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

Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  December 2015
Universal:    Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.
Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.
December 1st – Holy Mary of Graces (Italy, 1923) 
What is the link between the Rosary and the Eucharist? 
 Benedict XVI insisted: “Actually, the Rosary is not an obstacle to meditation on the Word of God and liturgical prayer; indeed, it represents a natural and ideal complement to it, especially as a preparation and thanksgiving for the Eucharistic celebration.  With Mary, we contemplate Christ encountered in the Gospel and in the Sacrament in the various moments of his life through the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries.”

“If the Eucharist for Christians is the center of the day, the Rosary contributes in a privileged way to deepening communion with Christ.” (Angelus of October 16, 2005)

“We are therefore asked to let ourselves be guided by Mary in this prayer, ancient and ever new, which is especially dear to her because it leads us directly to Jesus, contemplated in his Mysteries of salvation: joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious… The Rosary is a biblical prayer, interwoven with Sacred Scripture throughout… that helps us to meditate on the Word of God and to assimilate Eucharistic Communion, modeling ourselves after Mary.” (Angelus of October 10, 2010). Pope Benedict XVI

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

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

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

Because of our good Lord's tender love to all those who shall be saved, he quickly comforts them saying, "The cause of all this pain is sin. But all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." These words were said so kindly and without a hint of blame. So how unjust it would be for me to blame God for allowing my sin when he does not blame me for falling into it. -- Blessed Juliana of Norwich

  Do you really want to love the Virgin Mary?
Do you really want to love the Virgin Mary? Well, start by spending some time with her! So you ask me how? By praying the Rosary properly. But the Rosary is so repetitious! We always repeat the same words over and over! Always the same words? What about lovers, don't they repeat the same words to each other over and over?...
The supernatural virtues will grow in us if we can manage to spend time with Mary. She is our mother! (…) Let me give you some advice—if you haven't already done it—let yourself experience Mary's maternal love personally. It isn't enough to know that she is a mother, or to perceive her and talk about her this way. She is your mother and you are her child. She loves you as if you were her only child in the whole world.
Speak to her accordingly: tell her about your life, honor her and love her. If you do not, no one else will ever do it as well as you. I promise you that if you take this path, you will soon find Christ's love and you will be immersed in the ineffable life of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Founder of Opus Dei
December 1st - Our Lady of Ratisbon (Bavaria, 1842)
  Mary in the Temple (XI)
The glory of that second Temple will surpass that of the first
After the exile, to comfort those were rebuilding the Temple, the Word of God was addressed to the prophet Haggai:
"The Lord says, 'Take courage, all you people of the land! (...) A little while now and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, (...) The glory of this new Temple will surpass the old, ...and in this place I shall give peace, declares the Lord of hosts' (Hg 2: 4-9)".

The glory promised to the second Temple, fated to disappear in 70 A.D., was thus promised to be superior to the sublime Temple of Solomon dreamed of by David, which enshrined the Ark of the Covenant with Tables of the Law, manna and the rod of Aaron.
But how could they still believe in this prophecy when all the precious gifts of God had been destroyed or lost during the exile in Babylon? Since no one could imagine that the Temple already contained, in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, not made by man, it was only through hope in the future coming of the Messiah of Peace that the Virgin and her people could expect, in this prayerful time of the first Advent, the fulfillment of this astonishing prophecy.

7th v bc The Holy Prophet Nahum, whose name means "God consoles," was from the village of Elkosh (Galilee)
Sancti Nahum Prophétæ, in Bégabar quiescéntis.    The prophet Nahum, who was buried in Bagabar.

  137 Castritian of Milan  governed the see of Milan for 42 years
        St. Ananias Martyr for the faith Arbela, Persia or Erbel, Assyria
        St. Lucius Roman martyr with Candida, Cassian, and Rogatus
  283 St. Diodorus & Marianus Roman martyrs with many companions
        St. Natalia Martyr of Nicomedia
  303 St. Olympiades Martyr at Almeria ,Italy
  304 St. Ansanus Martyr patron of Siena "the Baptizer."
  347 St. Ursicinus Bishop Brescia Council of Sardica 347
  362 St. Evasius of Asti BM (RM)
  432 St. Leontius Bishop of Fregus
5th v. Candres of Maestricht  evangelized the territory of Maestricht
  570 St. Constantian Abbot founder of Javron Abbey
  588 St. Agericus Bishop miracle worker patron of the poor Verdun
7th v. St. Grwst A Welsh saint
  640 St. Eligius priest generous in spirit Patron of metalworkers a considerable number of miracles
  792 Righteous Philaret the Merciful of Amnia in Asia Minor  whose name means "lover of virtue," was famed for his
 love for the poor. Theoseba said to her husband, "You have no pity on us, you merciless man, but don't you feel sorry for the cow? You have separated her from her calf." The saint praised his wife, and agreed that it was not right to separate the cow and the calf. Therefore, he called the poor man to whom he had given the calf and told him to take the cow as well.

The glory promised to the second Temple, fated to disappear in 70 A.D., was thus promised to be superior to the sublime Temple of Solomon dreamed of by David, which enshrined the Ark of the Covenant with the Tables of the Law, manna and the rod of Aaron.

But how could they still believe in this prophecy when all the precious gifts of God had been destroyed or lost during the exile in Babylon? Since no one could imagine that the Temple already contained, in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, not made by man, it was only through hope in the future coming of the Messiah of Peace that the Virgin and her people could expect, in this prayerful time of the first Advent, the fulfillment of this astonishing prophecy.
Saint Mary of Graces (Italy, 1923)  "Consecrate your parish to the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary" (I)
   The parish of Our Lady of Victories, located in the business center of Paris, near the stock exchange, is surrounded by theatres and nightclubs and had become the central point for political demonstrations, agitating Paris for so many years. The parish has seen almost all feeling and religious inclination die out in its midst; its church was deserted, even on days of important solemnities; sacraments and other religious practices have been given up, and nothing seemed capable of putting an end to this deplorable state of affairs, which had already existed for more than ten years.

   On December 3, 1836, the feast day of Saint Francis Xavier at 9:00 a.m., I began Holy Mass at the foot of the altar of the Blessed Virgin; I was reciting the first verse of the psalm, when terrible thoughts came into my mind. I started thinking about the uselessness of my ministry in that parish; it was not unusual for me to have these thoughts, I had had so many different occasions to notice and remind myself of the fact. I felt that I had failed in my ministry and I wanted to resign my functions at Our Lady of Victories.

  Despite all my efforts to dispel these unhappy thoughts, I was so overwhelmed that my mental faculties were boggled;
I began reading and reciting the prayers without understanding what I was saying. After reciting the Sanctus, I stopped for a moment, seeking to recollect myself; so frightened had I become by my strange state of mind. I said to myself, "Dear God, what is happening to my mind? How can I offer the Divine Sacrifice? My mind is not in a normal state to consecrate. O my God, deliver me from this unhappy distraction!"

   Hardly had I uttered this prayer in my heart when I very distinctly heard these words spoken to me in a clear and solemn way, "Consecrate your parish to the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.”  
Father Desgenettes, priest at Our Lady of Victory Church (1778 - 1860)

First through Mary, then through Joseph  December 1st  Our Lady of Ratisbon (Bavaria, 1842)
Blessed Charles de Foucauld
You have decided that the providential channels of your graces would be your saintly parents; that your benefits would habitually reach us, in the supernatural order, first through Mary, then through Joseph. And so, Lord, you gave us your own parents as our parents. You make us receive from whom you received, you make us ask those you used to ask, and you make us love in a filial way the parents you loved as a son.
Blessed Charles de Foucauld  Considerations on the Year's Feasts

1232 BENTVOGLIA great charity; zeal for souls; inspiring earnestness of his sermons;  levitating
13th v. Blessed Christian of Perugia one of the first disciples of Saint Dominic
1283 Blessed John of Vercelli sixth master general of the Dominicans tireless energy and his commitment to simplicity
1345 BD GERARD CAGNOLI cult to this follower of St Francis confirmed 1908; simplicity and devotion admiration of all; many miracles healing before little shrine of his patron St Louis; assisted cooking by angel; levitating
1482 Blessed Antony Bonfadini  sent to the mission in the Holy Land miracles were reported at his tomb
1539 Bl. John Beche abbot Martyr England 1539 friend of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More; abbot of Coichester Abbey; A Benedictine, he received a doctorate from Oxford in 1515 . He took the Oath of Supremacy in 1534 , but then saw his own abbey being plundered; deaths of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More horrified him as well. When he refuted King Henry VIII’s right to suppress the English monasteries, he was arrested for treason and hanged, drawn, and quartered at Colchester; beatified in 1895.
1539 Bl. Richard Writing, Abbot of Glastonbury, and his companions, martyrs
1539 Bb. Hugh Faringdon, Abbot of Reading, and his companions, Martyrs
1580 St. Edmund Campion Jesuit; object of most intensive manhunts English history
1581 BD RALPH SHERWIN; priest , MARTYR; M.A. in 1574, “being then accounted”, says Anthony a Wood, “an acute philosopher and an excellent Grecian and Hebrician”. The next year he was reconciled to the Church, went to Douay, and was there ordained priest in 1577.
1581 Bl. Alexander Briant; priest convert, Missionary martyr at 25; From the Tower Bd Alexander contrived to write a long letter to the Jesuits in England, in the course of which he says that the first time he was racked, towards the end “I was without sense and feeling wellnigh of all grief and pain; and not so only, but as it were comforted, eased, and refreshed of the griefs of the torture bypast.” “Whether this that I say be miraculous or no, God he knoweth; but true it is, and thereof my conscience is a witness before God.” On the testi­mony of Norton (for what that is worth), after the torture Bd Alexander experienced pain of a more than usual sharpness. In the same letter he asked that he might be admitted into the Society of Jesus, even in his absence, having made a vow to offer himself if he should be released from jail, and he is in consequence numbered among the martyrs of the Society.
1586 Bl. Richard Langley  English martyr member of gentry sheltered priests.

7th v bc The Holy Prophet Nahum, whose name means "God consoles," was from the village of Elkosh (Galilee) He lived during the seventh century B.C.

Sancti Nahum Prophétæ, in Bégabar quiescéntis. The prophet Nahum, who was buried in Bagabar.

    The Book of Nahum opens with a psalm on the wrath of Yahweh against the wicked and with short prophetic passages contrasting the punishment of Assyria with the salvation of Judah, 1:2-2:3. But its main theme, stated in the heading of the book, is the destruction of Nineveh, which Nahum foretells and describes with a power that reveals him as one of the great poets of Israel, 2:4-3:19.
  There is no reason to deny his authorship to the opening psalm and oracles, which form an excellent prologue to this terrifying picture. The prophecy is dated shortly before the capture of Nineveh in 612. The book pulsates with the hatred of Israel against the people of Assyria, the traditional enemy, and also with the hopes that the fall of Assyria arouses. But through this violent nationalism, where there is no anticipation of the gospel whatever, or even of the worldwide outlook of the second part of Isaiah, run the ideals of justice and faith; the fall of Nineveh is a judgement of God, who punishes those who oppose his holy purpose, 1:11; 2:1, the oppressors of Israel, 1:12-13, and of all the nations, 3:1-7.
 The Book of Nahum must have raised the human hopes of Israel in 612, but the joy was short-lived: the fall of Jerusalem followed close on the fall of Nineveh. After this, the scope of the message grows wider and deeper; Is 52:7 borrows the image of Na 2:1 to apply it to a universal and more spiritual salvation.

The Prophet Naum prophesies the ruin of the Assyrian city of Nineveh because of its iniquity, destruction of the Israelite kingdom, and the blasphemy of King Sennacherib against God. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal died in 632 B.C., and over the next two decades, his empire began to crumble. Nineveh fell in 612 B.C.
Nahum differs from most of the prophets in as much as he does not issue any call to repentance, nor does he denounce Israel for infidelity to God.
Details of the prophet's life are unknown. He died at the age of forty-five, and was buried in his native region. He is the 7th of the Twelve Minor Prophets The Prophet Nahum and St Nahum of Ochrid (December 23) are invoked for people with mental disorders.

Saint_Procolus by Michaelangelo
Nárniæ sancti Próculi, Epíscopi et Mártyris; qui, post multa egrégia ópera, a Rege Gothórum Tótila jussus est decollári.
    At Narni, St. Proculus, bishop and martyr, who, after performing many good works, was beheaded by order of Totila, king of the Goths.
St. Proculus (the spirtual son of the saint and eventually Patriarch of Constantinople) was going to visit St John and entered the room where the saint was working and saw a man standing close at his side appearing to be talking in his ear.  Not wanting to interrupt, St Proculus left and returned sometime later and mentioned to St John that he had come by earlier and found him busy with a visitor.  St John exclaimed that he had no visitors that day and that he had been occupied in writing the entire time.
Fr Mathew told us that legend has it that St Paul would whisper in the saint’s ear as he was composing his many homilies.  What in effect St Proculus had seen in this tale is St Paul himself whispering in the ear of St John! The incorrupt ear is due to it being the ear St John would listen to the God inspired wisdom of the great saint with. 

137 Castritian of Milan  governed the see of Milan for 42 years B (RM).
Medioláni sancti Castritiáni Epíscopi, qui, in máxima Ecclésiæ perturbatióne, virtútum méritis ac rerum pie religioséque gestárum laude enítuit.
At Milan, St. Castritian, bishop, who was eminent for virtues and the practice of pious and religious deeds during the greatest troubles of the Church.

Saint Castritian, predecessor of Saint Calimerius, governed the see of Milan for 42 years (Benedictines).

While Saint Ananias was being tortured for his belief in Christ, he said, "I see a ladder leading to heaven, and radiant men calling me to a marvelous city of light."
St. Ananias Martyr for the faith Arbela, Persia or Erbel, Assyria
Martyr Ananias of Persia tortured for his belief in Christ, he said, "I see a ladder leading to heaven, and radiant men calling me to a marvelous city of light.
Arbéle, in Pérside, sancti Anániæ Mártyris.    At Arbela in Persia, St. Ananias, martyr.
While Saint Ananias was being tortured for his belief in Christ, he said, "I see a ladder leading to heaven, and radiant men calling me to a marvelous city of light. Ananias of Arbela M (RM) Dates unknown. Ananias, a martyr either at the Persian Arbela or the Assyrian Erbel, was a layman (Benedictines).
137 St. Castritian Bishop of Milan 42 yrs.
Medioláni sancti Castritiáni Epíscopi, qui, in máxima Ecclésiæ perturbatióne, virtútum méritis ac rerum pie religioséque gestárum laude enítuit.
    At Milan, St. Castritian, bishop, who was eminent for virtues and the practice of pious and religious deeds during the greatest troubles of the Church.
Italy, the predecessor of St. Calimerius in Milan. Castritian served as bishop for forty-two years.
St. Lucius Roman martyr with Candida, Cassian, and Rogatus.
Item Romæ pássio sanctórum Lúcii, Rogáti, Cassiáni et Cándidæ.
    Also in Rome, the martyrdom of the Saints Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian, and Candida.

283 St. Diodorus & Marianus Roman martyrs with many companions.
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Diodóri Presbyteri, et Mariáni Diáconi, cum áliis plúribus, qui, sub Numeriáno Príncipe, cum in Arenário natalítia Mártyrum ágerent, illic, obstrúcta a persecutóribus jánua cryptæ ac díruta désuper mole, martyrii glóriam meruérunt.
    At Rome, the holy martyrs Diodorus, a priest, and Marian, a deacon, with many others, while they were observing the birthdays of the martyrs in the catacombs.  They were made partakers in the glory of martyrdom when the persecutors, by order of Emperor Numerian, walled up the door of the oratory and piled up a great mass of stones against it.
They were surprised while conducting a Christian service in the catacombs. The Roman authorities sealed them in their subterranean chapel.
Diodorus, Marianus & Companions MM (RM)
Saints Diodorus and Marianus were among a large group of Romans martyred under Numerian. In fact, it appears to have been a case of a Christian congregation surprised while assembled at prayer in the catacombs and disposed of by having the entrance to their subterranean oratory blocked up (Benedictines).

303 St. Olympiades Martyr at Almeria, Italy.
Amériæ, in Umbria, sancti Olympíadis, viri Consuláris, qui a beáta Firmína ad fidem est convérsus, et sub Diocletiáno, in equúleo tortus, martyrium consummávit.
    At Amelia in Umbria, St. Olympias, ex-consul, who was converted to the faith by blessed Firmina, was tortured on the rack, and under Diocletian achieved martyrdom.
He was put to death under Emperor Diocletian.
304 St. Ansanus Martyr patron youth of Siena Italy "the Baptizer."
Eódem die sancti Ansáni Mártyris, qui, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre, Romæ conféssus Christum et in cárcerem trusus, deínde Senas, in Túscia, perdúctus, ibídem cápitis obtruncatióne cursum martyrii perfécit.
    The same day, St. Ansanus, martyr, who confessed Christ at Rome, and was cast into prison in the time of Emperor Diocletian.  Afterwards he was taken to Siena in Tuscany, where he ended the course of his martyrdom by beheading.
ST ANSANUS, a Roman by birth, is venerated as the first apostle of Siena, where he made so many converts that he was named “the Baptizer “. During the persecution under Diocletian he was imprisoned, and after torture his head was cut off at a place outside the walls still marked by a church. In the year 1170 his relics were translated to the cathedral; miracles marked the occasion, and these were written down, together with a fanciful life of the martyr. This states that Ansanus was a youth who was denounced as a Christian by his own father. He confessed the faith, but managed to escape from Rome and fled towards Tuscany. On the way he preached at Bagnorea and was imprisoned where the church of our Lady delle Carceri now stands. In Siena the memory of the boy saint is still devoutly cherished: In the vaults under the Spedale are the meeting-places of several devout confraternities, which are said to trace back their origin from the first Sienese Christians, the converts of St Ansanus, who met in secret on this spot in the days of the Roman persecutions.”

Evidence seems to be entirely lacking for any early cultus of St Ansanus. His so-called passio, two different texts of which have been printed in Baluze-Mansi, Miscellanea (vol. iv, pp. 60—63), amounts to no more than a double set of breviary lessons which betray their date by their very form. Cf. also the Bollandist Catalogus cod. hagiog. Bruxel., vol. i, pp. 129—132. See B. G. Gardner, Story of Siena,  p. 187 and passim; and V. Lusini, Il San Giovanni di Siena, who states that a little church, the remains of which still exist, can be shown by documents to have been dedicated to St Ansanus as early as 881. It is supposed to have served as the first baptistery of Siena.

 Tradition states that Ansanus became a Christian at the age of twelve and was denounced by his own father. Ansanus was able to elude the Roman authorities and began a missionary apostolate in Siena and in Bagnorea, Italy. When the persecution initiated by Emperor Diocletian began rounding up Christians, Ansanus was arrested. He was eventually beheaded.

Ansanus the Baptizer M (RM) Died at Siena, Italy, in 304. A scion of the Anician family of Rome, Saint Ansanus became a Christian at age 12. His own father denounced him to the authorities, but the boy contrived to escape, and converted so many pagans, first at Bagnorea and then at Siena, that he gained his surname 'the Baptizer' and is now known as the apostle of Siena. He was finally arrested. Faith made him lose his head under Diocletian, but he was the one who was right (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia). Saint Ansanus's emblem is dates. He is depicted as a young man holding a cluster of dates, though occasionally he may be shown (1) holding a liver; (2) holding a heart and liver; (3) with a palm and banner; (4) baptizing; (5) heart with IHS; (6) boiled in oil; or (7) beheaded. He is the patron of Siena (Roeder).

St. Natalia Martyr of Nicomedia modern Turkey
Eódem die sanctæ Natalítiæ, uxóris beáti Hadriáni Mártyris, quæ, sub Diocletiáno Imperatóre, sanctis Martyribus, Nicomedíæ in cárcere deténtis, multo témpore ministrávit; impletóque eórum certámine, Constantinópolim est profécta, et ibídem in pace quiévit.
    The same day, St. Natalia, wife of the blessed martyr Adrian, in the time of Emperor Diocletian.  She long served the holy martyrs imprisoned at Nicomedia, and when their trials were over, went to Constantinople where she peacefully went to her rest in the Lord.
She cared for Christian prisoners awaiting martyrdom during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. She is mentioned in the Acta of St. Adrian, and she survived the persecution of the Church.
347 St. Ursicinus Bishop Brescia Council of Sardica Italy 347.
Bríxiæ sancti Ursicíni Epíscopi.    At Brescia, St. Ursicinus, bishop.
It is known that he took part in the Council of Sardica (347) and was an opponent of the Arian heresy. His shrine still exists.
362 Evasius of Asti BM (RM)
In civitáte Casalénsi sancti Evásii, Epíscopi et Mártyris.    At Casale, St. Evasius, bishop and martyr.
Saint Evasius is said to have been the first bishop of Asti in the Piedmont of Italy. He was driven there by the Arians, and reputed put to death under Julian the Apostate at Casale Monferrato. The accounts given of him are very untrustworthy (Benedictines).
432 St. Leontius Bishop of Fregus.
France, and a friend of St. Cassius.

5th v. Candres of Maestricht  evangelized the territory of Maestricht B (AC).
Consecrated as a regionary bishop, Saint Candres evangelized the territory of Maestricht.
He is still liturgically commemorated in the diocese of Rouen (Benedictines).

5th v. St. Candres Bishop and missionary to Maastricht
Candres is venerated in the diocese of Rouen, France.
570 St. Constantian Abbot founder of Javron Abbey.
He was a monk at Micy, France.

588 St. Agericus Bishop miracle worker; patron of the poor, Verdun France.
Apud Virodúnum, in Gállia, sancti Ageríci Epíscopi.    At Verdun in France, St. Agericus, bishop.

ST AGERICUS was born at or near Verdun, perhaps at Harville, about the year 521. He became one of the clergy of the church of SS Peter and Paul at Verdun, and when he was thirty-three was appointed bishop of that city in succession to St Desiderius. He was visited there by St Gregory of Tours and St Venantius Fortunatus, both of whom write in his praise: “The poor receive relief, the despairing hope, the naked clothing; whatever you have, all have”, says Fortuna­tus.
     St Agericus enjoyed the favour also of King Sigebert I, whose son, Childebert, he baptized, and counseled after he came to the throne. But he was not able to obtain mercy for Bertefroi and other revolting nobles who came to him for sanctuary and protection. Bertefroi was murdered in the bishop’s own chapel by the royal officers. A more pleasing association between Agericus and Childebert was when the whole of the court was billeted on the bishop; there were so many of them and they were so thirsty that the supply of drink was stretched to its limit. St Agericus had the last cask of wine set in the hall, blessed it, and it proved to have a miraculous and never-ending flow. Another miracle attributed to him was the delivery of a condemned malefactor at Laon, for whom he obtained pardon. St Agericus died in 588, it is said of a broken heart because he had failed to save Bertefroi. He was buried in the church of SS Andrew and Martin which he had built at Verdun. Here an abbey was established early in the eleventh century and dedicated in his honour.

Besides the information furnished by St Gregory of Tours and St Venantius Fortunatus, Hugh of Flavigny in his chronicle has gathered up the data scattered in these same sources and produced some sort of biography (see Migne, PL., vol. cliv, cc. 126—131). Two Latin lives of late date are printed in the Bollandist Catalogus cod. hagiog. Lat. Bib. Nat. Paris, vol. i, pp. 479—482 and vol. iii, pp. 78-92 neither, however, contains any material of value. See also DHG., vol. i, cc. 1223—1224.

Born about 521 in that city, he is sometimes listed as Airy or Algeric.
In 554, after serving in a local parish, Agericus succeeded St. Desiderius as bishop of Verdun. He became an advisor to King Childebert II and a patron of the poor of the region. Agericus witnessed the murder of Bertefroi, a local rebel leader, who had taken refuge in the bishop's own chapel.
The king's men violated sanctuary laws to slay the rebel.

Agericus of Verdun B (RM) (also known as Aguy, Airy) died c. 591. In 554, Saint Agericus succeeded Saint Desiderius in the see of Verdun. He was greatly admired by his contemporaries Saints Gregory of Tours and Venantius Fortunatus, as well as by King Sigebert I and his son Childebert. He was buried in his own home, which was turned into a church and around which the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Airy was built in 1037 (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson).


According to Breton tradition St Tudwal (Tutwal, Tugdual) was a Briton front Wales who crossed over to Brittany with his mother, his sister, some monks, and others, where the king of Dumnonia, Deroc, was his cousin. He settled at Lan Pabu in Leon (Tudwal was called Palm, i.e. Father, in Brittany) and made several other monastic foundations. He went to Paris to have his grants of land confirmed by King Childebert I and was consecrated bishop, and ended his days in the monastery of Treher, now Tréguier, of which city he is accounted the first bishop. His appellation, Pabu, led to the legend that he became pope under the name of Leo, a fable richly embroidered by Breton hagiographers.

St Tudwal does not figure in any Welsh calendars, but the name occurs in three places in the Lleyn peninsula, the northern arm of Cardigan Bay. The chief of these, a small-uninhabited island off Abersoch, is called Ynys Tudwal, and has ruins of an ancient chapel. It was here that, from May to December 1887, the holy Henry Hughes, a Welsh priest of the diocese of Shrewsbury and tertiary of the Order of Preachers, began to lead a heroic missionary life cut short by an untimely death. The feast of St Tudwal is kept in Brittany, and the Catholic Church at Barmouth is dedicated in his honour.

The three separate accounts of St Tudwal preserved to us are late (one may be of the ninth century), conflicting and unreliable. The Latin texts may best be consulted in A. de la Borderie, Les trois anciennes Vies de S. Tudwal (1887), pp. 12—45 and cf. the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. viii (1889), pp. 158-163. St Tudwal is invoked in the tenth century Breton litany originally printed by Mabillon and reproduced by Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, vol. ii, p. 82. See also LBS., vol. iv, pp. 271—274; Duine, Memento, p. 61 A. Oheix, Études hagiographiques (1919), no. 8 Mgr Duchesne in the Bulletin Critique, vol. x (1889), pp. 228-229 and, regarding the reputed relics of the saint, A. de Barthélemy in the Revue de Bretagne, vol. xxv (1901), pp. 401—413. Dom Gougaud was of the opinion that Tudwal was a native of insular Dumnonia, i.e. Devon or Cornwall.

7th v. St. Grwst A Welsh saint.  honored at Llanrwst, Clwyd, Wales.
640 St. Eligius priest generous in spirit Patron of metalworkers a considerable number of miracles
Noviómi, in Bélgio, sancti Elígii Epíscopi, cujus vitam admirándam múltiplex signórum númerus comméndat.
    At Noyon in Belgium, St. Eligius, bishop, whose life is rendered illustrious by a considerable number of miracles.
THE name of Eligius, and those of his father, Eucherius, and his mother, Terrigia, show him to have been of Roman Gaulish extraction. He was born at Chaptelat, near Limoges, about the year 588, the son of an artisan. His father, seeing in due course that the boy had a remarkable talent for engraving and smithing, placed him with a goldsmith named Abbo, who was master of the mint at Limoges. When the time of his apprenticeship was finished Eligius went into France, that  is, across the Loire, and became known to Bobbo, treasurer to Clotaire II at Paris. This king gave Eligius an order to make him a chair of state, adorned with gold and precious stones. Out of the materials furnished he made two such thrones instead of one. Clotaire admired the skill and honesty of the workman, and finding that he was a man of parts and intelligence took him into his household and made him master of the mint. His name is still to be seen on several gold coins struck at Paris and Marseilles in the reigns of Dagobert I and his son, Clovis II.
    His vita states that among other works the reliquaries of St Martin at Tours, of St Dionysius at Saint-Denis, of St Quintinus, SS Crispin and Crispinian at Soissons, St Lucian, St Germanus of Paris, St Genevieve, and others, were made by Eligius. His skill as a workman, his official position and the friendship of the king soon made him a person of consideration. He did not let the corruption of a court infect his soul or impair his virtue, but he conformed to his state and was magnificently dressed, sometimes wearing nothing but silk (a rare material in France in those days), his clothes embroidered with gold and adorned with precious stones. But he also gave large sums in alms. When a stranger asked for his house he was told, "Go to such a street, and it's where you see a crowd of poor people".
    A curious incident occurred when Clotaire tendered him the oath of allegiance. Eligius having a scruple lest this would be to swear without sufficient necessity, or fearing what he might be called upon to do or approve, excused himself with an obstinacy which for some time displeased the king. Still he persisted in his resolution and repeated his excuses as often as the king pressed him. Clotaire, at length perceiving that the motive of his reluctance was really a tenderness of conscience, assured him that his conscientious spirit was a more secure pledge of fidelity than the oaths of others. St Eligius ransomed a number of slaves, some of whom remained in his service and were his faithful assistants throughout his life. One of them, a Saxon named Tillo, is numbered among the saints and commemorated on January 7; he was first among the seven disciples of St Eligius who followed him from the workshop to the évêché. At the court he sought the company of such men as Sulpicius, Bertharius, Desiderius and his brother, Rusticus, and in particular Audoenus, all of who became not only bishops but saints as well. Of these Audoenus (St Ouen) must have been a boy when St Eligius first knew him; to him was long attributed the authorship of the Vita Eligii, which is now commonly regarded as the work of a later monk of Noyon. By it St Eligius is described as having been at this time, "tall, with a fresh complexion, his hair and beard curling without artifice; his hands were shapely and long-fingered, his face full of angelic kindness and its expression grave and unaffected".
King Clotaire's regard for and trust in Eligius was shared by his son, Dagobert I, though, like many monarchs, he valued and took the advice of a holy man more willingly in public than in private affairs. He gave to the saint the estate of Solignac in his native Limousin for the foundation of a monastery, which in 632 was peopled with monks who followed the Rules of St Columban and St Benedict combined. These, under the eye of their founder, became noted for their good work in various arts.* [*The original charter of Solignac is preserved in the archives of Limoges. It is signed by, among others, Eligius, Adeodatus of Macon, Lupus of Limoges, Audoenus and Vincent the least of all the deacons of Christ".]

Dagobert also gave to St Eligius a house at Paris, which he converted into a nunnery and placed under the direction of St Aurea. Eligius asked for an additional piece of land to complete the buildings, and it was granted him. But he found that he had somewhat exceeded the measure of the land which had been specified. Upon which he immediately went to the king and asked his pardon. Dagobert, surprised at his careful honesty, said to his courtiers, "Some of my officers do not scruple to rob me of whole estates ; whereas Eligius is afraid of having one inch of ground which is not his". So trustworthy a man was valuable as an ambassador, and Dagobert is said to have sent him to treat with Judicael, the prince of the turbulent Bretons.
    St Eligius was chosen to be bishop of Noyon and Tournai, at the same time as his friend St Audoenus was made bishop of Rouen. They were consecrated together in the year 641. Eligius proved as good a bishop as he had been layman, and his pastoral solicitude, zeal and watchfulness were most admirable. Soon he turned his thoughts to the conversion of the infidels, who were a large majority in the Tournai part of his diocese, and a great part of Flanders was chiefly indebted to St Eligius for receiving the gospel. He preached in the territories of Antwerp, Ghent and Courtrai, and the inhabitants, who were as untamed as wild beasts, reviled him as a foreigner, "a Roman"; yet he persevered. He took care of their sick, protected them from oppression, and employed every means that charity could suggest to overcome their obstinacy. The barbarians were gradually softened, and some were converted; every year at Easter he baptized those whom he had brought to the knowledge of God during the twelve preceding months. The author of the Life tells us that St Eligius preached to the people every Sunday and feast-day and instructed them with indefatigable zeal; an abstract is given of several of his discourses united in one, by which it appears that he often borrowed whole passages from the sermons of St Caesarius of Arles. It would perhaps be more correct to say that the writer of the Life has borrowed from St Caesarius, though there are similar borrowings in the sixteen homilies attributed to St Eligius. One of these may possibly be authentic, a very interesting discourse in which the preacher warns his hearers against superstitions and pagan practices observances of January 1 and also of June 24 are mentioned, work must not be abstained from out of respect for Thursday (dies Jovis) or May month, charms, biblical and other, fortune-telling, watching the omens, and many other superstitions (some of them still used in Great Britain today) are forbidden. In their place he urges prayer, the partaking of the body and blood of Christ, anointing in time of sickness, and the sign of the cross, with the recitation of the creed and the Lord's Prayer.
At Noyon St Eligius established a house of nuns, to govern which he fetched his protégée, St Godeberta, from Paris, and one of monks, outside the city on the road to Soissons. He was very active in promoting the cultus of local saints, and it was during his episcopate that several of the reliquaries mentioned above were made, either by himself or under his direction. He took a leading part in the ecclesiastical life of his day, and for a short time immediately before his death was a valued counsellor of the queen-regent, St Bathildis. His biographer gives several illustrations of the regard which she had for him, and they had in common not only political views but also a deep solicitude for slaves (she had been carried off from England and sold when a child). The effect of this is seen at the Council of Chalon (c. 647), which forbade their sale out of the kingdom and decreed that they must be free to rest on Sundays and holidays. The only certainly authentic writing of St Eligius is a charming letter to his friend St Desiderius of Cahors.
"Remember your Eligius", he says in the course of it, "0 my Desiderius, who art dear to me as mine own self, when your soul pours itself out in prayer to the Lord...I greet you with all my heart and the most sincere affection. Our faithful companion, Dado, greets you also.” Dado is St Audoenus. When he had governed his flock nineteen years Eligius was visited with a foresight of his death, and foretold it to his clergy. Falling ill of a fever, he on the sixth day called together his household and took leave of them. They all burst into tears and he was not able to refrain from weeping with them; he commended them to God, and died a few hours later, on December 1, 660. At the news of his sickness St Bathildis set out from Paris, but arrived only the morning after his death. She had preparations made for carrying the body to her monastery at Chelles. Others were anxious that it should be taken to Paris, but the people of Noyon so strenuously opposed it that the remains of their pastor were left with them. They were afterwards translated into the cathedral, where a great part of them remain. St Eligius was for long one of the most popular saints of France, and his feast was universal in north-western Europe during the later middle ages. In addition to being the patron saint of all kinds of smiths and metalworkers, he is invoked by farriers and on behalf of horses: this on account of legendary tales about horses that have become attached to his name. He practised his art all his life, and a number of existing “pieces” are attributed to him.
Of all the Merovingian saints, the history of St Eloi possibly brings us most nearly into touch with Christian practice at that period. It is therefore not surprising that his life has given rise to a relatively abundant literature. Everything centers round the Vita S. Eligii, an unusually lengthy document, of which, as stated above, St Ouen is the reputed author. The best text is that edited by B. Krusch in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iv, pp. 635—742 it is also to be found in Migne, PL., vol. lxxxvii, cc. 477—658. It seems certain that St Ouen did write some account of his friend, but the life now preserved to us was compiled at Noyon a half-century or more later; and though it probably incorporates a good deal of what St Ouen wrote, it has been recast and supplemented in many places. An excellent account of St Eligius is given by E. Vacandard in DTC., vol. iv, cc. 2340—2350, and there are several articles of the same author bearing on the subject, notably in the Revue des questions historiques for 1898 and 1899, where the question of the authenticity of the homilies attributed to the saint is very fully discussed. See also Van der Essen, Étude critique sur les saints mérovingiens (1904), pp. 324—336 H. Timerding, Die christ. Frühzeit Deutschlands, vol. i (1929), pp. 125—149; S. R. Maitland, The Dark Ages (1889), pp. 101—140; and P. Parsy, Saint Eloi (1904) in the series “Les Saints”. In the long article by H. Leclercq in DAC., vol. iv, cc. 2674—2687, a detailed account is given of the different works of art attributed to the saint’s craftsmanship. On “missionary sermons” and the homiletic influence of St Caesarius, see W. Levison, England and the Continent...(1946), appendix x, pp. 302-314, “Venus, a Man”.
Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 near Limoges in France. He became an extremely skillful metalsmith and was appointed master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris. Eligius developed a close friendship with the King and his reputation as an outstanding metalsmith became widespread. With his fame came fortune.
Eligius was very generous to the poor, ransomed many slaves, and built several churches and a monastery at Solignac. He also erected a major convent in Paris with property he received from Clotaire's son, King Dagobert I. In 629, Eligius was appointed Dagobert's first counselor. Later, on a mission for Dagobert, he persuaded the Breton King Judicael, to accept the authority of Dagobert.
Eligius later fulfilled his desire to serve God as a priest, after being ordained in 640. Then he was made bishop of Noyon and Tournai. His apostolic zeal led him to preach in Flanders, especially Antwerp, Ghent, and Courtai where he made many converts. Eligius died on December 1, around 660, at Noyon. He is the patron of metalworkers.
The use of one's talents and wealth for the welfare of humanity is a very true reflection of the image of God. In the case of St. Eligius, he was so well liked that he attracted many to Christ. His example should encourage us to be generous in spirit and kind and happy in demeanor.

792 Righteous Philaret the Merciful of Amnia in Asia Minor  whose name means "lover of virtue," was famed for his love for the poor.
Righteous Philaret the Merciful, son of George and Anna, was raised in piety and the fear of God. He lived during the eighth century in the village of Amneia in the Paphlagonian district of Asia Minor. His wife, Theoseba, was from a rich and illustrious family, and they had three children: a son John, and daughters Hypatia and Evanthia.
Philaret was a rich and illustrious dignitary, but he did not hoard his wealth. Knowing that many people suffered from poverty, he remembered the words of the Savior about the dread Last Judgment and about "these least ones" (Mt. 25:40); the the Apostle Paul's reminder that we will take nothing with us from this world (1 Tim 6:7); and the assertion of King David that the righteous would not be forsaken (Ps 36/37:25). Philaret, whose name means "lover of virtue," was famed for his love for the poor.

One day Ishmaelites [Arabs] attacked Paphlagonia, devastating the land and plundering the estate of Philaret. There remained only two oxen, a donkey, a cow with her calf, some beehives, and the house. But he also shared them with the poor. His wife reproached him for being heartless and unconcerned for his own family. Mildly, yet firmly he endured the reproaches of his wife and the jeers of his children. "I have hidden away riches and treasure," he told his family, "so much that it would be enough for you to feed and clothe yourselves, even if you lived a hundred years without working."

The saint's gifts always brought good to the recipient. Whoever received anything from him found that the gift would multiply, and that person would become rich. Knowing this, a certain man came to St Philaret asking for a calf so that he could start a herd. The cow missed its calf and began to bellow. Theoseba said to her husband, "You have no pity on us, you merciless man, but don't you feel sorry for the cow? You have separated her from her calf." The saint praised his wife, and agreed that it was not right to separate the cow and the calf. Therefore, he called the poor man to whom he had given the calf and told him to take the cow as well.

That year there was a famine, so St Philaret took the donkey and went to borrow six bushels of wheat from a friend of his. When he returned home, a poor man asked him for a little wheat, so he told his wife to give the man a bushel. Theoseba said, "First you must give a bushel to each of us in the family, then you can give away the rest as you choose." Philaretos then gave the man two bushels of wheat. Theoseba said sarcastically, "Give him half the load so you can share it." The saint measured out a third bushel and gave it to the man. Then Theoseba said, "Why don't you give him the bag, too, so he can carry it?" He gave him the bag. The exasperated wife said, "Just to spite me, why not give him all the wheat." St Philaret did so.

Now the man was unable to lift the six bushels of wheat, so Theoseba told her husband to give him the donkey so he could carry the wheat home. Blessing his wife, Philaret gave the donkey to the man, who went home rejoicing. Theoseba and the children wept because they were hungry.

The Lord rewarded Philaret for his generosity: when the last measure of wheat was given away, a old friend sent him forty bushels. Theoseba kept most of the wheat for herself and the children, and the saint gave away his share to the poor and had nothing left. When his wife and children were eating, he would go to them and they gave him some food. Theoseba grumbled saying, "How long are you going to keep that treasure of yours hidden? Take it out so we can buy food with it."

During this time the Byzantine empress Irene (797-802) was seeking a bride for her son, the future emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (780-797). Therefore, emissaries were sent throughout all the Empire to find a suitable girl, and the envoys came to Amneia.

When Philaret and Theoseba learned that these most illustrious guests were to visit their house, Philaret was very happy, but Theoseba was sad, for they did not have enough food. But Philaret told his wife to light the fire and to decorate their home. Their neighbors, knowing that imperial envoys were expected, brought everything required for a rich feast.

The envoys were impressed by the saint's daughters and granddaughters. Seeing their beauty, their deportment, their clothing, and their admirable qualities, the envoys agreed that Philaret' granddaughter, Maria was exactly what they were looking for. This Maria exceeded all her rivals in quality and modesty and indeed became Constantine's wife, and the emperor rewarded Philaret.

Thus fame and riches returned to Philaret. But just as before, this holy lover of the poor generously distributed alms and provided a feast for the poor. He and his family served them at the meal. Everyone was astonished at his humility and said: "This is a man of God, a true disciple of Christ."

He ordered a servant to take three bags and fill one with gold, one with silver, and one with copper coins. When a beggar approached, Philaret ordered his servant to bring forth one of the bags, whichever God's providence would ordain. Then he would reach into the bag and give to each person, as much as God willed.

St Philaret refused to wear fine clothes, nor would he accept any imperial rank. He said it was enough for him to be called the grandfather of the Empress. The saint reached ninety years of age and knew his end was approaching. He went to the Rodolpheia ("The Judgment") monastery in Constantinople. He gave some gold to the Abbess and asked her to allow him to be buried there, saying that he would depart this life in ten days.

He returned home and became ill. On the tenth day he summoned his family, he exhorted them to imitate his love for the poor if they desired salvation. Then he fell asleep in the Lord. He died in the year 792 and was buried in the Rodolpheia Judgment monastery in Constantinople.

The appearance of a miracle after his death confirmed the sainthood of Righteous Philaret. As they bore the body of the saint to the cemetery, a certain man, possessed by the devil, followed the funeral procession and tried to overturn the coffin. When they reached the grave, the devil threw the man down on the ground and went out of him. Many other miracles and healings also took place at the grave of the saint.

After the death of the righteous Philaret, his wife Theoseba worked at restoring monasteries and churches devastated during a barbarian invasion.

1232 BENTVOGLIA great charity; zeal for souls; inspiring earnestness of his sermons;  levitating

BENTVOGLIA a native of San Severino in the Marches, joined the Franciscan Order in the lifetime of the founder, and though his family was well-to-do a number of his near relatives subsequently followed his example. The imperfect records preserved to us do not seem to supply anything very characteristic or personal regarding this beatus. He, no doubt, shared in full measure the love of poverty and simplicity which was so conspicuous in the first generation of the Friars Minor. We are told of his great charity, his zeal for souls and of the inspiring earnestness of his sermons. The parish priest of San Severino is said in the Fioretti to have been brought to the order by witnessing a rapture of Bd Bentivoglia when praying in a wood, in the course of which he saw this holy brother raised for a long time high above the ground. In the same source we read how, “while sojourning once alone at Trave Bonanti in order to take charge of and serve a certain leper, he (Bentivoglia) received commandment from his superior to depart thence and go unto another place, which was about fifteen miles distant, and, not willing to abandon the leper, he took him with him with great fervour of charity, and placed him on his shoulders, and carried him from the dawn till the rising of the sun all the fifteen miles of the way, even to the place where he was sent, which was called Monte San Vicino, which journey, if he had been an eagle, he could not have flown in so short a time, and this divine miracle put the whole country round in amazement and admiration”. He died, where he was born, at San Severino on Christmas day, 1232.

See Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (168o), vol. i, pp. 239—240 Léon Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 31-33; and Actus B. Francisci et sociorum ejus, edited by Paul Sabatier, p. 160 In deference to the reading of Sabatier’s manuscripts I have spelt the name Bentivoglia rather than Bentivoglio.

1283 Blessed John of Vercelli sixth master general of the Dominicans tireless energy and his commitment to simplicity

John was born near Vercelli about the year 1205, but he is not first certainly heard of till forty years later, when he was prior of the Dominicans at Vercelli and a marked man for his abilities and character. After filling various offices and missions he was elected sixth master general of the Order of Preachers in 1264, an office which he held with great distinction for nineteen years. John was rather short of stature—in his first letter to his brethren he refers to himself as a “poor little man”—and so amiable of expression that he is said to have required of his socius that he should be of a severe and awe-inspiring countenance. But he made up for lack of size by sufficiency of energy and was tireless in his visitation and correction of the Dominican houses up and down Europe; nor would he on these journeys dispense himself from the fasts either of the Church or of his order. Immediately on his election to the see of Rome, Bd Gregory X imposed on John of Vercelli and his friars the task of again pacifying the quarrelling states of Italy, and three years later he was ordered to draw up a schema for the second ecumenical Council of Lyons. At the council he met Jerome of Ascoli (afterwards Pope Nicholas IV), who had succeeded St Bonaventure as minister general of the Franciscans, and the two addressed a joint letter to the whole body of friars. Later on they were sent together by the Holy See to mediate between Philip III of France and Alfonso X of Castile, continuing the work of peace-maker, in which John excelled.

Bd John of Vercelli was one of the early propagators of devotion to the name of Jesus, which the Council of Lyons prescribed in reparation for Albigensian blasphemies. Bd Gregory X selected John particularly, as head of a great body of preachers, to spread this devotion, and the master general at once addressed all his provincial priors accordingly. It was decided that there should be an altar of the Holy Name in every Dominican church and that confraternities against blasphemy and profanity should be formed. In 1278 Bd John sent a visitor into England, where some friars had been attacking the teaching of St Thomas Aquinas, then lately dead, whom John had reappointed to the chair of theology at Paris after the refusal of St Albert the Great. Two years later John came himself to Oxford, where a general chapter was held. Like Humbert of Romans, his pre­decessor, he refused episcopacy and a curial office at Rome; but he was induced to withdraw his resignation of the generalate, which he retained until his death at Montpellier on November 30, 1283. The cultus of Bd John of Vercelli was approved in 1903.

A very full life was composed in French by P. Mothon and it has been translated into Italian, Vita del B. Giovanni da Vercelli (1903) naturally also Fr Mortier in his Histoire des Maîtres Généraux 0.P., vol. ii, pp. 1-170, gives much space to this important generalate. A careful account in briefer compass is that of M. de Waresquiel, Le bx Jean de Verceil (1903). See also Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus 0.P.

John was born near Vercelli in northwest Italy in the early 13th century. Little is known of his early life. He entered the Dominican Order in the 1240s and served in various leadership capacities over the years. Elected sixth master general of the Dominicans in 1264, he served for almost two decades.  Known for his tireless energy and his commitment to simplicity, John made personal visits—typically on foot—to almost all the Dominican houses, urging his fellow friars to strictly observe the rules and constitutions of the Order.
He was tapped by two popes for special tasks. Pope Gregory X enlisted the help of John and his fellow Dominicans in helping to pacify the States of Italy that were quarreling with one another. John was also called upon to draw up a framework for the Second Council of Lyons in 1274. It was at that council that he met Jerome of Ascoli (the man who would later become Pope Nicholas IV), then serving as minister general of the Franciscans. Some time later the two men were sent by Rome to mediate a dispute involving King Philip III of France. Once again, John was able to draw on his negotiating and peacemaking skills.

Following the Second Council of Lyons, Pope Gregory selected John to spread devotion to the name of Jesus. John took the task to heart, requiring that every Dominican church contain an altar of the Holy Name; groups were also formed to combat blasphemy and profanity.
Toward the end of his life John was offered the role of patriarch of Jerusalem, but declined. He remained Dominican master general until his death.
Comment: The need for peacemakers is certainly as keen today as in the 10th century! As followers of Jesus, John’s role falls to us. Each of us can do something to ease the tensions in our families, in the workplace, among people of different races and creeds.
13th v. Blessed Christian of Perugia one of the first disciples of Saint Dominic  OP (PC).
As one of the first disciples of Saint Dominic, Blessed Christian helped in the foundation of the friary at Perugia (Benedictines).

1345 BD GERARD CAGNOLI cult to this follower of St Francis confirmed 1908; simplicity and devotion admiration of all; many miracles of healing before a little shrine of his patron St Louis; assisted cooking by angel; ecstasy, levitating
   The cult which from time immemorial has been paid at Palermo and elsewhere to this follower of St Francis was confirmed in 1908. Gerard, born about 1270, was the only son of noble parents in the north of Italy. He lost his father at the age of ten, and his mother not many years afterwards.
   Resisting the persuasions of his relatives to marry, he distributed his goods to the poor and led, until he was forty, the life of a pilgrim and hermit, spending most of his time in the wilder parts of Sicily. In the early years of the fourteenth century, the holiness and miracles of St Louis of Anjou, who though heir to a throne had become a Franciscan, were much talked about. Gerard took him for his patron, and about the year 1310 ended by joining the same order.

  While he discharged duties of a lay-brother, his simplicity and devotion were the admiration of all. On one great feast-day, when he was acting as cook, being absorbed in prayer, he seemed to have forgotten all about the dinner; when, late in the morning, the father guardian, apprised that even the fire had not yet been lighted, remonstrated with the brother on his neglect.
Gerard, quite unperturbed, took to the kitchen, where, assisted, it is said, by an unknown youth of radiant beauty, he produced, punctually to the moment, a more delicious meal than the community had ever before eaten.

   Many miracles were attributed to the intercession of the holy brother. For example, it was said that, finding a child crying because it had dropped and broken the glass beaker it was carrying home to its mother, he collected the fragments, blessed them and restored the vessel to the child as sound as it had been before. His miracles of healing were commonly performed by anointing the sick with the oil which burned in a lamp before a little shrine of his patron St Louis. His diet was bread and water, he slept upon a plank, he scourged himself to blood, and there were many stories told of ecstasies in which he was seen surrounded with light and raised from the ground. He died on December 30, 1345.
See the decree of the Congregation of Rites in Analecta Ecclesiastica (1908), vol. xvi, pp. 293—295 B. Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1680), vol. iii, pp. 767—773; and Analecta Franciscana (1897), vol. ii, pp. 489-497.
1482 Blessed Antony Bonfadini sent to the mission in the Holy Land miracles were reported at his tomb  OFM (AC)

THE Bonfadini were a good family of Ferrara, where Antony was born in the year 1400. When he was thirty-nine, he became a friar minor of the Observance at the friary of the Holy Ghost in his native town, and soon distinguished himself as a teacher and preacher. He was sent on the Franciscan mission in the Holy Land, and on a journey from there, in his old age, he died and was buried at the village of Cotignola in the Romagna. A year later his body was found to be still incorrupt, and miracles were reported at his tomb. Accordingly, when some years later the Friars Minor made a foundation at Cotignola, they were given permission to translate the body to their church. The cultus of Bd Antony was approved in 1901.

Although the continued cultus is well attested, we know little detail of the life of this holy friar. Some account is furnished by such chroniclers as Mazzara in Leggendario Francescano, vol. iii (1680), pp. 601-602. See also the Acta Ord. Fratrum Minorum, vol. xx (1901), pp. 105 seq. and DHG., vol. iii, c. 763.

Born at Ferrara, Italy, 1400; died at Cotignola, diocese of Faenza, 1482; cultus confirmed in 1901. After becoming an Observant Franciscan, Blessed Antony was sent to the mission in the Holy Land (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
1539 Bl. John Beche abbot Martyr England friend of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More.
John was abbot of Colchester Abbey. A Benedictine, he received a doctorate from Oxford in 1515 . He took the Oath of Supremacy in 1534 , but then saw his own abbey being plundered. The deaths of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More horrified him as well. When he refuted King Henry VIII’s right to suppress the English monasteries, he was arrested for treason and hanged, drawn, and quartered at Colchester. John was beatified in 1895.

1539 Bl. Richard Writing, Abbot of Glastonbury, and his companions, martyrs

The prestige conferred both by legend and history gives Glastonbury a literally unique place among the numerous great monasteries of ancient England, and, if it be impossible to accept the story of its foundation by St Joseph of Arimathaea (and several other stories about it), the very existence of such a legend testifies to the veneration in which our ancestors held the place. It is therefore fitting that, at a time when many ecclesiastics, secular and regular, and distinguished lay-people fell away lamentably front their calling as Catholic Christians, the last abbot of Glastonbury should have died for his faith at the hands of the civil power.
     Richard Whiting was born at Wrington in Somerset, probably soon after 1460, and was educated at Cambridge (Magdalene?), where he took his MA., in 1483, and returned for his S.T.D., in 1505. In all likelihood he was a monk before the first date. He was ordained priest at Wells in. 1501, and for some years held the office of chamber­lain in the monastery. Upon the death of Abbot Bere, in 1525, the community requested Cardinal Wolsey to name a successor. He chose Dom Richard Whiting “an upright and religious monk, a provident and discreet man, and a priest com­mendable for his life, virtues, and learning”. Among those who signed the commission was St Thomas More

For ten years his rule was quiet and uneventful, till in 1534 came the summons to take the oath of supremacy, that the king was head of the Church in England. With the exception of More, Fisher, the Carthusian monks and the Franciscan Observants, there were few who stood out from the first against this. Abbot Whiting and his monks took the oath when it was tendered to them.

   In the following year the royal commissioners visited Glastonbury, and reported (with regret) that the brethren were kept in such good order that they could not offend and assured the monks that nothing was intended against them. A year later the lesser monasteries were suppressed, and by the time the greater ones were con­demned, in 1539, Glastonbury was the only religious house left in Somerset. Three commissioners arrived there in September. They impounded various incriminating documents (a book against the king’s divorce, copies of papal bulls, and a Life of St Thomas Becket) and questioned Abbot Whiting. But now he refused to surrender his charge and showed “his cankerous and traitorous mind against the King’s Majesty and his succession”. So they carried him off to London, to the Tower. Mr Commissioner Layton sent after him to Cromwell a book of evidences “of divers and sundry treasons” committed by the abbot, which is not extant and the contents are unknown. But in consequence of it Cromwell noted in his Remembrances:  Item, the Abbot of Glaston to be tried at Glaston, and also executed there”—a pretty anticipation of the course of in­justice. There is a good deal of uncertainty as to what actually took place whether Abbot Whiting was tried in London or in Wells or at both places; but he was condemned to death. The indictment was not allowed to survive, or even, apparently, to be made public, but there is general agreement that it was for high treason (in which case the abbot was entitled to be tried by his peers in the House of Lords), and the available evidence points to denial of the royal supremacy as having been the specific offence.

Bd Richard arrived at Wells with his escort on Friday, November 14, 1539. The next day he was hurried to Glastonbury, was refused leave to make a farewell visit to his abbey (he apparently did not know it was deserted, the community scattered), and was dragged on a hurdle to the top of the Tor, a hill some 500 feet high overlooking the town. There, beneath the tower of St Michael’s chapel, the aged man, “very weak and sickly”, sustained barbarities of hanging and disembowelling. Before the evening his head was displayed above the gate of his monastery, and his quarters had been sent off to Wells, Bridgewater, Ilchester and Bath. * {* The Catholic church of St John built on the place where his limbs were exposed at Bath.}

After the abbot had been despatched, two of his monks suffered in a like manner. These were Bd JOHN THORNE, treasurer of the abbey church, and Bd ROGER JAMES, its sacristan. Their offence was called sacrilege, in that they had hidden various treasures of their church to save them from the king’s hands. It is likely that this was also one of the charges against Whiting.

The memory of the martyred abbot was long held in benediction by the people of Somerset, and he is not forgotten in Glastonbury and its neighbourhood today. It was probably on the evidence of Father William Good, S.J., a contemporary and a native of Glastonbury, that Pope Gregory XVI permitted his representation among the martyrs on the walls of the chapel of the Venerabile, and so led to his equipollent beatification with the others in 1895.

The feast of these three martyrs is observed in the diocese of Clifton on the day of their death, and in the archdiocese of Westminster and by the English Bene­dictine Congregation on December 1, together with the other two martyred abbots, Hugh Faringdon and John Beche.

The principal materials for this and the two following notices are to be found in the calendar of Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII, edited for the Record Office by J. S. Brewer, James Gairdner and R. H. Brodie. The story of Richard Whiting is told in some detail by F. A. Gasquet in The Last Abbot of Glastonbury (1895), on which also consult Canon Dixon’s notice in the English Historical Review, vol. xii (1897), pp. 781—785. The most accurate account of the martyr is that furnished by Bede Camm In LEM., vol. (1904), pp. 327—412.

1539 Bb. Hugh Faringdon, Abbot of Reading, and his companions, Martyrs
BD HUGH was commonly called Faringdon probably after his birthplace in Berkshire, but his true surname was Cook and he bore (or assumed) the arms of Cook of Kent. He became a monk of Reading, and while discharging the office of sub-chamberlain was elected abbot in 1520. It was an important abbacy, carrying a seat in the House of Lords and in Convocation, and the holder was a county magistrate. Dom Hugh took an active part in the duties involved, though hostile chroniclers have called him “utterly without learning”. This was not the opinion of Leonard Cox, master of Reading Grammar School, who dedicated to
him a book on rhetoric. He maintained an excellent discipline in his monastery, and could not abide the preachers of the new doctrines, whom he called “heretics and knaves”. But at first he was on good terms with Henry VIII—too good terms. The king visited him and called him “my own abbot” the abbot sent presents of hunting-knives and of trout netted in the Kennet. He went further, for he signed the petition to Pope Clement VII for the nullity of Henry’s marriage and supplied him with a list of books likely to help his case. And in 1536 he signed Convocation’s articles of faith that virtually acknowledged the royal supremacy over the English church. At the end of 1537 he still enjoyed the royal favour, and took a prominent part in the funeral of Queen Jane Seymour at Windsor. A few weeks later he offended the king by reporting to Cromwell and to the neighbouring abbot of Abingdon the rumour that Henry was dead. He was examined by a commission, but released.

In 1539 the greater abbeys were suppressed. It was known that the abbot of Reading would not surrender his, and in the late summer he was consigned to the Tower of London, charged with treason. With him were tried Bd John Eynon and Bd John Rugg. Eynon was a priest of St Giles’s church at Reading, who had already been in trouble for writing and distributing a copy of Robert Aske’s proclamation of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. Rugg was a prebendary of Chichester living in retirement at Reading Abbey. Among the charges against him was that he had preserved a relic of the hand of St Anastasius, “knowing that his Majesty had sent visitors to the said abbey to put down such idolatry”. * {* It has been suggested by Dom Bede Camm that the hand preserved at the Catholic church of St Peter at Marlow, known to have been found in Reading, is this very relic. See LEM., vol. 1, p. 376, note.

 These two priests are generally accounted to have been monks, but it is not certain they were. As in the case of Bd Richard Whiting, the terms of the indictment are not known, but it was not doubted at the time that it was primarily for denying the royal supremacy, and Bd Hugh spoke clearly on the scaffold. The supremacy of the Holy See in spiritual matters was, he said, “ the common faith of those who had the best right to declare the true teaching of the English church”. The execution of all three took place outside Reading Abbey gateway, on the same day as that of the Glastonbury monks.

These martyrs were beatified by equipollence in 1895. Their feast is kept in the diocese of Portsmouth on November 14, and by Westminster and the English Benedictines with Bd. Richard Whiting and John Beche on December 1.

The books mentioned in the notice of Bd Richard Whiting also contain whatever in­formation is available concerning the Abbot of Reading; see in particular pp. 121-158 of Cardinal Gasquet’s book, and pp. 358—387 in that of Bede Camm.


THE martyr who was equivalently beatified in 1895 as John Beche was also known as Thomas Marshall; the last seems to have been his proper surname, and Thomas was perhaps his name “in religion”. His birthplace and parentage are not known; he took his D.D. at Oxford in 1515 and for some years was abbot of St Werburgh’s at Chester. In 1533 he was elected abbot of St John’s, Colchester. He was a friend of More and Fisher and his new community was opposed to the ecclesiastical policy of Henry VIII, but in the following year the abbot and sixteen monks, like their fellows throughout the land, took the oath of royal supremacy. The writer of an early Life of St John Fisher, who refers to Dom John Beche as “excelling many of the abbots of his day in devotion, piety and learning”, states that he first came under suspicion owing to a “traitorous guest”, who encouraged him to speak against the execution of More and Fisher and then reported his words to the king’s advisers. In November 1538 commissioners were sent to dissolve Colchester Abbey, to whom Bd John said: “The king shall never have my house but against my will and my heart, for I know by my learning that he cannot take it by right and law. Wherefore in my conscience I cannot be content, nor shall he have it with my heart and will.”
Within a year the abbot was in the Tower, charged with treason, in the same way and for the same reason as his fellow-abbots, Richard Whiting and Hugh Faringdon.

During the first four days of November 1539 two commissioners were at Brentwood, in Essex, examining witnesses against Beche, and evidence was given that he had spoken against the suppression of the monasteries, against the king’s marriage with Anne Boleyn, against the royal supremacy, and in favour of the full prerogatives of the Holy See. When interrogated on these accusations the abbot, under duress of captivity and fear, tried to explain them away and affirmed the king’s supremacy as against the pope’s “usurped authority”, and asked Henry “to be good to me for the love of God” * {* The document to this effect, in Abbot Beche’s own handwriting, came to light only after his case had been examined at Rome. When his cause of canonization is brought forward it will be taken into consideration. A decree of equipollent beatification is only permissive. But he seems to have retracted all schismatical admissions at his trial.}

He was nevertheless sent back to Colchester to be tried. There is no record of the proceedings, but one of the judges reported to Cromwell that the prisoner” acknowledged himself in substance to be guilty according to the effect of the indictment “. He was duly sentenced, and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Colchester on December 1, 1539.
Westminster and the English Benedictines keep the feast of Bd John Beche in the diocese of Brentwood and, with the other two martyred abbots. An anonymous pamphleteer, of the king’s party, gave valuable testimony to the cause for which these martyrs died when he wrote scornfully: “It is not to be doubted but his Holiness will look upon their pains as upon Thomas Becket’s, seeing it is for like matter.”

Here again the authorities are the same as in the two previous notices. See Gasquet, pp. 159—176, and Camm, pp. 388—407.

1580 St. Edmund Campion; convert priest; Jesuit; object of most intensive manhunts English history

1581 Bd Edmund Campion, Martyr
Edmund Campion senior, was a bookseller in the city of London, and he and his wife were Catholics until the time of Queen Elizabeth. Edmund junior was born about 1540, and when he was ten was admitted to the “Bluecoat School” by the interest of the Grocers’ Company. He was an extraordinarily promising boy, and when fifteen was given a scholarship in St John’s College, Oxford, then newly founded by Sir Thomas White. Two years later Campion was appointed a junior fellow, and he made a great reputation as an orator; he was chosen to speak at the re-burial of Lady Amy Dudley (Robsart), at the funeral of Sir Thomas White, and before Elizabeth when she visited Oxford in a 1566: as a bluecoat boy he had been selected to make a speech of welcome to her predecessor at St Paul’s thirteen years before. His talents and personality earned him the goodwill and patronage of the queen, of Cecil and of Leicester; to the last-named he dedicated his History of Ireland, and Cecil later referred to him as “one of the diamonds of England”.

He had taken the oath of royal supremacy and, although his allegiance to Protes­tantism was much shaken by his reading in the fathers, he was persuaded by Dr Cheney, Bishop of Gloucester, to receive the diaconate of the Anglican Church. At Oxford he was very popular (Dr Gregory Martin, with whom he was friendly, wrote from Rome warning him against ambition) and was the centre of a group of personal disciples, rather like Newman two hundred and fifty years later. But the taking of orders in a church about which he was doubtful began to trouble him and, at the end of his term as junior proctor of the university in 1569, the Grocers’ Company (whose exhibitioner he was) being restive about his papistical tendencies, he went to Dublin, where an attempt was being made to revive its university. While there he wrote a short history of the country.*{ * He said of the Irish “The people are thus inclined religious, frank; amorous, irefull, sufferable of paines infinite, very glorious, many sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delighted with warres, great almes-givers, passing in hospitalitie the lewder sort both clarkes and laymen are sensuall and loose to leachery above measure. The same being vertuously bred up or reformed are such mirrours of holinesse and austeritie, that other nations retaine but a shewe or shadow of devotion in comparison of them.”}  The work was not well received in Ireland.

Campion had left Oxford “full of remorse of conscience and detestation of mind” for himself as an Anglican minister, and he took no pains to conceal his sentiments. Accordingly, after the publication of Pope St Pius’s bull against Elizabeth, he was in danger as a suspected person.

In 1571 he returned to England in disguise, was present at the trial of Bd John Storey in Westminster Hall, and then made for Douay. He was stopped on the way for having no passport, but was allowed to escape on giving up his luggage and money. One of his first actions at Douay was to send a long and striking letter, a “vehement epistle”, to Dr Cheney, who had strong Catholic leanings. +{+  Cheney may have been reconciled secretly before his death, though Campion knew nothing of it. The only other Protestant bishop in England who may have died a Catholic was also of Gloucester Dr Godfrey Goodman (1582-1655).}

Campion took his B.D. and was ordained subdeacon at Douay, and then, in 1573, went to Rome and was admitted to the Society of Jesus. As there was yet no English province he was sent to that of Bohemia, and after his novitiate at Brno went to the college of Prague to teach.

In view of the great success of the Society among the Protestants of Germany, Bohemia and Poland, Dr Allen persuaded Pope Gregory XIII to send some Jesuits to England, and at the end of 1579 Father Edmund Campion and Father Robert Persons were chosen as the first to be sent. The night before he left Prague one of the fathers, by an irresistible impulse, wrote over the door of his cell the words: P. Edmundus Campianus, Martyr.

 He left Rome in the spring of one of the party whose adventures are so well described in Bd Ralph Sher­win’s letter to Ralph Bickley.  When they got to the Protestant stronghold of Geneva Campion pretended to be an Irish serving man called Patrick, and they all seem to have behaved with that reckless cheerfulness that makes more serious-minded people think the English mad. At the gate on leaving, after having had a discussion with Beza, Campion disputed with a minister, and then left the “poor shackerel” to be ragged by the rest.*{*When someone asked “Mr Patrick”: Cujas es?” he replied, “Signor, no.” The questioner tried again: “Potesne loqui latine?” Whereupon the Latin orator and professor of rhetoric shrugged his shoulders with a puzzled expression and walked away.}

From Saint-Omer Persons set out for England disguised as a returning soldier from the Lowlands, followed by Campion as a jewel merchant, with his servant, a coadjutor-brother, Ralph Emerson.
The Jesuits were not welcomed by all the Catholics, many of whom feared what new troubles the arrival of representatives of the redoubtable Society might bring on their heads and it was necessary for the two to declare on oath that “their coming was only Apostolical, to treat of matters of religion in truth and simplicity, and to attend to the gaining of souls without any pretence or knowledge of matters of state”. Their coming was known to the government, and they soon had to leave London, Campion going to work in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Northamp­tonshire, where he made some notable converts. He wrote to the father general in Rome: “I ride about some piece of the country every day. The harvest is wonderful great…I cannot long escape the hands of the heretics…I am in apparel to myself very ridiculous. I often change it and my name also. I read letters sometimes myself that, in the first front, tell news that Campion is taken, which roused in every place where I come so filleth my ears with the sound thereof that fear itself hath taken away all fear.”

After meeting Persons in London, where persecution was very hot, he went to Lancashire, where he preached almost daily and with conspicuous success, pursued always by spies and several times nearly taken: fifty years later his sermons were still remembered by those who had heard them. All this time he was writing a Latin treatise, which was called Decem Rationes because in it he expounded ten reasons why he had challenged the most learned Protestants openly to discuss religion with him. The greatest difficulty was found in getting this work printed, but eventually it was achieved on a secret press at the house of Dame Cecilia Stonor, in Stonor Park, Berkshire, and on Commemoration, June 27, 1581, four hundred copies of it were found distributed on the benches of the university church at Oxford. It made a tremendous sensation, +{+ This book, Libellus aureus, vere digito Del scriptus, has gone through forty-eight editions, printed in all parts of Europe, of which five have been English translations. Of the original edition only four copies are known. Owing to shortage of type it had to be set and printed one sheet at a time, and it took half a dozen men nine weeks. “Campion’s Challenge” or “Brag”, addressed to the Privy Council, had been written for publication in case he were captured, to try and ensure him a fair hearing but the document got spread abroad prematurely and directed the attention of the whole country to him and efforts to capture the writer were redoubled. Three weeks later he was taken.

After the publication of Decem Rationes it was judged prudent that Bd Edmund should retire to Norfolk, and on the way he stayed at the house of Mrs Yate at Lyford, near Wantage. On Sunday, July j6, some forty people assembled there to assist at Mass and hear him preach, but among them was a traitor. Within the next twelve hours the house was searched three times, and at the last Ed Edmund was found with two other priests concealed above the gateway. They were taken to the Tower, from Colnbrook onward being pinioned and Edmund labelled: “Cam­pion, the seditious Jesuit.” After three days in the ‘little-ease “ he was inter­viewed by the Earls of Bedford and Leicester and, it is said, the queen herself, who tried to bribe him into apostasy. Other attempts of the same sort having failed he was racked; and arrests were then made of some who had sheltered him, whose names had already been known to the government but which, it was lyingly said, Campion had betrayed. While still broken by torture he was four times confronted by Protestant dignitaries, whose questions, objections and insults he answered with spirit and effectiveness.* {* Among those present who were permanently affected by his words and bearing was Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, afterwards himself a martyr and now beatified.}
 He was then racked again, so fiercely that when asked the next day how he felt he could reply, “Not ill, because not at all.

No handle could be found against him, so on November 14 he was indicted in Westminster Hall, with Ralph Sherwin, Thomas Cottam, Luke Kirby and others, on the fabricated charge of having plotted at Rome and Rheims to raise a rebellion in England and coming into the realm for that purpose. When told to plead to the charge he was too weak to move his arms, and one of his companions, kissing his hand, held it up for him. Campion conducted the defence both of himself and the others with much ability, protesting their loyalty to the queen, demolishing the evidence, discrediting the witnesses, and showing that their only offence was their religion. The packed jury brought them in “guilty
, but it took them an hour to make up their minds to do it. Before sentence of death Ed Edmund addressed the court: “... In condemning us you condemn all your own an­cestors. . . . To be condemned with these old lights—not of England only, but of the world—by their degenerate descendants is both gladness and glory to us. God lives. Posterity will live. Their judgement is not so liable to corruption as that of those who now sentence us to death.”

Campion’s sister came to him with a message from 1-lopton, offering him a good benefice as the price of apostasy, and he also had a visit from Eliot, who had both betrayed and given evidence against him, and now went in fear of his life. Ed Edmund freely forgave him and gave him a letter of recommendation to a nobleman in Germany, where he would be safe. On December i, a wet, muddy day, Cam­pion, Sherwin, and Briant were drawn to Tyburn together, and there executed with the usual barbarities. On the scaffold Ed Edmund again refused to give an opinion of the pope’s bull against Elizabeth, and publicly prayed for her: “your queen and my queen, unto whom I wish a long reign with all prosperity. Some of the blood of this man, “admirable, subtle, exact and of sweet disposition, splashed on to a young gentleman, one Henry Walpole, who was present: he too became a Jesuit and a beatified martyr. +{+ Among the poems of Walpole on the life and death of Ed Edmund one lyric, “Why do I use my paper, ink and pen, was beautifully set to music by William Byrd, who was himself frequently “presented for recusancy. It was first published in his Psalms, Sonnets and Songs in Five Parts in 1588, among the “Songs of Sadness and Piety”.

The feast of Bd Edmund Campion is kept not only by the Society of Jesus but as well by the dioceses of Northampton, Portsmouth, Brno and Prague.

We are very fully informed concerning the mission of Bd Edmund Campion and Father Persons to England, though the sources from which we learn the details are too numerous and scattered to be enumerated here. In the articles which Richard Simpson contributed to The Rambler from 1856 to 1858, and in the full biography which he published in 1867, there is very adequate documentation and this is further supplemented in the account of Campion which fills pp. 266—357 in Camm, LEM., vol. ii. Special mention, however, should be made of the Vita et martyrium Edmundi Campiani, by P. Bombino, printed at Antwerp in 1618 of Father Persons’ account of the journey to England in vol. ii of the Catholic Record Society’s Publications (1906), pp. 186—201 of Cardinal Allen’s Martyrdom of Father Campion...(ed. Pollen, 1908) and of Fr J. H. Pollen’s numerous articles in The Month (notably September 1897, January and December 1905, and January 1910). A very attractive life of Bd Edmund, free from the “Cisalpine pleading” which prejudices Richard Simpson’s work, was published by Evelyn Waugh in 1935. It contains on pp. 224—225 a useful bibliography of relevant literature, to which may now be added A. C. Southern, Elizabethan Recusant Prose (1950), cap. iii. On Campion’s relics see especially Bede Camm, Forgotten Shrines (191,), pp. 377—378. 

Edmund was born in London, the son of a bookseller. He was raised a Catholic, given a scholarship to St. John's College, Oxford, when fifteen, and became a fellow when only seventeen. His brilliance attracted the attention of such leading personages as the Earl of Leicester, Robert Cecil, and even Queen Elizabeth. He took the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Elizabeth head of the church in England and became an Anglican deacon in 1564. Doubts about Protestanism increasingly beset him, and in 1569 he went to Ireland where further study convinced him he had been in error, and he returned to Catholicism.
Forced to flee the persecution unleashed on Catholics by the excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V, he went to Douai, France, where he studied theology, joined the Jesuits, and then went to Brno, Bohemia, the following year for his novitiate. He taught at the college of Prague and in 1578 was ordained there. He and Father Robert Persons were the first Jesuits chosen for the English mission and were sent to England in 1580. His activities among the Catholics, the distribution of his Decem rationes at the University Church in Oxford, and the premature publication of his famous Brag (which he had written to present his case if he was captured) made him the object of one of the most intensive manhunts in English history. He was betrayed at Lyford, near Oxford, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and when he refused to apostatize when offered rich inducements to do so, was tortured and then hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn on December 1 on the technical charge of treason, but in reality because of his priesthood. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the forty English and Welsh Martyrs. His feast day is December 1.

1581 BD RALPH SHERWIN; priest , MARTYR; M.A. in 1574, “being then accounted”, says Anthony a Wood, “an acute philosopher and an excellent Grecian and Hebrician”. The next year he was reconciled to the Church, went to Douay, and was there ordained priest in 1577.
Sir WILLIAM PETRE, secretary of state to Henry VIII and the three following sovereigns and founder of the fortunes of his house, founded eight fellowships in Exeter College, Oxford, to one of which he nominated, in 1568, Ralph Sherwin, a young gentleman of Rodsley in Derbyshire. He took his M.A. in 1574, “being then accounted”, says Anthony a Wood, “an acute philosopher and an excellent Grecian and Hebrician”. The next year he was reconciled to the Church, went to Douay, and was there ordained priest in 1577.  A few months later he went to the English College at Rome, where he took a leading part in the deplorable dissensions between the English and Welsh students, and was one of the four who petitioned Pope Gregory XIII to entrust the direction of the college to the Society of Jesus. This was eventually done, and Sherwin’s name stands first in the register under the new régime of those who declared their willingness to go on the English mission at any time. He was one of the party which, under the leadership of Bishop Goldwell, set out in 1580. At Milan they were the guests of St Charles Borromeo for a week, and Mr Sherwin preached before him. From Paris he wrote to a friend in Rome, Ralph Bickley, telling particularly of their adventures at Geneva, and broke off the letter because Mr Paschal had come in “with the frip to frenchify me”, i.e. the secular clothes for his disguise, which he much disliked wearing. He ends “My loving Ralph, I request thee once in thy greatest fervour to say over thy beads for me, and procure as many of my friends as you can to do the same there, and let your petition be this that in humility and constancy with perseverance to the end, I may honour God in this vocation, whereunto though unworthy I am called.”

At Rheims the missionaries separated, and on August 1 Ralph Sherwin set out for England. In November he was arrested while preaching in the house of Nicholas Roscarrock in London, and was chained in the Marshalsea. Of his brief apostolate Father Persons wrote that he spent it preaching in various parts of the kingdom, in which work “he enjoyed a very special grace and ascendancy”.

From the prison he managed to write a cheerful note to Persons, referring to the bells, i.e. fetters, on his ankles, and after a month was removed to the Tower. Here he was severely racked on December 15, with the object of getting information about his fellow-missionaries, about a feared invasion of Ireland, etc. Afterwards he was left to lie out in the snow, and next day was tortured again. He told his brother that after he had been twice racked he lay five days and nights without any food or speaking to anybody, “as he thought in a sleep, before our Saviour on the cross. After which time he came to himself, not finding any distemper in his joints by the extremity of the torture.” He was offered a bishopric if he would apostatize. After more than a year’s imprisonment he was brought to trial with Edmund Campion and others, and convicted on the charge of entering the realm in order to raise a rebellion. “The plain reason of our standing here “, he observed, is religion, not treason.”

While awaiting death Ralph wrote several letters to friends, including one to his uncle in Rouen, who had formerly been rector of Ingatestone. In it he says, “Innocency is my only comfort against all the forged villainy which is fathered on my fellow priests and me…God forgive all injustice, and if it be His blessed will to convert our persecutors, that they may become professors of His truth…And so, my good old John, farewell.” On December 1, 1581, he was dragged to Tyburn on the same hurdle as Alexander Briant, and suffered immediately after Campion. On the scaffold he again protested his innocence of treason, professed the whole Catholic faith, and prayed for the Queen, and died amid the open prayers of the crowd. He was thirty-one years old.

Bd Ralph Sherwin was among the martyrs beatified in 1886, and his feast is observed in the diocese of Nottingham; he was the protomartyr of the English College at Rome.

A full account of this martyr has been contributed by E. S. Keogh to the second volume of Camm’s LEM., pp. 358—396. See also MMP., pp. 30-35. The earlier sources of information are indicated by Father Keogh on p. 396 of the first book, but to these should be added Cardinal Mien’s account of Fr Campion and his companions edited by J. H. Pollen in 1908, pp. 34—46.

1581 Bl. Alexander Briant; priest convert, Missionary martyr at 25; From the Tower Bd Alexander contrived to write a long letter to the Jesuits in England, in the course of which he says that the first time he was racked, towards the end “I was without sense and feeling wellnigh of all grief and pain; and not so only, but as it were comforted, eased, and refreshed of the griefs of the torture bypast.” “Whether this that I say be miraculous or no, God he knoweth; but true it is, and thereof my conscience is a witness before God.” On the testi­mony of Norton (for what that is worth), after the torture Bd Alexander experienced pain of a more than usual sharpness. In the same letter he asked that he might be admitted into the Society of Jesus, even in his absence, having made a vow to offer himself if he should be released from jail, and he is in consequence numbered among the martyrs of the Society.
WHEN after the appearance of the publications of Fathers Campion and Persons the authorities were making frenzied efforts to lay the two Jesuits by the heels, several other active Catholics were arrested en passant, and among them Alexander Briant. He was a young secular priest, born in Somerset and distinguished for his good looks as well as his zeal, who, while at Hart Hall, Oxford, had been recon­ciled to the Church and gone abroad to the Douay seminary.

He was ordained and came back to England in 1579, where he at first ministered in the west and brought the father of Father Persons back to the Church. Mr Briant was taken in London on April 28, 1581, being in an adjoining house when Persons’ house was fruitlessly searched by order of the Privy Council. It was determined to extract from him information as to the whereabouts of Persons, whatever methods should have to be used, and after six days of almost complete starvation in the Counter prison he was removed to the Tower. Needles were thrust under his finger-nails (he is the only martyr of the time of whom this torture is recorded) to make him betray Persons or compromise himself. When this was not successful he was left in an unlit underground cell for a week, and then racked to the limit on two successive days. The rack-master, Norton, himself admits that Briant was “racked more than any of the rest”, and a public outcry caused Norton to be imprisoned for a few days for his cruelty on this occasion, to save the face of the authorities.

From the Tower Bd Alexander contrived to write a long letter to the Jesuits in England, in the course of which he says that the first time he was racked, towards the end “I was without sense and feeling wellnigh of all grief and pain; and not so only, but as it were comforted, eased, and refreshed of the griefs of the torture bypast.” “Whether this that I say be miraculous or no, God he knoweth; but true it is, and thereof my conscience is a witness before God.” On the testi­mony of Norton (for what that is worth), after the torture Bd Alexander experienced pain of a more than usual sharpness. In the same letter he asked that he might be admitted into the Society of Jesus, even in his absence, having made a vow to offer himself if he should be released from jail, and he is in consequence numbered among the martyrs of the Society.

Bd Alexander was tried in Westminster Hall with Bd Thomas Ford and others, the day after Campion, Sherwin and Cottam, and on the same indictment. He came into court carrying a small crucifix drawn in charcoal on a piece of wooden trencher and with his head tonsured to show he was a priest and in spite of his sufferings his appearance was still of a “serenity, innocency and amiability almost angelic”. He suffered at Tyburn on December s, 1, 1581, after BB. Edmund Campion and Ralph Sherwin. On this day also is commemorated the martyrdom of BD RICHARD LANGLEY, a gentleman of Ousethorpe and Grimthorpe, who was hanged at York on December 1, 1586, for harbouring priests at his mansions.

The archdiocese of Birmingham observes today the feast of all those members of the University of Oxford, over forty in number, who have been beatified for giving their lives as martyrs for the faith during the persecutions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Many of the publications noticed in connection with Edmund Campion have also some bearing on the story of his companion martyr. But see especially Camm, LEM., vol. ii, pp. 397—423; and REPSJ., vol. iv, pp. 343—367. Briant seems to have been of good yeoman birth and the will of his father, which mentions him, is preserved. For Mr Langley, cf. Gillow, Biog. Dict. Eng. Caths., Pollen, Acts of Eng. Marts., and REPSJ., vols. iii, and vi.

One of the English priests slain in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Alexander was born in Somerset, England, circa 1556 , and entered Oxford University at a young age. He was called "the beautiful Oxford youth" because of his handsome appearance and the radiance of his holiness. Alexander converted to Catholicism at Oxford and met Richard Holtby, following Holtby to the English seminary college at Reims, France. He was ordained a priest there on March 29, 1578. Returning to England, Alexander worked in Somerset and was caught up in a search by British authorities in April 1581. Taken to the Tower of London, he was subjected to inhuman tortures but did not reveal the names of other priests. He also wrote to the Jesuit Fathers, asking permission to join. He was accepted. In November 1581, he was condemned to death by an English court. Again Alexander suffered hideous tortures and died on December 1,1581, at the age of twenty-five.
1586 Bl. Richard Langley  English martyr member of gentry sheltered priests
he was born at Grimthorpe, where he had extensive estates, as he did in Riding. He was arrested for giving shelter to Catholic priests and hanged, drawn, and quartered at York on December 1. He was beatified in 1929.

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!)

Month by Month of Saintly Dedications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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:


The Five Reasons
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: 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.
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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Pope St. Clement (92-101):  Since all things lie open to His eyes and ears, let us hold Him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by His mercy from the judgement that is to come.
Which of us can escape His mighty hand?
"The answers to many of life's questions can be found by reading the Lives of the Saints. They teach us how to overcome obstacles and difficulties, how to stand firm in our faith, and how to struggle against evil and emerge victorious."  1913 Saint Barsanuphius of Optina
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR benefit of others.
Non est inventus similis illis
God calls each one of us to be a saint in order to get into heaven.

Popes mentioned in articles of Saints today

Paul VI Proclaims Mary "Mother of the Church" (1964) November 11
Proclamation of Mary as "Mother of the Church" by Paul VI in the middle of Vatican II (1964)  

Eugenio Pacelli Proclaims the Dogma of the Assumption (1950)
A divinely revealed dogma
“After we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare wilfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”
After the Pope proclaimed this Dogma, a ray of sunlight shined forth on Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Pius XII - Munificentissimus Deus - Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, 1 November 1950

Festívitas ómnium Sanctórum, quam in honórem beátæ Dei Genitrícis Vírginis Maríæ et sanctórum Mártyrum Bonifátius Papa Quartus, cum templum Pántheon tértio Idus Maji dedicásset, célebrem et generálem instítuit agi quotánnis in urbe Roma.  Sed Gregórius item Quartus póstmodum decrévit, eándem festivitátem, quæ váriis modis jam in divérsis Ecclésiis celebrabátur, in honórem ómnium Sanctórum solémniter hac die ab univérsa Ecclésia perpétuo observári.
    The Festival of All Saints, which Pope Boniface IV, after the dedication of the Pantheon, ordained to be kept generally and solemnly every year on the 13th of May, in the city of Rome, in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and of the holy martyrs.  It was afterwards decreed by Gregory IV that this feast, which was then celebrated in many dioceses, but at different times, should be on this day kept by the whole Church in honour of all the saints.
The air which we breathe, the bread which we eat, the heart which throbs in our bosoms, are not more necessary for man that he may live as a human being, than is prayer for the Christian that he may live as a Christian.-- St. John Eudes

Solemnity of All Saints 
“'Be holy as I am holy,' says the Lord. As Christians we are all called to holiness because we are His children. Every Christian should be a saint. Indeed, for a Christian to live in a state of sin is a monstrous contradiction”. --Curé d'Ars.

It has recently been claimed that the decline in the cult of saints and in pilgrimages to holy places is spiritually beneficial for Christians, so that their attention will be turned exclusively towards Jesus. There is, however, a danger to the faith in attempting to become too intellectual and sophisticated, and thereby becoming too cold, methodical, and rational.
In the face of the divine mysteries and matters that are beyond human comprehension our minds should be kept open.

“The saints are like so many little mirrors in which Jesus Christ sees Himself. In His apostles He sees His zeal and love for the salvation of souls; in the martyrs He sees His constancy, suffering, and painful death; in the hermits He sees His obscure and hidden life; in the virgins He sees His spotless purity; and in all the saints He sees His unbounded charity.
And when we honor the virtues of the saints, we are but worshipping the virtues of Jesus Christ...”
John Baptiste Marie Vianney Curé d'Ars

We render God a worship of adoration and dependence with faith, hope, love, and a profound humbling of our souls before His supreme Majesty. We honor the saints with a feeling of respect and veneration for the favors God granted them, for the virtues they practiced, and for the glory with which God has crowned them in heaven. We commend ourselves to their prayers.
It is a most precious grace that God should have destined the saints to be our protectors and our friends. Saint Bernard said that the honor we give them is less a glory for them than a help to us, and that we may call upon them with full confidence because they know how greatly we are exposed to dangers on earth, for they remember the perils that they themselves had to face during their lifetimes. -- Curé d'Ars.

The friendship that binds us to all the saints, and which is encouraged and commemorated by the feast-days of the Church, is not the invention of a handful of bigots or a commercial stunt manufactured by merchants of religious medallions. The communion of saints answers a definite need, and insofar as we neglect any one of the forms of spiritual life we are cutting ourselves off from a source of divine grace and making ourselves just a little blinder than we are already.
We too can be saints and we must all strive to become so.
The saints were mortals like us, weak and subject to the passions, as we are. We have the same help, the same means of grace, the same sacraments, but we must be like them and renounce the pleasures of the world, shunning the evils of the world as much as we can and remaining faithful to grace. We must take the saints as our models or be damned, that we must live either for heaven or for hell. There is no middle way. --Saint John Vianney.

The Church has celebrated some feast in honor of the saints from the period of primitive Christianity. There is tentative evidence of the celebration to honor all the martyrs in the writings of Tertullian (died 223) and Gregory of Nyssa (died 395). It was definitely observed at the time of Saint Ephraem (died 373), who in the Nisibene Hymnus mentions a feast kept in honor of the martyrs of all the earth on May 13. It should be noted that on May 13, c. 609, Pope Saint Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon of Rome in honor of our Lady and all martyrs--another instance of something pagan baptized by Christianity for a new purpose dedicated to God.
The Venerable Bede (673-735) says that the pope designed that the memory of all the saints might in future be honored in the place which had formerly been devoted to the worship, not of gods, but of demons.

By 411 as indicated in the Syriac Short Martyrology, throughout the Syrian Church the Friday in the Octave of Easter was celebrated as the feast of all the martyrs.
Chaldean Catholics still maintain Easter Friday in honor of the martyrs.

Since at least the time of Saint John Chrysostom (died 407 - - one of the Three Holy Hierarchs), the Byzantine churches have kept a feast of all the martyrs on the Sunday after Pentecost (Chrysostom, A panegyric of all the martyrs that have suffered throughout the world)
  Saint John Chrysostom.
We are not quite sure how November 1 came to be commemorated in honor of all the saints in the West. We do know that by AD 800, Blessed Alcuin of York  was in the habit of keeping the solemnitas sanctissima of All Saints on November 1, preceded by a three-day fast. His friend Bishop Arno of Salzburg had presided over a synod in Bavaria (Germany) which included that day in its list of holy days (Walsh).
Blessed Alcuin
Why has the Church included such a day in its calendar? To honor all the saints--known and unknown to us--reigning together in glory; to give thanks to God for the graces with which He crowns all the elect; to excite ourselves to humble imitation of their virtues; to implore the Divine Mercy through the help of these intercessors; and to repair any failures in not having properly honored God in His saints on their individual feast days.

Saint Bernard wrote:
  It is our interest to honor the memory of the saints, not theirs. Would you know how it is our interest? from the remembrance of them I feel, I confess, a triple vehement desire kindled in my breast--of their company, of their bliss, and of their intercession.
First, of their company. To think of the saints is in some measure to see them. Thus we are in part, and this the better part of ourselves, in the land of the living, provided our affection goes along with our thoughts or remembrance: yet not as they are. The saints are there present, and in their persons; we are there only in affection and desires. Ah! when shall we join our fathers? when shall we be made the fellow-citizens of the blessed spirits, of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and virgins? when shall we be mixed in the choir of the saints?
The remembrance of each one among the saints is, as it were, a new spark, or rather torch, which sets our souls more vehemently on fire, and makes us ardently sigh to behold and embrace them, so that we seem to ourselves even now to be amongst them. And from this distant place of banishment we dart our affections sometimes towards the whole assembly, sometimes towards this, and sometimes that happy spirit. What sloth is it that we do not launch our souls into the midst of those happy troops, and burst hence by continual sighs! The church of the first-born waits for us; yet we loiter. The saints earnestly long for our arrival; yet we despise them. Let us with all the ardor of our souls prevent those who are expecting us; let us hasten to those who are waiting for us.

Secondly, he mentions the desire of their bliss; and, lastly, the succor of their intercession, and adds:
Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you, my friends. You know our danger, our frail mould, our ignorance, and the snares of our enemies; you know our weakness, and the fury of their assaults. For I speak to you who have been under the like temptation; who have overcome the like assaults; have escaped the like snares; and have learned compassion from what you yourselves have suffered.--We are members of the same Head.--Your glory is not to be consummated without us...
Bernard of Clairvaux, Serm. 5 de fest. omnium sanct., n. 5, 6.

In his sermon on the Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul, Bernard also writes: He who was powerful on earth is more powerful in heaven, where he stands before the face of his Lord. And if he had compassion on sinners, and prayed for them while he lived on earth, he now prays to the Father for us so much the more earnestly as he more truly knows our extreme necessities and miseries; his blessed country has not changed, but increased his charity. Though now impassible, he is not a stranger to compassion: by standing before the throne of mercy, he has put on the tender bowels of mercy...
November 1st - All Saints Day - OUR LADY OF THE PALM (1755, Cadiz, Spain)
Mary and the Souls in Purgatory (I): What is Purgatory?
The Holy Church of God, considered in its totality, is composed of three parts: the Church militant, the Church triumphant, and the Church suffering, or purgatory. This triple Church constitutes the mystical body of Jesus Christ, and the souls in purgatory are no less her members than the faithful on earth and the elect in heaven.
In the Gospel, the Church is ordinarily called the Kingdom of God; purgatory, just like heaven and the Church on earth, is a province of that vast Kingdom. The three sister-Churches have between them an incessant exchange, a continual communication, called the Communion of Saints. These relationships have no other object than to lead souls to glory, the final term toward which all the elect tend.
The word purgatory means sometimes a place, sometimes a state half-way between hell and heaven. It is, properly speaking, the situation of the souls who, at the time of death, find themselves in a state of grace, but haven't completely expiated their faults or attained the degree of purity necessary to enjoy the vision of God.
Purgatory is therefore a temporary state, which ends in the beatific life.
The Church teaches two things about purgatory, truths that are clearly defined as dogmas of faith: first, that there is a purgatory; secondly, that the souls in purgatory can be helped by the petitions of the faithful, especially by the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Rev. Fr. François-Xavier Schouppe, s.j. The Dogma of Purgatory Illustrated by Facts and Private Revelations