Thursday  Saints of this Day December  15 Décimo octávo Kaléndas Januárii  
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!)


Octáva Conceptiónis Immaculátæ beátæ Maríæ Vírginis.
  The Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Virgin Mary of Nazareth December 15

   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


Please pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
December 15 – Our Lady of Lepanto (Italy) –
Melanie Calvat, La Salette visionary (d. 1904) – Mary Mediatrix

December 15, 2016
At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor, and seventeen others who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Valerian. {Valerian overthrew the emperor and assumed power in 253. Four years later, he launched a persecution of Christians. Several high profile Christian leaders and several Roman bureaucrats fell in the purge. Pope Sixtus II and Bishop Cyprian of Carthage fell to the Roman axe. Saint Lawrence also perished in the pogrom.  Gallienus ended the purge in 260. The empire ignored Christians for the next couple decades before Diocletian’s reign brought one of the worst persecutions in history.

December 15 – Our Lady of Lepanto (Italy) – Melanie Calvat, La Salette visionary (d. 1904) – Mary Mediatrix 

 On December 8, 1947, Venerable Marthe Robin made a prophetic statement 
 In France, on December 8, 1947, at Chateauneuf de Galaure in the Drôme department, Father Finet (Vernable Marthe’s spiritual father and cofounder with her of the Foyers of Charity)
entered her bedroom at 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. and said, "France is lost!"
Marthe replied, "No, Father, the Virgin Mary is going to appear and ask for children’s prayers."
That same day, at 1:00 p.m., the first apparition of the Virgin Mary took place at L’Ile Bouchard, to four children. Mary’s first words were: "Tell the children to pray for France—the need is great."
France was then on the brink of civil war.
The situation changed abruptly between the 8th and the 10th of December 1947.
The Mary of Nazareth Team


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.

The Virgin Mary of Nazareth December 15 - Our Lady of the Armed Forces (USA)
To transform the world, God chose a humble young girl from a village in Galilee, Mary of Nazareth, and challenged her with this greeting: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." In these words lies the secret of an authentic Christmas. God repeats them to the Church, to each one of us: Rejoice, the Lord is close!
With Mary's help, let us offer ourselves with humility and courage
so that the world may accept Christ, who is the source of true joy.
Angelus, December 17, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI
December 15 - Our Lady of the Armed Forces
Mary in the Midst of Israel's Waiting (VI)
"I shall be a father to him and he a son to me" (2 Sam 7:14)
The Blessed Virgin, just as all Israel, questioned the identity of the announced Messiah that God would send very quickly. Who actually would he be?

The people waited for a new presence of God among them, a new Temple, made not by human hands, but the prophecies announced in such a mysterious manner even more. They spoke of a priest who would be called "Lord", seated at the right hand of God: "Take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool. The Lord will stretch out the scepter of your power; from Zion you will rule your foes all around you. Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth, sacred honor from the womb, from the dawn of your youth. The Lord has sworn an oath He will never retract; you are a priest forever of the order of Melchizedek" (Ps 110:1-5).

A true son of God: "I shall be a father to him and he a son to me" (2 Sam 7:14). "You are my son, today have I fathered you" (Ps 2:7). A man raised to the level of God: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him" (Dan 7:9-14), or a very particular presence of God himself through other promises: we "shall call his name Immanuel (i.e. God with us)" (Is 7:14), and we dared to request in prayer: "Return for your servants' sake" (Is 63:17).
Vercéllis Ordinátio sancti Eusébii, Epíscopi et Mártyris.
    At Vercelli, the ordination of St. Eusebius, bishop and martyr.
 
130 Hieromartyr Eleutherius his mother Evanthia and Caribus the Eparch  The Holy Martyr illustrious rich
        chamberlain in Byzantine court
Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Irenæi, Antónii, Theodóri, Saturníni, Victóris, et aliórum decem et septem, qui, in persecutióne Valeriáni, pro Christo passi sunt.
    At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor, and seventeen others who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Valerian.
{Valerian overthrew the emperor and assumed power in 253. Four years later, he launched a persecution of Christians. Several high profile Christian leaders and several Roman bureaucrats fell in the purge. Pope Sixtus II and Bishop Cyprian of Carthage fell to the Roman axe. Saint Lawrence also perished in the pogrom.  Gallienus ended the purge in 260. The empire ignored Christians for the next couple decades before Diocletian’s reign brought one of the worst persecutions in history.
4th V.  St Nino, Virgin;  miracle worker of Georgia; helped conversion of Georgia in reign of Constatine; Uncertainty surrounds the beginnings of Christianity in the former kingdom of Georgia (Iberia), but the story of the beginning of its evangelization told by Rufinus is accepted—and improved on—by Georgians themselves and generally in the East.
 457 St. Valerian martyred Bishop of Abbenza (modern Africa)
 520 St. Maximinus First abbot of the Abbey of Micy
6th v. St Pardus the Hermit
7th v. St. Florentius Abbot of Bangor Monastery in Ireland
 750 Saint Stephen the Confessor Archbishop of Surrentium (Surozh) miracles at crypt
 760 St Stephen, Bishop of Surosh; exiled for defence of images, restored to his see on accession of Constantine V;  

 805 St. Urbitius Hermit, known in Spanish as Urbez
 955 Saint Paul of Latros clairvoyance and wonderworking
Byzantine hermit 
       St. Nino Virgin the Apostle of Georgia  
1005 St. Adalbero Benedictine bishop
1500 Saint Nectarius of Bitel distinguished for his charity displayed complete humility
1583 Saint Tryphon of Pechenga and Kola devote life to apostolic deeds and to pagan Laplanders 
1590 Saint Jonah of Pechenga and Kola disciple of St Tryphon
1651 Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli from Genoa, Italy. After husband's death she began charitable works, assisted the needy and sick. To help alleviate the poverty in her town, she founded the Cento Signore della Misericordia Protettrici dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo. The center was soon overrun with people suffering from the famine and plague of 1629-1630 and soon she had to rent the Monte Calvario convent to accommodate all the people.
1771 BD MARY MARGARET D’YoUvILLE (née Dufrost de Lajemmerais). Born at Varennes near Montreal, 1701; left a widow in 1722, she devoted herself to hospital work and in 1738 founded the Grey Nuns of Canada. She died on 23 December 1771 and was beatified in 1959.
1831 Bd VINCENT ROMANO. Born near Naples, 1751. He was the parish priest of Herculano (possibly the former Herculaneum, near Pompeii). He died in 1831 and was beatified in 1963.
1836
BD NuNzIo SuLPRIzIo. A layman, born 1817 in the Abruzzi province of Italy. He was a blacksmith by trade, who died in 1836 at the age of nineteen. He was beatified in 1963.

1855 St Mary Di Rosa, Virgin; acquired an unusual knowledge of theology; co- Foundress of The Handmaids of Charity of Brescia; anticipating Florence Nightingale by several years, the Handmaids of Charity ministered to the souls and bodies of the wounded on the battlefields. In the following year came the terrible “Ten Days of Brescia”. Paula and her sisters were at the disposal of all sufferers without distinction, but some disorderly troops made an attempt on the hospital. Paula, supported by half-a-dozen sisters, went to the front door to meet them: they carried a great crucifix, with a lighted candle on either side. The soldiers wavered, halted, and slunk away. And the crucifix (still preserved at Brescia) was carried from sick-bed to sick-bed that each occupant might give it a grateful kiss.
1876 Blessed Mary Frances Schervier; 1844 she became a Secular Franciscan; she and four companions established a religious community devoted to caring for the poor. In 1851 the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis (a variant of the original name) were approved by the local bishop; the community soon spread. The first U.S. foundation was made in 1858; helped her sisters nurse soldiers wounded in the Civil War.
1900 BD LEONARD MURIALDO. A secular priest, born at Turin in 1828. He devoted his life to the welfare of young people and of manual workers, establishing the first “family house” in Italy for young working men. He founded the Society of St Joseph in Turin, where he died in 1900. He was beatified in 1963.
1929 Hilarion The holy New Martyr Archbishop outstanding theologian, an eloquent preacher, and a fearless defender of Christ's holy Church.
 130 Hieromartyr Eleutherius his mother Evanthia and Caribus the Eparch
Hieromartyr_Eleutherius.jpg
1583 Saint Tryphon of Pechenga and Kola devote life to apostolic deeds and to pagan Laplanders
Saint_Tryphon_of_Kola.jpg
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 heaven: 
The more "extravagant" graces are bestowed NOT for the benefit of the recipients so much as FOR the benefit of others.  The time for mercy  You have to… prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just judge. Oh, how terrible is that day. Fixed is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it.  Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for mercy. (words of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St Faustina) Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska  (Stockbridge, Mass.: Marian Press 1987), p. 190, no. 429.


Vercéllis Ordinátio sancti Eusébii, Epíscopi et Mártyris.
At Vercelli, the ordination of St. Eusebius, bishop and martyr. 

130 Hieromartyr Eleutherius his mother Evanthia and Caribus the Eparch.
St Eleutherius, the son of an illustrious Roman citizen, was raised in Christian piety by his mother. His virtue was such that at the age twenty, he had been elevated to bishop of Illyria. In the reign of the emperor Hadrian, St Eleutherius was tortured for his bold preaching about Christ, then was beheaded at Rome with his mother Evanthia.
The Eparch Caribus, who had tortured St Eleutherius, also came to believe in Christ and was executed.

The Holy Martyr Eleutherius Cubicularius was an illustrious and rich chamberlain ["cubicularius"] at the Byzantine court. With all his courtly privileges, Eleutherius was not beguiled by worldly possessions and honors. Instead, he thought of imperishable and eternal things. Having accepted holy Baptism, he began daily to glorify God with psalmody and to adorn his life with virtuous deeds.

But one of his servants through diabolic promptings, informed against his master to the [then still pagan] emperor. The emperor tried to turn Eleutherius from his faith in Christ, but after the unsuccessful attempts the emperor gave orders to behead him, and to throw his body to be eaten by dogs and vultures. A certain Christian priest took up the saint's body and buried it.

There is a second commemoration of the martyr on August 4.

Romæ sanctórum Mártyrum Irenæi, Antónii, Theodóri, Saturníni, Victóris, et aliórum decem et septem, qui, in  persecutióne Valeriáni, pro Christo passi sunt.
    At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor, and seventeen others who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Valerian.

In Africa, pássio sanctórum Faustíni, Lúcii, Cándidi, Cæliáni, Marci, Januárii et Fortunáti.
     In Africa, the martyrdom of Saints Faustinus, Lucius, Candidus, Cælian, Mark, Januarius, and Fortunatus
.
4th V.  St Nino, Virgin;  miracle worker of Georgia; helped conversion of Georgia in reign of Constatine; Uncertainty surrounds the beginnings of Christianity in the former kingdom of Georgia (Iberia), but the story of the beginning of its evangelization told by Rufinus is accepted—and improved on—by the Georgians themselves and generally in the East.
Apud Ibéros, trans Pontum Euxínum, sanctæ Christiánæ ancíllæ, quæ miraculórum virtúte gentem illam, témpore Constantíni, ad Christi fidem perdúxit.
    Among the Iberians across the Euxine Sea, St. Christiana, a maidservant, who by virtue of her miracles led that people to the faith of Christ, in the time of Constantine.

   He tells us that early in the fourth century an unnamed maiden (whom the Georgians call Nino and the Roman Martyrology, not knowing her name, “Christiana”), carried off captive into the country, made a great impression on the people by the sobriety and chastity of her life and the long time, by day and night, that she gave to prayer. When questioned, she simply told them that she worshipped Christ as God.
   One day a mother brought her sick child to Nino, asking her how it ought to be treated. Nino told her that Jesus Christ was able to heal the most desperate cases and, wrapping the child in her rough mantle, called on the name of the Lord, and gave the baby back in perfect health to its mother. Rumours of this cure came to the queen of Iberia, who was herself ill, and she sent for Nino; when Nino declined to come, the queen had herself carried to her, and she also was cured. When she would thank and reward her benefactress she was told that, “It is not my work, but Christ’s; and He is the Son of God who made the world”. She reported these words to the king who, when he soon after got lost in a mist while hunting, swore that if this Christ was God and would show him his way home he would believe in Him. Instantly the mist cleared; and the king kept his word.
  He and his wife were instructed by St Nino, he announced his change of religion to the people, gave licence to the slave-girl to preach and teach, and began to build a church. In the course of its building God worked another miracle at the word of His servant, for a huge pillar, which neither men nor oxen had been able to move, turned itself on to its base and, after remaining suspended in the air, transported itself to its right place, before the eyes of a large crowd. The king sent an embassy to the Emperor Constantine, telling him what had happened and asking that bishops and priests might be sent to Iberia, which was duly done.
Rufinus learned this story from an Iberian prince, Bakur, whom he met in Palestine before the beginning of the fifth century, and it may well be believed that the conversion of Georgia was begun in the reign of Constantine and that a
woman had a prominent part in it. The narrative of Rufinus has been translated—and amplified—into Greek, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Arabic and Ethiopic, while in Georgian literature there is a whole cycle of Nino legends, which are utterly worthless. Rufinus gives no localities for his events, or the name of the king and queen concerned, or even the name of the saint—much less her nationality or place of origin. Later versions supply these omissions several times over. Nino (sometimes said to have been not a captive slave but a voluntary fugitive from the persecution of Diocletian) came from Cappadocia—and also from Rome, Jerusalem and the Franks: the Armenians make her an Armenian and associate her with St Hripsime.
   After seeing Christianity firmly established in the land she is said to have retired to a cell on a mountain at Bodbe in Kakheti. Here she died and was buried; later the place was made an episcopal see and her tomb is still shown in the cathedral. It is also interesting to note that from time immemorial the cathedral of Mtzkheta has been known as the church of the Living Pillar. It is certain that Georgia was largely Christian at the time Rufinus wrote, but what was the truth behind the story he heard from the Georgian prince (and even what exactly that story itself was) it is now impossible to say.

The passage of Rufinus, regarding the provenance of which there has been much dis­cussion, may be best consulted in Mommsen’s text as published in the Berlin Academy’s edition of Eusebius. But the whole question has been greatly elucidated by Fr Paul Peeters in his article “Les Debuts du Christianisme en Géorgie” (Analecta Bollandiana, vol. 1, 1932, pp. 5—58). The elements, which have contributed to the development of the fantastic story of St Nino in its various forms, are too complicated to be discussed here. The legend does not appear in its best-known shape before 973, and the texts written in Georgian are still later in date. In the Oxford Studia Biblica et Ecelesiastica, vol. v, a life of St Nino has been translated into English from the Georgian by M. and J. Wardrop, and a somewhat cognate Armenian text is made accessible in the version of F. C. Conybeare, but the early dates there assigned to these documents are quite unwarranted. In German an essay by M. Kekelidze, Die Bekehrung Georgiens zum Christentum (1928) may be read with advantage. On the miraculous cross of St Nino see also Peeters in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. liii (1935), pp. 305—306. In Egypt, St Nino was sometimes known as “Theognosta”, a name which seems to have arisen out of a misunderstanding of the Greek version or text of Rufinus, who does not give any name to the maiden apostle.
St. Nino Virgin the Apostle of Georgia
also listed as Christiana. According to custom, she was born in Cappadocia and became a slave. Taken to Iberia, she won the respect of many locals with her patience and goodness and by the miracles she supposedly performed. Brought to the royal palace, she converted the king and queen who then requested that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great send missionaries and bishops. After helping to found the Church in Georgia, Nino retired to the life of a hermitess, spending the rest of her life in prayer. While there is no doubt about her historical existence or her work, Nino has been the subject of numerous tales and legends.
457 St. Valerian martyred Bishop of Abbenza (modern Africa)
Ibídem sancti Valeriáni Epíscopi, qui, cum esset annórum plus octogínta, in persecutióne Wandálica, sub Rege Ariáno Genseríco, convéntus ab eo ut tráderet Ecclésiæ utensília, idque constánter renuísset, extra civitátem singuláris jussus est pelli; cumque præcéptum esset ut nullus eum neque in domo neque in agro dimítteret habitáre, multo témpore in strata pública nudo sub áere jácuit, et, in confessióne et defensióne cathólicæ veritátis, cursum beátæ vitæ complévit.
    In the same country, the holy bishop Valerian, who, being upwards of eighty years of age, in the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Genseric, was asked to deliver the vessels of the Church, and as he constantly refused, an order was issued to drive him all alone out of the city, and all persons were forbidden to allow him to stay in their houses or on their land.  For a long time he remained lying on the public road, in the open air, and thus in the confession and defence of Catholic truth he ended his blessed life.
He was a victim of the Arian Vandals who took the then eighty-year-old prelate out of his residence and left him to die of exposure in the streets after he refused to surrender his sacred vessels.
457 and 482 Ss. Valerian Other Martyrs In Africa
In addition to St Dionysia and those mentioned with her on the sixth, other victims of the Vandal persecutions are commemorated this month. Under King Genseric took place the martyrdom of the bishop St Valerian “who, when more than eighty years old, was told to give up the sacred vessels of his church. On his constant refusal so to do it was commanded that he be driven out of the city by himself and that no one be allowed to receive him in his house or on his land; wherefore he remained for a long time in the public street, uncared for, under the open sky, and in this confession and defence of Catholic truth he ended the course of his blessed life.”
On the morrow, likewise, is kept the feast of the many con­secrated virgins who suffered under Huneric. They were hung up by the arms and jerked up and down, branded with hot irons, sold into slavery, driven into the desert and in other ways harried and killed for Christ’s name’s sake.
We know nothing of these martyrs beyond what we learn from the Historia Wandalicae Persecutionis (bk 1, c. 39) by Victor of Vita. See also Quentin, Martyrologes historiques, p. 353.
520 St. Maximinus First abbot of the Abbey of Micy.
In territorio Aurelianénsi sancti Maximíni Confessóris.    In the territory of Orleans, St. Maximin, confessor.
also called Mesmin. King Clovis I founded Micy, near Orleans, France, placing Maximinus there as ruling abbot.
6th v. St Pardus the Hermit.
Roman, was involved in his youth with the teamster's craft. Once, when he traveled to Jericho, a boy accidentally fell under the legs of his camels. The camels trampled the boy to death. Shaken by this occurrence, Pardus became a monk and withdrew to Mount Arion.
Thinking himself as a murderer, and deserving of death, St Pardus entered the den of a lion. He poked the wild beast and prodded it with a spear so that the lion would tear him apart, but the creature would not touch the hermit. St Pardus then took off his clothes and lay down upon the path that the lion would take for water. But even here, the lion merely leaped over the hermit. And the Elder then understood that he had been forgiven by the Lord. Returning to his mountain, St Pardus dwelt there in fasting and prayer until the end of his days. He died in the sixth century.

750 Saint Stephen the Confessor Archbishop of Surrentium (Surozh) miracles at the saint's crypt
Native of Cappadocia and was educated at Constantinople. After receiving the monastic tonsure, he withdrew into the wilderness, where he lived for 30 years in ascetic deeds.

Patriarch Germanus of Constantinople (May 12) heard of Stephen's humility and virtuous life, and wished to meet him. He was so impressed with Stephen that he consecrated him bishop of the city of Surrentium (presently the city of Sudak in the Crimea). Within five years, St Stephen's ministry was so fruitful that no heretics or unbaptized pagans remained in Surrentium or its environs.

St Stephen opposed the iconoclasm of the emperor Leo III the Isaurian (716-741). Since he refused to obey the orders of the emperor and the dishonorable Patriarch Anastasius to remove the holy icons from the churches, he was brought to Constantinople. There he was thrown into prison and tortured. He was released after the death of the emperor. Already quite advanced in years, he returned to his flock in Surrentium, where he died.

There is an account of how the Russian prince Bravlin accepted Baptism at the beginning of the ninth century during a campaign into the Crimea, influenced by miracles at the saint's crypt.


760 St Stephen, Bishop of Surosh
According to his Greek vita this Stephen was a native of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, who became bishop of Surosh (now Sudak) in the Crimea on the coast of the Black Sea. During the Iconoclast persecution under the Emperor Leo III he was exiled for his defence of the veneration of images, but was restored to his see on the accession of Constantine V to the imperial throne in 740. In his later years St Stephen was outstanding for his preaching of the gospel among the neighbouring Slavs and Khazars and even, it is said, among the Varangians. The very late (fifteenth century) Russian version of his life narrates that a band of Varango-Russians marauding in the Crimea was dispersed by the sudden appear­ance of the bishop; the conversion of their leader, Yury, said to be from Novgorod, followed. The Russians keep the feast of St Stephen of Surosh, and there has been a revived interest in the saint among the learned in recent times together with St George of Amastris (February 21), because of their significance for the early history of the Varangians and of Christianity in Russia.
See Baumgarten, Aux origines de la Russie, cap. ii (1939); Taube, Rome et la Russie, t. i, passim (1947); Maltzev’s Menologium (1900). Father Martynov, in Annus Ecclesiasticus Graeco-Slavicus (Acta sanctorum, October, vol. xi), in his observanda on the calendar for December 15 gives a number of references of value to students. 

 760 St Stephen, Bishop of Surosh; exiled for defence of images, restored to his see on accession of Constantine V
According to his Greek vita this Stephen was a native of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, who became bishop of Surosh (now Sudak) in the Crimea on the coast of the Black Sea. During the Iconoclast persecution under the Emperor Leo III he was exiled for his defence of the veneration of images, but was restored to his see on the accession of Constantine V to the imperial throne in 740.
  
In his later years St Stephen was outstanding for his preaching of the gospel among the neighbouring Slavs and Khazars and even, it is said, among the Varangians. The very late (fifteenth century) Russian version of his life narrates that a band of Varango-Russians marauding in the Crimea was dispersed by the sudden appear­ance of the bishop; the conversion of their leader, Yury, said to be from Novgorod, followed. The Russians keep the feast of St Stephen of Surosh, and there has been a revived interest in the saint among the learned in recent times together with St George of Amastris (February 21), because of their significance for the early history of the Varangians and of Christianity in Russia.

See Baumgarten, Aux origines de la Russie, cap. ii (1939); Taube, Rome et la Russie, t. i, passim (1947); Maltzev’s Menologium (1900). Father Martynov, in Annus Ecclesiasticus Graeco-Slavicus (Acta sanctorum, October, vol. xi), in his observanda on the calendar for December 15 gives a number of references of value to students.  
7th v. St. Florentius Abbot of Bangor Monastery in Ireland.
also called Flann. He was part of the great monastic program of evangelization and protection of the arts.
805 St. Urbitius Hermit, known in Spanish as Urbez.
Supposedly a native of Bordeaux, France, he entered a monastery but was captured by Saracen raiders and brought to Spain.
After escaping, he became a hermit in the Pyrenees Mountains near Huesca, Aragon, where he is still venerated.

955 Saint Paul of Latros clairvoyance and wonderworking.
a native of the city of Aelen in Pergamum. Early bereft of his father, he was educated at the monastery of St Stephen in Phrygia. After the death of his mother, he devoted himself completely to monastic deeds at a monastery on Mount Latra, near Miletos.

Seeking even loftier accomplishments, he secluded himself in a cave. For his ascetic deeds he gained the gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking. The emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos (912-959) often wrote to him, asking his prayers and counsel. St Paul twice withdrew to the island of Samos, where he established a monastery and restored three monasteries ravaged by the Hagarenes (Arabs). Foretelling his end, the monk reposed in the year 955.


956 St Paul of Latros
The father of this hermit was an officer in the imperial army who was slain in an engagement with the Saracens. His mother then retired from Pergamos, which was the place of his birth, to Bithynia, taking her two sons with her. Basil, the elder, took the monastic habit upon Mount Olympus in that country, but soon for the sake of greater solitude retired to Mount Latros (Latmus). When their mother was dead he induced his brother to embrace the same state of life. Though young, Paul had experienced the world sufficiently to understand the emptiness and dangers of what it has to offer.
Basil recommended him to the care and instruction of the abbot of Karia. St Paul desired for the sake of greater solitude and austerity to lead an eremitical life; but his abbot, thinking him too young, refused him leave so long as he lived. After his death Paul’s first cell was a cave on the highest part of Mount Latros, where for some weeks he had no other food than green acorns, which at first made him very sick. After eight months he was called back to Karia. It is said that when he worked in the kitchen the sight of the fire so forcibly reminded him of Hell that he burst into tears every time he looked at it.

When he was allowed to pursue his vocation Paul chose a new habitation on the rockiest part of the mountain, where for the first three years he suffered grievous temptations. A peasant sometimes brought him a little food, but he mostly lived on what grew wild. The reputation of his holiness spreading through the province, several men chose to live near him and built there a laura of cells. Paul, who had been careless about all corporal necessaries, was much concerned lest anything should be wanting to those that lived under his direction. After twelve years his solitude was so much broken into that he withdrew to another part of the mountains, whence he visited his brethren from time to time to cheer and encourage them; he sometimes took them into the forest to sing the Divine Office together in the open air. When asked why he appeared sometimes so joyful, at other times so sad, he answered,
“When nothing diverts my thoughts from God, my heart overflows with joy, so much that I often forget my food and every­thing else; and when there are distractions, I am upset”.
 Occasionally he disclosed something of the wonderful communications, which passed between his soul and God, and of the heavenly graces that he received in contemplation.
But St Paul wished for yet closer retirement, so he passed over to the isle of Samos, and there concealed himself in a cave. But he was soon discovered and so many flocked to him that he re-established three lauras that had been ruined by the Saracens. The entreaties of the monks at Latros induced him to return to his former cell there. The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus wrote frequently to him asking his advice, and often had reason to repent when he did not follow it. Paul had a great tenderness for the poor and he gave them more of his food and clothes than he could properly spare. Once he would have sold himself for a slave to help some people in distress had he not been stopped. On December 6 in 956, foreseeing that his death drew near, he came down from his cell to the church, celebrated the Holy Mysteries more early than usual and then took to his bed. He spent his time in prayer and instructing his monks till his death, which fell on December 15, on which day he is commemorated by the Greeks. He is sometimes referred to as St Paul the Younger.
After having been printed for the first time in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xi (1892), a still more carefully revised text was edited by Delehaye in the volume Der Latmos, issued in 1913 by T. Wiegand and other scholars, with abundant illustrations and archaeological comments. The Life of St Paul, written by an anonymous disciple, is one of the most trustworthy of Byzantine biographies. In Wiegand’s volume it is supplemented by a panegyric from MS. Vatican 704 previously unprinted. See also the Zeitschrift f. kath. Theologie, vol. xviii (1894), pp. 365 seq., and the Revue des quest. histor., vol. x (1893), pp. 49—85.
956 St. Paul of Latros  Byzantine hermit
sometimes listed as “the Younger.” Paul was born at Pergamos, near Smyrna, in Asia Minor, the son of an officer in the Byzantine army. His father was killed in battle, and after his mother died, he became a monk in a community on Mt. Olympus in Greece, with his brother, Basil. Paul later left the monastery and became a hermit on Mount Latros in Bithynia, Asia Minor. Soon he attracted followers, and Paul was compelled to organize them into a laura, or community. After twelve years, Paul departed Mount Latros and settled on the island of Samos to live in a cave. More followers gathered around him and Paul oversaw the creation of several more lauras before returning to Latros, where he died after years of prayer and mortifications.
 
1005 St. Adalbero Benedictine bishop
Adalbero was a Benedictine who influenced his own era. He started his career as a monk in Gorze and was appointed the bishop of Verdun, France, in 984.
He was transferred to Metz the same year, where he founded Cluniac monasteries.

1500 Saint Nectarius of Bitel distinguished for his charity displayed complete humility.
born in the small town of Bitl (or Butili) in Bulgaria. In the world he was named Nicholas. Before a Turkish invasion he mother had a vision: the Most Holy Virgin Herself appeared and told her to flee and go into hiding with her husband and children. Nicholas's father, having taken the boy with him, withdrew to a monastery dedicated to the Holy Unmercenaries (Sts Cosmas and Damian), not far from Bitel, where he became a monk with the name Pachomius.

Nicholas, having reached adolescence, went on to Athos. The clairvoyant Elder Philotheus accepted him and tonsured him into the angelic schema with the name Nectarius. The monk suffered for a long time from the envy and spite of one of the novices, but he displayed complete humility. He was distinguished for his charity. Any money he obtained from his handicraft was distributed to the poor. St Nectarius died in the year 1500.
1583 Saint Tryphon of Pechenga and Kola devote life to apostolic deeds and to pagan Laplanders
in the world Metrophanes, was born in the Novgorod governia into a priestly family. The pious parents raised their son in the fear of God. From his early years Tryphon had resolved to devote his life to apostolic deeds and to go to the pagan Laplanders and proclaim the Gospel of Christ. He knew of them only through the accounts of fish vendors.

Once, while praying in the forest he had heard a voice, "Tryphon, this is not your place. An empty and thirsty land awaits you." Forsaking his parental home, the saint went out onto the Kola Peninsula and halted at the banks of the Pechenga River, where the Lapps lived. There he began to carry on trade with them. The saint first acquainted himself with the pagan beliefs of these people and studied their language, and then began to preach the Christian Faith to them. The Lapps greeted the words of the saint with great mistrust. The holy preacher suffered much hardship, enduring hostility and even beatings. But gradually, through his wise and kindly words and meekness, many were converted to Christ.

With the blessing of Archbishop Macarius of Novogord, St Tryphon and St Theodoretos built a church for the newly-converted. In 1532 he founded the Pechenga-Trinity monastery for those eager for the monastic life, "on the cold sea, on the frontier of Murmansk."

Tsar Ivan the Terrible helped him and richly endowed the monastery. The Enlightener of the Lapps died in old age in 1583, having lived at the Pechenga almost 60 years. Local veneration of St Tryphon began soon after his death.

In 1589, the Swedes destroyed the Pechenga monastery. Later, by order of Tsar Theodore, the monastery was transferred to the Kola Peninsula. On the site of the restored monastery a church was built and named for St Tryphon. Over the saint's grave a church was constructed in honor of the Meeting of the Lord. St Tryphon has often come to the aid of perishing seamen, who call upon his name with faith.

1590 Saint Jonah of Pechenga and Kola disciple of St Tryphon
tradition tells us, a priest in the city of Kola. After the death of his daughter and wife he went off to the Pechenga-Trinity monastery near Kola, and became a disciple of its founder, St Tryphon. After the death of his teacher, he settled in 1583 at the site of what was to become his grave in the neighboring Dormition wilderness, where he was killed by the Swedes in the year 1590.

1651 Saint Virginia Centurione Bracelli from Genoa, Italy. After husband's death she began charitable works, assisted the needy and sick. To help alleviate the poverty in her town, she founded the Cento Signore della Misericordia Protettrici dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo. The center was soon overrun with people suffering from the famine and plague of 1629-1630 and soon she had to rent the Monte Calvario convent to accommodate all the people.
Virginia was born on April 2, 1587, in Genoa, Italy to a noble family. She was the daughter of Giorgio Centurione, who was the Doge of Genoa from 1621-23 and to Lelia Spinola.  Despite her desire to live a cloistered life, she was forced into marriage to Gaspare Grimaldi Bracelli, a wealthy noble on December 10, 1602. She had two daughters: Lelia and Isabella. The marriage did not last long. She became a widow on June 13, 1607, at the age of 20. She refused another arranged marriage brought on by her father and took up a vow of chastity.  After her husband's death she began charitable works and assisted the needy and sick. To help alleviate the poverty in her town, she founded the Cento Signore della Misericordia Protettrici dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo. The center was soon overrun with people suffering from the famine and plague of 1629-1630 and soon she had to rent the Monte Calvario convent to accommodate all the people. By 1635 the center was caring for over 300 patients and received recognition as a hospital from the government. Due to declining funds given by the middle and upper classes, the Institute lost its government recognition in 1647.
She spent the remainder of her life acting as a peacemaker between noble houses and continuing her work for the poor. Virginia Bracelli died on December 15, 1651, at the age of 64.
Born April 2, 1587(1587-04-02), Genoa, Italy Died December 15, 1651 (aged 64), Genoa, Italy
Beatified September 22, 1985 by Pope John Paul II Canonized May 18, 2003 by Pope John Paul II

1771 BD MARY MARGARET D’YoUvILLE (née Dufrost de Lajemmerais). Born at Varennes near Montreal, 1701; left a widow in 1722, she devoted herself to hospital work and in 1738 founded the Grey Nuns of Canada. She died on 23 December 1771 and was beatified in 1959.

1831 Bd VINCENT ROMANO. Born near Naples, 1751. He was the parish priest of Herculano (possibly the former Herculaneum, near Pompeii). He died in 1831 and was beatified in 1963.
1836 BD NuNzIo SuLPRIzIo. A layman, born 1817 in the Abruzzi province of Italy. He was a blacksmith by trade, who died in 1836 at the age of nineteen. He was beatified in 1963.
1855 St Mary Di Rosa, Virginl acquired an unusual knowledge of theology; co- Foundress of The Handmaids of Charity of Brescia; anticipating Florence Nightingale by several years, the Handmaids of Charity ministered to the souls and bodies of the wounded on the battlefields. In the following year came the terrible “Ten Days of Brescia”. Paula and her sisters were at the disposal of all sufferers without distinction, but some disorderly troops made an attempt on the hospital. Paula, supported by half-a-dozen sisters, went to the front door to meet them: they carried a great crucifix, with a lighted candle on either side. The soldiers wavered, halted, and slunk away. And the crucifix (still preserved at Brescia) was carried from sick-bed to sick-bed that each occupant might give it a grateful kiss.
Three A
nd a quarter centuries after Savonarola had foretold woe on the wickedness of the city of Brescia (prophecy that was fulfilled when the French seized and sacked the city in 1512), there was born there the third of the holy ones who, in the first half of the nineteenth century, were the contemporary glories of its citizens; the other two were Bd Ludovic Pavoni and Bd Teresa Verzeri.
   Mary di Rosa (called Paula or Pauline at home), born in 1813, was sixth of the nine children of Clement di Rosa, and his wife, Countess Camilla Albani. Her childhood was uneventful, but saddened by the death of her deeply loved mother when Paula was eleven. When she was seventeen Paula left school to look after the household for her father, and he began to look around for a suitable husband for her. When he had found one, Paula was rather startled, and took her difficulties to the archpriest of the cathedral, Mgr Faustino Pinzoni, a sagacious priest who had already dealt prudently with her spiritual problems. He decided himself to see Clement di Rosa, and explained gently to him that his daughter had decided that she would never marry. At a time when it was common, especially at the higher social levels, for fathers to pay little attention to the likes and dislikes of their children, notably in the matter of daughters’ marriages, it speaks well for Cay. Clement that he agreed to respect Paula’s resolution almost without demur, and throughout his life he seems to have supported her in what may have appeared to him as wild schemes.

During the next ten years Paula continued to live at home, but engaging herself more and more in social good works, in which she had the worthy example of her father before her eyes. Among his properties was a textile mill at Acquafredda where a number of girls worked, and one of Paula’s first undertakings was to look after the spiritual welfare of these young women; this solicitude she extended to those of Capriano, where the Rosas had a country house.

   Here, with co­operation of the parish priest, she established a women’s guild and arranged retreats and special missions in the parish, with such good results that the rector hardly knew his own flock.

Reference has already been made, in speaking of Bd Ludovic Pavoni and Bd Teresa Verzeri, to the cholera epidemics that devastated northern Italy at this time, and the outbreak at Brescia in 1836 gave Paula di Rosa another opportunity. She asked her father’s permission to work among the stricken in the hospital, and after some doubt and with considerable trepidation he agreed. The hospital welcomed Paula, who was accompanied by a widow, Gabriela Echenos-Bornati, who had already had some experience of nursing the sick, and they set an example of selfless hard work and gentle care that made a very deep impression on everybody. *{* Manzoni’s description in The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi) of the isolation-hospital in Milan gives an idea of the conditions in which they worked.}
In consequence Paula was asked to undertake the supervision of an institution, which was a sort of workhouse for penniless and abandoned girls—a delicate and difficult post for a young woman of only twenty-four. She filled it successfully for two years, but then resigned in consequence of a difference with the trustees, who did not want the girls to lodge in the house at night. Paula herself then established a small lodging-house with room for a dozen girls to sleep, and at the same time gave her attention to a work that had been projected by her brother Philip and Mgr Pinzoni, namely, a school for deaf-and-dumb girls, on the lines of what Ludovic Pavoni was doing for boys. This school was still in its infancy when Paula handed it over to the Canossian sisters, who wished to do the same work in Brescia on a bigger scale.

All this was a really extraordinary ten-year record for a woman still under thirty and of delicate health and physique. But there was a certain virile quality in Paula di Rosa, and she had a physical energy and courage hardly to be expected—she once rescued somebody from a bolting horse and carriage in very dangerous circumstances. And her mind was to match, quick, acute and steady, so that, while living with heroic virtue, she was not content that intellectually and psycho­logically her religion should remain at the level of the “penny catechism”.

She acquired an unusual knowledge of theology, and brought to her reading the same liveliness of spirit and delicacy of perception that informed her dealings with practical affairs. Her mental ability was particularly noted when she became involved in the complexities inseparable from the establishment of a religious congregation, and she was further helped by a remarkably good memory for people and things, large and small. This congregation began to take shape in 1840, first in the form of a religious society of which the Archpriest Pinzoni appointed Paula superioress. With her was associated Mrs Bornati (who indeed may be called co-foundress), and the object of the society was to look after the sick in hospitals, not simply as nurses but as giving the whole of their time and interest unreservedly to the sick and suffering. They took the name of Handmaids of Charity, and the first four members took up their residence in an inconvenient and dilapidated house near the hospital. These were soon joined by fifteen Tirolese, who had heard about the undertaking from a visiting missioner, and before long the community numbered thirty-two. Their work aroused admiration that was publicly expressed in the press by a local doctor, who underlined the spiritual as well as the physical activities of the handmaids; but at the same time there was serious unfavourable criticism. Some people resented their presence as intruders, and tried to discredit them. This did not prevent an invitation, within three months of their foundation, to undertake similar work at Cremona, and this invitation was accepted. Of the difficulties at Brescia, “I hope that is not our last cross”, wrote Paula to the Cremona house, “because to tell the truth I should have been sorry had we not been persecuted”.
Before long Clement di Rosa, and their provisional rule of gave a new and more commodious house in Brescia to the handmaids life was approved by the bishop in 1843. But there was a counter-balance to these causes for rejoicing a few months later, when Gabriela Bornati died. Paula was thus deprived of her chief lieutenant, but she still had Mgr Pinzoni to advise and guide her, and the society continued to grow and to undertake the direction of new hospitals. But in the summer of 1848 death took the archpriest too, and that at a time when political upheaval was convulsing Europe and war had come to northern Italy.

Paula’s first response to new opportunities was to staff St Luke’s military hospital, where again the handmaids had to meet the opposition of doctors who preferred secular nurses and military orderlies. Civilian victims of war and prisoners were succoured and, anticipating Florence Nightingale by several years, the Handmaids of Charity ministered to the souls and bodies of the wounded on the battlefields. In the following year came the terrible “Ten Days of Brescia”. Paula and her sisters were at the disposal of all sufferers without distinction, but some disorderly troops made an attempt on the hospital. Paula, supported by half-a-dozen sisters, went to the front door to meet them: they carried a great crucifix, with a lighted candle on either side. The soldiers wavered, halted, and slunk away. And the crucifix (still preserved at Brescia) was carried from sick-bed to sick-bed that each occupant might give it a grateful kiss.
Paula aimed at a body of sisters who should combine spiritual with temporal care, lives of prayer and work, active but not “activist” or busybodies, “rushing about the streets with bowls of soup”, as St Louisa de Marillac put it. And there was wide scope for such organizations in Italy at that time. So in the autumn of 1850 she set out for Rome; on October 24 the pope, Pius IX; received her and two months later, with most remarkable speed for Rome, the constitutions of the congregation of Handmaids of Charity of Brescia were approved.

The approval of the civil power was less speedy, and it was not till the summer of 1852 that the first twenty-five sisters and their foun dress made their vows, and Paula took the name of Maria Crocifissa, “Mary of the Crucified”. The canonical erection of the congregation was the signal for its quick extension, but for Mother Mary the end was at hand, so far as this world was concerned. She was only forty-two, but she had taken every ounce out of her slight and delicate frame, and her recovery from illness on Good Friday 1855 looked miraculous. There was still work to be done—a threat of cholera at Brescia, convents to be opened at Spalato in Dalmatia and near Verona. Then at Mantua she collapsed, and reached home only to say, “Thank God He has let me get home to Brescia to die”. And  die she did, very peacefully and quietly, three weeks later, on December 15, 1855.
Mgr Pinzoni, who knew her so well, said of St Mary di Rosa that “her life is a marvel that astonishes everybody who sees it”; and the spirit of it all was confided to one of her sisters when she told her that “I can’t go to bed with a quiet conscience if during the day I’ve missed any chance, however slight, of preventing wrong-doing or of helping to bring about some good”. She would go out at a moment’s notice by day or night to look after somebody ill, to sit at the bedside of a dying sinner, to settle a quarrel, to comfort someone in distress. And the people of Brescia acknowledged this when they flocked to her funeral. She was canonized in 1954
.

There is a full life in Italian by V. Bartoccetti, Beata Maria Crocifissa di Rosa (1940); a very adequate ninety-page summary, under the same title, by a member of the congregation; and another life by Dr L. Fossati. There seems to be nothing about her in any other language, perhaps because all the houses of the Handmaids of Brescia are in Italy or near by.

1876 Blessed Mary Frances Schervier; 1844 she became a Secular Franciscan; she and four companions established a religious community devoted to caring for the poor. In 1851 the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis (a variant of the original name) were approved by the local bishop; the community soon spread. The first U.S. foundation was made in 1858; helped her sisters nurse soldiers wounded in the Civil War.
This woman who once wanted to become a Trappistine nun was instead led by God to establish a community of sisters who care for the sick and aged in the United States and throughout the world.
Born
1819 into a distinguished family in Aachen (then ruled by Prussia but formerly Aix-la-Chapelle, France), Frances ran the household after her mother’s death and established a reputation for generosity to the poor. In 1844 she became a Secular Franciscan. The next year she and four companions established a religious community devoted to caring for the poor. In 1851 the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis (a variant of the original name) were approved by the local bishop; the community soon spread. The first U.S. foundation was made in 1858.

Mother Frances visited the United States in 1863 and helped her sisters nurse soldiers wounded in the Civil War. She visited the United States again in 1868. When Philip Hoever was establishing the Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis, she encouraged him.

When Mother Frances died, there were 2,500 members of her community worldwide. The number has kept growing. They are still engaged in operating hospitals and homes for the aged. Mother Mary Frances was beatified in 1974.

Comment: The sick, the poor and the aged are constantly in danger of being considered "useless" members of society and therefore ignored—or worse. Women and men motivated by the ideals of Mother Frances are needed if the God-given dignity and destiny of all people are to be respected.
Quote:  In 1868, Mother Frances wrote to all her sisters, reminding them of Jesus’ words: “You are my friends if you do what I command you.... I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another” (John 15:14,17).  She continued: “If we do this faithfully and zealously, we will experience the truth of the words of our father St. Francis who says that love lightens all difficulties and sweetens all bitterness. We will likewise partake of the blessing which St. Francis promised to all his children, both present and future, after having admonished them to love one another even as he had loved them and continues to love them.”
1900 BD LEONARD MURIALDO. A secular priest, born at Turin in 1828. He devoted his life to the welfare of young people and of manual workers, establishing the first “family house” in Italy for young working men. He founded the Society of St Joseph in Turin, where he died in 1900. He was beatified in 1963.
On 2 Holy Priests of the 19th Century "It Is Not Possible to Exercise Charity Without Living in Christ"
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today at the general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are drawing close to the end of the Year for Priests and, on this last Wednesday of April, I would like to speak about two saintly priests who were exemplary in their giving of themselves to God and in their witness of charity -- lived in the Church and for the Church -- toward their neediest brothers: St. Leonard Murialdo and St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo. Regarding the first, we mark the 110th anniversary of his death and the 40th of his canonization; regarding the second, the celebrations have begun for the second centenary of his priestly ordination.

Murialdo was born in Turin on Oct. 26, 1828: it was the Turin of St. John Bosco, of St. Joseph Cottolengo himself, a land fertilized by so many examples of holiness of the lay faithful and priests. Leonard was the eighth child of a simple family. As a child he entered, together with his brother, the school of the Escolapios Fathers of Savona for elementary, middle and high school; he found prepared educators, in a climate of religiosity founded on serious catecheses, with regular pious practices. During his adolescence, however, he went through a profound existential and spiritual crisis that led him to advance his return to his family and to conclude his studies in Turin, enrolling in the two-year period of philosophy.

A "return to the light" occurred -- as he recounts -- after a few months, with the grace of a general confession, in which he rediscovered God's immense mercy; at 17 the decision matured to become a priest, as a response of love to God who had seized him with his love. He was ordained on Sept. 20, 1851. Precisely in that period, as a catechist of the Guardian Angel Oratory, Don Bosco met and came to esteem him, convincing him to accept the direction of the new Oratory of St. Louis in Porta Nuova, which he did until 1865. There he also came into contact with the grave problems of the poorest classes, he visited their homes, developing a profound social, educational and apostolic sensitivity that led him later to dedicate himself independently to multiple initiatives in favor of youth. Catecheses, school and recreational activities were the foundation of his educational method in the Oratory. Don Bosco wanted him with him on the occasion of the audience granted by Blessed Pius IX in 1858.

In 1873 he founded the Congregation of St. Joseph, whose apostolic objective was, from the beginning, the formation of youth, especially the poorest and most abandoned. The environment of Turin at the time was marked by the intense flourishing of charitable works and activities promoted by Murialdo until his death, which occurred on March 30, 1900.

I wish to underline that the central nucleus of Murialdo's spirituality was the conviction of the merciful love of God: a Father who is always good, patient and generous, who reveals the greatness and immensity of his mercy with forgiveness. St. Leonard experienced this reality at the existential, not the intellectual level, through a living encounter with the Lord. He always considered himself a man graced by the merciful God: because of this he lived the joyous sense of gratitude to the Lord, the serene awareness of his own limitations, the ardent desire of penance, the constant and generous commitment to conversion. He saw all his existence not only illumined, guided, sustained by this love, but continually immersed in the infinite mercy of God. He wrote in his Spiritual Testament: "Your mercy surrounds me, O Lord ... How God is always and everywhere, so he is always and everywhere love, is always and everywhere mercy."

Recalling the moment of crisis he had in his youth, he wrote: "See how the good God wanted his goodness and generosity to shine again in an altogether singular way. Not only did he admit me again to his friendship, but he called me to a choice of predilection: he called me to the priesthood, and this only a few months after my return to him." Because of this, St. Leonard lived his priestly vocation as a free gift of the mercy of God with a sense of gratitude, joy and love. He wrote as well: "God has chosen me! He has called me, has in the end forced me to the honor, to the glory, to the ineffable happiness of being his minister, of being 'another Christ.' And where was I when God sought me? At the bottom of the abyss! I was there, and God came there to seek me; there he made me hear his voice."

Underlining the greatness of the mission of the priest who must "continue the work of redemption, the great work of Jesus Christ, the work of the Savior of the world," namely, that of "saving souls," St. Leonard always reminded himself and his confreres of the responsibility of a life consistent with the sacrament received. Love of God and love for God: this was the force of his journey of holiness, the law of his priesthood, the deepest meaning of this apostolate among poor young people and the source of his prayer. St. Leonard Murialdo abandoned himself with confidence to Providence, fulfilling generously the divine will, in contact with God and dedicating himself to poor young people. In this way he joined contemplative silence with the tireless ardor of action, fidelity to the duties of each day with the ingeniousness of initiatives, strength in difficulties with the serenity of the spirit. This was his way of holiness to live the commandment of love, towards God and towards his neighbor.

With the same spirit of charity, 40 years before Murialdo lived St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, founder of the work he himself called "Little Home of Divine Providence" and also called today "Cottolengo." Next Sunday, in my pastoral visit to Turin, I will be able to venerate the remains of this saint and meet the guests of the "Little Home."
1929 The holy New Martyr Archbishop Hilarion outstanding theologian, an eloquent preacher, and a fearless defender of Christ's holy Church
(Vladimir Alexeevich Troitsky in the world), an outstanding theologian, an eloquent preacher, and a fearless defender of Christ's holy Church, was born around 1885.

Vladika Hilarion wrote many books and articles on various topics, including "The Unity of the Church." His Master's thesis, "An Outline of the History of the Church's Dogma," was over five hundred pages long, and was a well-documented analysis of the subject.

During the Council of 1917 he delivered a brilliant address calling for the restoration of the Moscow Patriarchate, which had been dissolved byTsar Peter I in the eighteenth century. When St Tikhon (April 7) was chosen as Patriarch, St Hilarion became his fervent supporter.

St Hilarion was consecrated as bishop on May 20, 1920, and so the great luminary was placed upon the lampstand (Luke 11:33). From that time, he was to know less than two years of freedom. He spent only six months working with Patriarch Tikhon.

Vladika was arrested and exiled in Archangelsk for a year, then he spent six years (1923-1929) in a labor camp seven versts from Solovki. There at the Filomonov Wharf he and at least two other bishops were employed in catching fish and mending nets. Paraphrasing the hymns of Pentecost, Archbishop Hilarion remarked, "Formerly, the fishermen became theologians. Now the theologians have become fishermen."

Archbishop Hilarion was one of the most popular inmates of the labor camp. He is remembered as tall, robust, and with brownish hair. Personal possessions meant nothing to him, so he always gave his things away to anyone who asked for them. He never showed annoyance when people disturbed him or insulted him, but remained cheerful.

In the summer of 1925, Vladika was taken from the camp and placed in the Yaroslav prison. There he was treated more leniently, and received certain privileges. For example, he was allowed to receive religious books, and he had pleasant conversations with the warden in his office. St Hilarion regarded his time at the Yaroslav Isolated Detention Center as the best part of his imprisonment. The following spring he was back at Solovki.

In 1929 the Communists decided to exile Archbishop Hilarion to Alma-Atu in central Asia. During his trip southward from the far north, St Hilarion was robbed and endured many privations. When he arrived in Petrograd, he was ill with typhus, infested with parasites and dressed in rags. When informed that he would have to be shaved, he replied, "You may now do with me whatever you wish." He wrote from the prison hospital, "My fate will be decided on Saturday, December 15. I doubt I will survive."

St Hilarion died at the age of forty-four in the hospital of a Petrograd prison on December 15, 1929. His body was placed in a coffin hastily made from some boards, and then was released to his family. The once tall and robust Archbishop Hilarion had been transformed by his sufferings into a pitiful white-haired old man. One female relative fainted when she saw the body.

Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov) provided a set of white vestments for the late Archbishop. He was also placed in a better coffin.
Metropolitan Seraphim presided at the funeral of St Hilarion, assisted by six bishops and several priests. The saint was buried at Novo-Divichy Monastery.

 Thursday  Saints of this Day December  15 Décimo octávo Kaléndas Januárii  

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
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THE EUCHARIST, A MYSTERY TO BE BELIEVED POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
There are over 10,000 named saints beati  from history
 and Roman Martyology Orthodox sources

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

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

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

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