Mary Mother of GOD
 Thursday    August  18 Quintodécimo Kaléndas Septémbris   
On the third day of the Afterfeast of the Dormition, the hymns at Vespers call upon us to "sing the praises of the pure and most holy Virgin." She did
not ascend to heaven in a chariot of fire, as did the Prophet Elias, but "He Who is truly the Sun of Righteousness" received her pure soul.


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!)


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

330 Saint Helena Widow mother of Constantine knew the heights of exultation
and the depths of humiliation, yet she remained ever constant (RM)

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
 Thursday    August  18 Quintodécimo Kaléndas Septémbris   

On the third day of the Afterfeast of the Dormition

 
  The Hodigitria (or "Directress") Icon of the Mother of God. According to Tradition, this icon in the Mela monastery near Trebizond was painted by the Evangelist Luke.
Archangel Michael The Commemoration of the Honorable (coptic)
       St. Leo  martyrdom at Lycia & Juliana  martyr of Ptolemais, perhaps in modern Egypt
2nd v. Hermas (Hermes), Serapion, and Polyaenus MM (RM)
  150 St. Florus & Laurus twins patron saints of horses in Russia; appeal to Archangel Michael recover runaway horses
        Myræ, in Lycia, sanctórum Mártyrum Leónis et Juliánæ.
        At Myra in Lycia, the holy martyrs Leo and Juliana.
2nd v. Florus (Floridus) and Laurus martyred - put a pagan temple to Christian use MM RM

 272 St. Agapitus Martyr, deacon, companion of Pope Sixtus II in death
330 St. Helena Empress mother of Constantine the Great emperor in 312 after victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena named Augusta-empress  Reign of the Righteous Emperor Constantine, the Great. (coptic)
560 Daig Dagaeus, Daganus Maccairill (of Iniskin) disciple of Saint Finian B
 830 Saint Macarius igumen of the Pelekete monastery. During the time of the Iconoclast heresy he underwent torture and imprisonment for icon veneration.
946 Saint John of Rila, great spiritual ascetic of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Heavenly Protector of the Bulgarian nation; miracle of crossing river as a youth; unclean spirits he healed by prayer; he wrote in his own hand "A Testament to Disciples," one of the finest creations of Old Bulgarian literature
1321 Bl. Raynald of Ravenna Archbishop friend and defender of the Knights Templars
1495 Bl Aimo Taparelli converted many listeners by the sincerity and sweetness of his preaching OP (AC)
1620 Bl. Thomas Guengoro Japanese martyr native

1620 Bl. Mary Guengoro Martyr  wife of Blessed Thomas Guengero
18th v. Saint Sophronius left home wedding night; became monk Mount Athos 50 years, died in peace.

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
       
         

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

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

August 18 – Crowning of Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy ("Notre Dame de Liesse," 1857) 
The Crusader knights and the Egyptian princess
 
In 1134, three Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, who had been held by the Muslims in Egypt, escaped with the help of a Muslim princess named Ismeria. Legend says that Princess Ismeria came to the knights at the request of her brother to convert them to Mohammedanism and proceeded to speak to them about the virtues of her religion. When she was finished, the knights asked that would it not be fair for her to hear the virtues of Christianity. She agreed and, when they were finished, much impressed, asked if she might see an image of this Lady of whom they spoke.

One of the knights, the Lord of Eppes, asked her to bring him a block of softwood and tools from which he might carve a statue of Our Lady. The knights agreed that work would begin early the next morning when there was sufficient light, but shortly after midnight they were awakened. There in the corner of their cell was a beautifully carved statuette of Our Lady. The knights were prostrate before the statue when Ismeria found them the next morning. She too threw herself down invoking Our Lady. It was at that point that legend says the knights said, "Behold Our Lady of Joy! That shall henceforth be her name."

After escaping from prison, they traveled hard all day. Exhausted, they fell asleep, while still in Egypt. When they awoke the next morning they found that they had been miraculously transported to France near the home of the second knight, the Lord of Marchais. The knights built a church in honor of the Mother of God on the spot where they awoke. The church and the statue of Our Lady of Joy quickly became a popular pilgrimage site.
 
Taken from " Mary In Our Life: Atlas of the Names and Titles of Mary, the Mother of Jesus"
By Nicholas J. Santoro,  iUniverse Publishing (2011)

 
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.

Our Lady of Liesse
Aug 18 - Coronation of Our Lady of Liesse (France, 1857)
In 1134, three brothers, knights from the French region of Laon, left on a voyage. The sultan of Egypt captured them and took them prisoner. Hoping at all costs to make them apostatize, he went so far as to send his remarkably beautiful daughter to seduce them. But while discussing the Gospel with the prisoners, believing she would defeat them, Ismenia was defeated. She asked the knights to carve the image of Mary for her.
The knights prayed to the Blessed Virgin so that she would guide their hands.
During the night, the Virgin sent angels bearing her radiant image of piety. The next day, when Ismenia returned the dungeon was filled with dazzling light and a delicious perfume exuded from the statue. The princess believed immediately and took the statue to her apartments, never taking her eyes off the statue while the knights cried out: Our Lady of Liesse!
The following night, Ismenia heard the statue say: "Trust me, Ismenia! I have prayed to my Son for you.
You will be his faithful servant. You will free my three beloved knights. You will be baptized and through you, France will be enriched by countless graces. Through you my name will become famous and later,
I will receive you forever in paradise."
Ismenia helped the prisoners escape and fled with them. All four of them were overtaken by a deep sleep, and during their sleep angels transported them to France. When they awoke, the three knights were in their country, near their castle in Marchais. Ismenia was baptized and they all agreed to have a chapel built at the site where they had woken up, in honor of Our Lady of Liesse. Since then miracles have been countless. Louis VII came as a pilgrim in 1146 and Our Lady of Liesse became a favorite pilgrimage destination of the kings of France.

August 18 : OUR LADY'S CORONATION  Two Loves Have Merged in One (III)

Allow me, dear Christians, to transport my thoughts today above nature and grace,
to look for the source of this love in the very heart of the eternal Father.
I feel obliged to do so for this reason: "He who will be born of you," says the angel, "will be called Son of God." Thus she is united with God the Father, by becoming the Mother of her only Son
"who she has in common only with the eternal Father in the manner she gives life to him."

But this God, who consented to give her his Son, to communicate his virtue to her, to spread his fecundity in her, to crown his work must have also poured in her chaste bosom some ray or spark of the love he has for this only Son who is the splendor of his glory and the living image of his substance. This is how Mary's love came about :
there was an effusion from the heart of God into her;
and the love she has for her Son is received from the same source that gave her the Son himself.

After this mysterious communication, what will you say, O human reason? Can you pretend to understand Mary's union with Jesus Christ? She possesses a little bit of the perfect unity that exists between the Father and the Son. Do not even start explaining what kind of maternal love this is, which comes from such a lofty source. It is simply an outpouring of the Father's love for his only Son.
Jacques Bénigne Bossuet  First Homily for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, point one.
The Hodigitria (or "Directress") Icon of the Mother of God. According to Tradition, this icon in the Mela monastery near Trebizond was painted by the Evangelist Luke.

       Archangel Michael The Commemoration of the Honorable (coptic)
       St. Leo  martyrdom at Lycia & Juliana  martyr of Ptolemais, perhaps in modern Egypt
2nd v. Hermas (Hermes), Serapion, and Polyaenus MM (RM)
 
150 St. Florus & Laurus twins patron saints of horses in Russia; appealed to the Archangel Michael recover runaway horses
        Myræ, in Lycia, sanctórum Mártyrum Leónis et Juliánæ.
        At Myra in Lycia, the holy martyrs Leo and Juliana.
2nd v. Florus (Floridus) and Laurus martyred - put a pagan temple to Christian use MM RM

 272 St. Agapitus Martyr, deacon, companion of Pope Sixtus II in death

 300 Armenian
Saints Emilian the Bishop, martyred with Hilarion, Dionysius, and Hermippus; Emilian miracles
Four Ascetics in the desert whose names are unknown.
Today we celebrate Also the memory of 300 Saints who were burned in a fire for smashing idols.
 303 St. John & Crispus Martyred Roman priests
330 St. Helena Empress mother of Constantine the Great emperor in 312 after victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena named Augusta-empress
       The Reign of the Righteous Emperor Constantine, the Great. (coptic)
 412 Saints Barnabas nephew Sophronius were Athenians, lived on Mount Mela near Trebizond - Asia Minor
 430  Alipius (Alypius) of Tagaste lifelong close friend of Saint Augustine chief assistant in all his public work B (RM)
 496 St. Firminus Bishop of Metz France eight years ; he was either Greek or Italian.
 560 Daig Dagaeus, Daganus Maccairill (of Iniskin) disciple of Saint Finian B
 586 St. Daig Maccairaill Monastic founder and bishop
 668 Saint Christopher was born in Gazara, near Trebizond. He was the head of a monastery on Mount Mela in the second half of the seventh century (641-668).
 674 Saint John V Patriarch of Constantinople 669-674 lived during reign of emperor Constantine Pogonatos (668-685)
 683 Saint George I Patriarch of Constantinople 678-683 during reign of emperor Constantine Pogonatos (668-685).
 730 Bld Milo joined his father at Fontenelle OSB Hermit
 830 Saint Macarius igumen of the Pelekete monastery. During the time of the Iconoclast heresy he underwent torture and imprisonment for icon veneration.
9th v. Evan (Inan) Scottish hermit lived in Ayrshire, Hermit
946 Saint John of Rila, great spiritual ascetic of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Heavenly Protector of the Bulgarian nation; miracle of crossing river as a youth; unclean spirits he healed by prayer; he wrote in his own hand "A Testament to Disciples," one of the finest creations of Old Bulgarian literature
1093 St. Christodoulos The great Church figure and philosopher from the village of Sakara in the Imereti region He possessed an exceptional knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and spoke several languages fluently
1255 Bl Leonard 11th abbot of La Cava Abbey , OSB Abbot (AC)
1255 St. Hugh the Littl
1321 Bl. Raynald of Ravenna Archbishop friend and defender of the Knights Templars
1438 Bd Angelo Augustine Of Florence; miracles; insisted abolition of use of all private property and no friar might accept or retain a post which involved his living outside his monastery
1490 BD BEATRICE DA SILVA, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONCEP­TIONIST NUN
1495 Bl Aimo Taparelli converted many listeners by the sincerity and sweetness of his preaching OP (AC)
1620 Bl. Thomas Guengoro Japanese martyr native
1620 Bl. Mary Guengoro Martyr  wife of Blessed Thomas Guengero
1641 St. Jane Frances de Chantal wife, mother, nun
18th v. Saint Sophronius left home on wedding night; became a monk on Mount Athos for 50 years, died in peace.
1877 Saint Arsenius of Paros Church commemorates uncovering of the relics


Archangel Michael The Commemoration of the Honorable (coptic)
On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the honorable Archangel Michael. With his supplications God brings the water of the Nile up to its measure and blesses the fruits of the earth.
May his intercession be with us. Amen.
St. Leo martyrdom at Lycia & Juliana martyr of Ptolemais, perhaps in modern Egypt
Martyrs of an unknown date. Leo suffered martyrdom at Lycia. Juliana was martyred at Stribylum, in Asia Minor. She may be identified with the martyr of Ptolemais, perhaps in modem Egypt
.
2nd v. Hermas (Hermes), Serapion, and Polyaenus MM (RM)
Item Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Hermæ, Serapiónis et Polyæni, qui, per angústa, saxósa et áspera loca raptáti, ánimas Deo reddidérunt.
    In the same city, the holy martyrs Hermas, Serapion, and Polyaenus.  Being dragged through narrow, stony, and rough places, they yielded up their souls to God.
It appears that the biographer of these three individual Roman martyrs has combined them into one story--perhaps to heighten the impact of the barbarity. An angry mob dragged each of them by their feet over rough ground until the died (Benedictines).

The martyrs Hermes, Serapion, and Polyaenus were Romans who suffered for Christ in the second century. They were thrown into prison, and under interrogation they firmly confessed their faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols. The martyrs were dragged through crowds and impassable places. Pelted with stones and other material, they died, receiving their heavenly crowns.

150 St. Florus & Laurus twins patron saints of horses in Russia;  appealed to the Archangel Michael to recover runaway horses
In Illyrico sanctórum Mártyrum Flori et Lauri, artis lapicidínæ, qui, sub Licióne Præside, martyrio consúmptis eórum magístris Próculo et Máximo, ambo, post multa torménta, in profúndum púteum sunt demérsi.
    In Illyria, the holy martyrs Florus and Laurus, stonecutters, who, after the martyrdom of Proculus and Maximus, their employers, were subjected to many torments under the governor Licion, and plunged into a deep well.
Martyrs with Maximus and Proculus in Illyria.  St Florus and Laurus were Christian Martyrs, who lived in Byzantium and Illiria in the 2nd century AD. They were brothers and made their living as stonemasons. One day their horses were lost. The two brothers appealed to the Archangel Michael to help them recover the runaway horses. Michael helped them recover the horses and the two decided to dedicate their lives to horses and they in turn become the patron saints of horses in Russia.
 Venerated particularly by the Greeks, Florus and Laurus were twin brothers who were stone masons in the employ of Maximus and Proculus. They lived in Illyria. A pagan prince hired them for the building of a temple to the idols. It happened that during their work, a piece of stone flew and struck the eye of the pagan priest's son who was observing the work of the builders with curiosity. Seeing his son blind and bloody, the pagan priest began to shout at Florus and Laurus and wanted to beat them. Then, the holy brothers said to him that if he would believe in the God in whom they believed, his son would be healed. The pagan priest promised. Florus and Laurus prayed with tears to the one, living, Lord God and traced the sign of the Cross over the child's injured eye. The child was immediately healed and his eye became whole just as it had been. Then the pagan priest Merentius and his son were baptized and, shortly after that, both suffered for Christ by fire. When they completed the temple, Florus and Laurus placed a cross on it, summoned all Christians and consecrated it in the name of the Lord Jesus with an all-night vigil of hymn singing. Hearing of this, the Illyrian deputy burned many of those Christians and threw Florus and Laurus alive in a well and then filled it with dirt. Later, their relics were revealed and translated to Constantinople
.

The Martyrs Florus and Laurus were brothers by birth not only in flesh but in spirit. They lived in the second century at Byzantium, and afterwards they settled in Illyria [now Yugoslavia]. By occupation they were stone-masons (their teachers in this craft were the Christians Proclus and Maximus, from whom also the brothers learned about life pleasing to God).

The prefect of Illyria, Likaion, sent the brothers to a nearby district for work on the construction of a pagan temple. The saints toiled at the structure, distributing to the poor the money they earned, while they kept strict fast and prayed without ceasing. Once, the son of the local pagan-priest Mamertin carelessly approached the structure, and a chip of stone hit him in the eye, severely injuring him. Sts Florus and Laurus assured the upset father, that his son would be healed.  They brought the youth to consciousness and told him to have faith in Christ. After this, as the youth confessed Jesus Christ as the true God, the brothers prayed for him, and the eye was healed. In view of such a miracle, even the father of the youth believed in Christ.

When the construction of the temple was completed, the brothers gathered the Christians together, and going through the temple, they smashed the idols. In the eastern part of the temple they set up the holy Cross. They spent all night in prayer, illumined with heavenly light. Having learned of this, the head of the district condemned to burning the former pagan priest Mamertin and his son and 300 Christians.

The martyrs Florus and Laurus, having been sent back to the prefect Likaion, were thrown down an empty well and covered over with earth. After many years, the relics of the holy martyrs were uncovered incorrupt, and transferred to Constantinople. In the year 1200 the Novgorod pilgrim Anthony saw them.
Stephen of Novgorod saw the heads of the martyrs in the Pantokrator monastery around the year 1350.
2nd v. Florus (Floridus) and Laurus martyred for putting a pagan temple to Christian use MM (RM)
2nd century. According to Greek tradition, Floridus, Laurus, Proculus, and Maximus were martyred for putting a pagan temple to Christian use. Floridus and Laurus were stone-masons and, reputedly, twin brothers. Proculus and Maximus were their employers. As they were building a temple in Illyria, they were converted to Christianity and thereafter destroyed pagan images and altered the building for Christian worship. In punishment for the conversion of the temple, Emperor Licinius had the four drowned in a well. It is uncertain whether this is a baseless legend, or if it is a duplicate of the story of the Four Crowned Martyrs. Hippolyte Delehaye thoroughly debunked the theory that claimed Florus, Laurus, and certain other saints were venerated in a vestige of the worship of the Dioscuri, i.e., the sons of Zeus (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

SS. FLORUS AND LAURUS, MARTYRS
ACCORDING to a Greek tale Florus and Laurus were brothers, stone-masons, who were employed upon the building of a pagan temple in Illyria. After it was finished those responsible for putting up the temple were converted to Christianity, and their two masons with them, whereupon they broke down the images of the 
heathen gods and delivered the building over to Christian worship; they were seized by the governor and all four buried alive in a dry cistern or drowned in a deep well. The story is chiefly interesting because an ingenious attempt has been made to show that we have here a survival of the worship of the Dioscuri, that SS. Florus and Laurus are Castor and Pollux disguised as Christians and that from the earliest times there was a monthly festival in honour of the twins. The theory is based on the coincidence on the 18th and 19th of most months from April to December of the commemorations of martyred brothers with consonant names (e.g. Mark and Marcellinus, Gervase and Protase) and of martyrs whose names resemble or are associated with Castor and Pollux (e.g. Dioscorus, Polyeuctes, Castor). Florus and Laurus are particularly important to the argument because on their day occurs the feast of St Helen, and Helen was the name of the sister of Castor and Pollux. There is nothing in this speculation, as Father Delehaye has no difficulty in showing. He points out that some of the dates of these martyrs as given by the theorists do not agree with the dates in the martyrologies; that the 18th of the month in the Julian calendar does not correspond with the 18th in Greek, Syrian or Asiatic calendars; and that St Helen occurs on August 18 in the Roman Martyrology quite fortuitously. For the day of her celebration traditional in the East is May 21 and was formerly February 8 in many churches of the West; the concurrence of the three saints on August 18 in the Roman Martyrology is no older than the sixteenth century, before which SS. Florus and Laurus did not appear in it at all.

These are obscure saints whose very existence is doubtful. See, regarding Castor and Pollux, Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints (Eng. trans.), pp. 182—184, and sundry other references in the Analecta Bollandiana, e.g. vol. xxiii, pp. 427—432. Cf. also H. Thurston in The Month, August 1906, pp. 202—207, where it is pointed out that there is no real assonance between Florus and Laurus, as Rendel Harris pretends, except for an Englishman who adheres to his native pronunciation of Latin; and secondly that a much stronger case than any Dr Harris presents could be made out to prove that SS. Cedd and Chad were Dioscuri yet nobody dreams of disputing the account which Bede gives of these two bishops of his own time.
272 St. Agapitus Martyr, deacon, companion of Pope Sixtus II in death
Prænéste natális sancti Agapíti Mártyris, qui, cum esset annórum quíndecim et amóre Christi fervéret, jussu Aureliáni Imperatóris tentus est, ac primo nervis crudis diutíssime cæsus, deínde, sub Antíocho Præfécto, gravióra supplícia passus; exínde, cum ex Imperatóris præcépto leónibus objicerétur et mínime læsus esset, gládio ministrórum coronándus percútitur.
    At Palestrina, the birthday of the holy martyr Agapitus.  Although only fifteen years of age, because he was fervent in the love of Christ, he was arrested by order of Emperor Aurelian, and scourged for a long time.  Afterwards, under the prefect Antiochus, he endured more severe torments, and being delivered to the lions by the emperor's order without receiving any injury, he was finally struck with the sword, and thus merited his crown.
He was with the pope when seized during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian.
Agapitus and five other deacons-Felicissimus, Januarius, Magnus, Stephen, and Vincent- were martyred.
Agapitus of Palestrina M (RM) Died c. 274. Agapitus was a 15-year-old boy who was cruelly martyred at Praeneste (now called Palestrina), 24 miles from Rome, during the reign of Aurelian. His name is recorded in the sacramentaries of Saints Gelasius and Gregory the Great, and ancient calendars. He is now the patron of Palestrina, where Pope Saint Felix III dedicated a church to his memory in the 5th century (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Agapitus of Palestrina M (RM) Died c. 274. Agapitus was a 15-year-old boy who was cruelly martyred at Praeneste (now called Palestrina), 24 miles from Rome, during the reign of Aurelian. His name is recorded in the sacramentaries of Saints Gelasius and Gregory the Great, and ancient calendars. He is now the patron of Palestrina, where Pope Saint Felix III dedicated a church to his memory in the 5th century (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth)
.

ST AGAPITUS, MARTYR
AGAPITUS is said to have been a Christian boy, only fifteen years old, who was brought before the governor Antiochus at Praeneste (Palestrina), and upon refusing to abjure his faith was scourged, imprisoned and beheaded, under the Emperor Aurelian. In his acta embroideries have been added in the usual way: after being beaten he was confined in a foul cell without food or drink for four days; burning coals were poured over his head and he was hung up by his feet over a smoking fire; boiling water was poured upon him, and the bones of his jaw broken. The disappointed Antiochus had a seizure and died before his victim. Agapitus was beheaded only because the beasts in the arena refused to touch him:  a sight that so impressed the tribune Anastasius that he was converted on the spot. Actually nothing at all is known of this St Agapitus except that he was a martyr who was buried at Palestrina, for his acta are spurious.

The early cultus of St Agapitus is well attested, not only by the mention of him under this day in the sacramentaries, but by traces of the ruins of his basilica a mile out of Palestrina and of an epitaph bearing his name. We may note also the dedication to him of several other churches in the eighth and ninth centuries. See CMH., pp. 448—449; add also A. Kellner, “Der hl. Agapitus von Praeneste”, in Studien und Mitteilungen (1930), pp. 404—432; and a number of notices by 0. Marucchi duly indicated in the Bollandist volume just quoted.
300 Armenian Saints Emilian the Bishop, martyred with Hilarion, Dionysius, and Hermippus; Emilian miracles
They were born and lived in Armenia. After the death of their parents, the hieromartyrs Emilian, Dionysius, and Hermippus (they were brothers), and their teacher Hilarion left their native land and arrived in Italy, in the city of Spoleto.

St. Emilian began to preach the Gospel to the pagans. He won the deep respect of the Christian community because of his strict and virtuous life, and he was chosen bishop of the city of Trebium. He was consecrated by Marcellinus, the Bishop of Rome). After moving to Trebium, St. Emilian converted many pagans to Christ, for which he was brought to trial before the emperor Mamimian (284-305).

The saint suggested that the emperor see for himself the power of prayer to Christ. A man who had been crippled for a long time was brought before him. However much the pagan priests tried to heal him by appealing to the idols, they accomplished nothing. Then St. Emilian prayed to the Lord and commanded the crippled man, in the name of Jesus Christ, to get up. The man stood up healthy and went home rejoicing.

This miracle was so convincing that the emperor was inclined to admit the truth about Christ, but the pagan priests told him that the saint had worked magic. He was subjected to fierce tortures, in which the Lord encouraged him, saying: "Fear not, Emilian, I am with you."

They tied him to a wheel, threw him on hot tin, dunked him in a river, and put him in the arena to be eaten by wild beasts, but he remained unharmed. In view of all these miracles the people began to shout: "Great is the Christian God! Free His servant!" On this day 1000 men believed in Christ, and all received the crown of martyrdom.

In a rage, the governor ordered that the beasts be killed since they did not attack the saint. The martyr gave thanks to the Lord because even the wild beasts accepted death for Christ. They locked St. Emilian in prison together with his brothers and teacher, and after fierce tortures the hieromartyrs Hilarion, Dionysius, and Hermippus were beheaded with the sword.

St. Emilian was executed outside the city. When the executioner struck the martyr on the neck with a sword, it became soft like wax, and did not wound the saint. Soldiers fell on their knees to him asking forgiveness and confessing Christ as the True God. The saint prayed on his knees for them and asked the Lord to grant him a martyr's death. His prayer was heard, and another executioner cut off the saint's head. Seeing a milky liquid flowing from his wounds, many of the pagans believed in Christ and they buried the martyr's body with honor.

Four Ascetics in the desert whose names are unknown. Today we celebrate Also the memory of 300 Saints who were burned in a fire for smashing idols.
303 St. John & Crispus Martyred Roman priests
Romæ beatórum Joánnis et Crispi Presbyterórum, qui, in persecutióne Diocletiáni, multa Sanctórum córpora officiosíssime sepeliérunt, quorum méritis et ipsi póstmodum sociáti, gáudia vitæ ætérnæ sibi comparárunt.
    At Rome, during the persecution of Diocletian, the blessed John and Crispus, priests, who charitably buried the bodies of many saints; afterwards becoming partakers of their merits, they deserved the joys of eternal life.
Who buried the remains of martyrs until their arrest and execution. Little documentation is available concerning them.
330 Saint Helena Widow mother of Constantine knew the heights of exultation and the depths of humiliation, yet she remained ever constant (RM)
Romæ, via Lavicána, sanctæ Hélenæ, matris Constantíni Magni, piíssimi Imperatóris, qui primus egrégium Ecclésiæ tuéndæ atque amplificándæ exémplum céteris Princípibus præbuit.
    At Rome, on the Via Lavicana, St. Helena, mother of the religious emperor Constantine the Great, who was the first to set the example to other princes of protecting and extending the Church.
Born Drepanum, Bithynia, c. 250 (range 248-255); died in Nicomedia, c. 330.

Saint Helena the daughter of an lowly innkeeper, married the Roman general Constantius Chlorus and bore him a son, Constantine, about 274, in Naissus (Nish), Serbia. Some of the older stories claimed that she was the daughter of an English prince; however, this legend was disproved long ago.

In 293, Constantius was proclaimed caesar under Emperor Maximian, one of the persecutors of Christians. For obvious political reasons, renounced Helena and married Maximian's stepdaughter, Theodora.

While her husband ruled the empire for 14 years, Helena bided her time.  When Maximian died at York, England, in 306, Constantine's troops proclaimed him caesar although he did not win clear title immediately. Finally defeating his enemies at the Milvian Bridge on October 12, 312, Constantine entered Rome and seized the title. He then conferred the title "augusta" on his mother, ordered that she be honored as the mother of a sovereign, had coins struck bearing her image, and changed the name of the town where she was born to Helenopolis.

In 313, Constantine and his co-Emperor Licinius, issued the Edict of Milan, which declared Christianity a religion to be tolerated and released all religious prisoners. According to the church historian Eusebius, Helena was baptized a Christian at 63.
In 324, the year that Constantine finally defeated Licinius to become the sole ruler of both East and West and moved his capital to Constantinople, Helena made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.


The Emperor Hadrian had built a Temple to Venus over Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre. Helena ordered its removal, and there she supervised the building of a new church at her son's expense.

It is uncertain whether Helena took an active part in the discovery of the three crosses in a rock cistern to the east of Calvary on May 3. The story of her finding the True Cross was the subject of Cynewulf's most celebrated poem, the 9th-century Elene.

In 395, 65 years after Helena had died, Saint Ambrose of Milan preached in a sermon that Helena had actually found the Holy Cross on which Jesus had hung. She worshipped, said Ambrose, "not the wood, but the King who hung on that wood. She burned with an ardent desire of touching the guarantee of immortality." Helena's discovery of the True Cross is also testified by Rufinus and Sulpicius Severus in the 4th century. Part of this cross was kept at Jerusalem; some sent to Rome; and fragments distributed to a large number of churches. This indicated that Helena understood that it was the property of the whole Church.

But Helena is not a saint simply because she found the Cross of Christ.
She built churches. She loved the poor, and went about dressed humbly and modestly. Helena spent her last years in Palestine. Eusebius wrote that she "continually worshipped in church in the sight of all, humbly dressed among the women praying there. In addition, she beautified the churches with ornaments and decorations, not forgetting the chapels of the least significant towns and villages." She built basilicas on the Mount of Olives (the Eleona) and in Bethlehem, travelled throughout Palestine, and was known for her kindness to soldiers, the poor, and prisoners.

When she died her body was solemnly taken back to Rome. The Atlantic island of Saint Helena's was given its name because Spanish sailors found it on her feast day (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).

In art, Saint Helena is dress in royal or imperial regalia and holds a large cross
[Cima da Conegliano and Giambattista Conegliano]. She may also be portrayed (1) as the location of the True Cross is revealed to her in a dream [Paolo Caliari Veronese]; (2) as she organizes and superintends the search for the True Cross [Piero della Francesca]; (3) crowned, giving a letter to a messenger; (4) as a medieval lady with a small cross and book; (5) with a cross and nails; or (6) with her son Constantine [icon, Byzantine mosaic at Hagia Sophia, Greek mosaic, Russian mosaic] (Roeder). Helena is the patroness of dyers, nailsmiths, and needle- makers. She is invoked against fire and thunder (Roeder).

330 St. Helena Empress mother of Constantine the Great emperor in 312 after victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena named Augusta-empress
She was a native of Bithynia {Bithynia is an ancient country of north-west Asia Minor, in present-day Turkey. The original inhabitants were Thracians who established themselves as independent and were given some autonomy after Cyrus the Great incorporated Bithynia into the Persian Empire.
After the death of Alexander the Great, the Bithynians took advantage of the wars of the Diadochi to secure freedom from the Seleucids (297 B.C.). They established a dynasty under the leadership of Zipoetes who was succeeded (c. 280 B.C.) by Nicomedes I, who founded Nicomedia as the capital of his flourishing state.}, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270.
Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co Emperor Maximian's stepdaughter.
Constantine became emperor in 312 after the fateful victory at Milvian Bridge, and Helena was named Augusta, or empress.
She converted to Christianity and performed many acts of charity, including building churches in Rome and in the Holy Land. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Helena discovered the True Cross. She is believed to have died in Nicomedia. Her porphyry sarcophagus is in the Vatican Museum. Geoffrey of Monmouth, England, started the legend that Helena was the daughter of the king of Colchester, a tradition no longer upheld.
In liturgical art Helena is depicted as an empress, holding a cross.

330 ST HELEN, Widow
ST HELEN was born, so far as can be ascertained, at Drepanum in Bithynia, perhaps the daughter of an inn-keeper. Somewhere about 270 the Roman general Con­stantius Chlorus met her there and, in spite of her humble birth, married her; but when he was made caesar, he was persuaded to divorce her and marry Theodora, the stepdaughter of the Emperor Maximian. Some years earlier Helen had given birth at Naissus (Nish in Serbia) to Constantine the Great, who had a deep regard and affection for his mother, and afterwards conferred on her the title of “Nobilis­sima Femina”, changing the name of her birth-place to Helenopolis. “We are assured”, says Alban Butler, “ by the unanimous tradition of our English historians that this holy empress was a native of our island.” This is so; but the oft-repeated statement of medieval chroniclers that Constantius married Helen, “daughter of Coel of Caercolvin” (Coichester), is without historical foundation. Supported by misunderstood passages in certain panegyrics of Constantine, the legend arose probably from confusion with another Constantine and Helen, namely the British Helen who married Magnus Clemens Maximus, who was emperor in Britain, Gaul and Spain from 383 to 388 (the Maxen Wledig of Welsh romance); they had several sons, one of whom was called Constantine (Custennin). This lady received the epithet Luyddog (“of the hosts”), later transferred to the other Helen, and already in the tenth century there is a statement that Constantine was the “son of Con­strantius [sic] and Helen Luicdauc, who went out of Britain to seek the Cross so far as Jerusalem, and brought it thence to Constantinople”. It has been suggested that the churches dedicated in honour of St Helen in Wales, Cornwall and Devon refer to Helen Luyddog, as the name of the ancient Welsh road, Sam Elen, perhaps does. There is in another part of the dominions of Maximus another and equally erroneous tradition of St Helen: namely, that she was born at Trier.

Constantius Chlorus lived for fourteen years after the repudiation of St Helen, and when he died in 306 their son Constantine was proclaimed caesar by his troops at York, and eighteen months later emperor. He entered Rome after the battle of the Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312, and by the Edict of Milan early in the following year Christianity was tolerated throughout the empire. It appears from Eusebius that St Helen was converted only at this time, when she was about sixty-three years old (Constantine himself was a catechumen until his death-bed) “She became such a devout servant of God under [her son’s] influence that one might believe her to have been a disciple of the Saviour of mankind from her very child­hood.” Though she was so advanced in years before she knew Christ, her fervour and zeal were such as to make her retrieve the time lost in ignorance; and God prolonged her life many years to edify by her example the Church which her son laboured to exalt by his authority. Rufinus calls her faith and zeal incomparable, and she kindled the same fire in the hearts of the Romans; she assisted in the churches amidst the people in modest and plain attire, and to attend at the divine offices was her greatest delight. She made use of the treasures of the empire in liberal alms, and was the mother of the indigent and distressed. She built numer­ous churches, and when after his victory over Licinius in 324 Constantine became master of the East, the noble lady went to Palestine to venerate the places made sacred by the bodily presence of our Lord.

After Golgotha and the holy sepulchre had been laid bare by the removal of the terrace and temple of Venus with which the Emperor Hadrian had over-built them, Constantine wrote to St Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, ordering a church to be built, “worthy of the most marvellous place in the world”. St Helen, then fourscore years of age, took the charge on herself to see this work executed, desiring at the same time to discover the sacred cross on which our Redeemer died. Euse­bius mentions no other motive for her journey but to give thanks to God for His mercies to her family, and to pray for His continued protection; but other writers attribute it to visions and to admonitions in her sleep, and St Paulinus of Nola says that one of its definite objects was to find the holy places. Constantine in his letter to Macarius commissions him to make search for the cross on Mount Calvary. The finding of three crosses in a rock-cistern just to the east of Calvary, and the difficulty in deciding which was the cross of Christ, has been related herein under May 3, on which date the Western church celebrates this discovery, and under St Macarius (March 10). On May 3, too, reference is made to the absence of early information about the finding of the cross and of evidence that directly connects its discovery with the name of St Helen. The first known ascription of it to her is in a sermon of St Ambrose, preached in 395, who remarks that St Helen, when she had discovered the holy cross, “worshipped not the wood, but the King, Him who hung on the wood. She burned with an earnest desire of touching the guarantee of immortality.” Several other writers about the same time mention her as playing a principal part in the recovery of the cross, but it is noteworthy that St Jerome, who lived nearby at Bethlehem, was not among them.
   Whether or not she actually took an active part in the finding of the cross, it is beyond dispute that Helen’s last days were spent in Palestine and, says Eusebius, “In the sight of all she continually resorted to church, appearing humbly dressed among the praying women; and she adorned the sacred buildings with rich ornaments and decorations, not passing by the chapels of the meanest towns.” He reports that she built two basilicas, the Eleona on the Mount of Olives and one at Bethlehem. She was kind and charitable to all, but especially to religious persons; to these she showed such respect as to serve them at table and hold them water to wash their hands; “ though empress of the world and mistress of the empire she looked upon herself as servant of the handmaids of Christ”. Whilst she travelled over the East she heaped all kinds of favours both on cities and persons, particularly on soldiers, the poor, and those who were condemned to the mines, freeing many from oppression, chains and banishment. The latest coins which, by order of her son, bore her name, Flavia Julia Helena, were minted in 330, which presumably was the year of her death. This took place apparently somewhere in the East, and her body was taken to Rome.
St Helen is named in the Roman Martyrology on August 18, on which day her feast is kept in the dioceses of Liverpool, Salford and Brentwood; it is observed universally in the East, but on May 21, with that rather equivocal person, her son Constantine the Byzantines refer to them as “the holy, illustrious and great emperors, crowned by God and equal with the Apostles
         The principal source is the life of Constantine by Eusebius, the relevant passages of which are quoted in the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. iii. See also M. Guidi, Un Bios di Costantino (1908); and DAC., vol. vi, cc. 2126—2145. Among more popular accounts of St Helen may be mentioned R. Couzard, Ste Hélène d’apr
ès l’histoire et (a tradition (1911), and A. M. Rouillon, Sainte Hélène (1908) in the series “Les Saints. In both these books too much stress seems to be laid upon the very questionable translation of the relics of the saint to the monastery of Hautvillers in France. St Helen, as Delehaye shows (CMH., p. 450), after Duchesne, was buried, not in Constantinople, but in Rome on the Via Lavicana. In the series “L’Art et les Saints an interesting little brochure has been written concerning St Helen by J. Maurice (1929). Evelyn Waugh’s novel Helena (1950) must be read in the light of the author’s preface. Cf. also Fr Thurston in The Month, May 1892, pp. 88—100.

The Reign of the Righteous Emperor Constantine, the Great. (coptic)

On this day also, is the commemoration of the enthronement of the Righteous Emperor Constantine the Great, over the city of Rome. When he reigned over Byzantium, succeeding his father Constantius Chlorus, he abolished the injustice throughout the kingdom. His fairness and fame spread throughout the Empire. The nobles of Rome asked him to come and save them from the injustice of Maximianus. He sorrowed for their misfortune, and he pondered in what way he could deliver them. The sign of the cross appeared to him, to which he adhered. Constantine went and fought against Maximianus and defeated him. While Maximianus was retreating, crossing the bridge over the Tiber River, the bridge broke and he perished, drowning along with his soldiers. That was in the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Constantine. When Emperor Constantine entered Rome, all its nobles and people welcomed him in a grand festival, and with great joy. They celebrated his victory for seven successive days. The poets of Rome and its orators praised the Honorable Cross, describing it as the savior of their city and the supporter of their Emperor.

The account of the appearance of the Cross to Emperor Constantine and his victory over Maximianus is written under the commemoration of the departure of this righteous Emperor, which is on the 28th day of Baramhat.

Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

412 Saints Barnabas nephew Sophronius were Athenians, lived on Mount Mela near Trebizond - Asia Minor. They died in the year 412.
430 Alipius (Alypius) of Tagaste lifelong close friend of Saint Augustine chief assistant in all his public work B (RM)
Born at Tagaste, North Africa; feast day formerly August 15.
  Saint Alipius was a lifelong close friend of Saint Augustine, who detailed their conversations in his Confessions. Alipius studied under Augustine at Carthage and became a Manichaean with him until his father forbade his association with Augustine. So they separated for a time: Alipius went to Rome to study law. There he was later joined by Augustine and they travelled together to Milan, Italy, when Augustine went there to teach.
  They were baptized together in Milan on the same day--at the Easter Vigil in 387. Together they were at Cassiciacum and returned to Africa in 388, where they spent three years at Tagaste in prayer and penance as religious before each was ordained at Hippo and each later called to an episcopal chair. Alipius was consecrated bishop of Tagaste about 393, after having made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was Augustine's chief assistant in all his public work (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia)
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430 ST ALIPIUS, BISHOP OF TAGASTE
ST Alipius was born about the year 360 at Tagaste in Africa, of which town St Augustine, only a few years older than himself, was also a native. He studied grammar at Tagaste and rhetoric at Carthage, both under St Augustine, till a disagreement happened between his master and his father. Alipius still retained a great affection and respect for Augustine, and was reciprocally much beloved by him. At Carthage Alipius was engrossed by the circus, to which the inhabitants of that city were extravagantly addicted. Augustine was afflicted that so hopeful a young man should be lost in what was an exceedingly dangerous interest, but he had no opportunity to warn him, as Alipius by that time was not allowed by his father to be any longer one of his scholars. Alipius happened, however, one day to go into his school, and hear some part of the lecture, as he did sometimes by stealth. Augustine, in expounding the subject which he had in hand, borrowed a similitude from the shows of the circus, with a smart rebuke for those who were involved in their excesses. This he did without any thought of Alipius. But he imagined it had been spoken purely for him and, being a well-disposed youth, was angry with himself for his weakness, and determined to overcome it.

Alipius, pursuing a career in the world according to the wishes of his parents, went to Rome to study the law. He had already moved some distance on the road towards conversion to Christianity, but soon had a serious set-back. Some of his friends meeting him one day led him to some barbarous sports. He resisted all the way, and said to them, “If you haul my body thither, can you force me to turn my mind or my eyes upon these shows? I shall be absent therefrom, though present in body.” Yet they did not desist, but carried him with them. When they had taken their seats Alipius shut his eyes, that his soul might not take any delight in such scenes; and would to God, says St Augustine, he had shut his ears too. For hearing a great shout, he was overcome by curiosity and opened his eyes, meaning only to see what the matter was, and then shut them again. But, showing us how much our safety depends upon our shunning the occasions of evil and shutting out all dangerous objects from our soul, by this curiosity he fell. One of the com­batants was wounded; and Alipius no sooner saw the blood of the wounded gladiator than, instead of turning away his eyes, he fixed them on the savage sight, sucked in all the fury, and was made drunk with the insensate cruelty of those criminal combats. He was not now the man he came, but one of the multitude with which he mingled. He looked on gloatingly, he shouted, he carried away with him a madness which compelled him to return again and to draw others with him. He relapsed into his former passion for the diversions of the circus, some of them innocent, some barbarous, and some gross. From these misfortunes he learned to fear his own weakness, and trust in God alone, after he had been rescued by the strong and merciful hand of his Creator. But this was long afterwards.

In the meantime Alipius followed his studies, lived chaste, behaved with integrity and honour, and in due course received a judicial office, which he dis­charged with equity and disinterestedness. When Augustine came to Rome he stuck close to him, went with him to Milan in 384, and shared his conversion. Their names were inscribed together among the competentes at the beginning of the Lent of 387. Alipius followed with exactness and fervour the exercises of cate­chumens before baptism, and received that sacrament with St Augustine from St Ambrose on Easter eve. Some time after they went back to Africa. They lived together at Tagaste, in a small community of devout persons, in the fervent practice of penance and prayer. Worldly habits just discarded stood in need of such a retreat, and habits of virtue were to be formed and strengthened. Such a solitude was also a necessary preparation for the apostolic life, which these holy men after­wards undertook.

They lived thus three years at Tagaste when, St Augustine being made priest of Hippo, they all removed thither and continued the same manner of life. Alipius, now a priest, made a pilgrimage of devotion to Palestine, where he met with St Jerome. Upon his return to Africa he was consecrated bishop of Tagaste, about the year 393. He was St Augustine’s chief assistant in all his public work, and preached and laboured with indefatigable zeal in the cause of God and His Church. St Augustine in a letter which he wrote to St Alipius in 429 calls him old, and he seems not to have long survived that year. His name occurs in the Roman Martyrology on August 15, but the Augustinian canons regular and others keep his feast on the 18th.

A sufficient account of St Alipius, pieced together mainly from the writings of St Augustine, will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. iii. 

496 St. Firminus Bishop of Metz Bishop of Metz, France eight years; he was either Greek or Italian
Metis, in Gállia, sancti Firmíni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Metz in France, St. Firmin, bishop and confessor.
Firminus of Metz B (RM) Died 496. It is uncertain whether Firminus was a Greek or Italian by origin, but he did govern the see of Metz for eight years (Benedictines).
560 Daig (Dagaeus, Daganus) Maccairill (of Iniskin) disciple of Saint Finian B (AC)
   Son of Cayrill, Daig; disciple of Saint Finian. As Irish bishop of Iniskin (Inis Cain Dega) he founded and governed a monastery. The Book of Leinster makes him "one of the Three Master Craftsmen of Ireland."

586 St. Daig Maccairaill Monastic founder and bishop
Also called Dagaeus and Daganus. He was the son of Cayrill and a disciple of St. Finian. Daig Maccairaill founded a monastery at Iniskeen, Ireland. He is called “one of the Three Master Craftsman of Ireland.

668 Saint Christopher was born in Gazara, near Trebizond. He was the head of a monastery on Mount Mela in the second half of the seventh century (641-668).
674 Saint John V Patriarch of Constantinople 669-674 lived during reign of emperor Constantine Pogonatos (668-685).
683 Saint George I Patriarch of Constantinople 678-683 during reign of emperor Constantine Pogonatos (668-685).
730 Blessed Milo  joined his father at Fontenelle OSB Hermit (PC)
When Milo's noble Frankish parents separated to enter religious life, Milo joined his father at Fontenelle. Later he became a hermit (Benedictines)
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830 Saint Macarius was igumen of the Pelekete monastery. During the time of the Iconoclast heresy he underwent torture and imprisonment for icon veneration.
St Macarius, Igumen of the Pelekete Monastery, was born at Constantinople in 785. While still a child, he lost his parents. The saint fervently read the Scriptures and came to realize that earthly things are temporary and perishable, and that heavenly things are permanent and imperishable. Therefore, he decided to devote his life entirely to God. He entered the Pelekete monastery in Bithynia, where at the time the igumen was the renowned ascetic, St Hilarion (March 28).

After the death of St Hilarion, St Macarius was unanimously chosen as igumen by the brethren. During the reign of the Byzantine Emperors Leo V the Armenian (813-820) and Michael II the Stammerer (820-829), St Macarius suffered as a confessor for the veneration of holy icons. He was sent to the island of Aphousia, where he died in about the year 830.

9th v. Evan (Inan) Scottish hermit who lived in Ayrshire, Hermit (AC)
Scottish hermit who lived in Ayrshire, where several churches are dedicated to him (Benedictines, Encyclopedia)
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946 Saint John of Rila, great spiritual ascetic of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Heavenly Protector of the Bulgarian nation; miracle of crossing river as a youth; unclean spirits he healed by prayer; he wrote in his own hand "A Testament to Disciples," one of the finest creations of Old Bulgarian literature
Saint John was born in the year 876 in the village of Skrino in the Sredets district [now Sofia].

After he had been orphaned, the boy became a cowherd in order to avoid people. Once the rich man beat him for losing a cow with its calf. The boy cried long and he prayed, that God would help him. When he found the cow with the calf, the water at that time flowed high and strong in the River Struma. The young cowherd prayed, he placed his own tattered shirt on the water, made the Sign of the Cross over it, took up the calf in his arms and went with it, as though on dry land, to the other bank of the river where the cow was.
The rich man, hidden in the forest, was frightened upon seeing this miracle. He rewarded the youth generously, then sent him away from his home. Having given away his things, the boy left his village. Where and when the saint took monastic tonsure is unknown.
   At the very first he pursued asceticism on a high and barren hill, eating only wild plants. His hut was of brushwood. After a short while robbers fell upon him by night, beat him, and drove him off from there. Then he found a deep cave and settled in it. Soon, his nephew St Luke also settled there.
The place was quite unpopulated, so that St John at first considered the appearance of Luke a demonic trick, but learning that the youth sought the salvation of his soul, he lovingly accepted him. Not for long, however, did they live together. St John's brother found the ascetics, and forcibly took away his son. Along the way home the youth died from the bite of a snake. The brother repented and asked forgiveness of the monk. The wanderer went then frequently to the grave of the righteous youth; his beloved place of rest was there.
   St John spent twelve years in the desolate cave, and then he went into the Rila wilderness and settled in the hollow of a tree. He fasted and prayed a great deal, wept incessantly, and ate only grass. Seeing such endurance, God caused beans to grow, which he ate for a long time. The beans and his exploits made him known to people.
   Once a flock of frightened sheep ran along the hilly steep paths, and did not stop until the place where the monk lived. The shepherds, following after the flock, with astonishment saw the hermit, who amicably greeted them: "You arrive here hungry. Pick some of my beans and eat." All ate and were satisfied. One gathered many beans in reserve. Along the way home he offered them to his comrades, but there were no beans in the pilfered pods. The shepherds turned back penitent, and the Elder stood there, saying with a smile: "See, children, these fruits are appointed by God for subsistence in the wilderness."
   From that time they began to bring to the monk the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits, which he healed by prayer.

   Fleeing celebrity, the monk went from his beloved tree-hollow and settled on a high and rocky crag difficult of access, where he dwelt for seven years under the open sky. Reports about the great ascetic reached even the Bulgarian king Peter (927-969), who wanted to meet him. St John wrote a letter, refusing such a meeting out of humility.

Later on St John accepted under him the guidance of monks, who built a monastery with a church in the cave where St John formerly lived. He wisely tended his flock and died on August 18, 946 at 70 years of age.

Five years before his end he wrote in his own hand "A Testament to Disciples," one of the finest creations of Old Bulgarian literature. The holy life of the ascetic and the remarkable mercies of God through his prayers were a fine preaching of the Christian Faith in the newly-baptized Bulgarian land. In the uneasy time of struggle of Bulgaria with Byzantium, under the west Bulgarian king Samuel (976-1014), St John appeared to his disciples, commanding them to transfer his relics to Sredets (Sofia), where the Bulgarian Patriarch Damian (927-972) was hiding.
It is presumed that the transfer of relics took place in the year 980.
Somewhat later, the right hand of St John of Rila was transferred to Russia (presumably to the city of Rila, where a church was constructed in the name of St John of Rila, with a chapel dedicated to the martyrs Florus and Laurus, on the day of their commemoration (August 18) on which he died).

The name of St John was known and loved by the Russian people from antiquity. Data about the death of the saint is preserved, especially in Russian sources (the MENAION for August in the twelfth century, in the Mazurinsk Chronicle).

In the year 1183, the Hungarian king Bela II (1174-1196), during a campaign against the Greeks, seized the chest with the relics of St John, together with other booty, and took it to the city of Esztergom.

In the year 1187, after he embellished the reliquary, he sent back the holy relics with great honor. On October 19, 1238 the relics of St John were solemnly transferred to the new capital, Trnovo, and put in a church dedicated to the saint. On July 1, 1469 the holy relics of St John of Rila were returned to the Rila monastery, where they rest to the present day, granting grace-filled help to all the believers.

1093 St. Christodoulos The great Church figure and philosopher from the village of Sakara in the Imereti region
He possessed an exceptional knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and spoke several languages fluently
To support his prodigious understanding of the Christian Faith, Christodoulos became thoroughly acquainted with other creeds as well. To this purpose, he even memorized the Koran.

Once the Persian king Iamame arranged a debate on theological issues between the Muslims and the Christians, and he invited the elder Christodoulos to take part in this event. At first the king himself debated with the elder and suffered an upset. Then a certain pagan astrologer was brought to replace him, and when it became clear that he too was no match for the elder-philosopher, he summoned a renowned scholar to outwit him. In the debates with this scholar, Christodoulos freely cited both the Holy Scriptures and the Koran, and with his brilliant logic and rhetoric he triumphed over his rival. His challengers were disgraced.

In his work Pilgrimage, the famous 19th-century historian Archbishop Timote (Gabashvili) describes his journey to Mt. Athos and notes that St. Christodoulos had labored with the monks of the Iveron Monastery.

Church historians believe that St. Christodoulos labored first in Georgia, then moved to Mt. Athos, and finally to the island of Patmos.

1255 Blessed Leonard 11th abbot of La Cava Abbey , OSB Abbot (AC)
cultus confirmed in 1928. Leonard the 11th abbot of La Cava Abbey in southern Italy governed for 20 years (Benedictines)
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1255 St. Hugh the Little Martyred nine year old
Lincoln, England, reportedly a victim of ritual killing by English Jews. King Henry III conducted the investigation of the crime which resulted in eighteen or nineteen Jews being hanged. Hugh had been scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified. Miracles supposedly accompanied the recovery of the lad’s body from a well, and the martyrdom became part of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The feast of the saint is no longer kept by the Church, and the entire account of the young saint is considered an example of the anti Semitism which was rampant throughout the Middle Ages. In art, he was depicted bound in cords, kneeling before the Blessed Mother
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1321 Bl. Raynald of Ravenna Ravenna Archbishop
Born at Milan under the name Raynald Concorrezzo, he entered the Church as a canon in Lodi and was later appointed bishop of Vicenza in 1296. In 1303 he was named archbishop of Ravenna, from which post he was a friend and supporter of the Knights Templar until their dissolution and annihilation in 1312.
Blessed Raynald of Ravenna B (AC)
Born in Milan, Italy; died in Ravenna, Italy, in 1321; cultus confirmed in 1852. Raynald Concorrezzo was became a canon of Lodi following his ordination. In 1296, he was consecrated bishop of Vicenza. After holding various offices in the papal states, he was made archbishop of Ravenna in 1303. Raynald was a friend and defender of the Knights Templars (Benedictines)
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1438 Bd Angelo Augustine Of Florence; miracles; insisted abolition of use of all private property and no friar might accept or retain a post which involved his living outside his monastery
Angelo Augustine Mazzinghi was born at Florence in I377 of a family rivalling in distinction those of the Corsini and Pazzi. Having entered the Carmelite Order, he was successively appointed prior of the Carmels of Le Selve, Frascati and Florence, and then provincial of Tuscany. In these offices he showed himself a model of virtue; his religious devotion warmed the zeal of every monastery with which he came in contact. He had great success as a preacher, which certain old pictures indicate by representing him with garlands of flowers coming from his mouth and entwining among his hearers. At the end of his term as provincial he went back to Le Selve and devoted the rest of his life to the reform of his order which had been begun by James Alberti in 1413. Among its principles on which Bd Angelo insisted was the abolition of the use of all private property and that no friar might accept or retain a post which involved his living outside his monastery. He died at Florence on August 16, 1438, after predicting the day of his death.
The ancient cultus of Bd Angelo, supported by many miracles, was confirmed in 1761. A sketch of the life of Bd Angelo was printed at Saragossa at the time of his beatification R. A. Faci, Noticia breve de la vida de S: Angelo Augustini (1761). See also Villiers, Biblio­theca Carmelitana, vol. i, pp. 104—105, and DHG., vol. iii, c. 40.
1495 Blessed Aimo Taparelli converted many of his listeners by the sincerity and sweetness of his preaching OP (AC)
Born in Savigliano, Piedmont, Italy, c. 1395; cultus confirmed in 1856. Aimo was one of the few inquisitors in the Piedmont who lived to die in peace at about 100 years of age. One of his first tasks on assuming the office was to give honorable burial to two of his predecessors, who had been martyred.

Aimo, scion of the counts of Lagnasco, became a Dominican in his hometown at an early age. He was a good student and made such rapid strides in his studies that he was asked to teach at the University of Turin. Much of his life was spent preaching and teaching.  He served for a time as confessor at the court of Blessed Amadeus of Savoy, but did not like that life. So, he was offered the even less attractive position of inquisitor-general of Lombardy and Liguria when he was 71 years old. He replaced Blessed Bartholomew Cerverio, who had just been martyred.

It had taken all the strength of the young and vigorous, 46-year- old Bartholomew to hold such a position; therefore, Aimo went to the Piedmont with considerable misgivings. Nevertheless, he seems to have been a great success in the difficult office. He converted many of his listeners by the sincerity and sweetness of his preaching. His example was a beacon of hope to the Catholics of the area, who had sometimes been embarrassed by the affluence of Church authorities and the obvious poverty of the heretics.
One of Aimo's first acts was to arrange for the relics of Blessed Anthony of Pavoni to be brought home to Savigliano and interred in the Dominican church there (Benedictines, Dorcy)
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BD HAYMO OF SAVIGLIANO (A.D. 1495)
HAYMO TAPARELLI belonged to the family of the counts of Lagnasco and was born at Savigliano in Piedmont in 1395. He was an attractive and quick-witted youth who, after being married for a time, joined the Dominicans and studied at the University of Turin, where he afterwards taught. He preached with much effect throughout Piedmont, for the reconciliation of heretics, the reformation of ill-livers, and the edification of good Christians. He eventually attracted the attention of Bd Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, and was appointed to preach at his court, and he continued to counsel and encourage that holy but unfortunate prince in the troubles which followed his abdication. Bd Haymo’s favourite text was, “To serve God is to reign”; he wrote those words on the wall of his cell, and in a more simple form above the door of the friars’ church at Savigliano: “Salvation consists in serving God; everything else is delusion.” His own long life was simply a commentary on that text: all his time he was serving God either directly or by service of his neighbour for God’s sake; and when the world was too much with him he would retreat for a time of uninterrupted contemplation to a mountain near Saluzzo.

And the world and its doings were often very much with him, for northern Italy was overrun by Vaudois and it was the Dominicans’ business to deal with them. In 1466 the commissary of the Inquisition, Bd Bartholomew, a fellow-townsman of Bd Haymo, was done to death by heretics at Cervere; he was the third of the four inquisitors produced by Savigliano, and the third to be martyred. Haymo was appointed to take his place and shortly after was made inquisitor general for Upper Lombardy and Liguria; the post was as dangerous as it was difficult and laborious, but Haymo, already over seventy, took it up without a word and carried out its duties till the end of his life, nearly thirty years. On August 13, 1495, when reciting the office of the day he came to the words, “The saints shall rejoice in glory”, and it seemed to him that a choir of angels made the response, “They shall be joyful in their beds”, and at once he had a premonition that his death was at hand. And so it was. Two days later, when he had said his office and received the last sacraments, he clasped a crucifix to his breast and quietly died. He was a hundred years old. The people immediately flocked to venerate his body, and the cultus that then began was confirmed in 1856.

The case presented for the confirmation of the cultus of Bd Haymo seems to have been largely based upon a manuscript chronicle compiled by Father Peronino Sereno at the beginning of the sixteenth century. A full account is given in the Analecta juris pontificii, vol. ii (1802), cc. 2337—2346. See also Arnaud, Vita del b. Aimone (1802), and Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 45—47.
1490 BD BEATRICE DA SILVA, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONCEP­TIONIST NUNS

This Beatrice, known in Portugal as Brites, was born in 1424 and was a sister of Bd Amadeus, initiator of the Franciscan “reform of Marignano”, of whom there is a popular cultus at Milan. She was brought up in the household of the Princess Isabel and at the age of about twenty accompanied her to Spain when she married John II of Castile. The beauty and attractiveness of Beatrice excited the jealousy of the queen, or, as some say, she listened too readily to the ill-natured gossip of jealous ladies of the court, and Beatrice was imprisoned for three days without food. When she was released she had had enough of court life and she was given leave to retire to the Cistercian convent at Toledo. Beatrice for long had a project for a new order of women, and in 1484 the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded. Queen Isabella the Catholic gave the castle of Galliana to be the house of the first community, who followed an adaptation of the Cistercian rule, and wore a white habit with a blue mantle, after the form in which our Lady had appeared to the foundress. Bd Beatrice died in 1490. Soon after, the new order came under the influence of the Franciscan Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros, Archbishop of Toledo, and it was finally approved with a modification of the rule of the Poor Clares; it still exists in Spain and elsewhere. The cultus of Bd Beatrice da Silva was confirmed in 1926.
   Together with Bd Beatrice the Friars Minor today keep the feast of BD PAULA OF MONTALDO, a Poor Clare mystic at Mantua, who died in 1514.

Her cultus was approved in 1906. The decree confirming the cult is printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xviii (1926), pp. 496—499, and contains a short sketch of her history. See also Jeronymo de Belem, Chronica Serafica da santa Provincia dos Algarves, vol. ii, pp. 736—748, where also is a full account of the Bd Amadeus mentioned above. Upon the Conceptionist Order, of which the famous mystic Maria Coronel d’Agreda was a member, see Heimbucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen der Kath. Kirche, vol. ii, pp. 488 seq.
1641 St. Jane Frances de Chantal wife, mother, nun b.1562  
Jane Frances founder of a religious community. Her mother died when Jane was 18 months old, and her father, head of parliament at Dijon, France, became the main influence on her education. She developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, lively and cheerful in temperament. At 21 she married Baron de Chantal, by whom she had six children, three of whom died in infancy. At her castle she restored the custom of daily Mass, and was seriously engaged in various charitable works. Her husband was killed after seven years of marriage, and she sank into deep dejection for four months at her family home. Her father-in-law threatened to disinherit her children if she did not return to his home. He was then 75, vain, fierce and extravagant. Jane Frances managed to remain cheerful in spite of him and his insolent housekeeper.
   When she was 32 she met St. Francis de Sales, who became her spiritual director, softening some severities imposed by her former director. She wanted to become a nun but he persuaded her to defer this decision. She took a vow to remain unmarried and to obey her director.  After three years Francis told her of his plan to found an institute of women which would be a haven for those whose health, age or other considerations barred them from entering the already established communities. There would be no cloister, and they would be free to undertake spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They were primarily intended to exemplify the virtues of Mary at the Visitation (hence their name, the Visitation nuns): humility and meekness.
   The usual opposition to women in active ministry arose and Francis de Sales was obliged to make it a cloistered community following the Rule of St. Augustine. Francis wrote his famous Treatise on the Love of God for them.
   The congregation (three women) began when Jane Frances was 45. She underwent great sufferings: Francis de Sales died; her son was killed; a plague ravaged France; her daughter-in-law and son-in-law died. She encouraged the local authorities to make great efforts for the victims of the plague and she put all her convent’s resources at the disposal of the sick.
   During a part of her religious life she had to undergo great trials of the spirit—interior anguish, darkness and spiritual dryness. She died while on a visitation of convents of the community.
Comment:  It may strike some as unusual that a saint should be subject to spiritual dryness, darkness, interior anguish. We tend to think that such things are the usual condition of “ordinary” sinful people. Some of our lack of spiritual liveliness may indeed be our fault. But the life of faith is still one that is lived in trust, and sometimes the darkness is so great that trust is pressed to its limit.
Quote:  St. Vincent de Paul said of Jane Frances: “She was full of faith, yet all her life had been tormented by thoughts against it. While apparently enjoying the peace and easiness of mind of souls who have reached a high state of virtue, she suffered such interior trials that she often told me her mind was so filled with all sorts of temptations and abominations that she had to strive not to look within herself...But for all that suffering her face never lost its serenity, nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth” (Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
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1620 Bl. Mary Guengoro Martyr of Japan wife of Blessed Thomas Guengero
She was crucified at Kokura with her husband and son, James. She was beatified in 1867
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1620 Bl. Thomas Guengoro Japanese martyr native
He was arrested and crucified at Kokura with his wife and young son for giving aid to
Blessed Simon Kiota.
18th v. Saint Sophronius left home on his wedding night and became a monk on Mount Athos. After living there for fifty years, he died in peace.
1877 Saint Arsenius of Paros Church commemorates uncovering of the relics
Saint Arsenius of Paros (1800-1877) was glorified by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1967.

The main Feast of St Arsenius, "the glory of Epirus and the boast of Paros," is on January 31. St Arsenius and his Elder stayed on Mount Athos for six years before being forced to leave by ignorant monks who were against the Kollyvades movement. The Kollyvades called for a strict adherence to holy Tradition, opposed performing memorial services on Sundays, and believed that Christians should receive Holy Communion more frequently than four times a year. They also practiced unceasing prayer of the heart (hesychasm), which was misunderstood by many people of that time. Some of the Athonite monks, in their ignorance, were highly critical of the Kollyvades, insulting and mistreating them, and forcing them into exile.

Fr Daniel and St Arsenius left Athos when the anti-Kollyvades sentiments against frequent Communion were particularly intense. This was just before the start of the Greek War of Independence on March 25, 1821. After a brief stay at the Penteli Monastery near Athens, the two went to the island of Paros. Unable to remain there, they ultimately settled on the island of Pholegandros.

Since there were no teachers on the island, the inhabitants asked Fr Daniel to permit Fr Arsenius to teach their children. The Elder agreed to their request, and also had Fr Arsenius ordained a deacon by the Metropolitan of Thira. After his ordination, the Greek government appointed Fr Arsenius as a teacher. His teaching career lasted from 1829 to 1840.


 Thursday    August  18 Quintodécimo Kaléndas Septémbris   
Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  August 2016
Universal:   That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization:  That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

On Death and Life
"Man Needs Eternity -- and Every Other Hope, for Him, Is All Too Brief"
Пресвятая Богородице спаси нас!    (Santíssima Mãe de Deus, salva-nos!)
     
                                           
 
40 Days for Life  11,000+ saved lives in 2015
We are the defenders of true freedom.
  May our witness unveil the deception of the "pro-choice" slogan.
40 days for Life Campaign saves lives Shawn Carney Campaign Director www.40daysforlife.com
Please help save the unborn they are the future for the world

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

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


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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Join Mary of Nazareth Project help us build the International Marian Center of Nazareth
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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

Miracles by Century 100   200   300   400   500   600   700    800   900   1000    1100   1200   1300   1400  1500  1600  1700  1800   1900  Miracles_BLay Saints
Morning Prayer and Hymn    Meditation of the Day    Prayer for Priests    Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here
We are called upon with the whole Church militant on earth to join in praising and thanking God for the grace and glory he has bestowed on his saints. At the same time we earnestly implore Him to exert His almighty power and mercy in raising us from our miseries and sins, healing the disorders of our souls and leading us by the path of repentance to the company of His saints, to which He has called us.
   They were once what we are now, travellers on earth they had the same weaknesses, which we have. We have difficulties to encounter so had the saints, and many of them far greater than we can meet with; obstacles from kings and whole nations, sometimes from the prisons, racks and swords of persecutors. Yet they surmounted these difficulties, which they made the very means of their virtue and victories. It was by the strength they received from above, not by their own, that they triumphed. But the blood of Christ was shed for us as it was for them and the grace of our Redeemer is not wanting to us; if we fail, the failure is in ourselves.
   THE saints and just, from the beginning of time and throughout the world, who have been made perfect, everlasting monuments of God’s infinite power and clemency, praise His goodness without ceasing; casting their crowns before His throne they give to Him all the glory of their triumphs: “His gifts alone in us He crowns.”
“The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: ‘But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....’ Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory” Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

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

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

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

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