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

 Tuesday  Saints of this Day December  06 Octávo Idus Decémbris  
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 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.

If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you,
and that He certainly intends to make you a Saint. -- St Ignatius Loyola


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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

December 6, 2016
343. ST NICHOLAS, CALLED “OF BARI”, BISHOP OF MYRA
1300 St. Peter Pascual Bishop, preacher extensively to promote the Christian faith in Islamic
         communities and sought ransom captives native of Valencia Spain

1305 Saint Maximus successor of Metropolitan Cyril III of Kiev (1243-1280) Greek by birth arrived in
        Rus then suffering under the Mongol (Tatar) Yoke, in 1283 as Metropolitan


December 6 – Our Lady of the Vow (Siena, Italy)
 
Perfect purity does not apply only to virginity 
 
Pope Pius XII Allocution to the Newlyweds, December 6, 1939

Today we would like you to turn your gaze to the sweet Virgin Mary,
of whom the Church, in two days, will celebrate the feast of her Immaculate Conception.

... Jesus Christ wanted the Church, his mystical wife, to be "without stain or wrinkle... holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:27). Dear husbands, this is precisely the model that the great apostle Paul presents to you: "Husbands," he writes, "love your wives as Christ loved the Church" (Eph 5: 25), because what constitutes the greatness of the sacrament of marriage is its similarity with the union of Christ and the Church (Eph 3:32).

You may think maybe that the idea of unblemished purity applies only to virginity, the sublime ideal to which God calls not all Christians, but only a few chosen souls... And yet the state of marriage, willed by God for common men, can and should have its spotless purity.

Anyone who performs his duties of state faithfully and without weakness is immaculate before God. God does not call all his children to the state of perfection, but he invites all of them to the perfection of their state.
 
Pope Pius XII Allocution to the Newlyweds, December 6, 1939


Our Lady of Seez (France, 5th C.)   A Time of Waiting Unique in World History (V) Expected by the Romans
While the Blessed Virgin was on earth, the Jews were awaiting their mysterious Christ precisely during this same period of time. But what is even more surprising is to discover that other people were also experiencing a time of waiting at exactly the same time.  We have unequivocal testimonies of the most accurate nature on this universal expectancy
for the One who was to emerge from Judea.  Our Lady of Seez (France, 5th C.)

  A Time of Waiting Unique in World History (VI)  Expected by the Romans: Tacitus and Suetonius

While the Blessed Virgin was on earth, the Jews were awaiting their mysterious Christ precisely during this same period of time. But what is even more surprising is to discover that other people were also experiencing a time of waiting at exactly the same time. We have unequivocal testimonies of the most accurate nature on this universal expectancy for the One who was to emerge from Judea.

From two of the greatest Latin historians, Tacitus and Suetonius, we also learn how the Romans were stirred up at the approach of a century which we were to call “the first century after Christ.” Tacitus wrote in his Historiae: “Most were convinced that the ancient books of the priests predicted that, around this time, the East would grow more powerful. And that the rulers of the world would emerge from Judea.” In the same way, Suetonius says, in his Life of Vespasian: “Throughout the East, an idea was gaining currency: the consistent and very ancient view that it was to be written in the world’s destiny that from Judea would emerge the rulers of the world.” These two historians were writing at the end of the first century and at the beginning of the second, without being able to know of the triumph, still to come, of He who would indeed be the “ruler” of the western world.
Source: Jesus Hypotheses by Vittorio Messori, Saint Paul Pubns. (1978)

This Law Wasn't Meant for You
Just like King Assuerus said to Esther: "This law meant for all wasn't meant for you," the Holy Spirit reveals to us that, from the very first instant of her earthly existence Mary was the object of God's most amazing delights.
She is immaculate, wholly immaculate! "Tota pulchra es Maria et macula originalis non est in te."
The shadows of sin have never approached you, O most pure Virgin, lily bright with light and beauty.

Certainly, Mary belongs to the race of the redeemed and everything in her is the fruit of the Redemption.
Like us, she is still the child of Calvary of the saving Blood, but in an order of redemption so exceptional and so sublime that her immaculate soul remains the masterpiece of God, the edifice of grace, the great and mighty wonder of the love whose foundation were thrown by the divine hand of the Most High "up to the summits of the holy mountains." The first plenitude of grace is superior and places her without comparison above the grace consumed by all the saints in heaven and all the saints to come.
Marthe Robin  Take My Life, Lord - by Fr. Peyret, p 113

"The West as well as the East acclaims and glorifies him. Wherever there are people, in the country and the town, in the villages, in the isles, in the furthest parts of the earth, his name is revered and churches are built in his honor. Images of him are set up, panegyrics preached and festivals celebrated. All Christians, young and old, men and women, boys and girls, reverence his memory and call upon his protection. And his favors, which know no limit of time and continue from age to age, are poured out over all the earth; the Scythians know them, as do the Indians and the barbarians, the Africans as well as the Italians."  anonymous of Saint Nicolas
St. Nicholas only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God.
He has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna.
 350. St. Nicholas Bishop of Myra Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism; doweried 3 little girls; released falsily condemned men; saw the devil get on the ship, intending to sink it and kill all the passengers; calmed waves of the sea by his prayers; mortally injured sailor restored to health;

343. ST NICHOLAS, CALLED “OF BARI”, BISHOP OF MYRA
4th v. St. Polychronius A priest martyr Council of Nicaea opposed Arians
St. James the Mangled (Sawn) The Martyrdom of  appeared to devoted monks with many martyrs of Persia {Coptic Orthodox}
 406 St. Asella Virgin hermitess, called "a flower of the Lord" by St. Jerome
 484 St. Dionysia son Majoricus African catholics
       St. Majoricus Martyred son of St. Dionysia
 558 St. Abraham of Kratia Bishop hermit Syria who faced the trials and upheavals of his era
1300 St. Peter Pascual Bishop, preacher extensively to promote the Christian faith in Islamic communities and sought ransom captives native of Valencia Spain
1305 Saint Maximus successor of Metropolitan Cyril III of Kiev (1243-1280) Greek by birth arrived in Rus then suffering under the Mongol (Tatar) Yoke, in 1283 as Metropolitan
The Immaculate Conception According to Saint John Mary Vianney (I) Dec 6  OUR LADY OF SEEZ France, mid-5thv

If a very rich mother and father had a great quantity of children,
and those children chose to die, and only one survived, that one would inherit everything.


Similarly, Adam as well as his children died to grace through original sin. And Mary, the only one exempt of sin, remained the heir of the graces of innocence and of the favors destined to Adam's children.
If they had remained in the state of innocence, what richness of gifts they would have received!
What favors! God made her the depository of his graces.

Saint John Mary Vianney   In: Mgr. R. Fourrey, The Virgin Mary and the Cure of Ars, 1989, Ars


406 St. Asella Virgin hermitess, called "a flower of the Lord" by St. Jerome
Romæ sanctæ Aséllæ Vírginis, quæ (ut beátus Hierónymus scribit), ex útero matris benedícta, vitam in jejúniis et oratiónibus usque ad senéctam prodúxit.
    At Rome, St. Asella, virgin, who according to the words of St. Jerome, being blessed from her mother's womb, lived to old age in fasting and prayer.
 Asella consecrated herself to Christ at the age of ten. She lived in a small cell in Rome, where Palladius, the bishop-historian, visited her.
  Asella of Rome V (RM). "I saw in Rome the beautiful Asella, that aging virgin in the convent: a woman who is very sweet and who sustains the communicants" (Ballad). Saint Jerome, who became her panegyrist, calls her "a flower of the Lord," and tells us that this Roman maiden took the veil at the age of ten, and retired to a small cubicle at 12, where she lived for long years until she became "the mother of many virgins." Palladius visited her
community in Rome (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
4th v. St. Polychronius A priest martyr Council of Nicaea opposed Arians
Eódem die sancti Polychrónii Presbyteri, qui, témpore Constántii Imperatóris, cum ad altáre Missas ágeret, invásus est ab Ariánis et jugulátus.
    On the same day, St. Polychronius, priest, who was surprised while offering Mass at the altar and slain by the Arians, in the reign of Emperor Constantius.
He is believed to have been a priest in the Eastern Empire who attended the Council of Nicaea and opposed the Arians. He was murdered by Arian extremists while saying Mass during the reign of Emperor Constantius II.

St. James the Mangled (Sawn) The Martyrdom of  appeared to devoted monks with many martyrs of Persia {Coptic Orthodox}
   On this day, St. James the mangled, was martyred. He was one of the soldiers of Sakrod, the son of Shapur, King of Persia. Because of his courage and his uprightness, he was promoted to the highest rank in the king's court. He found favor and access to the king, who even counselled with him in many affairs. In this way, he influenced St. James greatly to the extent that he turned his heart away from worshipping the Lord Christ.
   When his mother, his wife, and his sister heard that he adopted the king's belief, they wrote to him saying, "Why have you forsaken the faith in the Lord Christ and worshipped the created objects, the fire and the sun? Know that if you persist in what you are doing, we will disown you and you will become a stranger to us." When he read their letter, he wept and said, "If by doing that, I have become a stranger to my own family and my people, how would the situation be with my Lord Jesus Christ?" Consequently, he resigned from the king's service and devoted his time to reading the holy books.
   When the news reached the king, he summoned St. James. When the King saw the change that had befallen him, he ordered that James be beaten severely and if he did not change his belief, he was to be cut up with knives. They cut off his fingers, his hands, his legs and his arms. Each time they cut off a piece of his body, he praised the Lord and sang saying, "Have mercy upon me O Lord according to Your great compassion." (Psalm 50:1) Eventually, nothing was left of him except his head, his breast and his loins.
   When he knew that his time was near, he entreated the Lord to have mercy and compassion upon the world and the people therein. He apologized for not standing in the presence of the mighty Lord and said, "I have neither legs to stand before Thee, nor hands to lift up to Thee, behold the parts of my body have been cast around me, O Lord receive my soul." Straightaway, the Lord Christ appeared to him, comforted, and strengthened him and his soul rejoiced. Before he delivered up his soul, one of the guards made haste and cut off his head. He thus received the crown of martyrdom. Some of the believers then came forward and took his body, wrapped it and buried it.

When his mother, his sister, and his wife heard that he was martyred, they rejoiced for his soul and came to where the body was and kissed it, weeping. They shrouded it in expensive cloth and poured sweet scents and perfumed oil over it. A church and a monastery were built in his name during the reign of the righteous Emperors Arcadius and Honourius.

  When the king of Persia heard the news of the miracles and wonders which appeared through the body of St. James and of the other honored martyrs, he ordered all the bodies of the martyrs in all parts of his kingdom, to be burnt. Some of the believers came and took the body of St. James and brought it to Jerusalem and entrusted it to St. Peter El-Rahawy, Bishop of Gaza.

   The body remained there until the reign of Marcianus, who persecuted the Orthodox Christians everywhere. St. Peter, the Bishop, took the body to Egypt. There he went to the city of Behnasa, where he stayed in a monastery occupied by devoted monks. It happened that at the sixth hour, while they were praying in the place where the holy body laid, St. James appeared to them with many other martyrs of Persia. They joined them in singing, blessed them and disappeared. Before leaving, however, St. James told them that his body should stay there as the Lord commanded.
   Despite this, when Anba Peter the Bishop, decided to return to his country, he took the body with him. When he arrived at the seashore, the body was taken from their hands and returned to the place where it had originally been.

His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
Fresco_St_Nicholas_Church_of_St_Nicholas_Demre.
 350 St. Nicholas Bishop of Myra Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism doweried 3 little girls released falsily condemned men saw the devil get on the ship, intending to sink it and kill all the passengers calmed waves of the sea by his prayers mortally injured sailor restored to health
Myræ, quæ est metrópolis Lyciæ, natális sancti Nicolái, Epíscopi et Confessóris, de quo, inter plura miraculórum insígnia, illud memorábile fertur, quod Imperatórem Constantínum ab intéritu quorúmdam se invocántium, longe constitútus, ad misericórdiam per visum mónitis defléxit et minis.
    At Myra, which is the metropolis of Lycia, the birthday of St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor, of whom it is related, among other miracles, that, while at a great distance from Emperor Constantine, he appeared to him in a vision and moved him to mercy so as to deter him from putting to death some persons who had implored his assistance.
St. Nicholas, called "of Bari", Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century)
   St. Nicholas only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God. He has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna.

   The great veneration with which this saint has been honored for many ages and the number of altars and churches which have been everywhere dedicated in his memory are testimonials to his holiness and of the glory which he enjoys with God. He is said to have been born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. Myra, the capital, not far from the sea, was an episcopal see, and this church falling vacant, the holy Nicholas was chosen bishop, and in that station became famous by his extraordinary piety and zeal and many astonishing miracles. The Greek histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment of the faith and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Dioletian, and that he was present at the Council of Nicaea and there condemned Arianism. The silence of other authors makes many justly suspect these circumstances. He died at Myra, and was buried in his cathedral.


   This summary account by Alban Butler tells us all that is known about the life of the famous St. Nicholas, and even a little more; for his episcopate at Myra during the fourth century is really all that seems indubitable authentic. This is not for lack of material, beginning with the life attributed to the monk who died in 847 as St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople. But he warns us that "Up to the present the life of this distinguished Shepard has been unknown to the majority of the faithful", and sets about enlightening their ignorance nearly five hundred years after the saint's death. This is the least unreliable of the "biographical" sources available, and a vast amount of literature, critical and expository, have grown up around them. Nevertheless, the universal popularity of the saint for so many centuries requires that some account of these legends should be given here.

   We are assured that from his earliest days Nicholas would take nourishment only once on Wednesdays and Fridays, and that in the evening according to the canons. "He was exceedingly well brought up by his parents and trod piously in their footsteps. The child, watched over by the church enlightened his mind and encouraged his thirst for sincere and true religion". His parents died when he was a young man, leaving him well off and he determined to devote his inheritance to works of charity. An opportunity soon arose. A citizen of Patara had lost all his money, and had moreover to support three daughters who could not find husbands because of their poverty; so the wretched man was going to give them over to prostitution. This came to the ears of Nicholas, who thereupon took a bag of gold and, under cover of darkness threw it in at the open window of the man's house. Here was a dowry for the eldest girl and she was soon duly married. At intervals Nicholas did the same for the second and third; at the last time the father was on the watch, recognized his benefactor and overwhelmed him with his gratitude. It would appear that the three purses represented in pictures, came to be mistaken for the heads of three children and so they gave rise to the absurdstory of the children, resuscitated by the saint, who had been killed by an innkeeper and pickled in a brine-tub.

   Coming to the city of Myra when the clergy and people of the province were in session to elect a new bishop, St. Nicholas was indicated by God as the man they should choose. This was at the time of the persecutions at the beginning of the fourth century and "As he was the chief priest of the Christians of this town and preached the truths of faith with a holy liberty, the divine Nicholas was seized by the magistrates, tortured, then chained and thrown into prison with many other Christians. But when the great and religious Constatine, chosen by God assumed the imperial diadem of the Romans, the prisoners were released from their bonds and with them the illustrious Nicholas, who when he was set at liberty returned to Myra."
St. Methodius asserts that "thanks to the teaching of St. Nicholas the metropolis of Myra alone was untouched by the filth of the Arian heresy, which it firmly rejected as death-dealing poison", but says nothing of his presence at the Council of Nicaea in 325.
   According to other traditions he was not only there but so far forgot himself as to give the heresiarch Arius a slap in the face. Whereupon the conciliar fathers deprived him of his episcopal insignia and committed him to prison; but our Lord and His Mother appeared there and restored to him both his liberty and his office. As against Arianism so against paganism, St. Nicholas was tireless and took strong measures: among other temples he destroyed was that of Artemis, the principal in the district, and the evil spirits fled howling before him. He was the guardian of his people as well in temporal affairs.

   The governor Eustathius had taken a bribe to condemn to death three innocent men. At the time fixed for their execution Nicholas came to the place, stayed the hands of the executioner { went up to the executioner and took his sword, already suspended over the heads of the condemned,} and released the prisoners. Then he turned to Eustathiujs and did not cease to reproach him until he admitted his crime and expressed his penitence. There were present on this occasion three imperial officers who were on their way to duty in Phrygia. Later, when they were back again in Constantinople, the jealousy of the prefect Ablavius caused them to be imprisoned on false charges and an order for their death was procured from the Emperor Constantine. When the officers heard this they remembered the example they had witnessed of the powerful love of justice of the Bishop of Myra and they prayed to God that through his merits and by his instrumentality then might yet be saved. That night St. Nicholas appeared in a dream to Constatine, and told him with threats to release the three innocent men, and Ablavius experienced the same thing. In the morning the Emporor and the prefect compared notes, and the condemned men were sent for and questioned. When he heard that they had called on the name of the Nicholas of Myra who had appeared to him, Constatine set them free and sent them to the bishop with a letter asking him not to threaten him any more but to pray for the peace of the world.
For long this was the most famous miracle of St. Nicholas, and at the time of St. Methodius was the only thing generally known about him.

   The accounts are unanimous that St. Nicholas died and was buried in his episcopal city of Myra, and by the time of Justinian there was a basilica built in his honor at Constantinople. An anonymous Greek wrote in the tenth century that, "the West as well as the East acclaims and glorifies him. Wherever there are people, in the country and the town, in the villages, in the isles, in the furthest parts of the earth, his name is revered and churches are built in his honor. Images of him are set up, panegyrics preached and festivals celebrated. All Christians, young and old, men and women, boys and girls, reverence his memory and call upon his protection. And his favors, which know no limit of time and continue from age to age, are poured out over all the earth; the Scythians know them, as do the Indians and the barbarians, the Africans as well as the Italians."
   When Myra and its great shrine finally passed into the hands of the Saracens, several Italian cities saw this as an opportunity to acquire the relics of St. Nicholas for themselves. There was great competition for them between Venice and Bari. The last-named won, the relics were carried off under the noses of the lawful Greek custodians and their Mohammedan masters, and on May 9, 1087 were safety landed at Bari, a not inappropriate home seeing that Apulia in those days still had large Greek colonies. A new church was built to shelter them and the pope, Bd. Urban II, was present at their enshrining. Devotion to St. Nicholas was known in the West long before his relics were brought to Italy, but this happening naturally greatly increased his veneration among the people, and miracles were as freely attributed to his intercession in Europe as they had been in Asia. At Myra "the venerable body of the bishop, embalmed as it was in the good ointments of virtue exuded a sweet smelling myrrh, which kept it from corruption and proved a health giving remedy against sickness to the glory of him who had glorified Jesus Christ, our true God." The translation of the relics did not interrupt this phenomenon, and the "manna of St. Nicholas" is said to flow to this day. It was one of the great attractions which drew pilgrims to his tomb from all parts of Europe.


   It is the image of St. Nicholas more often than that of any other that is found on Byzantine seals; in the later middle ages nearly four hundred churches were dedicated in his honor in England alone; and he is said to have been represented by Christian artists more frequently than any saint except our Lady. St. Nicholas is venerated as the patron saint of several classes of people, especially, in the East, of sailors and in the West of children. The first of these patronage is probably due to the legend that during his life time, he appeared to storm tossed mariners who invoked his aid off the coast of Lycia and brought them safely to port. Sailors in the Aegean and Ionian seas, following a common Eastern custom, had their "star of St. Nicholas" and wished one another a good voyage in the phrase "May St. Nicholas hold the tiller". The legend of the "three children" gave rise to his patronage of children and various observances, ecclesiastical and secular, connected there with; such were the boy bishop and especially in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the giving of presents in his name at Christmas time. This custom in England is not a survival from Catholic times. It was popularized in America by the Dutch Protestants of New Amsterdam who had converted the popish saint into a Nordic magician (Santa Claus = Sint Klaes = Saint Nicholas) and was apparently introduced into this country by Bret Harte. It is not the only "good old English custom" which, however good, is not "old English", at any rate in its present form. The deliverance of the three imperial officers naturally caused St. Nicholas to be invoked by and on behalf of prisoners and captives, and many miracles of his intervention are recorded in the middle ages.

   Curiously enough the greatest popularity of St. Nicholas is found neither in the eastern Mediterranean nor north-western Europe, great as that was, but in Russia. With St. Andred the Apostle he is patron of the nation, and the Russian Orthodox Church even observes the feast of his translation; so many Russian pilgrims came to Bari before the revolution that their government supported a church, hospital and hospice there. He is a patron saint also of Greece, Apulia, Sicily and Loraine, and of many citiesand dioceses (including Galway) and churches innumerable. At Rome the basilica of St. Nicholas in the Jail of Tully (in Carcere) was founded between the end of the sixth and the beginning of the seventh centuries. He is named in the preparation of the Byzantine Mass.

Two very able studies of St Nicholas and his cult have been published since 1900. The earlier is that of G. Anrich, Hagios Nikolaos…in der griechischen Kirche (2 vols., 1917). In this will be found all the Greek texts of any interest, much better edited than those in Falconius or Migne, as well as a full introduction and notes. The second work is that of K. Meisen, Nikolauskult und Nikolausbrauch im Abendlande (1931), with many pictorial illustrations. See on this the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. 1 (1932), pp. 178—181, where attention is drawn to the fact that one Latin text printed by Meisen is taken from a manuscript written in the ninth century, thus proving that the story of St Nicholas was already known in the West two hundred years before the translation of his relics to Ban. An imposing Vie de S. Nicolas by Jules Laroche should be read in the light of the criticisms in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xii, p. 459. On the folk-lore of St Nicholas among the Hellenes see further the book of N. G. Politis (in modern Greek) Laographika symmikta (1931), and on other aspects of the legend J. Dorn in Archiv f. Kulturgeschichte, vol. xiii (1917), especially p. 243 R. B. Yewdale, Bohemond I, Prince of Antioch, p. 31 Karl Young, The Drama of the Medieval Church (1933), passim. On the emblems of St Nicholas and his treatment in art, consult, besides Künstle, Ikonographie, vol. ii, and Drake, Saints and their Emblems, the monograph of D. van Adrichem, published both in Italian and in Dutch in 1928. The miraculous “manna” of St Nicholas still finds ardent champions e.g. in P. Scognamilio, La Manna di San Nicola (1925). 

   Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God. He was born in the city of Patara in the region of Lycia (on the south coast of the Asia Minor peninsula), and was the only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God.

   As the fruit of the prayer of his childless parents, the infant Nicholas from the very day of his birth revealed to people the light of his future glory as a wonderworker. His mother, Nonna, after giving birth was immediately healed from illness. The newborn infant, while still in the baptismal font, stood on his feet three hours, without support from anyone, thereby honoring the Most Holy Trinity. St Nicholas from his infancy began a life of fasting, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he would not accept milk from his mother until after his parents had finished their evening prayers.
   From his childhood Nicholas thrived on the study of Divine Scripture; by day he would not leave church, and by night he prayed and read books, making himself a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Bishop Nicholas of Patara rejoiced at the spiritual success and deep piety of his nephew. He ordained him a reader, and then elevated Nicholas to the priesthood, making him his assistant and entrusting him to instruct the flock.
   In serving the Lord the youth was fervent of spirit, and in his proficiency with questions of faith he was like an Elder, who aroused the wonder and deep respect of believers. Constantly at work and vivacious, in unceasing prayer, the priest Nicholas displayed great kind-heartedness towards the flock, and towards the afflicted who came to him for help, and he distributed all his inheritance to the poor.

   There was a certain formerly rich inhabitant of Patara, whom St Nicholas saved from great sin. The man had three grown daughters, and in desparation he planned to sell their bodies so they would have money for food. The saint, learning of the man's poverty and of his wicked intention, secretly visited him one night and threw a sack of gold through the window. With the money the man arranged an honorable marriage for his daughter. St Nicholas also provided gold for the other daughters, thereby saving the family from falling into spiritual destruction. In bestowing charity, St Nicholas always strove to do this secretly and to conceal his good deeds.

   The Bishop of Patara decided to go on pilgrimage to the holy places at Jerusalem, and entrusted the guidance of his flock to St Nicholas, who fulfilled this obedience carefully and with love. When the bishop returned, Nicholas asked his blessing for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Along the way the saint predicted a storm would arise and threaten the ship. St Nicholas saw the devil get on the ship, intending to sink it and kill all the passengers. At the entreaty of the despairing pilgrims, he calmed the waves of the sea by his prayers. Through his prayer a certain sailor of the ship, who had fallen from the mast and was mortally injured was also restored to health.

   When he reached the ancient city of Jerusalem and came to Golgotha, St Nicholas gave thanks to the Savior. He went to all the holy places, worshiping at each one. One night on Mount Sion, the closed doors of the church opened by themselves for the great pilgrim. Going round the holy places connected with the earthly service of the Son of God, St Nicholas decided to withdraw into the desert, but he was stopped by a divine voice urging him to return to his native country. He returned to Lycia, and yearning for a life of quietude, the saint entered into the brotherhood of a monastery named Holy Sion, which had been founded by his uncle. But the Lord again indicated another path for him, "Nicholas, this is not the vineyard where you shall bear fruit for Me. Return to the world, and glorify My Name there." So he left Patara and went to Myra in Lycia.

   Upon the death of Archbishop John, Nicholas was chosen as Bishop of Myra after one of the bishops of the Council said that a new archbishop should be revealed by God, not chosen by men. One of the elder bishops had a vision of a radiant Man, Who told him that the one who came to the church that night and was first to enter should be made archbishop. He would be named Nicholas. The bishop went to the church at night to await Nicholas. The saint, always the first to arrive at church, was stopped by the bishop. "What is your name, child?" he asked. God's chosen one replied, "My name is Nicholas, Master, and I am your servant."

   After his consecration as archbishop, St Nicholas remained a great ascetic, appearing to his flock as an image of gentleness, kindness and love for people. This was particularly precious for the Lycian Church during the persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Bishop Nicholas, locked up in prison together with other Christians for refusing to worship idols, sustained them and exhorted them to endure the fetters, punishment and torture. The Lord preserved him unharmed. Upon the accession of St Constantine (May 21) as emperor, St Nicholas was restored to his flock, which joyfully received their guide and intercessor.

   Despite his great gentleness of spirit and purity of heart, St Nicholas was a zealous and ardent warrior of the Church of Christ. Fighting evil spirits, the saint made the rounds of the pagan temples and shrines in the city of Myra and its surroundings, shattering the idols and turning the temples to dust.

   In the year 325 St Nicholas was a participant in the First Ecumenical Council. This Council proclaimed the Nicean Symbol of Faith, and he stood up against the heretic Arius with the likes of Sts Sylvester the Bishop of Rome (January 2), Alexander of Alexandria (May 29), Spyridon of Trimythontos (December 12) and other Fathers of the Council.

   St Nicholas, fired with zeal for the Lord, assailed the heretic Arius with his words, and also struck him upon the face. For this reason, he was deprived of the emblems of his episcopal rank and placed under guard. But several of the holy Fathers had the same vision, seeing the Lord Himself and the Mother of God returning to him the Gospel and omophorion. The Fathers of the Council agreed that the audacity of the saint was pleasing to God, and restored the saint to the office of bishop.

   Having returned to his own diocese, the saint brought it peace and blessings, sowing the word of Truth, uprooting heresy, nourishing his flock with sound doctrine, and also providing food for their bodies.
   Even during his life the saint worked many miracles. One of the greatest was the deliverance from death of three men unjustly condemned by the Governor, who had been bribed. The saint boldly went up to the executioner and took his sword, already suspended over the heads of the condemned. The Governor, denounced by St Nicholas for his wrong doing, repented and begged for forgiveness.

   Witnessing this remarkable event were three military officers, who were sent to Phrygia by the emperor Constantine to put down a rebellion. They did not suspect that soon they would also be compelled to seek the intercession of St Nicholas. Evil men slandered them before the emperor, and the officers were sentenced to death. Appearing to St Constantine in a dream, St Nicholas called on him to overturn the unjust sentence of the military officers.
   He worked many other miracles, and struggled many long years at his labor. Through the prayers of the saint, the city of Myra was rescued from a terrible famine. He appeared to a certain Italian merchant and left him three gold pieces as a pledge of payment. He requested him to sail to Myra and deliver grain there. More than once, the saint saved those drowning in the sea, and provided release from captivity and imprisonment .

   Having reached old age, St Nicholas peacefully fell asleep in the Lord. His venerable relics were preserved incorrupt in the local cathedral church and flowed with curative myrrh, from which many received healing. In the year 1087, his relics were transferred to the Italian city of Bari, where they rest even now (See May 9).
   The name of the great saint of God, the hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, a speedy helper and suppliant for all hastening to him, is famed in every corner of the earth, in many lands and among many peoples. In Russia there are a multitude of cathedrals, monasteries and churches consecrated in his name. There is, perhaps, not a single city without a church dedicated to him.

   The first Russian Christian prince Askold (+ 882) was baptized in 866 by Patriarch Photius (February 6) with the name Nicholas. Over the grave of Askold, St Olga (July 11) built the first temple of St Nicholas in the Russian Church at Kiev. Primary cathedrals were dedicated to St Nicholas at Izborsk, Ostrov, Mozhaisk, and Zaraisk. At Novgorod the Great, one of the main churches of the city, the Nikolo-Dvorischensk church, later became a cathedral.
   Famed and venerable churches and monasteries dedicated to St Nicholas are found at Kiev, Smolensk, Pskov, Toropetsa, Galich, Archangelsk, Great Ustiug, Tobolsk. Moscow had dozens of churches named for the saint, and also three monasteries in the Moscow diocese: the Nikolo-Greek (Staryi) in the Chinese-quarter, the Nikolo-Perervinsk and the Nikolo-Ugreshsk. One of the chief towers of the Kremlin was named the Nikolsk.
   Many of the churches devoted to the saint were those established at market squares by Russian merchants, sea-farers and those who traveled by land, venerating the wonderworker Nicholas as a protector of all those journeying on dry land and sea. They sometimes received the name among the people of "Nicholas soaked."

  Many village churches in Russia were dedicated to the wonderworker Nicholas, venerated by peasants as a merciful intercessor before the Lord for all the people in their work. And in the Russian land St Nicholas did not cease his intercession. Ancient Kiev preserves the memory about the miraculous rescue of a drowning infant by the saint. The great wonderworker, hearing the grief-filled prayers of the parents for the loss of their only child, took the infant from the waters, revived him and placed him in the choir-loft of the church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) before his wonderworking icon. In the morning the infant was found safe by his thrilled parents, praising St Nicholas the Wonderworker.
   Many wonderworking icons of St Nicholas appeared in Russia and came also from other lands. There is the ancient Byzantine embordered image of the saint, brought to Moscow from Novgorod, and the large icon painted in the thirteenth century by a Novgorod master.

   Two depictions of the wonderworker are especially numerous in the Russian Church: St Nicholas of Zaraisk, portrayed in full-length, with his right hand raised in blessing and with a Gospel (this image was brought to Ryazan in 1225 by the Byzantine Princess Eupraxia, the future wife of Prince Theodore. She perished in 1237 with her husband and infant son during the incursion of Batu); and St Nicholas of Mozhaisk, also in full stature, with a sword in his right hand and a city in his left. This recalls the miraculous rescue of the city of Mozhaisk from an invasion of enemies, through the prayers of the saint. It is impossible to list all the grace-filled icons of St Nicholas, or to enumerate all his miracles.
He has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna.
St Nicholas is also commemorated on May 9 (The transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).

   Nicholas of Myra (Bari) B (RM)  St. Nicholas was probably born to wealthy parents at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. He was chosen bishop of the then rundown diocese of the capital of Myra, which he ruled with great care and faith. There he became known for his holiness, zeal, and miracles. To these meager facts legend, however, has supplied colorful details. His first 'biography' was written in the 9th century; a more popular one was written by Simon Metaphrastes in the 10th century.
Greek histories hold that he suffered imprisonment and made a famous confession during the persecution of Diocletian. He was present at the Council of Nicaea, where he condemned Arianism--one story holds that he actually slapped the heretic Arius. He died at Myra in Lycia. However, there is no historical support for either his confession nor his attendance at the council.

   By the time of Justinian (6th century), there was a basilica built in his honor at Constantinople. From the 9th century in the East and the 11th century in the West, he has been one of the most popular saints of Christendom and the subject of many legends. These hold that he was a wealthy young man who decided to devote his money to charitable activities and his life to converting sinners.
   The legends tell of how St. Nicholas, still sticky from the womb, rose up out of his first bath to fold his hands and raise his eyes to heaven in order to cleanse his heart before his body. He is also said to have taught his wet nurse about mortification by refusing her breast more than once on each Wednesday and Friday--a precocious exercise of asceticism!

   Nicholas could have found communion with God in a monastic life, but to walk within the confines of a cloister would be insufficient for the saint's devotion. He wanted to be able to follow the footsteps of Jesus in the Palestine, which he did. On his voyages across the sea, he calmed the waves (which is why he is patron of sailors and travellers).
   A citizen of Patara lost his fortune, and because he could not raise dowries for his three daughters, he was going to give them over to prostitution. After hearing this, Nicholas took a bag of gold and threw it through the window of the man's house at night. The eldest girl was married with it as her dowry. He performed the same action for each of the other girls. The three purses, portrayed in art with the saint, were mistakenly thought to be the heads of children, and thus originated the story that three children, murdered by an innkeeper and pickled in a tub of brine, were resuscitated by Nicholas. The three purses are also thought to be the origin of the pawnbrokers' symbol of three gold balls.

Another legend holds that he appeared to sailors caught in storms off the coast of Lycia and led them safely into port. Churches built under his dedication are often placed so that they can be seen off the coast as landmarks.

  Yet another legend has it that he appeared to Constantine in a dream and thereby caused him to save three unjustly condemned imperial officers from death. Possibly another version says that the governor of Myra took a bribe to condemn to death three innocent men. The executioner was about to kill them when the bishop of the city, Nicholas, appeared and prevented the execution. Turning to the governor, the saint upbraided him till he confessed his sin and begged to be forgiven.
   When Myra fell into the hands of the Saracens, Italian cities seized the chance to acquire the relics of Nicholas. The relics were stolen by Italian merchants and came to Bari in southern Italy in 1087. A new church was built to shelter them, and Pope Urban II was present at their enshrining. The already popular saint became even more highly regarded thereafter. The shrine became one of the great pilgrimage centers of medieval Europe. Many miracles were reputed to have been worked through his intercession.
   The popular cultural representation of "St. Nick" is based on a combination of Low Countries' custom of giving children presents on his feast day as their patron, and the Dutch Protestants of New Amsterdam (now New York) linking this to Nordic folklore of a magician who punished naughty children and rewarded exemplary ones with presents. (It should be noted that the figure of Santa Claus is really non-Christian and is based on the Germanic god Thor, who was associated with winter and the Yule log and rode on a chariot drawn by goats named Cracker and Gnasher.)
   Throughout Europe in the middle ages, St. Nicholas's feast day was the occasion for electing a Boy Bishop, who reigned until the feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28. Even in this century the custom survives in Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).

   St. Nicholas's emblem in art is three balls. Sometimes he is portrayed (1) as a young man throwing three golden balls into the window of three poor girls; (2) raising three children from a pickle tub; (3) rescuing survivors from a shipwreck; (4) reviving a man unjustly hanged (not to be confused with Nicholas of Tolentino, who is never a bishop); or (5) as a new-born babe praising God. Venerated at Bari, Monserrat, and Russia (Roeder).

   Patron of children (Santa Claus, Sint Klaus), bankers, captives (because of the rescue), pawnbrokers (three balls), and sailors (for miraculously saving doomed mariners off the coast of Lycia) (Roeder), brides, unmarried women (because he provided dowries), perfumers (from his shrine at Bari there was said to originate a fragrant 'myrrh'), of travellers, pilgrims, and safe journeys (because he reputedly travelled to the Holy Land and Egypt), maritime pilots (White), boatmen, fishermen, sailors, dock workers, stevedores, brewers, coopers, bootblacks, the unjustly judged, and poets (Encyclopedia). Russia, Greece, Sicily, Lorraine, Moscow, Freibourg, and Apulia all fall under his patronage, too (White).

St. Nicholas of Myra (also called "of Bari", and "the Wonderworker") is one of the world's most venerated saints. Oddly, too; for although he was certainly the bishop of Myra in Asia Minor in the early fourth century, little else is known about him.
     People have replaced the missing data on his life with a great many stories that may or may not contain some element of truth. The best of these stories deals with his charities and his miracles.
     Mediterranean sailors, for instance, consider Nicholas their patron saint. That is because, as one legend informs us, sailors on a storm-tossed ship once invoked his aid. The bishop, who was still alive at that time, suddenly appeared to the distraught mariners. He led them out of the tempest and into a safe harbor. From this event springs the phrase used by Mediterranean sailors to bid each other bon voyage: "May St. Nicholas hold the tiller!"
But the best-known story about him was his secret charity to the three marriageable daughters of a widower of Patara in present-day Turkey.
    This widower, having lost his wealth, could not afford to pay wedding dowries for his three daughters, so he was tempted to allow them to gain a living by immoral means. Learning of this frightful possibility, Nicholas (still a wealthy layman) quietly dropped a gift through the window of the father's house. (Sometimes the gift is represented as a purse full of gold coins; sometimes, as a ball of solid gold.) This welcome gift enabled the man to marry off his eldest daughter with dignity. Then Nicholas tried the same trick again, and the middle daughter was able to be given in marriage. By now the widower was determined to discover who his benefactor was, so he lay in watch. When the saint came to drop in the third gold ball, he was caught red-handed and profoundly thanked by the widower and his family.
On the basis of this legend, not only bankers but pawn-brokers adopted Nicholas as their patron saint!
The international popularity acquired by this bishop-saint was amazing. A tenth-century writer testified to his fame in the Near East, India, Africa and Europe. After Constantinople fell to the Moslems in 1453, traders from Bari, Italy, stole (or "rescued") the saint's relics preserved at Myra and brought them to Bari in southern Italy, where they still remain enshrined. This helped Nicholas to acquire further popularity in western Europe. Eventually over 2,000 churches in France and Germany chose Nicholas as patron, and England had 400 dedicated to him. Lorraine, Sicily, Greece and Russia honor him as a national patron.
Naturally, St. Nicholas, as the bringer of secret gifts, is especially popular among children. For centuries, he has been represented in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands as the kindly one who on December 5, the eve of his feast, travels around in secret to leave sweetmeats in the shoes of sleeping youngsters.
   After the Reformation, when Protestant countries minimized saints, the Dutch Calvinists who emigrated to "New Amsterdam" kept Nicholas in their folklore, not as a bishop but as a gift-giver. ("St. Nicholas" in the Netherlands tongue, is "Sinter Klaas" or Santa Claus.) Imported to the U.S.A., Klaas no longer dressed in a bishop's vestments but in a secular suit of red cloth trimmed with white fur. The Dutch-American "Sinter Klaas" eventually gained wide popularity in the United States, even among those of non-Dutch background. Klaas's residence was now given not as Myra nor Bari, but the North Pole.
The real Bishop Nicholas is still venerated by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as befits a saint so universally beloved. When we get to heaven, make a point of taking this charitable prelate aside and asking him, "What is the real story of your life?" Father Robert F McNamara
484 St. Dionysia son Majoricus African catholics
Ibídem sanctárum mulíerum Dionysiæ, quæ sancti Majórici Mártyris éxstitit mater, Datívæ ac Leóntiæ; itémque religiósi viri, nómine Tértii, Æmiliáni médici, et Bonifátii, cum áliis tribus.  Hi omnes, in persecutióne Wandálica, sub Ariáno Rege Hunneríco, gravíssimis et innúmeris supplíciis pro cathólicæ fídei defensióne cruciáti, sanctórum Christi Confessórum número sociári meruérunt.
    In the same place, the holy women Dionysia, who was the mother of St. Majorcus the martyr, Dativa, and Leontia; also a pious man named Tertius, Emilian a physician, Boniface, and three others.  In the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Hunneric, they were subjected to numberless most painful tortures for the Catholic faith, and thus merited to rank among the confessors of Christ.

484 SS. DIONYSIA, MAJORICUS, AND OTHER MARTYRS
IN the year 484 the Arian king, Huneric, banished the Catholic bishops from their African sees, and began a violent persecution of orthodox Christians, many of whom were put to death. Dionysia, a woman remarkable for beauty, zeal and piety, was scourged in the forum till her body was covered with blood. Seeing Majoricus, her young son, tremble at the sight, she said to him, “My son, do not forget that we have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. We must not lose the garment of our salvation, lest the Master of the feast find us without wedding—raiment and cast us into outer darkness.”

   The boy, strengthened by her words, suffered a most cruel martyrdom with constancy. St Dionysia’s sister Dativa, her cousin Emilian, a physician, Leontia, Tertius and Boniface also suffered horrible torments for the faith, so that the Roman Martyrology says that they deserved to be joined to the number of Christ’s holy confessors. SS. Dionysia, Majoricus and Dativa died at the stake and SS. Emilian and Tertius were flayed alive.

St Servus, who is commemorated on the following day, a man of Thuburbo, was tortured by the persecutors with the utmost fury: he was hoisted in the air by pulleys and then pulled up and down so that he fell with all his weight on the pavement. Then he was dragged along the streets till his flesh and skin hung in strips from his body.

At Cucusa there was among the martyrs and confessors a woman named Victoria, who was hung in the air whilst a fire was kindled under her. Her husband, who had apostatized from the Catholic faith, appealed to her in the most moving manner, urging her at least to have pity on her innocent babes and save herself by obeying the king. She would not listen, and turned her eyes away from her children. The executioners thought she was dead, and took her down; but she came to herself, and afterwards related that a maiden had appeared to her, who touched every part of her broken body and healed it.

Of these martyrs we know practically nothing beyond what is narrated in the Historia persecutionis provinciae africanae, written by Victor, Bishop of Vita, who was a contemporary. No very marked cultus seems to be traceable. The names as a group do not occur in the Calendar of Carthage or in the Hieronymianum.

   In the year 484, the Arian King, Huneric, banished the Catholic bishops from their African Sees, and began a violent persecution of orthodox Christians, many of whom were put to death.
   Dionysia, a woman remarkable for beauty, zeal and piety, was scourged in the forum till her body was covered with blood. Seeing Majoricus, her young son, tremble at the site, she said to him, "My son, do not forget that we have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. We must not lose the garment of our salvation, lest the Master of the feast find us without wedding clothes and cast us into outer darkness." The boy, strengthened by her words, suffered a most cruel martyrdom with constancy.
Dionysia and Majoricus died at the stake.

St. Majoricus Martyred son of St. Dionysia
In Africa sancti Majórici, fílii sanctæ Dionysiæ, qui, cum esset adolescéntulus ac torménta pavésceret, matris obtútibus verbísque corroborátus est, et, céteris fórtior factus, in torméntis ánimam réddidit; quem amplexáta mater domi sepelívit, et ad ejus sepúlcrum assídue oráre consuévit.
    In Africa, St. Majorcus, son of St. Dionysia, who, being quite young and dreading the torments, was strengthened by the looks and words of his mother, and becoming stronger than the rest, expired in torments.  His mother took him in her arms, and having buried him in her own home, was wont to pray diligently at his tomb.
Majoricus suffered under Hunneric, the Arian Vandal, buried in his mother’s house. account of martyrdom given by St. Victor.
558 St. Abraham of Kratia Bishop hermit Syria who faced the trials and upheavals of his era
558 ST ABRAHAM, BISHOP OF KRATIA   
THE Lives of the Saints are full of examples of men who had offices of responsibility thrust upon them against their wishes, and in some cases, especially in the East, it is recorded that they subsequently ran away from them in an attempt, usually vain, to find peace and quietness for contemplation. Of these was this St Abraham.
He was born at Emesa in Syria in the year 474 and became a monk there. When he was eighteen the community was broken up by raiding nomads, and he fled with his spiritual father to Constantinople. Here they found a home in a monastery of which the older monk became abbot and Abraham procurator. When he was only twenty-six his virtue and ability caused him to be made abbot of Kratia (Flaviopolis, now Geredeh) in Bithynia. At the end of ten years he fled away secretly into Palestine; but his whereabouts became known and his bishop forced him to return to his duties. Soon after he was himself made bishop of Kratia and he fulfilled that office for thirteen years. Then he again ran away to Palestine and found a refuge in a monastery at the Tower of Eudokia. Here St Abraham
led a most mortified life of prayer for over twenty years, and died about 558 without having been recalled to his diocese. He was the most noted of the bishops who occupied the see of Kratia from its beginnings in the third century until its extinction in the twelfth.

The original Greek text of the Life of Abraham by Cyril of Skythopolis, a contemporary, has been edited by H. Gregoire in the Revue de l’Instruction publique en Belgique, vol. xlix (1906), pp. 281-296; by K. Koikylides in the Greek periodical Nea Sion, vol. iv (1906), July, supplement, pp. 5-7; and by E. Schwartz in Kyrillos von Scythopolis (1939). These editions are founded on a single manuscript in the monastery of Mount Sinai which is unfortunately defective at the end, although an ancient Arabic version has preserved it complete on the first two see P. Peeters ian the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxvi (1907), pp. 122-125, who in the same periodical, vol. xxiv (1905), pp. 349-356, had printed a Latin translation from the Arabic. The Arabic journal Al Mashriq in which it appeared supplies a curious illustration of the vexatious censorship then exercised in Syria by Moslem authority, for phrases in the ancient text were blacked out because they introduced titles consecrated to the dignity of the Sultan. On the topography, etc., of the Life of St Abraham see especially S. Vailhé in Échos d’Orient, vol. viii (1905), pp. 290-294.

   Born in Emessa, Syria, Abraham entered a monastery in the city but was forced to flee to Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey, because of raids by local pagan brigands. In Constantinople, Abraham entered another monastery, and at the age of twenty-six became the abbot of a community in Kratia. He served in this post for a decade but then resigned and went to Palestine to become a hermit. Ordered back to Kratia by his bishop, Abraham succeeded his superior. He served as Kratia's bishop for thirteen years, but then retired and moved once more to Palestine.
1300 St. Peter Pascual Bishop, preacher extensively to promote the Christian faith in Islamic communities and sought ransom captives native of Valencia Spain b.1227
Granátæ, in Hispánia, pássio beáti Petri Paschásii, Epíscopi Giennénsis et Mártyris, ex Ordine beátæ Maríæ de Mercéde redemptiónis captivórum.
    At Granada in Spain, the passion of blessed Peter Paschasius, bishop of Jaen and martyr, a member of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives.


1300 BD PETER PASCUAL, BISHOP OF JAÉN, MARTYR
THE Valencian family of Pascual or Pascualez (latinized as Paschasius) is said to have given the Church six martyrs under the Moors, of whom Bd Peter was the last. The child received his schooling from a tutor at home, which tutor was a priest of Narbonne, a doctor of divinity of Paris, whom Peter’s parents had ran­somed from the Moors. Peter went with him to Paris, and having finished his studies there, took the degree of doctor. He then returned to Valencia, and received holy orders at the age of twenty-four. He was a professor of theology at Barcelona until James I of Aragon chose him as tutor to his son, Sancho, who was soon after made archbishop of Toledo. The prince being too young to receive holy orders Bd Peter was appointed administrator of the diocese; later he was named titular bishop of Granada, which was at that time in the hands of the Moors, but he did not receive episcopal consecration until he was appointed bishop of Jaén in 1296, when it was still under Moorish domination.

   In spite of all dangers he not only ransomed captives and instructed and comforted the Christians, but also preached to the infidels and reconciled to the Church several apostates, renegades and others, On this account he was seized while on a visitation, carried to Granada, and shut up in a dungeon, with orders that no one should be allowed to speak to him. He received money for his ransom, but with it bought the freedom of some who, he feared, were in danger of apostasy. In spite of solitary confine­ment he found means to write a treatise against Islam and its prophet, which was circulated among the people and stirred up the authorities to order his death. The night before he suffered he was afflicted with great fear, and was comforted by a vision of our Lord. The next morning whilst he was at prayer he was murdered, receiving stabs in his body, after which his head was struck off. He was seventy-three years old. This is the common tradition, but it appears that he died from the hardships of his captivity.

In 1673 Pope Clement X confirmed the cultus of Bd Peter Pascual, and his name was also inserted in the Roman Martyrology, where he is referred to as Beatus, though commonly called Saint.

The older lives, such as that of B. Amento y Peligero in folio (1676), are by no means reliable. The best materials are those published by Fr Fidel Fita in the Boletin of the Historical Academy of Madrid, vol., xx (1892), pp. 32—61; cf. vol. xli (1902), pp. 345—347. For the general reader of Spanish the most thorough discussion of the problems involved is that of R. Rodriguez de Galvez, San Pedro Pascual obispo de Jaén y martir (1900), and see also the Estudios Criticos (1903) of the same author. In these it is satisfactorily proved that Bd Peter was not a member of the Mercedarian Order, and it is shown that he most probably died of the hardships of his captivity, not stabbed or decapitated. Bollandist reviewers consider unconvincing a bulky work published on the Mercedarian side by P. Armengol Valenzuela, Vida de San Pedro Pascual (1901.
He entered the priesthood and was ordained about 1250. Known for his intelligence, he was named tutor to the son of the king of Aragon. Later he became bishop of Jaen, although the diocese was technically under the dominion of the Moors. Nevertheless, he preached extensively to promote the Christian faith in Islamic communities and sought to ransom Christian captives being held by Moorish captors. He was martyred in Granada.
1305 Saint Maximus successor of Metropolitan Cyril III of Kiev (1243-1280) Greek by birth arrived in Rus then suffering under the Mongol (Tatar) Yoke, in 1283 as Metropolitan
The saint decided to remain at Kiev, but the city was completely devastated by the plundering incursions of the Tatars. Metropolitan Maximus withdrew to Briansk, and from there to Suzdal. During his visit to Volhynia the saint met with St Peter igumen of the Rata monastery, (December 21), who would succeed him as metropolitan.

In 1295 the saint deposed James from the bishop's cathedra at Vladimir and replaced him with Simon. During these terrible times the throne of the Great Prince was first at Vladimir, then at Pereslavl, then at Tver. Apprehensive lest he insult the South Russian princes by moving to the north, the saint offered fervent prayers to the Mother of God, and She indicated Vladimir as the place of his residence.

In the year 1299 Metropolitan Maximus went to Vladimir, and in the following year he established St Theoctistus (December 23) as Bishop of Novgorod. In 1301, Metropolitan Maximus was in Constantinople for a Patriarchal Council, where at the urging of St Theognostus, Bishop of Zaraisk, he set forth questions concerning the needs of the Russian Church to be resolved by the Council.


"Maximov" Icon
Recognizing the need to build up the strength of subjugated Rus, the saint urged Prince Yuri Danilovich of Moscow to make peace with the holy Prince Michael of Tver. He also advised Yuri to journey to the Horde to receive the throne. In 1304, the saint installed St Michael of Tver (November 22) upon the Great-princely throne of Vladimir.

Setting an example of intense spiritual life for others, Metropolitan Maximus was concerned about the spiritual growth of his proverbial flock. Thus, the saint established rules for fasting for other times in addition to Great Lent. He ordained it for the Apostles', Dormition and Nativity lenten periods, and he defined when fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays is allowed (in Russia until the fourteenth century they did not fast on the Midfeast and Leave-taking of Pascha).

The holy metropolitan was particularly concerned with upholding lawful marriage: "I write, therefore, about this, so that you my children, born and newly-sanctified in the baptismal font, will take your wife from the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, for the woman is for the salvation of the man. If you cleave to them in promiscuity without marriage, does it benefit you? No, but rather beseech and implore them, whether young or old, to be married in the Church."

The saint reposed on December 6, 1305, and his body was buried in the Dormition cathedral in Vladimir. A gilded covering was built over the saint's grave, on which was written in gold letters: "Maximus, a Greek, was ordained in the year 6791 from the creation of the world. He came to Kiev in the year 1283 after the Birth of Christ. Because of the Tatar onslaught, he moved from Kiev to the Great Russian city of Vladimir. Maximus shepherded the Church of Christ for twenty-three years, and he reposed in the year 6813."
^The Maximov Icon of the ^Mother of God (April 18) was placed on the wall above the grave of the saint. It was painted in the year 1299 following a vision to Metropolitan Maximus. A description of this vision was inscribed on the left side of the crypt.

The Maximov Icon of the Mother of God was written in 1299, after Holy Hierarch Maximos, Metropolitan of Vladimir (+ 1305, commemorated 6 December) had experienced a vision. On the Icon, the Mother of God is depicted at full-length, with the Pre-eternal Infant and with Metropolitan Maximos, who is kneeling before her and receiving from her hands the hierarchical omophorion. The Icon was written to commemorate the appearance to Holy Hierarch Maximox of the Most-holy Mother of God, an apparition which took place upon his arrival in Vladimir from Kiev. In the vision, the Mother of God entrusted to him an omophorion

<{"Omophorion"--One of the bishop's vestments, made of a band of brocade worn about the neck and around the shoulders. It signifies the Good Shepherd by symbolizing the lost sheep that is found and thrown over the shoulders of the shepherd:  a symbol of the spiritual authority of a bishop.},

and said: “My servant Maximos, it is good that you have visited my city. Receive this omophorion and be a shepherd to the rational sheep of my city.” Upon awakening, the Holy Hierarch found himself holding an omophorion. The appearance of the Mother of God was a sign of Divine blessing for the transfer of the Metropolitan Throne from Kiev to Vladimir. For 112 years, the omophorion given to the Holy Hierarch by the Mother of God was kept at the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir. In 1412, during an attack by the Tatars, the omophorion was hidden by Patrick, the gatekeeper, who was martyred by the Tatars.
St. James the Mangled (Sawn) The Martyrdom of  appeared to devoted monks with many martyrs of Persia {Coptic Orthodox}
   On this day, St. James the mangled, was martyred. He was one of the soldiers of Sakrod, the son of Shapur, King of Persia. Because of his courage and his uprightness, he was promoted to the highest rank in the king's court. He found favor and access to the king, who even counselled with him in many affairs. In this way, he influenced St. James greatly to the extent that he turned his heart away from worshipping the Lord Christ.
   When his mother, his wife, and his sister heard that he adopted the king's belief, they wrote to him saying, "Why have you forsaken the faith in the Lord Christ and worshipped the created objects, the fire and the sun? Know that if you persist in what you are doing, we will disown you and you will become a stranger to us." When he read their letter, he wept and said, "If by doing that, I have become a stranger to my own family and my people, how would the situation be with my Lord Jesus Christ?" Consequently, he resigned from the king's service and devoted his time to reading the holy books.
   When the news reached the king, he summoned St. James. When the King saw the change that had befallen him, he ordered that James be beaten severely and if he did not change his belief, he was to be cut up with knives. They cut off his fingers, his hands, his legs and his arms. Each time they cut off a piece of his body, he praised the Lord and sang saying, "Have mercy upon me O Lord according to Your great compassion." (Psalm 50:1) Eventually, nothing was left of him except his head, his breast and his loins.
   When he knew that his time was near, he entreated the Lord to have mercy and compassion upon the world and the people therein. He apologized for not standing in the presence of the mighty Lord and said, "I have neither legs to stand before Thee, nor hands to lift up to Thee, behold the parts of my body have been cast around me, O Lord receive my soul." Straightaway, the Lord Christ appeared to him, comforted, and strengthened him and his soul rejoiced. Before he delivered up his soul, one of the guards made haste and cut off his head. He thus received the crown of martyrdom. Some of the believers then came forward and took his body, wrapped it and buried it.

When his mother, his sister, and his wife heard that he was martyred, they rejoiced for his soul and came to where the body was and kissed it, weeping. They shrouded it in expensive cloth and poured sweet scents and perfumed oil over it. A church and a monastery were built in his name during the reign of the righteous Emperors Arcadius and Honourius.

  When the king of Persia heard the news of the miracles and wonders which appeared through the body of St. James and of the other honored martyrs, he ordered all the bodies of the martyrs in all parts of his kingdom, to be burnt. Some of the believers came and took the body of St. James and brought it to Jerusalem and entrusted it to St. Peter El-Rahawy, Bishop of Gaza.

   The body remained there until the reign of Marcianus, who persecuted the Orthodox Christians everywhere. St. Peter, the Bishop, took the body to Egypt. There he went to the city of Behnasa, where he stayed in a monastery occupied by devoted monks. It happened that at the sixth hour, while they were praying in the place where the holy body laid, St. James appeared to them with many other martyrs of Persia. They joined them in singing, blessed them and disappeared. Before leaving, however, St. James told them that his body should stay there as the Lord commanded.
   Despite this, when Anba Peter the Bishop, decided to return to his country, he took the body with him. When he arrived at the seashore, the body was taken from their hands and returned to the place where it had originally been.

His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

 Tuesday  Saints of this Day December  06 Octávo Idus Decémbris  

Pope Francis  PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR  December 2016
Universal: End to Child-Soldiers.
That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe  That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and
truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.
   `   

God Bless Mother Angelica 1923-2016
ewtnmissionaries.com

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

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

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

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

  Month by Month of Saintly Dedications


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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