Assumption of Mary
On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith:
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!
RDeo grátias. R.  Thanks be to God.
We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God,
the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life,
was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory

Mary Mother
of GOD


The Blessed Virgin Mary,
On The Feast Of Her Asumption Into Heaven  

Aug 15 - Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
  August 15 - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

August 15 - Assumption of the Virgin Mary 
The Virgin Mary shares the heavenly destiny of the Savior in body and soul  
The Second Vatican Council affirms that the Immaculate Virgin "was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over" (Lumen gentium, n. 59)…
The dogma of the Assumption affirms that Mary's body was glorified after her death. In fact, while for other human beings the resurrection of the body will take place at the end of the world, for Mary the glorification of her body was anticipated by a special privilege…
This union, which is manifested, from the time of the Savior's miraculous conception, in the Mother’s participation in her Son’s mission and especially in her association with his redemptive sacrifice, cannot fail to require a continuation after death. Perfectly united with the life and saving work of Jesus, Mary shares his heavenly destiny in body and soul…
The Assumption is therefore the culmination of the struggle which involved Mary’s generous love
in the redemption of humanity and is the fruit of her unique sharing in the victory of the Cross.
Saint John Paul II  General Audience of July 2, 1997

As she ascends into heaven today, she significantly increases the happiness of the souls who inhabit it
The glorious Virgin, now ascended into heaven, has significantly increased the happiness of the souls who inhabit it. She is the one whose greeting is enough to thrill babies still in the womb (Luke 1: 41). If the soul of one unborn child was completely filled with joy when Mary spoke, one can imagine what the inhabitants of heaven felt,
 those who were privileged to hear her voice, contemplate her face and enjoy her presence.

What about us, my very dear brethren? What are the festivities that surround her Assumption?

... We need to participate, albeit from a distance, in the celebrations and particularly in this torrent of joy that, on this day, floods the city of God, and flows onto our land. Our Queen has gone before us, and she received a reception so wonderful that we, her humble servants, can confidently follow in the footsteps of our Sovereign shouting with the Bride of the Canticle: “delicate is the fragrance of your perfumes … let us run!” (Song of Songs 1: 3).

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Assumption of Saint Mary Mother of God

 255 Tarsicius of Rome acolyte or deacon refused to surrender the Eucharist M (RM)
 300 Napoleon (Neopolus) of Alexandria M (AC)
 430 St. Alipius Bishop companion of St. Augustine baptized with Augustine in 387 or 394 by St. Ambrose
 506 MacCartin (Aid, Aed) of Clogher one of the earliest disciples of Saint Patrick (AC)
 874 Altfrid of Hildesheim a man of peace and goodwill champion of Benedictines staunch adherent to canon law, devotee of Our Lady, OSB B (PC)
1009 Arduinus of Rimini Italy priest of Rimini never took monastic vows OSB Hermit (AC)
1078 St. Stephen, king of Hungary and confessor, who fell asleep in the Lord on the 15th of August.
1087 St. Arnold, bishop and confessor Arnulf (Arnoul, Arnulphus) of Soissons French nobleman and soldier Many the miracles wrought at his tomb were approved during a council held at Beauvais in 1121 OSB B (RM)
Cracóviæ, in Polónia, natális sancti Hyacínthi, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Confessóris, quem Clemens Octávus, Póntifex Máximus, in Sanctórum númerum rétulit.  Ipsíus autem festum sextodécimo Kaléndas Septémbris celebrátur.
    At Cracow in Poland, St. Hyacinth, confessor of the Order of Preachers, whom Pope Clement VIII placed in the number of the saints.  His feast is observed on the 17th of August.

1145 Rupert of Ottobeuren prior of Saint George's monastery in the Schwarzewald OSB Abbot (PC)
1294 Limbania of Genoa Born in Cyprus, OSB V (AC)
1550 Saint Macarius the Roman as an example to others God gave gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking
1936 Blessed Maria Sagrario Spanish Civil War martyr OC VM (AC)  
Prayer for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Mary, Queen assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in Heaven by the Holy Trinity.
Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from Heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate through which I shall pass to your Son and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of Heaven.
From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help. When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you.

The Holy Ark Enters the Temple of God
Sermon of Saint John Damascene  (Or. 2, 2)
Today, the Holy Ark, inhabited by the living God, who conceived within herself her Creator,
rests in the Lord's temple not made by man. (...)
Today, the immaculate Virgin, who was undefiled by any earthly passion, but who,
according to the divine plan did not return to dust, is placed, as a living heaven, in the heavenly dwellings. (...)
Eve, who gave her assent to the serpent's suggestions, is condemned to the pangs of childbirth and death.
Her body was deposed into the earth's womb.
But this truly blessed Virgin, who always gave heed to God's word, who conceived by the Holy Spirit and who,
to the wholly spiritual salutation of the Archangel, without sensual pleasure and without union of the flesh,
became the Mother of the Son of God; she who gave birth to Him painlessly, she who was consecrated wholly to God:
 how could death have devoured her? How could hell have received her? How could corruption have invaded that body that was the temple of Life?  For her, the way to heaven was prepared, straight, levelled and easy. If Christ, who is the Truth and the Life said, "Where I am, there too will my servant be,"
how could his Mother, with stronger reason, not be with him?

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

15 Promises of the Virgin Mary to those who recite the Rosary
Papal Homily for the Assumption "Mary Lives Her Constant Ascent to God in the Spirit of the Magnificat"
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 30, 2009 ( Here is a Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave Aug. 15, the solemnity of the Assumption. The Pope celebrated Holy Mass at the Parish Church of San Tommaso da Villanova in Castel Gandolfo.
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today's Solemnity crowns the series of important liturgical celebrations in which we are called to contemplate the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the history of salvation. Indeed, the Immaculate Conception, the Annunciation, the Divine Motherhood and the Assumption are the fundamental, interconnected milestones with which the Church exalts and praises the glorious destiny of the Mother of God, but in which we can also read our history.

The mystery of Mary's conception recalls the first page of the human event, pointing out to us that in the divine plan of creation man was to have had the purity and beauty of the Virgin Immaculate. This plan, jeopardized but not destroyed by sin, through the Incarnation of the Son of God, proclaimed and brought into being in Mary, was recomposed and restored to the free acceptance of the human being in faith. Lastly, in Mary's Assumption, we contemplate what we ourselves are called to attain in the following of Christ the Lord and in obedience to his word, at the end of our earthly journey.The last stage of the Mother of God's earthly pilgrimage invites us to look at the manner in which she journeyed on toward the goal of glorious eternity.

In the Gospel passage just proclaimed, St Luke tells that, after the Angel's announcement, Mary "arose and went with haste into the hill country", to visit Elizabeth (Lk 1: 39).
With these words the Evangelist wishes to emphasize that for Mary to follow her own vocation in docility to God's Spirit, who has brought about within her the Incarnation of the Word, means taking a new road and immediately setting out from home, allowing herself to be led on a journey by God alone.
St Ambrose, commenting on Mary's "haste", says:  "the grace of the Holy Spirit admits of no delay" (Expos. Evang. sec. Lucam, ii, 19:  PL 15, 1560).

Our Lady's life is guided by Another: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1: 38); it is modelled by the Holy Spirit, it is marked by events and encounters, such as that with Elizabeth, but above all by her very special relationship with her Son Jesus.

It is a journey on which Mary, cherishing and pondering in her heart the events of her own life, perceives in them ever more profoundly the mysterious design of God the Father for the salvation of the world.

Then, by following Jesus from Bethlehem to exile in Egypt, in both his hidden and his public life and even to the foot of the Cross, Mary lives her constant ascent to God in the spirit of the Magnificat, fully adhering to God's plan of love, even in moments of darkness and suffering, and nourishing in her heart total abandonment in the Lord's hands in order to be a paradigm for the faithful of the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, nn. 64-65).

The whole of life is an ascent, the whole of life is meditation, obedience, trust and hope, even in darkness; and the whole of life is marked by this "holy haste" which knows that God always has priority and nothing else must create haste in our existence.

And, lastly, the Assumption reminds us that Mary's life, like that of every Christian, is a journey of following, following Jesus, a journey that has a very precise destination, a future already marked out:  the definitive victory over sin and death and full communion with God, because as Paul says in his Letter to the Ephesians the Father "raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2: 6).

This means that with Baptism we have already fundamentally been raised and are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, but we must physically attain what was previously begun and brought about in Baptism.

In us, union with Christ resurrection is incomplete, but for the Virgin Mary it is complete, despite the journey that Our Lady also had to make. She has entered into the fullness of union with God, with her Son, she draws us onwards and accompanies us on our journey.

In Mary taken up into Heaven we therefore contemplate the One who, through a unique privilege, was granted to share with her soul and her body in Christ's definitive victory over death. "When her earthly life was over", the Second Vatican Council says, the Immaculate Virgin "was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory... and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rv 19: 16) and conqueror of sin and death" (Lumen Gentium, n. 59).

In the Virgin taken up into Heaven we contemplate the crowning of her faith, of that journey of faith which she points out to the Church and to each one of us:  the One who, at every moment, welcomed the Word of God, is taken up into Heaven, in other words she herself is received by the Son in the "dwelling place" which he prepared for us with his death and Resurrection (cf. Jn 14: 2-3).

Human life on earth as the First Reading has reminded us is a journey that takes place, constantly, in the intense struggle between the dragon and the woman, between good and evil. This is the plight of human history: It is like a voyage on a sea, often dark and stormy. Mary is the Star that guides us towards her Son Jesus, "the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history" (cf. Spe Salvi, n. 49) and gives us the hope we need:  the hope that we can win, that God has won and that, with Baptism we entered into this victory. We do not succumb definitively:  God helps us, he guides us.

This is our hope: This presence of the Lord within us that becomes visible in Mary taken up into Heaven. "The Virgin" in a little while we shall read in the Preface for this Solemnity "that you made to shine out as "a sign of hope and comfort for your people on their pilgrim way'".

With St Bernard, a mystic who sang the Blessed Virgin's praises, let us thus invoke her:  "We pray you, O Blessed One, for the grace that you found, for those prerogatives that you deserved, for the Mercy you bore, obtain that the One who for your sake deigned to share in our wretchedness and infirmity, through your prayers may make us share in his graces, in his bliss and in his eternal glory, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who is above all things, Blessed God for ever and ever. Amen" (Sermo 2 "de Adventu", 5:  PL 183, 43). © Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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.
The great psalm of the Passion, Chapter 22, whose first verse "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Jesus pronounced on the cross, ended with the vision: "All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him"
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations. All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage. And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.  The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.

1st v. B.C. St   Joachim 
In the opinion of St Peter Damian it is unnecessary and blameworthy curiosity to inquire into those things the evangelists did not tell us, and he specifies the parentage of the Blessed Virgin Mary as an example.  In this matter, those who judge differently can receive little satisfaction for their "curiosity".   An apocryphal work, the Proteevangelium of James, which, in spite of its name, has none of the authenticity of Holy Scripture, is with other similar apocryphal works the only source of information we have about the parents of Mary; even their traditional names, Joachim and Anne, must ultimately be traced to them.   Of St Joachim, as of St Anne, we know absolutely nothing with certainty; but we are at liberty to retain as pious beliefs anything in an uncanonical book that does not conflict with the teaching of the Church or with other certain truths, and it is a widely held tradition that our Lady was a child of promise as related in the so-called Gospe
l of James.  This has been referred to herein under St Anne, on July 26.
  The feast of both parents of the all-holy Mother of God has been observed in the East, on September 9, from early times, but in the West not till much later.  That of St Joachim is not heard of before the fifteenth century, and its present date was fixed only in 1913.  The Benedictines, as well as some Eastern Catholics, celebrate Joachim and Anne together, on July 26.
  See the bibliographical note under St Anne on July 26.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, On The Feast Of Her Asumption Into Heaven  

Mary a Jewish maiden of the house of David and the tribe of Judah, whose parents are commonly referred to as St Joachim and St Anne.  At her conception, that is, when God infused a soul into her embryonic body, she was preserved by Him from all taint of original sin (the Immaculate Conception, December 8); her birth, which the Church celebrates on September 8, may have taken place at Sepphoris or Nazareth, but a general tradition favours Jerusalem, at a spot adjoining the Pool of Bethesda, close to a gate still called by Mohammedans (but not, curiously enough, by Christians), Bab Sitti Maryam, the Gate of the Lady Mary.  She is believed to have been a child of promise to her long childless parents, and on November 21 the Church keeps a feast of her presentation in the Temple, though upon what occasion is not certain.  According to apocryphal writings she remained within the Temple precincts in order to be brought up with other Jewish children, and at the age of fourteen was betrothed to a carpenter, Joseph, her husband being indicated to the high priest by a miracle. While still only betrothed she was visited by the Archangel Gabriel (the Annunciation, March 25) and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became incarnate by the power of the Holy Ghost in her womb. This was at Nazareth, and she journeyed into Judaea to see her cousin St Elizabeth, who also was with child, St John the Baptist (the Visitation, July 2).  The marriage with St Joseph was duly ratified, and in due course, going up with him to Jerusalem for the enrolment ordered by Caesar Augustus, Mary gave birth in a rock-hewn stable at Bethlehem to Jesus Christ, the God-man (Christmas day, December 25).
   Forty days later, in accordance with the Jewish law, she presented herself and her Child in the Temple for her ritual purification (February 2), an observence abrogated by the law of Christ which sees nought but honour in sanctified child-bearing.   Warned by an angel, St Joseph fled with his wife and the holy Child into Egypt, to avoid the jealous rage of King Herod; it is not known how long they lived there, but when Herod was dead they returned to their old home at Nazareth.

    For the thirty years before the public ministry of Jesus began Mary lived the outward life of any other Jewish woman of the common people.  There are some who, concentrating their hearts and minds on our Lady in her glorified state as queen of Heaven, or as participating in the chief mysteries of the life of her Son, lose all memory of her day by day life as a woman in this world. The sonorous and beautiful titles given to her in the litany of Loreto; representations of her in art, from the graceful delicate ladies of Botticelli to the prosperous bourgeoises of Raphael; the efforts of writers and preachers who feel that ordinary language is inadequate to describe her perfections; these and many other influences help to glorify the Mother of God-but somewhat tend to make us forget the wife of Joseph the carpenter.
 Lily of Israel, the Daughter of the princes of Judah, the Mother of all Living, also a peasant-woman, a Jewish peasant-woman, the wife of a working-man.   Her hands were scored with labour, her bare feet dusty, not with the perfumed powder of romance but with the hard stinging grit of Nazareth, of the tracks which led to the well, to the olive-gardens, to the synagogue, to the cliff whence they would have cast Him.  And then, after those thirty years, those feet were still tired and dusty, but now with following her divine Son from afar in His public life, from the rejoicings of the, wedding-feast at Cana to His dereliction and her desolation on Mount Calvary, when the sword spoken of by Simeon at the purification pierced her heart.
  The dying Jesus confided her to the care of St John, "and from that hour the disciple took her to his own".  On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost descended on our Lady when He came upon the Apostles and other disciples gathered together in the upper room at Jerusalem that is the last reference to her in the Sacred Scriptures.  The rest of her earthly life was probably passed at Jerusalem, with short sojourns at Ephesus and other places in company with St John and during the times of Jewish persecution.

    Mary is the mother of Jesus, Jesus is God, therefore she is the Mother of God the denial of this was condemned by the third general council at Ephesus in 431.  Both before and after her miraculous child- bearing she was a virgin and so remained all her days, according to the unanimous and perpetual tradition and teaching of the Church.  That she remained for her whole life absolutely sinless is affirmed by the Council of Trent.  As the second "Eve" Mary is the spiritual mother of all living, and veneration is due to her with an honour above that accorded to all other saints; but to give divine worship to her would be idolatry, for Mary is a creature, like the rest of human-kind, and all her dignity comes from God.
    It has been for ages the explicit belief of the Church that the body of the Blessed Virgin was preserved from corruption and taken into Heaven and re-united to her soul, by an unique anticipation of the general resurrection. This preservation from corruption and assumption to glory was a privilege which seems due to that body which was never defiled by sin, which was ever the most holy and pure temple of God, preserved from all contagion of Adam and the common curse of mankind that body from which the eternal Word received His own flesh, by whose hands He was nourished and clothed on earth, and whom He vouchsafed to obey and honour as His mother.  Whether or not our Lady died is not certain; but it is generally held that she did in fact die before her glorious assumption, some conjecture at Ephesus but others think rather at Jerusalem.  But did this feast commemorate only the assumption of her soul, and not of her body as well, its object would still be the same.  For, as we honour the departure of other saints out of this world, so we have great reason to rejoice and praise God on this day when the Mother of Christ entered into the possession of those joys which He had prepared for her.
 At the time that Alban Butler wrote, belief in our Lady's bodily assumption to Heaven was still, in the words of Pope Benedict XIV, "a probable opinion the denial of which would be impious and blasphemous"; and so it remained for another two hundred years.  Then, in 1950, after taking counsel with the whole Church through her bishops, Pope Pius XII solemnly declared this doctrine to be divinely revealed and an article of faith.  In the bull " Munificentissimus Deus" he declared that:
      The remarkable unanimity of the Catholic episcopacy and faithful in the matter of the definibility of our Lady's bodily assumption into Heaven as a dogma of faith showed us that the ordinary teaching authority of the Church and the belief of the faithful which it sustains and directs were in accord, and thereby proved with infallible certainty that privilege is a truth revealed by God and is contained in the divine deposit which Christ entrusted to His bride the Church, to be guarded faithfully and declared with infallible certainty.
  November 1, the feast of All Saints, the pope promulgated the bull publicly in the square before St Peter's basilica at Rome, defining the doctrine in the following terms:
      Having repeatedly raised prayers of urgent supplication to God and having called upon the light of the Spirit of Truth-to the glory of Almighty God, who has bestowed His signal favours on Mary; in honour of His Son, death-less King of all the ages and conqueror of sin and death ; to the increase of the glory of the same exalted Mother: and to the joy and exultation of the whole Church: By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, by that of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, We pronounce, declare and define to be divinely revealed the dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the Ever-virgin Mary, was on the completion of her earthly life assumed body and soul into the glory of Heaven.
  The assumption of the Virgin Mary is "St Mary's day" par excellence, the greatest of all the festivals which the Church celebrates in her honour, and it is the titular feast of all churches dedicated under her name without any special invocation.  It is the consummation of all the other great mysteries by which her life was made wonderful;  it is the birthday of her greatness and glory, and the crowning of all the virtues of her whole life, which we admire singly in her other festivals,  it is for all these gifts conferred on her that we praise and thank Him who is the author of them, but especially for that glory with which He has crowned her.  Nevertheless, whilst we contemplate the glory to which Mary is raised on this day, we ought to consider how she arrived at this honour and happiness, that we may walk in her steps.  That she should be the mother of her Creator was the most wonderful miracle and the highest dignity; yet it was not properly this that God crowned in her. It was her virtue that He considered: her charity, her humility, her purity, her patience, her meekness, her paying to God the most perfect homage of worship, love, praise and thanksgiving

   To discuss in brief space the introduction and development of our Lady's Assumption feast would not be easy.  Three points seem clear.
First that the building of churches in veneration of Mary, the Theotokos, Mother of God, inevitably brought in its train the celebration of some sort of dedication feast. That such churches dedicated to our Lady existed both in Ephesus and at Rome in the first half of the fifth century is certain, and some scholars think it probable that "a commemoration of the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of God" was known at Antioch as early as A.D. 370.
Secondly, in such a commemoration or annual feast of the Blessed Virgin no stress was at first laid upon the manner of her departure from this world.  In her case, as in the case of the martyrs and other saints, it was simply the heavenly "birthday" (natalis) which was originally honoured, and the festival was spoken of indifferently either as the "birthday ", or the "falling-asleep (dormitio), the "passing away" (transitus), the "deposition", or the "assumption".
Thirdly, according to an apocryphal but ancient belief, the Blessed Virgin actually died on the anniversary of her Son's birth, i.e. on Christmas day. As this day was consecrated to the veneration of the Son, any distinctive commemoration of the Mother had to be postponed. In some parts of the world this separate feast was assigned to the winter season. Thus we know from St Gregory of Tours (580) that a great feast in Mary's honour was then kept in Gaul in the middle of January.  But it is equally certain that in Syria there was a summer feast on the fifth day of the month Ab, roughly August. This, with some fluctuations, was also adopted in the West, and in England St Aldhelm (c. 690) speaks plainly of our Lady's  "birthday" being kept in the middle of August.
The only authentic written source for the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the New Testament. The facts recorded therein have been "written up" endlessly, and expanded by loving speculation and inference the resulting narratives are sometimes happy, more often less happy: no attempt can be made here to pick and choose among them. In the aame way theological and devotional books about her defy enumeration. For her bodily Assumption, see the historico.doctrinal study by M. Jugie, La mort et l'assomption de la Ste Vierge (1944); for a more popular historical and explanatory work, see J. Duhr, The Glorious Assumption (1950). That Ephesus was the place of our Lady's death and burial was supported by Tillemont and Pope Benedict XIV; but Eastern tradition is solid for Jerusalem.  For an account of petitions and other movements for the definition of the Assumption, see the Tablet, August 26, 1950, and for the bull of definition the same review on November 4, 1950 (Latin text of bull in the Clergy Review, vol. xxxiv (1950), pp.407-420). For the Assumption feast, see H. Thurston in The Month, August 1917. pp. 121-134.  A. Baumstark in Romische Quartalschrift, 1897, p. 55; Mrs Smith Lewis in Studia Sinaitica, vol. xi, p. 59; F. Cabrol in DAC., vol. i, cc. 2995-3001 ; and CMH., pp. 444-445. Until modern times it was exceptional for churches to be dedicated in honour of the Assumption in the middle ages the patronage was normally simply "St Mary's". Which of her feasts was chosen for the church's name-day depended on various factors-the Assumption had an advantage because it was not in Lent but in full summer (cf. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxv 194,7), pp. 316-317). Recent books on our Lady and her cultus that can be particularly recommended are those of Bp M. Besson, La Ste Vierge (1942), Fr L. Bouyer, Le culte de la Mere de Dieu.. (1950), and J. Guitton, The Blessed Virgin (1952). In The Second Eve (1952) selections from the writings of Cardinal Newman give a sober but eloquent account of the Church's teaching about Mary.
According to a very early Christian legend, while the apostles were scattered all over the then-known world, preaching the Gospel, Mary remained in Jerusalem in the house of John. Her love of God, like an ardent flame, burned steadily in her body. Finally it was revealed to her that her life was about to end, she wished to see the Twelve once more before she died. Each one of them was miraculously carried away from where he happened to be and borne on a cloud to the house on Mount Sion in Jerusalem where Mary was approaching death: each one of them, that is, except Thomas. They saw Christ Himself come down from heaven and receive the soul of his Mother in his arms. They took her holy body and placed it in the tomb prepared for it in the valley of Cedron, near Gethsemani. Thomas arrived three days later, when all was over. He wished to see for the last time the face of the woman who had been the Temple of God. He went with the other apostles to the tomb, which they opened: they found it empty, but heard an angelic concert. Mary herself appeared to them and confirmed the fact of her Assumption into heaven. COMPLETED: 1982 DONATED BY: The sons and daughters of Toufic & Baiki Nahas in their memory. 
MELKITES -- Saints Peter & Paul Parish 1161 North River Road Ottawa, Ontario K1K 3W5
   The Melkite story goes back to the beginning of Christianity itself.
The Melkites, or Byzantine (Greek) Catholics of Middle Eastern origin, are descendants of the early Christians of Antioch (cf. Acts 11:26). As Rome was the most powerful city in early Western Europe and spread her manner of worship throughout the surrounding area, so too the Greek capital, Constantinople (originally called Byzantium), spread her traditions and customs to the countries closest to her. Therefore, our Church uses the Byzantine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
   Today the term Melkite is used to refer to those Catholics whose ancestry is Middle Eastern and who follow the Byzantine Tradition in worship, theology, and spirituality. In the Western world our Church is called Melkite Greek-Catholic (Grec Melchite Catholique). In the Middle East we are generally known as Room Katuleek, literally "Roman Catholic", just as those whom we call Antiochian or Greek Orthodox here are known as Room Orthodox ("Roman Orthodox") there. However the Rome they are referring to in these titles is not the Rome in Italy, but Constantinople, which the ancients called New Rome. Those whom North Americans call Roman Catholics are known as Lateen (Latins) in the Middle East.

     An explanation of the names Melkite, Greek, and Byzantine follows: MELKITE: The term comes from the Semitic words for king, "melko" or "melek". The king in this case was the Byzantine emperor who supported the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon, held in 451. The opponents of this council, most of whom were in the Middle East, called its supporters "The Royalists" (Malikiyeen). So the name, which today refers to the Byzantine Catholics of the Middle East, originally was an insult aimed at all Christians, both Eastern and Western, who supported the Council of Chalcedon.  GREEK ("ROOM" in Arabic): This word refers to the spiritual tradition of the Greek Fathers which our Church follows. At the time of Christ, Greek was the spoken language in the major cities of the Middle East. The New Testament and the writings of the most important Church Fathers were composed in Greek. In contrast, people in the rural areas spoke Aramaic or Syriac until the Muslim conquest.  BYZANTINE: The word refers to the city of "New Rome" originally known as Byzantium. It is chiefly known in history as Constantinople, the "city of Constantine". Its present name is Istanbul, the Turkish pronunciation of the Greek words for "to the city". Our Church follows the ritual of the Great Church of Constantinople for the Divine Liturgy. GOVERNANCE: We are governed by a successor of the Apostles in the person of His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem. He presently resides in Damascus, Syria. We relate directly to him and to the Holy Synod of Melkite Bishops throughout the world.
Assumption of Mary
On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith:
We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God,
the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory

   The pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.  We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries the Eastern Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However, by the thirteenth century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names (Commemoration, Dormition, Passing, Assumption) from at least the fifth or sixth century.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God’s people. Since Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testament, her Assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman’s victory.  Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul speaks of Christ’s resurrection as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to belief in Mary’s share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.

Comment:  In the light of the Assumption of Mary, it is easy to pray her Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) with new meaning.  In her glory she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God her savior. God has done marvels to her and she leads others to recognize God’s holiness. She is the lowly handmaid who deeply reverenced her God and has been raised to the heights. From her position of strength she will help the lowly and the poor find justice on earth and she will challenge the rich and powerful to distrust wealth and power as a source of happiness.

  “In the bodily and spiritual glory which she possesses in heaven, the Mother of Jesus continues in this present world as the image and first flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall comeas a sign of certain hope and comfort for the pilgrim People of God
(Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 68) (cf. 2 Peter 3:10), .
Dormition of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
After the Ascension of the Lord, the Mother of God remained in the care of the Apostle John the Theologian, and during his journeys She lived at the home of his parents, near the Mount of Olives. She was a source of consolation and edification both for the Apostles and for all the believers. Conversing with them, She told them about miraculous events: the Annunciation, the seedless and undefiled Conception of Christ born of Her, about His early childhood, and about His earthly life. Like the Apostles, She helped plant and strengthen the Christian Church by Her presence, Her discourse and Her prayers.

The reverence of the Apostles for the Most Holy Virgin was extraordinary. After the receiving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the Apostles remained at Jerusalem for about ten years attending to the salvation of the Jews, and wanting moreover to see the Mother of God and hear Her holy discourse. Many of the newly-enlightened in the Faith even came from faraway lands to Jerusalem, to see and to hear the All-Pure Mother of God.

During the persecution initiated by King Herod against the young Church of Christ (Acts 12:1-3), the Most Holy Virgin and the Apostle John the Theologian withdrew to Ephesus in the year 43. The preaching of the Gospel there had fallen by lot to the Apostle John the Theologian. The Mother of God was on Cyprus with St Lazarus the Four-Days-Dead, where he was bishop. She was also on Holy Mount Athos. St Stephen of the Holy Mountain says that the Mother of God prophetically spoke of it: "Let this place be my lot, given to me by my Son and my God. I will be the Patroness of this place and intercede with God for it."

The respect of ancient Christians for the Mother of God was so great that they preserved what they could about Her life, what they could take note of concerning Her sayings and deeds, and they even passed down to us a description of Her outward appearance.

According to Tradition, based on the words of the Hieromartyrs Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3), Ignatius the God-Bearer (December 20), St Ambrose of Milan (December 7) had occasion to write in his work "On Virgins" concerning the Mother of God: "She was a Virgin not only in body, but also in soul, humble of heart, circumspect in word, wise in mind, not overly given to speaking, a lover of reading and of work, and prudent in speech. Her rule of life was to offend no one, to intend good for everyone, to respect the aged, not envy others, avoid bragging, be healthy of mind, and to love virtue."

When did She ever hurl the least insult in the face of Her parents? When was She at discord with Her kin? When did She ever puff up with pride before a modest person, or laugh at the weak, or shun the destitute? With Her there was nothing of glaring eyes, nothing of unseemly words, nor of improper conduct. She was modest in the movement of Her body, Her step was quiet, and Her voice straightforward; so that Her face was an expression of soul. She was the personification of purity.

All Her days She was concerned with fasting: She slept only when necessary, and even then, when Her body was at rest, She was still alert in spirit, repeating in Her dreams what She had read, or the implementation of proposed intentions, or those planned yet anew. She was out of Her house only for church, and then only in the company of relatives. Otherwise, She seldom appeared outside Her house in the company of others, and She was Her own best overseer. Others could protect Her only in body, but She Herself guarded Her character."

According to Tradition, that from the compiler of Church history Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), the Mother of God "was of average stature, or as others suggest, slightly more than average; Her hair golden in appearance; Her eyes bright with pupils like shiny olives; Her eyebrows strong in character and moderately dark, Her nose pronounced and Her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech; Her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of Her hands and fingers were longish...

In conversation with others She preserved decorum, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; without artifice, and direct, She was not overly concerned about Herself, and far from pampering Herself, She was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the clothing which She wore, She was satisfied to have natural colors, which even now is evidenced by Her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, a special grace attended all Her actions." (Nicephoros Callistus borrowed his description from St Epiphanius of Cyprus (May 12), from the "Letter to Theophilus Concerning Icons."

The circumstances of the Dormition of the Mother of God were known in the Orthodox Church from apostolic times. Already in the first century, the Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite wrote about Her "Falling-Asleep." In the second century, the account of the bodily ascent of the Most Holy Virgin Mary to Heaven is found in the works of Meliton, Bishop of Sardis. In the fourth century, St Epiphanius of Cyprus refers to the tradition about the "Falling Asleep" of the Mother of God. In the fifth century, St Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, told the holy Byzantine Empress Pulcheria: "Although there is no account of the circumstances of Her death in Holy Scripture, we know about them from the most ancient and credible Tradition." This tradition was gathered and expounded in the Church History of Nicephorus Callistus during the fourteenth century.

At the time of Her blessed Falling Asleep, the Most Holy Virgin Mary was again at Jerusalem. Her fame as the Mother of God had already spread throughout the land and had aroused many of the envious and the spiteful against Her. They wanted to make attempts on Her life; but God preserved Her from enemies.

Day and night She spent her time in prayer. The Most Holy Theotokos went often to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord, and here She offered up fevent prayer. More than once, enemies of the Savior sought to hinder Her from visiting her holy place, and they asked the High Priest for a guard to watch over the Grave of the Lord. The Holy Virgin continued to pray right in front of them, yet unseen by anyone.

In one such visit to Golgotha, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Her and announced Her approaching departure from this life to eternal life. In pledge of this, the Archangel gave Her a palm branch. With these heavenly tidings the Mother of God returned to Bethlehem with the three girls attending Her (Sepphora, Abigail, and Jael). She summoned Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and other disciples of the Lord, and told them of Her impending Repose.

The Most Holy Virgin prayed also that the Lord would have the Apostle John come to Her. The Holy Spirit transported him from Ephesus, setting him in that very place where the Mother of God lay. After the prayer, the Most Holy Virgin offered incense, and John heard a voice from Heaven, closing Her prayer with the word "Amen." The Mother of God took it that the voice meant the speedy arrival of the Apostles and the Disciples and the holy Bodiless Powers.

The faithful, whose number by then was impossible to count, gathered together, says St John of Damascus, like clouds and eagles, to listen to the Mother of God. Seeing one another, the Disciples rejoiced, but in their confusion they asked each other why the Lord had gathered them together in one place. St John the Theologian, greeting them with tears of joy, said that the time of the Virgin's repose was at hand.

Going in to the Mother of God, they beheld Her lying upon the bed, and filled with spiritual joy. The Disciples greeted Her, and then they told her how they had been carried miraculously from their places of preaching. The Most Holy Virgin Mary glorified God, because He had heard Her prayer and fulfilled Her heart's desire, and She began speaking about Her imminent end.

During this conversation the Apostle Paul also appeared in a miraculous manner together with his disciples Dionysius the Areopagite, St Hierotheus, St Timothy and others of the Seventy Apostles. The Holy Spirit had gathered them all together so that they might be granted the blessing of the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and more fittingly to see to the burial of the Mother of the Lord. She called each of them to Herself by name, She blessed them and extolled them for their faith and the hardships they endured in preaching the Gospel of Christ. To each She wished eternal bliss, and prayed with them for the peace and welfare of the whole world.

Then came the third hour (9 A.M.), when the Dormition of the Mother of God was to occur. A number of candles were burning. The holy Disciples surrounded her beautifully adorned bed, offering praise to God. She prayed in anticipation of Her demise and of the arrival of Her longed-for Son and Lord. Suddenly, the inexpressible Light of Divine Glory shone forth, before which the blazing candles paled in comparison. All who it saw took fright. Descending from Heaven was Christ, the King of Glory, surrounded by hosts of Angels and Archangels and other Heavenly Powers, together with the souls of the Forefathers and the Prophets, who had prophesied in ages past concerning the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

Seeing Her Son, the Mother of God exclaimed: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God My Savior, for He hath regarded the low estate of His Handmaiden" (Luke 1:46-48) and, rising from Her bed to meet the Lord, She bowed down to Him, and the Lord bid Her enter into Life Eternal. Without any bodily suffering, as though in a happy sleep, the Most Holy Virgin Mary gave Her soul into the hands of Her Son and God.

Then began a joyous angelic song. Accompanying the pure soul of the God-betrothed and with reverent awe for the Queen of Heaven, the angels exclaimed: "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee, blessed art Thou among women! For lo, the Queen, God's Maiden comes, lift up the gates, and with the Ever-Existing One, take up the Mother of Light; for through Her salvation has come to all the human race. It is impossible to gaze upon Her, and it is impossible to render Her due honor" (Stikherion on "Lord, I Have Cried"). The Heavenly gates were raised, and meeting the soul of the Most Holy Mother of God, the Cherubim and the Seraphim glorified Her with joy. The face of the Mother of God was radiant with the glory of Divine virginity, and from Her body there came a sweet fragrance.

Miraculous was the life of the All-Pure Virgin, and wondrous was Her Repose, as Holy Church sings: "In Thee, O Queen, the God of all hath given thee as thy portion the things that are above nature. Just as in the Birth-Giving He did preserve Thine virginity, so also in the grave He did preserve Thy body from decay" (Canon 1, Ode 6, Troparion 1).

Kissing the all-pure body with reverence and in awe, the Disciples in turn were blessed by it and filled with grace and spiritual joy. Through the great glorification of the Most Holy Theotokos, the almighty power of God healed the sick, who with faith and love touched the holy bed.

Bewailing their separation from the Mother of God, the Apostles prepared to bury Her all-pure body. The holy Apostles Peter, Paul, James and others of the Twelve Apostles carried the funeral bier upon their shoulders, and upon it lay the body of the Ever-Virgin Mary. St John the Theologian went at the head with the resplendent palm-branch from Paradise. The other saints and a multitude of the faithful accompanied the funeral bier with candles and censers, singing sacred songs. This solemn procession went from Sion through Jerusalem to the Garden of Gethsemane.

With the start of the procession there suddenly appeared over the all-pure body of the Mother of God and all those accompanying Her a resplendent circular cloud, like a crown. There was heard the singing of the Heavenly Powers, glorifying the Mother of God, which echoed that of the worldly voices. This circle of Heavenly singers and radiance accompanied the procession to the very place of burial.

Unbelieving inhabitants of Jerusalem, taken aback by the extraordinarily grand funeral procession and vexed at the honor accorded the Mother of Jesus, complained of this to the High Priest and scribes. Burning with envy and vengefulness toward everything that reminded them of Christ, they sent out their own servants to disrupt the procession and to set the body of the Mother of God afire.

An angry crowd and soldiers set off against the Christians, but the circular cloud accompanying the procession descended and surrounded them like a wall. The pursuers heard the footsteps and the singing, but could not see any of those accompanying the procession. Indeed, many of them were struck blind.

The Jewish priest Athonios, out of spite and hatred for the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth, wanted to topple the funeral bier on which lay the body of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, but an angel of God invisibly cut off his hands, which had touched the bier. Seeing such a wonder, Athonios repented and with faith confessed the majesty of the Mother of God. He received healing and joined the crowd accompanying the body of the Mother of God, and he became a zealous follower of Christ.

When the procession reached the Garden of Gethsemane, then amidst the weeping and the wailing began the last kiss to the all-pure body. Only towards evening were the Apostles able to place it in the tomb and seal the entrance to the cave with a large stone.

For three days they did not depart from the place of burial, praying and chanting Psalms. Through the wise providence of God, the Apostle Thomas was not to be present at the burial of the Mother of God. Arriving late on the third day at Gethsemane, he lay down at the tomb and with bitter tears asked that l he might be permitted to look once more upon the Mother of God and bid her farewell. The Apostles out of heartfelt pity for him decided to open the grave and permit him the comfort of venerating the holy relics of the Ever-Virgin Mary. Having opened the grave, they found in it only the grave wrappings and were thus convinced of the bodily ascent of the Most Holy Virgin Mary to Heaven.

On the evening of the same day, when the Apostles had gathered at a house to strengthen themselves with food, the Mother of God appeared to them and said: "Rejoice! I am with you all the days of your lives." This so gladdened the Apostles and everyone with them, that they took a portion of the bread, set aside at the meal in memory of the Savior ("the Lord's Portion"), and they exclaimed : "Most Holy Theotokos, save us". (This marks the beginning of the rite of offering up the "Panagia" ("All-Holy"), a portion of bread in honor of the Mother of God, which is done at monasteries to the present day).

The sash of the Mother of God, and Her holy garb, preserved with reverence and distributed over the face of the earth in pieces, have worked miracles both in the past and at present. Her numerous icons everywhere pour forth signs and healings, and Her holy body, taken up to Heaven, bears witness to our own future life there. Her body was not left to the vicissitudes of the transitory world, but was incomparably exalted by its glorious ascent to Heaven.

The Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated with special solemnity at Gethsemane, the place of Her burial. Nowhere else is there such sorrow of heart at the separation from the Mother of God, and nowhere else such joy, because of Her intercession for the world.

The holy city of Jerusalem is separated from the Mount of Olives by the valley of Kedron on Josaphat. At the foot of the Mount of Olives is the Garden of Gethsemane, where olive trees bear fruit even now.

The holy Ancestor-of-God Joachim had himself reposed at 80 years of age, several years after the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (November 21). St Anna, having been left a widow, moved from Nazareth to Jerusalem, and lived near the Temple. At Jerusalem she bought two pieces of property: the first at the gates of Gethsemane, and the second in the valley of Josaphat. At the second locale she built a tomb for the members of her family, and where also she herself was buried with Joachim. It was there in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Savior often prayed with His disciples.

The most-pure body of the Mother of God was buried in the family tomb. Christians honored the sepulchre of the Mother of God, and they built a church on this spot. Within the church was preserved the precious funeral cloth, which covered Her all-pure and fragrant body.

The holy Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem (420-458) testified before the emperor Marcian (450-457) as to the authenticity of the tradition about the miraculous ascent of the Mother of God to Heaven, and he sent to the empress, St Pulcheria (September 10), the grave wrappings of the Mother of God from Her tomb. St Pulcheria then placed these grave-wrappings within the Blachernae church.

Accounts have been preserved, that at the end of the seventh century a church had been built atop the underground church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, and that from its high bell-tower could be seen the dome of the Church of the Resurrection of the Lord. Traces of this church are no longer to be seen. And in the ninth century near the subterranean Gethsemane church a monastery was built, in which more than 30 monks struggled.

Great destruction was done the Church in the year 1009 by the despoiler of the holy places, Hakim. Radical changes, the traces of which remain at present, also took place under the crusaders in the year 1130. During the eleventh to twelfth centuries the piece of excavated stone, at which the Savior had prayed on the night of His betrayal disappeared from Jerusalem. This piece of stone had been in the Gethsemane basilica from the sixth century.

But in spite of the destruction and the changes, the overall original cruciform (cross-shaped) plan of the church has been preserved. At the entrance to the church along the sides of the iron gates stand four marble columns. To enter the church, it is necessary to go down a stairway of 48 steps. At the 23rd step on the right side is a chapel in honor of the holy Ancestors-of-God Joachim and Anna together with their graves, and on the left side opposite, the chapel of St Joseph the Betrothed with his grave. The right chapel belongs to the Orthodox Church, and the left to the Armenian Church (since 1814).

The church of the Dormition of the Theotokos has the following dimensions: in length it is 48 arshin, and in breadth 8 arshin [1 arshin = 28 inches]. At an earlier time the church had also windows beside the doors. The whole temple was adorned with a multitude of lampadas and offerings. Two small entrances lead into the burial-chamber of the Mother of God. One enters through the western doors, and exits at the northern doors. The burial-chamber of the All-Pure Virgin Mary is veiled with precious curtains. The burial place was hewn out of stone in the manner of the ancient Jewish graves and is very similar to the Sepulchre of the Lord. Beyond the burial-chamber is the altar of the church, in which Divine Liturgy is celebrated each day in the Greek language.

The olive woods on the eastern and northern sides of the temple was acquired from the Turks by the Orthodox during the seventh and eighth centuries. The Catholics acquired the olive woods on the east and south sides in 1803, and the Armenians on the west side in 1821.

On August 12, at Little Gethsemane, at the second hour of the night, the head of the Gethsemane church celebrates Divine Liturgy. With the end of Liturgy, at the fourth hour of the morning, he serves a short Molieben before the resplendent burial shroud, lifts it in his hands and solemnly carries it beyond the church to Gethsemane proper where the holy sepulchre of the Mother of God is situated. All the members of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem, with the head of the Mission presiding, participate each year in the procession (called the "Litania") with the holy burial shroud of the Mother of God..

The rite of the Burial of the Mother of God at Gethsemane begins customarily on the morning of August 14. A multitude of people with hierarchs and clergy at the head set off from the Jerusalem Patriarchate (nearby the Church of the Resurrection of Christ) in sorrowful procession. Along the narrow alley-ways of the Holy City the funeral procession makes its way to Gethsemane. Toward the front of the procession an icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos is carried. Along the way, pilgrims meet the icon, kissing the image of the All-Pure Virgin Mary and lift children of various ages to the icon. After the clergy, in two rows walk the black-robed monks and nuns of the Holy City: Greeks, Roumanians, Arabs, Russians. The procession, going along for about two hours, concludes with Lamentations at the Gethsemane church. In front the altar, beyond the burial chamber of the Mother of God, is a raised-up spot, upon which rests the burial shroud of the Most Holy Mother of God among fragrant flowers and myrtle, with precious coverings.

"O marvelous wonder! The Fount of Life is placed in the grave, and the grave doth become the ladder to Heaven..." Here at the grave of the All-Pure Virgin, these words strike deep with their original sense and grief is dispelled by joy: "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee, granting the world, through Thee, great mercy!"

Numerous pilgrims, having kissed the icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, following an ancient custom, then stoop down and go beneath it.

On the day of the Leave-taking of the feast (August 23), another solemn procession is made. On the return path, the holy burial shroud is carried by clergy led by the Archimandrite of Gethsemane.

There is an article in the "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate", 1979, No. 3 regarding the rite of the litany and Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God in the Holy Land.

Today flowers are blessed in church, and people keep them in their homes. During times of family strife or illness, the flower petals are placed in the censer with the incense, and the whole house is censed. See the Prayer at the Sanctification of any Fragrant Herbage.

255 Tarsicius of Rome acolyte or deacon refused to surrender the Eucharist M (RM)
Romæ, via Appia, sancti Tharsícii Acolythi, quem Pagáni, cum inveníssent Córporis Christi Sacraménta portántem, cœpérunt disquírere quid géreret.  At ipse, indígnum júdicans porcis pródere margarítas, támdiu ab illis mactátus luto ejus córpore, sacrílegi discussóres nihil Sacramentórum Christi in occísi mánibus aut in véstibus invenérunt.  Christiáni autem collegérunt Mártyris corpus, et in cœmetério Callísti honorifice sepeliérunt.
    At Rome, on the Appian Way, St. Tarsicius, acolyte.  The pagans accosted him as he was carrying the Sacrament of Christ's Body, and began to inquire what it was.  But he judged it an unworthy thing to cast pearls before swine.  They therefore beat him with sticks and stones until he expired.  The sacrilegious searchers examined his body, but found no vestige of the Sacrament of Christ, either in his hands or in his clothes.  The Christians took up the body of the martyr, and buried it reverently in the cemetery of Callistus.
St Tarsicius, Martyr  (Third Century)
"At Rome, on the Appian Way, the passion of St Tarsicius the acolyte, whom the heathen met bearing the sacrament of the Body of Christ and asked him what it was that he carried.  He judged it a shameful thing to cast pearls before swine, and so was attacked by them for a long time with sticks and stones, until he gave up- the ghost.  When they turned over his body the sacrilegious assailants could find no trace of Christ's sacrament either in his hands or among his clothing.  The Christians took up the body of the martyr and buried it with honour in the cemetery of Callistus." 
   Thus the Roman Martyrology sums up the later form of the story of St Tarsicius, "the boy martyr of the holy Eucharist ", which is derived from the fourth-century poem of Pope St Damasus, wherein it is stated that one Tarsicius, like another St Stephen stoned by the Jews, suffered a violent death at the hands of a mob rather than give up "the divine Body to raging dogs ".
Tarcisium sanctum Christi sacramenta gerentemCum male sana manus peteret vulgare profanis; 
Ipse animam potius voluit dimittere caerus  Prodere quam canibus rabidis caelestia membra

Cardinal Wiseman. who uses the story in Fabiola, says of "[Christi] caelestia membra" that the words, "applied to the Blessed Eucharist, supply one of those casual, but most striking, arguments that result from identity of habitual thought in antiquity, more than from the use of studied or conventional phrases".  An example, in fact, of "unity of indirect reference."
  This bare fact is certainly true, but we do not know that Tarsicius was a boy or an acolyte. It may be, especially having regard to the reference of St Damasus to the deacon St Stephen, that he was a deacon, for it was the deacon's special office to administer holy communion in certain circumstances and to carry the Blessed Sacrament from one place to another when necessary, e.g. that part of the consecrated Host, called Fermentum, which the pope sent from his Mass to the presbyters of the principal Roman churches, symbolizing the unity of the holy Sacrifice and the union subsisting between the bishop and his flock.  But then, as now, in times of dire persecution, anybody, cleric or lay, young or old, male or female, may be entrusted with the sacred Host in case of necessity, and the tradition about St Tarsicius since the sixth century is that he was a young acolyte commissioned to take communion to certain Christian prisoners, victims of the persecution of Valerian.   He was buried in the cemetery of St Callistus; his grave has never been positively identified, but his relics are claimed by San Silvestro in Capite.  The great increase of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in recent times has brought about a corresponding extension of the cultus of St Tarsicius.
See J. Wilpert, Die Papstgräber und die Cäciliengrutfs (1909), pp. 92-98.  Cf. also Marucchi in Nuovo bullettino di arch. christ., vol. xvi (1910), pp. 205-225 and DAC., vol. iv. C. 174.

According to the poem on his tomb, written by Pope Saint Damasus in the 4th century, Tarsicius was carrying the Eucharist through the streets of Rome, when he was seized by curious bystanders. Preferring death to allowing profanation of the Blessed Sacrament, this acolyte or deacon refused to surrender his precious burden and was murdered with stones and clubs. He was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus and his relics are claimed by San Silvestro's. The content of Damasus' poem were expanded by later tradition to account for missing details. It names the location as the Appian Way, and Tarsicius's purpose as either taking the Eucharist to some imprisoned Christians or carrying the Sacrament from a papal Mass to the presbyters of other Roman churches during this period when only the bishop had the faculties to consecrate the Eucharist. The reference to Saint Stephen in the poem of Damasus, leads to the opinion that Tarsicius was probably a deacon, rather than a young acolyte as portrayed in Cardinal Wiseman's highly embellished novel Fabiola (1854). Tarsicius is the patron of first communicants, altar boys, and a confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
300 Napoleon (Neopolus) of Alexandria M (AC)
Saint Napoleon was so horribly maimed during his torture that he died while being carried back to his dungeon at Alexandria, Egypt, during the reign of Diocletian (Benedictines)
430 St. Alipius Bishop companion of St. Augustine baptized with Augustine in 387 or 394 by St. Ambrose
Tagáste, in Africa, sancti Alípii Epíscopi, qui beáti Augustíni olim discípulus, póstea in conversióne sócius, in múnere pastoráli colléga, et in certamínibus advérsus hæréticos commílito strénuus, ac demum in cælésti glória consors fuit.
    At Tagaste in Africa, St. Alipius, bishop, who was the disciple of blessed Augustine, and the companion of his conversion, his colleague in the pastoral charge, his valiant fellow-soldier in disputing heretics, and finally his partner in the glory of heaven.
He was born in Tagaste, North Africa, and was raised as a friend of St. Augustine. He went to Rome to study law and became a magistrate there. When Augustine arrived in Rome, Alipius resigned his post and accompanied him to Milan. There he was baptized with Augustine in 387 or 394 by St. Ambrose. The two were ordained in Hippo, North Africa, and Alipius became the bishop of Tagaste, serving in that capacity for thirty years. Alipius' name was placed in the Roman Martyrology by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584. The evidence of Alipius' sanctity was clearly stated by Augustine's account of his life.
St. Alypius
The bosom friend of St. Augustine, though younger than he, was, after studying under Augustine at Milan, conspicuous at first as a magistrate in Rome. He abandoned that honour to follow his master into the Church. It is noteworthy that there is no mention of him as a saint in the ancient catalogues. His name was placed in the Roman Martyrology by Gregory XIII, in 1584, the evidence of his sanctity being sufficiently clear from the account of his life by St. Augustine. His conversion began when Augustine was still a Manichaean, and occurred in consequence of a discussion about the folly of those who give way to sensual indulgence. A relapse occurred subsequently, when he was dragged by some friends to witness the savage games of the arena; but the final step was taken when, in company with Augustine, in obedience to the voice, Tolle, lege, he read the text of St. Paul, Non in commessationibus, etc. They were both baptized by St. Ambrose, at Milan. After living for some time with Augustine, in the monastery of Hippo, he was made Bishop of Tagaste. This was in the year 394, and took place after his return from the Holy Land, where he had seen St. Jerome. Under his guidance Tagaste reproduced the sanctity, learning, monastic exactness, and orthodoxy of Hippo. The exact date of his death is not known, but his festival is kept on 15 August.
506 MacCartin (Aid, Aed) of Clogher one of the earliest disciples of Saint Patrick (AC)
Died March 24. Saint MacCartin, one of the earliest disciples of Saint Patrick, is said to have been born into the noble Irish family of the Arads. Patrick consecrated him bishop of Clogher, of which diocese MacCartin is the patron (Husenbeth)
874 Altfrid of Hildesheim a man of peace and goodwill champion of Benedictines staunch adherent to canon law,  devotee of Our Lady, OSB B (PC)
In 851, Saint Altfrid, a monk and headmaster of Corbie's abbey school in Saxony, was consecrated bishop of Hildesheim. He won fame as a man of peace and goodwill, a champion of his Benedictine brothers, a staunch adherent to canon law, and a devotee of Our Lady (Benedictines).

St. Altfrid 874 Benedictine bishop and devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Altfrid was the headmaster of the school at Corvey Abbey in Saxony. In 851 he was appointed the bishop of Ilildesheim, Germany.
The entire Frankish empire revered him for his sanctity and for his devotion to Mary .
1009 Arduinus of Rimini Italy priest of Rimini never took monastic vows OSB Hermit (AC)
Although Saint Arduinus spent his last days in San Gudenzio Abbey, he was a priest of Rimini, Italy, who never took monastic vows (Benedictines).
St. Arduinus 1009 Confessor and priest of Rimini, Italy. Arduinus was a hermit in the region until he entered the monastery of San Gudenzio, where he died
Sancti Stéphani, Regis Hungarórum et Confessóris; qui décimo octávo Kaléndas Septémbris obdormívit in Dómino.
    1078 St. Stephen, king of Hungary and confessor, who fell asleep in the Lord on the 15th of August.
Apud Albam Regálem, in Pannónia, item natális sancti Stéphani, Regis Hungarórum et Confessóris; qui, divínis virtútibus exornátus, primus Húngaros ad Christi fidem convértit, et a Deípara Vírgine, ipso die Assumptiónis suæ, in cælum recéptus fuit.  Ejus vero festívitas quarto Nonas Septémbris, quo die munitíssima Budæ arx, sancti Regis ope, recólitur, ex dispositióne Innocéntii Papæ Undécimi.
    At Alba Regalis in Hungary, St. Stephen, King of Hungary, who was graced with divine virtues, was the first to convert the Hungarians to the faith of Christ, and was received into heaven by the Virgin Mother of God on the very day of her Assumption.  By decree of Pope Innocent XI, his feast is kept on the 2nd of September, on which day the strong city of Buda, by the aid of the holy king, was recovered by the Christian army.
1087 St. Arnold, bishop and confessor Arnulf (Arnoul, Arnulphus) of Soissons French nobleman and soldier Many of the miracles wrought at his tomb were approved during a council held at Beauvais in 1121 OSB B (RM)
Suessióne, in Gálliis, sancti Arnúlfi, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
    At Soissons in France, St. Arnold, bishop and confessor.

St Arnulf, or Arnoul, Bishop Of Soissons
   This Arnoul was born about 1040 in Flanders and in his youth distinguished himself in the armies of Robert and Henry I of France.  He was called to a more noble warfare, resolving to employ for God the labour which till then he had consecrated to the service of the world.  He became a monk in the great monastery of Saint-Médard at Soissons; and after he had for some time made trial of his strength in the cenobitic life, he shut himself up in a narrow cell and in the closest solitude, almost without any intercourse with men, and devoted himself to assiduous prayer and the most austere penance.  He led this manner of life until he was called to be abbot of the monastery. It was in 1081 that a council at the request of the clergy and people of Soissons resolved to place him in that episcopal see.  To the deputies who came to inform him Arnoul said, "Leave a sinner to offer to God some fruits of penance; and do not compel such a fool as myself to take up a charge which requires so much wisdom." He was, however, obliged to shoulder the burden.  He set himself with great zeal to fulfil every part of his ministry; but having been driven from his see by a usurper, he obtained leave to resign his dignity.  He afterward founded a monastery at Aldenburg in Flanders, where he died in 1087.  At a council at Beauvais in 1120 the then bishop of Soissons showed a life of St Arnoul to the assembly and demanded that his body should be enshrined in the church.  "If the body of my predecessor were in my diocese", he said, "it would have been brought in out of the churchyard long ago."  The translation was accordingly made into the abbey-church of Aldenburg in the following year.
The life by Hariulf has been printed by the Bollandists and Mabillon, but has been more critically edited in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, Pt. 2, pp. 872-904.  See also E. de Moreau, Histoire de l'Église en Belgique, t. ii (1945), pp. 433-437.

Born in Flanders; died at Oudenbourg (Aldenburg), Bruges, Flanders (Belgium), in 1087. Arnulf was a French nobleman and soldier who rendered distinguished service to King Robert and King Henry I, when, about 1060, he entered the Benedictine monastery of Saint Médard in Soissons. After a while he obtained his abbot's permission to live as an anchorite in a narrow cell, where he devoted himself to prayer and penance for three years.  He would have loved to continue in that state but God had other plans for the lowly monk. First, he was summoned to succeed Ponce as abbot. The cenobitic community was far too lax when he had retired into his cell; in his absence it had declined further into worldliness and simony. He accepted the office only reluctantly. In fact, there is a legend that says he asked for a day in which to come to a decision about accepting it. During that time he tried to escape, but was caught by a wolf and forcibly returned before he went very far.  In 1081, he was chosen by the council of Meaux to become the next bishop of Soissons. When deputies announced the decision of the council to Arnulf, he responded: "Leave a sinner to offer to God some fruits of penance; and compel not a madman to take upon him a charge which requires so much wisdom." Nevertheless, he was compelled to undertake the burdensome position.

With incredible zeal Arnulf tried to fulfill all the obligations of his office. When he found himself unable to correct certain grievous abuses among. He was probably not a very effective administrator or politician; perhaps it was simply a saint's sharper self-knowledge, rather than just humility, that had made him unwilling to accept the office. A little less than two years after his installation, he was driven from his see by an intruder. Fearing that the fault laid within himself, he resigned rather than fighting to regain possession of his episcopal chair. Thereafter he founded Oudenbourg Abbey in the diocese of Bruges, Belgium, where he died in sackcloth and ashes.

Many of the miracles wrought at his tomb were approved during a council held at Beauvais in 1121. His relics were enshrined in 1131, and are still preserved in the church of Saint Peter at Oudenburg. His name is very famous throughout the Low Countries and in France (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Arnulf is portrayed as a bishop wearing a coat of mail under his cope. At times the image may include (1) a fish with a ring in its mouth; (2) a burning castle that Arnulf is blessing; or (3) Arnulf washing the feet of the poor (Roeder). This patron of music, millers, and brewers is venerated at Remiremont. He is invoked to find lost articles (Roeder).

St. Arnulf 1087 Benedictine bishop and founder of the abbey of Onendbourg in France. Born in Flanders, Belgium, in 1040, Arnulf had a military career in the service of Robert and Henry I, kings of France. Retiring from the army, Arnulf entered the Benedictines at Saint-Michel Monastery in Soissons, France. He was a hermit there until elected abbot. He was then appointed the bishop of Soissons, When faced with a usurper, Arnulf founded the abbey of Onendbourg .
1145 Rupert of Ottobeuren prior of Saint George's monastery in the Schwarzewald OSB Abbot (PC)
Saint Rupert was the prior of Saint George's monastery in the Schwarzewald (Germany), when he was asked to found the Benedictine abbey of Ottobeuren in Bavaria in 1102. During his 43- year abbacy he introduced the Cluniac-Hirschau customary and Ottobeuren gained renown (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
Cracóviæ, in Polónia, natális sancti Hyacínthi, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, Confessóris, quem Clemens Octávus, Póntifex Máximus, in Sanctórum númerum rétulit.  Ipsíus autem festum sextodécimo Kaléndas Septémbris celebrátur.
    At Cracow in Poland, St. Hyacinth, confessor of the Order of Preachers, whom Pope Clement VIII placed in the number of the saints.  His feast is observed on the 17th of August.

1294 Limbania of Genoa Born in Cyprus, OSB V (AC)
cultus approved by Paul V. Saint Limbania was a Benedictine in Genoa, Italy, before seeking seclusion in a cave below the city's Saint Thomas Church. Because the church was given to the Augustinians, Limbania is often mistakenly described as an Augustinian nun (Benedictines).
St. Limbania 1294 Benedictine nun and hermitess of Genoa, Italy. She was a Cyprian by birth who remained in a cave in Genoa
1550 Saint Macarius the Roman as an example to others God gave gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking
Born at the end of the fifteenth century into a wealthy family of Rome. His parents raised him in piety and gave him an excellent education. He might have expected a successful career in public service, but he did not desire honors or earthly glory. Instead, he focused on how to save his soul.

He lived in an age when the Christian West was shaken by the Protestant Reformation. While others around him were pursuing luxury and lascivious pleasures, he studied the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. St Macarius was grieved to see so many darkened by sin and worldly vanity, and was disturbed by the rebellions and conflicts within the Western Church. With tears, he asked God to show him the path of salvation, and his prayer did not go unanswered. He came to realize that he would find the safe harbor of salvation in the Orthodox Church.

St Macarius left Rome secretly, and set out for Russia without money, and wearing an old garment. After many sufferings on his journey, he arrived in Novgorod, where he rejoiced to see so many churches and monasteries. One of these monasteries had been founded three centuries before by his fellow countryman, St Anthony the Roman (August 3).

St Macarius came to the banks of the River Svir, where St Alexander of Svir (April 17 and August 30) founded
Holy Trinity monastery. St Alexander received Macarius into the Orthodox Church and tonsured him as a monk. Macarius, however longed for the solitary life. He moved to an island on the River Lezna, forty-five miles from Novgorod, where he engaged in ascetical struggles and unceasing prayer.

The winters were very cold, and the summers were hot and humid. The marshy area was also a breeding ground for mosquitos, which tormented the saint. St Macarius survived on berries, roots, and herbs. Sometimes bears would come to him for food, and they allowed him to pet them.

Such a great lamp of the spiritual life could not remain hidden for long. One rainy night someone knocked on his door and asked him to open it. Several people, who seemed to be hunters, entered his cell. Astonished by his appearance, and the divine light shining from his face, the men asked for his blessing. They told him they had come to the forest to hunt, and only by the prayers of the saint did God permit them to find him.
"It is not my sinful prayers," he told them, "but the grace of God which led you here."
After feeding them, he spoke and prayed with them, then showed them the way out of the marsh. St Macarius was concerned that his peace would be disturbed, now that his dwelling place was known. His fears were justified, because many people sought him out to ask for his advice and prayers.

The holy ascetic decided to move even farther into the wilderness, choosing an elevated place on the left bank of the Lezna. Even here, however, he was not able to conceal himself for very long. Sometimes a pillar of fire would rise up into the sky at night above his place of refuge. During the day, the grace of God was made manifest by a fragrant cloud of smoke. Drawn by these signs, the local inhabitants of the region were able to find him once more.

Some of his visitors begged St Macarius to permit them to live near him and to be guided by his counsels. Seeing that this was the Lord's will, he did not refuse them. He blessed them to build cells, and this was the foundation of his monastery.

In 1540, they built a wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. St Macarius was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop Macarius of Novgorod, who later became Metropolitan of All Russia. The hierarch also appointed St Macarius as igumen of the monastery.

St Macarius was an example to the others, and was given the gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking from God. He wore himself out with his labors and vigils, encouraging others not to become faint-hearted in their own struggles.

After several years, he entrusted the monastery to one of his disciples, and returned to the island where he had first lived. There he fell asleep in the Lord on August 15, 1550. His disciples buried him outside on the left side of the Dormition church which he had founded.

The Hermitage of St Macarius was never a prosperous monastery with many monks, but it was distinguished by the high level of spiritual life. In the seventeenth century, many of the monasteries near Novgorod were plundered by Swedish invaders. The Hermitage of St Macarius was also burned in 1615, and some of the monks were put to the sword.

By the eighteenth century, the monastery had become a dependency of the St Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St Petersburg. The Empress Catherine closed it in 1764, just as she had closed other monasteries, and it was designated as a parish church. Although pilgrims still came to venerate the saint's relics and to celebrate his Feast Day, the buildings soon fell into ruin.

In the mid-nineteenth century, some benefactors restored the two churches and the miraculous healing spring which the saint himself had dug. About this time an old priest was living there, and he celebrated the church services until his death. In 1894, the monastery began to function once more under the noted missionary Hieromonk Arsenius, who introduced the Athonite Typikon. The monastery was destroyed by the Soviets in 1932.

St Macarius the Roman is commemorated on August 15 (the date of his repose), and also on January 19 (his nameday).

1936 Blessed Maria Sagrario Spanish Civil War martyr OC VM (AC)
Born at Lillo, Spain, January 8, 1881; died at San Isidro, Spain, on August 15, 1936; beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 8, 1997.

Elvira Moragas Cantarero, the third of the four children born to Ricardo Moragas and Isabel Cantarero, was one of the first women in Spain to earn a degree in pharmacy--and she did it with distinction. Her father was appointed the pharmaceutical purveyor to the royal household and moved his family to Madrid in 1886.

Although Elvira had a distinguish career planned, especially after her father's death, she felt that God was calling her to a religious vocation. She delayed entering the convent on the advice of her spiritual director in order to care for her younger brother. Finally, in 1915, she became a postulant in Madrid at the Carmel of Saints Anne and Joseph. She took the name Maria Sagrario of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga when she was received into the novitiate on December 21, 1915. Her time of testing was completed with her temporary profession on Christmas Eve, 1916, and solemn vows on Epiphany in 1920.

In April 1927 she was elected prioress; later she served as novice mistress. Frequently she expressed her desire to die a martyr. Two weeks before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Sister Maria Sagrario was again elected prioress (July 1, 1936). Religious persecution followed. The convent was attacked on July 20 by an angry mob. The prioress sent her daughters into safety and herself took refuge with another in the home of the sister's parents, despite her brother's pleas to come to him. They hid there until their arrest by the rebels on August 14.

Throughout the period of her arrest and interrogation, Maria Sagrario remained serene, totally surrendered to God's will as documented in the testimony required for her beatification. She refused to reveal anything to the secret police or betray anyone. This refusal led to her execution by gunfire at the Pradera of San Isidro (information from L'observatore Romano as posted at Saints Alive

Mary's Divine Motherhood

Artists. That artists of our time, through their ingenuity,
may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.

Marian spirituality: all are invited.
God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
  Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

March is the month of Saint Joseph since 1855;

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

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

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
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: