Thursday   Saints of this Day August  04 Prídie Nonas Augústi.   
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!)


Saint John Baptiste MarieVianney, Cure of Ars
John Baptist Marie Vianney (Curé d'Ars), Priest (RM)
Born at Dardilly (near Lyons), France, on May 8, 1786;

ordained a priest in 1815
; died at Ars, August 4, 1869; beatified on January 8, 1905, by Pope Pius IX; canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925; in 1929, he was declared the principal patron of parish priests.

We cannot comprehend the power that a pure soul has over God.
It is not the soul that does God's will, but God who does the soul's will.
-- Saint John Vianney.

They mustered up their courage and eavesdropped at the door
 Father Trochu wrote this story in his book about the Curé of Ars: One day, some indiscreet parishioners climbed to the first floor of his house and heard the voice of a woman conversing with their priest. Their surprise was indescribable, for they knew the priest was very reserved with the female sex. Some of them assured that this was not the first time. So they mustered up their courage and eavesdropped at the door. What they heard were recommendations to watch over so-and-so, then to save so-and-so, etc. They stood there listening to a very private conversation...

After half an hour, the saint opened the door and surprised his visitors... who were obliged to explain the reason for their presence. They managed to excuse themselves without too much embarrassment. It was the Curé of Ars who seemed the most embarrassed. After thinking it over for a moment—and so as to dispel any suspicion—he confessed that he had the pleasure of sometimes receiving the Virgin Mary in his home to talk over his concerns and get advice about difficult cases.

CAUSES OF SAINTS

Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China {whole article here }

The saints are a “cloud of witnesses over our head”, showing us life of Christian perfection is possible.
So that the Homage Might Be as Agreeable as Possible
Our Lady of Dordrecht (Holland)
Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List
Acts of the Apostles
Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart From the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
How do I start the Five First Saturdays?
Mary Mother of GOD 15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary

August 4 - St John Vianney, Curé of Ars (d. 1859)
Apparition of Our Lady to Natalino Scarpa (Pellestrina, Italy, 1716)
  John Vianney, the Apostle of Trust in Mary

In the introduction to his book The Apostle of Trust in Mary (L'Apôtre de la confiance en Marie), published for the one hundredth anniversary of the saint in 1959, Fr Jacques Pagnoux (1) wrote:

“Among the imitable traits of the prodigious holiness of John Vianney, the most striking one is probably his devotion to Mary. (…) He left us the example of his life as a priest and pastor, dotted with Marian feasts, where we clearly see the resplendent and maternal hold of Mary on the soul of that saint, owing to the total consecration he made to her of his own person and work. Would it be exaggerated to see in that consecration the key to his personal holiness and apostolic fruitfulness?”
As if to confirm this opinion, the former auxiliary bishop of Malines, Mgr Suenens, wrote the following praise for the book, addressing himself directly to the author:
“In your beautiful book, you highlighted a lesser-known aspect of the incomparable fisher of men that was the Curé of Ars—his living union with Mary. (…) Without need to put it into learned formulations, the holy Curé of Ars lived by Mary's mediation, a mediation that opens the souls to the breath of the Spirit. He instinctively followed the royal road, the one that unmistakably and quickly leads to the journey's end, which is the blossoming of the life of Christ in souls... In one leap, he reached both the Mother and the Son; he arrived at the Son through the Mother.”


When we wish to give something special to somebody very important, we often choose that person's favorite friend or family member to present the gift, so that the homage is agreeable as possible to him.  It is the same way with our prayers, when they are presented by the Blessed Virgin; they take on special merit, because Mary is the only creature who has never offended God.  - - Saint John Mary Vianney, Cure of Ars

After tasting to the dregs the bitter cup of this land of banishment, he now relished the delights of death, realizing in his own person one of his own beautiful sayings: “How sweet it is to die if one has lived on the cross!” J.M.B. Vianney

Mary's Resting Place (II)  Lucien replied: "Who are you Sir and who is with you?"
"I am Gamaliel, who brought up Paul, the Apostle of Christ and who taught him the Law in Jerusalem.
Stephen is next to me in the grave, on the east side. He was stoned by the princes of the priests and Jews in Jerusalem for his faith in Christ, outside the door to the north, on the way to Cedar where he remained unburied for a day and a night on earth, to become-following the wicked order of the high priest-the prey of wild beasts!
But by God's will, nothing touched him, neither beast, nor bird, nor dog.
And I, Gamaliel, full of compassion for the fate of the Minister of Christ, I was eager to have the privilege to do something for this holy man of faith and at night, I pressed and asked all pious men who believed in Jesus and who lived among the Jews to come secretly to the place of torture to get his body and take it on one of my wagons to my house in the village called Cafargamalia, which means "House of Gamaliel."
The funeral took place and lasted 40 days, and his body was deposited in the monument that was carved for me in the urn, to the east."

August 4 - St John Vianney, Curé of Ars (d. 1859)
Apparition of Our Lady to Natalino Scarpa (Pellestrina, Italy, 1716)
John Vianney, the Apostle of Trust in Mary

In the introduction to his book The Apostle of Trust in Mary (L'Apôtre de la confiance en Marie), published for the one hundredth anniversary of the saint in 1959, Fr Jacques Pagnoux (1) wrote:

“Among the imitable traits of the prodigious holiness of John Vianney, the most striking one is probably his devotion to Mary. (…) He left us the example of his life as a priest and pastor, dotted with Marian feasts, where we clearly see the resplendent and maternal hold of Mary on the soul of that saint, owing to the total consecration he made to her of his own person and work. Would it be exaggerated to see in that consecration the key to his personal holiness and apostolic fruitfulness?”
As if to confirm this opinion, the former auxiliary bishop of Malines, Mgr Suenens, wrote the following praise for the book, addressing himself directly to the author:
“In your beautiful book, you highlighted a lesser-known aspect of the incomparable fisher of men that was the Curé of Ars—his living union with Mary. (…) Without need to put it into learned formulations, the holy Curé of Ars lived by Mary's mediation, a mediation that opens the souls to the breath of the Spirit. He instinctively followed the royal road, the one that unmistakably and quickly leads to the journey's end, which is the blossoming of the life of Christ in souls... In one leap, he reached both the Mother and the Son; he arrived at the Son through the Mother.”

(1) Father Jacques Pagnoux was the director of the Foyer of Charity in Dakar, Senegal, for many years.
 
15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Mary's Divine Motherhood
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.
  67 Aristarchus of Salonika one of Saint Paul's travel companions (Acts 20:4; 27:2) (Philemon 24) BM (RM)
  80 Perpetua of Rome she converted her husband and son Saint Nazarius the Martyr (RM)
Colóniæ Agrippínæ commemorátio sancti Protásii Mártyris; qui Medioláni, una cum Gervásio fratre, passus est tertiodécimo Kaléndas Júlii.

2nd v.
St. Protase, martyr at Cologne, the commemoration of.  In company with his twin brother Gervase, he suffered at Milan on the 19th of June.
 250 Agabius of Verona early bishop B (RM)
 257 Tertullinus of Rome martyred 2 days after his priestly ordination M (RM)
 310 Eleutherius of Constantinople martyred at Tarsus M (RM)
 360 I
(meaning "violet") and 9,000 Companions tortured for months Shapur II of Persia MM (RM)
6v. St. Peregrinus, Maceratus, and Viventius legendary saints journeyed to France to free sister from captivity
 573 Euphronius of Tours worked tirelessly to rebuild Tours B (RM)
       Sithney (Sezni) Date unknown would rather look after mad dogs than women
  622 Molua educated at Bangor under Saint Comgall  founded over 100 monasteries in Ireland Abbot (AC);
distinguished himself by miracles
1180 St. Raynerius of Spalatro Camaldolese archbishop
1350 Blessed Cicco of Pesaro hermit near his hometown OFM Tert. (AC)
1540 Blessed William Horne and Companions O.Cart. MM (AC)
1869 St. John Vianney Patron of priests ordained 1815 incorupt
Sancti Domínici Confessóris, qui Ordinis Fratrum Prædicatórum Fundátor fuit, atque octávo Idus mensis hujus in pace quiévit.
St. Dominic, confessor, founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, who on the sixth day of this month rested in peace.

Victims of Discrimination, Hunger and Forced Emigration
Missionary: That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.

August 4 – Apparition of Our Lady to 14-year old Natalino Scarpa in 1716 (Pellestrina, Italy)
 
"If you want to win the war…"
In 1716, the Republic of Venice was threatened by the Turkish army that stood at its border. On August 4th, on Pellestrina—a fishing island facing the lagoon of Venice—the Virgin Mary appeared to a young boy named Natalino Scarpa, in the guise of an ordinary woman, as he walked past the small village church.
The boy said the "woman" took his arm and asked him to tell the parish priest to celebrate masses for the souls in purgatory "if you want to win the war"... The boy obeyed and told the priest, who took the message seriously and celebrated mass as requested.

The next day, August 5, 1716, the army of the Ottoman Empire was defeated at the Battle of Petervardino on the Danube in Serbia. Consequently, Belgrade was liberated and all that region of the Balkans was retaken from the Turks. Since then, this apparition has been associated to the end of the Turkish threat against Christian Europe and a long period of peace began for the Republic of Venice.
Thirteen days later, on August 18th, the Turkish fleet (30,000 men), was defeated in Corfu after an unexpected storm dispersed the ships of the Grand Vizier…
 Taken from an article by Stefania Falasca www.30giorni.it

 
Sunday, November 23 2014 Six to Be Canonized on Feast of Christ the King
On the List Are Lay Founder of a Hospital and Eastern Catholic Religious
VATICAN CITY, June 12, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Today, the Vatican announced that during the celebration of the feast of Christ the King on Sunday, November 23, an ordinary public consistory will be held for the canonization of the following six blesseds, who include a lay founder of a hospital for the poor, founders of religious orders, and two members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See:
-Giovanni Antonio Farina (1803-1888), an Italian bishop who founded the Institute of the Sisters Teachers of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts
-Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871), a Syro-Malabar priest in India who founded the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate
-Ludovico of Casoria (1814-1885), an Italian Franciscan priest who founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth
-Nicola Saggio (Nicola da Longobardi, 1650-1709), an Italian oblate of the Order of Minims
-Euphrasia Eluvathingal (1877-1952), an Indian Carmelite of the Syro-Malabar Church
-Amato Ronconi (1238-1304), an Italian, Third Order Franciscan who founded a hospital for poor pilgrims

CAUSES OF SAINTS April  2014
DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS VATICAN CITY, Friday, April 04, 2014
Quebec's 1st Bishop Declared a Saint Along With Ursuline Nun Who Educated Girls in New France
Bishop François de Laval de Montmorency Led Newly Established Diocese Covering All French Territory in North America
VATICAN CITY, April 03, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Bishop François de Laval de Montmorency, the first bishop of Quebec, who governed from 1674 to 1688 when the new Diocese of Quebec covered all France's territory in North America, has been declared a saint. The French-born prelate (1623-1708) was one of three recognized as saints today by Pope Francis, in a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes.

Another of those declared a saint was also born in France but carried out her ministry in Canada: Marie of the Incarnacion (born Marie Guyart), French (1599-1672).  The Ursuline nun founded a convent and school to educate girls in New France and her canonization coincides with the 375th anniversary of her arrival in what is today Quebec City.
José de Anchieta, Spanish priest of the Society of Jesus (1534-1597), was also declared a saint today.

Miracles
A priest and a nun from India were among those the Holy Father recognized as having obtained miracles with their intercession:
- Blessed Kuriacose Elias Chavara, Indian professed priest and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (1805-1871).
- Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (born Rose Eluvathingal), Indian professed religious of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (1877-1952).
The Pope also recognized miracles attributed to the intercession of:
- Servant of God Giovanni Antonio Farina, Italian bishop and founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts (1803-1871).
- Blessed Nicola da Longobardi, (born Giovanni Battista Clemente Saggio), Italian oblate friar of the Order of the Minims (1650-1709).

- Servant of God Luigi della Consolata (born Andrea Bordino), Italian professed religious, Brothers of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo (1922-1977).

Heroic virtue
Finally, Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtue of the following:
- Francisco Simon Rodenas, Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, bishop of Santa Marta (1849-1914).
- Adolfo Barberis, Italian priest and founder of the Institute of Sisters of Christian Servanthood (1884-1967).
- Marie-Clement (ne Joseph Staub), French professed priest of the Assumptionists and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joan of Arc (1876-1936).
- Sebastian Elorza Arizmendi, Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Augustine (1882-1942).
- Maria Teresa of the Eucharistic Jesus (nee Dulce Rodrigues dos Santos), Brazilian foundress of the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (1901-1972).
- Clara de la Concepcion (nee Juana de la Concepcion Sanchez Garcia), Spanish professed religious of the Order of St. Clare (1902-1973).
- Maria Magdalena (nee Maria Giuseppina Teresa Marcucci), Italian professed religious of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (1888-1960).
- Luigi Rocchi, Italian layperson (1932-1979).

67 Aristarchus of Salonika one of Saint Paul's travel companions (Acts 20:4; 27:2) (Philemon 24) BM (RM)
Thessalonícæ item natális beáti Aristárchi, qui discípulus et comes indivíduus fuit sancti Pauli Apóstoli, de quo ipse Paulus ad Colossénses scribit: « Salútat vos Aristárchus, concaptívus meus ».  Is, ab eódem Apóstolo Epíscopus Thessalonicénsium ordinátus, tandem, post longos agónes, sub Neróne, coronátus a Christo, quiévit.
    At Thessalonica, the birthday of blessed Aristarchus, disciple and inseparable companion of the apostle St. Paul, who writes to the Colossians: "Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you."  He was consecrated bishop of the Thessalonians by the same apostle, and after long sufferings under Nero, crowned by Christ, rested in peace.
Born in Salonika, 1st century. Saint Aristarchus was one of Saint Paul's travel companions (Acts 20:4; 27:2) and a fellow-worker (Philemon 24). He was arrested with Paul at Ephesus, and shared his imprisonment. Tradition reports that he was the first bishop of Salonika (Thessalonica) and adds that he was beheaded in Rome with Saint Paul under Nero (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
80 Perpetua of Rome she converted her husband and son Saint Nazarius the Martyr (RM)
Romæ sanctæ Perpétuæ, quæ, a beáto Petro Apóstolo baptizáta, Nazárium fílium et Africánum virum ad Christi fidem perdúxit, et multa sanctórum Mártyrum córpora sepelívit; ac tandem, bonórum óperum méritis cumuláta, migrávit ad Dóminum.
    At Rome, St. Perpetua, who was baptized by the blessed apostle Peter.  She converted to the faith her son Nazarius and her husband Africanus, buried the remains of many holy martyrs, and finally went to our Lord endowed with an abundance of merit.
1st century. Perpetua is said to be the wife of Saint Peter, who was undoubtedly married (Luke 4:38-39); some sources have called his wife Joan, Concordia, and even Heleca. The more likely story is that Perpetua was a Roman matron who was converted by Saint Paul or Saint Peter. In turn she converted her husband and her son, Saint Nazarius the Martyr. Her relics are at Milan and Cremona (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
250 Agabius of Verona early bishop B (RM)
Verónæ sancti Agábii, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Verona, St. Agabius, bishop and confessor.
Agabius is believed to have been an early bishop of Verona; however, even his existence is uncertain (Benedictines).
257 Tertullinus of Rome martyred 2 days after his priestly ordination M (RM).
Item Romæ, via Latína, pássio beáti Tertullíni, Presbyteri et Mártyris; qui, sub Valeriáno Imperatóre, post ímpiam fústium mactatiónem, ígnium circa látera exustiónem, oris quassatiónem, atque in equúleo extensiónem nervorúmque cæsiónem, data senténtia, cápitis amputatióne martyrium consummávit.
    At Rome, on the Latin Way, the martyrdom of blessed Tertullinus, priest and martyr, in the time of Emperor Valerian.  After being cruelly beaten with rods, after having his sides burned, his mouth shattered; after being stretched on the rack and his limbs crushed, he completed his martyrdom by being beheaded.
Tertullinus was martyred by Valerian two days after his priestly ordination (Benedictines).
310 Eleutherius of Constantinople martyred at Tarsus M (RM)
Constantinópoli sancti Eleuthérii Mártyris, ex órdine Senatório viri, qui pro Christo, in persecutióne Maximiáni, gládio cæsus est.
    At Constantinople, the holy martyr Eleutherius, of the senatorial rank, who was put to the sword for Christ in the persecution of Maximian.
Saint Eleutherius was martyred at Tarsus, where his tomb became a popular pilgrimage site, the passio recorded in the Roman Martyrology, however, is unreliable. A basilica was built in his honor at Constantinople (Benedictines).
360 Ia and 9,000 Companions tortured for months Shapur II of Persia MM (RM)
In Pérside sanctárum Mártyrum Iæ et Sociárum; quæ, cum novem míllibus Christiánis captívis, sub Sápore Rege, divérsis pœnis afflíctæ, martyrium subiérunt.
    In Persia, in the time of King Sapor, the holy martyr Ia and her companions, who, with nine thousand Christian captives, underwent martyrdom after having been subjected to various torments.
Unreliable sources have made Saint Ia (meaning "violet") a Greek, perhaps a slave, who was so successful in converting Persian ladies to Christianity that she was arrested during the persecution of the Christians by King Shapur II of Persia. She was tortured for months in an attempt to force her to apostatize but it was without effect. Eventually she was scourged to death and then beheaded, allegedly with 9,000 others. Very little is known about this saint--even the gender is uncertain--and no passio is extant (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
6v. St. Peregrinus, Maceratus, and Viventius legendary saints journeyed to France to free sister from captivity
Purely legendary saints who are revered only locally. They were supposedly three Spanish brothers who journeyed to France to help free their sister from some kind of captivity. They died in the attemp
t.
573 Euphronius of Tours worked tirelessly to rebuild Tours  B (RM)
Turónis, in Gállia, sancti Euphrónii Epíscopi.    At Tours in France, St. Euphronius, bishop.
Born 530; During the episcopacy of Bishop Saint Euphronius of Tours (556-573), the city was burned. Thereafter, Euphronius worked tirelessly to rebuild Tours (Benedictines).
Sithney (Sezni) Date unknown would rather look after mad dogs than women
The legend of Saint Sithney is an interesting adaptation of that of Saint Kieran of Saighir. According to a Breton folk story, God revealed to Sithney that he was to be the patron of young girls. The alarmed saint begged God to spare him from such an onerous task because they would plague him for husbands, fine clothes, and numerous other things and never allow him any peace. He said that he would rather look after mad dogs than women any day. From that day, sick and mad dogs have been taken to Sithney's well to drink. He is the patron of Sithney near Helston in Cornwall, England, where William Worcestre saw his tomb. His cultus is still alive at Guissény (formerly Ploesezny) in Brittany (Farmer)
.
622 Molua educated at Bangor under Saint Comgall founded over 100 monasteries in Ireland Abbot (AC); distinguished himself by miracles
(also known as Lua, Da Lua, Luanus, Lugid, Lughaidh)
Born in Limerick; died August 4. Saint Molua was educated at Bangor under Saint Comgall and was known as a monk, hermit and builder. As Saint Bernard assures us, Molua founded over 100 monasteries in Ireland, including that of Killaloe (County Clare) and Cluain-Fearta Molua, on the borders of Ossory and Queen's County in Leinster. Saint Molua prescribes a most austere monastic rule that was long observed in Ireland. It enjoined the strictest silence and recollection, and forbade women from approaching the church of the monks.
   Despite his strict observance of the monastic discipline, he was a man of great tenderness to both man and beast. His principal disciple was Saint Flannan, who succeeded him in the governance of Killaloe. Molua's oratory on Friars' Island, a few hundred yards from the cathedral, was re-erected before the area was submerged by the Shannon hydro-electric works in 1929 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth)
.

608 ST MOLUA, OR LUGHAIDH, ABBOT
MOLUA (Lugaid and other forms) was the son of Carthach, of the Hy Fidhgente of Limerick county, and his mother came from Ossory. When a lad he was employed as a herdboy till, as his late vita tells us, having distinguished himself by miracles, he was sent to be a monk under St Comgall at Bangor. He was ordained priest and in time sent by his abbot to establish monasteries elsewhere. The most im­portant of them was at Clonfertmulloe, now called Kyle, in the Slievebloom mountains between Leix and Offaly, which had a very large community. He is said to have gone to Rome (“Unless I see Rome I shall soon die”), and taken the opportunity to submit to Pope St Gregory the Great the rule he had drawn up for his monasteries; it was, like all Celtic monastic rules, extremely arduous and the pope said of it that, “The holy man who drew up this rule has laid a hedge round his family which reaches to Heaven”. On his death-bed St Molua addressed his monks and said, “Dearest brethren, cultivate your land industriously, that you may have a sufficiency of food, drink and clothing; for where there is sufficient, there is stability; where is stability, there is true religion; and the end of true religion is life everlasting”: “Rerum Novarum” and “ Quadragesimo anno” in a nut-shell. Molua, we are told, never killed any living thing, and when he died the birds wept.

There is some confusion between this Molua and other saints of the same name. Killaloe (Cill da Lua) may get its name from this Molua or from another who was called “the Leper”, or they may both be the same person.

There are three Latin recensions of the Life of St Molua; one has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. i; another in De Smedt’s edition of the Codex Salmanticensis, and the third by C. Plummer in VSH., vol. ii, pp. 206—225. A. P. Forbes in KSS. (pp. 409—411) repudiates any identity between St Moloc (June 25) and St Molua.
1180 St. Raynerius of Spalatro Camaldolese archbishop
A member of the Camaldolese Order, he served for many years at Fonteavellana, Italy, before receiving appointment as bishop of Cagli in 1156 and as archbishop of Spalatro in 1175. He was murdered by several irate residents of Spalatro during an upheaval in the city
.
1869 St. John Vianney Patron of priests ordained 1815
In vico Ars, diœcésis Bellicénsis, in Gállia, natális sancti Joánnis Baptístæ-Maríæ Vianney, Presbyteri et Confessóris, in parochiáli múnere obeúndo insígnis, quem Pius Papa Undécimus in Sanctórum númerum rétulit; ipsíus festum quinto Idus mensis hujus agéndum indíxit, eúmque ómnium parochórum cæléstem Patrónum constítuit.
    In the village of Ars, in the diocese of Belley, France, the birthday of St. John Baptist-Mary Vianney, priest and confessor, renowned for his devotion as a parish priest.  Pope Pius XI placed him in the number of the saints, ordered that his feast should be observed on the 9th day of this month, and appointed him as the heavenly patron of all parish priests.
St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August 4 Universally known as the “Cure of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification.

Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested a imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ.

He heard confessions of people from all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners were converted at his mere word. He died August 4, 1859, and was canonized May 31, 1925.

John Baptist Vianney (Curé d'Ars), Priest (RM) Born at Dardilly (near Lyons), France, on May 8, 1786; ordained a priest in 1815; died at Ars, August 4, 1869; beatified on January 8, 1905, by Pope Pius IX; canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925; in 1929, he was declared the principal patron of parish priests.
We cannot comprehend the power that a pure soul has over God.
It is not the soul that does God's will, but God who does the soul's will. -- Saint John Vianney.
Without his iron-will, it is very unlikely that John Baptist Vianney would have been ordained. He was the son of a small farmer near Lyons and raised during the French Revolution and its aftermath. He had to take his First Communion in secret when he was 13, because the Church was still being persecuted. By the time this shepherd on his father Matthew's farm reached age 18 and decided that he was being called to the priesthood, open worship was again permitted. Unfortunately, John's father could not afford to send him to school for the proper education.
Two years later he managed to get into the presbytery-school of the Abbé Balley in the neighboring village of Ecully, but he had trouble keeping up with the others because he had received so little previous education (a single year when he was nine). John was sure of his goal, so he persisted.

Though a seminarian, through an error he was drafted into the army in 1809. He was ordered to report to the depot in Loyons on October 26, 1809, but two days after receiving the order he was hospitalized and his company left him behind. On January 5, while still convalescing, he was ordered to report to Roanne for another draft the following day. They left without him, because he had stopped to pray in the church. He tried to catch up with them at Renaison, although the only military equipment he had was a knapsack .

While he was resting at the approach to the mountains of Le Forez, a stranger suddenly appeared, picked up his knapsack, and ordered him to follow. He found himself in a hut near the remote mountain village of Les Noës. The stranger was a deserter from the army, one of many hiding in the woods and hills of the area. Vianney saw that the situation was compromising, and reported himself to the mayor of the commune. Monsieur Fayot was both humane and sensible; he pointed out to John that he technically was already a deserter, and that of two evils the lesser was to remain in refuge where he was. The mayor found Vianney a place in his own cousin's home, where John remained in hiding in a stable for 14 months. Several times he was nearly found by the gendarmes, once even feeling the point of a sword between his ribs as it was thrust about in the hay.

He was able to return home when Napoleon granted amnesty to all deserters in 1810 on the occasion of his marriage to the Archduchess Marie-Louise. The following year he was tonsured, then spent a year studying philosophy at the minor seminary at Verrières. In 1813, John entered the major seminary at Lyons. He never did master Latin; thus, it he was called "the most unlearned but the most devout seminarian in Lyons." In fact, his scholarship was so bad that he dropped out after the first term, was privately tutored by Abbé Balley, and then failed the seminary examinations. In spite of that, his reputation for goodness and holiness was so strong that the vicar general allowed him to take minor orders on July 2, 1814, and to be ordained to the priesthood the following year, saying, "The Church wants not only learned priests but, even more, holy ones."

He spent the next years as curate to Abbé Balley at Ecully until his mentor died in 1817. Early in 1818 he was appointed as the parish priest of the tiny village of Ars-en-Dombes (population: 230). He stayed there until he died 41 years later, and his effect was extraordinary.

Ten years of patience, good example, and the mysterious outpouring of Divine grace transformed Ars from apathy into a village thriving with Christian spirit. He began personally visiting every household under his care and provided a regular catechism class for children.
More important were his offering of a personal example of purity and fervor and his boldly attack on the widespread evils of drunkenness, profanity, immodesty, and slackness in attending Mass and otherwise observing the Sabbath.
He had no fear of uttering from the pulpit words and expressions that offended God in order to ensure there was no misunderstanding as to what he was denouncing. He was constantly aware of his responsibility for the souls of his parishioners and gradually there was conversion because his severity in the pulpit was matched by his extraordinary insight and power of conversion in the confessional.
His flock would say, Our pastor is a saint and we must obey him.

Two miracles helped the curé to gain the attention of his people.
In 1824, John Vianney encouraged Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lardet to open a free school for girls and three years later this became an institution known as La Providence, a shelter for orphans and deserted children.
No one was ever turned away from its doors and at times there were as many as 60 people living there, so that the alms on which it depended for its existence were not always sufficient. One time the cook had only a few pounds of flour, but thanks to the prayers of Vianney, she made ten 20-pound loaves out of them.
On another occasion a loft that had been almost empty was found to be full of wheat.

Soon the humble Curé d'Ars, whose reputation for holiness was augmented by reports of these miracles, was attracting penitents from all parts of Europe. A shrine he built to Saint Philomena became a place of pilgrimage. So great was his insight into people's problems that by 1855 the number of his visitors was said to be 20,000 annually, and a special railroad booking office had to be opened in Lyons. Of course, Vianney's success prompted jealousy among some of his brother priests, who accused him of being over-zealous, ignorant, a charlatan, and mentally deranged and began spreading slanderous lies about him. These proved to be without foundation, and their bishop, Monsignor Devie, answered them, I wish, gentlemen, that all my clergy had a touch of the same madness.

The number of visitors also meant a work day that would have crushed those with less spiritual strength. During the winter months, Vianney spent up to 12 hours daily in the confessional; in the summer this increased to 16 hours. It could take a half-hour for him to move from the church to the rectory because of the density of the crowd seeking his blessing and asking his prayers. He slept a bare four hours nightly and would go before sunrise to hear the confessions of those who were already awaiting him in the church.

Countless people testified that Vianney was gifted with a remarkable ability to read souls, discernment of spirits, and prophecy. The instructions that he gave were often short but they had all the power and insight of his saintliness. His utter simplicity moved many. His discouraged fussy piety and gave pithy advice. The archbishop of Auch said that Vianney had told him, Love your clergy very much. And what more was necessary?

It is remarkable to consider that this man had desired to become a Carthusian and live in quiet contemplation, yet in following God's plans for him, he drew many back to God and the Church. Three times he left Ars in search of solitude, but returned each time to aid the sinners who sought him in ever-increasing numbers. The last time required the diplomacy of the bishop to get him to return.

In 1852, Bishop Chalandon of Belley made Vianney an honorary canon of the chapter. He was invested almost by force and never again wore the mozzetta. Indeed, he sold it for the 50 francs needed for some charitable purpose. The French government in 1855 made him a knight of the Legion of Honor. John Vianney was amazed. Suppose I die, he mused, and God says, ‘Away you go. You have already been rewarded. So he refused to have the medal even pinned on his old cassock.

When the last sacraments were brought to him on his deathbed by Bishop Chalandon, John Vianney said, “How sad it is to receive holy communion for the last time. He died at 2:00 a.m. as a thunder storm shook the heavens; nature itself was upset at his passing (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh).

Two short, very edifying, sermons on temptation by Saint John Vianney, who was often subjected to diabolical attacks over a 30- year period
We Are Nothing in Ourselves
Temptation is necessary to us to make us realize that we are nothing in ourselves.
Saint Augustine tells us that we should thank God as much for the sins from which He has preserved us as for those which He has had the charity to forgive us. If we have the misfortune to fall so often into the snares of the devil, we set ourselves up again too much on the strength of our own resolutions and promises and too little upon the strength of God. This is very true.
When we do nothing to be ashamed of, when everything is going along according to our wishes, we dare to believe that nothing could make us fall. We forget our own nothingness and our utter weakness. We make the most delightful protestations that we are ready to die rather than to allow ourselves to be conquered. We see a splendid example of this in Saint Peter, who told our Lord that although all others might be scandalized in Him, yet he would never deny Him.
Alas! To show him how man, left to himself, is nothing at all, God made use, not of kings or princes or weapons, but simply of the voice of a maidservant, who even appeared to speak to him in a very indifferent sort of way. A moment ago, he was ready to die for Him, and now Peter protests that he does not even know Him, that he does not know about whom they are speaking. To assure them even more vehemently that he does not know Him, he swears an oath about it. Dear Lord, what we are capable of when we are left to ourselves!
There are some who, in their own words, are envious of the saints who did great penances.
They believe that they could do as well. When we read the lives of some of the martyrs, we would, we think, be ready to suffer all that they suffered for God; the moment is shortlived, we say, for an eternity of reward. But what does God do to teach us to know ourselves or, rather, to know that we are nothing? This is all He does: He allows the devil to come a little closer to us. Look at this Christian who a moment ago was quite envious of the hermit who lived solely on roots and herbs and who made the stern resolution to treat his body as harshly. Alas! A slight headache, a prick of a pin, makes him, as big and strong as he is, sorry for himself. He is very upset. He cries with pain. A moment ago he would have been willing to do all the penances of the anchorites--and the merest trifle makes him despair!
Look at this other one, who seems to want to give his whole life for God, whose ardor all the torments there are cannot damp. A tiny bit of scandal mongering...a word of calumny...even a slightly cold reception or a small injustice done to him...a kindness returned by ingratitude...immediately gives birth in him to feelings of hatred, of revenge, of dislike, to the point, often, of his never wishing to see his neighbor again or at least of treating him coldly with an air which shows very plainly what is going on in his heart. And how many times is this his waking thought, just as it was the thought that almost prevented him from sleeping? Alas, my dear brethren, we are poor stuff, and we should count very little upon our good resolutions!
Beware If You Have No Temptations
   Whom does the devil pursue most? Perhaps you are thinking that it must be those who are tempted most; these would undoubtedly be the habitual drunkards, the scandalmongers, the immodest and shameless people who wallow in moral filth, and the miser, who hoards in all sorts of ways. No, my dear brethren, no, it is not these people. On the contrary, the devil despises them, or else he holds onto them, lest they not have a long enough time in which to do evil, because the longer they live, the more their bad example will drag souls into Hell. Indeed, if the devil had pursued this lewd and shameless old fellow too closely, he might have shortened the latter's life by fifteen or twenty years, and he would not then have destroyed the virginity of that young girl by plunging her into the unspeakable mire of his indecencies; he would not, again, have seduced that wife, nor would he have taught his evil lessons to that young man, who will perhaps continue to practice them until his death.
 
If the devil had prompted this thief to rob on every occasion, he would long since have ended on the scaffold and so he would not have induced his neighbor to follow his example. If the devil had urged this drunkard to fill himself unceasingly with wine, he would long ago have perished in his debaucheries, instead of which, by living longer, he has made many others like himself. If the devil had taken away the life of this musician, of that dancehall owner, of this cabaret keeper, in some raid or scuffle, or on any other occasion, how many souls would there be who, without these people, would not be damned and who now will be.
Saint Augustine teaches us that the devil does not bother these people very much;
on the contrary, he despises them and spits upon them.
"So, you will ask me, who then are the people most tempted? They are these, my friends; note them carefully. The people most tempted are those who are ready, with the grace of God, to sacrifice everything for the salvation of their poor souls, who renounce all those things which most people eagerly seek. It is not one devil only who tempts them, but millions seek to entrap them."
   We are told that Saint Francis of Assisi and all his religious were gathered on an open plain, where they had built little huts of rushes. Seeing the extraordinary penances which were being practiced, Saint Francis ordered that all instruments of penance should be brought out, whereupon his religious produced them in bundles. At this moment there was one young man to whom God gave the grace to see his guardian angel.
   On the one side he saw all of these good religious, who could not satisfy their hunger for penance, and, on the other, his guardian angel allowed him to see a gathering of eighteen thousand devils, who were holding counsel to see in what way they could subvert these religious by temptation. One of the devils said: 'You do not understand this at all. These religious are so humble; ah, what wonderful virtue, so detached from themselves, so attached to God! They have a superior who leads them so well that it is impossible to succeed in winning them over. Let us wait until their superior is dead, and then we shall try to introduce among them young people without vocations who will bring about a certain slackening of spirit, and in this way we shall gain them.'
   A little further on, as he entered the town, he saw a devil, sitting by himself beside the gate into the town, whose task was to tempt all of those who were inside. This saint asked his guardian angel why it was that in order to tempt this group of religious there had been so many thousands of devils while for a whole town there was but one--and that one sitting down. His good angel told him that the people of the town had not the same need of temptations, that they had enough bad in themselves, while the religious were doing good despite all the traps which the Devil could lay for them.
   The first temptation, my dear brethren, which the devil tries on anyone who has begun to serve God better is in the matter of human respect. He will no longer dare to be seen around; he will hide himself from those with whom heretofore he had been mixing and pleasure seeking. If he should be told that he has changed a lot, he will be ashamed of it! What people are going to say about him is continually in his mind, to the extent that he no longer has enough courage to do good before other people. If the devil cannot get him back through human respect, he will induce an extraordinary fear to possess him that his confessions are not good, that his confessor does not understand him, that whatever he does will be all in vain, that he will be damned just the same, that he will achieve the same result in the end by letting everything slide as by continuing to fight, because the occasions of sin will prove too many for him.
   Why is it, my dear brethren, that when someone gives no thought at all to saving his soul, when he is living in sin, he is not tempted in the slightest, but that as soon as he wants to change his life, in other words, as soon as the desire to give his life to God comes to him, all Hell falls upon him?
   Listen to what Saint Augustine has to say: 'Look at the way,' he tells us, 'in which the devil behaves towards the sinner. He acts like a jailer who has a great many prisoners locked up in his prison but who, because he has the key in his pocket, is quite happy to leave them, secure in the knowledge that they cannot get out. This is his way of dealing with the sinner who does not consider the possibility of leaving his sin behind. He does not go to the trouble of tempting him. He looks upon this as time wasted because not only is the sinner not thinking of leaving him, but the devil does not desire to multiply his chains. It would be pointless, therefore, to tempt him. He allows him to live in peace, if, indeed, it is possible to live in peace when one is in sin. He hides his state from the sinner as much as is possible until death, when he then tries to paint a picture of his life so terrifying as to plunge him into despair.
   'But with anyone who has made up his mind to change his life, to give himself up to God, that is another thing altogether.'

  While Saint Augustine lived in sin and evil, he was not aware of anything by which he was tempted. He believed himself to be at peace, as he tells us himself. But from the moment that he desired to turn his back upon the devil, he had to struggle with him, even to the point of losing his breath in the fight. And that lasted for five years. He wept the most bitter of tears and employed the most austere of penances: 'I argued with him,' he says, 'in my chains. One day I thought myself victorious, the next I was prostrate on the earth again. This cruel and stubborn war went on for five years. However, God gave me the grace to be victorious over my enemy.'
You may see, too, the struggle which Saint Jerome endured when he desired to give himself to God and when he had the thought of visiting the Holy Land. When he was in Rome, he conceived a new desire to work for his salvation. Leaving Rome, he buried himself in a fearsome desert to give himself over to everything with which his love of God could inspire him. Then the devil, who foresaw how greatly his conversion would affect others, seemed to burst with fury and despair. There was not a single temptation that he spared him. I do not believe that there is any saint who was as strongly tempted as he. This is how he wrote to one of his friends:
    'My dear friend, I wish to confide in you about my affliction and the state to which the devil seeks to reduce me. How many times in this vast solitude, which the heat of the sun makes insupportable, how many times the pleasures of Rome have come to assail me! The sorrow and the bitterness with which my soul is filled cause me, night and day, to shed floods of tears. I proceed to hide myself in the most isolated places to struggle with my temptations and there to weep for my sins. My body is all disfigured and covered with a rough hair shirt. I have no other bed than the naked ground and my only food is coarse roots and water, even in my illnesses. In spite of all these rigors, my body still experiences thoughts of the squalid pleasures with which Rome is poisoned; my spirit finds itself in the midst of those pleasant companionships in which I so greatly offended God. In this desert to which I have condemned myself to avoid Hell, among these somber rocks, where I have no other companions than the scorpions and the wild beasts, my spirit still burns my body, already dead before myself, with an impure fire; the Devil still dares to offer it pleasures to taste. I behold myself so humiliated by these temptations, the very thought of which makes me die with horror, and not knowing what further austerities I should exert upon my body to attach it to God, that I throw myself on the ground at the foot of my crucifix, bathing it with my tears, and when I can weep no more I pick up stones and beat my breast with them until the blood comes out of my mouth, begging for mercy until the Lord takes pity upon me. Is there anyone who can understand the misery of my state, desiring so ardently to please God and to love Him alone? Yet I see myself constantly prone to offend Him. What sorrow this is for me! Help me, my dear friend, by the aid of your prayers, so that I may be stronger in repelling the devil, who has sworn my eternal damnation.'
   These, my dear brethren, are the struggles to which God permits his great saints to be exposed. Alas, how we are to be pitied if we are not fiercely harried by the devil!  According to all appearances, we are the friends of the devil: he lets us live in a false peace, he lulls us to sleep under the pretense that we have said some good prayers, given some alms, that we have done less harm than others. According to our standard, my dear brethren, if you were to ask, for instance, this pillar of the cabaret if the devil tempted him, he would answer quite simply that nothing was bothering him at all. Ask this young girl, this daughter of vanity, what her struggles are like, and she will tell you laughingly that she has none at all, that she does not even know what it is to be tempted.
   There you see, my dear brethren, the most terrifying temptation of all, which is not to be tempted.
   There you see the state of those whom the devil is preserving for Hell. If I dared, I would tell you that he takes good care not to tempt or torment such people about their past lives, lest their eyes be opened to their sins.
   The greatest of all evils is not to be tempted because there are then grounds for believing that the devil looks upon us as his property and that he is only awaiting our deaths to drag us into Hell.   Nothing could be easier to understand.
  
Just consider the Christian who is trying, even in a small way, to save his soul. Everything around him inclines him to evil; he can hardly lift his eyes without being tempted, in spite of all his prayers and penances. And yet a hardened sinner, who for the past twenty years has been wallowing in sin, will tell you that he is not tempted! So much the worse, my friend, so much the worse! That is precisely what should make you tremble--that you do not know what temptations are. For to say that you are not tempted is like saying the devil no longer exists or that he has lost all his rage against Christian souls.
  
'If you have no temptations,' Saint Gregory tells us, 'it is because the devils are your friends, your leaders, and your shepherds. And by allowing you to pass your poor life tranquilly, to the end of your days, they will drag you down into the depths.'
   Saint Augustine tells us that the greatest temptation is not to have temptations because this means that one is a person who has been rejected, abandoned by God, and left entirely in the grip of one's own passions.

In art, John Vianney is depicted as a little old priest in a black cassock, standing with folded hands and his head tilted to one side, smiling. His emblem is so indistinct that he can really only be identified by his face, which is similar in type to that of Saint Bernardino of Siena (Roeder).

1869 St John Vianney
   The beauty of holiness will not be gainsaid, and from time to time some more than usually resplendent example forces the admiration of the whole world. Such were The Little Flower and The holy Curé of Ars. And of these two the popularity of M. Vianney is the more remarkable, because the halo of sentimentality, with which undisciplined devotees or unscrupulous exploiters can so easily surround Seur Thérése, is far less easily fitted to his head. His face alone is a difficulty, for little can be done by way of getting superficial appeal out of a man whose exterior appearance is that of a sanctified Voltaire. And the life of a country curé in France is no less, even if no more, unfamiliar to the average Englishman or American than the inside of a Carmelite convent.
  The world into which John Mary Baptiste Vianney was born, at Dardilly, near Lyons, on May 8, 1786, was not an undisturbed one. When he was three the Revolution began and two years later Dardilly found itself saddled with a
constitutional priest, so the little John and his parents had to assist in secret at the Mass of any fugitive loyal priest who came to the neighbourhood.
   While the Terror was going on, no less at Lyons than at Paris and elsewhere, he was learning to be a herd-boy, shepherding the cattle and sheep of Matthew Vianney's farm in the meadows on either side of the little river Planches. He was a quiet, well-behaved and religious child, who urged his companions to be good and would always rather
play at church than at games, though he had skill at quoits, which they played for sous.
   He made his first communion, in secret, when he was thirteen, and very shortly after Mass could be offered again in public at Dardilly.  Five years later he broached to his father his project of becoming a priest.  But the good man was unwilling; he could not afford to educate his son, having already had to provide for other members of the family, and could not spare him from the work of the farm, and it was not till he was twenty that John Mary could get permission to leave home for the neighbouring village of Ecully, where the Abbé Bailey had established a
presbytery-school.
  His studies were a source of great trouble to him; he had little natural aptitude and his only schooling had been a brief period at the village school opened at Dardilly when he was nine.  Latin above all he found such difficulty in mastering that for a time he and his teacher were discouraged. In the summer of 1806 he made a pilgrimage on foot, over sixty miles and begging his food and shelter on the way, to the shrine of St John Francis Regis at La Louvesc, to implore God's assistance in this unforeseen obstacle. On his return he found his studies no easier, but the deadly disease of discouragement was gone. He was further strengthened by the sacrament of confirmation the following year.  On this occasion he took the name of Baptist and this grace came at the right moment, for another and very serious trial was at hand.  Through his name not having been entered on the roll of exempt ecclesiastical students, John Mary Vianney was conscripted for the army.
In vain M. Bailey tried to get the matter put right, in vain Matthew Vianney tried to get a substitute for his son; he had to report at the depot in Lyons on October 26, 1809. Two days later he was taken ill and sent to hospital, and his draft for the army in Spain left without him. On January 5, being barely convalescent, he was ordered to report at Roanne for another draft on the morrow, and, having gone into a church to pray, arrived only after it had gone.  However, he was given his movement-order and set out to catch up the draft at Renaison, having still no military acoutrements but his knapsack (it carried the saint's halo rather than the marshal's baton).
John made but poor progress and while he was resting at the approach to the mountains of Le Forez a stranger suddenly appeared, picked up the knapsack, and peremptorily ordered him to follow; he was too tired to do aught but obey, and presently found himself in a hut near the remote mountain village of La No
ës. He now learned that the stranger was a deserter from the army, and that many more such were hiding in the woods and hills around.  John did not know what to do; he saw at once that his situation was compromising, and after a few days reported himself to the mayor of the commune.
M. Fayot was an humane official and a sensible man; he pointed out to John that he was already technically a deserter, and that of two evils the lesser was to remain in refuge where he was; and found him a lodging in the house of his own cousin. His hiding-place was in a stable under a hay-loft.  For fourteen months John Mary (known as Jerome Vincent) was at La Noës, persevering with his Latin, teaching the children of his hosts and working on their farm, and earning their love and respect; several times he was nearly taken by gendarmes, once feeling the point of a sword between his ribs as it was thrust about in the hay of the loft. In March 1810 the emperor, on the occasion of his marriage with the Archduchess Marie-Louise, had proclaimed an amnesty for all defaulters, and early in the following year, on his brother volunteering to join up before his time as a substitute, John Mary was able to return home, a free man.

     In 1811 he received the tonsure and at the end of the following year was sent for a year's philosophy to the petit séminaire at Verrières.  His career there was anything but distinguished, but he plodded on humbly and doggedly, and in the autumn of 1813 went to the grand séminaire at Lyons. Here all the instruction and studies were in Latin and, although the authorities recognized his quality and made special provision and allowances for him, John Mary made no headway at all.  At the end of the first term he left the seminary to be coached privately by M. Bailey at Ecully, and after three months presented himself for examination. In his viva he lost his head and broke down; the examiners could not accept him for ordination but recommended him to try another diocese.  M. Bailey went off at once to see the Abbé Bochard, one of the examiners, and he agreed to come with the rector of the seminary and interview Vianney privately. After this interview, which was satisfactory, they went to put the case of “the most unlearned but the most devout seminarian in Lyons before the vicar general, who was governing the diocese in the archbishop's absence.  M. Courbon asked one question: Is M. Vianney good ? He is a model of goodness, was the reply. Very well. Then let him be ordained. The grace of God will do the rest. On July 2, 1814, John Mary Vianney received the minor orders and subdiaconate, and returned to Ecuily to continue his studies with M. Bailey. In June 1815 he received the diaconate (five days after the battle of Waterloo), and on August 12 the priesthood. He offered his first Mass the following day, and was appointed curate to M. Bailey, to whose clear-sightedness and perseverance is due, under God, the fact that St John Mary Vianney ever attained to the priesthood.
    “The Church wants not only learned priests but, even more, holy ones, the vicar general of Lyons had said at his ordination, and Mgr Simon, Bishop of Grenoble, had seen in the Abbé Vianney a good priest.
The things that a priest must know he did know: but not necessarily from text-books. Moral theology, for example. When M. Bochard cross-examined him on difficult
cases, his replies were explicit and accurate: for the Abbé Vianney was a saint and he had common sense; and moral casuistry is sanctified common sense
.  A few months after his appointment to Ecully he received his faculties to hear confessions; his first penitent was his own rector, and very soon the
run on his confessional was noticeable. Later on the hearing of confessions was to take up three-quarters of his time.
Quietly, rector and curate began to have a holy competition in austerity, rather after the manner of monks in the Thebaid; the curé denounced his vicaire to the vicar general for
exceeding all bounds, while M. Vianney retorted by accusing the rector of excessive mortifications. M. Courbon laughed, and said the people of Ecully were lucky to have two such priests to do penance for them.
In 1817, to the infinite sorrow of his pupil, M. Bailey died, and early in the following year the Abbé Vianney was made parish-priest of Arsen-Dombes, a remote and neglected place of 230 souls,
in every sense of the word  a hole.
There has been a good deal of exaggeration of the debased spiritual state of Ars at the time when M. Vianney took it in hand (just as there has been of the ignorance of the good man himself).  It seems to have been in just about the same state as many English villages in the third quarter of the twentieth century: little definite immorality and malicious wickedness, but little true religion and love of God; the greatest scandal at Ars was probably the deadly scandal of ordinary life.
For the rest, there were several exemplary Christian families, including that of the mayor, and the
lady of the manor, Mlle M. A. C. Gamier des Garets (Mlle d'Ars), was sincerely, if rather fussily, pious. The new curé (he was really at that time only a chaplain to a sort of chapel-of-ease) not only continued but redoubled his austerities, especially the use of a cruel discipline, and for the first six years of his incumbency lived on practically nothing but potatoes, seeking to make himself a sacrifice for the shortcomings of his feeble flock. The evil spirits of impurity and drunkenness and dishonesty and indifference are not cast out but by prayer and fasting, and if the people of Ars would not pray and fast for themselves, well, then their pastor must do so for them.
When he had personally visited every household under his care and provided a regular catechism-class for the children, he set to work in earnest to make a real conversion of Ars, by personal intercourse, in the confessional, and by laboriously and carefully prepared sermons which he delivered naturally, but not quietly.{Did M. le Curé preach long sermons? asked Mgr Convert of gaffer Dremieux. Yes, long ones, and always on Hell...There are some who say there is no Hell. Ah well! He believed in it.}

The people were too sunk in religious indifference and material preoccupations to be amenable to quietness and moderation; moreover, in those days Jansenisin was still something more than a memory and had left its backwash in the methodà and teaching of orthodox but rigorist directors and theologians. Consequently it is not  surprising to find that the Curé of Ars was very strict indeed. There were too many taverns in the village, where money was wasted, drunkenness encouraged, evil talk not reprehended: first the two near the church were shut, for lack of enough business; then two more; seven new ones were opened in succession, but each one had to close. He waged relentless war against blasphemy, profanity and obscenity, and was not afraid to utter from the pulpit the words and expressions that offended God, so there should be no mistake as to what he was talking about.
For eight years and more he struggled for a proper observance of Sunday: not merely to get everybody to Mass and Vespers, but to abolish work which at times was done on Sunday without a shadow of necessity. Above all he set his face against dancing, maintaining that it was of necessity an occasion of sin to those who took part, and even to those who only looked on; to those who took part in it, whether publicly or privately, he was merciless: they must give it up entirely and keep to their resolution, or absolution was refused them. M. le Curé waged this battle, and the associated engagement of modesty in clothes, for twenty-five years; but he won in the end. {Over the arch of the chapel of St John the Baptist in the parish-church he had painted the words:
Sa tete fut le prix d'une danse! The Head was the price of a dance!}

   In 1821 the district of Ars was made a succursal parish, and in 1823 it became part of the revived diocese of Belley. This was an occasion for slanderous attacks on M. Vianney (whose reforming zeal naturally made enemies for him) and his new bishop. Mgr Devie, sent the dean to enquire what it was all about; but the bishop soon learned to have confidence in the Curé of Ars and later offered him an important parish elsewhere which he refused only after a good deal of hesitation. 
In the meanwhile the reputation of his holiness and achievements was also becoming known, and he was asked to give several parochial missions, when his confessional was always besieged. In 1824 there was opened at Ars by the enterprise of the curé a free school for girls, run by Catherine Lassagne and Benedicta Lardet, two young women of the village whom he had sent away to a convent to be trained.  From this school sprang, some three years later, the famous institution of La Providence, a shelter for orphans and other homeless or deserted children, neither babies on the one hand nor adolescent girls on the other being turned away.
Not a halfpenny was accepted from the inmates, even from girls who could pay, and neither Mlle Lassagne, Mlle Lardet, nor any other helper received any salary; it was a charity, run on alms, and its final end the saving of souls. At times there were sixty people thus being provided for, and the curé was hard put to it to support such a family.
    On one occasion the loft was found full of wheat under circumstances that clearly indicate a miracle, and on another occasion the cook testified to making ten 20 lb. loaves from a few pounds of flour, at the prayer of M. Vianney. Such works as these slowly and surely brought about a change of heart among his parishioners, and visitors noticed and commented on their orderly appearance and good behaviour; and it was the personal influence and example of the man himself that moved them in the first place: "Our curé is a saint and we must obey him." "We are no better than other people, but we live close to a saint" Some of them doubtless never got beyond that, to
It is the will of God, we must obey Him, still they persevered obeying the curé precisely because he was a good man.
And he, while his people were slowly and painfully coming back to a Christian life, was being the object of manifestations which would appear to be nothing less than a persecution by the Devil himself, as M. Vianney believed them to be.

    There  is in history no other record of seemingly diabolical
infestation so long, so varied, and so cogent; the phenomena ranged from noises and voices to personal violence and the unexplained burning of the saint's bed, and continued intermittently from 1824 for over thirty years, both by day and night, sometimes under conditions in which they were observed by others beside the sufferer. It is not an exaggeration to say he took it as all part of the day's work. You must get very frightened, the Abbé Toccanier said to him. One gets used to everything, my friend, was the reply. The grappin and I are almost mates.
    Not only was the Curé of Ars subjected to supernatural persecution but he also suffered from attacks which, were it not for the infected state of human nature, would be labelled unnatural. Some of the less worthy and less discerning among his brother priests, remembering only his lack of education and formal training, listening perhaps to idle gossip, certainly unable to recognize sanctity when they saw it, criticized his ill-judged zeal, his ambition, his presumption; he was even a quack and an impostor.
Poor little Curé of Ars! he commented, What don't they make him do and say! They are preaching on him now and no longer on the gospel. But they did not stop at verbal criticism and sacristy tittle-tattle: they delated him to the bishop of Belley. The curé refused to take any action, nor after enquiry did Mgr Devie; but having heard a priest apply the adjective mad to M. Vianney, he referred to it before his clergy assembled at their annual retreat and added, Gentlemen, I wish that all my clergy had a small grain of the same madness.
     Another of the astonishing circumstances of the Abbé Vianney's incumbency of Ars was its becoming a place of pilgrimage even during his lifetime: and that not to the shrine of his dear little St Philomena”, which he had set up, but to himself. No doubt curiosity had its share in starting it, for miracles of loaves and visits of the Devil cannot be kept quiet, but it gathered strength and volume and continued because people wanted the spiritual direction of the village priest in his confessional. This steady stream of penitents, the pilgrimage, was what chiefly upset his myopic clerical critics: some of them even forbade their people to go to him.
People from afar began to consult him so early as 1827 from 1830 to 1845 the daily visitors averaged over three hundred; at Lyons a special booking-office was opened for Ars, and 8-day return tickets issued-one could hardly hope to get a word with the curé in less. For him this meant not less than eleven or twelve hours every day in the confessional in winter, and anything up to sixteen in summer; nor was he content with that: for the last fifteen years of his life he gave an instruction every day in the church at eleven o'clock. Simple discourses, unprepared-he had no chance to prepare them-which went to the hearts of the most learned and the most hardened. Rich and poor, learned and simple, good and bad, lay and cleric, bishops, priests, religious, all came to Ars, to kneel in the confessional and sit before the
catechism-stall.
M. Vianney did not give long instructions and directions to his penitents; a few words, a sentence even, but it had the authority of holiness and not infrequently was accompanied by supernatural knowledge of the penitent's life: how many times, for example, he was able to correct the number of years since a penitent had last been to confession, or remind him of a sin which he had forgotten.
`Love your clergy very much', was all he said to me, said the Archbishop of Auch; Love the good God very much, to the superior general of a teaching institute; What a pity What a pity! he would murmur at each accusation, and weep at the tale of sin. This people came hundreds of miles and waited sometimes twelve hours on end, or had to attend in the church day after day, before they could be heard; and by these simple means numberless conversions were made.
At first the rigour with which the curé treated his own flock was extended to outsiders; but with advancing years came greater experience of the needs and capabilities of souls and deeper insight into moral theology, and pity, kindness and tenderness modified his severity. He discouraged people from encumbering themselves with a multiplicity of little devotions. The rosary, the Angelus, ejaculatory prayer, above all, the Church's liturgy, these he recommended. Private prayer, he would say, is like straw scattered here and there: if you set it on fire it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky: public prayer is like that.  There were no affected attitudes, no `ohs ` and 'ahs'  no sighs and transports about M. Vianney; when most interiorly moved he simply smiled-or wept.

Reference has been made to his power of reading souls, and his knowledge of the hidden past and of future events was no less remarkable than his more formal miracles. None of these things can be brought within the charge of uselessness, a criticism so easily and so thoughtlessly made at the marvels attributed to some of the saints; but the Abbé Vianney's prophecies did not relate to public affairs but to the lives of individuals and were directed to their personal help and consolation.
On one occasion he made the interesting admission that hidden things seemed to come to him by way of memory. He told the Abbé Toccanier that,
I once said to a certain woman, `So it is you who have left your husband in hospital and who refuse to join him.'  `How do you know that?` she asked, `I've not mentioned it to a soul.' I was more surprised than she was; I imagined that she had already told me the whole story.

The Baroness de Lacomblé, a widow, was troubled by the determination of her eighteen-year-old son to marry a girl of fifteen. She determined to consult the Curé of Ars, whom she had never met. When she went into the church it was crowded to the doors and she despaired of ever getting a word with him; suddenly he came out of his confessional, went straight up to her and whispered, Let them marry. They will be very happy!
   A servant-girl was warned by him that a great peril awaited her in Lyons; a few days later the memory of this warning enabled her to escape from the hands of a murderer of girls, at whose trial she subsequently gave evidence.
   To Mgr Ullathorne, Bishop of Birmingham, he in 1854 said with great conviction,
I believe that the Church in England will recover her former greatness.
   He stopped a strange girl in his church one day. `Is it you who have written to me, my child.? Yes, M. l'abbé. `Very well. You must not worry. You will enter the convent all right. You will hear from the reverend mother in a few days.
And it was so:  nor had he communicated with the abbess concerned.
  Mlle Henry, a shopkeeper at Chalon-sur-Saône, came to ask M. Vianney to pray for the cure of her sick aunt. He told her to go back home at once, for
while you are here you are being imposed on! She returned accordingly and found her assistant making free with the stock; and the aunt recovered.

The numerous miracles of bodily healing reported of the Curé of Ars were mostly attributed by him to the intercession of St Philomena, and his first demand of those that sought them was fervour of faith: something of the faith by which he himself was enabled miraculously to provide money and goods when one or other of his charities was in straits.
But the schoolmaster of Ars, echoing the well-known
words about St Bernard, saw where was the greatest miracle of all: The most difficult, extraordinary and amazing work that the Curé did was his own life.  And every day after the noon Angelus, when he left the church to go to the presbytery to eat the food brought in from La Providence, there was a manifestation of recognition, love and respect for his goodness. It sometimes took him over twenty minutes to cross that dozen yards. The sick in soul and body knelt to ask his blessing and his prayers: they seized his hands, they tore pieces from his cassock.
 It was one of his hardest mortifications:  What misguided devotion!  he exclaimed at it.

It is not surprising that as time went on M. Vianney longed more and more for solitude and quiet. But there is more to it than that: every one of his forty-one years at Ars was spent there against his own will; all the time he had to fight his personal predilection for the life of a Carthusian or Cistercian.  He left the village three times,
ran away in fact, and in 1843, after a grave illness, it needed the diplomacy of the bishop and of M. des Garets to get him to return.
In 1852 Mgr Chalandon, Bishop of Belley, made M. Vianney an honorary canon of the chapter; he was invested almost by force and never again put on his mozzetta, which indeed he sold for 50 francs which he required for some charitable purpose.
Three years later well-meaning but insensitive officials obtained for him further recognition in the form of a civil decoration: he was made a knight of the Imperial Order of the Legion of Honour. But with this he positively refused to be invested, and no persuasion could induce him to have the imperial cross pinned to his cassock, even for a moment.
What if, when death comes, I were to appear with these toys and God were to say to me: `Begone! You have had your reward!` I can't think why the emperor has sent it to me, he added, unless it is because I was once a deserter!

In 1853 M. Vianney made his last attempt at flight from Ars.
It is a moving story, of the old and worn-out priest cajoled back to his presbytery on behalf of the numerous poor sinners who were unable to do without him.
He imagined he was doing the will of God by going away, said Catherine Lassagne in innocent surprise. And it may well have been the will of God that his servant should now have some few years of repose and peace, to practise that contemplation which had already borne fruit in some of the highest experiences of ecstasy and vision.
It is not impossible that Bishop Chalandon should have been mistaken in not allowing him to resign his cure. But such a possibility was not one which M. Vianney would entertain; he devoted himself to his ministry more assiduously than ever. In year 1858-1859 over 100,000 pilgrims visited Ars; the curé was now a very old man of seventy-three, and the strain was too much. On July 18 he knew the end was at hand, and on the 29th he lay down on his bed for the last time:
It is my poor end. You must send for M. le curé of Jassans, he said.
Even now he sent for several souls to kneel by his bed and finish their confessions. As the news spread people flocked into Ars from all sides: twenty priests accompanied the Abbé Beau when he brought the last sacraments from the church.
It is sad to receive holy communion for the last time, murmured the dying priest. On August 3 the Bishop of Belley arrived in haste, and at two o'clock in the morning of the 4th, amid a storm of thunder and lightning, the earthly life of the Curé of Ars came to a gentle end.
   St John Mary Baptist Vianney was canonized by Pius XI in 1925. 
The same pope made him principal patron-saint of the parochial clergy throughout the world in 1929. 
Mgr Abbe Francis Trochu's, Life of the Curé d'Ars (1928) has been founded upon a careful study of the evidence submitted in the process of beatification and canonization, and is likely for a long time to hold the field. It clears up a number of points left obscure by such earlier biographers as the Abbé Monnin (1899) and Joseph Vianney (1911), and both in its bibliographical introduction and in the footnotes it provides full details concerning the sources which have been utilized. There is an English translation by Dom E. Graf (O.S.B.) of St. Marys Abbey, Buckfast -- 1953; A volume in Italian of over 800 pages, Ars e il suo curato, by A. M. Zecca (1929), is not so much a biography as an agreeable record of the impressions of a pilgrim visiting Ars. Among slighter sketches that of H. Ghéon, translated by Frank J. Sheed, The Secret of the Curé dArs, deserves special commendation. See also Trochu, L'ame du Curé d'Ars (1929), and Autour du Curé d'Ars (1950); and the saint's sermons, edited in 4 volumes by M. A. Delaroche (1925).
1350 Blessed Cicco of Pesaro hermit near his hometown OFM Tert. (AC)
Born in Pesaro; cultus confirmed by Pius IX. Cicco was a Franciscan tertiary who was a hermit near his hometown (Benedictines).

1540 Blessed William Horne and Companions O.Cart. MM (AC)
beatified in 1886. William Horne was one of the lay- brothers at the Carthusian Charterhouse in London who was martyred at Tyburn outside the city (Benedictines).


Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  July 2016
Universal:  
Indigenous Peoples; That indigenous peoples, whose identity
and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect.
”.
Evangelization:  Latin America and the Caribbean; That the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean,
by means of her mission to the continent, may announce the Gospel with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. 

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

                                           
 
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish
 -- Mother Teresa

 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'  Mother Teresa
 Saving babies, healing moms and dads, 'The Gospel of Life'
 'The Gospel of Life'


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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

May 9 – Our Lady of the Wood (Italy, 1607) 
Months of Dedication
January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus since 1902;
March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;
May, the month of Mary, is the oldest and most well-known Marian month, officially since 1724;
June is the month of the Sacred Heart since 1873;
July is the month of the Precious Blood since 1850;
August is the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
September is the month of Our Lady of Sorrows since 1857;
October is the month of the Rosary since 1868;
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory since 1888;
December is the month of the Immaculate Conception.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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.