Saturday  Saints  Dec  17 Sextodécimo 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!)


Pope Francis has declared the 16th century Jesuit Father Pierre Favre a saint,
bypassing the usual procedures for canonization.
The Vatican announced the Pope’s decision on Dec. 17, Francis’ 77th birthday.


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

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

How do I start the Five First Saturdays?

Pope Authorizes 12 14 2015 Promulgation of Decrees Concerning 17 Causes,

Including Servant of God William Gagnon
November 23 2014 Six to Be Canonized on Feast of Christ the King

lazarus_raising.jpg

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.

Our Bartholomew Family Prayer List  Here

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 17 – The first church dedicated to Mary (Rome, Italy)  
 
A miraculous snowfall in August
 
Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major) is one of the four major basilicas of Rome, and the oldest Roman church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Tradition says that during the night of August 4, 358 the Virgin appeared in a dream to Pope Saint Liberius and to a wealthy Roman named John. She asked both men to erect a church at a specific place. In the morning, finding that it had snowed in the month of August at the location indicated by the Virgin, the Pope planned to have a basilica built dedicated to "Holy Mary of the Snows" on the spot where it had snowed on the Roman Esquiline Hill.

This basilica houses the first crèche made of stone, commissioned by Pope Nicolas IV in 1288 to Arnolfo di Cambio, to represent the Nativity scene. This tradition dates back to the year 432 when Pope Sixtus III (432-440) allegedly created inside the original basilica a "Grotto of the Nativity" inspired by that of Bethlehem.

The basilica also contains the relics of Saint Jerome
(347 – 30 September 420) . Since 1999, the pastoral activity of Saint Mary Major has been entrusted to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. 
The Mary of Nazareth Team


December 17, 2016
Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Psalms 72:1-4, 7-8, 17;  Matthew 1:1-17;
   167-164 bc   Daniel The Holy Prophet is the fourth of the major prophets.
       St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, translation of who, third after blessed Apostle Peter, governed Church of Antioch
       Ananias ("God is gracious")The Holy Youth
       Azarias ("whom God helps")The Holy Youth
       Misael ("Who is what God is?")The Holy Youth
1213  St. John of Matha John ransomed captives feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed on February 8th
1624 Saint Dionysius of Zakynthos Bishop of Aegina gift of working miracles
1814
Paisius The holy New Martyr igumen of the Annunciation monastery in Trnava near Cacak, Serbia
1815
Avakum (Habakkuk) The holy New Martyr preferred death than deny Christ

December 17 – The First Church Dedicated to Mary (Rome, Italy)
   Our Lady and an Oil Spring
The Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches in Rome. It was built in the Trastevere district by Pope Callistus I (217-222). The location was probably one of the first places of Christian worship officially open to the public.
According to a legend handed down by Eusebius of Caesarea, an oil spring allegedly appeared there in 38 B.C., and was interpreted by the Jewish population living in that area as a sign announcing the coming of the Messiah (in Hebrew, messiah means “anointed with oil”).
In 340, Pope Julius I (337-352) rebuilt and enlarged the basilica. Today it is one of the twenty-five original parishes of Rome. It was dedicated to Our Lady probably at the time of the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Although the inscription on the episcopal chair states that it is the first church dedicated to the Mother of God, it is not the oldest Marian church in the city: Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) is the oldest one, since it was dedicated to Our Lady from the time it was built, in the 4th century.
The Mary of Nazareth Team

 
December 17 - Our Lady of Amiens (France) A Man in the Womb of a Woman
Let us now listen to Jeremiah, who added new prophecies to the old ones, and the One whom he couldn't show as being there yet, he pointed to his coming with the most ardent desire, and promised with confidence. The Lord, he said, just created a new miracle on earth: a woman will surround a man (Jr 31: 22). Who, then, is this woman? And who is this man? And if he is truly a man, how could a woman surround him? And if a woman can surround him, how can he still be a man? And to speak more bluntly, how can he be at the same time a grown man and still be in the maternal womb?
(For this is the meaning of the expression "a woman will surround a man.")

We call men those who have passed infancy, childhood, adolescence, middle age, and have reached the age of retirement. Yet can someone who has already reached that size be enveloped by a woman?
If the prophet had said: a woman will surround a child or infant, we would see neither a novelty nor a prodigy in this. But he didn't say anything of the sort. He said a man. So we ask ourselves, what is this novelty that God has accomplished on the earth, that a woman might envelop a man and a man contract himself inside the frail body of a woman? What sort of miracle is this?
Can a man, Nicodemus once asked, re-enter his mother's body and be born again? (Jn 3: 4).
St Bernard of Clairvaux Excerpt of the Second Homily Super Missus

February 17 - OUR LADY OF CONSTANTINOPLE - Arrest of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe (1941) - Ash Wednesday
She Offered Me Two Crowns
Father Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in a very poor but devout family, was quite a turbulent child until the day his mother cried out, "My poor child, what will become of you?"
This question completely overwhelmed Maximilian.
A turning point in Maximilian's life followed that he confessed to his mother: "I prayed so hard and asked the Holy Mother of God to tell me what I would become. Then she appeared to me, holding two crowns, one white and one red. She looked at me with love and offered them both to me. The white one meant that I would always be pure and the red one that I would be a martyr. I accepted both of them!"
On February 17, 1941, the Gestapo arrested Father Maximilian Kolbe and four other brothers, and took them first to the Pawiak prison in Warsaw. The priest was severely beaten as a religious and a priest. He wrote to his congregation left in Niepokalanow: "The loving Immaculate Mother was always with us with her tenderness and will always watch over us. Let her guide us, more and more perfectly wherever she wants us to go and according to her good desire, fulfilling our duties until the end,
so that we may save all souls out of love."
A few days later, Father Kolbe was transferred to Auschwitz.
           Lazarus
167-164 bc   Daniel
The Holy Prophet is the fourth of the major prophets.
      
St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, translation of who, third after blessed Apostle Peter, governed Church of Antioch
       Ananias ("God is gracious")The Holy Youth
       Azarias ("whom God helps")The Holy Youth
       Misael ("Who is what God is?")The Holy Youth
       Lazarus bishop of Marseilles martyr
4th c. St. Modestus I, archbishop of Jerusalem
 408 St. Olympias lavish in her almsgiving
5th v. St. Maxentiolus Abbot and founder of Our Lady of Cunault Abbey
6th v. St. Tydecho Welsh saint
 627 St. Briarch Abbot founder companion of St. Tudwal
 637 St. Florian martyr w/58 Chiristians  
 691 St. Begga daughter of Pepin of Landen mayor of the palace
 779 ST STURMI, ABBOT first German  Benedictine monk; mission work in Westphalia founded monastery favourite of St Boniface
  822 St. Eigil Benedictine abbot restored community
9th v. Saint Daniel the Confessor refused the Saracens' demand that he renounce Christ
1170 St. Wivina Benedictine abbess built a convent
1213  St. John of Matha John ransomed captives
feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed on February 8th
1624 Saint Dionysius of Zakynthos Bishop of Aegina gift of working miracles
1814
Paisius The holy New Martyr igumen of the Annunciation monastery in Trnava near Cacak, Serbia
1815
Avakum (Habakkuk) The holy New Martyr preferred death than deny Christ
  Aaron_prophet.JPG
December 17 - Our Lady of Amiens (France) Gaze upon the star to avoid losing your way
Wading through the events of this world, rather than walking on land, you have the impression of being tossed about among billows and storms; do not turn your eyes away from the splendor of this star if you do not want to be swallowed by the waves... Gaze upon the star, invoke Mary…Following her, you will not lose your way…If she protects you, you have no fear, if she guides you, you will not get tired and if she is propitious towards you, you will reach your goal. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1091 - 1153)  Homilia super Missus est, (II, 17)
Advent's Great O Antiphons (I): O Sapientia December 17 - OUR LADY OF AMIENS (France, before 1218)
O uncreated Wisdom who is about to be made visible to the world, it is becoming so clear in this moment that you dispose of all things! Through your divine permission, an edict just came from the emperor Augustus
to conduct a universal census. Each citizen of the Empire must register in his original town.
The prince in his pride believes he has shaken up the whole human race. Millions of men are moving about over the globe, and cross the immense Roman world in all directions; they think they are following the orders of a man,
while in fact it is God they are obeying.
All this great agitation has but one purpose: to lead a man and a woman to Bethlehem, whose humble house is in Nazareth of Galilee; so that this woman unknown by men and the darling of heaven, approaching the term of the ninth month since her Son was conceived, may give birth in Bethlehem to this Son about whom the Prophet said:
 "His coming is from the days of eternity;
O Bethlehem! You are not the least among the thousand cities of Jacob; for He will also come out of you."
O divine Wisdom! So strong are you, to reach your purpose in such an invincible way, although hidden to men!
How gentle you are, to still respect their freedom! But also, how fatherly you are, in foreseeing our needs!
You chose Bethlehem to be born there, because Bethlehem signifies the House of Bread.
Thereby you show us that you want to be our Bread, our life supply. Fed by a God, we will never die again.
Dom Gueranger  The Liturgical Year - Advent -December XVII
December 17 - Our Lady's in Trastevere, First Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin (Rome, ca. 352)
Mary in the Midst of Israel's Waiting (VIII)
"Behold, the days come that I will make a new covenant" (Jer 31:31)

In Israel's and the Blessed Virgin's prayers, meditating on the hope aroused by the prophets, the coming of the Messiah would make all things new: "Behold, the days come that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah..." (...) "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people..." (...) "for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more" (Jer 31:31-34). "You renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104:30).

"I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God" (Ezek 11:19-20). "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them" (Ezek 36:26-27).

"I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days, I will pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28-29).


The Holy Prophet Daniel is the fourth of the major prophets.

Daniel

     In subject-matter the Book of Daniel falls into two parts. Ch. 1-6 are narratives: Daniel and his three companions in the service of Nebuchadnezzar, 1; Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the composite statue, 2; adoration of the golden effigy, and Daniel’s three friends in the furnace, 3; Nebuchadnezzar’s madness, 4; Belshazzar’s banquet, 5; Daniel in the lions’ den, 6.
From all these trials, in which the reputation and even the life of Daniel or of his companions is at stake, they emerge victorious and the pagans give glory to the God who has saved them. The action takes place in Babylon in the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, of his ‘son’ Belshazzar, and of ‘Darius the Mede’, Belshazzar’s successor.
    Ch. 7-12 are visions granted to Daniel: the Four Beasts, 7; the Goat and the Ram, 8; the Seventy Weeks, 9; the great vision of the Time of Wrath and of the End, 10-12.
They are assigned to the reigns of Belshazzar, Darius the Mede and Cyrus king of Persia, and located in Babylonia.
   From the existence of these two sections some have deduced two distinct documents of different periods combined by an editor. But there are other indications which are against such a distinction. The narratives are indeed in the third person, while the visions are described by Daniel himself; but the first vision, ch. 7, has its introduction and conclusion in the third person. The beginning of the book is in Hebrew but in 2:4 there is a sudden change to Aramaic which continues to the end of ch. 7 and so into the vision section; the remaining chapters are in Hebrew. Many explanations of this duality of language have been offered, none satisfactory. There is no correspondence, therefore, between the division established by subject-matter (narratives, visions) and the division on the ground of style (first and third person) or of language (Hebrew, Aramaic). On the other hand ch. 7 has its commentary in ch. 8, but is parallel to ch. 2; its Aramaic is indeed the same as in 2-4, but certain of its stylistic characteristics recur in 8-12, though these chapters are in Hebrew. This ch. 7, therefore, links the book’s two sections and proves that it is in fact an integral composition. Also, Belshazzar and Darius the Mede both appear in each section of the book, so the historical problem is present as much in one section as in the other. Lastly, the literary devices and habits of thought are consistent throughout the book, which is the strongest argument for its unity. 
    The date of composition is decided by clear evidence given in ch. 11. The wars between the Seleucids and Ptolemies and a portion of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes are described with a wealth of detail quite unnecessary for the author’s purpose. This account bears no resemblance to any of the Old Testament prophecies and, despite its prophetic style, refers to events already past. But from 11:40 onwards the tone changes and the ‘Time of the End’ is foretold in a way that is reminiscent of the other prophets. The book must therefore have been written during the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes and before his death, even before the success of the Maccabaean revolt; that is to say between 167 and 164.

  There is nothing in the rest of the book to contradict this dating. The narratives of the first section are set in the Chaldaean period, but there are indications that the author is writing a short time after the events. Belshazzar was the son of Nabonid and not, as the book says, of Nebuchadnezzar; nor was he ever king. Darius the Mede is unknown to historians, nor is there room for him between the last Chaldaean king and Cyrus the Persian who had already conquered the Medes. The neo-Babylonian background is described in words of Persian origin; the instruments in Nebuchadnezzar’s orchestra are given names transliterated from the Greek. The dates given in the book agree neither among themselves nor with history as we know it, and they seem to have been placed at the chapter heads without much care for chronology. It seems therefore that ancient traditions, the extent of which is hard to determine, have provided the material for a much later work.
   The late composition of the book explains its position in the Hebrew Bible. It was admitted after the canon of the Prophets had already been fixed, and placed between Esther and Ezra among the varied group of ‘other writings’ forming the last section of the Hebrew canon. The Greek and Latin Bibles put it among the Prophets and add certain deuterocanonical sections, namely, the Psalm of Azariah and the Canticle of the Three Youths, 3:24-90; the story of Susanna illustrating the shrewdness of the young Daniel, ch. 13; and the stories of Bel and the sacred serpent, which are satires on idolatry, ch. 14.
   The aim of this book was to sustain faith and hope among the Jews persecuted by Antiochus Epiphanes. Daniel and his companions had been similarly tempted: to desert the Law, ch. 1, and to commit idolatry, ch. 3 and 6. From these trials they emerged victorious, and the persecutors were forced to acknowledge the power of the true God. The contemporary persecutor is painted in darker colours, but when the wrath of God is satisfied, 8:19; 11:36, the time of the end will come, 8:17; 11:40, when the persecutor will be destroyed, 8:25; 11:45. This will mean the end of sorrows and of sin and the coming of the kingdom of the saints, ruled over by a ‘Son of Man’ whose reign will endure for ever, ch. 7.

   This expectation of the end, this hope of the kingdom, runs through the whole book, 2:44; 3:33 (100); 4:31; 7:14. God will bring it to fulfilment after a lapse of time fixed by him, but long enough to embrace the whole of human history. The various stages of the world’s history become stages in the operation of God’s eternal purpose, so that these world-stages, past, present, future, themselves become prophetic of a further future since all are contemplated through the eyes of God ‘who controls times and seasons’, 2:21. By this double vision, at once in time and transcending time, the author reveals the prophetic significance of history. The secret of God, 2:18, etc.; 4:6, is revealed by mysterious intermediaries who are the messengers and agents of the Most High. The doctrine of angels is asserted in the Book of Daniel, as in Ezekiel and particularly in Tobit. The revelation concerns the hidden plan of God for his people and for the nations. It concerns both peoples and individuals. An important passage on the resurrection proclaims the rising of the dead either to eternal life or to eternal punishment, 12:2. The expected kingdom will include all nations, 7:14, and will have no end; it will be a kingdom of saints, 7:18, the kingdom of God, 3:33 (100); 4:3 1, the kingdom of the Son of Man to whom all power is given, 7:14.
  This is the last expression of messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. The coming of the kingdom will be the central theme of the Synoptic Gospels, and Jesus, king of the kingdom, will call himself ‘Son of Man’, thus clearly asserting that he has come to fulfil the prophecies of the Book of Daniel.
  This ‘sealed book’, 12:4, with its revelation of a divine secret, its angelic commentators, its message for generations to come, its deliberately enigmatic style, is the first mature apocalypse, a literary form found already developing in Ezekiel and later to flower in Jewish literature. The New Testament counterpart to the Book of Daniel is the Book of Revelation, but in this the seals of the closed book are broken, Rv 5-6, its words are secret no longer since ‘the time is at hand’, Rv 22:10, and the coming of the Lord is expected, Rv 22:20; 1 Co 16:22.


In the years following 600 B.C. Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians, the Temple built by Solomon was destroyed, and many of the Israelite people were led away into the Babylonian Captivity. Among the captives were also the illustrious youths Daniel, Ananias, Azarias and Misael.  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon ordered that they be instructed in the Chaldean language and wisdom, and dressed them in finery. Handsome children of princely lineage were often chosen to serve as pages in the palace. For three years, they would be fed from food from the king's table. After this they would be allowed to stand before his throne.
Daniel was renamed Baltasar, Ananias was called Shadrach, Misael was called Mishach, and Azarias was known as Abednego. But they, cleaving to their faith, disdained the extravagance of court, refusing to defile themselves by eating from the king's table and drinking his wine. Instead, they lived on vegetables and water.
The Lord granted them wisdom, and to St Daniel the gift of insight and interpretation of dreams. The holy Prophet Daniel preserved his faith in the one God and trusted in His almighty help. He surpassed all the Chaldean astrologers and sorcerers in his wisdom, and was made a confidant to King Nebuchadnezzar.
Once, Nebuchadnezzar had a strange dream which terrified him (Daniel 2:1-6). He summoned magicians, sorcerers, and Chaldeans before him to interpret the dream. When they asked him what he had dreamt, the king refused to tell them. He said, "If you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins." The Babylonian wise men protested that no magician or sorcerer could be expected to do this. Only the gods could reveal the dream and its meaning, they told him.
The king ordered all the wise men of Babylon to be executed. When they sought Daniel and his companions to put them to death, Daniel asked that the king's sentence not be carried out. He said that he could tell the king what he dreamt, for it had been revealed to him in a vision. Daniel was brought before the king and was able to reveal not only the content of the dream, but also its prophetic significance. After this, the king elevated Daniel to be ruler of the whole province of Babylon, and the chief of all the wise men.
During these times King Nebuchadnezzar ordered a huge statue to be made in his likeness. It was decreed that when people heard the sound of trumpets and other instruments, they should fall down and worship the golden idol. Because they refused to do this, the three holy youths Ananias, Azarias and Misael were cast into a fiery furnace. The flames shot out over the furnace forty-nine cubits, felling the Chaldeans standing about, but the holy youths walked in the midst of the flames, offering prayer and psalmody to the Lord (Daniel 3:26-90).
The Angel of the Lord appeared in the furnace and cooled the flames, and the young men remained unharmed. This "Angel of Great Counsel," as he is called in iconography, is identified with the Son of God (Daniel 3:25, Isaiah 9:6). In the first Canon for the Nativity of the Lord (Ode 5), the Church sings: "Thou hast sent us Thine Angel of Great Counsel." The emperor, upon seeing this, commanded them to come out, and was converted to the true God.

Under King Baltasar, St Daniel interpreted a mysterious inscription ("Mane, Thekel, Phares"), which had appeared on the wall of the palace during a banquet (Daniel 5:1-31), foretelling the downfall of the Babylonian kingdom. Under the Persian emperor Darius, St Daniel was slandered by his enemies, and was thrown into a den with hungry lions, but they did not touch him, and he was not harmed. The emperor Darius then rejoiced over Daniel and ordered people throughout his realm to worship the God of Daniel, "since He is the living and eternal God, and His Kingdom shall not be destroyed, and His dominion is forever" (Daniel 6:26).

The holy Prophet Daniel grieved deeply for his people, who then were undergoing righteous chastisement for a multitude of sins and offenses, for transgressing the laws of God, resulting in the grievous Babylonian Captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem: "My God, incline Thine ear and hearken; open Thine eyes and look upon our desolation and that of Thy city, in which Thy Name is spoken; for we do not make our supplication before Thee because of our own righteousness, but because of Thy great mercy" (Dan 9:18). Because of Daniel's righteous life and his prayers for the people's iniquity, the destiny of the nation of Israel and the fate of all the world was revealed to the holy prophet.

While interpreting the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, the holy, glorious Prophet Daniel spoke of a great and final kingdom, the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Dan 2:44). The prophetic vision about the seventy weeks (Dan 9:24-27) speaks about the signs of the First and the Second Comings of the Lord Jesus Christ, and is connected with those events (Daniel 12:1-12).

St Daniel interceded for his people before King Cyrus, who esteemed him highly, and who decreed freedom for the Israelite people. Daniel himself and his fellows Ananias, Azarias and Misael, all survived into old age, but died in captivity. According to the testimony of St Cyril of Alexandria (June 9), Sts Ananias, Azarias and Misael were beheaded on orders of the Persian emperor Chambyses.
St Daniel and the three holy youths are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, and on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers (Sunday before the Nativity).
Eódem die Translátio sancti Ignátii, Epíscopi et Mártyris; qui, tértius post beátum Petrum  Apóstolum, Antiochénam rexit Ecclésiam.  Ejus corpus ab urbe Roma, ubi ipse, sub Trajáno, glorióse martyrium tertiodécimo Kaléndas Januárii consummáverat, Antiochíam delátum, ibídem, in cœmetério Ecclésiæ, extra portam Daphníticam, pósitum fuit; in qua celebritáte sanctus Joánnes Chrysóstomus conciónem ad pópulum hábuit.  Póstmodum vero ejus relíquiæ rursus Romam translátæ sunt, et in Ecclésia sancti Cleméntis, una cum córpore ejúsdem beatíssimi Papæ et Mártyris, summa veneratióne recónditæ.
       Also, the translation of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, who, the third after the blessed Apostle Peter, governed the Church of Antioch.  His body was taken from Rome, where he had suffered martyrdom under Trajan on the 20th of December, and deposited in the church cemetery near the Gate of Daphne at Antioch.  St. John Chrysostom, on that solemn occasion, preached the sermon to the people.  Afterwards his relics were carried back to Rome and placed with the highest reverence in the church of St. Clement, together with the body of that blessed pope and martyr.

The Holy Youth Ananias ("God is gracious")
Ananias ("God is gracious")The Holy Youth
       Azarias ("whom God helps")The Holy Youth
       Misael ("Who is what God is?")The Holy Youth
Companion of the Holy Prophet Daniel. He was chosen to serve in the king's palace with Daniel, Azarias, and Mishael (Daniel 1:6), who were all from the tribe of Judah. They gave Ananias the Chaldean name Shadrach ("royal"). They were thrown into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship the golden idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, but the angel of the Lord preserved them (Daniel 3:25).

The Seventh and Eighth Odes of the nine Biblical Odes at the back of the Psalter are taken from The Song of the Three Holy Youths (found in the Septuagint text of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church).

The Three Holy Youths and the Prophet Daniel are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers.

The Holy Youth Azarias ("whom God helps")
Companion of the Holy Prophet Daniel. He was chosen to serve in the king's palace with Daniel, Ananias, and Mishael (Daniel 1:6), who were all from the tribe of Judah. They gave Azarias the Chaldean name Abednego ("servant of Nego"). They were thrown into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship the golden idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, but the angel of the Lord preserved them (Daniel 3:25).
The Holy Youth Misael ("Who is what God is?")
Companion of the Holy Prophet Daniel. He was chosen to serve in the king's palace with Daniel, Azarias, and Ananias (Daniel 1:6), who were all from the tribe of Judah. They gave Misael the Chaldean name Meshach ("guest"). They were thrown into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship the golden idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, but the angel of the Lord preserved them (Daniel 3:25).

Lazarus
 Massíliæ, in Gállia, beáti Lázari Epíscopi, sanctárum Maríæ Magdalénæ ac Marthæ fratris, quem Dóminus in Evangélio appellásse amícum et a mórtuis excitásse légitur.
       At Marseilles in France, blessed Lazarus, brother of the Saints Mary Magdalene and Martha, of whom we read in the Gospel that our Lord called him his friend and raised him from the dead.
Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, "See how much he loved him." In their sight Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead.
Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is supposed to have left a written account of what he saw in the next world before he was called back to life. Some say he followed Peter into Syria. Another story is that despite being put into a leaking boat by the Jews at Jaffa, he, his sisters and others landed safely in Cyprus. There he died peacefully after serving as bishop for 30 years.
A church was built in his honor in Constantinople and some of his reputed relics were transferred there in 890. A Western legend has the oarless boat arriving in Gaul. There he was bishop of Marseilles, was martyred after making a number of converts and was buried in a cave. His relics were transferred to the new cathedral in Autun in 1146.
It is certain there was early devotion to the saint. Around the year 390, the pilgrim lady Etheria talks of the procession that took place on the Saturday before Palm Sunday at the tomb where Lazarus had been raised from the dead. In the West, Passion Sunday was called Dominica de Lazaro, and Augustine tells us that in Africa the Gospel of the raising of Lazarus was read at the office of Palm Sunday.
Comment: Many people who had a near-death experience report losing all fear of death. When Lazarus died a second time, perhaps he was without fear. He must have been sure that Jesus, the friend with whom he had shared many meals and conversations, would be waiting to raise him again. We don’t share Lazarus’ firsthand knowledge of returning from the grave. Nevertheless, we too have shared meals and conversations with Jesus, who waits to raise us, too.
4th c. St. Modestus I, archbishop of Jerusalem
His parents were pious Christians from Sebaste in Asia Minor, who died in prison while Modestus was still an infant. The child was raised by pagans, but when he learned that his parents had died for Christ, he secretly became a Christian also. When his adoptive parents died, he traveled to Athens, where he was taken in by a Christian goldsmith and his wife, and became a Christian at the age of thirteen. Modestus' almsgiving and love for the poor soon earned him renown, but aroused the envy of the goldsmith's sons, who sold Modestus into slavery during a trip to Egypt. But Modestus was able to bring his new master to faith in Christ and regain his freedom.
  Some time later he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre opened at his prayers, and the people, taking this as a sign from God, chose Modestus as Archbishop of Jerusalem. (Accounts of his life do not mention his having been anything but a layman before this.) He served his flock tenderly and zealously, encouraging all to abound in spiritual gifts, and working many miracles. His prayers were effective not only in healing the faithful, but even in curing the ailments of their cattle and other animals. For this reason, it is still customary on this day to sprinkle animals pens and stables, and even houses in which pets dwell, with holy water, asking the Saint's protection.
  Saint Modestus served his flock faithfully into old age. According to some accounts he reposed in peace. According to others, in his old age he was delivered up to the pagans by his enemies, and beheaded by them after many torments.
408 St. Olympias lavish in her almsgiving
 Constantinópoli sanctæ Olympíadis Víduæ.      At Constantinople, St. Olympias, widow.

St Olympias, called by St Gregory Nazianzen “the glory of the widows in the Eastern church”, was to St John Chrysostom something of what St Paula was to St Jerome. Her family belonged to Constantinople, and was one of distinction and wealth. She was born about the year 361, and left an orphan under the care of the prefect Procopius, her uncle; it was her happiness to be entrusted by him to Theodosia, sister to St Amphilochius, a woman who, St Gregory told her, was a pattern of goodness in whose life she might see as in a glass all excellences.

   Olympias had inherited a large fortune and was attractive in person and character, so that her uncle had no difficulty in arranging a marriage that was acceptable to him and to her, namely with Nebridius, for some time prefect of Constantinople. St Gregory wrote apologizing because age and bad health kept him from attending the wedding, and enclosing a poem of good advice for the bride. The husband appears to have been an exacting man, but within a very short time Nebridius was dead, and the hand of Olympias was being sought by several of the most consider­able men of the court. The Emperor Theodosius was very pressing with her to accept Elpidius, a Spaniard and his near relation. She declared her resolution of remaining single the rest of her days: “ Had God wished me to remain a wife ”, she said, “ He would not have taken Nebridius away.”

   Theodosius persisted, and as her refusal continued, he put her fortune in the hands of the urban prefect with orders to act as her guardian till she was thirty years old. The prefect even hindered her from seeing the bishop or going to church. She wrote to the emperor, somewhat acidly perhaps, that she was obliged to him for easing her of the burden of managing and disposing of her money, and that the favour would be complete if he would order it all to be divided between the poor and the Church. Theodosius, struck with her letter, made an inquiry into her manner of living, and restored to her the administration of her estate in 391.

St Olympias thereupon offered herself to St Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, for consecration as a deaconess, and established herself in a large house with a number of maidens who wished to devote themselves to the service of God. Her dress was plain, her furniture simple, her prayers assiduous, and her charities without bounds, so that St John Chrysostom found it necessary to tell her some­times to moderate her alms, or rather to be more cautious in bestowing them, that she might be able to succour those whose distress deserved preference “ You must not encourage the laziness of those who live upon you without necessity. It is like throwing your money into the sea.”

   In 398 Chrysostom succeeded Nec­tarius in the see of Constantinople, and he took St Olympias and her disciples under his protection, and guided by him her benefactions were spread abroad; an orphanage and a hospital were attached to their house, and when the expelled monks came from Nitria to appeal against Theophilus of Alexandria they were fed and sheltered at the expense of Olympias. 
St Amphilochius, St Epiphanius, St Peter of Sebaste and St Gregory of Nyssa were among her friends, and Palladius of Helenopolis refers to her as “a wonderful woman...like a precious vase filled with the Holy Spirit” but it was with her own bishop that friendship was most mutually affectionate and trusting, and she was one of the last persons whom Chrysostom took leave of when he went into banishment in 404. It was necessary to tear her from his feet by violence.
    After his departure, Olympias shared the persecution in which all his friends were involved. She was brought before Optatus, the prefect of the city, who was a heathen, on a charge of having set fire to the cathedral, but really that she might be persuaded to hold communion with Arsacius, the usurper of the bishopric. But Olympias was more than a match for Optatus, and was dismissed for that time. She was very ill all the winter, and in the spring was exiled, and wandered from place to place. About midsummer in 405 she was brought back to Constantinople and again presented before Optatus, who sentenced her to pay a heavy fine because she refused to communicate with Arsacius.
Atticus, successor of Arsacius, dispersed the community of widows and maidens which she directed, and put an end to all their charitable works. Frequent sicknesses, outrageous slanders and persecutions succeeded one another. St John Chrysostom comforted and encouraged her from his places of exile by letters, of which seventeen have come down to us and give an idea not only of his misfortunes but of hers as well. “As you are well acquainted with suffering you have reason to rejoice, inasmuch as by having lived constantly in tribulation you have walked in the road of crowns and laurels. All manner of corporal diseases have been yours, often more cruel and harder to be endured than many deaths; you have never been free from sickness.* You have been overwhelmed with slanders, insults, and injuries and never been free from some new tribulation; tears have always been familiar to you. Among all these, one single affliction is enough to fill your soul with spiritual riches.” In another letter he. writes: “I cannot cease to call you blessed. The patience and dignity with which you have borne your sorrows, the prudence and wisdom with which you have managed delicate affairs, and the charity which has made you throw a veil over the malice of your persecutors have won a glory and reward which hereafter will make all your sufferings seem light and passing in the presence of eternal joy.” We know also from these letters that St John entrusted Olympias with the execution of important commissions for him.
It is not known where St Olympias was when she heard of St John Chrysostom’s death in Pontus on September 14, 407; she herself died at Nicomedia on July 25 in the following year, not much more than forty years old. Her body was taken to Constantinople, where “she had become so celebrated for her great goodness that her very name was considered worthy of imitation, parents hoping that their children would be built on a like model.”

Our knowledge of this holy widow is derived partly from Palladius, the letters of Chrysostom and the writings of other contemporaries, but also from a Greek Life which was printed for the first time in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xv (1896), pp. 400—483, together with an account of the translation of her remains (ibid., vol. xvi, pp. 44—51) written much later by the superioress (Ama) Sergia. See also the article of J. Bousquet, "Vie d’Olympias Ia diaconesse", contributed to the Revue de l’Orient chrétien, second series, vol. i (1906), pp. 225—250, and vol. ii (1907), pp. 255—268. The life seems to have been composed in the middle of the fifth century and is clearly posterior to Palladius, as is proved by quotations made from this source. One chapter, the eleventh, seems to be a later interpolation by another hand. The letters of St John Chrysostom to St Olympias have been translated into French by P. Legrand, Exhortations â Theodore; Lettres â Olympias (1933). See also H. Leclercq in DAC., vol. xii, cc. 2064—2071.

*    Elsewhere he writes to her: “Much patience is needed to see oneself unjustly deprived of wealth, driven from home and country to exile in an unhealthy climate, chained and imprisoned, loaded with insults, railing and contempt. Even the calmness of Jeremias could not resist such trials. Yet not even these or the loss of children dear as our very heart’s blood or death itself, the most terrible of evils in human estimation, are so trying to bear as bad health.”

Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She was orphaned when a child and was given over to the care of Theodosia by her uncle, the prefect Procopius. She married Nebridius, also a prefect, was widowed soon after, refused several offers of marriage, and had her fortune put in trust until she was thirty by Emperor Theodosius when she also refused his choice for a husband. When he restored her estate in 391, she was consecrated deaconess and with several other ladies founded a community. She was so lavish in her almsgiving that her good friend St. John Chrysostom remonstrated with her and when he became Patriarch of Constantinople in 398, he took her under his direction. She established a hospital and an orphanage, gave shelter to the expelled monks of Nitria, and was a firm supporter of Chrysostom when he was expelled in 404 from Constantinople and refused to accept the usurper Arsacius as Patriarch. She was fined by the prefect, Optatus, for refusing to accept Arsacius, and Arsacius' successor, Atticus, disbanded her community and ended her charitable works. She spent the last years of her life beset by illness and persecution but comforted by Chrysostom from his place of exile. She died in exile in Nicomedia on July 25, less than a year after the death of Chrysostom.
5th v. St. Maxentiolus Abbot and founder of Our Lady of Cunault Abbey
France. Also called Mezenceul, he was a disciple of St. Martin of Tours.
6th v. St. Tydecho Welsh saint.
He is honored by several churches in Wales.
St. Cadfan was his brother. Other details of his life are no longer available.
627 St. Briarch Abbot founder companion of St. Tudwal.
Briarch was an Irishman who entered a monastery in Wales. He went with St. Tudwal to Brittany, France. There he built a monastery and served as abbot
637 St. Florian martyr w/58 Chiristians.
 Eleutherópoli, in Palæstína, sanctórum Mártyrum Floriáni, Calaníci, et Sociórum quinquagínta et octo; qui, témpore Heraclíi Imperatóris, a Saracénis ob Christi fidem occísi sunt.
      At Eleutheropolis, the holy martyrs Florian, Calanicus, and their fifty-eight companions, who were slain by the Saracens because of the faith of Christ, during the reign of Emperor Haraclius.
Martyr with Calanicus and fifty-eight Christians who died at the hands of the Muslim ruler of Eleutheropolis.
691 St. Begga daughter of Pepin of Landen mayor of the palace and St. Itta.
 Andániæ, apud Septem Ecclésias, in Bélgio, beátæ Beggæ Víduæ, quæ fuit soror sanctæ Gertrúdis.
     At Andenne, at the Seven Churches, blessed Begga, widow, the sister of St. Gertrude.
693 ST BEGGA, WIDOW
PEPIN of Landen, mayor of the palace to three Frankish kings, and himself commonly called Blessed, was married to a saint, Bd Itta or Ida, and two of their three children figure in the Roman Martyrology: St Gertrude of Nivelles and her elder sister, St Begga. Gertrude refused to marry and was an abbess soon after she was twenty, but Begga married Ansegisilus, son of St Arnulf of Metz, and spent practically the whole of her long life as a nobleman’s wife “in the world”. Of this union was born Pepin of Herstal, the founder of the Carlovingian dynasty in France. After the death of her husband, St Begga in 691 built at Andenne on the Meuse seven chapels representing the Seven Churches of Rome, around a central church, and in connection therewith she established a convent and colonized it with nuns from her long-dead sister’s abbey at Nivelles. It afterwards became a house of canonesses and the Lateran canons regular commemorate St Begga as belonging to their order. She is also venerated by the Béguines of Belgium as their patroness, but the common statement that she founded them is a mistake due to the similarity of the names. St Begga died abbess of Andenne and was buried there.
A life of St Begga, together with some collections of miracles, has been printed in Ghesquière, Acta Sanctorum Belgii, vol. v (1789), pp. 70—125 it is of little historical value. See also Berlière, Monasticon Belge, vol. i, pp. 66—63 and DHG., vol. ii, cc. 1559— 1560. There can he little doubt that the word beguinae, which we first meet about the year 1200 and which, as stated above, has nothing to do with St Begga, was originally a term of reproach used of the Albigensians: see the Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, vol. i, cc. 1341-1342.
She married Ansegilius, son of St. Arnulf of Metz, and their son was Pepin of Herstal, founder of the Carolingian dynasty of rulers in France. On the death of her husband in the year 691, she built a church and convent at Andenne on the Meuse River and died there. Her feast day is December 17th.
779 ST STURMI, ABBOT first German Benedictine monk; mission work in Westphalia founded monastery favourite of St Boniface
 In monastério Fuldénsi sancti Stúrmii, Abbátis et Saxóniæ Apóstoli; quem Innocéntius Papa Secúndus, in Concílio secúndo Lateranénsi, in Sanctórum númerum rétulit.
      In the monastery of Fulda, the holy abbot Sturmius, apostle of Saxony, who was ranked among the saints by Innocent II, in the second Lateran Council
Sturmi, the son of Christian parents in Bavaria, was entrusted to the care of St Boniface who left him to be educated under St Wigbert in his abbey of Fritzlar. He was there in due course ordained priest and did mission work in Westphalia for three years, after which he was allowed with two companions to lead an eremitical life in the forest at Hersfeld. This place was unprotected from the marauding Saxons, and was otherwise unsuited to them, and was soon abandoned.
   St Boniface had found a district further south more suitable for a monastery from which the Saxons could be evangelized, and St Sturmi rode down into it on his donkey and selected a site at the junction of the Greizbach and the Fulda. In 744 the monastery of Fulda was founded, St Boniface appointing St Sturmi its first abbot. It was the favourite foundation of St Boniface, who intended it to be what in fact it became under the fostering care of Sturmi, the pattern monastery and seminary of priests for all Germany; he used frequently to visit it to superintend its progress, and his body was buried in the abbey church.
 Soon after its foundation St Sturmi went into Italy to study Benedictine observance at its fountain-head at Monte Cassino, and it seems that Pope St Zachary gave his monastery complete autonomy by withdrawing it from episcopal jurisdiction and subjecting it directly to the Holy See. The abbey of Fulda continued to prosper under St Sturmi, but he was involved in serious difficulties after the martyrdom of St Boniface, for the attitude of his successor at Mama, St Lull, towards the monastery was very different. Lull claimed that it should be subject to him as bishop, and the ensuing struggle was long and bitter. In 763 an order was obtained from Pepin for the banishment of Sturmi, and Lull nominated a superior in his place, but the monks of Fulda refused to accept him and expelled him from the house, threatening that they would go in a body and appeal to the king. To pacify them Lull told them to choose a superior of their own, whereupon they elected a life-long disciple of Sturmi. He took a deputation of monks to court, and they were successful in inducing Pepin to recall their beloved abbot, who returned to Fulda amid great rejoicing after two years of exile.
   The efforts of St Sturmi and his monks to convert the Saxons did not meet with much external success, and the wars of Pepin and Charlemagne, first punitive and then of conquest, were not calculated to recommend his religion to the heathen. St Sturmi, like many missionaries before and since, was working under the greatest handicaps furnished by the civil power it seemed to the Saxons that the faith of Christ was preached to them “with an iron tongue by their bitterest enemies”. When Charlemagne was recalled from Paderborn to attack the Moors in Spain, the Saxons at once rose and drove out the monks; Fulda itself was threatened. In 779 Charlemagne returned and St Sturmi accompanied him to the mobilization at Duren which preceded fresh military success against the Saxons, but he did not live to recommence his missions. He was taken ill at Fulda and, in spite of the efforts of the physician sent by Charlemagne, died on December 17, 779. The name of St Sturmi, called by the Roman Martyrology the Apostle of the Saxons, was added to the roll of saints in 1139; he is apparently the first German known to have become a Benedictine monk.
The Vita S. Sturmii belongs to the best class of early medieval biographies. It was written by Eigil, himself also abbot of Fulda, about fifty years after the founder’s death. It has been many times printed, e.g. in Migne, PL., vol. cv, cc. 423—444, and in MGH., Scriptores, vol. ii, pp. 366—377. See also the sketch of Sturmi’s activities given by H. Timerding in Die Christliche Fruhzeit Deutschlands; zweite Gruppe (1929); and M. Tangl, Leben des hl. Bonifazius, der hl. Leoba und des Abtes Sturmi (1920), Introduction. The life by Eigil is translated by C. H. Talbot in Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany (1954).
822 St. Eigil Benedictine abbot restored community.
sometimes called Aegilius. Eigil became abbot of Fulda Monastery, in Germany, in 817. He restored the community and trained his successor, St. Rabanus Maurus.
Saint Daniel the Confessor refused the Saracens' demand that he renounce Christ.
(in the schema Stephen) lived in the tenth century. He was a Spanish dignitary, and prefect of the island of Niverta. Disdaining worldly glory, he became a monk in Rome and went on pilgrimage to the holy places at Constantinople and Jerusalem, where he received the Great Schema and the name Stephen. He received the crown of martyrdom after he refused the Saracens' demand that he renounce Christ and become a Moslem.
1170 St. Wivina Benedictine abbess built a convent; many miracles of healing took place at her tomb
1170 ST
WIVINA,VIRGIN
Little is related of the life of St Wivina that is not common to many other holy nuns of the middle ages. She was a Fleming, well brought up, and by the time she was fifteen had made up her mind to “leave the world” and her father’s house. She was, however, sought in marriage by a number of suitors—foremost among whom was a young nobleman named Richard, who had the approval of her parents. This young man was very much in love with her, and when she made it clear to him that she would accept no earthly husband he took it so hardly that he became ill and his life even was in danger. Feeling herself responsible for his unhappy state, Wivina prayed and fasted for him until he was restored to health, as it were miraculously.
   When she was twenty-three she left her father’s house secretly, taking only a psalter with her, and with one companion made a hermitage of branches in a wood near Brussels, at a place called Grand-Bigard. Here her solitude was much disturbed by people who came from the city to see her out of curiosity.

   Count Godfrey of Brabant offered her the land and an endowment wherewith to build a monastery on it, which she gladly accepted. She put herself and her community under the direction of the abbot of Afflighem, a monastery near Alost (it is still in being) which at that time, according to the testimony of St Bernard, was peopled by angels rather than men.

Under such auspices the nunnery of Grand-Bigard prospered, though not without grave difficulties for the abbess; some of her subjects found her lacking in discretion, especially in the matter of austerities, and did not keep their opinions to themselves. St Wivina pointed out to them that they were being led away by Satan, but it required a miracle to persuade them that their abbess was in the right.
   After her death the abbey became a place of pilgrimage, and many miracles of healing took place at her tomb. The relics of St Wivina are now in Notre-Dame-du-Sablon at Brussels.

There is a legendary account of her which has been printed by the Bollandists in the volume Anecdota J. Gielemans (1895), pp. 57—79. Her psalter, written in the early twelfth century, is still preserved at Orbais in Brabant. See also Van Ballaer, Officium cum Missa (1903).
also called Vivina. A native of Oisy, Flanders, Belgium. she was adamant in refusing all offers of marriage until the age of twenty-three when she became a hermitess at Grand Bigard, near Brussels. After gathering disciples, she accepted the offer of land from Count Godfrey of Brabant and built a convent over which she served as first abbess.
1213  St. John of Matha; John ransomed captives; born Faucon, Provence June 23, 1160
1213  St. John of Matha Feast Day John ransomed captives feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed February 8th 1213 > John of Matha hermit first Mass celebrated: vision of angel clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his  breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves, who knelt beside him.
 Romæ natális sancti Joánnis de Matha, Presbyteri et Confessóris, qui Ordinis sanctíssimæ Trinitátis redemptiónis captivórum Fundátor éxstitit.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas, ex dispositióne Innocéntii Papæ Undécimi, ágitur sexto Idus Februárii.
       At Rome, the birthday of St. John of Matha, priest and confessor, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives, whose feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed on the 8th of  February.
{Note:  there are several different dates of birth, and several different years of death from several different sources.}
He was educated at Aix, but on his return to Faucon, lived as a hermit for a time. He then went to Paris where he received his doctorate in theology, was ordained there in 1197, and then joined St. Felix of Valois in his hermitage at Cerfroid. He confided to Felix his idea of founding a religious order to ransom Christian prisoners from the Moslems, and late in 1197, the two went to Rome and received the approval of Pope Innocent III for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitarians), with John as superior, in 1198; they also secured the approval of King Philip Augustus of France. The Order flourished, spread to France, Spain, Italy, and England, sent many of its members to North Africa, and redeemed many captives. John died at Rome on December 17.

ST JOHN OF MATHA, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF THE TRINITARIANS
From several bulls of Innocent III and the many authors of his life, especially that compiled by Robert Gaguin, the learned general of this order, in 1490, collected by Baillet, and the Hist. des Ordres Relig. by F. Helyot. See also Annales Ordinis is SS. Trinitatis, auctore Bon. Baro, Ord. Minor. Romae, 1684, and Regula et Statuta Ord. SS. Trinitatis, in 12 mo, 1570.
St. John was born of very pious and noble parents, at Faucon, on the borders of Provence, June the 24th, 1169, and was baptized John, in honour of St. John the Baptist. His mother dedicated him to God by a vow from his infancy. His father Euphemius sent him to Aix, where he learned grammar, fencing, riding, and other exercises fit for a young nobleman. But his chief attention was to advance in virtue. He gave the poor a considerable part of his money his parents sent him for his own use; he visited the hospital every Friday, assisting the poor sick, dressing and cleansing their sores, and affording them all the comfort in his power.

Being returned home, he begged his father's leave to continue the pious exercises he had begun, and retired to a little hermitage not far from Faucon, with the view of living at a distance from the world, and united to God alone by mortification and prayer. But finding his solitude interrupted by the frequent visits of his friends, he desired his father's consent to go to Paris to study divinity, which he easily obtained. He went through these more sublime studies with extraordinary success, and proceeded doctor of divinity with uncommon applause, though his modesty gave him a reluctancy to that honour. He was soon after ordained priest, and said his first mass in the Bishop of Paris's chapel, at which the bishop himself, Maurice de Sully, the abbots of St. Victor and of St. Genevieve, and the rector of the university assisted; admiring the graces of heaven in him, which appeared in his extraordinary devotion on this occasion, as well as at his ordination.

On the day he said his first mass, by a particular inspiration from God, he came to a resolution of devoting himself to the occupation of ransoming Christian slaves from the captivity they groaned under among the infidels; considering it as one of the highest act. of charity with respect both to their souls and bodies. But before he entered upon so important a work, he thought it needful to spend some time in retirement, prayer, and mortification; and having heard of a holy hermit, St. Felix Valois, living in a great wood near Gandelu, in the diocese of Meux, he repaired to him and begged he would admit him into his solitude, and instruct him in the practice of perfection. Felix soon discovered him to be no novice, and would not treat him as a disciple, but as a companion. It is incredible what progress these two holy solitaries made in the paths of virtue, by perpetual prayer, contemplation, fasting, and watching.

One day, sitting together on the bank of a spring, John disclosed to Felix the design he had conceived on the day on which he said his first mass, to succour the Christians under the Mahometan slavery, and spoke so movingly upon the subject that Felix was convinced that the design was from God, and offered him his joint concurrence to carry it into execution. They took some time to recommend it to God by prayer and fasting, and then set out for Rome in the midst of a severe winter, towards the end of the year 1197, to obtain the pope's benediction. They found Innocent III promoted to the chair of St. Peter, who being already informed of their sanctity and charitable design by letters of recommendation from the Bishop of Paris, his holiness received them as two angels from heaven, lodged them in his own palace, and gave them many long private audiences. After which he assembled the cardinals and some bishops in the palace of St. John Lateran, and asked their advice. After their deliberations he ordered a fast and particular prayers to know the will of heaven. At length being convinced that these two holy men were led by the spirit of God, and that great advantages would accrue to the church from such an institute, he consented to their erecting a new religious order, and declared St. John the first general minister. The Bishop of Paris, and the abbot of St. Victor, were ordered to draw up their rules, which the pope approved by a bull in 1198. He ordered the religious to wear a white habit, with a red and blue cross on the breast, and to take the name of the order of the Holy Trinity. He confirmed it some time after, adding new privileges by a second bull, dated in 1209.

The two founders having obtained the pope's blessing and certain indults or privileges, returned to France, presented themselves to the king, Philip Augustus, who authorized the establishment of their order in his kingdom, and favoured it with his liberalities. Gaucher III, lord of Chatillon, gave them land whereon to build a convent. Their number increasing, the same lord, seconded by the king, gave them Cerfroid, the place in which St. John and St. Felix concerted the first plan of their institute. It is situated in Brie, on the confines of Valois. This house of Cerfroid, or De Cervo frigido, is the chief of the order. The two saints founded many other convents in France, and sent several of their religious to accompany the counts of Flanders and Blois, and other lords, to the holy war. Pope Innocent III wrote to recommend these religious to Miramolin, king of Morocco; and St. John sent thither two of his religious in 1201, who redeemed one hundred and eighty-six Christian slaves the first voyage. The year following, St. John went himself to Tunis, where he purchased the liberty of one hundred and ten more. He returned into Provence, and there received great charities, which he carried into Spain, and redeemed many in captivity under the Moors. On his return he collected large alms among the Christians towards this charitable undertaking. His example produced a second order of Mercy, instituted by St. Peter Nolasco, in 1235.

St. John made a second voyage to Tunis in 1210 in which he suffered much from the infidels, enraged at his zeal and success in exhorting the poor slaves to patience and constancy in their faith. As he was returning with one hundred and twenty slaves he had ransomed, the barbarians took away the helm from his vessel and tore all its sails, that they might perish in the sea. The saint, full of confidence in God, begged him to be their pilot, and hung up his companions' cloaks for sails, and, with a crucifix in his hands kneeling on the deck, singing psalms, after a prosperous voyage, they all landed safe at Ostia, in Italy.
Felix, by this time, had greatly propagated his order in France, and obtained for it a convent in Paris, in a place where stood before a chapel of St. Mathurin, whence these religious in France are called Mathurins.

St. John lived two years more in Rome, which he employed in exhorting all to penance with great energy and fruit. He died on the 21st of December, in 1213 aged sixty-one. He was buried in his church of St. Thomas, where his monument yet remains, though his body has been translated into Spain. Pope Honorius III confirmed the rule of this order a second time. By the first rule they were not permitted to buy any thing for their sustenance except bread, pulse, herbs, oil, eggs, milk, cheese, and fruit, never flesh or fish: however, they might eat flesh on the principal festivals, on condition it was given them. They were not, in travelling, to ride on any beasts but asses.

When we consider the zeal and joy with which the saints sacrificed themselves for their neighbours, how must we blush at and condemn our insensibility at the spiritual and the corporal calamities of others! The saints regarded affronts, labours, and pains as nothing for the service of others in Christ: we cannot bear the least word or roughness of temper.

St. Chrysostom elegantly and pathetically extols the charity of the widow of Sarepta, whom neither poverty nor children, nor hunger, nor fear of death, withheld from affording relief to the prophet Elias, and he exhorts every one to meditate on her words, and keep her example present to his mind. "How hard or insensible soever we are," says he, "they will make a deep impression upon us, and we shall not be able to refuse relief to the poor, when we have before our eyes the generous charity of this widow. It is true, you will tell me, that if you meet with a prophet in want, you could not refuse doing him all the good offices in your power. But what ought you not to do for Jesus Christ, who is the master of the prophets? He takes whatsoever you do to the poor as done to himself." When we consider the zeal and joy with which the saints sacrificed themselves for their neighbors, how must we blush at, and condemn our insensibility at the spiritual and the corporal calamities of others! 'Fine saints regarded affronts, labors, and pains, as nothing for the service of others in Christ: we cannot bear the least word or roughness of temper.
1624 Saint Dionysius of Zakynthos Bishop of Aegina gift of working miracles
born in 1547 on the island of Zakynthos. Though born into a noble family, he was determined to flee the world and set his mind upon heavenly things. He entered the monastery of Strophada, and after the prescribed time, he was clothed in the angelic schema by the abbot. Though young in years, he surpassed many of his elders in virtue, and was found worthy of ordination to the holy priesthood.

Although he protested his unworthiness, St Dionysius was consecrated Bishop of Aegina. In that office he never ceased to teach and admonish his flock, and many were drawn to him in order to profit from his wisdom.
He feared the praise of men, lest he should fall into the sin of vainglory, so he resigned his See and returned to Zakynthos.

In 1579 the diocese of Zakynthos was widowed (when a bishop dies, his diocese is described as "widowed"), and Dionysius agreed to care for it until a new bishop could be elected.
Then he fled from the worldly life which gave him no peace, and went to the Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Anaphonitria, twenty miles from the main village.
A certain stranger murdered the saint's brother Constantine, an illustrious nobleman. Fearing his victim's relatives, the stranger, by chance or by God's will, sought refuge in the monastery where St Dionysius was the abbot. When the saint asked the fugitive why he was so frightened, he confessed his sin and revealed the name of the man he had murdered, asking to be protected from the family's vengeance.
St Dionysius wept for his only brother, as was natural. Then he comforted the murderer and hid him, showing him great compassion and love.
Saint Susanna
Soon the saint's relatives came to the monastery with a group of armed men and told him what had happened. He pretended to know nothing about it. After weeping with them and trying to console them, he sent them off in the wrong direction. Then he told the murderer that he was the brother of the man he had killed. He admonished him as a father, and brought him to repentance. After forgiving him, St Dionysius brought him down to the shore and helped him to escape to another place in order to save his life. Because of the saint's Christ-like virtue, he was granted the gift of working miracles.

Having passed his life in holiness, St Dionysius reached a great age, then departed to the Lord on December 17, 1624. Not only are the saint's relics incorrupt, but he is also one of Greece's "walking saints" (St Gerasimus and St Spyridon are the others). He is said to leave his reliquary and walk about performing miracles for those who seek his aid. In fact, the soles of his slippers wear out and must be replaced with a new pair from time to time. The old slippers are cut up, and the pieces are distributed to pilgims. On August 24, we celebrate the Transfer of his Holy Relics.
Through prayers of Saint Dionysius, may Christ our God have mercy upon us and save us.
1815 The holy New Martyr Avakum (Habakkuk) preferred to die rather than deny Christ
born in Bosnia in 1794 named Lepoje by his parents. Lepoje's father died when he was still a young boy, so his mother took him to the Mostanica monastery, where his uncle was the spiritual Father. He grew up in the monastery, and later became a monk with the name Avakum. When he was eighteen, he was ordained a deacon by Metropolitan Joseph (Sakabenta).

In 1809, the monks took part in an unsuccessful revolt against the Turks, and had to flee for their lives. They settled in the Annunciation monastery in Trnava near Cacak, where the igumen was St Paisius.

After the collapse of Karageorge's revolt in 1813, the Turks began a reign of terror against the Serbs. Disease also swept the area because of the many bodies left unburied. The people attempted another revolt under Hadj-Prodan Gligorijevic, and the monks of Trnava became involved in it. The rebellion took place on the Feast of the Cross (September 14), but it was crushed by the Turks. Many people were captured, and some were executed on the spot as a warning to others.

Some of the prisoners were sent to Suleiman Pasha in Belgrade, among whom were Sts Paisius and Avakum. The holy deacon Avakum sang "God is with us" (from Compline) in the prison cell, while St Paisius prayed. The Turks offered to free anyone who would convert to Islam. Some of the prisoners agreed to this, but the majority refused to deny Christ, and so they were put to death.

The Turks tried to pressure Avakum to save himself by embracing their religion, but he refused even to consider it. His former spiritual Father, Gennadius, accepted the offer of the Turks and urged Avakum to follow his example. The courageous deacon declared that he was a warrior of Christ, and preferred to die rather than deny Christ.

St Avakum was sentenced to be impaled on a stake, which he was forced to carry to the place of execution. His own mother urged him to embrace Islam, then to seek forgiveness later because he had been forced into it. The saint thanked her for giving him life, but not for her advice.

At the place of execution, the Turks asked him one more time to consider his youth and not to die before his time. Avakum laughed and asked, "Don't even Turks eventually die?"
They replied, "Of course they do."
"Well then," he said, "the sooner I die, the fewer sins I will have."
Because of his courage and steadfastness in his faith, the Turks decided not to impale him. They killed him quickly by stabbing him in the heart with a sword on January 27, 1815.
St Avakum the deacon is commemorated on December 17 with St Paisius.
1814 The holy New Martyr Paisius igumen of the Annunciation monastery in Trnava near Cacak, Serbia

After collapse of Karageorge's revolt in 1813, the Turks began a reign of terror against the Serbs. Disease also swept the area because of the many bodies left unburied. The people attempted another revolt under Hadj-Prodan Gligorijevic, and the monks of Trnava became involved in it. The rebellion took place on the Feast of the Cross (September 14), but it was crushed by the Turks. Many people were captured, and some were executed on the spot as a warning to others.

Some of the prisoners were sent to Suleiman Pasha in Belgrade, among whom were Sts Paisius and Avakum. The holy deacon Avakum sang "God is with us" (from Compline) in the prison cell, while St Paisius prayed. The Turks offered to free anyone who would convert to Islam. Some of the prisoners agreed to this, but the majority refused to deny Christ, and so they were put to death.

St Paisius was taken from prison and forced to carry a stake to the place of execution. He was impaled, and the stake was set into the ground. The holy martyr exclaimed, "Glory to God." Then the vizier clapped his hands to signal his soldiers to draw their swords and begin killing some of the other prisoners. Forty-eight people were killed, and their bodies were raised up on posts. After suffering for some time, St Paisius surrendered his soul to God, thereby obtaining the crown of martyrdom on December 17, 1814.


 Saturday  Saints  Dec  17 Sextodécimo 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
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