ONE TO REMOVE THEM WITH AN ACT OF REPARATION.'

THE GREAT PROMISE
Our Lady then said: 'MY DAUGHTER LOOK AT MY HEART SURROUNDED WITH THORNS WITH WHICH UNGRATEFUL MEN PIERCE IT AT EVERY MOMENT BY THEIR BLASPHEMIES AND INGRATITUDE. YOU, AT LEAST, TRY TO CONSOLE ME, AND SAY THAT I PROMISE TO ASSIST AT THE HOUR OF DEATH WITH ALL THE GRACES NECESSARY FOR SALVATION, ALL THOSE WHO, ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF FIVE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS GO TO CONFESSION AND RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, RECITE FIVE DECADES OF THE ROSARY AND KEEP ME COMPANY FOR A QUARTER OF AN HOUR WHILE MEDITATING ON MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY, WITH THE INTENTION OF MAKING REPARATION TO ME.'

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

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

God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique, for each is the result of a new idea.  As the liturgy says: Non est inventus similis illis--there are no two exactly alike. It is we with our lack of imagination, who paint the same haloes on all the saints. Dear Lord, grant us a spirit that is not bound by our own ideas and preferences.  Grant that we may be able to appreciate in others what we lack in ourselves. O Lord, grant that we may understand that every saint must be a unique praise of Your glory. Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives.  Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts.   God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heavenonly saints are allowed into heaven. The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.
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 Benedict XVI (2005 - 2013) Francis (2013

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

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


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

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

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

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


The Church without Mary is an orphanage
 
Pope Francis:
Cross Not Optional, Says Benedict XVI
Reflects on Peter's "Immature" Faith CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
Taking up one's cross isn't an option, it's a mission all Christians are called to, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.
Referring to the Gospel reading for today's Mass, the Holy Father reflected on the faith of Peter, which is shown to be "still immature and too much influenced by the 'mentality of this world.'”  He explained that when Christ spoke openly about how he was to "suffer much, be killed and rise again, Peter protests, saying: 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.'"
"It is evident that the Master and the disciple follow two opposed ways of thinking," continued the Pontiff. "Peter, according to a human logic, is convinced that God would never allow his Son to end his mission dying on the cross.  "Jesus, on the contrary, knows that the Father, in his great love for men, sent him to give his life for them, and if this means the passion and the cross, it is right that such should happen."
Christ also knew that "the resurrection would be the last word," Benedict XVI added.
Serious illness
The Pope continued, "If