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!)

  Vladimir_Theotokos.jpg


Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List

Acts of the Apostles

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

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

                   
 

                                                                             
       
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'
Pope Benedict XVI to The Catholic Church In China here
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

Our Lady of Czestochowa Queen of Poland Aug 26
At the time of the major Swedish invasions in Poland (1655) (...) when all seemed lost and the king and his army had been routed, the monks of Yasna Gora faced up to the challenge. They resolved not to surrender, and the powerful Swedish army never managed to dislodge the few Polish monks cooped up in an old monastery. The spiritual resistance that held sway was such that the Swedes were soon forced to retire. This unbelievable victory was ascribed to Our Lady, whose famous icon of the Black Virgin looked down upon the monastery of Yasna Gora. King John Casimir proclaimed the Mother of God to be Queen of the Kingdom of Poland.  Since that time, the sanctuary in Yasna Gora is where the whole of Polish history has been summed up: "You need to listen to the pulse of this place to feel how the heart of the nation beats in the heart of Mary" (John Paul II, June 4, 1979).

Mary's Divine Motherhood
Called in the Gospel "the Mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the Mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et al.). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh,
was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity.
Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).

Catechism of the Catholic Church 495, quoting the Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.

How Our Lady Delivered Me From Marianism August 26 -
OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA (Poland, 1382)
I had been a Catholic for about ten years--a very enthusiastic adult convert from an American Jewish background--but I had never really warmed up to Mary. I believed all the right things and tried to practice various "devotions" (rosary, brown scapular, etc.) but somehow it all seemed unreal. I envied cradle Catholics who had a loving relationship with Our Lady from childhood and really felt that they had a Mother in Heaven. For a while I fell under the influence of Catholics whose whole spiritual life revolved around the Blessed Virgin Mary. They put a lot of pressure on me to join their group and make a consecration to Mary according to the way of Saint Louis de Montfort. I felt this path to be very foreign to me and the whole thing made me unhappy, but I did ask Our Lord to show me if it was what He wanted. In the midst of my confusion someone brought a pilgrim image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to our Church and I went to see her. As the life-sized image was carried past me I felt a stream of love going from my heart to Our Lady, and without words or even ideas, something was communicated to me. Put into words, it might sound like this:
"You already have a devotion to me in your heart, even if you don't usually feel it.
You don't have to express it the way the de Montfort people do, or follow the spirituality that works for them.
Your relationship with me is just fine-nothing is the matter with it."
After that I relaxed, and little by little Our Lady found her proper place in my life, inwardly and outwardly, without my having to worry about it. By Marilyn Prever (contact phil.prever@myfairpoint.net)
Read: Roy Schoeman, Honey From the Rock, Sixteen Jews find the Sweetness of Christ, Ignatius Press, 2004

  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.

August 26 – Our Lady of Czestochowa (Poland)
 
The religious heart of Poland and symbol of its political freedom
 
Czestochowa is a city in southern Poland, known worldwide for the Pauline Fathers’ Monastery of Jasna Góra, home of a Marian shrine where the miraculous image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the icon of the Black Madonna, is venerated.

Czestochowa is a pilgrimage center visited annually by 4 to 5 million pilgrims coming from 80 countries. The icon, placed there by Władysław Opolczyk (Ladislaus of Opole) in 1382, is easy to recognize from the "scars" on the cheek of the Virgin, left by the looting of the shrine by Hussite heretics on April 14, 1430, Easter Day.

Jasna Góra is the religious heart of the country and the symbol of its political freedom. In 1920, the Red Army threatened Warsaw. The Polish Episcopate then met in Jasna Góra on July 27, and renewed the consecration to Mary. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to the shrine to ask their Queen for the liberation of the country. On August 15th, Assumption Day, their prayers were answered—this is known as the "miracle on the Vistula."

In May 1936, 25,000 students consecrated themselves to Mary and vowed to build a new Poland. Among them was a certain Karol Wojtyla (better known as Saint John Paul II).  Mary of Nazareth Team

 
138-161 Saints Simplicius, and sons Constantius and Victorian Among the Marcians
  217
St Zephyrinus called the principal defender of Christ's divinity; Pope And Martyr 199-217
        SS Irenaeus and Abundius At Rome
 
252 Seven Young Men of Ephesus Martyrdom of the Maximus, Malchus, Martinianus, Dionysius, John, Serpion and Constantine bodies uncorrupted for about two hundred years.
         St. Adrian, son of Emperor Probus {272-286} At Nicomedia
  286 St. Secundus Theban Legion; Christian soldiers during reign of Diocletian All 6600 martyred for Jesus Christ
       St. Alexander Theban Legion;
Bergamo Patron beheaded for constant confession the name our Lord Jesus Christ
305-311 Adrian and Natalia Martyrs married in their youth for one year prior to martyrdom; lived in Nicomedia; encouraged her husband saying: "You are blessed, my lord, because you have believed in Christ. You have obtained a great treasure. Do not regret anything earthly, neither beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28), nor riches. Everything worldly is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds are pleasing to God."
5th v. St. Rufinus Bishop of Capua
 660 St. Elias Benedictine bishop of Syracuse Italy. He sponsored monastic expansion in the region.
  764 St. Bregwin 12th Canterbury archbishop
9th v St. Felix of Pistoia A hermit of Pistoia
10th v. St. Pandwyna Scottish or Irish saint also called Pandonio; church dedicated to her in Cambridgeshire, England.   950 St. Victor Martyr; Passia composed in 15th century declares martyrdom came in Spain at the hands of Moors.
1078 Bd Herluin, Abbot; abandoned knightly service to become a monk, 5 years later founded abbey of Bec, which was to become one of the most famous and influential intellectual centres of the middle ages. Through Lanfranc (also often called Blessed), St Anselm and others it had an important effect on the ecclesiastical history of England.
1131, the Vladimir Theotokos icon sent from Constantinople to Rus; The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was painted by the Evangelist Luke on a board from the table at which the Savior ate together with His All-Pure Mother and Righteous Joseph. The Mother of God, upon seeing this image, exclaimed, "Henceforth, all generations shall call Me blessed. The grace of both My Son and Me shall be with this icon."
1240 St Raymond Nonnatus the birthday of; Master-general of Mercedarian Order;
1504  Saint Adrian of Uglich was one of the first ten disciples of St Paisius of Uglich (June 6), for whom he was the closest cell-attendant, disciple and co-ascetic. Together with St Paisius, St Adrian was accounted woryour of a vision of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1472. St Paisius was in one of the cells together with St Cassian of Uglich (October 2), and Sts Gerasimus and Adrian.
1504 Bd Timothy Of Montecchio; worked many miracles, visited by our Blessed Lady and St Francis and our Saviour spoke to him audibly from the sacramental species

1542 The Pskov Caves Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, named the "Tenderness"  is famous particularly for the defense of Pskov and the Pskov Caves monastery from the army of Stephen Bathory in 1581. Its celebration is also on May 21, June 23 and October 7. The Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God is of the Eleousa (Umilenie) type.
1549 Saint Adrian of Andrusov ; owner of a rich estate; 9 versts from the monastery of St Alexander of Svir; encountered St Alexander of Svir during a stag hunt in 1493, and after this he went often to him for guidance, and supplied bread for the ascetics.
1572 Bd Thomas Percy, Martyr;  born in 1528. Earl of Northumberland from 1537, Thomas initially enjoyed an excellent relationship with Queen Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603). Thomas also served Queen Mary  (r. 1542-1587). Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the Garter on him in 1563. He then became involved in the Rising of the North and fled to Scotland but was sold to Queen Elizabeth for two thousand pounds. For three years he languished in a prison, refusing fervently to abjure his faith in return for his freedom. Thomas was finally beheaded at York and was beatified in 1896.


1648 St. Joseph Calasanz  educating the poor
; founded Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi)
1694 Bd John Wall, Martyr; took the Franciscan habit at St Bonaventure's friary at Douay in 1651, receiving the religious name of Joachim-of-St-Anne, and served there until 1626, when he returned to England.  After he had ministered to the Catholics of Worcestershire for over twenty-two years, his headquarters being at Harvington Hall, seized in Dec. 1678
1694 Bd Bernard Of Offida; humble Capuchin door keeper; "Now, my good St Felix, this is the time to help me", set himself to prayer.  And the dead child became alive and well. It is also said that our Lady appeared to him one day and told him that all his faults had been forgiven.
1838 St Elizabeth Bichier Des Ages, Virgin, Co-Foundress of The Daughters of The Cross or Sisters of St Andrew; Louis Veuillot, whatever objections can be brought against some of his theology and politics, at any rate knew a saint when he saw one, and he said of her, " She is one of the finest-tempered characters ever seen, gentle, resolute, strict, intelligent, industrious, but above all contrite and humble.  No difficulty daunts her courage, no lack of strength stops her superhuman labours, no interior distress troubles her outward serenity, no success puffs her up.  Whatever happens, she remains undisturbed.  Hardships, setbacks, successes, respect, insults-they are all the same to the supreme tranquillity that is rooted in an understanding that sees God in everything, and so must obey."
1897 St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars 1897 St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars Foundress Little Sisters of the Poor Beatified in 1958, she was canonized in 1974 by Pope VI.
1942 Werner Sylten Evangelische Kirche: 26. August


138-161 Apud Marsos sanctórum Simplícii, et ejus filiórum Constántii et Victoriáni, qui, sub Antoníno Imperatóre, várie primum excruciáti, tum demum, secúris ictu percússi, martyrii corónam, adépti sunt.
    saints Simplicius, and his sons Constantius and Victorian Among the Marcians, the saints Simplicius, and his sons Constantius and Victorian, who were first tortured in different manners, and lastly, struck with the axe, obtained the crown of martyrdom, in the time of Emperor Antoninus
.
Nobody, not even Christian writers, blamed Antoninus. for anti-Christian movements.  But he could not control conduct of the provincial governors and the fury of the people against an illegal religion who blamed clamaties on Christians.
217 St Zephyrinus called the principal defender of Christ's divinity; Pope And Martyr 199-217
Sancti Zephyríni, Papæ et Mártyris; cujus dies natális tertiodécimo Kaléndas Januárii recensétur.
    At Rome, St. Zephyrinus, pope and martyr, whose birthday falls on the 20th of December.

St Zephyrinus succeeded St Victor I in the pontificate about the year 199. 
   
The Church at Rome was disturbed internally during his time of office by the Montanists, by two sectaries both called Theodotus, and by a Christological dispute between two parties, one of which was led by the learned priest Hippolytus (August 13).  Hippolytus opposed himself strongly to Zephyrinus and his deacon and adviser Callistus, the pope refusing to countenance his teaching on the person of Christ.  For this reason the statement that Zephyrinus was an uneducated man of weak character, a mere tool in the hands of Callistus, can hardly be accepted on the bare authority of Hippolytus in the Philoso-phoumena: the writer's prejudice is manifest.    Eusebius tells us that this pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the two Theodoti that their followers treated him in the most contumelious manner:   But it was his glory that they called him the principal defender of Christ's divinity.
   During the later years of the Emperor Septimius Severus the toleration of Christians ceased, though it is not known what was the effect in Rome itself of the edict which laid heavy penalties upon conversion, except that there were many confessors of the faith.  But St Zephyrinus is venerated as a martyr, which title he might deserve by what he suffered in the persecution, though he probably did not die by the hand of the executioner.
We know little of St Zephyrinus beyond what may be gathered from a passage or two in Eusebius and a rather perplexing notice in the Liber Pontificalis. Mgr Duchesne has striven without much success to elucidate the latter (vol. i, pp. 139-140).  For the rest see the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. v; and DCB., vol. iv, pp. 121 5-1220.  On the pope's place of burial see Marucchi in the Nuovo bullettino di arch. crist., 1910, pp. 205-225.
Zephyrinus, Pope + Pope from 199-217. According to the Liber Pontificalis , he was a Roman by birth. His reign, as succcssor to St. Victor I (r. 189-199), was dominated by the troubles caused by several heretical groups and the severe persecution of the Church launched by Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) around 202. The antipope Hippolytus criticized his vacillation in dealing with the Monarchian heretics. According to tradition, Zephyrinus was martyred. His cult was suppressed in 1969 .
252 Seven Young Men of Ephesus Martyrdom of the Maximus, Malchus, Martinianus, Dionysius, John, Serpion and Constantine bodies uncorrupted for about two hundred years.
   On this day, of the year 252 A.D., the seven holy young men of the city of Ephesus: Maximus, Malchus, Martinianus, Dionysius, John, Serpion and Constantine, were martyred.  They were soldiers of Emperor Decius, who appointed them to guard the royal treasury. When the emperor established the worship of idols, certain men made accusation against them. They hid themselves in a cave, lest they become weakened and deny the Lord Christ. When the emperor knew that, he ordered the blocking of the cave's entrance, shutting them in. One of the soldiers was a believer in the Lord Christ. He engraved their life story on a tablet of brass and left it inside the cave. Thus the seven holy young men delivered up their pure souls.
   God wanted to honor them as His faithful servants, so He inspired the bishop of Ephesus about the place of the cave. The Bishop went and opened the entrance to the cave, and found their bodies uncorrupted. He knew from the brass tablet that they had been there for about two hundred years. That was during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Less. As they knew also from the coins, which they found with them that they were during the time of emperor Decius, because it had his picture on them.   May their prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen
.
Nicomedíæ pássio sancti Hadriáni, e Probo Cæsare progéniti, qui, Licínio persecutiónem in Christiános commótam éxprobrans, ab eódem jussus est occídi.  Ipsíus corpus Domítius, Byzántii Epíscopus, ejus pátruus, in ipsíus civitátis subúrbio cui nomen Argyrópolis sepelívit.
   
St. Adrian, son of Emperor Probus {272-286} At Nicomedia, the martyrdom of .  For reproaching Licinius because of the persecution of Christians, he was put to death by his order.  His body was buried at Argyropolis by his uncle Domitius, bishop of Byzantium.
 286 St. Secundus Theban Legion a Christian legion of soldiers during the reign of Diocletian All 6600 were martyred for Jesus Christ
Apud Albintimélium, Ligúriæ civitátem, sancti Secúndi Mártyris, viri spectábilis et Ducis ex legióne Thebæórum.
    At Ventimiglia, a city of Liguria, St. Secundus, martyr, a distinguished man and officer in the Theban Legion.
Martyred Roman soldier who, according to legend, was a member of the Theban Legion. The Theban Legion was a Christian legion of soldiers during the reign of Diocletian. All 6600 were martyred for Jesus Christ in the year 286 AD.
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Irenǽi et Abúndii, qui, in persecutióne Valeriáni, eo quod corpus beátæ Concórdiæ, in cloácam projéctum, leváverant, in eándem cloácam demérsi fuérunt; quorum córpora, a Justíno Presbytero inde extrácta, in crypta, juxta beátum Lauréntium, sepúlta sunt.
    Irenaeus and Abundius At Rome, during the persecution of Valerian, the holy martyrs, who were thrown into a sewer from which they had taken the body of blessed of Concordia.  Their bodies were drawn out by the priest Justin, and buried in a crypt near St. Lawrence
.
St. Alexander Theban Legion Patron of Bergamo beheaded for the constant confession of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bérgomi sancti Alexándri Mártyris, qui, et ipse unus ex eádem legióne, cum nomen Dómini Jesu Christi constantíssime faterétur, cápitis abscissióne martyrium complévit.
    At Bergamo in Lombardy, St. Alexander, martyr, who was one of the same legion, and endured martyrdom, being beheaded for the constant confession of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
subject of a legend. He is identified as part of the martyred Theban Legion who escaped but were then taken prisoner
.
305-311 Adrian and Natalia Martyrs were married in their youth for one year prior to their martyrdom, and lived in Nicomedia; encouraged her husband saying: "You are blessed, my lord, because you have believed in Christ. You have obtained a great treasure. Do not regret anything earthly, neither beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28 years of age), nor riches. Everything worldly is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds are pleasing to God."
During time of the emperor Maximian (305-311). The emperor promised a reward to whomever would inform on Christians to bring them to trial. Then the denunciations began, and twenty-three Christians were captured in a cave near Nicomedia.

They were tortured, urged to worship idols, and then brought before the Praetor, in order to record their names and responses. Adrian, the head of the praetorium, watched as these people suffered with such courage for their faith. Seeing how firmly and fearlessly they confessed Christ, asked: "What rewards do you expect from your God for your suffering?"
 The martyrs replied: "Such rewards as we are not able to describe, nor can your mind comprehend." St Adrian told the scribes,"Write my name down also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God."

The scribes reported this to the emperor, who summoned St Adrian and asked: "Really, have you gone mad, that you want to die? Come, cross out your name from the lists and offer sacrifice to the gods, asking their forgiveness."
St Adrian answered: "I have not lost my mind, but rather have I found it." Maximian then ordered Adrian to be thrown into prison. His wife, St Natalia, knowing that her husband was to suffer for Christ, rejoiced, since she herself was secretly a Christian.
She hastened to the prison and encouraged her husband saying: "You are blessed, my lord, because you have believed in Christ. You have obtained a great treasure. Do not regret anything earthly, neither beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28 years of age), nor riches. Everything worldly is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds are pleasing to God."
On the pledge of the other martyrs, they released St Adrian from prison to tell his wife about the day of his execution. At first St Natalia thought that he had renounced Christ and thus had been set free, and she did not want to let him into the house. The saint persuaded his wife that he had not fled from martyrdom, but rather had come to give her the news of the day of his execution.
They tortured St Adrian cruelly. The emperor advised the saint to have pity on himself and call on the gods, but the martyr answered: "Let your gods say what blessings they promise me, and then I shall worship them, but if they cannot do this, then why should I worship them?" St Natalia did not cease to encourage her husband. She asked him also to pray to God for her, that they would not force her into marriage with a pagan after his death.
The executioner ordered the hands and the legs of the saints to be broken on the anvil. St Natalia, fearing that her husband would hesitate on seeing the sufferings of the other martyrs, asked the executioner to begin with him, and permit her to put his hands and legs on the anvil herself.
They wanted to burn the bodies of the saints, but a storm arose and the fire went out. Many of the executioners even were struck by lightning. St Natalia took the hand of her husband and kept it at home. Soon an army commander asked the emperor's approval to wed St Natalia, who was both young and rich. But she hid herself away in Byzantium. St Adrian appeared to her in a dream and said that she would soon be at rest in the Lord. The martyr, worn out by her former sufferings, in fact soon fell asleep in the Lord.
5th v. St. Rufinus Bishop of Capua
Cápuæ sancti Rufíni, Epíscopi et Confessóris.    At Capua, St. Rufinus, bishop and confessor.
Italy His relics are enshrined in the cathedral of Capua.
660 St. Elias Benedictine bishop of Syracuse Italy. He sponsored monastic expansion in the region.
764 St. Bregwin 12th Canterbury archbishop
Also Breguivine, the twelfth archbishop of Canterbury, England. He served from 761 until his death. His letters to St. Lullus of Mainz are extant and Eadmer wrote his life
.
9th v St. Felix of Pistoia A hermit of Pistoia
Pistórii, in Túscia, sancti Felícis, Presbyteri et Confessóris.    At Pistoia, St. Felix, priest and confessor.
Italy No details of his life are extant.
10th v. St. Pandwyna; Scottish or Irish saint also called Pandonio; church dedicated to her in Cambridgeshire, England.
950 St. Victor Martyr Passia composed in the fifteenth century declares his martyrdom to have come in Spain at the hands of the Moors.
In Hispánia sancti Victoris Mártyris, qui pro Christi fide, a Mauris occísus, martyrii coróna donátus est.
    In Spain, St. Victor, martyr, who merited the crown of martyrs by being slain by the Moors for the faith of Christ.
According to tradition, he was martyred at Caesarea, Mauretania, in Africa during the persecutions of the first century. A Passia composed in the fifteenth century declares his martyrdom to have come in Spain at the hands of the Moors.
1078 Bd Herluin, Abbot; abandoned knightly service to become a monk, and some five years later founded abbey of Bec, to become one of the most famous and influential intellectual centres of the middle ages. Through Lanfranc (also often called Blessed), St Anselm and others it had an important effect on the ecclesiastical history of England.

Herluin is commonly given the title" Blessed" but he received no known cultus, and the Bollandists do not include him in their Acta Sanctorum.  This great monk is therefore here passed over with a bare mention.
  He was born at Brionne in Normandy in 994. About 1034 he abandoned knightly service to become a monk, and some five years later founded the abbey of Bec, which was to become one of the most famous and influential intellectual centres of the middle ages.  Through Lanfranc (also often called Blessed), St Anselm and others it had an important effect on the ecclesiastical history of England.  Herluin, the rough Norman soldier who desired only to serve God under the Rule of St Benedict yet fathered so great a foundation, died on August 26, 1078. His abbey was despoiled at the French Revolution, but it was repeopled by monks in 1948.

Two lives of Herluin have been printed by Mabillon. The earlier is by Gilbert Crispin, abbot of Westminster, a contemporary who had himself been a monk of Bec. Tooting-Bec in south London a manor of this abbey, as was Weedon Beck in Northamptonshire .
1131, the icon was sent from Constantinople to Rus The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was painted by the Evangelist Luke on a board from the table at which the Savior ate together with His All-Pure Mother and Righteous Joseph. The Mother of God, upon seeing this image, exclaimed, "Henceforth, all generations shall call Me blessed. The grace of both My Son and Me shall be with this icon."

In the year 1131, the icon was sent from Constantinople to Rus to holy Prince Mstislav (April 15) and was installed in the Devichi monastery in Vyshgorod, the ancient appanage city of the holy Equal of the Apostles Princess Olga.

The son of George Dolgoruky, St Andrew Bogoliubsky, brought the icon to the city of Vladimir in 1155 and installed it in the renowned Dormition cathedral which he built. At this time the icon received its name of "the Vladimir Icon." The icon was first brought to Moscow in the year 1395. Thus, the blessing of the Mother of God established the spiritual bonds of Byzantium and Rus via Kiev, Vladimir and Moscow.

The festal celebration of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos occurs several times during the year (21 May, 23 June and 26 August). The most solemn celebration occurs on August 26, the Feast established in honor of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon upon its Transfer from Vladimir to Moscow.

In the year 1395, the fearsome conqueror Khan Tamerlane (Temir-Aksak) reached the Ryazan frontier, took the city of Elets and advancing towards Moscow he came near the banks of the River Don. Great Prince Basil Dimitrievich went with an army to Kolomna and halted at the banks of the River Oka. He prayed to the holy Hierarchs of Moscow and St Sergius for the deliverance of the Fatherland, and he wrote to the Metropolitan of Moscow St Cyprian (September 16), that the pending Dormition Fast should be devoted to zealous prayers for mercy and repentance.

Clergy were sent to Vladimir, where the famed wonderworking Vladimir Icon was. After Divine Liturgy and a Molieben on the feast of the Dormition, they clergy took the icon and brought it to Moscow. Along the way, on both sides of the road, countless people prayed kneeling: "O Mother of God, save the land of Russia!" At that same hour, when the people of Moscow were meeting the Vladimir Icon on Kuchkov Field, Tamerlane was sleeping in his tent. Suddenly, he saw in a dream a great mountain, at the summit of which were the holy hierarchs with golden staffs coming towards him. Above them, in a brilliant radiance, was a Majestic Woman. She commanded him to leave the domains of Russia.

Awakening in fright, Tamerlane asked the meaning of the vision. The experts answered that the Radiant Lady was the Mother of God, the great Protectress of Christians. Tamerlane then gave the order for his troops to retreat. In memory of this miraculous deliverance of the Russian Land from Tamerlane, they built the monastery of the Meeting on Kuchkov Field, where the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon took place. On August 26, the all-Russian celebration in honor of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God was established.

Very important events in Russian Church history have occurred before the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God: the election and elevation of St Jonah, advocate of an Autocephalous Russian Church (1448), and of St Job, first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (1589), and of His Holiness Patriarch St Tikhon (1917). The enthronement of His Holiness Pimen, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, occurred on a day of celebration in honor of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God on May 21 (O.S.), 1971.
Historical days of 21 May, 23 June & 26 August, connected with this holy icon, memorable days for Russian Orthodox Church.
1240 St Raymond Nonnatus the birthday of ; Master-general of Mercedarian Order;
Cardónæ, in Hispánia, tránsitus sancti Raymúndi Nonnáti, Cardinális et Confessóris, ex Ordine beátæ Maríæ de Mercéde redemptiónis captivórum, vitæ sanctitáte et miráculis clari.  Ipsíus tamen festum recólitur prídie Kaléndas Septémbris.
    At Cardona in Spain, the birthday of St. Raymund Nonnatus, cardinal and confessor, of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives, renowned for holiness of life and for miracles, whose feast is observed on the 31st of August.

Also known as Raymund Nonnatus; Raimundo Nonato Memorial 31 August
Profile Spanish nobility. Well educated, his father planned a career for Raymond in the royal court in Aragon. When Raymond felt drawn to religious life, his father ordered him to manage one of the family farms. However, Raymond spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father gave up the idea of making his son a wordly success.
Mercedarian priest, receiving the habit from Saint Peter Nolasco, the order's founder. Master-general of Mercedarian Order. Spent his entire estate ransoming Christians, then surrended as a hostage to free another. Sentenced to death by impalement, he was spared because of his large ransom value. Imprisoned and tortured, he still managed to convert some of his guards. To keep him from preaching the faith, his captors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and attached padlock. Eventually ransomed, returning to Barcelona in 1239.

St Raymond Nonnatus Created cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, Raymond continued to live as a mendicant monk. He died while en route to Rome to answer a papal summons. Born 1204 at Portella, diocese of Urgel, Catalonia, Spain. Died 31 August 1240 at Cardona, Spain of a fever; buried at the chapel of Saint Nicholas near his family farm he was supposed to manage.  Canonized 5 November 1625 by Pope Urban VIII (cultus confirmed); 1657 by Pope Alexander VII (canonized)
Name Meaning not born (= non-natus) as he was delivered by ceasarian.
Patronage Baltoa, Dominican Republic; childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women
Representation : Mercedarian surrounded by Moors and prisoners; Mercedarian surrounded by ransomed slaves; Mercedarian with a cardinal's red hat; Mercedarian with a padlock on his lips
.
1504 Bd Timothy Of Montecchio; worked many miracles, visited by our Blessed Lady and St Francis and our Saviour spoke to him audibly from the sacramental species.
Very little seems to be recorded concerning the life of this holy Franciscan priest, although his cultus was formally confirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1870.  He was, we are told, of good family and came from the neighbourhood of Aquila in the Abruzzi.  He entered the Franciscan noviceship at an early age and was remarkable from the first for his austerity of life and for his scrupulous observance of the rule. What seems most of all to have impressed his contemporaries was the efficacy of the prayers which he said for those in need of help.  He worked many miracles, and it is alleged that he was visited by our Blessed Lady and St Francis and that our Saviour spoke to him audibly from the sacramental species. He died, aged 60, in the friary of St Angelo at Ocra, where his remains are still honoured.
See Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1680), vol. iii, p. 540 and Leon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, p. 88.
1542 The Pskov Caves Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, named the "Tenderness"  is famous particularly for the defense of Pskov and the Pskov Caves monastery from the army of Stephen Bathory in 1581. Its celebration is also on May 21, June 23 and October 7.  The Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God is of the Eleousa (Umilenie) type.
1549 Saint Adrian of Andrusov (in the world the nobleman Andrew Zavalushin), was the owner of a rich estate (Andreevschina), 9 versts from the monastery of St Alexander of Svir (August 30). He accidentally encountered St Alexander of Svir during a stag hunt in 1493, and after this he went often to him for guidance, and supplied bread for the ascetics.

Forsaking his estate, he took monastic tonsure at the Valaamo monastery with the name Adrian. Several years later, with the blessing of St Alexander of Svir, St Adrian settled in a solitary place on the peninsula of Lake Ladoga. There he built a church in honor of St Nicholas the Wonderworker. Opposite the settlement of monks in the deep forest was an island, Sala (the Thicket), where there was a gang of robbers under the leadership of Ondrusa as their ataman. Encountering the monks, the ataman demanded that they get off his land. St Adrian, knowing that he did not have money to buy the place, promised the ataman to intercede for him before God. The robber laughed at the monk, but he entreated him so long and so humbly, that the ataman softened and said, "Live."

This ataman was soon taken captive by another gang, hidden not far from the stoney Cape of Storozhev. The hapless fellow knew that after suffering, torture death awaited him, and he bitterly repented of his former life. Suddenly, he saw St Adrian before him. He said, "You are freed through the mercy of the Lord, for Whose sake you were asked to show mercy to the wilderness brethren," and he vanished.

The ataman saw himself without fetters at the shore, and with no one around. Astonished, he rushed to the monastery of St Adrian and found all the ascetics chanting Psalms. It seemed that St Adrian had not left the monastery. The robber fell at the knees of the saint and begged to be accepted as one of the brethren. He finished his life in repentance at the monastery. The robber of another gang also repented. Through the prayers of St Adrian, he was tonsured with the name Cyprian. Afterwards, at the place of a tributary, he built a monastery and was glorified by miracles.

The monastery of St Adrian received an endowment from Tsar Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584). In August 1549, St Adrian was godfather for Anna, daughter of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. When the saint was returning from Moscow to the monastery, robbers killed him near the village of Obzha, hoping to find money. The brethren waited for a long time for their Superior, and two years later, he appeared one night in a vision to a few Elders and told them of his death. On another day, May 17, the brethren found his incorrupt body in a swamp and committed it to burial in the wall of his church in honor of St Nicholas.

The memory of St Adrian, having received the martyr's crown, has come to be celebrated twice: on the day of the finding and transfer of his relics (May 17), and on the day of his repose, which he shares with his namesake, the holy Martyr Adrian
.
1504  Saint Adrian of Uglich was one of the first ten disciples of St Paisius of Uglich (June 6), for whom he was the closest cell-attendant, disciple and co-ascetic. Together with St Paisius, St Adrian was accounted woryour of a vision of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1472. St Paisius was in one of the cells together with St Cassian of Uglich (October 2), and Sts Gerasimus and Adrian.

They were singing an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos. Suddenly, throughout all the monastery there shone an extraordinary light, and the monks heard a voice calling them to come out of the cell. The ascetics came out in fear and in confusion, and an angel showed them the Mother of God, sitting on an airy throne and holding the Divine Infant in Her arms. The ascetics fell frightened to the ground, but the angel raised them up and related to St Paisius the command of the Mother of God to build on this place a church in honor of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. The vision ended, and the monks spent the whole night in vigil and praise.

In 1482, St Adrian participated in the building of the stone church in honor of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos at the place indicated by the angel. Afterwards, an icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God was found. In 1489, St Adrian assisted St Paisius in building a monastery dedicated to St Nicholas, near the Grekhova stream, on the right bank of the Volga.

As an experienced and virtuous Elder, St Adrian was put there as its Superior and was made a hieromonk. He was at the funeral of St Paisius on June 6, 1504 and later, according to his last wishes, he was himself buried near the grave. The memory of St Adrian is celebrated on August 26 (because of his namesake, the holy Martyr Adrian), and also on Cheesefare Saturday
.
1572 Bd Thomas Percy, Martyr;  born in 1528. Earl of Northumberland from 1537, Thomas initially enjoyed an excellent relationship with Queen Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603). Thomas also served Queen Mary (r. 1542-1587). Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the Garter on him in 1563. He then became involved in the Rising of the North and fled to Scotland but was sold to Queen Elizabeth for two thousand pounds. For three years he languished in a prison, refusing fervently to abjure his faith in return for his freedom. Thomas was finally beheaded at York and was beatified in 1896.

The father of this martyr was Sir Thomas Percy, brother and heir-presumptive to the sixth earl of Northumberland, who, if not formally himself a martyr, died for the denial of the ecclesiastical supremacy of King Henry VIII in that he was one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace, and was hanged at Tyburn in 1537.  His elder son, Thomas, was then nine years old and with his brother Henry was removed from the care of his " treasonable " mother.  In 1549 the attainder under which they suffered as a result of their father's action was to a certain extent removed, they were "restored in blood", and eight years later Queen Mary permitted Sir Thomas Percy to succeed to the now vacant earldom of Northumberland. He served the queen well in military and civil affairs on the Scottish border, and in 1558 married Anne Somerset, daughter of the earl of Worcester. During the years following the accession of Elizabeth, while she was consolidating her position and settling the foundations of the Anglican Church, Thomas Percy became a suspect person he was "considered very Catholic", and this in spite of the fact that he used considerable prudence in opposing the queen and, partly on account of his duties in the northern marches, played only a minor part therein; indeed, the queen gave him the Order of the Garter in 1563, and certain words of the earl during his trial suggest that he was not satisfied with his own behaviour at this time. But he was soon to come to the forefront of affairs.
   The north of England was still fairly solidly Catholic:  a Protestant observer said of Yorkshire that, "There were scarcely ten gentlemen of note that favour the queen's proceedings in religion" and when Queen Mary of the Scots had to take refuge at Carlisle in 1568 she was soon regarded as the Catholic champion. The Earl of Northumberland espoused her cause, hoping by her liberation "to have some reformation in religion, or at the least some sufferance for men to use their conscience as they were disposed".  His support of her attracted attention and he was peremptorily ordered to leave Carlisle, a "gross disrespect" at which he was very indignant.  In 1569 the gentlemen of the north began to plan a rising in her favour as next heir to the throne and in order "to restore the Crown, the nobility, and the worship of God to their former estate."  Northumberland was doubtful about the project, and wished it to be clear that it was not a political one "we are seeking, I imagine, the glory not of men but of God".  He, therefore, with the earl of Westmorland, Charles Neville, sent a letter to Pope St Pius V asking for his advice and direction, but they were forced into action before his reply could be received.*  The pope's eventual answer was approving and encouraging, and referred to the example of St Thomas Becket. It was dated three days before his bull of deposition of Elizabeth, "Regnans in excelsis".
The movement was known, and only a few days after they had written to the pope the two earls were summoned to appear before Elizabeth a hasty meeting of the leaders was called at Brancepeth Castle, they decided (against Northumberland's will and judgement) to ignore the summons, on November 14 they marched into Durham at the head of their forces. They were welcomed by the townsmen and the cathedral was at once restored to Catholic worship.  However inopportune and regrettable the Rising of the North may have been, it at least shows that, after eleven years of forced apostasy, the people of northern England were Catholic at heart, for not only at Durham was the restoration of the religion received with enthusiasm. Mass was celebrated in the parish-churches of Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Ripon, Staindrop, Stokesby and Whitby, and a joyous revival was chronicled at many other places.
   Meanwhile the earls' forces, under the banner of the Five Wounds and with Bd Thomas Plumtree as chief chaplain, marched into Yorkshire as far as Wetherby, collecting recruits and encouraging the people, but then had to turn back north, where they captured Hartlepool and Barnard Castle.  But that was the limit of their success. At the end of a month Elizabeth's troops, under the Earl of Sussex, were in control, the earls disbanded their men at Durham, and with the other leaders fled across the border into Scotland.
   The Earl of Sussex took bloody vengeance. People of substance were let off with a good fine, but the common people were hanged in hundreds: every village between the Wear and the Tyne suffered. Westmorland escaped into Flanders the Countess of Northumberland, who had been one of the leading spirits of the rebellion, and entirely without her husband's scruples and fears, eventually came under the protection of Lord Home; and Northumberland himself was captured by the Scottish regent, the Earl of Moray, to whom he was betrayed.  He was not willing to hand him over to Elizabeth, but his successor, the Earl of Mar, sold him for £2000-not the first nor the last time in history that a refugee in Scotland was given up for gold. Before this haggling was concluded, the earl had been shut up for two and a half years in Lochleven castle.  Dr. Nicholas Sander, a leading Catholic divine of the day, records that he bore this imprisonment and his separation from his wife and four small children with exemplary patience; he observed all the fasts of the Church, spent much time in prayer and meditation (a book of prayers which he wrote out still exists), and resolutely refused to purchase his pardon (which was offered him) by apostasy.  His keeper at Lochkven, William Douglas, was also negotiating for the sale of his prisoner-to the countess his wife, who was scouring Scotland and the Netherlands to raise the ransom. Elizabeth closed first; the earl was handed over; eventually conveyed to York, lodged in the castle on August 21 1572.
   On the queen's instructions Northumberland had been examined on the way, at Berwick a last offer of release on condition of apostay was made to him; and when he refused he was told to prepare for death on the very next day.   He spent all the night, except for a brief space when sleep overcame him, in prayer, and the next afternoon was marched to The Pavement, where the scaffold was set up. He told the people that he died a Catholic, "as for this new Church of England, I do not acknowledge it";  and expressed sorrow that he had been the occasion of so many meeting their death in following him for the furtherance of religion, "yet I have no fear but that their souls have obtained the glory of Heaven"...Then his head was struck off, and every drop of his blood was gathered up with handkerchiefs, "for throughout his life he was beyond measure dear to the whole people".
   He was forty-four years old.  The Countess of Northumberland died in exile at Namur in 1596; two years later their youngest daughter, Mary Percy, whom her father probably never saw, founded at Brussels a monastery of Benedictine nuns, now at Haslemere in Surrey.  Bd Thomas Percy was equivalently beatified in 1896, and his feast is observed in the dioceses of Hexham, Leeds and Middlesbrough.

A full account of this martyr was contributed by G. E. Phillips to the second volume of Camm, LEM., pp. 111-186. His information is largely drawn, apart from the state papers at the Record Office, from De Fonbianque's Annals of the House of Percy (1887), vol. ii, pp. 3-123, and from a Surtees Society publication, Depositions and Ecclesiastical Proceedings from the Courts of Durham (1845). A description of the martyrdom of the earl, written by Nicholas Sander, is in Bridgewater's Concertatio.  See also M. M. Merrick, Thomas Percy, Seventh Earl (1949). 
1648 St. Joseph Calasanz educating the poor; founded Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi) see Aug 25 and 27th
From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz.
   A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children. When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.
A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps.
   Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.
Comment:  No one knew better than Joseph the need for the work he was doing; no one knew better than he how baseless were the charges brought against him. Yet if he were to work within the Church, he realized that he must submit to its authority, that he must accept a setback if he was unable to convince authorized investigators. While the prejudice, the scheming, and the ignorance of men often keep the truth from emerging for a long period of time, Joseph was convinced, even under suppression, that his institute would again be recognized and authorized. With this trust he joined exceptional patience and a genuine spirit of forgiveness.
Quote: Even in the days after his own demotion, Joseph protected his persecutors against his enraged partisans; and when the community was suppressed, he stated with Job, to whom he was often compared: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21b)
.
1694 Bd John Wall, Martyr; took the Franciscan habit at St Bonaventure's friary at Douay in 1651, receiving the religious name of Joachim-of-St-Anne, and served there until 1626, when he returned to England.  After he had ministered to the Catholics of Worcestershire for over twenty-two years, his headquarters being at Harvington Hall, he was seized in December 1678,
   John Wall (alias Francis Johnson, Webb, Dormer) belonged to a good Lancashire family and was born in that county (perhaps at Chingle Hall, near Preston) in 1620.  He was sent when young to Douay, entered the Roman College in 1641 and was ordained there in 1645.  After a few years on the mission he took the Franciscan habit at St Bonaventure's friary at Douay in 1651, receiving the religious name of Joachim-of-St-Anne, and served there until 1626, when he returned to England.  After he had ministered to the Catholics of Worcestershire for over twenty-two years, his headquarters being at Harvington Hall, he was seized in December 1678, at Rushock Court, near Bromsgrove, by a sheriff's officer who had come there to look for a defaulting debtor.  After five months in prison he was tried before Mr Justice Atkins as a priest unlawfully come into the realm; of the four witnesses brought against him, three had to be subpoenaed, and he defended himself with great prudencc. However, he was sentenced, whereupon he bowed to the judge and said, "Thanks be to God!  God save the king I  And I beseech God to bless your lordship and all this honourable bench."  To which the judge made answer,
   "You have spoken very well. I do not intend you shall die, at least not for the present, until I know the king's further pleasure."  "I was not, I thank God for it," wrote Bd John, "troubled with any disturbing thoughts either against the judge for his sentence, or the jury that gave in such a verdict, or against any of the witnesses...And I was, I thank God, so present with myself whilst the judge pronounced the sentence that, without any concern for anything in this world, I did actually at the same time offer myself and the world to God."
  In spite of the good will of Mr Justice Atkins,- the innocent and beloved Franciscan was not to be reprieved, although after being carefully examined in London for several times by Oates, Bedloe, Dugdale and Prance he was declared by Bedloe in public to be free from any complicity in the Oates "plot". He would not renounce his religion, which was what they really wanted, so after a month he was returned to Worcester for execution. The day before, he was visited in prison by a fellow-Franciscan, Father William Leveson (brother of the venerable martyr, Father Francis Leveson, O.S.F.), who was allowed to spend several hours there and so was able to hear his confession and give him viaticum. The same friar stood by the scaffold at Redhill the next day and gave him the final absolution when the martyr was hanged and quartered, "thirsting after nothing more than the shedding of his blood for the love of his God; which he performed with a courage and cheerfulness becoming a valiant soldier of Christ, to the great edification of all Catholics and admiration of all Protestants".
Bd John Wall was the only one of the English martyrs executed at Worcester; his feast is kept in the archdiocese of Birmingham.
See Challorier, MMP., pp. 550-555;  B. Camm, Forgotten Shrines (1910), pp. 253-280, and Bd John Wall (1932).
1694 Bd Bernard Of Offida; humble Capuchin door keeper; "Now, my good St Felix, this is the time to help me", set himself to prayer.  And the dead child became alive and well. It is also said that our Lady appeared to him one day and told him that all his faults had been forgiven.
   This Bernard was born at Appignano in the Marches in the year 1604 of humble parents, and when he was seven years old was set to tend sheep. But he heard the call of God to the religious life, and in 1626 was accepted as a lay-brother by the Capuchins.  When he had made his profession he was sent to Fermo and put in charge of the infirmary, and afterwards to other houses of his order, in all of which he laboured with fervour and zeal. Sometimes, some of his brethren thought, with too much zeal, for on one occasion he was reported to the minister provincial for imprudent lavishness in the distribution of alms, whereby his community suffered damage.Fon
   The provincial called him before a chapter of the house and administered a severe rebuke, which was a matter of great satisfaction to the Franciscan heart of Brother Bernard.  When he was sixty years old he was appointed quaestor, to beg alms in the streets and from door to door for the friary at Offida, and in this duty he gave more than he received; people came to him for advice and consolation and help, for his wisdom could not be hid.  He had an especial gift for composing quarrels and restoring peace to distracted families, and the most hardened sinners would listen to him and be converted.
  Bd Bernard's reputation among the people was such that they would come to him and quite simply and confidently ask for a miracle.  This sometimes caused difficulties for him.  It is said that once a woman came with a very sick baby to be cured, so sick that it died in Bernard's arms. The mother seized his habit and begged and implored him to restore it to life, or she would not let him go.  Bernard led her into the church, lay the body on the altar dedicated in honour of St Felix of Cantalice, and exclaiming, "Now, my good St Felix, this is the time to help me", set himself to prayer. And the child became alive and well. It is also said that our Lady appeared to him one day and told him that all his faults had been forgiven.
    Bd Bernard died when he was ninety years old, having spent the last years of his life as door-keeper to his convent, where the poor and unhappy never ceased to crowd to him, on August 22, 1694.   He was beatified in 1795.
See Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 121-123; and E. M. de Beaulieu, Deux émules de St Felix de Cantalice 1910
1838 St Elizabeth Bichier Des Ages, Virgin, Co-Foundress of The Daughters of The Cross or Sisters of St Andrew; Louis Veuillot, whatever objections can be brought against some of his theology and politics, at any rate knew a saint when he saw one, and he said of her, "She is one of the finest-tempered characters ever seen, gentle, resolute, strict, intelligent, industrious, but above all contrite and humble.  No difficulty daunts her courage, no lack of strength stops her superhuman labours, no interior distress troubles her outward serenity, no success puffs her up. Whatever happens, she remains undisturbed.  Hardships, setbacks, successes, respect, insults-they are all the same to the supreme tranquillity that is rooted in an understanding that sees God in everything, and so must obey."
Pódii, in diœcési Pictaviénsi, sanctæ Joánnæ-Elisabeth Bichier des Ages, Vírginis, Congregatiónis Filiárum a Cruce una cum sancto Andréa Hubérto Fournet Fundatrícis, jugi mortificatióne et vitæ innocéntia claræ, quam Pius Papa Duodécimus sanctárum Vírginum fastis accénsuit.
    In the diocese of Poitiers, St. Joan-Elizabeth Bichier des Ages, virgin, who with St. André Hubert Fournet co-founded the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, and who was renowned for her spirit of mortification and life of innocence.  Pope Pius XII added her name to the list of holy virgins.

   This holy woman was born at the Château des Ages, at Le Blanc, between Poitiers and Bourges, in the year 1773.  Her father was Antony Bichier, lord of the manor of Ages and a public official, and her mother Mary Augier de Moussac, whose father also held public office.  The child was christened Jean Elizabeth Mary Lucy, and was commonly called by her second name.   Little is known of her childhood, except that she was shy and impressionable, with a heart easily moved by the sight of a beggar or other unfortunate.  When she was ten she was sent for schooling to a convent at Poitiers.   Her maternal uncle, the Abbé de Moussac, was vicar general at Pottiera, and the superioress of the convent was a relative and Elizabeth seems to have been very happy there.   Her favourite game was building sandcastles, and when in after years she had to be much concerned with building she remembered this and remarked, "It looks as if this was meant to be my trade, seeing I began my apprenticeship to it so young".
   When Elizabeth was nineteen her father died, and a few weeks later, in February 1792, the National Assembly issued a decree against the property of those citizens, the émigrés, who had left France in face of the revolution.  Now her eldest brother was among these émigrés and, her mother being old and ill, Elizabeth took on herself the job of looking after his interests.  She asked the Abbé de Moussac to instruct her in the law of property and in the keeping of accounts, studies which did not come easy to her but which she was to find again useful later on, and she undertook the defence of her brother and the whole family in a long law case that was eventually decided in their favour.  The village shoemaker was overcome with admiration for Elizabeth's pertinacity, and declared delightedly to her, "Citizeness, all you have to do now is to marry a good republican!"  But she had no intention of marrying either a  good republican" or a "wicked aristocrat".  There is still in existence the little picture of our Lady of Help on the back of which she wrote, "I, Joan Elizabeth Mary Lucy Bichier, today dedicate and consecrate myself to Jesus and Mary for ever;  5 May, 1797".
   In the previous year she and her mother had left the Château des Ages and gone to live at La Guimetiére, on the outskirts of Béthines in Poitou. Here Elizabeth intensified her life of prayer and good works years later one of the servants said to some Daughters of the Cross, "You've got a great respect for your reverend mother.  But you'd have a twenty times greater respect if you had seen, as I have, what she did for God and His poor when she was young."  The local parish was in a bad way as a result of the revolution, for it had a' constitutional priest"; *The "constitutional clergy" were those who took the oath to maintain the civil constitution drawn up for the Church in France by the National Assembly in 1790.
The constitution and oath were condemned by Pope Pius VI.
  Every night Elizabeth used to collect the farmers and their wives at La Guimetière for prayers and hymns and spiritual reading.  And then she first heard of a priest in a parish twenty-five miles away who was grappling with a similar situation, and reopened his church in a barn.  It was the Abbé Fournet at Maillé, now known as St Andrew Fournet (May 13).
   Elizabeth made her way to Maillé, and the two at once took to one another.  She became a frequent visitor to the barn at Petits Marsillys, and Abbé Fournet devised for her a rule of life, at the same time discouraging her suggestion of joining the Trappistines:  "Your work is in the world", he said.  "There are ruins to be rebuilt and ignorance to be remedied."  And so she went on repairing the ravages of religious discord in Béthines, helped by her uncle and her new friend, visiting the sick and needy, and teaching the smaller children.
  During the summer months she was helped by two friends, Madeleine Moreau and Catherine Gaschard, and the services of her maid, Mary Anne Guillon, were also enlisted. Then, in autumn of 1804, her deeply loved mother died. The coarse peasant's mourning clothes which Elizabeth then put on, with the approval of Abbé Fournet, raised a curious storm-in-a-teacup. Her well-dressed and conventional relatives were outraged by it;  the grave vicar general, M. de Moussac, severely rebuked M. Fournet for allowing it: she must take them off.  Elizabeth refused, obstinately. The cousins went on chattering; M. de Moussac shrugged, and dropped his opposition,
thinking there was probably more in the gesture than met the eye.
     St Andrew Fournet had had it in his mind for some time that that part of the country needed a small community of nuns to care for the sick and to teach the girls, especially in the rural districts, and that Miss Bichier should be in charge of it. Her reaction to the proposal was that she had never even been a novice, much less a mother superior; and as this was undeniable St Andrew sent her off to do a year's novitiate with the Carmelite nuns in Poitiers. But, perhaps because he thought she might never come out again, Abbé Fournet soon transferred her to the Society of Providence. Meanwhile he set about forming a community at La Guimetière, consisting of the Madeleine Moreau and Mary Anne Guillon named above and two other young women, and when she had been away hardly six months Elizabeth Bichier was called back to take charge in spite of her protests. As La Guimetière was so far from Maillé, in May 1806 they moved into the Château de Molante, which was quite close. Here they began to teach the children, to give shelter and care to the aged and sick, and to make reparation for the outrages of the revolution against Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
   At first neither St Andrew nor St Elizabeth had in mind anything more than a small local congregation. The foundation members made temporary vows early in 1807, and then looked around for a suitable established congregation to which they could affiliate themselves. But by the end of 1806 it was clear that they would have to stand on their own feet, and they moved into a bigger house, Rochefort, in Maillé itself, for they already numbered twenty-five sisters. Five years later their rule was approved by the diocesan authorities of Poitiers, with the name of Daughters of the Cross, *That is their official designation (there are other congregations with a similar name) but the foundress liked to refer to them as Sisters of St Andrew, after the apostle, patron saint of Andrew Fournet.

There was a name particularly meaningful for the "Good Sister", Elizabeth Bichier. The fatigues and trials incidental to her position and vocation were considerable; she did not spare herself in fasting and watching and other austerities; and St Andrew Foumet, as general superior, did not spare her either.
  In 1815 Sister Elizabeth had to go to Paris for an operation, the result of an accident with a vehicle, and the king, Louis XVIII, himself received her at the Tuileries.  When the Good Sister returned to Maillé she found her humility and obedience tested to the utmost.  The Abbé Fournet received her coldly and informed her she was removed from her office of superioress. It is said that he had been misled by malicious talk; but it is possible that he acted thus drastically because he feared Elizabeth's success in Paris might go to her head. However, she was restored within a week.
    During 1819-20 thirteen new convents were opened, but at this time a dispute arose about jurisdiction that threatened to disrupt the congregation entirely.  However, as things turned out, this unfortunate business did nothing to retard its continued progress. Civil authorities were in favour of small convents dotted about the countryside, their inmates working among the people, and between 1821 and 1825 the Daughters of the Cross opened some fifteen houses in a dozen dioceses. Then the bishop of Bayonne invited them to the Midi, and they spread to Beam, the Basque country, Gascony and Languedoc. Altogether by 1830 they had over sixty convents, and Sister Elizabeth's record of travelling challenged that of St Teresa herself.
    When the Basque house of Igon was opened, the spiritual director appointed was a young curate named Garicoits:  we now know him as St Michael Garicoits. Elizabeth Bichier greatly encouraged him in the foundation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Bétharram, so much so he declared, "It's all the Good Sister's doing. I had only to do what she told me." When the Good Father, St Andrew Fournet, died in 1834, "the biggest and saddest loss that could happen to us", wrote Sister Elizabeth, Father Garicoits became a second Father Fournet to the Daughters of the Cross, at any rate so far as the Basque convents were concerned and so he remained till his death.
   In autumn of 1836 St Elizabeth's health began seriously to fail. Over and above her state of extreme exhaustion she was afflicted with bad erysipelas of the face, and the hurt that had sent her to Paris over twenty years before broke out afresh. In the spring of 1838 her condition became alarming she suffered constant and acute pain, and was subject to fits of delirium. Then, after ten days of agony borne with heroic patience, she died peacefully in the evening of August 26.

   St Elizabeth Bichier des Ages was canonized in 1947. Numerous anecdotes are told of her goodness and devotion. One has special significance for a generation that has known professing Christians wrangle endlessly about whether hungry enemies should be fed, and so on. She once found a miserable-looking man lying ill in a barn, so she had him taken up and brought to the convent, where during the night he died. Next morning she had a visit from the superintendent of police, who told her that she was liable to arrest for sheltering a man who was wanted on a charge of arson. "As you like, sir ", the Good Sister replied.  "But allow me to point out that I have only done what you would do yourself in the same circumstances. I found this unfortunate man lying ill  I took him in; and I looked after him.  Now he is dead.  I'm quite ready to tell the magistrate just what happened." This was very characteristic of St Elizabeth's simple straightforwardness of action, the putting into effect of high ideals tenaciously held.
 Louis Veuillot, whatever objections can be brought against some of his theology and politics, at any rate knew a saint when he saw one, and he said of her, "She is one of the finest-tempered characters ever seen, "gentle, resolute, strict, intelligent, industrious, but above all contrite and humble. No difficulty daunts her courage, no lack of strength stops her superhuman labours, no interior distress troubles her outward serenity, no success puffs her up. Whatever happens, she remains undisturbed.  Hardships, setbacks, successes, respect, insults-they are all the same to the supreme tranquillity that is rooted in an understanding that sees God in everything, and so must obey."

The first biography of this saint was written by Father L. Rigaud (translated into Italian in 1934)  he also wrote a life of St Andrew Fournet 1885), who is accounted co-founder of the Daughters of the Cross. The most complete and fully documented biography is that of Father Jules Saubat, but the most handy one is Ste Jeanne-Elisabeth Bichier des Ages, by Father Etienne Domec (1947).  An essay on the saint by Father Domec appeared in La Vie Spirituelle, no. 320 (July 1947).
Born 1773 in the Chateau des Anges, near LeBlanc, France (her father was lord of the manor), she was sent at ten to a convent at Poitiers. On the death of her father in 1792 she met St. Andrew Fournet who was trying to reestablish his parish church at Maille and under his guidance she devoted herself to teaching and caring for the sick and needy. After her mother died in 1804 she joined the Carmelites at Poitiers; eight months later, the Society of Providence; in 1806 with four assistants who had been formed into a community by Abbe Fournet she moved into Chateau de Molante near Maille and the Daughters of the Cross also called the Sisters of St. Andrew came into being. The congregation received diocesan approval in 1816 and spread rapidly. In Igon in the Basque country she met Fr. Michael Garicoits spiritual adviser of the house there and encouraged him in founding the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betharram. She was canonized in 1947.
1897 St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars Foundress Little Sisters of the Poor Beatified in 1958, she was canonized in 1974 by Pope VI.
Born in Catalonia, Spain, she overcame many difficulties in her youth and eventually became a teacher at Lerida. Desirous to enter the religious life, she failed to win entry into the convent at the advice of her spiritual director, decided to launch her own congregation. On January 27, 1872, at Barbastro, Spain, she began the Little Sisters of the Poor, called the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Age. Considerable zeal, she had founded by the time of death more than fifty houses for her congregation. Beatified in 1958, she was canonized in 1974 by Pope VI
.
1942 Werner Sylten Evangelische Kirche: 26. August
Werner Sylten wurde am 9.8.1893 in Hergiswyl in der Schweiz geboren. Er war Pfarrer eines Mädchenerziehungsheims in Köstritz bei Gera. Wegen seiner jüdischen Abstammung wurde er aus dem Pfarrdienst entlassen. Nach längerer Arbeitslosigkeit erhielt er eine Stelle bei Pfarrer Heinrich Grüber, der in Berlin ein Büro zur Unterstützung nichtarischer Christen unterhielt. Sylten konnte hier vielen Verfolgten helfen. Zwei Monate nachdem Heinrich Grübler verhaftet und nach Dachau gebracht worden war, wurde auch Werner Sylten nach Dachau gebracht. Hier konnte er als Seelsorger und Vermittler wirken. Trotz schwerer Folter und quälender Wunden meldete er sich nicht krank. Es war allgemein bekannt, daß Krankmeldung letztlich den sicheren Tod bedeutete. Schließlich mußte er doch in das Krankenrevier gehen. Als er auf die Transportliste gesetzt wurde, konnte Grüber ihn durch Bestechung retten. Kurze Zeit später stand er aber erneut auf der Liste und wurde mit einem Invalidentransport nach Schloss Hartenstein bei Linz gebracht und hier am 28.8.1942 ermordet.

Der Präsident der ersten Kirchenversammlung der evangelischen Kirche nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, Gustav Heinemann, nannte 10 Pfarrer, die in KZs hingerichtet wurden: Treuherz Behrendt - Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Helmut Hesse - Ernst Kasenzer - Justus Perels - Paul Richter - Paul Schneider - Ludwig Steil - Werner Sylten - Friedrich Weißler. Diese Liste ist nicht fortgeführt worden und insbesondere das Schicksal der Christen jüdischer Abstammung ist bis heute nicht aufgearbeitet (vgl. das Buch von Ursula Büttner und Martin Greschat: Die verlassenen Kinder der Kirche - Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1998).
Die evangelische Kirche und der Holocaust (Dokumente)
.

 Friday   Saints of August  26 Séptimo 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'

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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