WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
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.
Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
 Louis DE Montfort

Sheeps_Pool.jpg
The core of her teaching was:
Man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must live in a cell of self-knowledge, which is the stall in which the pilgrim must be reborn from time to eternity.
St Catherine of Siena

Abbots of Cluny (RM)

When the Roman Calendar was reorganized in 1968, it appears that this feast day was added to honor all the saintly abbots of the influential Abbey of Cluny. They are still individually honored on their own feast days, but most are no longer individually honored liturgically universally.
Monday, April 29, 2013
St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Acts 14:5-18  Psalm 115:1-4, 15-16  John 14:21-26
 Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly. 
-- St Ignatius Loyola


More information on the individual abbots may be found on their festal day: Berno (927), Odo (1118), Mayeul (994), Odilo (1049), Hugh (1024), Aymard, and Peter the Venerable ( 1156).
The Angelus April 29 - Our Lady of Faith (Amiens, France)
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:  And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.  Hail Mary . . .
And the Word was made Flesh:  And dwelt among us.  Hail Mary . . .
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

Saint Jason M (RM)
1st century. Jason was a friend and host of Saint Paul (Acts 17:5) in Salonka, Thessalonica, during his second missionary journey. Jason was a prominent convert to Christianity and is probably the same Jason with Sosipater mentioned by Saint Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (16:21). In the Greek legend Jason is described as the bishop of Tarsus, Cilicia, who, with Sosipater, evangelized Corfu, where Jason died.

 Syrian legend says he evangelized the area around Apamea and was martyred there by being thrown to wild beasts. The Roman Martyrology wrongly identifies him with the Mnason mentioned in Acts 21:16, "a Cyprian, an old disciple," with whom Saint Paul was staying in Jerusalem and whom tradition makes bishop of Tamasus in Cyprus (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
April 29 – St Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Tertiary of the Dominican Order,
Doctor of the Church, Patroness of Europe († 1380, Rome)     
  Mary, Sweet Mother of the Infinite Mercy
Catherine Benincasa was born in Siena (Italy), on March 25, 1347, Palm Sunday and the Feast of the Annunciation. All her life, Catherine contemplated Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation and on Calvary. She called Mary her “sweet mother,” and immersed herself mystically in the blood of Jesus, which saves and gives life to the sinner. Consecrated, but not cloistered (...) Penitent and missionary (...)

In 1380, Catherine died in Rome, at the age of 33, without seeing the end of the schism. She was canonized in 1461 by Pope Pius II, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI, on October 4, 1970, on the same day as Saint Teresa of Avila. (...)

One of her keys to discernment is the relationship between human actions, which are limited, and divine love, which is unlimited. (...) Mary is very important because through her the Word became flesh. And the Incarnate Word reveals love's infinite dimension to mankind. Sin is always finite, because it is human. Divine mercy is infinite, because of its divinity. The love that accompanies our actions is infinite... This is why loving Mary saves us from damnation. MDN Team
     33 The man who lay by the Sheep's Pool in Jerusalem for thirty-eight years
     65 St Torpes Martyr
          Martyrs of Corfu hermits the Seven Saintly Robbers martyred

 1st v. Cercyre converted by Saint Jason
 VM 1st v. St Tychicus 1st century disciple assistant of St. Paul
 259 St Agapius banished to Cirta, Numidia (Algeria) Martyr bishop
 290 Nine holy martyrs Cyzicus Dardenelles Thaumasius, Theognes, Rufus, Antipater, Theostichus, Artemas, Magnus,
       Theodotus, and Philemon

        The Holy Martyrs Diodorus and Rhodopianus the Deacon suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) in
        Aphrodisias, Caria.

 409 Severus of Naples renowned miracle worker raised dead man B (RM)
5th v. Saint Memnon the Wonderworker gift of clairvoyance many miracles
 5th v. St Dichu First convert of St Patrick in Ulser
  545 St Paulinus of Brescia Bishop
  6th v. St Endellion Virgin recluse
 7th v. St Fiachan monk in Lismore Abbey obedience was his sterling quality
 7th v. St Senan Welsh hermit
 744 St Wilfrid the Younger Benedictine abbot bishop of York zealous for education
 845 St Ava cured of blindness by St. Rainfredis, became a Benedictine Abbess
 9th v. St Daniel of Gerona hermit Daniel native of Asia Minor M (AC)
1109 St Hugh the Great Benedictine abbot founded hospital for lepers preached the First Crusade
1110 Robert of Molesme one of Cistercian founders movement a great reformer OSB Cist. Abbot (RM)
1111 St. Robert of Molesmes Benedictine abbot great reformer founder
1120 Blessed Theoger of Metz canon monk prior abbot bishop OSB B (PC)
1157 Bl Robert Bruges Cistercian abbot followed Saint Bernard to Clairvaux
1252 St Peter of Verona inquisitor inspiring sermons martyr accepted into the Dominican Order by St. Dominic
1380 St Catherine of Siena illiterate one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day mystical experiences when
  only 6 visions of Christ Mary and the saints gift of healing Stigmata visible only after her death Doctor of the Church
16th v. Saint Basil, Bishop of Zakholmsk monk various miracles
1715 St. Louis Mary Grignion missionary apostolic organized women the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine
   Wisdom furthering devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin through the Rosary popular book, True Devotion to the
   Blessed Virgin formed the Missionaries of the Company of Mary founded the clerical institute Montfort Fathers

1716 St Louis de Montfort Confessor Marian devotee missionary apostolic famous for fostering devotion to the
       Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom

1842 Joseph Benedict Cottolengo priest ministered to the sick "When I am in Heaven, where everything is possible, I
      will cling to the mantle of the Mother of God and I will not turn my eyes from you. But do not forget what this
      poor old man has said to you."(RM) Founder Of The Societies Of The Little House Of Divine Providence; “We are like the marionettes of a puppet-show. As long as they are held by a hand from above they walk, jump, dance and give signs of agility and life: they represent . . . now a king, now a clown . . . but as soon as the performance is over they are dropped and huddled together ingloriously in a dusty corner. So it is with us: amid the multiplicity of our various functions we are held and moved by the hand of Providence. Our duty is to enter into its designs, to play the part assigned to us . . . and respond promptly and trustfully to the impulses received from on high.”

1928 St Nectarius Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders June 13,1996, glorifying for
       universal veneration
August 7, 2000

"All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
(Psalm 21:28)
On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
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
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
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.  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,
  Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace


Mary's Divine Motherhood
Pope Benedict XVI 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.


Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
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 general and binds all the followers of Christ.
Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth
http://www.worldpriest.com/
THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Miracles by Century 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000    1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900  Miracles_BLay Saints
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
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.
Miracles 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000  
 
1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900 Lay Saints
The POPES HTML
Pius IX 1846--1878 • Leo XIII 1878-1903 • Pius X 1903-1914• Benedict XV 1914-1922 • Pius XI 1922-1939 • Pius XII 1939-1958 • John XXIII 1958-1963 • Paul VI 1963 to 1978 • John Paul • John Paul II 10/16/1975-4/2/2005 Benedict XVI

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

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today

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

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 to save us the Son of God had to suffer and die crucified, it certainly was not because of a cruel design of the heavenly Father.  "The cause of it is the gravity of the sickness of which he must cure us: an evil so serious and deadly that it will require all of his blood. 
"In fact, it is with his death and resurrection that Jesus defeated sin and death, reestablishing the lordship of God."

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

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

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

Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).
"Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person" -- Benedict XVI
"To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).
 
 
Pope Francis

THE PSALTER OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY  PSALM 83

How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lady of hosts: how delightful are the tents of thy redemption.
Honor her, O ye sinners: and she will obtain grace and salvation for you.
Her prayer is incense above frank-incense and balsam: her supplications will not return to her bare, void, or empty.
Intercede for me, O Lady, with thy Christ: neither do thou forsake me in death or in life.
For thy spirit is kind: thy grace fills the whole world.

Paul VI_Athenagoras_05_01_1964
  Quote: Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Instruction on the Contemplative Life includes this passage:  
 "To withdraw into the desert is for Christians tantamount to associating themselves more intimately with Christ’s passion, and it enables them, in a very special way, to share in the paschal mystery and in the passage of Our Lord from this world to the heavenly homeland" (#1).

Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person
 -- Benedict XVI

Benedict_XVI_Patriarch_Bartholomew

Benedict XVI_Archbishop_Hilarion
Benedict XVI receives Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion n September 18th, Pope Benedict XVI;  Archbishop Hilarion, president of the Department for External Church Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow.
The Orthodox Archbishop is currently visiting the Vatican at the invitation of Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
This Pontifical Council underlined that the visit will confirm the ties of friendship between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, with a view to closer collaboration and to favor the presence of the Church in the lives of the peoples of Europe and the world.
In addition, a further step in ecumenical relations is scheduled for the month of October in Cyprus: the meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which will address the theme of Petrine Primacy.
Benedict XVI met with Aram I Catholicos of Cilicia, the highest authority of the Orthodox Church.  The Pope remembered the martyrs of the Armenian Church and the Armenian genocide, without explicitly mentioning it, and denounced the persecution of Christians in modern times.  Benedict XVI
That testimony culminated in the twentieth century, which proved a time of Unspeakable suffering for your people. Most recently we have all been saddened by the escalation of persecution and violence against Christians in parts of the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Catholicos is based in Lebanon. That is why, the Pope said, he prays every day for peace in this country and throughout the Middle East. Benedict XVI said there will only be peace in the region when each country is free to decide its own destiny and when every ethnic and religious group accepts and respects the others. Aram I emphasized that the churches must be means for peace and to achieve that they must recognize all genocides, even the Armenian.. The Catholicos recalled his meeting with John Paul II, adding that this visit represents a new step for ecumenical dialogue.
Aram I Catholicos
Our meeting is an opportunity to pray and reflect together, and to renew our commitment and efforts for Christian unity.
Armenian church members from all over the world join with Catholicos in making pilgrimages to Rome.

The great psalm of the Passion, Chapter 22, whose first verse “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus pronounced on the cross, ended with the vision: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations. All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage. And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you. The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here} 2000 years of the Catholic Church in China
The saints “a cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.

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Saint Frances Xavier Seelos  Practical Guide to Holiness
1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion. 2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing & make resolutions to avoid it.
3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, if a half hour is not possible.  4. Say the rosary every day.
5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament; toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour, 6.  Conclude the day with evening prayer & an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day.
7.  Every month make a review of the month in confession.
8. Choose a special patron every month & imitate that patron in some special virtue.
9. Precede every great feast with a novena that is nine days of devotion. 10. Try to begin & end every activity with a Hail Mary

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
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,  Fatima Prayer, Angel of Peace
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 general and binds all the followers of Christ.
God loves variety. He doesn't mass-produce his saints. Every saint is unique each 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 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.
The 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary ) Revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)
1.    Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces. 2.    I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary. 3.    The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies. 4.    It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things.  Oh, that soul would sanctify them by this means.  5.    The soul that recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish. 6.    Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying themselves to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune.  God will not chastise them in His justice, they shall not perish by an unprovided death; if they be just, they shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life. 7.    Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church. 8.    Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise. 9.    I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary. 10.    The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in Heaven.  11.    You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary. 12.    I shall aid all those who propagate the Holy Rosary in their necessities. 13.    I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death. 14.    All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my only Son, Jesus Christ. 15.    Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
His Holiness Aram I, current (2013) Catholicos of Cilicia of Armenians, whose See is located in Lebanese town of Antelias. The Catholicosate was founded in Sis, capital of Cilicia, in the year 1441 following the move of the Catholicosate of All Armenians back to its original See of Etchmiadzin in Armenia. The Catholicosate of Cilicia enjoyed local jurisdiction, though spiritually subject to the authority of Etchmiadzin. In 1921 the See was transferred to Aleppo in Syria, and in 1930 to Antelias.
Its jurisdiction currently extends to Syria, Cyprus, Iran and Greece.
Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac
The exact date of the introduction of Christianity into Edessa {Armenian Ourhaï in Arabic Er Roha, commonly Orfa or Urfa, its present name} is not known. It is certain, however, that the Christian community was at first made up from the Jewish population of the city. According to an ancient legend, King Abgar V, Ushana, was converted by Addai, who was one of the seventy-two disciples. In fact, however, the first King of Edessa to embrace the Christian Faith was Abgar IX (c. 206) becoming official kingdom religion.
  Christian council held at Edessa early as 197 (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., V,xxiii).
In 201 the city was devastated by a great flood, and the Christian church was destroyed (“Chronicon Edessenum”, ad. an. 201).
In 232 the relics of the Apostle St. Thomas were brought from India, on which occasion his Syriac Acts were written.
Under Roman domination martyrs suffered at Edessa: Sts. Scharbîl and Barsamya, under Decius; Sts. Gûrja, Schâmôna, Habib, and others under Diocletian. 
In the meanwhile Christian priests from Edessa evangelized Eastern Mesopotamia and Persia, established the first Churches in the kingdom of the Sassanides.  Atillâtiâ, Bishop of Edessa, assisted at the Council of Nicæa (325). The “Peregrinatio Silviæ” (or Etheriæ) (ed. Gamurrini, Rome, 1887, 62 sqq.) gives an account of the many sanctuaries at Edessa about 388.
Although Hebrew had been the language of the ancient Israelite kingdom, after their return from Exile the Jews turned more and more to Aramaic, using it for parts of the books of Ezra and Daniel in the Bible. By the time of Jesus, Aramaic was the main language of Palestine, and quite a number of texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls are also written in Aramaic.
Aramaic continued to be an important language for Jews, alongside Hebrew, and parts of the Talmud are written in it.
After Arab conquests of the seventh century, Arabic quickly replaced Aramaic as the main language of those who converted to Islam, although in out of the way places, Aramaic continued as a vernacular language of Muslims.
Aramaic, however, enjoyed its greatest success in Christianity. Although the New Testament wins written in Greek, Christianity had come into existence in an Aramaic-speaking milieu, and it was the Aramaic dialect of Edessa, now known as Syriac, that became the literary language of a large number of Christians living in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire and in the Persian Empire, further east. Over the course of the centuries the influence of the Syriac Churches spread eastwards to China (in Xian, in western China, a Chinese-Syriac inscription dated 781 is still to be seen); to southern India where the state of Kerala can boast more Christians of Syriac liturgical tradition than anywhere else in the world.

680 Shiite saint Imam Hussein, grandson of Islam's Prophet Muhammad Known as Ashoura and observed by Shiites across the world, the 10th day of the lunar Muslim month of Muharram: the anniversary of the 7th century death in battle of one of Shiite Islam's most beloved saints.  Imam Hussein died in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that's home to the saint's shrine.  The battle over a dispute about the leadership of the Muslim faith following Muhammad's death in 632 A.D. It is the defining event in Islam's split into Sunni and Shiite branches.  The occasion is the source of an enduring moral lesson. "He sacrificed his blood to teach us not to give in to corruption, coercion, or use of force and to seek honor and justice."  According to Shiite beliefs, Hussein and companions were denied water by enemies who controlled the nearby Euphrates.  Streets get partially covered with blood from slaughter of hundreds of cows and sheep. Volunteers cook the meat and feed it to the poor.  Hussein's martyrdom recounted through a rich body of prose, poetry and song remains an inspirational example of sacrifice to many Shiites, 10 percent of the world's estimated 1.3 billion Muslims.
Meeting of the Saints  walis (saints of Allah)
Great men covet to embrace martyrdom for a cause and principle.
So was the case with Hazrat Ali. He could have made a compromise with the evil forces of his time and, as a result, could have led a very comfortable, easy and luxurious life.  But he was not a person who would succumb to such temptations. His upbringing, his education and his training in the lap of the holy Prophet made him refuse such an offer.
Rabia Al-Basri (717–801 C.E.) She was first to set forth the doctrine of mystical love and who is widely considered to be the most important of the early Sufi poets. An elderly Shia pointed out that during his pre-Partition childhood it was quite common to find pictures and portraits of Shia icons in Imambaras across the country.
Shah Abdul Latif: The Exalted Sufi Master born 1690 in a Syed family; died 1754. In ancient times, Sindh housed the exemplary Indus Valley Civilisation with Moenjo Daro as its capital, and now, it is the land of a culture which evolved from the teachings of eminent Sufi saints. Pakistan is home to the mortal remains of many Sufi saints, the exalted among them being Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a practitioner of the real Islam, philosopher, poet, musicologist and preacher. He presented his teaching through poetry and music - both instruments sublime - and commands a very large following, not only among Muslims but also among Hindus and Christians. Sindh culture: The Shah is synonymous with Sindh. He is the very fountainhead of Sindh's culture. His message remains as fresh as that of any present day poet, and the people of Sindh find solace from his writings. He did indeed think for Sindh. One of his prayers, in exquisite Sindhi, translates thus: “Oh God, may ever You on Sindh bestow abundance rare! Beloved! All the world let share Thy grace, and fruitful be.”
Shia Ali al-Hadi, died 868 and son Hassan al-Askari 874. These saints are the 10th and 11th of Shia's 12 most revered Imams. Baba Farid Sufi 1398 miracle, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki renowned Muslim Sufi saint scholar miracles 569 A.H. [1173 C.E.] hermit gave to poor, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti greatest mystic of his time born 533 Hijri (1138-39 A.D.), Hazrat Ghuas-e Azam, Hazrat Bu Ali Sharif, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Sufi Saint Hazrath Khwaja Syed Mohammed Badshah Quadri Chisty Yamani Quadeer (RA)
1236-1325 welcomed people of all faiths & all walks of life.
801 Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya Sufi One of the most famous Islamic mystics
(b. 717). This 8th century saint was an early Sufi who had a profound influence on later Sufis, who in turn deeply influenced the European mystical love and troubadour traditions.  Rabi'a was a woman of Basra, a seaport in southern Iraq.  She was born around 717 and died in 801 (185-186).  Her biographer, the great medieval poet Attar, tells us that she was "on fire with love and longing" and that men accepted her "as a second spotless Mary" (186).  She was, he continues, “an unquestioned authority to her contemporaries" (218).
Rabi'a began her ascetic life in a small desert cell near Basra, where she lost herself in prayer and went straight to God for teaching.  As far as is known, she never studied under any master or spiritual director.  She was one of the first of the Sufis to teach that Love alone was the guide on the mystic path (222).  A later Sufi taught that there were two classes of "true believers": one class sought a master as an intermediary between them and God -- unless they could see the footsteps of the Prophet on the path before them, they would not accept the path as valid.  The second class “...did not look before them for the footprint of any of God's creatures, for they had removed all thought of what He had created from their hearts, and concerned themselves solely with God. (218)
Rabi'a was of this second kind.  She felt no reverence even for the House of God in Mecca:  "It is the Lord of the house Whom I need; what have I to do with the house?" (219) One lovely spring morning a friend asked her to come outside to see the works of God.  She replied, "Come you inside that you may behold their Maker.  Contemplation of the Maker has turned me aside from what He has made" (219).  During an illness, a friend asked this woman if she desired anything.
"...[H]ow can you ask me such a question as 'What do I desire?'  I swear by the glory of God that for twelve years I have desired fresh dates, and you know that in Basra dates are plentiful, and I have not yet tasted them.  I am a servant (of God), and what has a servant to do with desire?" (162)
When a male friend once suggested she should pray for relief from a debilitating illness, she said,
"O Sufyan, do you not know Who it is that wills this suffering for me?  Is it not God Who wills it?  When you know this, why do you bid me ask for what is contrary to His will?  It is not  well to oppose one's Beloved." (221)
She was an ascetic.  It was her custom to pray all night, sleep briefly just before dawn, and then rise again just as dawn "tinged the sky with gold" (187).  She lived in celibacy and poverty, having renounced the world.  A friend visited her in old age and found that all she owned were a reed mat, screen, a pottery jug, and a bed of felt which doubled as her prayer-rug (186), for where she prayed all night, she also slept briefly in the pre-dawn chill.  Once her friends offered to get her a servant; she replied,
"I should be ashamed to ask for the things of this world from Him to Whom the world belongs, and how should I ask for them from those to whom it does not belong?"  (186-7)
A wealthy merchant once wanted to give her a purse of gold.  She refused it, saying that God, who sustains even those who dishonor Him, would surely sustain her, "whose soul is overflowing with love" for Him.  And she added an ethical concern as well:
"...How should I take the wealth of someone of whom I do not know whether he acquired it lawfully or not?" (187)
She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance.  She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did.  For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e., hindrances to the vision of God Himself.  The story is told that once a number of Sufis saw her hurrying on her way with water in one hand and a burning torch in the other.  When they asked her to explain, she said:
"I am going to light a fire in Paradise and to pour water on to Hell, so that both veils may vanish altogether from before the pilgrims and their purpose may be sure..." (187-188)
She was once asked where she came from.  "From that other world," she said.  "And where are you going?" she was asked.  "To that other world," she replied (219).  She taught that the spirit originated with God in "that other world" and had to return to Him in the end.  Yet if the soul were sufficiently purified, even on earth, it could look upon God unveiled in all His glory and unite with him in love.  In this quest, logic and reason were powerless.  Instead, she speaks of the "eye" of her heart which alone could apprehend Him and His mysteries (220).
Above all, she was a lover, a bhakti, like one of Krishna’s Goptis in the Hindu tradition.  Her hours of prayer were not so much devoted to intercession as to communion with her Beloved.  Through this communion, she could discover His will for her.  Many of her prayers have come down to us:
       "I have made Thee the Companion of my heart,
        But my body is available for those who seek its company,
        And my body is friendly towards its guests,
        But the Beloved of my heart is the Guest of my soul."  [224]

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Mother Angelica saving souls is this beautiful womans journey Shrine_of_The_Most_Blessed_Sacrament
Colombia was among the countries Mother Angelica visited. 
In Bogotá, a Salesian priest - Father Juan Pablo Rodriguez - brought Mother and the nuns to the Sanctuary of the Divine Infant Jesus to attend Mass.  After Mass, Father Juan Pablo took them into a small Shrine which housed the miraculous statue of the Child Jesus. Mother Angelica stood praying at the side of the statue when suddenly the miraculous image came alive and turned towards her.  Then the Child Jesus spoke with the voice of a young boy:  “Build Me a Temple and I will help those who help you.” 

Thus began a great adventure that would eventually result in the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a Temple dedicated to the Divine Child Jesus, a place of refuge for all. Use this link to read a remarkable story about
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Father Reardon, Editor of The Catholic Bulletin for 14 years Lover of the poor; A very Holy Man of God.
Monsignor Reardon Protonotarius Apostolicus
 
Pastor 42 years BASILICA OF SAINT MARY Minneapolis MN
America's First Basilica Largest Nave in the World
August 7, 1907-ground broke for the foundation
by Archbishop Ireland-laying cornerstone May 31, 1908
James M. Reardon Publication History of Basilica of Saint Mary 1600-1932
James M. Reardon Publication  History of the Basilica of Saint Mary 1955 {update}

Brief History of our Beloved Holy Priest Here and his published books of Catholic History in North America
Reardon, J.M. Archbishop Ireland; Prelate, Patriot, Publicist, 1838-1918.
A Memoir (St. Paul; 1919); George Anthony Belcourt Pioneer Catholic Missionary of the Northwest 1803-1874 (1955);
The Catholic Church IN THE DIOCESE OF ST. PAUL from earliest origin to centennial achievement
1362-1950 (1952);

The Church of Saint Mary of Saint Paul 1875-1922;
  (1932)
The Vikings in the American Heartland;
The Catholic Total Abstinence Society in Minnesota;
James Michael Reardon Born in Nova Scotia, 1872;  Priest, ordained by Bishop Ireland;
Member -- St. Paul Seminary faculty.
Affiliations and Indulgence Litany of Loretto in Stained glass windows here.  Nave Sacristy and Residence Here
Sanctuary
spaces between them filled with grilles of hand-forged wrought iron the
life of our Blessed Lady After the crucifixon
Apostle statues Replicas of those in St John Lateran--Christendom's earliest Basilica.
Ordered by Rome's first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, Popes' cathedral and official residence first millennium of Christian history.

The only replicas ever made:  in order from west to east {1932}.
Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel
 
It Makes No Sense
Not To Believe In GOD
THE BLESSED MOTHER AND ISLAM By Father John Corapi. Site http://www.fathercorapi
  June 19, Trinity Sunday, 1991: Ordained Catholic Priest under Pope John Paul II;
then 2,000,000 miles delivering the Gospel to millions, and continues to do so.
By Father John Corapi, SOLT
Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

As we watch the spectacle of the world seeming to self-destruct before our eyes, we can’t help but be saddened and even frightened by so much evil run rampant. Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea—It is all a disaster of epic proportions displayed in living color on our television screens.  These are not ordinary times and this is not business as usual. We are at a crossroads in human history and the time for Catholics and all Christians to act is now. All evil can ultimately be traced to its origin, which is moral evil. All of the political action, peace talks, international peacekeeping forces, etc. will avail nothing if the underlying sickness is not addressed. This is sin. One person at a time hearts and minds must be moved from evil to good, from lies to truth, from violence to peace.
Islam, an Arabic word that has often been defined as “to make peace,” seems like a living contradiction today. Although it is supposed to be a religion of peace, Islam has been hijacked by Satan and now operates in the dark space of international terrorism.  As we celebrate the birthday of Our Lady, I am proposing that each one of us pray the Rosary for peace. Prayer is what must precede all other activity if that activity is to have any chance of success. Pray for peace, pray the Rosary every day without fail.  There is a great love for Mary among Muslim people. It is not a coincidence that a little village named Fatima is where God chose to have His Mother appear in the twentieth century. Our Lady’s name appears no less than thirty times in the Koran. No other woman’s name is mentioned, not even that of Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima. In the Koran Our Lady is described as “Virgin, ever Virgin.”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen prophetically spoke of the resurgence of Islam in our day. He said it would be through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Islam would be converted. We must pray for this to happen quickly if we are to avert a horrible time of suffering for this poor, sinful world. Turn to our Mother in this time of great peril. Pray the Rosary every day. Then, and only then will there be peace, when the hearts and minds of men are changed from the inside.
Talk is weak. Prayer is strong. Pray!  God bless you, Father John Corapi

Father Corapi's Biography

Father John Corapi is what has commonly been called a late vocation. In other words, he came to the priesthood other than a young man. He was 44 years old when he was ordained. From small town boy to the Vietnam era US Army, from successful businessman in Las Vegas and Hollywood to drug addicted and homeless, to religious life and ordination to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II, to a life as a preacher of the Gospel who has reached millions with the simple message that God's Name is Mercy!

Father Corapi's academic credentials are quite extensive. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pace University in the seventies. Then as an older man returned to the university classrooms in preparation for his life as a priest and preacher. He received all of his academic credentials for the Church with honors: a Masters degree in Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles Seminary and Bachelor, Licentiate, and Doctorate degrees in dogmatic theology from the University of Navarre in Spain.

Since his ordination to the priesthood in 1991 Fr. Corapi has traveled over 2,000,000 miles preaching the Gospel. He has preached in 49 of the 50 states, all of the Canadian provinces except NewFoundland, and several other foreign countries. He is currently engaged in preaching and teaching the Catholic faith by way of the means of social communication: television, radio, the internet, and various other multi-media formats.

  Father John Corapi goes to the heart of the contemporary world's many woes and wars, whether the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, or the Congo, or the natural disasters that seem to be increasing every year, the moral and spiritual war is at the basis of everything. “Our battle is not against human forces,” St. Paul asserts, “but against principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness...” (Ephesians 6:12). 
The “War to end all wars” is the moral and spiritual combat that rages in the hearts and minds of human beings. The outcome of that  unseen fight largely determines how the battle in the realm of the seen unfolds.  The title talk, “With the Moon Under Her Feet,” is taken from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation, and deals with the current threat to the world from radical Islam, and the Blessed Virgin Mary's role in the ultimate victory that will result in the conversion of Islam. Few Catholics are aware of the connection between Islam, Fatima, and Guadalupe. Presented in Father Corapi's straight-forward style, you will be both inspired and educated by him.

About Father John Corapi.
Father Corapi is a Catholic priest .
The pillars of father's preaching are basically:
Love for and a relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Leading a vibrant and loving relationship with Jesus Christ
Great love and reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist from Holy Mass to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
An uncompromising love for and obedience to the Holy Father and the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church

LINKS:
Marian Apparitions (over 2000)  India Marian Shrine Lourdes of the East   Lourdes Feb 11- July 16, Loreto, Italy 1858 
China
Marian shrines
May 23, 1995 Zarvintisya Ukraine Lourdes Kenya national Marian shrine    Quang Tri Vietnam La Vang 1798  
Links to Related
Marian Websites  Angels and Archangels
Doctors_of_the_Church   Acts_Of_The_Apostles  Roman Catholic Popes  Purgatory  Uniates

The man who lay by the Sheep's Pool in Jerusalem for thirty-eight years
On this day the Church remembers the man who lay by the Sheep's Pool in Jerusalem for thirty-eight years, waiting for someone to put him into the pool.  The first one to enter the pool after an angel troubled the water would be healed of his infirmities, but someone always entered the pool before him. Seeing the man, the Lord felt compassion for him and healed him.
The Kontakion for this Fourth Sunday of Pascha asks Christ to raise up our souls, "paralyzed by sins and thoughtless acts."

65 St. Torpes martyred in Pisa under Nero
Pisis, in Túscia, sancti Torpétis Mártyris, qui magnus in offício Nerónis primum fuit, unusque ex his, de quibus idem Paulus Apóstolus ab urbe Roma ad Philippénses scribit: « Salútant vos omnes sancti, máxime autem qui de Cǽsaris domo sunt ».  Sed póstea, pro fide Christi, jubénte Satéllico, álapis cæditur, verbéribus duríssime affícitur, ac béstiis devorándus tráditur, sed mínime læditur; tandem martyrium suum decollatióne complévit.
 At Pisa in Tuscany, the martyr St. Torpes, who filled a high office in the court of Nero, and was one of those of whom the apostle wrote from Rome to the Philippians: "All the saints salute you, especially those that are of the house of Caesar."  For the faith of Christ, he was, by order of Satellicus, beaten, cruelly scourged, and delivered to the beasts to be devoured, but remained uninjured.  He completed his martyrdom by being beheaded.
 
He was slain during the reign of Emperor Nero, although most of the accounts about him are considered unreliable.
Torpes of Pisa M (RM) All that is really known is that Torpes was martyred in Pisa under Nero. (Benedictines).
Martyrs of Corfu hermits the Seven Saintly Robbers martyred
In ínsula Corcyra sanctórum septem Latrónum, qui, a sancto Jásone ad Christum convérsi, martyrio vitam adépti sunt sempitérnam.
 In the island of Codyra, the seven holy thieves who were converted to Christ by St. Jason, and gained eternal life by martyrdom.

Called the Seven Holy Thieves or the Seven Saintly Robbers, they were disreputable individuals supposedly converted by St. Jason. They are named as Euphrosius, Inischalus, Mannonius, Januarius, Faustian, Massalius, and Saturninus.  According to tradition, the group went to the island of Corfu as hermits where they were martyred.

Martyrs of Corfu (RM) (also known as Seven Holy Thieves) 1st century. The story of the Seven Holy Thieves is found in a Greek menology. Seven criminals were converted by Saint Jason, a disciple of our Lord (Acts 17:5), on the island of Corcyre (Corfu). Saturninus, Inischolus, Faustian, Januarius, Massalius, Euphrasius, and Mannonius were roasted in a cauldron of wax, pitch, and sulphur for having professed faith in Jesus Christ (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1st v. St. Tychicus 1st century disciple assistant of St. Paul
Apud Paphum, in Cypro, sancti Tychici, qui fuit discípulus beáti Pauli Apóstoli, et ab ipso Apóstolo in suis Epístolis caríssimus frater, miníster fidélis suúsque in Dómino consérvus appellátur.
 At Paphos in Cyprus, St. Tychicus, a disciple of the blessed Apostle Paul, who called him in his Epistles, "most dear brother," "faithful minister," and "fellow-servant in the Lord".

 St. Tychicus
A disciple of St. Paul and his constant companion. He was a native of the Roman province of Asia (Acts 20:4), born, probably, at Ephesus. About his conversion nothing is known. He appears as a companion of St. Paul in his third missionary journey from Corinth through Macedonia and Asia Minor to Jerusalem. He shared the Apostle's first Roman captivity and was sent to Asia as the bearer of letters to the Colossians and Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7, 8). According to Tit., iii, 12, Paul intended to send Tychicus or Artemas to Crete to supply the place of Titus. It seems, however, that Artemas was sent, for during the second captivity of St. Paul at Rome Tychicus was sent thence to Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:12).
Of the subsequent career of Tychicus nothing certain is known. Several cities claim him as their bishop. The Menology of Basil Porphyrogenitus, which commemorates him on 9 April, makes him Bishop of Colophon and successor to Sosthenes. He is also said to have been appointed Bishop of Chalcedon by St. Andrew the Apostle (Lipsius, "Apokryphe Apostelgesch.", Brunswick, 1883, 579). He is also called bishop of Neapolis in Cyprus (Le Quien, "Oriens christ.", Paris, 1740, I, 125; II, 1061).
Some martyrologies make him a deacon, while the Roman Martyrology places his commemoration at Paphos in Cyprus. His feast is kept on 29 April.

A disciple of St. Paul who was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. According to Paul’s Letters to the Colossians and Ephesians, he was an assistant to Paul, being described by him as "my beloved brother and trustworthy minister in the Lord." Tradition declares him to have become bishop of Paphos, Cyprus.

Tychicus of Paphos B (RM) 1st century. A disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle (Acts 20:4, 21:29) and his fellow worker (Col. 4:7; Eph. 6:21ff), Saint Tychicus is said to have ended his days as bishop of Paphos in Cyprus (Benedictines).
1st v. Cercyre converted by Saint Jason VM 1st century.
Daughter of King Cercylinus, Cercyre was converted by Saint Jason. Her angry father delivered her to an Ethiopian, whom she converted. But, alas, she did not escape alive; she perished by being hung over a fire (Encyclopedia).
259 St. Agapius and Secundinus, banished to Cirta, Numidia (Algeria) Martyr bishops
Cirthæ, in Numídia, natális sanctórum Mártyrum Agápii et Secundíni Episcopórum, qui, post longum apud præfátam urbem exsílium, in persecutióne Valeriáni, in qua tunc máxime Gentílium rábies ad tentándam justórum fidem inhiábat, ex illústri sacerdótio effécti sunt Mártyres gloriósi.  Passi sunt in eódem collégio Æmiliánus miles, Tertúlla et Antónia, quæ erant sacræ Vírgines, et quædam múlier cum suis géminis.
 At Cirta in Numidia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Apapius and Secundinus, bishops, who, after a long exile in that city, added to the glory of their priesthood the crown of martyrdom.  They suffered in the persecution of Valerian, during which the enraged Gentiles made every effort to shake the faith of the just.  In their company suffered Aemilian, a soldier, Tertulla and Antonia, consecrated virgins, and a woman with her twin children.

Caught up in the persecutions of Emperor Valerian. Agapius and a companion, Secundus, by tradition Spaniards, were exiled by the Romans to Africa. There they were martyred with Emilian, Tertulla, Antonia, and others at Citra.

Agapius and Companions MM (RM) Agapius and Secundinus, Spanish bishops or priests, were banished to Cirta, Numidia (Algeria) during the persecution of Valerian. There they were martyred together with the virgins Tertullia and Antonia, and a woman with her twin children. The martyr Emilian mentioned in the Roman Martyrology is not included in the acta (Benedictines).
290 nine holy martyrs Thaumasius, Theognes, Rufus, Antipater, Theostichus, Artemas, Magnus, Theodotus, and Philemon were also from Cyzicus Dardenelles (Hellespont)
The city of Cyzicus is in Asia Minor on the coast of the Dardenelles (Hellespont). Christianity already began to spread there through the preaching of St Paul (June 29). During the persecutions by the pagans, some of the Christians fled the city, while others kept their faith in Christ in secret.

At the end of the third century Cyzicus was still basically a pagan city, although there was a Christian church there. The situation in the city distressed the Christians, who sought to uphold Christianity. The nine holy martyrs Thaumasius, Theognes, Rufus, Antipater, Theostichus, Artemas, Magnus, Theodotus, and Philemon were also from Cyzicus. They came from various places, and were of different ages: the young like St Antipater, and the very old like St Rufus. They came from various positions in society: some were soldiers, countryfolk, city people, and clergy. All of them declared their faith in Christ, and prayed for for the spread of Christianity.

The saints boldly confessed Christ and fearlessly denounced the pagan impiety. They were arrested and brought to trial before the ruler of the city. Over several days they were tortured, locked in prison and brought out again. They were promised their freedom if they renounced Christ. But the valiant martyrs of Christ continued to glorify the Lord. All nine martyrs were beheaded by the sword (+ ca. 286-299), and their bodies buried near the city.

In the year 324, when the Eastern half of the Roman Empire was ruled by St Constantine the Great (May 21), and the persecutions against Christians ended, the Christians of Cyzicus removed the incorrupt bodies of the martyrs from the ground and placed them in a church built in their honor.

Various miracles occurred from the holy relics: the sick were healed, and the mentally deranged were brought to their senses. The faith of Christ grew within the city through the intercession of the holy martyrs, and many of the pagans were converted to Christianity.

When Julian the Apostate (361-363) came to rule, the pagans of Cyzicus complained to him that the Christians were destroying pagan temples. Julian gave orders to rebuild the pagan temples and to jail Bishop Eleusius. Bishop Eleusius was set free after Julian's death, and the light of the Christian Faith shone anew through the assistance of the holy martyrs.

In Russia, not far from the city of Kazan, a monastery was built in honor of the Nine Martyrs of Cyzicus. It was built by the hierodeacon Stephen, who brought part of the relics of the saints with him from Palestine. This monastery was built in the hope that through their intercession and prayers people would be delivered from various infirmities and ills, particularly a fever which raged through Kazan in 1687.

St Demetrius of Rostov (September 21), who composed the service to the Nine Martyrs, writes, "through the intercession of these saints, abundant grace was given to dispel fevers and trembling sicknesses." St Demetrius also described the sufferings of the holy martyrs and wrote a sermon for their Feast day.
The Holy Martyrs Diodorus and Rhodopianus the Deacon suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) in Aphrodisias, Caria.
They were stoned to death for spreading the Christianity among the pagans.

5th v. Saint Memnon the Wonderworker gift of clairvoyance many miracles
from his youth he lived in the Egyptian desert. By his arduous ascetical efforts, he attained a victory of spirit over the flesh.

As Igumen of one of the Egyptian monasteries, he wisely and carefully guided the brethren. Even while aiding them through prayer and counsel, the saint did not waver in his efforts in the struggle against temptation.

He received the gift of clairvoyance through unceasing prayer and toil. At his prayer a spring of water gushed forth in the wilderness, locusts destroying the harvest perished, and the shipwrecked who called on his name were saved. After his death, the mere mention of his name dispelled a plague of locusts and undid the cunning wiles of evil spirits.

409 Severus of Naples renowned miracle worker raised dead man B (RM)
Neápoli, in Campánia, sancti Sevéri Epíscopi, qui, inter ália admiránda, mórtuum de sepúlcro excitávit ad tempus, ut mendácem víduæ et pupíllórum creditórum argúeret falsitátis.
 At Naples in Campania, Bishop St. Severus, who, among other prodigies, raised for a short time a dead man from the grave in order to convict of falsehood the lying creditor of a widow and her children.

Bishop Severus of Naples was a renowned miracle worker. He raised a dead man to life in order that he should bear witness in favor of his persecuted widow (Benedictines).
5th v. St. Dichu First convert of St. Patrick in Ulser 5th century
First convert of St. Patrick in Ulser, Ireland. He is listed as a swineherd in some lists and in others as a the son of an Ulster chieftain.  Opposed to Patrick originally, Dichu converted and gave Patrick a church in Saul, the capital of Lecale in County Down.

5th v. Dichu of Ulster (AC) 5th century Dichu, son of an Ulster chieftain and a swineherd in his youth, succeeded to the kingdom of Lecale in County Down, Ireland, and bitterly opposed Saint Patrick when he landed there in 432. He became Patrick's first Irish convert, gave Patrick a church in Saul, capital of Lecale, the first of Patrick's foundations in Ireland, and the two became close friends
(Benedictines, Delaney).
545 St. Paulinus of Brescia Bishop
Bríxiæ sancti Paulíni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.   At Brescia, St. Paulinus, bishop and confessor.
Bishop of Brescia from 524. Little is known about his life, although his relics are preserved in a church of Oliveto.
Paulinus of Brescia B (RM) Died c. 545. Saint Paulinus was bishop of Brescia from c. 524 to 545.
His relics are enshrined in San Pietro in Oliveto (Benedictines).
6th v. St. Endellion Virgin recluse 6th century
Virgin recluse honored at St. Endellion, in Cornwall, England. She was the sister of St. Nectan of Hartland, and the daughter of Brychan of Brecknock.

Endellion V (AC) (also known as Endelient) 6th century. Saint Endellion is another of the numerous children of the saintly King Brychan of Brecknock. Nothing is known of her life, but she gave her name to a place in Cornwall, where part of her tomb survives and where two wells honor her memory.
A chapel was dedicated to her at Tregony, where she is reputed to have lived on the milk of only one cow. This animal was killed by the lord of Tregony because it trespassed on his land. Her godfather, a great man, had the lord killed for this offense, but Endellion miraculously brought him back to life. There is another chapel dedicated to her at Lundy Island, opposite her brother Nectan's settlement at Hartland in Devonshire
(Farmer).
7th v. St. Senan Welsh hermit 7th century
Owing to the confusion of records and traditions of this time and region, it is difficult to determine precise details of his life, but he is known to have labored in the northern districts of Wales.
Senan of North Wales, Hermit (AC) 7th century. A legend relates that Senan was a hermit in northern Wales, but there is so much confusion in the records among the various saints of this name that it is impossible to give any precise history (Benedictines).
7th v. St. Fiachan monk in Lismore Abbey obedience was his sterling quality 7th century
Disciple of St. Carthage the Younger, a native of Munster, Ireland. He was a monk in Lismore Abbey.
Fiachan of Lismore (AC) (also known as Fiachina, Fianchne) Born in Desies, Munster, Ireland; 7th century. An Irish monk of Lismore, whose sterling quality was obedience, Saint Fiachan was the disciple of Saint Carthage the Younger. He is titular saint of the parish of Kill-Fiachna, in the diocese of Ardfert
(Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
744 St. Wilfrid the Younger Benedictine abbot bishop of York zealous for education

744 St Wilfrid The Younger, Bishop Of York
Amongst the bishops mentioned by the Venerable Bede as having been educated at Whitby Abbey under the rule of St Hilda was Wilfrid the Younger, the favourite disciple of St John of Beverley. He was appointed bishop’s chaplain and ruled the establishment of cathedral clergy. As the years went by, he was employed more or less in the capacity of a coadjutor by St John, who before finally retiring to Beverley nominated him to be his successor. St Wilfrid showed great zeal in instructing his people; and like his predecessor he eventually laid down his office to end his days in a monastery—presumably Ripon—where he died. There seems to be only one old calendar known in which this bishop’s name appears.

See Mabillon, Acta Sanctorum, O.S.B., vol. iii, part a, p. 506. There are also brief references to St Wilfrid II in Simeon of Durham and William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum. See Stanton’s Menology, pp. 185—186.

England. A monk and disciple of St. John of Beverley, he studied at Whitby Abbey and received ordination. He became John's chaplain when John was named bishop of York, and received appointment as abbot of the cathedral community in the city. Soon after, he was appointed John's coadjutor and succeeded to the see at York at his benefactor's passing in 721. He eventually retired to a monastery, most likely Ripon, where he died.

Wilfrid the Younger, OSB B (AC) Died at Ripon in 744. Saint Wilfrid was one of the five future bishops who were educated by Saint Hilda ( 614; died at Whitby in 680) at Whitby.

This indefatigable bishop of York was the favorite disciple of Saint John of Beverly (died at Beverley, England, May 7, 721) at Whitby.
But first he was appointed abbot of the cathedral community at York, and shortly thereafter coadjutor of John of Beverly, whom he succeeded as bishop. Little is known of Wilfrid's episcopate except that he was zealous for education. Twelve years before his death at Ripon Abbey, Wilfrid retired to a monastery in order to be free to serve God with his whole soul. In the 10th century, two different groups claim to have taken the relics of Saint Wilfrid the Great(b. 634; died at Oundle, in 709) from Ripon; most likely one party took those of Wilfrid the Younger. This saint's feast is attested in the Calendar of Winchcombe and later martyrologies, though he does not seem to have had a widespread or popular cultus
(Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
9th v. St. Daniel of Gerona hermit Daniel native of Asia Minor M (AC) 9th century
According to an unreliable legend, the hermit Daniel was a native of Asia Minor, who lived during the time of Charlemagne. The circumstances of his martyrdom are unknown, but he is the patron of the abbey-church of the Benedictine nuns of Gerona, Spain (Benedictines).
9th v. St. Daniel hermit abbey church of the Benedictine nuns in Gerona martyr

Patron of the abbey church of the Benedictine nuns in Gerona, Spain. Daniel is reported to have been a native of Asia Minor.
845 St. Ava cured of blindness by St. Rainfredis, became a Benedictine Abbess
Ava was the daughter of King Pepin. She was cured of blindness by St. Rainfredis, became a Benedictine nun at Dinart, Hainault, and later was elected Abbess.
Ava of Dinant, OSB Abbess (AC) also known as Ave, Avia Died after 845. A blind Belgian woman, niece of King Pepin, who in her youth was miraculously healed through the intercession of Saint Renfroi (Rainfredis). She entered a convent at Denain, Hainault, where she became abbess
(Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1110 Robert of Molesme one of Cistercian founders movement a great reformer OSB Cist. Abbot (RM)
Born near Troyes, Champagne, France, in 1018; died on March 21, 1110; canonized in 1222. Born of noble parents, Robert was one of the founders of the Cistercian movement, which, like the monks of Cluny in the 10th century, was of Benedictine stock. The Rule of Saint Benedict had lost none of its value since its foundation in Italy in the 6th century. Absolute fidelity to this rule, and its greatest possible extension in the religious life were the two aims Robert pursued throughout his life.
Saint Alberic (1108) joined Robert in this pursuit, followed by Saint Stephen Harding (1134). But would they have taken the initiative without Robert? Or would they have postponed it. Or might they not have become discouraged while en route? For Robert was endowed with an uncommon will to overcome all obstacles.
There was no lack of obstacles. Like Stephen Harding, Robert had received Benedictine training at Moutier-La-Celle beginning when he was 15. He was appointed prior soon after his novitiate, then abbot of Saint Michael of Tonnerre at a very early age. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to reform the abbey. The scandals at the abbey were the motivation behind Robert's activity.

How did it happen that the Benedictines had forgotten Saint Benedict (b. 490 died at Monte Cassino, 543) and his rule to this extent? It was not that the rule was antiquated but men who were wicked, and his first desire was to convince them of their error. But since they did not listen to him, his second desire was to leave. "But whatever town you enter, and they do not receive you-- go out into the streets and say, 'Even the dust from your town, that we shake off against you'" (Luke 10:10-11).

Robert returned to Moutier-La-Celle, after having learned about a little group of seven hermits in forest of Collan, near Tonnerre, whom he greatly desired to join and who in turn wanted him to live with them. But Robert first of all owed obedience to the abbot of Moutier-La-Celle who sent him to Saint-Ayoul. Nothing less than a decree issued by Pope Alexander II was required before Robert and the hermits could come together again; the decree appointed him their superior. But they did not last long in Collan, since Robert decided to leave that unhealthy site for a more salubrious setting in the forest of Molesmes (c. 1075).

It was there at Molesmes that Robert met Stephen Harding. For Stephen Harding, as for posterity, Robert was always to be known as Robert of Molesmes. What Robert accomplished there, what Stephen saw there was the model, in miniature but perfect, of what the Cistercians were to become later: cells, which were mere huts grouped around a chapel that was really an oratory, and men who formed a little republic according to the Spirit, governed by an elected abbot, and who had given themselves as a constitution the famous Benedictine Rule.

These men, who spent their days divided into alternate periods of silence and common prayer, of contemplation and manual labor, had greater dependence on God than on the world. They practiced the evangelical counsels--poverty, chastity, and obedience--and found that they were both viable and profitable, enabling them to live in an atmosphere of peace and joy.

The austerity and holiness of the members of the rejuvenated community led to a great influx of ill-qualified candidates, and when Robert was unsuccessful in raising the standards to their previous level and stymied by the bishop of Troyes, who caused its constitution to be violated. Robert once more shook the dust from his feet, leaving Alberic and Stephen Harding behind, to retire to a hermitage at Or.

Recalled again to Molesmes, and again disgusted with the laxity of the monks, Robert, again shook the dust from his feet, this time took Alberic and Stephen Harding with him. They escaped the jurisdiction of the bishop of Troyes to fall under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Langres, and finally received approval from the archbishop of Lyons, the papal legate (in 1098), to found their new republic at Cîteaux, near Dijon, in the diocese of Chalon- sure-Saone, which gave its name to the order. The new community was dedicated to strict observance of the rule of Saint Benedict.

Robert was elected abbot in which post, however, he remained for just a year because the monks of Molesmes appealed to Rome and Urban II responded by ordering Robert to return to Molesmes in 1099. It was in Molesmes, regenerated on the model of Cîteaux, that Robert died, after having governed this abbey for nine years. But in Robert's mind Cîteaux and Molesmes were only guideposts.

The Lord could have said to this man: "Your plans are grandiose but you will not realize them all. Like Moses you will die before reaching the Promised Land. You will be the inventor, the architect. Another will be the contractor, he will exploit your invention. Another will steal from you the title of founder, this man will be Bernard of Clairvaux.

"It was necessary that I concern myself with your personal sanctity. It is not the least of things that the first of the Cistercians be a saint. You will not have stolen this title of saint, and nobody will steal it from you. You love the Truth, but you are not notable for your patience. You want to discover the great Benedictine current of spirituality at its source, you want to inundate France and Europe with it.

"You think that the truth which dwells in it is beautiful and good for all men. You count on the indwelling force of this truth to prevail by virtue of its appeal. You do not want to do violence to consciences. You want them to feel violence being done to them from within.

"But you forget that there are closed consciences which must be opened, that the kingdom of truth does not arrive without a struggle. This is why I shall place obstacles in your path. You shall be bound by wills other than your own, and you will go where you do not wish to go. But that which you will have done for the salvation of others, even without success, will at least be useful to your own salvation for without these self-imposed troublesome tasks, you would never have become a saint" (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).

Saint Robert is portrayed in art as a Cistercian monk writing a book. He may also be shown with a cross and ring, and the arms of the abbey of Molesmes by him; or with Stephen Harding (Roeder).
1109 St. Hugh the Great Benedictine abbot founded hospital for lepers preached the First Crusade
In cœnóbio Cluniacénsi, in Gállia, sancti Hugónis Abbátis.   In the monastery of Cluny in France, St. Hugh Abbot.

1109 St Hugh The Great, Abbot of Cluny; his disciple Heribert thus describes him:
“Insatiable in reading, indefatigable in prayer, he employed every moment for his own progress or for the good of his neighbour. It is hard to say which was the greater, his prudence or his simplicity. Never did he speak an idle word: never did he perform a questionable act. Anger—except against sin—he never knew. His advice even when addressed to individuals was serviceable to all. There was in him more of the father than of the judge, more of clemency than of severity. He was tall of stature and striking in appearance, but his spiritual endowments far surpassed his bodily graces. When he was silent, he was conversing with God:  when he talked he spoke of God and in God. He could always deal with whatever he undertook, for he gave it his entire attention. He loved in their due order— God above and beyond all, his neighbour equally with himself, and the world beneath his feet.”

Honoured as adviser by nine popes, consulted and venerated by all the sovereigns of western Europe, entrusted with the ultimate control of two hundred monasteries, St Hugh during the sixty years that he was abbot of Cluny raised its prestige to extraordinary heights. He was born in 1024, the eldest son of the Count of Semur, and the boy showed so evident a vocation to the religious life that he was allowed to enter the monastery of Cluny, then under St Odilo, when he was fourteen. At the age of twenty he was ordained priest, and before attaining his majority he had risen to be prior. Five years later, upon the death of St Odilo, he was unanimously chosen abbot by his brethren.

Soon after his promotion Hugh took part in the Council of Rheims, presided over by Pope St Leo IX. Placed second in rank amongst the abbots, the youthful superior of Cluny championed the reforms called for by the supreme pontiff, and denounced the prevalence of simony together with the relaxation of clerical celibacy in such eloquent terms that he was loudly applauded by the assembled dignitaries—many of whom had purchased their own offices.
   Hugh accompanied the pope back to Italy, and in Rome he took part in the synod which pronounced the first condemnation of the errors of Berengarius of Tours. In 1057 we find him at Cologne as godfather to the emperor’s infant son, afterwards Henry IV; a little later he is in Hungary, negotiating as papal legate a peace between King Andrew and the emperor; and in February 1058 he is summoned to the death-bed of Pope Stephen X in Florence.
   With the accession of St Gregory VII, who had been a monk at Cluny, the tie between St Hugh and the papacy became still closer. The two men worked together heart and soul to remedy abuses and to rescue the Church from subservience to the state. During the bitter feud between Gregory and the Emperor Henry IV, the holy abbot never relaxed his efforts to reconcile the two adversaries, both of whom loved and trusted him. In a letter addressed to St Hugh by the disappointed monarch shortly before his death he wrote: “Oh, that it were granted to us to behold once more with our bodily eyes your angelic face; to kneel before you; to lay this head, which you once held over the font, upon your breast, bewailing our sins and telling our sorrows

Notwithstanding his numerous enforced absences from Cluny, St Hugh raised his monks to a high level of religious perfection which was maintained throughout his life. On one occasion St Peter Damian, when in France, characteristically suggested that Hugh should make the rule more severe. “Come and stay with us for a week before you form your judgement”, was the abbot’s answer. The invitation was accepted and the point was not pressed. In 1068 St Hugh fixed the usages for the whole Cluniac congregation. New houses sprang up in France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Italy, and older foundations affiliated themselves to Cluny that they might profit by its discipline and privileges. It is to this period that is to be ascribed the building of the first English Cluniac priory at Lewes. St Hugh personally established a convent for women at Marcigny with strict enclosure. So faithfully was the rule kept by the nuns, of whom St Hugh’s sister was the first prioress, that they refused to leave the building when it was partially destroyed by fire. Another institution established by the saint was a leper hospital, in which he loved to wait upon the sick with his own hands.

Few men have been so universally esteemed. He was publicly commended and thanked for his services at the Roman synod of 1081 and at the Council of Clermont in 1095, and he was the first to whom St Anselm of Canterbury turned in his troubles two years later. Posterity has confirmed the verdict of his contem­poraries.

In a beautiful character sketch, his disciple Heribert thus describes him:
“Insatiable in reading, indefatigable in prayer, he employed every moment for his own progress or for the good of his neighbour. It is hard to say which was the greater, his prudence or his simplicity. Never did he speak an idle word: never did he perform a questionable act. Anger—except against sin—he never knew. His advice even when addressed to individuals was serviceable to all. There was in him more of the father than of the judge, more of clemency than of severity. He was tall of stature and striking in appearance, but his spiritual endowments far surpassed his bodily graces. When he was silent, he was conversing with God:  when he talked he spoke of God and in God. He could always deal with whatever he undertook, for he gave it his entire attention. He loved in their due order— God above and beyond all, his neighbour equally with himself, and the world beneath his feet.”

A true Benedictine, St Hugh omitted nothing to ensure the worthy fulfilment of the Church’s worship, and it was he who first introduced the singing of the Veni Creator during Terce at Pentecost—a practice now general throughout the Western church. To the age of eighty-five St Hugh continued to rule over his order, his mental faculties undimmed but with gradually increasing bodily weakness. When at length he knew that his last hour was approaching he received viaticum, took leave of his sons, and asked to be carried into the church, where he lay upon sackcloth and ashes until death released his soul to pass to eternal glory on April 29, 1109. He was canonized in 1120.

Even apart from the chroniclers there are abundant materials for the life of St Hugh. There is a sketch by Gilo (printed in Pertz, MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 937—940); a longer account by Rainaldus, abbot of Vézelay, and a biography by Hildebert of Le Mans (both in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. iii); together with many minor documents. See BHL., nn. 4007—4015; and also L’Huillier, Vie de St Hugues (1888); Sackur, Die Clunia­censer, vol. i.

1024- Benedictine abbot and one of the most influential men of his era. He was born the eldest son of the Count of Semur, France and entered Cluny Abbey, France, at the age of fifteen. He was ordained at twenty, and elected abbot at twenty five. Hugh succeeded St. Odilo in this office. He attended the Council of Reims, supported Pope St. Leo IX’s efforts at reform, and in 1057 served as a papal legate negotiating a peace between King Henry IVKing Andrew I of Hungary. In 1059, he aided Pope Nicholas II and then Pope Gregory VIII.
and Hugh mediated the feud between the Holy See and King Henry IV
Cluny, then the largest church in Christendom, was blessed by Pope Urban II. Hugh also founded a hospital for lepers and preached the First Crusade. He died at Cluny having served as abbot for six decades, and was canonized in 1120.

Hugh of Cluny, OSB Abbot (RM) (also known as Hugh the Great) Born at Semur (Samur, near Autun), Burgundy, France, in 1024; died at Cluny in 1109; canonized by Pope Callistus III in 1120.

Hugh, eldest son of Count Dalmatius of Semur, entered the monastery at Cluny, France, at age 15. It was unusual that a nobleman would allow his heir to chose this vocation so early in life, especially when he seems destined to a notable career in the world. Nevertheless, Hugh's father may have realized that his son was more suited for the monastery, than the court. The youth was overly studious and too clumsy to be a knight. In fact, though, Hugh may have professed himself a monk at Cluny (c. 1040) in defiance of his father.

Hugh was ordained five years later, was named prior shortly thereafter, and in 1049, at the tender age of 25, succeeded Saint Odilo as abbot. By then, Hugh had grown tall and handsome, able and sympathetic, focussed yet detached--the perfect person to executive the plans God had for him. The abbacy carried with it the leadership of the powerful Benedictine confederation that depended upon Cluny. He also continued Saint Odilo's policy of bringing the more than 200 constituent monasteries of the congregation into closer dependence on the mother house. In the 60 years of Hugh's governance, the number of dependents expanded from about 60 to about 2,000 with various forms of association, in Italy, France, Spain, and England.

Hugh attended the Council of Rheims and eloquently supported the reforms of Pope Saint Leo IX, denouncing simony and the relaxation of clerical discipline. Hugh went back to Rome with Leo, attended a synod condemning Berengarius of Tours in 1050, and in 1057, as papal legate, effected peace between Emperor Henry IV and King Andrew of Hungary.

Hugh assisted Pope Nicholas II in drawing up the decree on papal elections at a council in Rome in 1059 and continued in close relationship with the Holy See when Hildebrand, who had been a monk at Cluny, was elected pope as Gregory VII. Hugh worked closely with Gregory to reform the Church and revive spiritual life in it. In 1068, settled the usage for the whole Cluniac order. In 1095, he had Pope Urban II consecrate the high altar of the basilica at Cluny, then the largest church in Christendom, and was a leader at the Council of Clermont in organizing the First Crusade.

He served nine popes, was adviser of emperors, kings, bishops, and religious superiors. Hugh's list of friends could be a 'who's who' of the period: Saint Anselm, Blessed Urban II, and Saint Peter Damien. Hugh's integrity and generosity were known to all; when Saint Anselm fell out with King William II of England, it was to Hugh at Cluny that he first went for counsel. He also mediated in the bitter feud between Pope Gregory and Emperor Henry IV at Canossa in 1077.
Hugh also founded a hospital at Marcigny in which he loved to wait upon the lepers with his own hands.

He championed reforms wherever he went. Universally admired for his intellectual and spiritual attainments and as a simple man of great prudence and justice, he exercised a dominant influence on the political and ecclesiastical affairs of his times. Hugh was a man of eminent psychological insight and diplomatic ability. Hugh's saintly life impressed such varied men as Saint Peter Damian and William the Conqueror (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
1111 St. Robert of Molesmes Benedictine abbot great reformer abbey of Cîteaux which became the motherhouse of the great monastic order of the Cistercians.
In monastério Molisménsi, in Gállia, sancti Robérti, qui fuit primus Abbas Cistércii.
   In the monastery of Molesmes in France, St. Robert, the first abbot of the Cistercians.
  born. 1029

1110 St Robert Of Molesmes, Abbot; Robert, after formally resigning his pastoral staff, set out with twenty monks for Cîteaux (Cistercium), a wild forest district, watered by a little river, at a distance of five leagues from Dijon. There they began on March 21, 1098, to build some wooden huts, engaging themselves to live according to the strictest interpretation of the Benedictine rule. Walter, bishop of Chalon, declared the new foundation an abbey, investing Robert with the dignity of abbot; and thus originated the great Cistercian Order.

Robert of Molesmes, who is honoured as one of the founders of the Cistercian Order, was born c. 1024 of noble parents at or near Troyes in Champagne. At the age of fifteen he took the Benedictine habit at Moutier-la-Celle, and made such rapid progress that he was named prior after the completion of his novitiate, although he was one of the youngest members of the community. Later he was appointed abbot of the daughter house of St Michael of Tonnerre, the discipline of which had become relaxed. He had been striving with little success to effect a reformation when he received a request from some hermits living in the wood of Collan that he would instruct them in the Rule of St Benedict. Only too gladly would he have acceded to their petition, but his monks opposed his departure and he was soon afterwards recalled to Moutier-la-Celle.

In the meantime the hermits appealed to Rome with such success that Alexander II issued a decree appointing Robert their superior. One of his first tasks was to remove the little community from Collan, which was very unhealthy, to the forest of Molesmes, where they built themselves wooden cells and a small oratory. This was in 1075.

In those early days their austerity was extreme and their poverty so great that often they had not enough to eat. It was not long, however, before the fame of their life spread through the neighbouring districts. Headed by the bishop of Troyes, the local magnates vied with one another in supplying their needs, whilst numerous applications were made for admission. This sudden prosperity, however, proved unfortunate. Unsuitable candidates were accepted, little luxuries were introduced, and discipline suffered accordingly. Discouraged at finding his remonstrances unheeded, Robert retired for a time to a hermitage, but returned to Molesmes at the request of his monks, who had not prospered in his absence and promised to obey him in future. But as their desire for his return was based only upon temporal advantage, it produced no permanent amelioration in their conduct.

Eventually a zealous minority, headed by St Alberic and St Stephen Harding, approached St Robert asking permission to go away to some place where they could live up to their profession. He expressed his eagerness to join them, and went with a deputation to Lyons to consult Archbishop Hugh, the papal legate. The prelate not only gave his sanction, but encouraged them to leave Molesmes and persevere in their determination to practise strictly the Rule of St Benedict. Thus authorized Robert, after formally resigning his pastoral staff, set out with twenty monks for Cîteaux (Cistercium), a wild forest district, watered by a little river, at a distance of five leagues from Dijon. There they began on March 21, 1098, to build some wooden huts, engaging themselves to live according to the strictest interpretation of the Benedictine rule. Walter, bishop of Chalon, declared the new foundation an abbey, investing Robert with the dignity of abbot; and thus originated the great Cistercian Order.

A year later the monks of Molesmes sent representatives to Rome to ask for the return of their former abbot Robert. They asserted that religious observance had suffered greatly in his absence, and that the good of their souls as well as the prosperity of the house depended upon his presence. Pope Urban II referred the matter to Archbishop Hugh, requesting him, if he thought fit, to arrange for Robert to be transferred, and the holy man accordingly went back to Molesmes, accom­panied by two monks who “did not like the wilderness”. There is some evidence that St Robert too was not unwilling to leave, but that he afterwards regretted Cîteaux is clear from a letter he wrote to his Cistercian brethren in which he says:

“I should sadden you too much if I could use my tongue as a pen, my tears as ink and my heart as paper. . . . I am here in body because obedience demands it, but my soul is with you.” Nevertheless his return to Molesmes bore good fruit, for the monks had learnt their lesson and lived in pious submission to his rule until his death at the age of ninety-two on March 21, 1110. He was canonized in 1222.

A life of St Robert (written by a monk of Molesmes, whose name has not been preserved, in the twelfth century) is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. iii. See also Dalgairns, Life of St Stephen Harding (1898); Duplus, Saints de Dijon; and an article by W. Williams in the Journal of Theological Studies, vol. xxxvii (1936), pp. 404—412).

Benedictine abbot and reformer and the founder of the abbey of Citeaux, France, which became the motherhouse of the great monastic order of the Cistercians.

A native of Troyes, he was born to noble parents in Champagne. At the age of fifteen, he entered the Benedictine Abbey of Moutier la Celle, near Troyes, where he became prior and abbot of Saint Michael de Tonnere in 1068. He attempted to introduce extensive reforms to the community but met with such resistance that he retired in 1071 and returned to Moutier la Celle.

Soon after, a group of hermits in the forest of Collan petitioned Robert to become their head. At first he declined, but the monks persevered and, after winning papal approval for their community, they convinced Robert to accept. In 1074, Robert moved the hermits into the monastery he established at Molesmes. Within a few years, Molesmes grew in size and wealth, and with the prosperity came laxity of discipline. Robert tried without success to resist, and so resigned, going to the hermitage at Or. Though recalled, he remained only until 1098 when he stepped down once more in the face of obdurate resistance by the monks to reinstate full monastic rigor.
After winning permission, Robert left with twenty one monks and founded a new community at Citeaux on March 21, 1098.

Called by Robert the Novum Monasterium, Citeaux was established with the invaluable aid of Eudes II, duke of Burgundy, and soon acquired much fame for the depth of its spirituality. Much chastened, the monks of Molesmes petitioned to have Robert returned to them. As its abbot once more, Robert turned Molesmes into a leading center for reform, while Citeaux became the heart of the Cistercian order.
 Robert died as abbot of Molesmes; this was soon extended to the Universal Church.
1120 Blessed Theoger of Metz canon monk prior abbot bishop OSB B (PC)
(also known as Theogar, Diethger) Born in Alsace?, France; Theoger was successively canon of Mainz, monk of Hirschau, prior of Reichenbach on the Murg, abbot of Saint Georgen in the Black Forest (1090), and bishop of Metz (1118). After his episcopal consecration at Corbie, he retired to the abbey of Cluny, where he died
(Benedictines).
1157 Bl. Robert Bruges Cistercian abbot followed Saint Bernard to Clairvaux
also called Robert Gruthhysen. He was born in Burges, Belgium, and entered the Cistercians. In 1131, he went to Clairvaux, France, where St. Bernard of Clairvaux established the framed community. Eight years later, he was sent to his native region where he served as abbot of the monastery at Dunes.
In 1153, he received the honor of succeeding St. Bernard as abbot of Clairvaux.
Blessed Robert of Bruges, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC) (also known as Robert Gruthuysen) Born in Bruges, Belgium; died 1157. In 1131, Robert followed Saint Bernard to Clairvaux, and eight years later he was sent back to Belgium as abbot of Dunes. In 1153, Robert succeeded Bernard as abbot of Clairvaux
(Benedictines).
1252 St. Peter of Verona inquisitor inspiring sermons martyr accepted into the Dominican Order by St. Dominic
Sancti Petri, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Mártyris, qui octávo Idus Aprílis pro fide cathólica martyrium súbiit.
 St. Peter, a martyr of the Order of Preachers, who was slain for the Catholic faith on the 6th day of April.
Peter was born at Verona, Italy, in 1205. Both of his parents were Catharists, a heresy that denied God created the material world. Even so, Peter was educated at a Catholic school and later at the University of Bologna. While in Bologna, Peter was accepted into the Dominican Order by St. Dominic. He developed into a great preacher, and was well known for his inspiring sermons in the Lombardy region. In addition, around the year 1234, he was appointed by Pope Gregory IX as inquisitor of Northern Italy, where many Catharists lived. Peter's preaching attracted large crowds, but as inquisitor he made many enemies.

1252  St Peter Of Verona, Martyr; Having received the habit from St Dominic himself;  Once, as he knelt before the crucifix, he exclaimed, “Lord, thou knowest that I am not guilty. Why dost thou permit me to be falsely accused?” The reply came, “And I, Peter, what did I do to deserve my passion and death?” Rebuked yet consoled, the friar regained courage.

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

At Bologna University Peter found himself exposed to temptations of another sort amid licentious companions, and soon decided to seek admission into the Order of Preachers. Having received the habit from St Dominic himself, the young novice entered with zeal into the practices of the religious life. He was always studying, reading, praying, serving the sick, or performing such offices as sweeping the house.

Later on we find him active as a preacher all over Lombardy. A heavy trial befell him when he was forbidden to teach, and was banished to a remote priory on a false accusation of having received strangers and even women into his cell. Once, as he knelt before the crucifix, he exclaimed, “Lord, thou knowest that I am not guilty. Why dost thou permit me to be falsely accused?” The reply came, “And I, Peter, what did I do to deserve my passion and death?” Rebuked yet consoled, the friar regained courage, and soon afterwards his innocence was vindicated. His preaching from that time was more successful than ever, as he went from town to town rousing the careless, converting sinners, and bringing back the lapsed into the fold. To the fame of his eloquence was soon added his reputa­tion as a wonder-worker. When he appeared in public he was almost crushed to death by the crowds who flocked to him, some to ask his blessing, others to offer the sick for him to cure, others to receive his instruction.

About the year 1234 Pope Gregory IX appointed Peter inquisitor general for the Milanese territories. So zealously and well did he accomplish his duties that his jurisdiction was extended to cover the greater part of northern Italy. We find him at Bologna, Cremona, Ravenna, Genoa, Venice and even in the Marches of Ancona, preaching the faith, arguing with heretics, denouncing and reconciling them. Great as was the success which everywhere crowned his efforts, Peter was well aware that he had aroused bitter enmity, and he often prayed for the grace to die as a martyr. When preaching on Palm Sunday, 1252, he announced publicly that a conspiracy was on foot against him, a price having been set on his head.

“Let them do their worst”, he added,  “I shall be more powerful dead than alive”.

As he was going from Como to Milan a fortnight later Peter was waylaid in a wood near Barlassina by two assassins, one of whom, Carino, struck him on the head with a bill-hook and then attacked his companion, a friar named Dominic. Griev­ously wounded, but still conscious, Peter Martyr commended himself and his murderer to God in the words of St Stephen.  Afterwards, if we may believe a very old tradition, with a finger dipped in his own blood he was tracing on the ground the words Credo in Deum when his assailant despatched him with another blow. It was April 6, 1252, and the martyr had just completed his forty-sixth year. His companion, Brother Dominic, survived him only a few days.

In 1252, while returning from Como to Milan, he was murdered by a Catharist assassin at the age of forty-six. The following year, he was canonized by Pope Innocent IV. Although his parents were members of a heretical sect, St. Peter of Verona was strong in his Catholic Faith. However, his faithfulness to the Gospel message in his preaching as a Dominican, brought about much opposition, and eventually Peter paid with his life for preaching the truth. One of the hazards of preaching and living the Gospel is that we must be considered undesirable according to worldly values. With faith in the Father, and as his children, we are called to stand firm and never waver from the truth in the face of death. Canonized the year after his death by Pope Innocent IV, he was also named the patron saint of inquisitors. Since 1969, his cult has been locally confined.

Pope Innocent IV canonized St Peter of Verona in the year after his death. His murderer, Carino, fled to Forli, where repentance overtook him; he abjured his heresy, became a Dominican lay-brother, and died so holy a death that his memory was venerated. So recently as 1934 his head was translated from Foril to Balsamo, his birthplace near Milan, where there is some cultus of him.

In the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. iii, are printed a number of documents, including the bull of canonization and a biography by Fr Thomas Agni of Lentino, a contemporary.  See also Mortier, Maîtres Généraux  O.P., vol. iii, pp. 140—166; Monumenta Historica O.P., vol. i, pp. 236 seq. A fuller bibliography will be found in Taurisano, Catalogus Hagio­graphicus O.P., p. 13. St Peter is depicted by Fra Angelico in a famous painting with wounded head and his finger on his lips, but there are many other types of representation, for which see Kunstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii. See S. Orlandi, S. Pietro martire da Verona Leggenda di fr. Tommaso Agni . . . (1952), and other recent work.

Peter Martyr, OP M (RM) (also known as Peter of Verona) Born in Verona, Italy, 1206; died April 6, 1252; canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1253--a single year after his death.

Peter's parents belonged to the heretical sect of the Cathari, theological descendants of the Manichees. Miraculously, though he was ridiculed for his faith throughout his youth, it was preserved in purity and he became a Dominican. His father sent him to a Catholic for his early education, thinking that the environment at home would keep Peter from being deceived by the teachings of the Church.

Nevertheless, one of the first things Peter learned there was the Apostle's Creed, which the Cathari abhorred. Making conversation on day, his uncle asked him his lesson. The boy recited the creed and explained it in the Catholic sense, especially in those words: Creator of heaven and earth. In vain his uncle tried to persuade him it was false. He said that it was not God, but the evil principle that made all things that are visible; the Cathari viewed the physical world as ugly and bad, which is inconsistent with the concept of an infinitely perfect being. The boy's resolute steadiness concerned his uncle, but his father laughed at his brother's fears believing that the world would corrupt his son.

When he was 15, Peter was sent to the University of Bologna, a hotbed of licentiousness. There he met Saint Dominic, and instantly threw himself at the saint's feet to beg admission to the Order of Friar Preachers. Peter was present at the death of the founder soon after, and shared in the primitive zeal and courage of the sons of a saint.

While still a student, Peter experienced a severe trial. He was publicly reprimanded and punished because a brother, passing Peter's cell late at night, thought he had heard women's voices in his room. The voices were those of angels, who frequently visited the saint: but in his humility, he thought it better to accept the punishment and say nothing about the favors God had granted him. He was sent to the remote little Dominican convent of Jesi, in the marquisate of Ancona, to do penance, and his ordination was delayed.

Peter found great strength in prayer. Nevertheless, he was human and felt the sting of the disgrace. One day he complained to the Lord: "Lord, You know that I am innocent of this: Why do you allow them to believe it?" A sorrowful voice replied from the crucifix: "And I, Peter, what have I done that they should do this to Me?" Peter complained no more. The truth was eventually discovered, and Peter resumed his studies and was ordained to the priesthood.

Peter soon became a celebrated preacher throughout northern and central Italy, and, in 1232, an inquisitor to fight against the heresy that had infected his family and others in Lombardy. Many miracles (filling 22 pages in folio in the Acta Sanctorum) were worked through his prayers, to the rage of the heretics. Crowds nearly pressed him to death many times: some to ask his blessing, others to offer the sick to him to be cured, others to receive his holy instructions.

In one city, a prominent man had been won to heresy, because the devil, taking the form of the Blessed Virgin, appeared at the heretics' meetings and encouraged him to join them. Peter, determined to win the man back to the truth, went to the meeting and, when the devil appeared in his disguise, held up a small pyx in which he had placed a consecrated Host. "If you are the Mother of God," cried Peter, "adore your Son!" The devel fled in dismay and many were converted.

Among other miracles, he predicted that he would be murdered by heretics, who indeed waylaid him on the road between Como and Milan. Peter went to his death singing the Easter Sequence, and fell unprotesting beneath the blows of his assassins. Carino cut his head with an ax, and then his companion Dominic stabbed him. As Peter rose to his knees and commended himself to God, Carino killed him with a blow of his axe to Peter's side. One of his murderers, "Blessed" Carino, was touched by grace at the sight of a saint, was converted, and eventually became a Dominican at Forli. To him as to us, Peter had pointed out the way to heaven when he traced on the dust of the road, in his own blood, the creed that had lighted his path: "Credo in unum Deum."

Peter's body was ceremoniously buried in the Dominicans' church dedicated to St. Eustorgius, in Milan, where it still rests. His head is kept separately in a crystal and gold case. So many miracles were worked at his shrine that many of the Cathari asked to be admitted to the Catholic Church (Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Peter is a Dominican with a gash or knife in his head. Occasionally, the knife is in his shoulder. Sometimes he is portrayed (1) with his finger on his lips; (2) writing credo in unum deum in the dust as he dies; (3) stabbed in the forest with his companion; or (4) with the Virgin and four female saints appearing to him (Roeder). Peter is the patron of midwives and inquisitors and venerated in Verona (Roeder).
1380 St. Catherine of Siena; illiterate, one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day mystical experiences when only 6, visions of Christ Mary and the saint's gift of healing Stigmata visible only after her death; Doctor of the Church
Romæ natális sanctæ Catharínæ Senénsis Vírginis, ex tértio Ordine sancti Domínici, vita et miráculis claræ, quam Pius Secúndus, Póntifex Máximus, sanctárum Vírginum número adscrípsit.  Ipsíus tamen festum sequénti die celebrátur.
 At Rome, the birthday of St. Catherine of Siena, virgin of the Third Order of St. Dominic, renowned for her holy life and her miracles.  She was inscribed among the canonized virgins by Pope Pius II.  Her feast, however, is celebrated on the following day.
Patron Fire prevention 1347 - 1380
Comment:
Though she lived her life in a faith experience and spirituality far different from that of our own time, Catherine of Siena stands as a companion with us on the Christian journey in her undivided effort to invite the Lord to take flesh in her own life. Events which might make us wince or chuckle or even yawn fill her biographies: a mystical experience at six, childhood betrothal to Christ, stories of harsh asceticism, her frequent ecstatic visions. Still, Catherine lived in an age which did not know the rapid change of twenty-first-century mobile America. The value of her life for us today lies in her recognition of holiness as a goal to be sought over the course of a lifetime.
Quote:
Catherine's book Dialogue contains four treatises—her testament of faith to the spiritual world.
She wrote, "No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."

St. Catherine of Siena
The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints.

St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism.  In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered

Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor (Memorial) April 29
Born in Siena, Italy, March 25, 1347, in Florence, Italy; died there on April 29, 1380; canonized in 1461; declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.
Saint Catherine cutting off her hair to convince her mother (seated) that she did not want any earthly spouse. 
Image by Boeri Boeri © 1997
    "Those in union with God when aware of the sins of others live in this gentle light... Therefore they are always peaceful and calm, and nothing can scandalize them because they have done away with what causes them to take scandal, their self-will...They find joy in everything.
    "They do not sit in judgement on my servants or anyone else, but rejoice in every situation and every way of living they see... Even when they see something that is clearly sinful, they do not pass judgement, but rather feel a holy and genuine compassion, praying for the sinner."
    --Saint Catherine of Siena.
"Whenever you think God has shown you other people's faults, take care: your own judgment may well be at fault. Say nothing. And if you do attribute any vice to another person, immediately and humbly look for it in yourself also. Should the other person really possess that vice, he will correct himself so much the better when he sees how gently you understand him, and he will say to himself whatever you would have told him."  --Saint Catherine.
Fourteenth century Italy was desolated by plague, schism, and political turmoil.
When we are tempted to think that we live in the worst of times, we should remember the life of Saint Catherine. Those days were so black that many saints and scholars believed it heralded the end of the world. The popes deserted Rome for Avignon in 1305. Rome itself was in anarchy. Yet in the midst of confusion and dissent within the Church, God raised up Catherine, one of many saints who prove that our hope in the Lord is never in vain.among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.

Siena had established itself as a military power by conquering Florence in 1260. The city, which possessed a university with a school of medicine and superb cathedral, was governed by the Governo dei Nove (Government of Nine). Art was closely bound to life in Siena. Sienese artists were the most faithful interpreters of the sentiments and ideas of its great mystics. Legend says that Siena was founded by Romulus and Remus or by Remus's sons Ascius and Senius, who created its black and white flag.

Giacomo di Benincasa had a thriving cloth dying business on the Vicolo del Tiratoio (Street of the Dyers) with three of his sons: Bartolommeo, Orlando, and Stefano, plus two journeymen and two apprentices. The family lived upstairs. The also had a family farm.

When Benincasa's domineering and shrewish wife Lapa, daughter of a now forgotten poet, gave birth to twin daughters, Catherine and Giovanna, she already had 22 children. Lapa kept Catherine and breastfed her, but didn't have enough milk for her twin, who was given to another's care and eventually died. A 25th child was born and named Giovanna also, though she lived only a few years. Thirteen of the children lived to adulthood and all remained at home until they were married. Eventually eleven grandchildren were included in the household, which was big enough to include a foster son Tommaso della Fonte, whose parents died in the plague of 1348.

Though Catherine was not a pretty child, she was popular in the neighborhood because of her gaiety and wise little sayings. According to her first biographer Blessed Raymond of Capua she always had the ability to charm others. She was slight and pale, her features delicate, the texture of her skin exquisite, and her hair long, thick, lustrous, and golden. She was animated, cheerful, friendly, sensitive, and charming. All her movements were swift and graceful.

Prayer came naturally to her. At the age of five she would kneel on each step of the stairs of her home and say a prayer. She was only seven when she reported her first vision--of Jesus seated on a throne surrounded by saints, when returning with a younger brother from visiting one of her married sisters. The young child dragged at her hand, but she was lost in ecstasy. From that day she was consecrated to His service and engaged herself entirely in prayer, meditation, and acts of penance in which she encouraged her friends to join her.

Raymond of Capua, her confessor and biographer, wrote "... taught entirely by the Holy Spirit, she had come to know and value the lives and way of life of the holy Fathers of Egypt and the great deeds of other saints, especially Blessed Dominic, and had felt such a strong desire to do what they did that she had been unable to think about anything else."

The Benincasas owned a small farm out the outskirts of San Rocca a Pilli, 14 km from Siena, where Catherine spent time. She had a passion for flowers and wove them into little crosses for her early confessor Padre Tommaso. She often dreamed that angels descended from Heaven and crowned her with white lilies.

    Her parents wanted her to marry and encouraged her to enhance her looks. For a time she submitted to the ministrations of a hair dresser and to be decked out in fashionable clothes, but she soon repented of her concession meant to please her mother and sister Bonaventura. At age 16, when a real courtship was imminent, however, she told her mother she had taken a vow of perpetual virginity when she was seven. When her mother didn't take her seriously, she cut off her luxurious golden hair (Saint Rose of Lima did the same in a similar situation).
Her mother was enraged, discharged their maid, and decided Catherine should dress like a servant and perform a servant's tasks. Catherine accepted her tasks cheerfully and performed them capably. The men of the family objected but were overruled by Lapa; however, her father promised her that she would not be forced into marriage and he insisted that she be given a room to herself and time to pray because he had seen a white dove hovering above her head.

She dreamed that she encountered Saint Dominic and was overcome with a desire to enter the Third Order of the Dominican Sisters of Penance. At that time there were about 100 devout older women and spinsters in Siena who were known as Mantellates, because of the black capes they wore over their white habits.

Still unpersuaded that her daughter would not marry, Lapa took her to the spa at Vignone hoping to fatten her up in preparation for marriage. A week later they returned. Catherine had scalded herself at the source of the hot springs in order to disfigure herself. She had also contracted smallpox.  During her illness she extracted a promise from Lapa to ask the sisters to accept her daughter. The Mother Superior said Catherine was too young (pleasing Lapa) but Catherine insisted that the order had no rule about it. Lapa assured her that Catherine had cut off her hair, scalded herself, and now had smallpox, so that she would no longer be attractive. Then the Mother agreed to visit Catherine. Several weeks later Catherine received the mantle and habit.

For three years she left her bare room only to attend Mass, broke her silence only for confession or to meet an emergency, ate sparingly and alone, and recited the Divine Office during the hours when she knew that the Dominican friars slept.
She underwent periods of aridity, but was never subject to temptation. On Shrove Tuesday, 1367, she prayed for the "fullness of faith" and had a vision in which she saw Jesus, Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Paul, and Saint Dominic, the founder of her order. During this vision, the Blessed Virgin presented her to Jesus, who espoused Himself to her. He placed on her finger a gold ring with four pearls set in a circle in it and a wonderful diamond in the middle, saying to her, "receive this ring as a pledge and testimony that you are mine and will be mine for ever." No one else could see the ring but it was always before her eyes.
She had many marvelous religious experiences.
At the age of 26, she first felt the pain of Christ's suffering in her own body. Two years later during a visit to Pisa, she received Communion in the little church of Santa Christina. As she meditated in thanksgiving upon the crucifix, five blood-red rays seemed to come from it which pierced her hands, feet, and heart. Thus, she received the five visible wounds of His suffering--the stigmata. It caused such acute pain that she swooned. Unable or unwilling to eat, Catherine went for eight years without food or liquid other than the Blessed Sacrament. She prayed that the marks not be conspicuous, though they are traceable on her incorruptible body by a transparency in the tissues.

Oftentimes she was seen levitated in the air during her prayer. Once, as she was being given Holy Communion, the priest felt the Host become agitated and fly, as if of its own volition, from his fingers into her mouth. In the Life of Saint Catherine, Mother Francis Raphael relates that the saint was immune to fire. She tells of a time that Catherine fell forward into a fire in the kitchen during a religious ecstasy. The fire was large and fierce, but when Catherine was pulled out of the smoking embers neither she nor her clothes were damaged.

But none of these divine favors would have meant much to a needy world if Catherine had remained hidden in her home. In 1370, she heard a divine voice that commanded her to leave the cell and enter His service in the world to promote the salvation of her neighbors. Thousands came to see her, to hear her, and to be converted by her. A mystical circle of members of religious orders, secular priests, and lay people gathered around her.

Of course, public opinion in Siena was sharply divided about Catherine. It may have been in consequence of accusations made against her that she was summoned to Florence to appear before the chapter general of the Dominicans. If any charges were made, they were certainly disproved, and shortly thereafter the new lector of Siena, Blessed Raymond, was appointed as her confessor.

The core of her teaching was:
Man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must live in a cell of self-knowledge, which is the stall in which the pilgrim must be reborn from time to eternity. The press of the repentant was so great that the three priests of her neighborhood, who had been provided by the pope to hear the confessions of those who were induced by her to amend their lives, could hardly cope with it.

She dispatched letters that often had been dictated in ecstasy, to men and women of all ranks, entered into correspondence with kings and princes and with the Italian city-states. She took part also in public affairs, and Catherine welcomed all who came to call--the curious, the seeking, the devout. She collected information from them all.

Even the pope relied upon her good judgment. At this time the papacy was tragically weakened by contested papal elections, pope and antipope denouncing each other. Catherine supported the true Pope Urban VI against his opponents; but he was a somewhat graceless man, and her letters to him never hesitated to reprove the pope for this fault, while remaining entirely loyal to him.

Twice at least she successfully intervened in matters of high politics. Catherine made peace between cities torn by factional strife: she made peace between the pope and the city of Florence. On June 18, 1376, Catherine arrived in Avignon as unofficial ambassadress, and induced the pope to return to Italy, and--this was the greatest work of her life--brought to an end the Babylonian captivity of the popes. Thus, on September 13, 1376, Pope Gregory XI started from Avignon to travel by water to Rome.

Choosing Thorns Image by Boeri Boeri © 1997

It was a month before Catherine arrived back in Siena, from where she continued to exhort the pope to contribute to the peace of Italy. By his special request, she went again to Florence, still rent by factions and obstinate in its disobedience and under interdict. There she remained for some time amid daily murders and confiscations, in danger of her life but never daunted, even when swords were drawn against her. Finally, she established peace between Florence and the Holy See.

Catherine dictated from memory The Dialogue in five days before she left Siena forever. It is her account of her visions. She was clairaudient and clairvoyant, also awareness of communion with Jesus. She was illiterate, but yearning to be able to read the breviary, when suddenly she could read--either through the help of Father Tommaso della Fonte or Alessia Saracini (her friend), or through a miracle.

Her foster brother Tommaso della Fonte became a priest and her confessor during the time of her novitiate. He provided her with other books, such as a short history of the Church, lives of the saints, the Psalms and other portions of the Bible. She later astonished learned ecclesiastics with her grasp of these subjects.

She loved music and to sing, was passionately fond of children. She began to make friends again, first among the Mantellate and Dominicans, then among the priests and physicians at the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, where she began her nursing career, then among the intelligentsia. She had the gift of healing. Much of what she did was met with ingratitude.

Catherine loved working amongst the sick. Unlike most other volunteers, she would care for those with the most repulsive diseases, such as leprosy, which was then virtually incurable. She gathered round her many friends, and when a fearful plague broke out in Siena, she led them boldly among those who had caught it sometimes even digging graves and burying the dead herself.

Catherine also suffered moral temptations, and often it seemed that God had deserted her. Was it for this that she had forsaken all to follow Him? A woman suffering from cancer, to whom she had given devoted care, pursued her with a vicious tongue and poured out upon her all the irritability and despair which were provoked by her hopeless condition, but Catherine remained incredibly patient and forbearing; her visions returned and her heart was strengthened. "O my Savior, my Lord," she cried, "why did You forsake me?" "My child," came the answer, "I have been with you through all. I was in your heart all the while."

This composite picture shows the mature Catherine choosing the Crown of Thorns. The lower left image of the saint is a detail of a larger work showing the young Catherine at the time her father saw a dove hovering over her head as she prayed. 
She gave freely from her father's resources to the poor beggars, some of whom she claimed were saintly visitors in disguise.
Through all her arduous life she remained gentle and forgiving, serving Christ in the lives of the poor, following Him into mean streets and crowded hovels, taking upon herself the burden of pain and sin that she met with, nourished and sustained by her frequent visions. Our Lord appeared to her holding in one hand a crown of gold and in the other a crown of thorns, and asked which she would choose. Without hesitation she reached out her hand for the crown of thorns.

Francesco di Vanni Malavolti, a famous philanderer, so desired Catherine's friendship that he went immediately to confession. They had an spontaneous and lasting friendship because of their mental harmony. After the death of his wife, he entered the monastery and spent the remainder of his days in prayer and contemplation.

Andrea Vanni was a friend whose portrait of her remains in the Church of San Domenico in Siena. He and Catherine's brother Bartolo led the revolution that toppled the government.
For thirty years this brave and devoted soul showed how there is a Power that transcends our earthly life, and awakened many, by conversion, to a sense of the Eternal. "Her prayers," we are told by an eyewitness, "were of such intensity, that one hour of prayer more consumed that poor little body than two days upon the rack would have done another."

When the great Western schism broke out following the death of Pope Gregory in 1378, the new pope, Urban VI, called her to Rome. A rival pope was established at Avignon by some cardinals who declared Urban's election was illegal.
Christendom was divided into two camps. She spoke to the cardinals in open consistory, wrote to the chief sponsors of the schism, to foreign princes, and through her influence, helped to overcome the French anti-pope in Italy. She also continued to write to Urban, sometimes urging him to remain patient in trials and other times admonishing him to abate his harshness that was alienating even his supporters.

Instead of resenting her reproofs, Urban invited her to come to Rome to advise and assist him. In obedience, she left Siena forever and took up residence in the Eternal City. There she labored indefatigably by her prayers and exhortations to gain new adherents to the true pontiff.

After she had offered her life as a sacrifice to God, and had seen and felt in a vision the Almighty God pressing out her heart as a balm over the Church, she fell mortally ill and died in the arms of Alessia Saracini after eight weeks of most acute suffering at the age of 33--the age at which her Master had died. And when she died, she was merry and joyful.

Catherine is one of the greatest mystics of all time. In her, the extraordinary mystical states that are the preparation for true sanctifying graces and the counterpart of the burdens of sainthood, became particularly evident. The history of literature gives the saint a place of honor beside Dante and Petrarch (Bentley, Gill, Harrison, Keyes, Schamoni, Walsh).

In art, Saint Catherine is always portrayed as a Dominican tertiary (white habit, black mantle, white veil) with a stigmata, lily, and book. Sometimes she is portrayed (1) with a crown of thorns and a crucifix; (2) with her heart on a book; (3) with her heart at her feet and a scourge or skull, book, and lily; (4) with the devil under her feet; (5) crowned by angels with three crowns; (6) celebrating her mystic marriage with Christ; (7) giving clothes to a beggar, who is really Christ (Roeder). Catherine is the patron of Italy together with Saint Francis of Assisi (Roeder).
16th v. Saint Basil, Bishop of Zakholmsk monk various miracles
Born of pious parents in the sixteenth century in the Popov district of Herzegovina.
At the age of maturity he left his parental home and settled in the Trebinsk monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, and became a monk.

For his virtuous life the saint was elevated to be Bishop of Zakholm and Skenderia. He occupied the bishop's cathedra in the second half of the sixteenth century, a successor to Bishop Paul and predecessor of Bishop Nicodemus. St Basil was a good pastor of the flock of Christ, and the Lord strengthened his discourse with various miracles.
For the sanctifying of soul with the wisdom of holy ascetic fathers, the saint journeyed to Athos.
St Basil died peacefully and was buried in the city of Ostrog in Chernogoria on the border with Herzegovina.

1715 St. Louis Mary Grignion missionary apostolic organized women the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom furthering devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin through the Rosary popular book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin formed the Missionaries of the Company of Mary founded the clerical institute Montfort Fathers

Louis Mary Grignion was born to a poor family on January 31, 1673 at Montfort, France. He was educated at the Jesuit college in Rennes and was ordained there in 1700. He was assigned as chaplain to a hospital at Poitiers, and his much needed reorganization of the hospital staff caused great resentment, leading to his resignation. However, during his stay there he organized a group of women into the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom.

Eventually Louis went to Rome where Pope Clement XI appointed him missionary apostolic, and he began to preach in Brittany. His emotional style caused much reaction, but he was successful, especially in furthering devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin through the Rosary. He also wrote a very popular book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. In 1715, Louis organized several priests and formed the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. He died in 1716 at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sever, France, and was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

St. Louis de Montfort was a very able preacher, yet his emotional style along with his appeal to the poor caused much opposition. Undaunted by his critics, he continued his preaching. In addition, he expended great effort in spreading devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin, both through preaching and by the written word. Eventually he founded the clerical institute known more popularly today as the Montfort Fathers who carry on the work of preaching the Word and spreading devotion to Mary. Louis' perseverance in the face of opposition benefits the Church today in its faith
struggle.
1716 St. Louis de Montfort Confessor Marian devotee missionary apostolic famous for fostering devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom

He was born Louis Maie Grignon in Montfort, France, in 1673. Educated at Rennes, he was ordained there in 1700, becoming a chaplain in a hospital in Poitiers. His congregation, also called the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, started there.

As his missions and sermons raised complaints, Louis went to Rome, where Pope Clement XI appointed him as a missionary apostolic.

Louis is famous for fostering devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary.
In 1715, he also founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. His True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remains popular. Louis died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre. He was canonized in 1947.

Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort (RM)
Born in Montfort (near Rennes), Brittany, on January 31, 1673; died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, France, on April 28, 1716; beatified in 1888; canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947.

St. Louis de Montfort

Louis' parents were poor, hard-working people who raised eight children, the oldest of whom was Louis. In the normal course of events, Louis would have learned a trade and helped to educate his siblings, but early in his life his mother recognized that he was destined for the priesthood. At the pleading of her and his teacher, he was allowed to begin his studies. Some charitable people provided the funds for his education.

As a very young child, Louis had organized Rosary societies, preached sermons, told stories of the saints, and led the Rosary with groups of neighborhood children.
He was particularly devoted to Our Lady, and he took her name in confirmation. As a student with the Jesuits at Rennes, he continued his devotions; he joined the sodality, and became an exemplary member. When he had completed his studies, he left for Paris in 1693 to begin his studies for the priesthood. He walked the 130 miles in the rain, sleeping in haystacks and under bridges, and, on arriving in Paris, he entered a poverty-stricken seminary in which the students had scarcely enough to eat, which caused him serious illness. On the verge of ordination, his funds were withdrawn by his benefactor, and it looked as though Louis would have to return home. He was taken in by a kindly priest, however.

Louis was ordained in 1700, and, after saying his first Mass in the Lady Chapel of Saint Sulpice, he was sent as chaplain to a hospital in Poitiers where mismanagement and quarreling were a tradition. He endeared himself to the patients, and he angered the managers of the hospital when he reorganized the staff. Consequently, he was sent away, but not before he had laid the foundation of what was later to be a religious congregation of women known as the Institute of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom at Poitiers, to nurse the sick poor and conduct free schools.

This rebuff was not the first Louis had to suffer; in the seminary, his superiors had exhausted themselves in trying his patience-- making him seem to be a fool. All his life he was to meet the same stubborn opposition to everything he tried to do. Many of the clergy, even some of the bishops, were infected with Jansenism, and they fought him secretly and openly. In his work giving missions, his moving from one place to another was occasioned as often by the persecution of his enemies as it was by the need of his apostolate. Going to Rome, he begged Pope Clement XI to be sent on the foreign missions, but he was refused and sent back to Brittany, France, as missionary apostolic. He returned in his usual spirit of buoyant obedience, even though he knew that several bishops had already forbidden him to set foot in their dioceses.
For the rest of his life, Louis gave flamboyant missions in country parishes, some of which had been without the care of a priest for generations. Ruined churches were repaired, marriages rectified, children baptized and instructed, and Catholicity rebuilt. He joined the third order of Dominicans, and everywhere he went, he established the Rosary devotion. People who came to his missions out of curiosity, remained, and his preaching did much to renew religion in France.

His enemies were as busy as he was, however. They gave false reports to the bishops, drove him from place to place, and, in one case, succeeded in poisoning him. The poison was not fatal, and it had an unforeseen result. While he recuperated from its evil effects, he wrote True devotion to the Blessed Virgin, which he himself prophesied would be hidden away by the malice of men and the devil. After nearly 200 years, the manuscript was rescued from its hiding place, and, only a few years ago, it was given the publicity that it deserved.

In 1715, Louis founded a second religious congregation to train helpers in his forceful methods of preaching called the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia).
1842 Joseph Benedict Cottolengo priest ministered to the sick "When I am in Heaven, where everything is possible, I will cling to the mantle of the Mother of God and I will not turn my eyes from you. But do not forget what this poor old man has said to you."(RM)
On 2 Holy Priests of the 19th Century "It Is Not Possible to Exercise Charity Without Living in Christ"
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today at the general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are drawing close to the end of the Year for Priests and, on this last Wednesday of April, I would like to speak about two saintly priests who were exemplary in their giving of themselves to God and in their witness of charity -- lived in the Church and for the Church -- toward their neediest brothers: St. Leonard Murialdo and St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo. Regarding the first, we mark the 110th anniversary of his death and the 40th of his canonization; regarding the second, the celebrations have begun for the second centenary of his priestly ordination.


Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was born in Bra, a town in the province of Cuneo, on May 3, 1786. The first born of 12 children, six of whom died at an early age, he showed from his boyhood great sensitivity toward the poor. He embraced the path of priesthood, imitated also by two brothers. The years of his youth were those of the Napoleonic venture and of the consequent hardships in the religious and social realm. Cottolengo became a good priest, sought after by many penitents and, in the Turin of that time, a preacher of spiritual exercises and conferences for university students, where he earned notable success. At the age of 32, he was appointed canon of the Most Holy Trinity, a congregation of priests that had the task of officiating in the Church of Corpus Domini and of giving decorum to the religious ceremonies of the city, but he felt ill at ease in that post. God was preparing him for a particular mission and, in fact, with an unexpected and decisive meeting, made him understand what his future destiny would be in the exercise of the ministry.

The Lord always puts signs on our way to guide us according to his will to our real good. For Cottolengo this happened, in a dramatic way, on Sunday morning of Sept. 2, 1827. Arriving in Turin from Milan was a stage coach crowded as never before, where a whole French family was crammed in which the wife, with five children, was in an advanced state of pregnancy with high fever. After having wandered through several hospitals, that family found lodgings in a public dormitory, but the woman's situation got worse and some started to look for a priest. By a mysterious design they came across Cottolengo, and it was in fact he who, with a heavy and oppressed heart, was to accompany the death of this young mother, amid the torment of the whole family.

After having performed this painful task, with a suffering heart, he went before the Most Blessed Sacrament and prayed: "My God, why? Why did you want me to be a witness? What do you want from me? Something must be done!" Rising, he had all the bells rung, lighted the candles and welcoming the curious in the church, he said: "Grace has done it! Grace has done it!" From that moment Cottolengo was transformed: all his capabilities, especially his economic and organizational abilities, were used to give life to initiatives in support of the neediest.

He was able to involve in his enterprise dozens and dozens of collaborators and volunteers. Moving to the outskirts of Turin to expand his work, he created a sort of village. Every building he succeeded in constructing he gave a significant name: "house of faith," "house of hope," "house of charity." He activated the style of "families," establishing true and proper communities of persons, volunteers, men and women, religious and laity, united to address and overcome together the difficulties that presented themselves. Every one in that Little Home of Divine Providence had a specific task: those who worked, prayed, served, instructed, administrated. The healthy and the sick all shared the same daily burden. The religious life was also defined in time, according to the particular needs and exigencies. He even thought of his own seminary, for the specific formation of priests for the Work. He was always ready to follow and serve Divine Providence, never to question it. He said: "I am a good for nothing and I don't even know what I am doing. However, Divine Providence knows what it wants. And it is for me only to second it. Forward in Domino." For his poor and neediest he described himself always as "the laborer of Divine Providence."

Next to the small towns he also wished to found five convents of contemplative sisters and a monastery of hermits, and he regarded it as among the most important accomplishments: a sort of "heart" that had to beat for the whole Work. He died on April 30, 1842, saying these words: "Misericordia, Domine; Misericordia, Domine. Good and Holy Providence ... Holy Virgin, now it is up to You." His whole life, as a newspaper of the time wrote, had been "an intense day of love."

Dear friends, these two priests, of whom I have presented some traits, lived their ministry in the total gift of their lives to the poorest, to the neediest, to the last, always finding the profound root, the inexhaustible source of their action in the relationship with God, drinking from his love, in the profound conviction that it is not possible to exercise charity without living in Christ and in the Church. May their intercession and example continue to enlighten the ministry of so many priests who spend themselves with generosity for God and for the flock entrusted to them, and may they help each one to give himself with joy and generosity to God and to his neighbor.  [Translation by ZENIT]


1842 St Joseph Cottolengo, Founder Of The Societies Of The Little House Of Divine Providence; “We are like the marionettes of a puppet-show. As long as they are held by a hand from above they walk, jump, dance and give signs of agility and life: they represent . . . now a king, now a clown . . . but as soon as the performance is over they are dropped and huddled together ingloriously in a dusty corner. So it is with us: amid the multiplicity of our various functions we are held and moved by the hand of Providence. Our duty is to enter into its designs, to play the part assigned to us . . . and respond promptly and trustfully to the impulses received from on high.”

On a September day of the year 1827 a priest was called to give the last sacraments to a young Frenchwoman, who had been taken ill at Turin when travelling from Milan to Lyons with her husband and three little children, and who died in a squalid slum from lack of adequate care. The priest was Canon Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, a native of Bra in Piedmont. He was a great lover of the poor, and was shocked to discover that no institution in Turin was available for such cases. Though without private means he promptly hired five rooms in a house called Volta Rossa with the aid of a lady who supplied several beds. A doctor and a chemist having offered their services, a little hospital was opened with five patients. Soon it became necessary to take more rooms and to organize the charitable voluntary helpers into a permanent male and female nursing staff. The men Canon Cottolengo called Brothers of St Vincent, whilst the women, who before long received a rule, a habit and a superior, were designated Daughters of St Vincent de Paul, or Vincentian Sisters.

In 1831 cholera broke out in Turin, and fear of infection from the crowded inmates of Volta Rossa induced the civic authorities to close the hospital. The canon was unperturbed: “In my country they say that cabbages increase and multiply by transplantation”, he remarked. “We must change our quarters.” During the epidemic the Vincentians nursed the cholera-stricken in their homes, but afterwards the Cottolengo Hospital was transferred to Valdocco, then outside Turin. The canon called the house he bought the Piccola Casa, or Little House of Divine Providence, and placed over the entrance the words: “Caritas Christi urget nos”. To accommodate the ever-increasing number of patients other buildings gradually arose alongside, bearing such distinctive names as the House of Faith, the House of Hope, Madonna’s House, Bethlehem. But it was not only the sick whom Don Cottolengo was to shelter in what he sometimes called his Noah’s Ark, but epileptics, the deaf and dumb, orphans, waifs and distressed persons of all sorts. For the various classes he started special homes, besides providing hospices for the aged, many of them blind and crippled. Two houses were devoted to idiots—whom the canon always tactfully called his “good boys and girls”—and a rescue home was started, from among the inmates of which a religious congregation was formed under the patronage of St Thais. The great block of buildings constituted what a French writer described as a University of Christian Charity, but the founder continued to call it the Piccola Casa. He never attributed its success to his own powers of organization, being entirely convinced that he was merely a tool in the hands of God. That conviction he once set forth in graphic words to the Vincentian Sisters. “We are like the marionettes of a puppet-show. As long as they are held by a hand from above they walk, jump, dance and give signs of agility and life: they represent . . . now a king, now a clown . . . but as soon as the performance is over they are dropped and huddled together ingloriously in a dusty corner. So it is with us: amid the multiplicity of our various functions we are held and moved by the hand of Providence. Our duty is to enter into its designs, to play the part assigned to us . . . and respond promptly and trustfully to the impulses received from on high.”

Although he directed everything, yet Don Cottolengo kept no books or accounts, the money he received being promptly spent and never invested. He went so far as to refuse royal patronage for his work, because it was already under the patronage of the King of kings. Repeatedly but in vain did his well-wishers counsel prudence with a view to safeguarding the future of his works: over and over again his creditors pressed him sorely, the cash-box was empty, and provisions threatened to run short. The holy man trusted to God and was never disappointed. More­over he had safeguarded the future of the Piccola Casa by ensuring a treasury not of money but of prayers. In response to what he conceived to be a call from above he had founded, in connection with his organization, several religious communities, the main purpose of which was to pray for all necessities. These new societies included the Daughters of Compassion, who intercede for the dying, the “suifrag­ists” of the Holy Souls to gain relief for the departed in Purgatory, the Daughters of the Good Shepherd who by prayers and active work assist those in moral danger, and a very strict community of Carmelites, whose penance and prayer are offered on behalf of the Church. For men he established the Hermits of the Holy Rosary and the Congregation of Priests of the Holy Trinity.

Joseph Cottolengo was in his fifty-sixth year when he realized that he was dying, typhoid fever having exhausted a body already weakened by hard work and auster­ity. Without a shadow of anxiety about his great work, he calmly handed over his authority to his successor, bade farewell to his spiritual children, and set out for Chieri, where he died nine days later in the house of his brother, Canon Louis Cottolengo. Nearly all his numerous foundations are flourishing to this day, and thousands of poor persons are still sheltered in the precincts of the Piccola Casa. St Joseph Cottolengo was canonized in 1934.

The most complete life is that written in Italian by P. Gastaldi in three volumes (1910 French trans., 1934). A shorter French account was compiled for the beatification in 1917 by J. Guillermin. For English readers there is an abridgement of Gastaldi and a sketch by Lady Herbert. See also S. Ballario, L’apostolo della carità (1934).

Born in Bra (near Turin), Piedmont, Italy, on May 3, 1786; died at Chieri, Italy, on April 30, 1842; beatified in 1917; canonized in 1934; feast day formerly April 30.

Joseph Benedict Cottolengo's middle-class mother once surprised him as he was measuring his room with a stick. He explained that he wished to see how many beds he could get into the room because he wanted to turn the house into a hospital when he grew up.

He attended the seminary in Turin, and, in 1811, he was ordained a priest and engaged in pastoral work for a short time in his native city and in Corneliano, before continuing his studies in Turin and taking his degree there. In 1819, he entered the congregation of secular priests of the Order of Corpus Domini and was named canon of the Church of the Trinity in Turin.

In 1828, he was called to a very sick woman, who had not been able to obtain admission to any hospital. The saint rented an unfurnished room, and placed a few beds in it for the poorest and most neglected.

Following the example of Saint Vincent de Paul here no one was to be refused admittance. A doctor, who was his friend, and a benevolent pharmacist helped him. He sought out pious women to nurse the sick and men to serve the male sick. When it became to expand, he organized volunteers manning it into the Brothers of Saint Vincent and the Daughters of Saint Vincent (Vincentian Sisters). The congregation of young girls he founded renounced the world and were to devote themselves wholly to God and the care of the sick.

Cottolengo had overcome the initial difficulties and his work was growing when, in 1831, cholera broke out. The police closed the hospice, so the Vincentians nursed the poor in their own homes until Joseph was allowed to open a new one outside the city at Valdocco. There they continued ministering to the stricken.

It was opened in the following year and was known as the Little House of Divine Providence. God's providence had moved the little house out to that spot so that it might grow up to be a whole city. Soon there rose about it a House of Faith, a House of Hope, and a House of Love to minister to the crippled, insane, and wayward girls.

His Piccola Casa became a gigantic set of institutions, a city really of more than 7,000 paupers, patients, orphans, cripples, idiots, and penitent women. Today it serves an average of 8,000 to 9,000 inmates daily, and the Cottolengo Institute has several foundations in other areas of the world. Today the Little House at Turin, with its thousands of beneficiaries, is one of the most impressive places in Europe. Here can be seen on a large scale human suffering in its most horrifying forms side by side with human selflessness and love raised to a supernatural degree by a Power beyond itself.

For his growing organization, the saint founded 14 communities, some of which were purely contemplative and were to assist the others by their life of prayer, and to supplement, by spiritual charity, the temporal works of mercy through prayer for those who needed special assistance, above all the dying and the dead. These congregations included the Daughters of Compassion, the Daughters of the Good Shepherd, the Hermits of the Holy Rosary, and the Priests of the Holy Trinity.

The saint relied completely on the boundless mercy of God, and, as one of his friends used to say, had more trust in God than all the citizens of Turin together. As soon as money was given to him, it was spent. Queried about the secret sources of the money with which one tried to explain his gigantic achievements, he answered: "Providence sends me everything." He learned, however, that Providence may provide bread for today, but not at the same time for tomorrow or the day after. (Remember the story of the Manna in the desert.)
He paid everything, yet amid constant difficulties. "In the Little House," he used to say, "we progress as long as we possess nothing. We decline when we live on endowments." Saint Joseph would have had problems today. He depended upon alms to maintain these many and varied institutions, yet he kept no books of accounts and made no investments.

King Charles Albert frequently proposed to let the government take over the protectorate of the foundations. "Why?" answered Cottolengo. "They are under the protection of Divine Providence; protection by the state is superfluous."

This trust in Providence, however, did not keep him from strenuous work and effort. He slept but a few hours, often only on a chair or a bench, and persevered in his task of prayer and work. But therewith he wore himself out.

In 1842, he handed the administration of the institutes to his successor. The doctors persuaded him to go to his brothers at Chieri, where he died a few days later of typhoid. He had promised the sisters as he left: "When I am in Heaven, where everything is possible, I will cling to the mantle of the Mother of God and I will not turn my eyes from you. But do not forget what this poor old man has said to you."

Saint Joseph Cottolengo's example was one of the inspirations for Saint John Bosco, who in the earlier years of his priesthood helped occasionally at the Piccola Casa (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Schamoni, White).
1928 St Nectarius Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders June 13,1996, glorifying for universal veneration August 7, 2000
Born in the city of Elets in the Orel province in 1853, the son of Basil and Elena Tikhonov.
At his baptism, he was named Nicholas.
St Nectarius completed the course of his earthly life on April 29, 1928.
The Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders on June 13,1996, glorifying them for universal veneration on August 7,
2000